More on Police Drones
Don R. writes: I’ve been a subscriber for years and respected your point of view on a variety of views. Your comments in your “Dismantling . . .” article were, for the most part, accurate and timely.
However, I take great exception to your notion that “The FAA has even gone so far as to make Ferguson a no-fly zone…to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities. From afar this looks more like an effort to protect police from being accountable for their actions since its most obvious effect is to limit aerial footage of the riots, the peaceful protests, and the police response to both.” I’ve heard this same line before and I was surprised to see you join the illogic of this ridiculous assertion.
Lee responds: You’re referring to my article, Dismantling Your First Amendment Rights … for Your Own ‘Protection’” (August 31, 2014). It was sent by email to readers of my free Ready for Anything Report.
Now whether the restriction on flights over Ferguson was necessary for safety is a debatable point. But I don’t trust any agency of the federal government to avoid playing politics when these outbreaks of racially charged social unrest occur.
And I certainly won’t back down on my concerns over police militarization, which has been encouraged and funded by federal agencies for years. On that point, I think we are in agreement!
Obama’s Justice Department has done more to foment race riots than to promote peace in our urban centers. It stokes racial grievances and rage through its promotion of black victim/white villain narratives and its politically biased “civil rights” investigations. Let’s not forget, it even funded some of the Trayvon Martin demonstrations! Now…professional racial agitator Al Sharpton has become a liaison for the Administration!
The Justice Department demanded that Ferguson’s police chief suppress video surveillance footage showing “gentle giant” Michael Brown robbing a convenience store and behaving like a thug. We now know that he proceeded to assault a police officer, apparently causing the officer to fear for his life and respond with lethal force. (Contrary to the media-encouraged narrative of a harmless “unarmed teen” being executed while holding his hands in the air.)
Total Medical Privacy Impossible If You Are Locked into System….But
Randy R.writes: What if my wife and I are already on Medicare. Isn’t my privacy gone anyway?
Lee responds: In some ways, yes. I’m sorry to report that medical privacy has effectively been banned for anyone enrolled in Obamacare or Medicare. Anytime you show your Medicare card or use your Medicare number (which is tied to your Social Security number), you’re creating records that end up in a central government database.
What you can still do is try to make yourself less vulnerable to having your data stolen or misused. Memorize your Medicare number rather than carrying your card in your wallet. Minimize the number of places where you actually have to identify yourself as a Medicare beneficiary – ideally, one doctor, one pharmacy, one hospital.
About Off-the-Grid Living Options
David E. writes: In one of your Independent Living publications, you mentioned communities set up for people that come together to get off the grid and become self sufficient. Have you followed any of these communities and can you advise how they are doing?
Lee responds: Yes, I have long paid close attention to self-sufficient communities. They’ve been a part of the American (and expatriate) landscape for generations and have been growing in popularity in recent years. Of course, they come in wide and sometimes strange varieties – from Hippie communes, to religious sects, to back-to-nature primitivists, to free-market capitalists.
I am personally familiar with the Amish from my four years at Hillsdale College, in southcentral Michigan. It is a tenet of their faith that they don’t rely upon outsiders or become too “worldly.” In fact, the Amish reject the modern lifestyle, preferring to farm their land, build their own homes, make their clothes, preserve their harvest, and craft their furniture. They even travel in horse-drawn buggies!
Say what you want, but they’re the ultimate self-reliant people. While you and I might not personally care to join or emulate them, we can still learn valuable lessons from their lifestyle habits.
Not being overly dependent on technology, especially in your disaster preparations, is one such lesson. With emergency preparedness devices, it is wise to consider the possibility of having to operate them without electricity. The Amish have been doing this for centuries and have some of the best tried-and-tested solutions for a post-apocalyptic America.
Lehman’s Catalog (877-438-5346; www.lehmans.com) is a treasure trove of Amish-inspired equipment. In it you’ll find tools that can be used without electricity for everything from food preservation to illumination to water purification.
Finally, as you probably know from reading recent editions of this newsletter, my friend Doug Casey is establishing a private community in Argentina. This one happens to be very upscale, with access to all the modern amenities you’d ever want.
New Snooping Credit Cards
Bob C. writes: The August issue of the Independent Living newsletter talks about the new “smart chip” credit cards coming soon. I realize the “security” issue you raise, but are there other everyday negatives in daily usage?
Seth Van Brocklin responds: As I noted in my article, 70% of new U.S. credit cards are expected to come with security chips by the end of next year. These next-generation credit cards raise new privacy concerns, because the new cards will be able to carry/transmit more data. At the same time, they may reduce some of the current vulnerabilities (such as “skimming”) in the decades-old magnetic swipe systems still in use.
The same negatives associated with credit cards in general (i.e., electronic records automatically generated on every purchase) will continue to apply regardless of whether the cards are “chipped” or not. And the same advantages (i.e., rewards points and other perks, ability to dispute charges, pay off charges over time, etc.) will still tempt people to use credit cards over other forms of payment. Cash and tangible barter instruments are and will remain the most private ways to pay.
Herbal Medicines Can Really Help You
Philip H. writes: Please let me know what the risk would be in taking more than the daily dose you recommend of 15-to-30 mg of Yohimbe Bark and 500 to 600 mg of Horney Goat Weed.
Soon after reading your article in the August 2014 issue of “Independent Living,” I visited an excellent health/natural food store and got a small jar of “Super Horny Goat Weed” The capsules contain 500 mg of Horney Goat Weed and, more importantly, 175 mg of Yohimbe Bark.
The person at the counter told me that taking Yohimbe Bark would cause the body to stop or reduce producing something important––although I could not learn what particular substance would be involved. The gist of the warning was that while Yohimbe Bark might
cause the body to produce more, the body’s natural production system might be permanently damaged or compromised by Yohimbe Bark.
Lee responds: With some herbal supplements, overdosing may pose a serious health risk. That’s true in the case of Yohimbe. And for some people, Yohimbe may present adverse side effects even in recommended doses. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a history of cardiovascular problems should avoid Yohimbe.
If you do decide to supplement with Yohimbe, buy from a reputable manufacturer and stick to the supplement dosage amount printed on the bottle. Different formulations may result in different potencies. Strengths on Yohimbe extract capsules vary widely. Some run as high as 2000 mg each, so 175 mg isn’t necessarily too much. It all depends on your particular physiology. When in doubt, consult with a physician, especially if you are on any prescription drugs.
Get This Must-Read Book
Tom C. writes: Thanks for your always-informative newsletter, Lee. You mention in your reply to Marianne M. in the September “Ask Lee Now” column that you could find no literature on mega-dose vitamin C. Well, here it is!
Curing the Incurable (Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins) by Dr. Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD (2002) (2009).
This is the most incredible book you may ever read! It is impeccably researched and referenced, with over 1200 citations from the medical and scientific literature. The array of infections that are cured by Vitamin C mega-doses is truly amazing. Every home should
have a supply of liposperic vitamin C on hand, and every medical school student should be required to read this book.
Lee responds: Thanks, Tom!
I’m sure we could save ourselves a national fortune by giving the flood of new Obamacareentitled Medicaid recipients free supplies of vitamin C – instead of free passes to hospital emergency rooms for non-life-threatening ailments. It’s a wonder (and a tragedy) that there’s no national discussion about increasing the use of vitamin C and other safe, effective supplements among the public.
As long as our healthcare system remains controlled by government bureaucrats, giant insurance companies, and multi-national pharmaceutical drug pushers, not much will change. However, the power still resides in each of us as individuals to minimize our reliance on the system and become more medically self-reliant.
Up in Smoke Investments
Frankie U. writes: Lee, what’s your take on the marijuana legalization trend? Are there viable ways to profit from it?
Lee responds: Colorado and Washington State have taken the lead on the marijuana legalization front. It’s a trend that I think will continue proceeding state by state, though not without controversy. In the months ahead, we’ll know more about how state and local experiments with legalization are playing out in terms of public health, crime and police resources, tax revenues, economic impacts, and investment opportunities.
Even when you disagree with policies enacted by particular states, I submit that state’s rights under our Constitution are still worth defending. Under our system of federalism as the Founders envisioned it, the states serve as “laboratories of democracy.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis articulated the principle by stating that a “state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”
Since marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, participating directly in any kind of pot business does entail some legal risks and practical challenges – such as not being able to have a regular business bank account due to banks’ fears of running afoul of federal money laundering laws. Some questionable marijuana-related penny stocks have sprung up recently, which are also high-risk propositions.
If you are intent on this, you may be able to cash in on the legal pot boom indirectly (and more safely). Some well-established agribusiness companies will see more demand for their products as pot plantations spring up. Large-scale marijuana farms will require water, fertilizer, ploughs, tractors, etc. They’ll also require more farmland!
Independent Living Contributing Editor Seth Van Brocklin tells me Gladstone Land Corporation (LAND) and Farmland Partners (FPI) are potentially viable plays on rising farmland values. Gladstone Land owns and leases agricultural properties in the U.S. Farmland Partners describes itself as “an internally managed real estate company that owns and seeks to acquire high-quality primary row crop farmland located in agricultural markets throughout North America.” It currently owns 41 farms in three states – Illinois, Nebraska, and marijuanafriendly Colorado.
I caution that I have not personally vetted either of these company’s financials. Nor do I own shares in them. I present them to you merely as a starting point for your own research into farming-related equities.