Want privacy? Turn off your cell phone!

Concerns about privacy and GPS Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is causing growing concern among privacy advocates who fear that cell phones and other items could end up playing a "Big Brother" role.

The seeds of this privacy debate were planted earlier this decade as emergency responders struggled to locate people who called 911 from their cell phones. This led to enactment of the federal "enhanced" 911 law in 2005 requiring that all new cell phones be equipped with GPS technology.

With this technology, consumers can take advantage of services such as driving directions and potentially, highly targeted marketing. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle recently cited a free software project from Nokia and the University of California at Berkeley that helps drivers avoid traffic with real-time data.

Still, the technology potentially has many privacy drawbacks if it ends up in the wrong hands. One way around such concerns at this point is to simply turn off your cell phone when privacy is desired.

Some of the current debate focuses on law enforcement using GPS to track crime suspects. In September a federal judge ruled that law enforcement must have a warrant based on probable cause to compel providers to turn over customer location records.

However, in 2005, another federal judge ruled that authorities were justified in attaching a GPS device to a drug suspect’s car without a warrant, claiming that the suspect had no reasonable expectation of privacy while operating on public roads.
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C. diff sickening more than previously estimated

C. difficile causes diahrrea and other health problemsMore hospital patients than previously thought have been sickened by a drug-resistant bacteria, according to a new report.

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) has infected or colonized around 13 out of every 1,000 patients, according to surveys conducted by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Previous estimates were much lower – between 6.5 and 20 times less than the new figures.

C. diff is a bacterium that can cause diarrhea and intestinal conditions. In recent years, a virulent and antibiotic-resistant strain has arisen and is growing more common.

People are at a higher risk of contracting C. diff if they are older, have a weakened immune system, have been hospitalized for long periods or have recently taken antibiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The APIC study confirmed the fact that most C. diff infections are picked up in a hospital, with 72 percent confirmed to have been acquired in a healthcare setting.

"This study shows that C. difficile infection is an escalating issue in our nation’s healthcare facilities," commented lead investigator Dr. William Jarvis.

APIC has published a set of guidelines aimed at helping hospitals prevent the transmission of C. diff.
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Vitamin D might be effective against radiation

Can vitamin D protect health against radiation?The wonders of vitamin D as a health supplement have already been recognized by numerous studies, with many experts pointing out that most people take in too little of the so-called "sunshine vitamin."

Now, another novel use for vitamin D has been uncovered. A health expert suggests that a form of vitamin D may protect the body from radiation, which could be used to shield people from a low-level nuclear incident.

Daniel Hayes, Ph.D., of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says in the International Journal of Low Radiation that calcitrol, a form of vitamin D, might be useful as an effective agent to protect people against an accidental nuclear incident or terrorist attack.

Hayes believes that calcitrol, the biologically active form of Vitamin D, could be used to prevent cancer caused by radiation.

"Our general understanding and appreciation of the multifaceted protective actions of vitamin D have recently entered a new era," writes Hayes.

Currently potassium iodide (KI) is used following a radiological or nuclear event. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, KI may cause thyroid problems.
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Taxpayers to catch a break on ’09 returns – or will they?

IRS has made inflation adjustments for 2009 tax yearTaxpayers could get a break on their 2009 tax returns due to inflation adjustments recently announced by the IRS.

The adjustments comply with a federal law requiring several dozen parts of the tax code to be annually adjusted for inflation.

Among the provisions are a $150 increase in personal and dependent exemptions and a modest increase in standard deductions for both married and single taxpayers, plus a boost in the maximum earned income tax credit.

There will also be a small increase in tax bracket thresholds between the 15 and 25 percent brackets. The IRS notes that the threshold between those two tax rates will increase from $65,100 to $67,900.

The annual gift exclusion will also be increased by $1,000, up to $13,000.

Still, any gains felt by taxpayers in the spring of 2010 could easily be offset by other factors. For example, wsj.com columnist Tom Herman warns that on top of uncertainty about what will happen on the tax front, "millions of high-income workers will get hit by higher Social Security taxes."

Herman cites data from the Social Security Administration predicting that 11 million out of about 164 million workers will end up paying more when the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax rises from $102,000 to $106,800.
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Fen/phen drug continues to cause damage

Fenfluramine causes heart problemsFenfluramine, a diet drug banned in 1997 because of links to possible heart conditions is still causing problems to people who took the drug, according to researchers.

A study published in the journal BMC Medicine says that people who stopped taking the drug 11 years ago were showing signs of damaged heart valves up to seven years later.

Heart valves ensure that blood flows in the proper direction in the heart. If those valves are damaged, blood may flow in the wrong direction which can cause heart failure and may result in the use of additional health resources such as heart valve surgery.

The study followed 5,743 former users of fenfluramine and found that valve problems were common, especially in females, and related to the length of time exposed to the drug according to Charles Dahl from the Central Utah Clinic, leader of the research.

Fenfluramine was often prescribed with phentermine as part of the fen/phen combination used to fight obesity in the early 1990s. Links to heart problems caused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pull the drug from the market in 1997.

The FDA points out that fenfluramine is no longer marketed in the U.S.
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Washington reacts to disturbing jobs outlook

Bush comments on job lossesAn increasingly disturbing employment outlook is contributing to concerns about the long-term prospects for economic recovery.

New statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that national unemployment stands at 6.5 percent, up from 6.1 percent in September.

This represents a loss of 240,000 jobs in October, and follows 284,000 lost jobs in September and 127,000 in August. Many of these losses took place in industries like construction, manufacturing and service, while the BLS noted that health care and mining continued to grow. A total of 1.2 million jobs have vanished nationwide in 2008.

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao was optimistic for the long term, saying that "it will take time" for the recent $700 billion stimulus package to positively impact the labor market.

President Bush tried to emphasize long term recovery prospects in light of the new figures. "The market for lending between banks has loosened considerably, and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to stabilize the commercial paper market have provided businesses with an urgently needed source of financing," said Bush.

The Associated Press also noted that House Democrats are likely to soon call for an additional $100 billion stimulus plan that could include public works funds to aid job creation.
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Legal fees may add insult to injury for taxpayers

Another government bail-out?Taxpayers could find themselves footing the bill for much more than just bad mortgage and investment decisions, amid reports that some executives involved in the situation may be entitled to recover millions of dollars in legal costs from the government.

According to the Associated Press, executives at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae had contract stipulations that would pay their legal bills if needed. The report notes that following the government’s $200 billion bailout of the two mortgage entities, many former executives are now hiring defense lawyers – and could still face shareholder lawsuits.

Meanwhile, the housing crash and mortgage problems did not come as a surprise to everyone. Five years ago, Congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul introduced legislation to remove government subsidies from the two entities, warning of a situation similar to what is happening today.

"Ironically, by transferring the risk of a widespread mortgage default, the government increases the likelihood of a painful crash in the housing market," said Paul in September of 2003 as he introduced his Free Housing Market Enhancement Act.

He added that "the special privileges granted to Fannie and Freddie" and "distorted the housing market by allowing them to attract capital they could not attract under pure market conditions."
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Aging is a Drying-Out Disease

For some reason, seniors drink less water as they get older and move less. And since they take so many drugs, this compounds their dehydration, especially with the taking of so many antihistamines. Antihistamines block hydration—leading to acidic blood and the masking of pain. What we mistake as pain and disease is really chronic cellular dehydration.

Seniors do not drink enough water to dilute and dispose of acid waste, greatly contributing to the aging process. Add to this a lack of exercise and acid buildup in the tissues, overloading the lymphatic system. Dehydration over time leads to chronic acid/alkaline imbalance (over acidity) causing chronic disease.

Increased water consumption contributes to alkalinity simply by expelling, diluting and washing out acidity. The diet of American people is highly acidic. Health is restored when diet is returned to 80/20 (alkaline/acidity ratio) coupled with rehydration. Rehydration by itself causes health miracles but added to an 80 percent alkaline diet, health benefits grow exponentially. The more alkaline your diet, the more rapid your improvement will be.

Low oxygen levels come with acidity. To contract an infection, our internal environment has to be acidic. Wouldn’t you guess that this is why some people develop colds and flu when others don’t in the same environment? The medical establishment is confusing symptoms with disease. Disease arises within and develops from an acid and dehydrated environment.

Overacidity and dehydration are the basic causes of all sickness and disease. It is the root cause of aging.

Make no mistake about it, the people selling drugs will never tell you this and they certainly don’t tell their medical students and doctors. And thank God the medical mafia can’t stop this rehydration because it’s as FREE as water. Seniors, start drinking eight glasses of water a day (with a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt for each quart of water you drink) and get up and start walking. Sitting, by itself, will flat out kill you.

Americans eat too much animal protein which is acidic. Here there is a great need for calcium to neutralize the acid. The body always tries to return to an alkaline state the only way that it can by withdrawing calcium from the bones.

Take your daily calcium and check your saliva and urine pH. Your pH balance (7.365 pH) is the foundation for health and restored health. It’s a good idea to take a mineral supplement with the eight-glasses-a-day water therapy.

Agents of Change

Battle for the mind: How they do it. Any religion that has group identity is by definition an organized religion. Religion prescribes parameters of thought and religion prescribes thought. There are few exceptions to this.

Governments desire organized or group identity religion because they can be manipulated without any awareness by the group.

Religion is in general “tax exempt” because organized religion is pro-government and pro-authority. Any group has group thought and group expression. All individuals become faceless and mindless.

To the extent that one is a group member, to that extent that person surrenders individual identity or ego. The group is first step authority.

The more organizations that authority can get the people involved in, the easier the control and manipulation because all groups espouse altruism. (see below)

Group identity can be any religious group, any fraternal group either secret or open, and any social group.

What about Christianity?

Christianity is a personal and individual religion anathema to organized religious and regimented “spiritual” systems.

The stronger the groups appeal, the more one can be led into and deceived by altruism and altruistic appeals.

Governments strive to move humanity from the ego or self to the group — the foundation of government deception and power.

  1. They use controlled media
  2. “Public education”
  3. Organized religion
  4. Fraternal organization (both secret and open)
  5. Many, many subgroups — see “Occult Theocracy”
  6. Charities

Organizations impress upon one’s psychic concepts pseudo “facts” that are unprovable and have no foundation in fact but are accepted as an absolute generation after generation. The same is foolish to the individualist who by nature or who has a natural inclination to inquire into anything without inhibitions.

As one loses his/her identity to group thought, then he/she becomes manipulated by phony altruistic pronouncements of politicians and authority. This is to say when one loses self he is transferred to group thought. We are one or the other.

Altruism is a morality based on the philosophical premise that man lives for the sake of others… that man’s life and property are available for sacrifice to “higher causes, e.g., the common good the public interest, society, the needy, the world, God, country.”

In practice, it’s who will sacrifice whom. You guessed it. It’s the non-producer political power transferring the wealth, production and the public will to itself. They do this with great ease once they instill Altruism in the public mind with the group concept.

Competent people who act on reality have gone underground in these latter days of political suppression. They are fully aware that hyper-individualism now, though not coded, is tantamount to crime against the state.

What about Warren Buffet and Bill Gates? They certainly understand capitalism and the accumulation of wealth, but they well know to bow their knee to Baal with their espousal of charities and social dispensations, as Bill Gates heavy involvement in vaccination in Africa. Do they know that they are appeasing authority or are they mind-altered with Altruism?

Possession of ones’ ego is to live in reality. The ego is the self and means individuality. The common use of the word ego implies vanity, but our use here simply means the ultra-expression of the individual as opposed to the group.

Group dynamics promotes altruism and a mind locked out of reality. It’s a long road back and few arrive except those few who will read the right material without reservations or bias.

Groups socialize and dehumanize. Communication fails between husband and wife, between neighbors, between professional associates, etc., etc., in direct relation to group influences and their degree of altruism.

Authority abhors individuality. It is the destruction of the individual over time that has moved us to the fascist state.

Think Nazi torchlight parades. Herr Hitler used the morality of altruism with his “higher good” to which anything and everything should be sacrificed for the “National Will.”

CDC: Diabetes cases skyrocket nationwide

Diabetes is a common health conditionThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that new diabetes cases have sharply increased over the last decade, particularly in southern states.

Many experts have suggested that the poor Western diet is to blame, along with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.

The latest data finds that new diabetes cases increased from 4.8 per 1,000 people in the mid 1990s to 9.1 per 1,000 as of 2007. Minnesota had the lowest rate at 5 per 1,000 people, while West Virginia and Puerto Rico had the highest with a respective 12.7 and 12.8 per 1,000 people.

"We must step up efforts to prevent and control diabetes, particularly in the Southern U.S. region where we see higher rates of diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity," said Karen Kirtland, Ph.D., the lead author of the study.

Other states leading the way in age-adjusted new diabetes cases per 1,000 people included South Carolina (11.5), Arkansas (11.3), Georgia (11.2), and Texas (11.1). Idaho, Texas, and Florida all saw increases of over 200 percent in their age-adjusted diabetes rates. And even though Minnesota had the lowest rate of increase, the state still saw its figures go up by 67 percent over the last decade.

Other states with low diabetes rates per 1,000 include Hawaii (5.9), Wyoming (6.1), and Colorado (6.2).
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Marijuana law reformers enjoy election night success

Supporters of marijuana civil liberties had some successSupporters of reforming the nation’s marijuana laws enjoyed a successful campaign season, seeing several of their initiatives win in various states.

The most noteworthy victory came in Massachusetts, where 65 percent of voters supported decriminalizing less than one ounce of marijuana. Also at the state level, 63 percent of Michigan voters supported legalizing medical marijuana. Massachusetts is now the thirteenth state to decriminalize marijuana, while Michigan is the thirteenth state to allow medical marijuana.

"The people were ahead of the politicians on this issue. They recognize and want a more sensible approach to our marijuana policy," Whitney Taylor, chairwoman of the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy, told the Boston Globe.

Some local marijuana initiatives also enjoyed success on election night. Fayetteville, Arkansas and Hawaii County both voted to instruct local law enforcement to make crimes involving possession of less than one ounce of marijuana their lowest priority. Four state legislative districts in Massachusetts also voted to instruct their representatives to vote in favor of medical marijuana legislation.

The primary setback for supporters of drug law reform was in California, where a measure to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana fell by a 60-40 percent margin.
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Internet privacy concerns high on both sides of the Atlantic

Privacy concerns arise in both the U.S. and UKThe issue of privacy is currently being debated in both the U.S. and the UK, among governments and technology companies alike.

In Britain, privacy advocates are wary of plans by the government to monitor all email, phone and Internet traffic in the country with "black box" style technology.

British Information Commissioner Richard Thomas was quoted in the UK newspaper The Independent as saying the proposed Communications Data Bill went a "step too far" and was "awful." Still, British security agencies hope to use the information to fight terrorism and other significant crimes.

The Independent notes that the proposal has created "a huge public outcry," with plans for a formal consultation of the UK public on the matter in 2009.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic this week, a coalition including yahoo.com and google.com unveiled a proposal called the Global Network Initiative to try to protect consumer privacy on the web. This plan would require various commitments from participating companies, such as providing greater transparency to users, challenging human rights violations, and advocating laws that respect privacy and the freedom of expression.

"Through this initiative, we take a crucial first step in advancing free expression and privacy, at a time when government interference with these basic human rights is on the rise," said Human Rights First President Mike Posner.
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Supreme Court to rule on drug warning labels

Drug warning labels are under legal scrutinyOn Monday, attorneys for the Bush administration argued in front of the Supreme Court that drug companies should be shielded from consumer lawsuits even if they fail to warn patients about risks which could have long reaching effects on their health.

The case involves Diana Levine, a Vermont woman who had her arm amputated after an IV push of the anti-nausea medication Phenergan struck an artery, causing gangrene.

A jury awarded Levine $6.7 million in her suit against Wyeth, the drug’s maker, which the company appealed claiming the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act prevents state lawsuits that conflict with federal drug regulations like warning labels approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Levine’s lawyer, David Frederick, argued that Wyeth didn’t do everything in its power to warn of the potential dangers.

"The manufacturer has a duty of due care, a duty to analyze new information on risk and to make appropriate change in the warning to reflect that," said Frederick. "It didn’t live up to that duty."

According to Wyeth’s website, Phenergan has been on the market since 1951 and is typically used to treat the effects of inhaled allergens or food allergies.

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Study: Rain Linked to Child Autism

Wet weather is linked to autismA new study indicates that child autism rates may be higher in areas that have more precipitation.

The study, which appears in November’s Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, examined autism rates for children in selected counties in Washington, Oregon, and California, as well as precipitation rates for those areas from 1987 to 2001.

"These results are consistent with the existence of an environmental trigger for autism among genetically vulnerable children that is positively associated with precipitation," wrote Michael Waldman of Cornell University and his colleagues.

The researchers estimated that the presence of an environmental trigger had increased 2005 autism rates in the studied counties by as much as 43 percent. They also suggested their findings "could potentially be explained by any environmental exposure associated with indoor activities."

In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that about 1 in 150 8-year-olds in selected areas of the United States suffer from an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The CDC estimates that this would amount to approximately 560,000 Americans aged 1 to 21 suffering from an ASD.
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Organic products running afoul of field drug tests

One couple was wrongly charged with drug possessionThe credibility of field drug test kits is under fire following the arrest of a Canadian couple on erroneous drug charges, raising concern about the violation of their civil liberties.

On September 11, Ron Obadia and Nadine Artemis crossed the U.S. border with their infant son. The two were checked for drugs and a field test was administered on beauty products and organic chocolate produced by their company, Living Libations.

After the NIK field test produced a false positive, the couple were arrested and charged with exporting a controlled substance. Under separate interrogation, each was told by officers that the other had confessed to smuggling hashish.

The couple faced a similar incident on August 3 in Toronto after another false positive drug test. They were arrested, interrogated, and later visited by child welfare authorities.

The two were exonerated after more tests. Before the September incident, the two had notified border authorities of their travel plans and were accompanied by an attorney, but were still arrested.

"I thought somebody must have planted drugs in our bag. We didn’t know the tests could be faulty," Obadia told USA Today.

Along with worrying about their civil liberties, Obadia and Artemis are concerned about their rights to market and transport organic products.
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Economy Seen Struggling In The Short Term

Uncertain times for the U.S. economyThe National Association for Business Economics is predicting that the economy will rebound in 2009 – but not before continuing to struggle in the short term.

NABE President-elect Chris Varvares said that if current economic conditions do not undergo a rapid recovery, prospects could decline further.

"Still, the NABE panel expects that lower oil prices, a bottoming out in home prices, and a better functioning of financial markets should enable the economy to resume trend-like growth by the second half of 2009," he added.

Meanwhile, the economy is showing few signs of recovery in the short term. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the gross domestic product had decreased at an annual rate of 0.3 percent during the third quarter of 2008, down from a second quarter increase of 2.8 percent.

Varvares added that NABE economists "see virtually no economic growth in the fourth quarter" and predicted that the GDP would only grow by 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2009, but would reach 3 percent by the end of 2009.

He also notes that two out of three economists believe that a recession has already begun or will be underway by the end of 2008.
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Unstable markets could pay off for Roth investors

A Roth IRA could help guard your wealthOngoing instability in the stock market may offer a silver lining to those saving for retirement.

Some financial observers suggest switching from a traditional retirement account to a Roth IRA now because so many stock portfolios have posted significant drops.

This presents a potentially lower tax burden to those who switch. Assuming those portfolios return to their previous levels over time, some investors could realize considerable financial gains.

Writing on ABCnews.com, financial columnist David McPherson offers another reason to convert now to a Roth IRA.

"Twenty years from now, federal income taxes are going to be higher than they are today," he predicts, citing unchecked federal deficits and the pending retirement of the Baby Boom generation.

McPherson, converting now to a Roth IRA would amount to "paying lower taxes now than at higher rates later."

A Roth IRA works differently from a traditional IRA in that it does not tax an individual’s savings upon retirement. Traditional IRAs offer tax breaks as money is placed into an account, but then income tax is collected on those earnings at retirement.

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New Google browser raises privacy concerns

Can Google respect people's privacy?The group Consumer Watchdog is calling on the Justice Department and state attorneys general to protect consumer privacy amid concerns about Google’s new Chrome browser.

It has raised a red flag about the danger of Google selling information about people’s web usage to third parties, saying that the company has "a financial interest in knowing ever more about who we are" online.

Chrome’s features include easier access to bookmarked pages, desktop shortcuts to web applications, and warnings if surfers are about to access an unsafe website. Chrome also includes an "Incognito" mode that allows surfers to prevent pages from showing up in their browsing history.

However, Consumer Watchdog urges Google to "ensure that Incognito mode has the full meaning the word implies when users opt for it." The group wants Google to protect consumer privacy with a single, instant Incognito button that remains in default mode and keeps information from outside servers.

"If Google won’t solve its own privacy problems, the company must be prepared for regulators to put the brakes on its unprecedented growth," said Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court.
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Complete Health Depends on Complete Proteins

Goat milk is really the perfect food. It is the most widely consumed milk in the world. It’s nature’s support for stamina and longevity.

Why goat milk protein? The molecular composition (size) of goat milk protein is most like human milk, making it easier to digest and absorb.

Many individuals allergic or reactive to cow’s milk easily tolerate goat’s milk because the protein molecules are one-fifth smaller than cow’s milk. This is super-important for those who have compromised digestive systems, and this includes a very high percentage of Americans. In fact digestive disorders rank at the top of the list as health complaints.

A combination of goat milk and whey proteins is a complete compliment of essential bodybuilding blocks including glutamine and a healthy ratio of potassium to sodium.

The brain is made up of more than one-third protein, which produces the amino acids to prevent depression, apathy, irritability, hyperactivity and unexplained fatigue. Natural goat milk is a very rich source of animal protein.

Signs of protein deficiency

  • Grayish complexion; chronic fatigue; fragile, splitting and slow-growing fingernails.
  • Hair loss; frequent illness; females may stop menstruating.

Why Goat Milk Protein Powder?

  • Because it contains beneficial bacteria designed to be resistant to heat, cold, chlorine, fluorine, stomach acid and extremes of pH.
  • Is a balanced combination of rich milk and whey proteins containing amino acids.
  • Is fermented using a lactic acid bacterium that creates biologically active lactic acid — used for energy production and fat burning.
  • Is credited by the healthiest and longest living people for their longevity.
  • Is a cultured (lacto-fermented) dairy product, credited by some as capable of lowering cholesterol and protecting against bone loss.
  • Is abundant in naturally occurring digestive enzymes—protease, amylase, lipase and lactase.
  • Is produced from goats that are not fed pesticide-contaminated food, herbicides, growth hormones or antibiotics.
  • Goat milk is credited for supporting stamina and longevity. Goat milk protein is nature’s original fast food, a daily supplement to fast living.

1,800 banks could line up for bailout funds

The Fed is doling out money to thousands of banksMore banks could apply for their share of the government’s $700 billion rescue package than was originally estimated, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Although some financial institutions have claimed they are strong enough to survive without asking for money, the publication says that Treasury and banking regulators have suggested that as many as 1,800 publicly held banks could join the line for funding in the next few weeks.

Additionally, it has been suggested that thousands of private banks could also apply for financial relief as well.

Current figures indicate that nine large banks are on track to be supplied with $125 billion, while 16 regional institutions are set to receive $33 billion under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Reuters reports.

Dividend.com has suggested that some lenders may feel pressure to sign up for capital from the government or risk falling behind others who take the money.

The TARP program has a November 14th deadline for application and reports have estimated that there is around $125 billion left for smaller banks to claim before that point.
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