GOP abandons push to rename Democratic Party ‘Socialist’

GOP abandons push to rename Democratic Party 'Socialist'After a short but intense campaign by some of its members, the Republican Party has abandoned its call for the Democratic Party to rename itself as the ‘Democrat Socialist Party.’

According to the Associated Press, the move spurred a fight within the GOP ranks that reflected the divide between those who want to take the party in a more centrist direction and those seeking to give it a more conservative tone.

The original resolution provoked criticism from the leadership of the GOP, with committee chairman Michael Steele suggesting the party should focus on criticizing the administration’s policies rather than engaging in "name-calling."

"I’ve been very clear that I don’t think that is an appropriate way to express our views on the issues of the day," he said on Meet the Press.

However, the resolutions supporters are not giving up their quest to draw the nation’s attention to Obama’s policies. Their new resolution urges Democrats to "stop pushing our country towards socialism and government control."

Since last year’s general elections, the Republican Party has been scrambling to find a leader and has been engaged in a debate over its identity at a time when the opposition Democratic Party, which controls both the legislature and the executive, has found an undisputed leader in President Obama.
ADNFCR-1961-ID-19184864-ADNFCR

Insomnia may be treated with traditional Chinese medicine methods

Insomnia may be treated with traditional Chinese medicine methodsWhile sleeping pills may have side effects and cause addiction, proven natural methods have been shown to relieve symptoms of insomnia and restlessness.

In particular, traditional Chinese medicine has been successfully treating insomnia for thousands of years.

According to NaturalNews.com, one of the most commonly used herbal supplements to treat the disorder is Suanzaorentang, a blend of five herbal extracts including sour jujube seed, Szechuan lovage root, poria, anemarrhena rhizome and licorice root.

It says the blend has been shown to have a sedative effect at higher doses and an anti-anxiety effect at lower doses. It is also believed to promote non-rapid eye movement sleep by stimulating serotonin receptors.

There is a growing awareness, even among Western medicine practitioners, that insomnia is not an isolated condition but is often related to physical and mental disorders, including stress and anxiety.

Hence Chinese health practitioners have also used acupuncture to treat insomnia, applying it to different parts of the body depending on the underlying condition.

Some of the most popular points include Yin-tang, which is located on the forehead between the eyebrows, as well as Shen-men, which is on the ear, according to Natural News.

ADNFCR-1961-ID-19184863-ADNFCR

Doctor: Natural remedies proven to reduce risk of melanoma recurrence

Natural remedies proven to reduce risk of melanoma recurrenceWith the medical community marking the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, one expert has talked about natural approaches to reducing the risk of recurrence of this deadly skin cancer.

Dr. Gary S. Rogers, professor of dermatology at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, says that even if you beat melanoma, you have an increased risk of getting another one in the future.

"With melanoma, you can never let your guard down," he emphasizes.

Rogers says melanoma survivors can benefit from eating foods rich in antioxidants, such as legumes, green leafy vegetables, carrots, fish such as salmon, fruits, whole grains and flax seed.

He also recommends adding antioxidant supplements to the daily diet, including beta carotene, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E and fish oils.

There is furthermore evidence that drinking up to two glasses of red wine a day may be helpful due to resveratrol, a polyphenol found in the skins of grapes that has potent anti-cancer properties and becomes concentrated in red wine during the fermentation process.

ADNFCR-1961-ID-19184862-ADNFCR

“Health Care”—a Cover for Euthanasia

Murder is acceptable if it can be made benevolent, passed off as "health care.” We have long advocated that vaccines are an assault upon the people under the pretense of health care. It is forced medication through persuasion.

"Health care" in America is a system of killing off weak infants and aging adults. This is not largely suspected because of the disassociation of cause and effect. Nobody even suspects. The mode is vaccinations and inoculations.

If there is a very rare protest, the "authorities" just say that an occasional death is unavoidable and is for the "greater good." That term the "greater good" is statist philosophy that the people are cattle and some have to be sacrificed.

But mass inoculations kill en masse. It is silent murder as "health care." This killing system is being perfected and fine-tuned without so much as a ripple of protest. Would you say the "perfect crime"? Incredible? Yes, the more incredible, the more perfect the crime.

Examples:

  • Autistic children because of mercury vaccines.
  • AIDS epidemic in Africa associated with the use of SIV—Simian Immunodeficiency Virus. (Monkey-human genetic virus.)
  • Two experimental AIDS vaccines have just been foisted on citizens of Thailand with a propaganda appeal for patriotism and a plea for people to think of "the greater good." The drug company goal is to force mandatory AIDs vaccinations.
  • Urine samples from hundreds of French children have yielded evidence for a link between autism and exposure to heavy metals.
  • Anthrax vaccines were forced on U.S. soldiers which proved unsafe and unnecessary. The deaths were admitted along with a wide-range of autoimmune disorders. Government involved in cover-up.
  • A new vaccine to "protect" against a common sexually transmitted disease in children ages 8 to 12. This is a vaccine against immoral behavior. What next?
  • The bird flu hype has been fanned by public health officials using fear to keep the public scared.

Vaccines kill natural immunity. Natural exposure to "germs" in childhood can lead to natural immunity and long-term health. Health authorities kill infectious microorganisms with the mass use of multiple vaccines.

So-called "public health" is a cover for mass medication and selective killing, at first "voluntary" and then mandatory. To understand what this means watch the movie "Soylent Green" with Charlton Heston and Edwin G. Robinson.

You can stay informed about vaccines at the National Vaccine Information Center, www.nvic.org.

Chernobyl anniversary brings nuclear attack survival into focus

Chernobyl anniversary brings nuclear attack survival into focusAs part of the commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster, a conference on thyroid cancer was recently held at the U.N.

It addressed issues related to the increasing cost of healthcare and discussed new cost-effective diagnostic and treatment options.

The conference also served as a reminder that a nuclear explosion, whether accidental or terrorist, is still a possibility, and that people should be prepared to protect themselves in the immediate as well as the longer term from its consequences.

Radioactivity is invisible and does not have any odor. Contrary to popular belief, it does not behave like gas and seep into everything. Rather, it is more like sand carried by the winds, and thus it is hard to predict where it will settle, according to the Canadian Department of National Defense.

Those concerned about a nuclear attack should have a plan for their family’s survival, which includes knowing the warning signal, having a battery-powered radio and locating the nearest shelter ahead of time.

The source also recommends having at least 14 days worth of emergency supplies, including water and non-perishable food in tightly sealed containers, and a first aid kit.

Skills such as an ability to prevent and fight fires as well as knowing how to get rid of radioactive dust are also critical.

The latter involves carefully removing outer clothing before you come inside if you suspect it is covered with radioactive fallout. Do not shake the clothes inside the house or shelter.

If water is available, it is good to wash thoroughly, particularly exposed skin and hair, without scrubbing the skin to avoid rubbing in the radioactive particles.
ADNFCR-1961-ID-19182545-ADNFCR

Hamburg confirmed as head of FDA

Hamburg confirmed as head of FDA The Senate has confirmed Margaret Hamburg to lead the Food and Drug Administration, as the agency finds itself in a crisis on account of recent outbreaks of foodborne illness and drug recalls which prompted accusations of a lack of oversight.

According to the Associated Press, the 53-year-old bioterrorism expert and former assistant health secretary under President Clinton has said the development of a vaccine for the swine flu will be her priority, followed by an overhaul of the food safety system.

The latter will mean a shift from "chasing outbreaks after they have broken out" to preventing them from occurring in the first place.

When the FDA nominations were announced earlier this year, they faced a barrage of criticism from many quarters.

Among the most vocal critics of Hamburg’s nomination was the Catholic League whose president Bill Donohue has denounced her opposition to sex education that stresses abstinence over safe sex.

Meanwhile, the nomination of Joshua Sharfstein as deputy chief of the FDA has invoked bad memories among food, pharmaceutical and medical device groups.

Sharfstein worked under Representative Henry Waxman of California who has been known to be tough on drug companies, including cracking down on medication use for illnesses not approved by the FDA and criticizing pharmaceutical companies for gifts handed out to physicians.
ADNFCR-1961-ID-19182544-ADNFCR

Herbal supplement sales increasing, study says

Herbal supplement sales increasing, study says According to a newly released report, dietary supplement sales in the U.S. increased in 2008, reaching an estimated $4.8 billion.

The report, published in the nonprofit American Botanical Council’s quarterly journal HerbalGram, found the five top-selling herbal supplements of 2008 were flaxseed oil, wheat and barley grass, stevia, aloe vera and milk thistle.

Meanwhile, the top-selling herbal singles of 2008 were cranberry, soy, garlic, saw palmetto and ginkgo.

Mary Ellen Lynch, director of consumer insights for SPINS, a market research firm, and a co-author of the report, suggests there is an opportunity for herbal products to move outside the category and into the mainstream food and beverage market.

"For example, the antioxidant turmeric has this potential due to its link to multiple health benefits that align well to the mainstream consumer’s growing interest in health and wellness," she says.

Others have suggested the escalating costs of health insurance and deteriorating quality of mainstream healthcare are also prompting people to turn to nutritional supplements to manage their health.
ADNFCR-1961-ID-19182543-ADNFCR

I’ve Got to Tell You, I’m Tired

I’m in Charleston, South Carolina this week, where my wife’s mother just underwent open-heart surgery. I’m happy to report that this feisty octogenarian is doing marvelously well – she was sitting up, taking nourishment, and talking to all of us just 24 hours after surgery.

Since I haven’t had time to get a new column written for you this week, I’m going to reprint one a Straight Talk reader forwarded to me. I think you’ll enjoy Bob Hall’s comments … and share many of his sentiments. —Chip

I’ll be 63 soon. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce, and a six-month period when I was between jobs but job-hunting every day, I’ve worked hard since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks and haven’t called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there’s no retirement in sight, and I’m tired. Very tired.

I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth around” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy or stupid to earn it.

I’m tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to “keep people in their homes.” Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I’m willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the leftwing Congresscritters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them—with their own money.

I’m tired of being told how bad America is by leftwing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the religious freedom of Iran, the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, and the freedom of speech of Venezuela. Won’t multiculturalism be wonderful?

I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor;” of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t “believers;” of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery;” of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law tells them to.

I believe “a man should be judged by the content of his character, not by the color of his skin.” I’m tired of being told that “race doesn’t matter” in the post-racial world of President Obama, when it’s all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois. I think it’s very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the emancipation proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less in an all-knowing government.

I’m tired of a news media that thinks Bush’s fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama’s, at triple the cost, were wonderful. That thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress; that picked over every line of Bush’s military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his; that slammed Palin with two years as governor for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever.

Wonder why people are dropping their newspaper subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn’t vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.

I’m tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America, while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore’s, and if you’re greener than Gore, you’re green enough.

I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don’t think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs.

I’m tired of illegal aliens being called “undocumented workers,” especially the ones who aren’t working, but are living on welfare or crime. What’s next? Calling drug dealers “undocumented pharmacists?” And, no, I’m not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic and it’s been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I’m willing to fast-track citizenship for any Hispanic person who can speak English, doesn’t have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military. Those are the citizens we need.

I’m tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last 50 years — and still are? Not even close.

So here’s the deal. I’ll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia because the girls were Christian. Then we’ll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.

I’m tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers — bums are bipartisan. And I’m tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois, where the “Illinois Combine” of Democrats and Republicans has worked together harmoniously to loot the public for years. And I notice that the tax cheats in Obama’s cabinet are bipartisan as well.

I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

Speaking of poor, I’m tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn’t have that in 1970, but we didn’t know we were “poor.” The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.

I’m real tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination, or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I’m damn tired. But I’m also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I’m not going to get to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for my granddaughter.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts state senate. He blogs at www.tartanmarine.blogspot.com

NIA predicts precious metals prices will rise

NIA predicts precious metals prices will riseDespite the recent stock market rally and a better-than-expected job market report, the National Inflation Association (NIA) has continued to warn of the dangers of impending inflation.

New Fed estimates suggest the nation’s industrial production fell in April by the smallest amount in six months. This, combined with the fact that April jobs cuts were the fewest since October and the stock market rallied by 33 percent in recent weeks, has prompted some commentators to talk about a cautious economic recovery.

Not so, says NIA. It believes the improving labor market situation is due to the addition of non-productive government jobs, many of them temporary, and the stocks’ rally has been fueled by inflation.

As a result, it encourages Americans to get rid of the dollar and switch to precious metals as the safest way to store and protect wealth.

"In our opinion, the current bubble in the U.S. treasury market is bigger than the dot-com and real estate bubbles at their peaks combined," the organization said in a statement.

"When the U.S. dollar starts to crash, we believe the boom in precious metals will be bigger than the dot-com and real estate booms combined," it added.

Meanwhile, quoting official statistics, Bloomberg has reported consumer prices were unchanged in April as both food and energy costs declined to offset gains elsewhere.

In addition to that, over the past year average prices fell by the largest amount in more than a half-century.
ADNFCR-1961-ID-19180227-ADNFCR

Obama proposes further tax hikes

Obama proposes further tax hikesIn his quest to finance the upcoming healthcare reform, President Obama has said he will propose some $58 billion in new taxes on securities dealers, life insurance products and Americans with valuable estates.

The announcement follows earlier plans to raise as much as $1 trillion in tax revenues over the next decade, the administration’s pledge to go after individuals who may shelter their income in offshore tax havens and to close loopholes allowing U.S. corporations to avoid paying some of their taxes.

Predictably, insiders who represent industries which may be affected by the latest move have expressed their disapproval.

"Seventy-five million American families rely on the products offered by life insurers for their financial and retirement security," said Frank Keating, president of the Washington-based American Council of Life Insurers and the former Republican governor of Oklahoma.

"This is absolutely the wrong time to make it more expensive for families to obtain the security and peace of mind our products provide," he added.

Other recent tax proposals which provoked much criticism include the planned increase in taxes paid by Americans making more than $250,000 which some say will negatively impact the philanthropy sector.

ADNFCR-1961-ID-19180226-ADNFCR

Natural remedies that combat sinus problems

Natural remedies that combat sinus problems As the allergy season continues, many sufferers will be reminded that sinus problems not only affect their quality of daily life, but they may also be difficult to treat. However, some practitioners have recommended natural therapies as a good alternative.

Herbal remedies for sinusitis that have been long known to provide relief of congestion, breathing problems and coughing include pineapple extract called bromelain which is considered to be a natural anti-inflammatory agent.

Other popular remedies include grapefruit seed extract, potassium supplements that dry up mucous and apple cider vinegar diluted in water that is believed to thin mucous layers, according to EarthClinic.com.

Chinese medicine practitioners have also recommended head acupressure -pressing points located on either side of the neck in a depression at the base of the skull – or hand acupressure involving the point located about 1.5 inches in from the edge of the webbing between the index finger and thumb.

According to Dr. Mark Pitstick, a health commentator writing for the Chillicothe Gazette, those suffering from sinus problems should consider using a saline sinus rinse kit to flush particles from the sinuses painlessly.

He says some people have also benefitted from herbal supplements such as Sinupret, which contains a blend of five herbs, including European elder, common sorrel, cowslip, European vervain and gentian.
ADNFCR-1961-ID-19180224-ADNFCR

How to Buy Gold

Twenty months ago the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both hit historic highs—14,198.10 for the Dow and 1,576.09 for S&P.

Then the bubble burst and stocks on the two indices lost more than half their value. The slide seemed to end on March 6, 2009, and since then stocks are up some. Some investment experts say we’ve hit bottom and the recovery may be beginning. Others say of the recent little run-up, it’s but a bear market bounce.

Regardless, America’s economy remains troubled. And with the Federal Reserve throwing new money out the door to fund bailouts, stimulus programs and expanded government services, inflation is bound to follow. And once it starts it’s going to get ugly.

If you need proof, look to the Weimar Republic in Germany. In 1918 the government of Germany began printing money at a dizzying rate, setting off hyperinflation. Prices were rising so fast that workers receiving their pay would immediately run to the store to buy foodstuffs before prices climbed again. Business and industry were paying their employees with wheelbarrow-loads of cash.

In trying to keep up with the falling currency rate, Reichsbank printed a 1,000-billion Mark note that was so worthless that when it was spent few bothered to collect the change. By 1923, with one U.S. dollar equal to one trillion Marks and inflation at 30,000 percent, the collapse of German currency was complete.

Germany is not alone in experiencing hyperinflation. Economic collapse under similar circumstances also occurred in this century in Zimbabwe (last year), Turkey, Romania, Argentina and Russia.

In the U.S., our government tried to spend its way out of a recession in the 1970s. The inflation rate increased by 500 percent—from a 70-year average of 2.5 percent per year to a high of 13.5 percent in 1979.

But government spending in the 1970s is practically zero when compared to what the U.S. government is spending today. Don’t be surprised if you’re soon wishing the inflation rate was only 13.5 percent.

Are you looking for a hedge against inflation? You should look at buying gold and silver. By the way; gold in early October 2007 was selling for $750 an ounce. As the stock market dropped gold took a little ride and is now selling for $936 an ounce.

But you may be like most people who have never considered buying precious metals and don’t know how. It’s not as difficult as you might think.

The simplest and most obvious way to buy gold is in its physical or bullion form. Bullion refers to the metal cast in bars or minted into coins with the weights marked on them.

Actual coins we recommend are the American Gold Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf, African Krugerrand or the Australian Kangaroo. We prefer these because they are stamped in English, have their gold content stamped on them, come in convenient, well-known sizes (1 oz., ½ oz., ¼ oz. and 1/10 oz.) and sell at small premiums over the value of their gold content.

If you can’t make up your mind which to buy you should probably give more consideration to the American Gold Eagle, which the U.S. mint still lists as legal tender.

For silver we recommend buying pre-1965 U.S silver coins. They were minted using 90 percent silver. They are still legal tender and are worth more than their face value (proving the devaluation of the dollar) because of their silver content.

One of the best ways to buy these is in bags with a thousand dollars face value of dimes, quarters, half-dollars and silver dollars. A bag contains 715 oz. of coins and currently costs between $10,000 and $11,000. You can also buy American Silver Eagles.

There are many places you can go to buy gold and silver coins, both locally and over the internet. Local dealers give you the confidence that you are shopping with a legitimate business—particularly if they have been around a while—and the ability to actually see and hold what you are about to buy. You can make your purchases with cash, if you choose, which will help you remain under the Government radar. Finding a local dealer is as simple as looking in your telephone directory’s yellow pages.

You can also buy gold from Comex, the commodity division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on which gold, silver, copper and aluminum are traded. This is where futures contracts of gold and silver are traded, and it is here where you can buy gold and/or silver futures or actual gold and/or silver bars.

If you want to own larger quantities of gold bullion but have storage issues, look to the Perth Mint, a 100-year-old mint owned by the government of western Australia. In the Perth Mint Certificate Program bullion can be purchased at the mint’s spot market ask price with no markup. There is a service fee and administrative fee, but storage is free. Safety is assured because the metals remain on site and cannot be lent out.

Another option is GoldMoney, available at www.goldmoney.com. Through GoldMoney you can open a free account and buy as much gold or silver as you want, as often as you want. You own the actual metal and it is stored in vaults in London and Zurich. The wealth in your account is readily accessible by electronic transfer.

However you chose to buy it you should use any dips in the price of gold and silver to grab more. Gold bugs predict gold will at least double in price. And silver is predicted to do even better.

Remember, he—or she—who hesitates is lost.

Harvard scientists probe link between vitamin D and asthma

Harvard scientists probe link between vitamin D and asthmaNew research appears to suggest that children with vitamin D insufficiency may be at an increased risk of severe asthma attacks.

Scientists from Harvard Medical School travelled to Costa Rica where they studied 616 children with the respiratory condition. They assessed each participant for allergic markers, lung function and circulating vitamin D levels.

What they found was that children with lower vitamin D levels were significantly more likely to have been hospitalized for asthma in the previous year and were likely to have used more inhaled corticosteroids than those with normal levels of the vitamin.

In addition to that, their airways tended to show increased hyperreactivity, and the children were also significantly more likely to be allergic to dust mites.

According to Drs. Juan Celedon and Augusto Litonjua, who were among the study’s authors, these results provide epidemiological support for what scientist have already suspected, namely that vitamin D deficiency may worsen asthma and allergy severity.

"[W]e suspect that giving vitamin D supplements to patients who are deficient may help with their asthma control," they conclude.

This is only the latest contribution to uncovering the extensive health benefits of
vitamin D.

Previous studies have found that insufficient levels of the vitamin are not only associated with rickets and other bone problems in children, but they may be linked to mature-age disorders such as heart disease and certain types of cancer.

ADNFCR-1961-ID-19177961-ADNFCR

Administration, Democrats back Pelosi as torture fallout continues

Administration, Democrats back Pelosi as torture fallout continuesAs the row over the extent of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s knowledge of the use of waterboarding by the Bush administration continues unabated, congressional Democrats and President Obama have stepped in to say they "stand behind her."

Some have called the ongoing controversy a distraction from the work of pushing through healthcare and energy reforms, and stressed the issue has not registered as important with constituents across the country.

Others have tried to redirect the issue back to the question of who authorized the use of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.

"I think a lot of people have lost focus on [those] who put those torture policies in place in the first place," said Representative Baron Hill, an Indiana Democrat, quoted by CNN.com.

"Nancy didn’t do anything wrong, in terms of the legalities, that I’m aware of. I don’t know what she was told. I’m not here to cast judgment on her at all," he added.

Last week Pelosi suggested the CIA misled her during a 2002 briefing by allegedly saying waterboarding had been deemed legal but it was not being used.

The agency’s bosses vigorously denied any attempts to mislead lawmakers, and Republicans have called for Pelosi to come forward with evidence that she was misled by the intelligence community, according to Bloomberg.
ADNFCR-1961-ID-19177960-ADNFCR

Consumer Watchdog raises questions about healthcare plan

Consumer Watchdog raises questions about healthcare planConsumer Watchdog (CW), a non-profit and non-partisan consumer advocacy organization, has issued an appeal to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee to answer questions about how its plan to require all Americans to show proof of insurance or face tax penalties will provide affordable healthcare.

The organization has also criticized the committee for having met behind closed doors last week and for excluding the public from this very important policy debate.

"Americans should not be locked out of any discussion about healthcare reform," it said in a statement.

"Mandatory purchases of private insurance policies without offering a public alternative to the private market is nothing other than a bailout for HMOs whose greed, waste and indifference to our health have created the current mess," it added.

Among the questions the organization addressed to the chairman of the committee Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, was the role of insurance industry lobbyist in the proposed reform, tax penalties, the issue of limits (or a lack thereof) on what insurance companies can charge for coverage as well as protection against junk insurance and against escalating out-of-pocket expenses.

According to CW, Senator Baucus has received more campaign contributions from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries than any other current Democratic member of the House or Senate.

ADNFCR-1961-ID-19177959-ADNFCR

Airport Body Scanners Too Revealing

Is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) looking for hidden weapons or making pornographic movies? After looking at images from the naked body scanners being deployed in U.S. airports nationwide later this summer the answer is not so clear.

What is clear is that these scanners reveal far more than hidden weapons. They reveal every curve, nook and cranny in the human body and throw that image up on a computer screen for a TSA agent to view.

Called millimeter wave scans, the devices are set to replace the traditional metal detectors that passengers must go through to get from the ticketing to the boarding area of the airport.

The technology was first implemented a couple of years ago as a trial in the airport in Phoenix, Ariz. Similar machines were later put into operation in New York and Los Angeles.

When the TSA first began pushing the new technology it did so saying it would be used on a voluntary basis by those who didn’t want to have a more invasive physical pat down during a secondary screening.

In other words, those suspicious-looking white-haired grandmothers who didn’t want a TSA agent touching and feeling them all over would step into the machine so a TSA agent could instead ogle their image.

But now it’s not just the white-haired ladies, it’s everyone—children, teenagers, 20-somethings, middle agers and old-timers—going through the image scanners. There remains an option for those too squeamish to have their image made. You can step off to the side and a TSA agent can pat you down.

TSA says that the scanners will blur faces so no one will know whose body is being revealed. And TSA assures you the image is deleted the instant the passenger is cleared through the checkpoint. It also says only male TSA agents will view the males and only female agents will view the females.

Well that’s encouraging. We know there’s never been a man or woman who got their jollies from looking at naked members of his own sex.

Besides, the idea that the TSA is going to go to the trouble of separating the males and females into special lines once the checkpoints get backed up during peak travel times is unbelievable. And, in a news report demonstrating the working technology at an airport there was but one computer terminal in the room and the female agent was viewing a male scan. Later in the report a male agent was viewing a female image.

While news articles about the technology showed mixed reactions to the scanners by passengers, the very idea that one would have to submit to a virtual strip search just to travel on an airline should throw up all kinds of red flags. Big brother government already has too much data on your finances, medical records and shopping habits. This will give them a digital photo to go with it.

Thankfully the American Civil Liberties Union is considering filing a lawsuit against the TSA. Hopefully they’ll follow through.

If not, expect to have to reveal your naked body at every public venue in the near future because, coming soon to a subway station, stadium, concert hall and shopping mall near you, enhanced body scanners for the viewing pleasure of government agents.

Statistics: U.S. population becoming more racially, ethnically diverse

Report shows country is becoming more diverseIn a prelude to the 2010 census, the U.S. Census Bureau has released national population estimates that show America is becoming more diverse.

Among the key findings of this preliminary report is that fact that the overall minority population has grown to 104.6 million as of July 1, 2008, and now represents 34 percent of the total population.

Moreover, some 47 percent of the nation’s children under the age of five were a minority in 2008, including 25 percent Hispanics.

The estimates also suggest the largest and fastest-growing minority group are Hispanics, numbering 46.9 million in 2008, up by 3.2 percent from 2007. They are followed by Asians at 15.5 million, an increase of 2.7 percent.

According to CNN.com, Ken Gronbach, author of The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Growing Demographic Trend, believes this is a welcome trend from the economic point of view.

"Latinos have saved our country," he said, quoted by the news source.
"They represent 14 percent of the population but 25 percent of the live births," he added. "The U.S is the only western industrialized nation with a fertility rate above the 2.2 percent replacement rate."

Others point to the immigration implications of these trends as minority groups tend to have relatives living abroad, and the majority of new immigrants come from Central and South America.

This situation, they say, will make it even more imperative to conduct a comprehensive immigration reform.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19173175-ADNFCR

Question marks multiply as Pelosi denies knowledge of waterboarding

Pelosi continues to deny knowledge of waterboardingHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing increasing pressure to reveal the extent of her knowledge of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques used by the former administration as evidence has come to light she may have been aware of their implementation.

When the issue of the use of waterboarding and other controversial techniques to interrogate terrorism suspects first surfaced, Pelosi said she did not know about it.

However, GOP officials produced an unclassified CIA document which suggested Pelosi attended a briefing session in September 2002 on the issue when she was a member of the House Intelligence Committee, according to the Associated Press.

In response, the Speaker said the CIA had informed her techniques such as waterboarding had been deemed legal but were not actively implemented.

Her statements have been widely interpreted as suggesting the intelligence agency misled her.

The CIA, however, seems to reject this suggestion, with the agency’s spokesman George Little saying, "It is not the policy of this agency to mislead the United States Congress."

A recently released Justice Department memo says the CIA used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002 in the interrogation of a suspected al Qaeda leader imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19173173-ADNFCR

Study says acupuncture more effective for back pain

Acupuncture may relieve back painThere is evidence that both real and simulated acupuncture provides greater relief of back pain than usual treatment methods, according to new research.

Scientists from Seattle compared four different types of treatment in a clinical trial involving 638 adults with chronic low back pain.

One group received usual care, while the rest were divided into three groups and underwent either an individually tailored acupuncture program, a standard acupuncture therapy or a simulation involving toothpicks at key acupuncture points.

After eight weeks, 60 percent of the participants receiving any type of acupuncture reported significant improvement in symptoms, compared with 39 percent of those receiving usual care.

After one year, 59 to 65 percent of those in the acupuncture groups experienced an improvement in function compared with 50 percent of the usual care group.

"For patients seeking a relatively safe and effective treatment for a condition for which conventional treatments are often ineffective, various methods of acupuncture point stimulation appear to be reasonable options," the authors wrote in Archives of Internal Medicine.

They also stressed the benefits stemming from the reduction in long-term exposure to the potential adverse effects of medications.

The article says back pain costs amount to at least $37 billion every year, and the condition is a major contributor to a lower quality of life.

According to a joint survey by the National Institutes of Health and the CDC, 40 percent of adults and 10 percent of children sought alternative medicine help for a range of health problems in 2007.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19173171-ADNFCR

Sunshine exposure may boost health in older people

Getting sunshine throughout life can improve healthNew research indicates that enjoying the sunshine as we age could help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Many studies have linked vitamin D, which the human body has the ability to synthesize in response to exposure to the sun, to promoting bone health, reducing cancer risk and even alleviating asthma symptoms.

However, a new report from researchers at the University of Warwick suggests vitamin D deficiency is significantly associated with metabolic syndrome, a combination of medical and metabolic disorders that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Dr. Oscar Franco, the research team leader from the Warwick Medical School, says the elderly are at a particular risk of the deficiency because of lifestyle factors such as wearing clothing that tends to cover more of the body and participating in less outdoor activity.

"[As we get older] dermal production of vitamin D following a standard exposure to UVB light decreases," says Franco.

"[Therefore] we may need to spend more time outdoors to stimulate the same levels of vitamin D we had when we were younger," he adds.

Meanwhile, recent studies have pointed to a higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among Americans than previously thought, prompting experts to recommend boosting daily intake of the vitamin from the standard 200 IUD to as much as 1,000 IUD.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19173170-ADNFCR