The Good and Bad Stomach Acid

There are two kinds of stomach acid—the good and the bad. The good is called hydrochloric acid (HCl), and the bad is called organic acids of fermentation.

It’s the bad acids that cause all the trouble. The bad acids only appear when there is insufficient good acid or HCl.

Good HCl does not cause heartburn, acid reflux and all the bad symptoms. Bad acids cause the discomfort.

But when we take antacids, we kill all acid, the good and the bad… much the same as antibiotics kill all bacteria—the good and the bad. We have to drink buttermilk or take probiotics to put back the good bacteria. Doctors don’t advise us to put back good bacteria. We have to learn this and do it for ourselves.

Likewise we take betaine hydrochloride to achieve optimal levels of HCl in order to neutralize and overpower the bad acids. You can order it in a product called Advanced Digestive Solution from our sister company, Health Resources™.

Everybody over age 50 is low on good stomach acid. This creates the huge antacid industry that gives false comfort and false hope. Customers should be advised to take two, four or six betaine, whatever achieves comfort. It is important to understand that the need varies according to stomach conditions.

Acids of fermentation are products of decomposition. These are very harmful acids and they become a monkey wrench in the machinery of health causing acidosis, which is systemic poisoning.

The only way to rebalance the body is with hydrochloric acid, which greatly stimulates immunity.

For more information on this subject, read Three Years of HCl Therapy by Roy W. Huntsman. Although this book is currently out of print, you can order a copy for $29.95 from Health Resources™ by calling 1- 800-471-4007.

Pelosi vows to have healthcare bill ready by summer

Pelosi vows to have healthcare bill ready by summer Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said she hopes healthcare reform legislation will be on the floor of the House before the August recess.

She made the announcement yesterday following the White House meeting on the issue with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer as well as chairmen of the Ways and Means, Education and Labor, and the Energy and Commerce Committees.

"[We] are working together on quality, affordable, accessible healthcare for all Americans," Pelosi said, adding that the group’s goal was to make America healthier.

"Our legislation will be on the floor by the end of July and that is really cause for celebration for the American people," she stated.

House Democrats’ plans for the healthcare system overhaul include provisions to use federal funds to help families earning up to $88,000 pay for insurance and a requirement that everyone must carry coverage, according to the Associated Press.

It has been criticized by some as financially unsustainable and potentially inefficient in that it risks inserting the state into personal healthcare decisions that should best be left to doctors and patients.

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Court dismisses anti-gun lawsuit

Court dismisses anti-gun lawsuitThe U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a lawsuit against Glock, a weapons manufacturer, brought by the victims of a California gunman.

The development was welcomed by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) which pointed out the federal law prohibits this kind of lawsuit.

The decision upheld a lower court’s ruling that nullified the case Ileto v. Glock under the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) which was passed to prevent frivolous lawsuits against gun makers.

"We are delighted that the Ninth Circuit panel affirmed the lower court ruling," says SAF founder Alan Gottlieb.

"While we sympathize with the victims, it would be an egregious miscarriage of justice to hold gun manufacturers responsible for the acts of criminals over whom they have no control," he added.

In August 1999, a gunman opened fire at a Jewish Community Center summer camp in Granada Hills wounding five people and later killing one person using a Glock pistol.

Families of the victims sued the manufacturer in 2001 claiming that gun companies "intentionally produce, market, distribute and sell more firearms than the legitimate market demands," according to SAF.

"Holding gun makers responsible for crime is a false panacea. Congress saw this when it passed the PLCAA, and now the court has affirmed that logic," Gottlieb commented.
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Firefighter documents cholesterol-lowering benefits of vegan diet

Firefighter documents cholesterol-lowering benefits of vegan dietRip Esselstyn, a Texas firefighter, has teamed up with his father who is a retired surgeon to launch his engine colleagues on the path to good health.

Speaking on a recent edition of CBS Sunday Morning, Esselstyn recounted how his fellow firefighters switched to the vegan diet and saw their cholesterol levels and weight fall considerably.

The 46-year-old former pro triathlete is promoting his new book entitled Engine no.2 which extols the health benefits of plant-only diet. He says he was inspired by his father to eat only plant-derived foods as early as 1986, a move he credits with helping him reach the heights of athletic prowess.

Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. was a Cleveland Clinic surgeon for more than three decades and is now active in the Clinic’s Wellness Institute, where he promotes the benefits of a vegan diet to prevent or reverse heart disease, according to Cleveland.com.

Some of the most powerful natural anti-cholesterol compounds include niacin (vitamin B3), omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil and red yeast rice extract which have the dual benefit of reducing LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, and increasing the levels of the healthy HDL.
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Worried Investors Wonder What to Do

What a difference a year can make. Last year at this time, investors at the various financial conferences I attend were feeling pretty good. Oh, there were a few storm clouds on the horizon. No one was singing “Happy days are here again.” But an air of quiet contentment seemed to prevail.

Not any more. Today, the mood is much more “Buddy, can you spare a dime?” Or as my fellow MC, Gary Alexander, put it, a lot of folks have changed their theme song from “If I were a rich man” to “I used to be a rich man.”

The devastation has been well-nigh universal. Every market sector in the country, and in fact every bourse around the world, has seen its share prices plummet. Even Warren Buffett, the legendary Sage of Omaha, who had demonstrated an uncanny ability to compound wealth for himself and his investors for more than two decades, was unable to keep Berkshire Hathaway from dropping like a rock.

So when the audience took their seats for the opening of the Atlanta Investment Conference three weeks ago, virtually every person present had the same questions and concerns. Where is the market headed next? Is the worst behind us? Or is this just a sucker’s rally, with worse news and further lows ahead of us?

And the most plaintive question of all: What do I do with my money now?

I was interested to note that none of the speakers and presenters was willing to take an all-out bullish stance. While several speakers saw some very profitable opportunities among the carnage (more on some of these in a moment), no one would declare that the market couldn’t or wouldn’t go lower. In fact, if you made a list of all the potential troubles they described — from a collapse in municipal bonds to more havoc in commercial and residential real estate — it would be enough to depress Mary Poppins.

If there was a consensus about anything, I would summarize it as follows: The massive government intervention in the marketplace is exactly the wrong thing to do. The cost — in wasted dollars, higher taxes, and bigger government — will be astronomical. The tsunami of new money being created makes it inevitable that the dollar will continue to fall in value. Under the circumstances, the best investments you can make will be in real things — with gold and gold-related investments near the top of many lists.

Veteran resource analyst Rick Rule put it this way: “The next five years will be spectacularly scary times. There are many black swans still be to seen.” That’s the bad news. The good news, he assured us, is that “We’ll be able to buy really, really good assets at really, really good prices.” And he added, “This will be the best buying opportunity of my career.”

So what will he be buying for himself and his clients? High on his list will be energy producers. He pointed out that most of the world’s oil is produced, not by private businesses, but by national oil companies. Instead of reinvesting in their industries, countries like Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador, and Indonesia have been diverting the cash from their oil operations to fund social programs. These countries account for 30% of the world’s oil exports, Rick said. Over the next five years, he expects their exports to fall to zero. As that happens, expect the price of oil — and oil-company stocks — to zoom.

What about mining stocks? The odds against making money in the mining business are staggeringly high, he warned his audience. “Only one of 5,000 companies that says they are searching for metal ever becomes a mine,” he said. “A 1-in-5,000 chance of making 20-to-1 returns doesn’t strike me as very good odds.”

The best way to put the odds in your favor, he said, is through “prospect generators.” These are the small exploration companies with rights to a number of properties. When they find something worth developing, they partner with a major and use other people’s money to do the heavy lifting.

Two of Rick’s favorite prospect generators — or as he prefers to put it, “companies where I have significant conflicts of interest” — were exhibitors at the conference. They are Riverside Resources, Inc. (TSX.V:RRI; www.rivres.com) and Almaden Minerals (TSX:AMM; www.almadenminerals.com). Three others he mentioned are Eurasian Minerals, Laura Resources, and Miranda Resources.

“If your broker isn’t familiar with any of these companies,” Rick concluded by saying, “maybe it’s time to get a new broker.” We all knew who he meant. You can reach Rick, or one of his capable associates, at Global Resource Investments, 7770 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA 92009, 1-800-477-7853, www.gril.net.

At the “best recommendations” panel, the ideas came so thick and fast that my fingers grew sore trying to write them all down. Here’s a sampling:

*Roger Conrad of KCI Communications thinks that energy will be a solid investment going forward. He particularly likes the Canadian energy trusts. Asked to pick just one, he mentioned Interplus Resources (ERF:NYSE), which pays a healthy 10% dividend while you wait for its price to rise.

*Ron Miller of Morgan Keegan likes to use ETFs as a trading vehicle. In the base metals, his favorite is XLB. It can be very volatile, he warned the crowd. An even more speculative play is the banking industry ETF, UYG. It uses leverage to make double the gains (or losses) of the underlying equities.

*Frank Trotter, president of EverBank Direct, had a currency recommendation for the crowd. He likes the Norwegian kroner.

*Elliott Gue, editor of The Energy Strategist, thinks that oil prices have probably bottomed. But rather than buy the big oil producers, he likes the companies that service them. His favorite is the drilling specialist Weatherford (WFT:NYSE).

*Adrian Day, the panel’s moderator, said that three of his favorite blue chips are Nestle, HSBC, and Loews. His favorite junior gold producer is Virginia Mines (VGQ on the Toronto exchange).

Republicans worried about escalating GOP feud

Republicans worried about escalating GOP feud Following their massive defeat in last year’s general election, growing internal acrimony risks derailing the GOP’s plans to shore up its base and find a visionary leader.

In a latest development, Dick Cheney, speaking on CBS Sunday Morning, seemed to suggest Rush Limbaugh better reflected the Republican ideas than former Secretary of State Colin Powell, once again stimulating speculations that the controversial radio show host has become an unofficial voice of the party.

Meanwhile, GOP Committee Chairman Michael Steele has engaged in a "war of words" with Mitt Romney after he had cast doubt on the former Massachusetts governor’s conservative credentials.

"[I]t was the base that rejected Mitt because of his switch on pro-life, from pro-choice to pro-life," Steele said while guest-hosting a recent radio show.

"It was the base that rejected Mitt because it had issues with Mormonism [and] because they thought he was back and forth and waffling on [economic issues]."

There is also an ongoing feud between Sarah Palin’s supporters and Romney, who has said the Alaska governor should never have been placed on Time’s most influential list.

According to media reports, Palin backers have released a web video using the footage of a bear and Mitt Romney jogging near his summer home in New Hampshire, suggesting the former presidential candidate is running away. The video reportedly ends with "Palin firing a hunting rifle and a bear’s head on her trophy wall."
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ACLU files lawsuit against gene patents

ACLU files lawsuit against gene patentsThe American Civil Liberties Union is pushing for the reversal of a patent currently held by a pharmaceutical company that prevents other companies from pursuing vital cancer researcher.

ACLU joined forces with the Public Patent Foundation at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law to allege that patents held by Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation on two human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer are unconstitutional and invalid.

"A gene patent holder has the right to prevent anyone from studying, testing or even looking at a gene," the organization said in a statement.

"As a result, scientific research and genetic testing has been delayed, limited or even shut down due to concerns about gene patents," it added.

In response, Myriad Genetics, whose lab is the only place in the country where diagnostic testing can be performed, has vowed to "vigorously defend" itself against the legal challenge, according to a CNN.com report.

The lawsuit challenges genetic patenting in principle given that about 20 percent of all human genes are patented, including those linked to Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy and asthma.
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Meditation may enhance short-term memory

Meditation may enhance short-term memoryBesides the stress-reducing benefits, new research has also linked meditation to temporary improvement in visuospatial abilities.

The study was inspired by evidence that suggests Buddhist monks have exceptional imagery skills and are able to maintain complex images in their visual short-term memory for hours. It was conducted by psychologists from the George Mason University who investigated the effects of different styles of Buddhist meditation on such skills.

The scientists focused on Deity Yoga (DY) and Open Presence (OP) techniques and asked meditation practitioners along with nonmeditators to participate in visuospatial tasks conducted in two stages.

The tasks tested their mental rotation abilities (being able to mentally rotate a 3-D structure) and visual memory and revealed that all of the participants performed similarly on the initial set of tests.

However, following mediation, practitioners of the DY style showed a dramatic improvement on both tasks compared to OP practitioners and the control group.

DY is the fundamental Vajrayana practice in which practitioners visualize themselves as the meditation Buddha. It enables them to release themselves from spiritual obscurations and to practice compassion and wisdom simultaneously.

The research results also confirm DY allows practitioners to access greater levels of visuospatial memory resources.

"[These findings have] many implications for therapy, treatment of memory loss and mental training," the authors conclude.
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Is Government Planning to Force You to Live in the City?

Was President Barack Obama beginning efforts to engage in social engineering when he formed a partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)?

That’s a question posed in a report compiled by Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D., of The Heritage Foundation after he received a press release from the two government agencies announcing the formation of their pact.

According to the release, the partnership was formed to create “affordable, sustainable communities.” Included among its many goals are projects to:

  • Develop a new cost index that combines housing and transportation costs into a single measure to better illuminate the true costs by “redefining affordability and making it transparent.”
  • Encourage transportation choice.
  • Require even more planning by the many federally funded regional planning entities that are already attempting to guide Americans toward a supposedly better life.

According to Utt, liberals have long—it began in the 1950s—held a bias against suburbanites and urban sprawl. They believe people should live in municipalities with strict zoning laws, impact fees and regulations to ensure something called smart growth while making greater use of public transportation and forgoing automobiles.

Data show that many Americans rejected that idea, preferring instead to move away from the city center where they found more affordable housing, better public services and education systems. What they sacrificed with longer commutes, they benefited from the savings in housing and what they believed was a more comfortable lifestyle.

Now advocates of the smart growth movement are taking a different tack, and they have enlisted the Federal Government in their efforts. Although reams of data exist showing that the cost of suburban living is comparable to—if not less than—living in a municipality, smart growth advocates contend the data overlook many hidden costs of suburban lifestyles. These asserted costs, according to Utt, rely on unsubstantiated allegations of greater infrastructure costs, environmental degradation and the high cost of automobile operation.

Smart growth advocates contend that essential services can better be delivered to Americans living in higher density developments—such as town houses and high rise apartments—through public transportation, thereby freeing commuters from their cars. Additional benefits come through the preservation of land, reduced carbon footprints, greater social interaction through forced proximity, and higher aesthetic standard in community and housing design as government planners and politicians assume greater responsibility for artistic choices, according to Utt.

The DOT’s own data, from a study conducted in 2004, shows that public transportation is not an inexpensive mode of transit, as its proponents claim, and in fact is far more expensive than travel by automobile. Begun as an annual report to Congress, the DOT was forced to cancel further studies after it revealed that public transit survives only on massive taxpayer subsidies that are generally hidden and excluded from any discussion of the costs and benefits of different modes of travel.

According to The Heritage Foundation, data from 2006 (the most recent year for which data is available) shows that the federal subsidy for public transportation was $165.61 per 1,000 passenger miles, while automobiles earned the federal government a profit of 93 cents per 1,000 passenger miles through federal fuel taxes.

Currently, HUD requires states, counties and cities to conduct five-year Consolidated Plans estimating housing status and needs, and DOT requires the federally funded Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) to develop Long-Range Transportation Plans and four-year Transportation Improvement Programs.

Yet, despite billions of dollars of spending on these plans, housing is less affordable than ever and traffic congestion is worse and infrastructure continues to dilapidate, Lott writes.

Now, through the partnership, the agencies have more money and more clout with which to press more of a smart growth agenda on the American people.

But the smart growth idea, writes Utt, exhibits a child-like faith in government planning, a concept that half the world quickly abandoned in the late 1980s when all of the formerly socialist countries (except, of course, for Cuba and North Korea) rejected state planning in favor of private-sector initiative, economic freedom and market solutions.

While some may hope this effort is nothing more than the President’s attempt to use the White House as a bully pulpit to encourage Americans to mimic the urbane lifestyle he experienced in an upscale Chicago neighborhood, the record of past such efforts by the federal government is more troubling, Utt writes.

In January 1998, President Bill Clinton’s Envi­ronmental Protection Agency threatened to with­hold federal transportation funds from the Atlanta region because it did not meet federal air-quality standards and said that it would agree to restore the funding only if the state of Georgia dramatically altered its land-use and transportation policies in ways similar to those characteristic of the smart growth polices that discourage single-family detached housing and encourage public transit use and investment. Georgia agreed to do this, at least through the waning days of the Clinton administra­tion, but soon abandoned the policies when leader­ship in Washington changed.

Carol Browner headed the EPA when the threat was imposed on Atlanta under Clinton. Today, she is assistant to the president for Energy and Climate Change. With the prospect of even worse to come from this new DOT-HUD partnership on sustain­able communities, Utt suggests that those who are skeptical of the President’s grandiose efforts at social engineering should be on the alert.

Conference touts offshore opportunities, while government vows clampdown

Conference touts offshore opportunities, while government vows clampdownBermuda has held a conference on wealth and asset protection, in particular in offshore jurisdictions. However, the event coincided with a new U.S. government warning against banks assisting tax evasion.

According to SovereignSociety.com, the meeting of wealth management and protection experts aimed to "demystify" offshore banking and present the benefits of a well-crafted asset protection plans.

One of the speakers, representing Jyske Global Asset Management, suggested currency diversification away from the dollar and careful risk management were critical in today’s economic environment.

Another participant suggested considering life insurance policies.

"[A]n insurance policy is merely a tax-deferred investment vehicle," said Colin Bowen from Isle of Man Assurance Group, quoted by the website.

"They can help you protect your capital, make estate preparations, maximize tax efficiency and diversify your holdings," he added.

An insider with offices in Western Samoa, Anguilla and Belize talked about "smart" approaches to offshore investments that include contacting regulators and licensing agencies in the jurisdiction where the investor hopes to set up the trust.

However, those who would like to transfer their assets offshore would be well advised to consider the U.S. government’s pledge to go after undeclared profits shielded in tax havens.

According to the New York Times, the IRS is preparing to pursue foreign banks suspected of facilitating tax evasion by wealthy Americans.

The Swiss bank UBS has already been forced to pay U.S. authorities $780 million in fines and promised to identify some of its American clients.
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ATF: Tax proposal ‘will kill U.S. jobs’

Tax proposal 'will kill U.S. jobs,' according to the ATF President Obama has vowed to raise more than $200 billion through a crackdown on what he called corporate tax loopholes, causing the anger of many in the business community.

Americans for Tax Reform (ATF) has given voice to that criticism by enumerating some of the "job-killing" provisions of the current tax code.

Quoting OECD statistics, it says the U.S. has a combined marginal corporate rate of nearly 40 percent, the highest in the developed world.

It also claims America is one of the few countries that double-taxes the international profits of its companies, although there are regulations, such as the deferral provision, that allow companies to avoid this double taxation until they repatriate the profits to the U.S.

The organization concludes that if Obama follows through on his plan to scrap the deferral rule without lowering the corporate rate or reforming the tax code, American companies will set up permanent foreign headquarters, taking jobs and capital with them.

Obama has said the money is needed to narrow the yawning budget deficit that is projected to reach $1.8 trillion this year.

He has also suggested that removing incentives for U.S. companies to move their operations offshore to avoid paying corporate income taxes will encourage them to create more jobs in America, spurring economic growth.
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Desperate times call for meditation

Desperate times call for meditation As anxieties associated with the bad economy are adding to the stresses of daily life, health experts have suggested powerful natural techniques that can help people get through difficult periods.

One such non-drug therapy is meditation, which has grown out of ancient spiritual traditions and has been attracting growing numbers of followers in recent years, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Practitioners have praised its effectiveness on calming nerves and improving mood, and there are various techniques to choose from, depending on individual needs, the article says.

They include mindfulness meditation which focuses on awareness and acceptance of the present moment, transcendental meditation and compassion meditation whose goal is to foster a feeling of loving kindness toward others.

The article also discusses growing evidence supporting the value of meditation as a health resource. Studies have shown meditation and other relaxation techniques work in cells, turning off genes that are associated with inflammation, cell aging and free radicals.

It has also long been known to help battle eating disorders, substance abuse, ease chronic pain and reduce blood pressure.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health estimates some 9.4 percent of adults surveyed in 2007 had tried meditation at least once during the previous 12 months, a significant increase from 7.6 percent in 2002.

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Anti-tax group criticizes budget’s energy provisions

Anti-tax group criticizes budget's energy provisions According to the calculations by Americans for Tax Reform (ATF), the energy provisions in President Obama’s FY 2010 budget could result in an increase in the tax burden of as much as $10,000 per person each year.

The organization based its estimates on the tax increase costs of the carbon tax, Section 199 repeal and other energy tax hikes added together.

"When President Obama told the American people that he wasn’t going to raise taxes on over 90 percent of the population he lied," says Grover Norquist, president of ATF stressing that everybody uses energy, not just the rich.

Referring to the elimination of Section 199 for energy companies, Narquist adds, "If the President wants to eliminate an income tax cut for companies that create jobs in America and call it a ‘loop-hole closer’ instead of a direct increase in income taxes that will be passed onto every American family then he is insulting all of our intelligence."

Section 199 of the Internal Revenue Code allows for tax deduction for companies which engage in production within the U.S.

ATR is a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups who oppose all federal, state and local tax increases

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Pension plans improve in April

Pension plans improve in April Bank of New York Mellon Asset Management has reported the funding status of U.S. pension plans improved by 3.9 percentage points last month.

According to the company, the increase was driven by a second consecutive month of strong performances by global equity markets.

Assets for a typical portfolio increased 6.7 percent in April, compared to the 1.4 percent gain in liabilities during the month. For the year to date, the funding ratio for the typical plan is up 9.5 percentage points, as represented by the BNY Mellon Pension Liability Index.

Peter Austin, executive director of BNY Mellon Pension Services, the pension services arm of BNY Mellon Asset Management also noted that corporate bond spreads, while narrowing in April, continue to be above average past levels.

"We continue to be wary of narrowing corporate spreads, which have the potential to increase liabilities," he said, adding, "At that point, plans will need additional help from equities to protect their funded status or they will need to be particularly astute in managing their exposure to liabilities through effective asset allocation."

The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation is a financial services company operating in 34 countries. It has $20.2 trillion in assets under custody and administration, $928 billion in assets under management, services more than $11 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.8 trillion per day.
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Survey: Herbal menopause treatment growing popular with doctors

Herbal menopause treatment growing popular with doctors, says surveyWith hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increasingly discredited, healthcare providers have become supportive of the use of the black cohosh extract as an alternative to treat menopausal symptoms, according to a new study.

Black cohosh is a perennial woodland plant native to the eastern parts of North America, and its root has long been used to prepare herbal supplements and remedies.

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, clinical professor of gynecology at the Yale School of Medicine, who designed the survey, says 63 percent of respondents admitted discussing the use of the extract with their doctors, and nearly 54 percent said their physicians were ‘supportive’ or ‘very supportive’ of the therapy.

"We hypothesize that the reason for the high level of support among healthcare providers was because the black cohosh extract is the most widely researched non-pharmaceutical therapy for reducing menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and occasional irritability," says Minkin.

The primary reason women said they used black cohosh was to avoid HRT after recent scientific studies have linked it to an increased risk of cancer and heart disease.

Results of the web-based survey of 692 women were presented at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists annual meeting in Chicago.
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Who Wants to Confiscate Your 401(k) and IRA?

If you’re like most people who are planning for retirement you have been socking away your money in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401(k) plan.

And when the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 14,198.10 on Oct. 11, 2007, you thought you were set. The Dow was running up. Your retirement funds were growing. Everything looked good.

Then stocks began a downward slide that turned into a cliff dive by the following spring as the full extent of the financial crisis came to light. To make matters worse, the market then showed what it thought of the efforts of Congress and the President (both Bush and Obama) to stem the crisis—it tanked.

Fast forward to March 6, 2009. Stocks hit their lows and your retirement funds had dropped by 40 percent to 60 percent.

Now your retirement years no longer look quite so rosy. You’re thinking you may have to work an additional 10 years just to build that nest egg back to October 2007 levels.

Well, don’t fret, help is on the way. The same entity that’s done such a great job of managing Social Security may soon be managing your personal retirement plan.

Congressional Democrats have been holding hearings to decide what to do to help Americans prepare for retirement. Their conclusions: It might be a good thing for the government to eliminate tax breaks for 401(k)s, IRAs and similar retirement accounts, confiscate them and convert them to universal Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRA) managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Now unions are joining the bandwagon. Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), was quoted in a union publication saying that he supports a plan to centralize all retirement plans for American workers. His plan includes private 401(k)s and IRAs.

What he wants is for the government to confiscate your private retirement plan and set up a government pension system for everyone similar to the European system. And as is usual with grand government schemes nowadays, individual choice no longer applies.

The SEIU, by the way, is one of the nation’s largest labor unions and it invested heavily in getting President Barack Obama elected. Plus, the union is working with the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare on the plan.

In other words, the SEIU carries a lot of clout with this President and Democrat-controlled Congress.

But the SSA hasn’t done such a great job managing Social Security. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Social Security outlays will exceed revenue in 2019, and Social Security funds will be exhausted in 2049.

So, for a 20-year-old just entering the job market who will pay into the system for 40 to 45 years, there is no hope of recovering that money when he or she retires.

There is currently no bill in committee or before Congress to set up a GRA. But the fact that it’s being discussed in committees and pushed by Big Labor should be enough to frighten you.

It’s time to consider, if you haven’t already, your financial plans for your retirement years—whether you are 20, 70 or somewhere in between. Is it time to cash it out? That’s for you to decide along with a tax or financial advisor, as the penalties for early withdrawal are oppressive.

Regardless, as the Federal Reserve prints dollar upon dollar to fund its economic stimulus Ponzi schemes, gold as an investment looks better and better.

Report: Wages, employment for legal workers grew after raids

Wages, employment for legal workers grew after raids, says report A report by the Center for Immigration Studies has examined the impact of the 2006 raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies of six meatpacking plants owned by Swift & Co and noted an improvement in the legal workers’ situation in the aftermath.

The report, entitled The 2006 Swift Raids: Assessing the Impact of Immigration Enforcement Actions at Six Facilities, says meatpacking workers’ wages, adjusted for inflation, fell by 45 percent between 1980 and 2007. In addition to that, some 23 percent of Swift’s workers were illegal immigrants.

Jerry Kammer, a senior research fellow at CIS and author of the report, writes that all six facilities resumed production on the same day as the raids and returned to full production within five months, an indication the plants could operate at full capacity without the presence of illegal workers.

A crucial finding, however, suggests that after the raids the number of native-born workers increased significantly, and at the four facilities for which the researchers were able to obtain information, wages and bonuses rose 8 percent on average with the departure of illegal immigrants.

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research organization that examines the impact of immigration on the U.S.

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Obama: Crackdown on offshore assets will create more jobs

Crackdown on offshore assets will create more jobs, says Obama As the new administration continues to pursue individuals and institutions who it believes are implicated in hiding assets from the IRS, President Obama has explained the process will boost economic growth and jobs at home.

A statement issued by the White House says the current tax code offers a competitive advantage to companies that invest and create jobs overseas and provides opportunities to avoid taxes through offshore tax havens.

To prove that, it cites statistics indicating that almost one-third of all foreign profits reported by U.S. corporations in 2003 came from just three countries, namely Bermuda, the Netherlands and Ireland, known for their low tax levels.

To remedy the situation, Obama has proposed replacing tax advantages for investing overseas with incentives to do so at home by reforming deferral rules that give tax breaks to those who reinvest overseas.
He has also vowed to continue to "get tough" on overseas tax havens.

"It is the downpayment on the larger tax reform we need to make our tax system simpler and fairer and more efficient for individuals and corporations," the president said at a joint news conference with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

The White House estimates the plan will save around $200 billion over the next decade and will discourage companies from enhancing their foreign operations at the expense of creating American jobs.
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Medical tai chi grows popular as healthcare costs skyrocket

Medical tai chi grows popular as healthcare costs skyrocket A Chinese exercise that has been described as "the secret to anti-aging," medical tai chi is proving increasingly popular in the U.S.

The technique, also known as qigong, looks similar to martial tai chi, but its slow movements are designed to boost the immune system and open acupuncture "chi" channels without using needles, according to Healing Tao Retreats.

Michael Winn, ex-president of the National Qigong Association, says the appeal of this technique lies in the fact that the less effort one makes, the more powerful the healing energy the exercise generates.

"Yoga and martial tai chi styles are also healthy alternatives, but qigong is medically far more effective," says Winn.

"[It] can be targeted to heal specific mental or physical illnesses. I’ve witnessed countless healings in people abandoned by the medical system," he emphasizes.

Dr. Bryan Lewis, an integrative healthcare expert, believes people are turning to alternatives like qigong because they cannot afford insurance premium costs which can be as high as $25,000 a year.

"The NIH knows that greater reliance on prevention and self-care is the only long term solution our national health system can afford," he says.

"If 200 million Chinese rely upon medical qigong for good health, why can’t Americans?" he asks.

Qigong has been used in China to heal chronic illness for more than 2,500 years.
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Osteomalacia, Osteoporosis and Vitamin D3

Each month I try to think of what information my subscribers need most, as most of my readers are in the 50 to 90 age group. Of course we all need health and wealth, which is the basic theme of The Bob Livingston Letter.

And one cause of poor health among people in this age group is Vitamin D deficiency.

I have been so mesmerized, excited and overpowered with the benefits of vitamin D3 and sunshine that I have accumulated a small library on the subject.

The vitamin D3 excitement grows exponentially for seniors. I myself am in that age range. I have good seasoning like fine whiskey! I didn’t say that I drink it, just age like it—to perfection!

Increasing numbers of adults are developing a vitamin D deficiency-related bone condition known as osteomalacia (pronounced os-tee-oh-muh-lay-sha), sometimes called "adult rickets." This condition, characterized by vague bone and muscle aches, is frequently misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or arthritis. This is a typical diagnosis of "conventional" or "orthodox" doctors. I just saw this happen and the patient (or victim) wouldn’t touch vitamin D3 and had to go on disability.

Activated vitamin D or vitamin D3 or sunshine is directly related to bone health and muscle health. It is in fact its main job.

Osteomalacia refers to bone pain with muscle ache. Osteomalacia is a condition in which the bones don’t harden properly during the building or rebuilding phase. Vitamin D3 deficiency is the most common cause of osteomalacia.

Yes, even seniors are always building bone and unhardened bone produces complaints of muscle achiness and weakness. Winter months produce this more when there is little or no sunshine.

Vitamin D3 deficiency affects seniors most simply because few of us get any sunshine or enough sunshine, including me. So my wife and I take large daily doses (10,000 units) of vitamin D3 almost without fail. If we slack anything else, we take vitamin D3 in tablets or liquid.

The rule is to take large doses daily. You should take it on and on. As with any natural nutrient, it will take a while to get D3 solidly in your system, say two months. Then we have to keep it there by continuing to supplement. It may take longer for some. Remember that you acquired this sunshine deficiency over a long period of time.

If vitamin D3 deficiency continues it will weaken your bones and predispose you to fractures, especially of the lower spine, hip and wrist. In fact some researchers suspect that carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by vitamin D3 deficiency. And most importantly, a D3 deficiency causes instability of balance. Seniors fall more than younger people, a whole lot more. Of course when they do, they break their bones, as you well know.

Osteoporosis

All seniors know what osteoporosis is. Osteoporosis is a basic deficiency of vitamin D3 which compromises the bone regrowth and remodeling process—which goes on until death. Vitamin D3 deficiency inhibits efficient absorption of calcium from the diet. Calcium enters the bloodstream and with the help of vitamin D3 is deposited in the bones. If this pattern doesn’t happen because of D3 deficiency, the bones become riddled with holes and become porous, brittle and weak. This is osteoporosis and can be verified with a bone density test.

The result of osteoporosis is death. How many seniors over the centuries have broken a bone, developed pneumonia and died? This was all needless, according to vitamin D research.

Our strongest impression is that you should take your daily units of vitamin D3 above all else.

Normally I wouldn’t include specific product names and links in my editorial articles, but I get so many questions as to which exact products I use that I thought I should do so here. I recommend you take Advanced D3 from Health Resources™.