Ayurvedic tradition may help improve digestion

Ayurvedic tradition may help improve digestionThose who suffer from digestive problems but do not want to take medications that may lead to unpleaseant side effect may find relief from an Ayurvedic herbal mix based on the Indian healing tradition.

Ayurveda was developed as much as 5,000 years ago and offers holistic cures for common intestinal and digestive problems, using natural herbal remedies and essential oils to help restore the body to a balanced state.

A mixture that is based on one such ancient formula designed for maintaining proper digestive health is Triphala, a blend containing equal proportions of three different fruits Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula and Terminalia bellirica.

"Faulty digestion is the number one cause of disease and the preparation helps restore digestion by strengthening the liver function, cleansing the gall bladder, normalizing stomach acids, strengthening the peristaltic action of the GI musculature and alleviating constipation," says Pamela D. Palmer, CEO of ElanVeda, the maker of Triphala.

Other health benefits of Ayurveda include stress relief, as it has been shown that a specialized treatment called Ayurvedic Panchakarma has beneficial effects on the nervous system.

China’s Gold Purchases Another Wild Card in Market

It wasn’t long ago that I was noting how the Federal Reserve’s sudden embrace of quantitative easing, combined with the orgy of spending in Washington and international calls for the usurpation of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, had sent gold soaring.

In more recent days, the trend has accelerated. This time, Washington’s increasing involvement in the economy, and the politicization of American business, has sent overseas investors fleeing the dollar. Capital goes where it is safe and well-treated, and right now there are safer alternatives than the U.S. for foreign capital.

In short, investor sentiment has shifted from fear of financial collapse to fear of rampaging inflation and a dollar collapse. And gold has been the beneficiary, as it has taken off on a dizzying rally back toward $1,000.

While the long-term picture for gold remains very bright as the global supply of fiat currency is multiplied over the coming months and years, there has been another recent development with important implications not only for gold, but the entire world. To wit: China has announced that it has been secretly buying gold since 2003.

In an interview published by the official Xinhua news agency, Hu Xiaolian, head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, revealed that China had purchased 454 tonnes of gold since 2003, raising its gold reserves by about 75 percent, from 600 tonnes to 1,054 tonnes.

That ranks China fifth in official gold holdings among nations, although the IMF and the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) still hold more than the Middle Kingdom.

The gold bulls seized upon China’s revelation as having tremendous bullish implications for the metal.

After all, the nation increased its gold holdings by three-quarters, siphoning hundreds of tonnes from the market. But the gold bears were quick to assert that China’s gold purchases weren’t a big deal, since their foreign currency reserves grew at about the same pace. As a percentage of its overall foreign reserves, gold stayed virtually constant from 2003 to today, averaging around 1.6 percent to 1.7 percent.

I think both sides are missing the point here. The significance of China’s purchases is more bullish than the bears would admit, and less dramatic than the bulls would like. In short, the importance of China’s admission isn’t what it has done, but what it can now and likely will do in terms of gold purchases.

Prior to this announcement, analysts could only guess as to China’s intentions as far as gold purchases. Many bulls hoped the nation was buying, many bears dismissed the idea… but no one simply assumed that China’s inscrutable leaders were accumulating gold along with U.S. dollars.

Now that they’ve come clean, the outlook for global gold supply and demand is fundamentally changed, for a number of reasons.

First off, when you take this announcement in context with the recent, repeated calls by China’s leadership for the ouster of the dollar as the global reserve currency, it seems likely that the stage is being set for a reduction of their dollar reserves in preference for, well, gold.

The upside posed by such a development is significant, but not earth shattering. It’s true that Western nations hold an average of 15 percent of their reserves in gold, and an increase in China’s gold allocation to that level would set the market afire. But, from a practical standpoint, that just won’t happen, at least not in anything short of a glacial time frame.

China simply couldn’t buy gold in the quantities, or at the prices, appropriate to lift gold to 15 percent of their reserves. Still, it appears that China’s leadership is quite motivated to reduce their dependency upon the U.S. dollar, and increase their holdings of gold and other tangibles.

In fact, if there is any open secret regarding official Chinese purchases recently, it is their stockpiling of strategic commodities, particularly copper. Copper prices have benefited greatly from China’s aggressive purchases this year.

One can rightly ask, is gold next on the shopping list? And has the official chatter regarding gold and the dollar simply been Beijing’s warning to Washington and the rest of the world of what is coming?

Good questions. And we’ll get the answers when China wants us to get them, and not before. You can bet any announcement will come after their major purchases are done.

A second interesting point regarding China’s purchases is that all of the supply/demand analyses of the past six years have been wrong. Because China’s purchases were unknown, and therefore couldn’t be credited to that nation or official purchases in general, other demand categories were credited with the 454 tonnes China was buying.

Hu stated that the purchases came from domestic production, but it seems likely that some significant percentage had to come from outside the local market. Regardless, assuming that aggregate global supply and demand figures over the time period are accurate, then it makes no difference whether the purchases came from gold inside or outside China’s borders.

So we can assume that global jewelry and investment demand totals since 2003 weren’t as high as originally envisioned — because we can subtract 454 tonnes, in some mix, from these categories.

One can argue that this is bearish. I’ll take a more optimistic viewpoint: It shows that these demand sources have been less significant so far, and therefore have more room to grow.

And if China’s purchasing program accelerates, or even if it remains constant, then increases in other demand categories will have a much more pronounced effect on the overall market.

All in all, it has to be encouraging that China has been buying gold, and is likely to continue doing so, while the nation publicly bashes the dollar.

Hydrochloric Acid—God’s Natural Antiseptic

Pharmaceuticals persuade the public to buy antacids for what their advertising calls "over-acid stomach."

There has never been an over-acid stomach with natural acid. All the "heartburn" and "acid indigestion" symptoms are created because of low stomach acid which causes incomplete digestion. Incomplete digestion causes fermentation and organic acids of fermentation. This produces gas and reflux.

The only acid the body makes is hydrochloric acid with pepsin. Other acids that produce symptoms of acid reflux come from the fermentation process which is entirely different from natural stomach acid originating in the stomach.

The fermentation process comes from undigested food because of lack of—or low—stomach acid. Antacids don’t know the difference between natural stomach hydrochloric acid and organic acids of fermentation from undigested food. They attack all acids. This is why they provide only temporary relief. As long as stomach acid is low or insufficient the digestive process is incomplete and fermentation continues. We are suppressing the all-important digestive process with antacids.  The only solution is to build stomach acid with Betaine Hydrochloride by supplement with each meal.

Just how important is it to have sufficient natural hydrochloric stomach acid? The answer is something no doctor will ever tell you because most don’t know.

Adequate hydrochloric acid in the stomach or induced into the tissues by mouth, vein or muscle acts chiefly in clearing out the poisonous waste acids created by insufficient digestion and fermentation. Hydrochloric stomach acid increases the elimination of carbon dioxide (CO2), decreases to normal the pH reaction and desensitizes the tissues to disease proteins.

Natural stomach hydrochloric acid stimulates phagocytes. Its presence is essential to all glandular and cellular activity. Hydrochloric acid intravenously injected will significantly raise the oxygen content of the blood. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) stimulates all the forces of resistance.

Adequate stomach acid stops all the fermentation and putrefactive processes. Antacids increase the alkalinity, fermentation and putrefaction. This sets the stage for malnutrition because of incomplete digestion, and consequent failure of assimilation must occur.

Adequate hydrochloric acid (HCl) sterilizes the whole body system even to the natural purging of parasites.

Antacids compound the destruction of natural stomach HCl, making way for a septic process of the tissues and organs. Pyorrhea, symptoms of indigestion, nephritis, appendicitis, abscesses and pneumonia begin to appear. Deficiency of normal acid leads to stagnation of organs like the gall bladder and the pancreas—causing diabetes and gallstones—and leads the way to all forms of degenerative disease.

Normal HCl is nature’s true antiseptic, which is clearly demonstrated in the difference between HCl in a dog and man. Normal gastric juice is far stronger in dogs. Unlike humans, healthy dogs can eat septic meat and if its stomach is opened one half hour later, the foul, odorous meat will be found sterile. This shows the power of HCl in the process of digestion and health.

With sufficient and normal HCl, all waste acids along with fermentation disappear. It follows that all "heartburn" and gastritis are symptoms of low HCl—not high acid as the pharmaceutical sales pitches claim.

When antacids are taken, the contents of the stomach become alkaline. This masks the symptoms of the fermentation process, but at the same time the putrefactive (rot) processes are present in the stomach. Excess alkalinity promotes putrefaction and tends to diminish HCl. HCl deficiency is a large factor in the etiology of degenerative disease.

The crime of alkalizing the stomach runs deeper. The epidemic of cancer may be directly related. But the antacid people have a ruse called confusion of cause and effect. This is only one more example of the system, which we call benevolent totalitarianism—manipulating the people against their best interest with sales propaganda.

Can silver prevent blood clots?

Can silver prevent blood clots?Silver nanoparticles injected into the bloodstream may protect against blood clots in coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke, according to new research.

The news was reported by the American Chemical Society which said laboratory experiments indicate small amounts of the nanosilver injected intravenously reduce the ability of platelets to clump together – which forms the basis of life-threatening clots – by as much as 40 percent.

It also said the procedure shows no apparent harmful side effects.

Writing in the journal ACS Nano the researchers stated, "Nanosilver appears to possess dual significant properties critically helpful to the health of mankind – antibacterial and antiplatelet – which together can have unique utilities, for example in coronary stents."

If confirmed, the results may represent a breakthrough in the treatment and prevention of blood clots, giving patients a natural alternative to aspirin and anticoagulant drugs, some of which have caused serious side effects such as bleeding.

Among other natural blood-thinning substances are foods and herbs high in salicylates, including dried fruits and nuts as well as spices such as curry powder, ginger, thyme, cinnamon, oregano, licorice and peppermint, according to the Connective Tissue Disorder website.

The source adds that in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine many of these spices are known as "warming spices" as they tend to increase blood circulation, which in turn speeds up the metabolism and makes a person feel warmer.

Rights groups to Obama: Release abuse photos

Release abuse photosA group of dozens of leading human rights groups has called on President Obama to release photos depicting the alleged abuse of detainees by U.S. personnel overseas.

The letter signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch states that in an open society even embarrassing information is disclosed so that those responsible for wrongdoing can be brought to justice.

"As disturbing as [the photos] may be, it is critical that the American people know the full truth about the abuse that occurred in their name," says Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU.

"The government’s decision to suppress them is fundamentally
inconsistent with President Obama’s own promise of transparency and accountability," he adds.

After taking office on January 20, Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and prohibit the use of torture.

However, last week he announced he would not authorize the release of the photos some say document instances of torture and abuse of terrorist suspects held in detention by the U.S after 9/11.

Court forces governor to accept bailout money

Court forces governor to accept bailout money The Supreme Court of South Carolina ruled yesterday that Governor Mark Sanford must accept the $700 million in federal stimulus money that was set aside for his state.

The court said the state’s legislature – which has already passed a budget including the funds – has the power to accept or reject the money, not the governor.

Media reports have suggested the Republican governor’s efforts were based on his belief that increased spending would bring a crushing debt burden on future generations.

"This decision is terrible news for every taxpayer in South Carolina, and even more so for future taxpayers who will ultimately bear the responsibility of paying for this so-called ‘stimulus’ without seeing any benefit from it," he commented.

However, the decision was hailed by state educators who feared teachers could lose their jobs and colleges be forced to increase tuition without the funds.

"It was so unnecessary and took so long to do what 49 other states figured out how to do a long time ago," said state Education Superintendent Jim Rex.

"It will allow districts to immediately begin to reconstitute programs and fill positions they didn’t think they could fill," he added.

In February, Congress passed the economic stimulus package worth $787 billion in an effort to jump start the economy.

According to the Associated Press, in April South Carolina had the third-highest unemployment rate in the country at 11.5 percent.

How to survive a hurricane

How to survive a hurricaneThe Atlantic hurricane season started three days ago, and it may be useful to review some suggestions for staying safe during a violent storm.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 36 million people living in the coastal areas from North Carolina to Texas are threatened by Atlantic hurricanes.

MarylandWeather.com reports Joe Bastardi, chief long-range forecaster for AccuWeather.com, predicts the season that will be milder than 2008 but still more "active" than the long-term average.

To minimize the stress surrounding hurricane evacuation, advises the National Hurricane Survival Initiative, start gathering supplies and preparing your home and family as early as possible.

That includes locating important documents, reviewing evacuation and reunion plans as well as putting aside ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables as well as water in plastic containers to prepare for survival in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

It suggests keeping at least a three-day supply of water per person (one gallon per person per day).

It is also a good idea to protect your house from damage by boarding windows and doors, sandbagging around the premises and trimming bushes to avoid exterior damage.

At the first announcement of a hurricane warning, the organization says, you should prepare to leave to a designated shelter or family or friends who live in areas free from surge and flooding.

Battery-powered radios are a key tool that enables residents of threatened areas to stay abreast of storm developments and follow evacuation guidelines.

The north Atlantic hurricane season lasts through the end of November.

State amnesty better than federal offer in offshore cases, experts say

State amnesty better than federal offer in offshore cases, experts say Much has been said about the Washington-announced amnesty for holders of undeclared offshore assets, but one expert says the states’ offers may be more attractive.

Following the example of the federal government, many U.S. states have recently adopted voluntary disclosure programs for taxpayers with undeclared offshore accounts.

However, the benefits of a state tax amnesty can be even more advantageous than the current IRS policy, say lawyers from Caplin & Drysdale, a company specializing in tax and legal services to companies and individuals.

They add some state programs can include full penalty abatement, immunity from state criminal prosecution and a limit on the number of years of tax returns that need to be amended.

However, "To qualify for most of the state voluntary disclosure programs, the taxpayer must make an application directly to the state taxing authority [so] simply filing amended state tax returns is not sufficient," says Jim Mastracchio, a partner with the firm.

The U.S. government’s crackdown on what it sees as tax havens was prompted by the financial crisis and the costly stimulus bill as well as several rounds of corporate bailouts that need to be paid for.

It gathered steam after the G20 summit in London earlier this year where global leaders pledged cooperation in pursuing the matter.

Tai chi helps manage arthritis pain, researchers say

Tai chi helps manage arthritis pain, researchers sayAccording to a study conducted by Australian scientists, the Chinese meditative exercise known as tai chi may relieve joint pain in arthritis sufferers.

Tai chi consists of a series of 19 movements and one pose and has long been believed to bring about physical and spiritual health benefits.

The research was led by Amanda Hall of the George Institute in Sydney and focused on the effectiveness of tai chi in decreasing pain and disability and improving physical function and quality of life in people with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

It was based on a review of seven trials that used tai chi as the main intervention for patients with arthritis-associated pain. The results suggested the technique not only decreased pain but also improved overall physical health, lowered tension levels and boosted participants’ satisfaction with their health situation.

The study was published in the June issue of Arthritis Care & Research where the authors wrote that "[t]he fact that tai chi is inexpensive, convenient and enjoyable, and conveys other psychological and social benefits, supports the use this type of intervention for pain conditions such as arthritis."

As healthcare costs escalate in the U.S, it has also been reported that another Chinese medicine technique, known as medical tai chi or quiqong, is emerging as a major health resource to help to boost immunity.

A Justice With Empathy

Let me say it right at the outset: Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a long way from being the sort of strict constructionist I’d like to see on the U.S. Supreme Court. I want someone who respects the U.S. Constitution to the point of revering it.

I want someone who believes the courts should apply the law based on 200 years of legal precedent — not make law, based on the whims of the day or the theories of sociologists.

In other words, I want someone who will follow in the footsteps of the great jurists of the past. I believe several members of the present court meet that standard — most emphatically including that most maligned of all justices, Clarence Thomas.

But it doesn’t matter what I think. I’m not the President of the United States. Barack Obama is. And he thinks "empathy" is more important than a strict adherence to some tired, outdated, musty old laws.

Thus his nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, a proud Latina lady with a long list of impressive accomplishments. And also some very unfortunate missteps.

Let’s begin with the missteps. As anyone who has paid even a moment’s attention knows by now, in a speech at the University of California, Berkeley eight years ago, Judge Sotomayor told the assembled audience,

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life."

When the excerpt came to light, many conservatives were quick to attack. Caustic commentator Pat Buchanan put the shoe on a different foot and asked,

"Imagine if Sam Alito had said at Bob Jones University, ‘I would hope that a wise white male with the richness of his life experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Hispanic woman, who hasn’t lived that life.’"

The Presidential advisor (and two-time candidate himself) concluded bluntly, "Alito would have been toast. No explanation, no apology would have spared him. He would have been branded for life a white bigot."

The comparison may be odious. But is it accurate? The powers that be, in Washington and in the national media, certainly don’t think so. But what do you say?

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker and the House and one of the most prominent spokesmen from the right was even blunter. He Twittered his 344,000 subscribers that "new racism is no better than old racism." He explained, "Imagine a judicial nominee said, ‘My experience as a white man makes me better than a Latina woman.’" A few moments later, he expanded on the point by Twittering, "White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw."

Newt’s argument was echoed by many others on the right, most notably talk-show host behemoth Rush Limbaugh, who said the remarks proved the judge was a racist. He then qualified his remarks by adding, "You might want to soften that and you might want to say a reverse racist."

Well, of course no one on either side wanted to soften the controversy. Bloggers and Twitterers around the world had the red, juicy meat they’d been hoping for. While many condemned the former speaker for his remarks, more than 1,000 liked what they heard enough to sign up for his electronic broadcasts.

Then the feathers really began to fly. Newt and Rush were attacked by voices from the far left to the near right. So much so that Newt was forced to back-peddle a bit. In a column in Human Events, the conservative Washington news-weekly, he wrote:

"My initial reaction was strong and direct — perhaps too strong and too direct. The sentiment struck me as racist and I said so. Since then, some who want to have an open and honest consideration of Judge Sotomayor’s fitness to serve on the nation’s highest court have been critical of my word choice.

"With these critics who want to have an honest conversation, I agree. The word ‘racist’ should not have been applied to Judge Sotomayor as a person, even if her words themselves are unacceptable (a fact which both President Obama and his Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, have since admitted)."

Faced with this firestorm of controversy, what should Republicans do? The silliest argument I’ve heard thus far comes from a fund-raising outfit calling itself The Center for Individual Freedom. In a widespread eblast, it wrote,

"Contrary to what you may be hearing from the liberal media, stopping this nomination does not have to be a ‘long shot.’ It would only take a handful of Republicans who have the courage and the backbone to do the right thing."

Who are those "handful of Republicans"? And what are they being asked to do? The Center’s plan is to persuade all seven Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee to refuse to let Sotomayor’s nomination come out of committee.

Yes, you’re reading that right. The group says that if all seven Republicans stonewall the judge’s nomination ("Please send us more money to make this happen"), the full Senate will never have a chance to vote on her nomination.

What are the chances of this happening? Somewhere between nil and zero. I’ve fought some lonely battles in my day — Get the U.S. out of the UN, Impeach Earl Warren, Keep the Panama Canal (well, okay, that one had a lot of allies; just not enough). But I can’t remember when I’ve heard of one as unlikely to succeed — or more likely to bring us disrepute — than this one.

But what if, through some parliamentary trickery, opponents did manage to keep the Senate from voting on Obama’s nominee? Do you think there is any reasonable person anywhere who would applaud what was done?

Let me be perfectly clear, as someone used to say. I believe there are very legitimate grounds to question Judge Sotomayor’s record, including some of her more intemperate remarks.

Frankly, I hope Senate Republicans follow the advice of conservative commentator Charles Kruthammer, who said the first witness they should call at the hearings is Frank Ricci.

In case you’ve never heard of him, Ricci has been a firefighter from New Haven, Connecticut, for several years. He also happens to suffer from a severe case of dyslexia. When an opportunity for promotion came up, he quit his second job, so he could spend as much time as possible studying for the exam. He spent $1,000 on books and hired a tutor to read them to him.

His hard work and determination paid off. He finished sixth on the exam to become a lieutenant. It just so happened, however, that not a single black applicant scored high enough on the test to qualify for advancement. So the politically correct leaders of New Haven tossed out the results and denied advancement to everyone.

Ricci and 19 other firefighters sued the city council to get the promotions they were promised. The case reached the august councils of Judge Sonia Sotomayor and two other members of the Second Court of Appeals. Judge Sotomayor had no "empathy" for Ricci and his colleagues. She voted to side with the city and dismiss the suit.

Even worse, Judge Sotomayor then tried to suppress news of the verdict. She buried it in a single, dismissive, unpublished paragraph. Had a reporter not learned of it, Frank Ricci and his fellow plaintiffs would not have been able to get a hearing before the Supreme Court.

Stuart Taylor, a columnist for the National Journal, and a former Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times, accused Sotomayor of "a process so peculiar as to fan suspicions that some or all of the judges were embarrassed by the ugliness of the actions."

Now there’s a line of questioning the Judiciary Committee should pursue. Here’s another:

In a speech at Duke University four years ago, the Judge told an appreciative crowd, "(The) Court of Appeals is where policy is made. I know this is on tape, and I should never say that, because we don’t make law, I know." The audience appreciated her wink and smile and laughed uproariously.

I know Sonia Sotomayor is being hailed as "a brilliant legal scholar." But her ill-conceived and intemperate public remarks make me wonder. Is it possible she’s not too terribly bright? (There are whispers that some fellow jurists who have actually read her verdicts wonder the same thing.)

Back when she was first appointed to a federal court, Sonia Sotomayor took the following oath: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the Constitution, and laws of the United States, so help me God."

Does Judge Sotomayor agree with the oath she took? Does she even understand it? Or does she think it’s more important to be "a wise Latina woman" who has "empathy" for the plaintiffs who come before her — as long as they’re not a white firefighter — no matter how hard-working or how deserving.

Let’s hope Republicans in the Senate ask these hard questions. And that enough of our fellow citizens pay close attention to the answers.

Gay Marriage Divides GOP

Gay marriage divides GOP A major personality in the Republican Party has once again broken ranks on the issue of same-sex marriage stirring more conflict within the already divided GOP.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said earlier this week he supports gays’ rights to marry and that states, not the federal government, should make the decision on whether to allow it.

"Freedom means freedom for everyone," Cheney said, adding, "I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish."

His views drew predictable criticism from the leadership of the Republican Party, with RNC chairman Michael Steele reiterating his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Stressing that Cheney brings a personal perspective to the debate, Steele said in his view marriage is between a man and a woman, which is "very much in line with what [President Obama] has said."

The GOP position has also been that marriage should be regulated at the federal level, although currently the issue of homosexual marriages is being decided on a state-by-state basis.

Currently, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa allow same-sex marriages, and three more states have passed appropriate legislation which will come into effect later this year.

NIA continues to educate about dangers of hyperinflation

NIA continues to educate about dangers of hyperinflationThe National Inflation Association has issued new warnings about an impending rise in inflation and provided more suggestions about protecting families and assets in difficult times.

For a long time, the organization has been encouraging Americans to invest in gold and avoid holding their assets in U.S. dollars.

Now it also suggests moving away from major cities and into a less densely populated area may be a good idea because when prices start spiraling out of control, leading to food scarcity and a law and order breakdown, there will likely be a massive exodus from cities.

"With food prices likely to soar most during hyperinflation, agriculture will be the best business to be in for decades to come," the organization predicts.

"Consider going to a farming school, or at least practicing how to plant a garden," it adds, suggesting moreover that skills such as sewing to make own clothes may be very useful during hyperinflation.

Moreover, learning to be frugal – which may include cutting out coupons and saving energy by switching off the lights when leaving a room – may also prepare families for future privations.

On the positive side, NIA sees investment opportunities in precious metals or agricultural products companies.

Stressing that gold is on its way to break the $1,000 per ounce level, it advises that, "the mainstream media won’t begin recommending the investment into gold until it reaches $2,000 per ounce, at which time a mania will begin that will be bigger than the dot-com and real estate booms combined."


Cottonseed extract may help treat brain cancer

Cottonseed extract may help treat brain cancer Researchers have announced a new naturally-derived drug has shown promise in treating a highly malignant form of brain tumor known as glioblastoma multiforme.

The discovery was made at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where researchers have concluded a Phase II clinical trial of AT-101, a pill produced from a compound found in cottonseed that appears to overcome the abnormal growth patterns of tumor cells.

They obtained encouraging results after administering the drug to 56 patients who were largely unresponsive to traditional treatments for glioblastoma which include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

After about three weeks taking the pill, many of the patients experienced a significant slowdown in the growth of their tumors, the scientists reported.

"After getting this drug some of these patients went many months without any new growth in their tumors," says Dr John Fiveash, an associate professor in the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology and the lead researcher on the study.

"We are able to do that with a well-tolerated oral medication, and that is a major benefit," he adds.

Fiveash also says AT-101 would likely work best in combination with radiation and chemotherapy to boost the cancer-fighting properties of those treatments.

Absurd Vaccine Marketing—Cervical Cancer Vaccinations for Boys

Can anyone imagine a drug company marketing a drug for boys designed for a body part they do not have? This can’t be anything but profit motivated—and a new low in pharmaceutical amorality.

A cervical cancer vaccination for girls is a hoax, let alone for boys. This really sounds like a joke and it really is—except that millions of people will do it.

Immunization? Why do they call it immunization when one out of every 100 children vaccinated develops autism, one in six is learning disabled and one in nine gets vaccination-related asthma?

Twenty-eight states including Florida, Massachusetts and New York allow parents to opt out of required vaccinations for medical or religious reasons. Twenty others, such as California, Texas, Pennsylvania and Ohio, also permit parents to give personal or philosophical reasons. Mississippi and West Virginia allow exemptions only for medical reasons, according to the Associated Press.

Survey: Majority of workers remain on the job past retirement age

Majority of workers remain on the job past retirement age, survey saysA new survey of government managers has indicated the bad economy is altering retirement plans among state and local government employees as a vast majority of those eligible to retire stay on the job.

The poll conducted by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, has found that 49 percent of the managers surveyed said 20 percent or more of their workers are eligible to retire in the next five years.

However, nearly 85 percent said employees are delaying retirements, while only 9 percent said they are accelerating their retirements to avoid changes that will reduce benefits and 7 percent said workers are taking incentives for early retirement.

"When the economy recovers, there will be a spike in the number of retirements as the large number of baby boomers leave," says Neil E. Reichenberg, executive director of IPMA-HR.

"Human resource departments need to lead workforce planning efforts, so that the public sector will be well positioned when the economy recovers," he adds.

The poll also found that 60 percent of respondents said their state governments are instituting layoffs, with 39 of those saying layoffs based solely on seniority, while 42 percent said their local governments are laying off employees, with 43 percent of the layoffs based on seniority.

Government should have role in marriage, says law professor

Government should have role in marriage, says law professor A University of Iowa law professor has written about whether or not government should be involved in regulating marriage.

Ann Estin responded to those who argue for separating the two sides of marriage in the U.S. saying civil marriage is unnecessary because government can regulate family issues with existing contract and property laws.

Proponents of this approach call for granting civil unions to all couples and leaving marriage to religious faiths.

However, according to Estin, who is a family law expert and author of Unofficial Family Law, such ideas are attractive theoretically, but fail to recognize the deeply rooted importance of marriage in American culture and the complex interaction between civil and religious marriage.

"Concluding marriages with a single ceremony prevents the ambiguity and potential complications of different status in civil and religious law," she writes, adding, "In our society, as in many others, the definition of marriage . . . has been central to our self-definition as a community."

State regulation of marriage is also a subject in the debate over gay marriage rights.

Last week, the California Supreme Court upheld a ban on same-gender marriages based on the passage last November of Proposition 8 which sought to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples.

However, supporters of gay marriage, who called the decision a sad day for freedom and fairness, have vowed to continue what they see as a civil rights struggle.

Study suggests meditation may help control bladder

Study suggests meditation may help control bladderCognitive therapy such as meditation may be effective in the management of urinary incontinence in women, new research has found.

Scientists from Loyola University Health System in Chicago set out to investigate the impact of deep-breathing and guided-imagery exercises on female participants’ ability to control their bladder without medication or surgery.

The results of the study, which were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Urology, showed cognitive therapy is an effective management strategy for incontinence.

Dr. Aaron Michelfelder, associate professor at the department of family medicine at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, says, "The mind-body connection has proven to be particularly valuable for women suffering from incontinence."

"Cognitive therapy is effective with these women, because they are motivated to make a change and regain control over their body," he adds.

The Loyola researchers say nearly 25 percent of women suffer from a pelvic floor disorder, which includes incontinence, and cognitive therapy may play an important role in a comprehensive approach to treating the condition.

Republicans tread fine line on Sotomayor

Republicans tread fine line on Sotomayor The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court has provoked a barrage of criticism from President Obama’s opponents, but some have cautioned the GOP against taking a tough line.

Conservatives have primarily focused on what they see as Sotomayor’s activist record, in particular in a recent case in which the New Haven Police Department scrapped the results of a firefighter promotion exam because almost no minorities qualified for promotions, a decision she supported as a judge.

However, some have also brought up charges of racism against the Hispanic judge currently sitting on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Right-wing pundits from Rush Limbaugh to Newt Gingrich have denounced Sotomayor after a passage was quoted from a speech she delivered eight years ago in which she seemed to suggest that a Latina female judge "would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life."

"White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw," Gingrich tweeted, quoted by CNN.com. "Latina woman racist should also withdraw."

However, commentators have pointed to the danger of alienating the Latinos at a time when the GOP has record low popularity among the ethnic group, partially as a result of the failure of the Bush administration to ensure the passage of a broad legalization bill in 2006.

In last year’s presidential election, 67 percent of Latinos voted for Obama.