Obama outlines plans for regulatory reform

Obama outlines plans for regulatory reform Following an announcement from earlier this week, President Obama has laid out his plans for sweeping new regulations of the financial system.

The reforms are designed to prevent a repeat of the financial meltdown from last year that sent the economy into the deepest recession in decades.

In addition to requiring financial institutions to hold greater reserves as backup for losses and setting new conflict of interest rules for credit rating agencies, the government will also propose new laws to expand the oversight powers of the Federal Reserve.

The White House has also committed to seeing through the establishment of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

"It’s time we put the needs of American families above the interests of Wall Street," Obama said.

However, House Republican Leader John Boehner has expressed concerns a consumer board will allow government to interfere with the free market, according to Reuters.

Many lawmakers are also reportedly skeptical about extending the control of the Fed.

Democratic Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said the recent near-financial collapse has left the government and the people with little confidence in the central bank.

Private insurer ‘rescinded’ sick patients

Private insurer 'rescinded' sick patients Amid a fierce debate on the best ways to pursue a healthcare reform, it has emerged that the nation’s largest health insurer rewarded its employees for cancelling coverage of sick patients.

Evidence released by the House subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations suggests the insurance company WellPoint rewarded its employees for retroactively canceling coverage of sick patients, a practice known as "rescission," according to Consume Watchdog.

As a result, the advocacy group has called on Congress to ban health insurance employees from receiving bonuses for canceling, delaying or denying necessary medical care to patients.

"The committee’s stunning discovery demonstrates both the need for a real public alternative to for-profit insurers and new legal accountability of insurance companies that are willing to lie, cheat and kill to boost profits," says Jerry Flanagan, health care policy director for Consumer Watchdog.

One of the biggest bones of contention in the current discussions is the issue of a government-run health insurance option, which supporters say would drive down costs by forcing private insurers to compete with the government.

However, opponents counter that a public plan would drive private operators out of business, increase costs and reduce quality of health care.

Consumer Watchdog says documents show WellPoint, Golden Rule (owned by United Health) and Assurant rescinded more than 20,000 policies over five years and refused to pay for more than $300 million in medical expenses.

President to authorize benefits for same-sex couples

President to authorize benefits for same-sex couplesWhite House officials have announced President Obama will sign a memorandum on Wednesday which will extend health and other benefits to gay partners of federal employees.

Media reports have suggested the timing of the announcement may be related to the barrage of criticism from gay rights groups the administration has been facing in recent days.

Earlier this week, the Justice Department filed legal papers in support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions as marriages. Shortly before that, the government had expressed support for the Supreme Court recent decision to uphold the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy.

While calling today’s decision "terrific," Richard Socarides, an adviser to the Clinton administration on gay issues, said Obama had promised much but delivered little thus far, quoted by the New York Times.

"So more important now is what he says about the future for gay people during his presidency," he added.

Meanwhile, Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins has said the president’s move violates the DOMA.

"[The executive order] uses taxpayer money to placate an angry portion of his base at the expense of the rule of law," Perkins commented.

He added the FRC lawyers intend to look closely at the new law to determine what further course of action to take.

MS patients have recourse to alternative therapies, source says

MS patients have recourse to alternative therapies, source says People who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS), a debilitating neurological condition, may benefit by supplementing their mainstream therapy with alternative treatments.

Complementary approaches such as moderate and targeted physical exercise, in particular tai chi and yoga, can increase balance and flexibility as well as energize the body, suggests WebMD.com, a medical news website.

For those who do not suffer from osteoporosis, which sometimes results from mainstream medical treatments for MS, gentle massage has also been shown to bring some relief of their symptoms and to lower the level of stress.

Others have responded well to acupuncture which may improve muscle spasms and alleviate bladder control problems, the source says.

Doctors have also been stressing the importance of proper diet and supplementation for those trying to manage their MS. In particular, there is evidence that oral supplements containing linoleic acid, also known as evening primrose oil and found in sunflower seeds and safflower oil, may slightly improve MS symptoms.

Before embarking on any course of alternative therapy treatment for MS, it is important to consult with a physician.

The Germ Theory of Disease Underwrites Establishment Medicine

When we say we “caught a cold” or we “caught the flu”, we are promoting establishment medicine and huge profits for them. All the vaccination and immunization industry is based on a germ theory of disease which simply says that viruses and bacteria are transferred from one person to another by “germs.” Almost nobody questions this dogma. Yet if we think about it for a minute, it’s downright foolish. Such foolishness flows to unthinking masses who live by medical establishment propaganda.

If John Doe or Mary Sue in a community “catches” a virus, then the germ theory says that everyone who comes in contact with either of these two will “catch” the virus. We absolutely know that this is not true. We also know that in the flu epidemic of 1918, or any other disease epidemic, that not all who came in contact with the virus got sick. There is no applied external immunity. Immunity is internal. This in no way implies that we should be careless with personal hygiene and sanitation. It is the human organism that provides its own immunity; otherwise, the human race would have been extinct for thousands of years.

Many people walked and worked in the midst of the bubonic plague and did not die or even get sick. Ninety percent of the people are reported to have died. All may be true, but what about the 10 percent survivors? Nothing else needs to be known to refute the germ theory of disease.

Vaccines are for profit upon the bodies of infants, children and adults. Legally speaking, under the pretense of immunization health, almost all ages are under assault. “The lowest forms of filth known to man are injected into the unknowing population.” (From the book Bacteria, Inc.)

We are told and intimidated by medical propaganda over and over that we must be protected internally from diseases that originate in the external environment.

Against the assault of these “microscopic organism” bacteria, we are told that we must protect ourselves with immunizing shots for smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus, typhoid, colds, influenza, pneumonia, scarlet fever, whooping cough and many other invading armies of disease microbes.

All authority from the federal government down to the clinics and school personnel embrace this myth as gospel. And the federal government, in symbiotic fraternity with the drug cartel, even pays for many shots. The people, sick and poor, don’t have a chance against this assault. Why do they not guarantee us to be disease free? Where is the "Science of Preventive Medicine"?

Countless new serums and vaccines are developed with the promise of perfect protection from the ravages of external and communicable disease.

Scientists know that bacteria cannot ferment or decompose living tissue. Instead, bacteria feed on broken-down body cells. Until it can be shown that bacteria or viruses have an affinity for healthy cells, the belief that they cause disease will remain unsupportable. Instead, bacteria are scavengers that keep the body clean.

“Immunization to date has been based on the Ehrlich Theory that the inoculation of disease products in subpathogenic doses creates antibodies, or defending entities, against any subsequent mass invasion. Not only is there no evidence of these so-called antibodies being formed, but there is ground for believing that the injected germ proteins hybridize with the body proteins to form new tribes, half animal and half human, whose characteristics and effects cannot be predicted… Even non-toxic bacterial substances sometimes hybridize with serum albumins to form specific poisons which continue to multiply, breed and cross-breed ad infinitum, doing untold harm as its reproductivity may continue while life lasts.” (From Bacteria, Inc. pp 19)

The marked increase of old diseases in children and adults and the development of new ones parallel the expansion of “preventive medicine” and warrant suspicion and examination. All originate because commercialism is the God of modern medicine.

Folic acid supplementation reduces heart risk for newborns

Folic acid supplementation reduces heart risk for newborns Folic acid has been known to reduce the risk of neurological defects in fetuses, but new research suggests it also may boost a baby’s heart health.

According to Canadian scientists, women who use folic acid supplementation during pregnancy can reduce the risk of having a baby with congenital heart defects.

Researchers from McGill University have analyzed provincial databases and found that the rate of congenital heart defects fell from 1.64 per 1,000 births between 1990 and 1999 to 1.47 per 1,000 births between 1999 and 2005, a decrease of 6.2 percent each year.

The decrease coincided with the introduction of a mandatory fortification of all grain products sold in Canada with folic acid in 1998.

Nonetheless, says Raluca Ionescu-Ittu, a PhD candidate on the research team, "[th]e level of fortification was established to avoid negative side effects in the general population."

"This level is not quite sufficient for women planning a pregnancy, who should start taking folic acid supplements at least three months before becoming pregnant," she adds.

Folic acid is a vitamin that can be found in a variety of fruits and green vegetables.


Plane crash survival tips

Plane crash survival tips In the wake of recent airplane accidents, many people will ask themselves if it is possible to survive similar crashes. Fortunately, experts are saying passengers who keep in mind several basic survival strategies have a high likelihood of survival.

Mac McLean, the FAA’s investigator for cabin safety, says it is a good idea to count the number of rows between your seat and the nearest exit when you board the plane, quoted by ABC News.

Moreover, it is always helpful, even for seasoned travelers, to pay attention to safety demonstrations and read the safety instructions brochure.

After the plane has crash landed, it is important to leave the scene as fast as possible because it can quickly become toxic or explosive.

If there is enough time, and no immediate help from the outside, it may also be a good idea to take basic medicines and a blanket or other cover when leaving a crashed airplane to protect oneself from elements while awaiting emergency responders.

Meanwhile, for those who survive a plane going down at sea, the Discovery Channel advises to get clear and upwind of the aircraft but remain in the vicinity until it sinks. It is also important to get clear of fuel-covered water in case the fuel ignites and try to find other survivors.

Despite the large number of fatalities from the recent crash of an Air France jet off the coast of Brazil, government statistics suggest 19 out of 20 people make it out of airliner crashes safely, according to ABC News. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19222149-ADNFCR

Administration set to unveil new regulatory policy

Administration set to unveil new regulatory policy President Obama will deliver a speech on Wednesday in which he is expected to announce a plan for a sweeping overhaul of the financial system regulation.

According to a preview offered yesterday by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council, the plan will call for greater oversight powers for the Federal Reserve and stricter restrictions on complex financial products.

Specifically, the reform envisions the creation of a council of regulators responsible for coordination across the financial system.

It will also require institutions which sell asset-backed securities to retain a 5 percent stake in the loans in an effort to discourage risky lending practices.

"Considerations of stability, safety and systemic risk have to loom larger in the planning, thinking, and strategizing of every financial institution going forward than they have in the past," Summers said in a speech on Friday, quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

Critics of the proposal have said the Fed is already overextended and the plans lack provisions for regulating the insurance industry, according to the Associated Press.

Others have pointed out it fails to create a single regulator, leaving the job to a patchwork of local and state-level agencies which often encroach upon one another’s jurisdiction.

Mild weather encourages outdoor yoga practice

Mild weather encourages outdoor yoga practice With the arrival of summer, Yoga practitioners around the country are stepping outside to let the sun and the wind boost the benefits of the Indian healing technique.

In response to the growing demand, yoga studios are offering outdoor sessions to those who seek to relive the stresses of daily life, according to Desert News, a Utah news source.

Sarah Longacre, who runs a yoga and wellness studio in Minneapolis, says life simply slows down and there is nothing to get in the way of a meditative exercise practice outdoors.

"You can get connected to a deeper place in yourself, you can [literally] feel … the earth with your hands, feet and body," she adds, quoted by the news source.

There is a close relationship between the natural environment and the practice of yoga, the article stresses, given that its common poses are named for animals, trees, mountains and crescent moons.

As such, yoga can be practiced anywhere one can find a bit of grass or sand, including one’s own backyard, beach or along a hiking trail.

Besides yoga, other mind-body techniques that can be practice outside include breathing exercises, physical exercise, tai chi and meditation.