Supreme Court upholds law on gays in military

Supreme Court upholds law on gays in military The nation’s highest court has rejected the challenge to the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy introduced during the Clinton Administration.

The suit was brought by James Pietrangelo II, the former Army infantryman and veteran of two Iraq wars, who was discharged in 2004 after revealing he was gay, according to Time magazine.

The administration has expressed support for the court’s ruling, and indicated a review of the law is "not a high priority." However, gay-rights groups have been quick to stress Obama promised to eventually repeal the law during his presidential campaign.

"Every moment that the administration and Congress delay repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ our nation is robbed of brave men and women who would risk their lives to keep our country safe," says Joe Solmonese, president of Human Rights Campaign, quoted by the Associated Press.

The campaign has joined other groups which are calling on the president to sign an executive order suspending "don’t ask, don’t tell".

Recently, Lieutenant Dan Choi, an Arabic-speaking West Point graduate and a veteran of the Iraq war, was discharged from the army after he publically declared his sexual orientation.
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Supplements, diet can help protect vision in old age

Supplements, diet can help protect vision in old ageDietary research has provided new insights into ways of preventing or minimizing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

AMD occurs when blood vessels in the center of the retina break down, and experts predict the debilitating condition will have a growing human and economic impact as the U.S. population ages.

A recent study demonstrated that nutritional supplementation with a combination of vitamins B6 and B12 and folic acid may decrease the risk of AMD in women.

However, proper diet also plays a crucial role as new research published in Archives of Ophthalmology suggest a diet rich in fish, olive oil and nuts may have a protective effect.

According to Health.com, scientists from the University of Sydney followed 2,454 men and women for up to a decade, and found people who ate a serving of fish every week were 31 percent less likely to develop early AMD than those who did not, the website says.

In addition to that, two servings of nuts each week reduced the risk by 35 percent.

The researchers also warn foods that have a detrimental impact on vision include commercial baked goods and fried products which contain trans-fatty acids.
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Was It Really That Long Ago?

It was not a moment to make one feel young. I was seated behind the seniors at this year’s graduation of my former high school — in a section reserved for the “golden graduates.” That is, those of us who had received our diplomas 50 years earlier.

It didn’t seem possible that five decades had passed since I myself had heard my name called and walked down the aisle to receive my diploma. As I returned to my seat on that June weekend in 1959, I cast a glance at the oldsters sitting behind me. It never occurred to me that one day I would be sitting where they were. But last Friday morning there I was, with smiling classmates from that long-ago time on either side of me.

The high school I had been fortunate enough to attend was (and is) an extraordinarily beautiful place. If you are ever in suburban Detroit with a few hours to spare, I urge you to visit the Cranbrook-Kingswood campus in Bloomfield Hills. Among the properties in the gorgeously landscaped 360 acres is an art institute, a science museum, a pastoral retreat, and five schools: an elementary school, two middle schools, and two upper schools, one for young men and the other for young women. About half the students in the upper schools are boarding students, as was I.

When I was there, Cranbrook Preparatory School for Boys, as it was called then, was exclusively male. Young ladies attended Kingswood School on the other side of the campus and were as well-protected from our attentions as a coterie of stern matrons could make them.

We had to attend chapel every morning, wear a coat and tie to class, and were expected, always and everywhere, to behave like young gentlemen. Of course we weren’t. Most of us thought of ourselves as mischievous hellions and took delight in bending the rules whenever and wherever we could.

Today, while classes are largely co-ed, graduation exercises are still firmly divided by sex. The boys’ commencement exercises took place in the morning at Christ Church Cranbrook; the girls’ in the afternoon. Or should I be more politically correct and say “the young men’s commencement” and “the young ladies’”?

Our commencement speaker was Bill Prady, Cranbrook class of ’74. In case you don’t recognize the name, I’m sure you’ll recognize his latest creation — the hit television show, “The Big Bang Theory.” Bill got his start in television writing for Jim Henson and the Muppets and his ability to get a laugh was clear from the start. He expressed his surprise that here he was, 35 years after graduation, and he had to prepare yet another paper for graduation.

Bill began by advising the graduates, “Good luck. That’s it; that’s all I’ve got.” And he ended with the admonition that if they forgot everything else he said, remember two words: “Be kind.” In between was a lot of sage advice on how to live, what to expect, and the real measure of success. If you’d like to hear his delightful advisory for yourself, his speech is available as an audio link on the Cranbrook website at .http://schools.cranbrook.edu/podium/tools/
AudioPlay.aspx?a=64825&ttl=undefined"

I don’t remember who spoke at our graduation, some fifty years earlier. None of my classmates did, either. But we all remembered the two songs we sung; they had been a staple of every graduation since the first one, back in 1931. And at this graduation, 50 years hence, we once again raised our voices high.

The first song is called “Forty Years On.” It was written in 1872 for Harrow School, one of the most famous of the English “public” (i.e., private) boarding schools. No wonder that it was adopted many years ago by Cranbrook, which was carefully planned and designed to duplicate the English boarding-school experience. Yes, Harry Potter would be quite at home at Cranbrook.

Here’s the first verse:

Forty years on, when afar and asunder,
Parted are those who are singing today,
When you look back, and forgetfully wonder
What you were like in your work and your play,

Then, it may be, there will often come o’er you,
Glimpses of notes like the catch of a song —
Visions of boyhood shall float them before you,
Echoes of dreamland shall bear them along.

Yes, indeed, while sitting there behind today’s smiling, cheerful, optimistic graduates, it was definitely true that “visions of boyhood” floated before me. I’m sure every other golden grad felt the same way.

But it was the final stanza that brought home to me how large was the gap between the Chip Wood who left Cranbrook in June 1959 and the one who returned there this past weekend:

Forty years on, growing older and older,
Shorter in wind, as in memory long,
Feeble of foot, and rheumatic of shoulder,
What will it help you that once you were strong?

God give us bases to guard or beleaguer,
Games to play out, whether earnest or fun;
Fights for the fearless, and goals for the eager,
Twenty, and thirty, and forty years on!

And fifty years too, I hasten to add. Part of me wants to shout, Hey, I’m not that old, darn it! But it’s hard to tell yourself that you look, feel, and act like a youngster when you’re attending the 50th reunion of your high-school class.

For all of you who are celebrating a graduation of some kind this month — whether it be child, grandchild, or your own reunion of however many years — I hope you too have much to remember with pleasure and with pride. And that, like me, you still look forward to seeing what lays ahead, twenty, and thirty, and forty years on.

Dark Days in Detroit

Our drive from the Detroit airport to the northern suburbs took us past some of the most historic parts of the American car industry. It was impossible not to reflect on how the mighty have fallen, as stories of unemployment, foreclosures, federal rescues, and union victories filled the news.

The Obama Administration strong-armed Chrysler’s creditors into accepting a deal where the auto workers union was given 55% ownership of the company, while the secured creditors — who normally would have been first in line, in any non-political (i.e., following the law) bankruptcy — will have to be content with getting 29 cents on the dollar.

Some of the creditors are fighting back. They’ve appealed to the Supreme Court, charging that the agreement violates the law. The Court has put a temporary hold on proceedings, but no one gives the plaintiffs much of a chance of stopping the federal juggernaut.

The Chrysler agreement is a model of propriety compared to the government-brokered bankruptcy of General Motors, however. The biggest losers are those poor investors who bought GM’s bonds. Although they hold $27 billion in notes, all they’ll receive in the new set-up is a 10% stake in Government Motors.

Meanwhile, the United Auto Workers union, which is owed about $20 billion by GM, is being gifted with 17.9% of the company, plus $9 billion in taxpayer cash. As Barron’s Magazine noted, “Never has an American union done so well at the expense of shareholders and creditors.”

It’s easy to understand why the Obama Administration is engaging in such overt favoritism. Democrats know they have the unions to thank for their victories last November. Consider the numbers: Between 2000 and 2008, the UAW gave $23.7 million to the Democratic Party and its candidates. During the same crucial period, the once-powerful union gave $193,540 to Republican candidates. Anyone see a bit of a disparity here?

Fifty years ago, Detroit made cars we loved. But between union feather-bedding and government mandates (and yes, let’s be honest: a whole bunch of short-sighted stupidity on the part of auto execs), all of that changed. We began to disparage the cars Detroit made for us.

Meanwhile, a bunch of foreign car makers came to the U.S. They built their plants in the South, filled them with non-union labor, and began building cars the American consumer preferred. And Detroit was left further and further behind.

Ironically, when Ford, GM, and Chrysler could compete on a level playing field, most of the time they beat the competition. For years, the only place the Big Three have been profitable is outside this country. Ford and GM still make a ton of profits in Europe, Asia, and Latin American. But it will be a long, long time — if ever — before that is true in this country once again.

Forty years on brought a lot of changes to the American automobile industry. In the past year, little of it has been pretty, or fair, or even legal. Too bad. But as Bob Hope put it, “Thanks for the memories.”

Was It Really That Long Ago?

It was not a moment to make one feel young. I was seated behind the seniors at this year’s graduation of my former high school — in a section reserved for the “golden graduates.” That is, those of us who had received our diplomas 50 years earlier.

It didn’t seem possible that five decades had passed since I myself had heard my name called and walked down the aisle to receive my diploma. As I returned to my seat on that June weekend in 1959, I cast a glance at the oldsters sitting behind me. It never occurred to me that one day I would be sitting where they were. But last Friday morning there I was, with smiling classmates from that long-ago time on either side of me.

The high school I had been fortunate enough to attend was (and is) an extraordinarily beautiful place. If you are ever in suburban Detroit with a few hours to spare, I urge you to visit the Cranbrook-Kingswood campus in Bloomfield Hills. Among the properties in the gorgeously landscaped 360 acres is an art institute, a science museum, a pastoral retreat, and five schools: an elementary school, two middle schools, and two upper schools, one for young men and the other for young women. About half the students in the upper schools are boarding students, as was I.

When I was there, Cranbrook Preparatory School for Boys, as it was called then, was exclusively male. Young ladies attended Kingswood School on the other side of the campus and were as well-protected from our attentions as a coterie of stern matrons could make them.

We had to attend chapel every morning, wear a coat and tie to class, and were expected, always and everywhere, to behave like young gentlemen. Of course we weren’t. Most of us thought of ourselves as mischievous hellions and took delight in bending the rules whenever and wherever we could.

Today, while classes are largely co-ed, graduation exercises are still firmly divided by sex. The boys’ commencement exercises took place in the morning at Christ Church Cranbrook; the girls’ in the afternoon. Or should I be more politically correct and say “the young men’s commencement” and “the young ladies'”?

Our commencement speaker was Bill Prady, Cranbrook class of ’74. In case you don’t recognize the name, I’m sure you’ll recognize his latest creation — the hit television show, “The Big Bang Theory.” Bill got his start in television writing for Jim Henson and the Muppets and his ability to get a laugh was clear from the start. He expressed his surprise that here he was, 35 years after graduation, and he had to prepare yet another paper for graduation.

Bill began by advising the graduates, “Good luck. That’s it; that’s all I’ve got.” And he ended with the admonition that if they forgot everything else he said, remember two words: “Be kind.” In between was a lot of sage advice on how to live, what to expect, and the real measure of success. If you’d like to hear his delightful advisory for yourself, his speech is available as an audio link on the Cranbrook website at .http://schools.cranbrook.edu/podium/tools/
AudioPlay.aspx?a=64825&ttl=undefined"

I don’t remember who spoke at our graduation, some fifty years earlier. None of my classmates did, either. But we all remembered the two songs we sung; they had been a staple of every graduation since the first one, back in 1931. And at this graduation, 50 years hence, we once again raised our voices high.

The first song is called “Forty Years On.” It was written in 1872 for Harrow School, one of the most famous of the English “public” (i.e., private) boarding schools. No wonder that it was adopted many years ago by Cranbrook, which was carefully planned and designed to duplicate the English boarding-school experience. Yes, Harry Potter would be quite at home at Cranbrook.

Here’s the first verse:

Forty years on, when afar and asunder,
Parted are those who are singing today,
When you look back, and forgetfully wonder
What you were like in your work and your play,

Then, it may be, there will often come o’er you,
Glimpses of notes like the catch of a song —
Visions of boyhood shall float them before you,
Echoes of dreamland shall bear them along.

Yes, indeed, while sitting there behind today’s smiling, cheerful, optimistic graduates, it was definitely true that “visions of boyhood” floated before me. I’m sure every other golden grad felt the same way.

But it was the final stanza that brought home to me how large was the gap between the Chip Wood who left Cranbrook in June 1959 and the one who returned there this past weekend:

Forty years on, growing older and older,
Shorter in wind, as in memory long,
Feeble of foot, and rheumatic of shoulder,
What will it help you that once you were strong?

God give us bases to guard or beleaguer,
Games to play out, whether earnest or fun;
Fights for the fearless, and goals for the eager,
Twenty, and thirty, and forty years on!

And fifty years too, I hasten to add. Part of me wants to shout, Hey, I’m not that old, darn it! But it’s hard to tell yourself that you look, feel, and act like a youngster when you’re attending the 50th reunion of your high-school class.

For all of you who are celebrating a graduation of some kind this month — whether it be child, grandchild, or your own reunion of however many years — I hope you too have much to remember with pleasure and with pride. And that, like me, you still look forward to seeing what lays ahead, twenty, and thirty, and forty years on.

Democrats release draft health reform outline as divisions continue

Democrats release draft health reform outline as divisions continueSenate Democrats have released a draft of a healthcare bill that would introduce sweeping changes to the current insurance system which many consider to be dysfunctional.

The proposal, sponsored by Ted Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, would require all Americans to buy health insurance and make it possible to buy affordable long-term care insurance from the government for about $65 per month, according to the Associated Press.

Other provisions include stricter regulations of private insurance companies to make it illegal to deny coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

Meanwhile, as a similar bill is being fashioned in the House of Representatives.

"Our economic recovery and nation’s fiscal future hinge on fixing what’s broken in our healthcare system – lowering costs to families and businesses, preserving choice of doctors and plans, and assuring quality health care for all Americans," says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Commentators believe any final healthcare proposals are bound to pit Republicans and Democrats against each other.

Most Republicans, for example, tend to reject the notion of a publicly-run system saying it would drive private insurers out of business.

However, many Democrats counter this by stressing a government option would enhance competition and encourage cost-savings.

The costs of the reform are estimated at more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
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Inflation specter spooks stock market

Inflation specter spooks stock market Stock prices headed lower today as commodity prices spiked rising new inflation worries.

At 2:17 p.m. EDT, all major NYSE indices traded more than 1 percent lower, and oil prices hovered around $71 a barrel boosting the stocks of Dow components such as Exxon Mobile and Chevron.

"Over the last few days, the concern has been that the bond market is worried about inflation and the rise in commodity prices is adding to that," says John Wilson, chief technical strategist at Morgan Keegan, quoted by CNNMoney.com.

"There’s a little bit of a worry that this will dampen what is hopefully the start of a recovery," he adds.

The downward trend continued despite today’s announcement of the alliance between Chrysler and Fiat that is expected to lead to the reopening of the recently closed Chrysler plants and production of fuel-efficient vehicles that meet the needs and today’s consumers.

Organizations such as the National Inflation Association have long warned about the dangers of hyperinflation and have encouraged Americans to invest in gold and other precious metals to insure their assets and wealth are protected.
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Expert discusses alternative cancer treatments

Expert discusses alternative cancer treatments The activity of an Arizona cancer center has testified to the increasing interest and need for alternative therapies.

According to a joint survey by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, 40 percent of adults and 10 percent of children sought alternative medicine help for a range of health problems in 2007.

The EuroMed Foundation is an Arizona health center specializing in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer utilizing both conventional and alternative therapies.

At the center of its holistic treatment options is Insulin Potentiation Therapy, which relies on the hormone to sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy, allowing for far smaller doses than those used by mainstream medicine.

Dr. Frank George, the center’s medical director, says many cancer patients receive a "one size fits all" chemotherapy that may not be appropriate to their unique needs and may cause significant side effects.

"The goal is to help patients develop a clear and accurate idea of their options and make wise choices to help them in their fight against the disease," he stresses.

The center’s mission reflects the increasing popularity of alternative medical treatments among ordinary Americans as health insurance and healthcare costs continue to escalate.
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Forget Statin Drugs—You Need Cholesterol

The best doctors that I know will write a prescription instantly for a statin drug (i.e., a drug to force cholesterol lower).

The cholesterol myth is a monument to the lies, deceit and fraud of the pharmaceuticals and the government.

The cholesterol myth proves that super fortunes can be built on the sale of products based on medical myths. This has absolutely nothing to do with medicine or the treatment of disease. It is commerce, pure and simple. It is crime, incorporated.

The cholesterol myth is so well established and so completely accepted by doctors that there is almost no inquiry into this crime of commerce.

Organized propaganda can force-feed the public mind any myth they can imagine. Crime becomes legitimate after it is generally accepted by the people. And the longer a crime has been accepted as legitimate or legal, the harder it is to challenge.

Cholesterol drugs are bad for human health. They destroy CoQ10. They complicate general health in many ways. They cost the American people billions of dollars annually.

The cholesterol myth is based on the Lipid Hypothesis created by Ancel Keys in the 1950s. The Lipid Hypothesis is a theory that saturated animal fats and cholesterol in our food raise cholesterol levels in the blood. Then the theory goes that high blood cholesterol causes atherosclerosis—leading to obstruction of blood vessels of the heart, and resulting in coronary heart disease. The pharmaceuticals saw trillions of dollars of profits. Who can say that the pharmaceuticals didn’t create the flawed studies that led to the cholesterol profit empire that we have today. You may call it a "science" of fraud.

This reversed the American diet of good Omega 3 fats to the consumption of liquid vegetable oils and margarine substituting for coconut oil and animal fat that did our ancestors so well.

Well, as profits skyrocketed, deaths from heart disease and cancer did, too.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is actually a heavyweight alcohol with a hormone-like structure that behaves like a fat—being insoluble in water and in blood. Cholesterol has a coating compound called a lipoprotein, which makes it water soluble so it can be carried in the blood. As we will see, cholesterol plays a critical role in body chemistry. We need our cholesterol. To suppress it with cholesterol drugs is to create degenerative disease.

The Benefits of Cholesterol:

  • Your body uses cholesterol to make hormones that help you deal with stress and protect against heart disease and cancer.
  • Your body needs cholesterol to make all the sex hormones, including androgen, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and DHEA.
  • Your body uses cholesterol to make vitamin D, vital for the bones and nervous system, proper growth, mineral metabolism, muscle tone, insulin production, reproduction and immune system function.
  • The bile salts are made from cholesterol. Bile is vital for digestion and assimilation of dietary fats.
  • Cholesterol acts as an antioxidant, protecting us against free radical damage that leads to heart disease and cancer.
  • Cholesterol is needed for proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain.
  • Since serotonin is the body’s natural "feel-good" chemical, it’s not surprising that low cholesterol levels have been linked to aggressive and violent behavior, depression and suicidal tendencies.
  • Mother’s milk is especially rich in cholesterol and contains a special enzyme that helps the baby utilize this nutrient. Babies and children need cholesterol-rich foods throughout their growing years to ensure proper development of the brain and nervous system.
  • Dietary cholesterol plays an important role in maintaining the health of the intestinal wall. This is why low-cholesterol vegetarian diets can lead to leaky gut syndrome and other intestinal disorders.
  • Finally, the body uses cholesterol to repair damaged cells. This means that higher cholesterol levels are actually beneficial. Meyer Texon, M.D., a well-known pathologist at New York University Medical Center, points out that indicting fat and cholesterol for hardening the arteries is like accusing white blood cells of causing infection, rather than helping the immune system to address it.

FACT: Deaths from heart disease and all other causes increased 11 percent for each 1 percent drop in cholesterol according to a 30-year follow-up of the famous Framingham Study.

Do the American people know this? No, because the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute published the reverse of the above facts in the journal Circulation. Yes, believe it or not!

And the fact is that for women, low cholesterol is more dangerous than high cholesterol.

Another fact is that when people maintain low levels of cholesterol in their blood over long periods of time with statin drugs, their risk of death from all causes will increase.

Taken from the book Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon.

Administration announces anti-drugs strategy

Administration announces anti-drugs strategy The White House has unveiled the National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy which aims to combat the rising drugs trafficking and violence along America’s border with Mexico.

Government officials say the strategy relies on tougher inspections, more enforcement personnel and close coordination with Mexican authorities at the federal, state and local levels.

Weapons and currency smuggling will also be targets of coordinated action by both governments.

The implementation of the policy will be overseen by Gil Kerlikowske, Obama’s director of national drug control policy.

"This new plan …creates a unique opportunity to make real headway on the drug threat," Kerlikowske said, quoted by CNN.

"At the same time, we are renewing our commitment to reduce the demand for drugs in the U.S., which will support this effort," he added.

According to NPR, drug violence killed more than 6,000 people south of the border last year. Meanwhile, a total of 1,000 people died in just the first two months of 2009.

And CNN, quoting Mexican authorities, has reported more than 40 people, including two police officers, have been killed in shootings in the border city of Ciudad Juarez since the beginning of June.
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First terrorist suspect arrives in the U.S.

First terrorist suspect arrives in the U.S. Ahmed Ghailani, a suspected Al-Qaeda member held until yesterday at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, has been transferred to New York earlier today.

He will be facing a trial at a federal court in Manhattan on charges related to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya which killed more than 200 people, including 12 Americans.

"The Justice Department has a long history of securely detaining and successfully prosecuting terror suspects through the criminal justice system, and we will bring that experience to bear in seeking justice in this case," says Attorney General Eric Holder.

However, Senate Republicans have criticized Ghailani’s transfer, with House Minority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, quoted as saying that it is "the first step in the Democrats’ plan to import terrorists into America."

If convinced, Ghailani can face the death penalty.

The 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies had been the most serious assault al-Qaida had made against American targets prior to the 9/11 attacks.

The administration’s recent proposals to transfer some of the terrorist suspects from Guantanamo Bay to prisons in the U.S. have divided politicians in Washington as well as on a state level.
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