U.S. Announces Transfer Of Guantanamo Prisoners

U.S. announces transfer of Guantanamo prisoners The Department of Justice has revealed three detainees have been transferred from the prison at Guantanamo Bay to Ireland and Yemen.

The move follows an executive order signed by President Obama on January 22 mandating the closure of the controversial facility within a year. Since the prison was opened by President Bush in 2002, it has become a target of attack from libertarians around the world alleging it violates the detainees’ human and civil rights by denying them open and timely access to courts.

According to the DOJ, the U.S. has coordinated with the governments of Yemen and Ireland to ensure the transfers take place under appropriate security measures and will continue to consult with their governments regarding the detainees.

Media reports suggest the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force has cleared 78 detainees, or about a third of the population of the facility, to leave. The administration has been working on resettling them, which in some cases involves finding a place for them in foreign countries due to fears they may be subject to cruel treatment at home.

For example, there is now a deal with the island nation of Palau to take in as many as 12 Chinese Uighur detainees, while another four have been moved to Bermuda, according to the Washington Post.

Upon assuming office, Obama also banned the use of torture during interrogation of terrorist suspects.

Are Nitrates And Nitrites Harmful To Health? On The Contrary, Study Says

Are nitrates and nitrites harmful to health? On the contrary, study says New academic work has found evidence that appears to challenge the conventional wisdom that all nitrates and nitrites are noxious to humans and suggests that those derived from natural sources, like plants, may in fact offer health benefits.

The compounds in question are naturally occurring ions associated with the nitrogen cycle in soil and water, and some of them have been linked to a variety of health problems, including gastrointestinal cancer. However, Norman Hord, a researcher working at Michigan State University, found that intake higher what the WHO guidelines specify — namely a maximum 222 milligrams a day — may be safe.

According to Hord, who is an associate professor of food science and human nutrition at Michigan State, people may safely consume more than 1,000 milligrams of nitrates and nitrites daily, as long as they come from fruits and vegetables.

In fact, he says recent research has found that "components of vegetables and fruit that originate in the soil may function as nutrients by contributing to cardiovascular health."

The scientist is therefore calling for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration to review and relax their stringent regulations.


Public Healthcare Option Rejected Again

Public healthcare option rejected again Despite warnings of cost and competition issues, Democratic lawmakers continue to promote the idea of a government-run public option, although their latest effort was rejected by the Senate Finance Committee.

The influential committee is the last congressional panel to consider draft healthcare legislation before debate begins in the full House and Senate, and two of its members — Senators Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Chuck Schumer of New York — proposed two amendments yesterday that would create a public option that uninsured Americans could join.

In the end, the committee rejected the proposal during an afternoon vote, with all 10 Republican members voting against it as well as some Democrats, including chairman Senator Max Baucus of Montana.

After the vote, Senator Rockefeller criticized the outcome saying it will give free reign to private insurers to continue to raise premiums and put profits ahead of people’s health.

However, Baucus — who is known to be personally in favor of a public option — said he feared a bill including a similar provision would fail to win enough votes to pass the Senate.

Legislation Still Under the Radar Would Devastate U.S. Gun Ownership Rights

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.–President Barack Obama in San Francisco at a 2008 fundraiser.

While high profile issues like passage of a healthcare reform bill and cap and trade energy tax are getting front page headlines and top billing by television talking heads, be very wary of stealth legislation slowly working its way through Congress to restrict gun ownership.

Passage of either of two bills, HR 45 (also known as Blair-Holt Firearm Licensing and Record Sale Act of 2009) and S 1317, would be a devastating blow to Second Amendment rights.

HR 45, introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush, would make it illegal to own a gun unless you are fingerprinted and can provide a driver’s license and Social Security number.

Additionally under HR 45, a person buying a gun would have to undergo both a physical and mental evaluation before making a firearm purchase. It also would require guns be secured from access by children under age 18, and would empower law enforcement officers to come into your home to check compliance.

S 1317, introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenburg, would give the attorney general the right to block gun sales to people on terror watch lists. A third bill, HR 2647, contains a companion clause to S 1317 that gives the attorney general the authority to determine who belongs on terrorist watch lists.

And who are the terrorists? In Obamaworld it’s not the Islamo-fascists flying airliners into buildings, planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or strapping bombs to their waists and setting them off in crowded areas.

No, because in Obamaworld, the word terrorism no longer applies to those who were once called terrorists. And those who used to be considered terrorists no longer commit acts of terrorism. No they commit man-caused disasters. The word terrorist, at least in its past usage, has been dropped from the lexicon.

Today’s terrorists, according to those now in power in the United States, are people in flyover country who believe the Constitution is sacrosanct, and that the Second Amendment actually means that people are free to own guns without restriction.

Our own country’s Department of Homeland Security issued an assessment earlier this year warning law enforcement of a possible rise in home-grown terrorism from “right wing extremists.” And who are those rightwing extremists? The assessment tell us: “Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

As we’ve reported before in related stories here and here the current administration is no friend to gun owners.

And what does Eric Holder—attorney general for the United States and the person who would under S 1317 be granted the authority to determine who belongs on terrorist watch groups—think about guns?

Following are few of his quotes that have appeared in various newspapers over the last few years:

  • “As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons.”
  • “The second amendment does not protect firearms possession or use that is unrelated to participation in a well-regulated militia.”
  • “To further strengthen the ability of law enforcement officials to track those suspected of terrorism or other criminal acts in this country, Congress should also pass legislation that would give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms a record of every firearm sale.”

Holder’s boss, the president, is equally unfriendly to gun owners. Writing for Gun Digest last October, gun lobbyist Richard A. Pearson called Obama an enemy of the law abiding firearm owner. You can read his article here.

Some of Obama’s own quotes, as they have appeared in various publications, will back this up:

  • “I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.”
  • “I am not in favor of concealed weapons. I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations.”
  • “The package (legislation passed in the Illinois Senate) closes the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card loopholes which resulted in the shooting out in Melrose Park. We’re eliminating 17 specific assault weapons. There is no reason why anybody should need an assault weapon to protect themselves or their family. We’re limiting handgun sales to one a month. We’re calling for handgun registration. It’s very hard right now to track whether or not a felon has turned in his weapons or if he has a FOID card because we don’t know how many weapons he has purchased.”

Without a doubt, the current administration is the most anti-gun administration in our nation’s history. Don’t let the hullabaloo over healthcare and cap and trade cause you to let your guard down.

And be sure you cling to your guns and religion. They may soon be all you have.

Gun Rights Conference Wraps Up In St. Louis

Gun rights conference wraps up in St. Louis Despite the Obama administration’s anti-Second Amendment efforts, gun rights leaders from across the country gathered in St. Louis, Missouri, last weekend to network, exchange strategies and hear from experts on major issues relating to firearms litigation and politics.

The 24th Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference was hosted by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). Among the speakers were CCRKBA chairman Alan Gottlieb, SAF President Joseph Tartaro as well as attorney Alan Gura, winner of the landmark Second Amendment Heller case.

On the agenda this year were panel discussions on the UN threat to gun rights, federal and state legislative updates, media bias, self-defense and right-to-carry, open carry, guns and the 10th Amendment as well as the campus concealed carry issue.

According to Daniel White, writing for Examiner.com, ammunition control was also in the spotlight as a new threat posed by the gun control movement.

"These people realize that the most effective way to kill off a species is to cut off its food source, and ammunition is food for guns," White wrote in his column.

Under particular scrutiny came California’s bill AB 962 that would require retailers to keep ammunition where customers cannot access it, check buyers’ IDs, record names and addresses and to take thumbprints, according to the news source.

Next year’s conference is scheduled to be held in San Francisco.

Bill Proposal Would Revoke Wiretapping Immunity

Bill proposal would revoke wiretapping immunity Echoing the sentiments of many civil libertarians, a group of Democratic lawmakers have announced they will introduce a bill to repeal the immunity granted to telecom companies which participated in the previous administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.

Leading the effort to pass the Retroactive Immunity Repeal Act is Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut. The law would strip the immunity provisions included in a reform of wiretapping regulations that was passed by Congress in 2008.

"We make our nation safer when we eliminate the false choice between liberty and security," Dodd explains.

Other sponsors of the bill include Senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

Leahy, who is also chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has praised the move saying it will "[restore] Americans’ access to the courts is the first step toward bringing some measure of accountability for the Bush-Cheney administration’s decision to conduct warrantless surveillance in violation of our laws."

The lawmakers hope the proposed bill will modify some of the more controversial elements of the Patriot Act whose key provisions are scheduled to expire at the end of 2009.

Survey: Use Of Alternative Medicine On The Rise

Use of alternative medicine on the rise, survey says According to new research, people across America are turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) more often in an effort to cure and prevent illness as well as preserve their well-being.

CAM involves such practices as acupuncture, biofeedback and neurofeedback, herbal and nutritional supplements, meditation as well as other therapies that are not considered to be part of conventional medicine.

The National Health Interview Survey found that expenditures on CAM accounted for 11.2 percent of total out-of-pocket healthcare spending in 2007. That year, Americans spent nearly $34 billion dollars on natural health resources, while conventional medicine expenditures amounted to $286.6 billion.

The poll furthermore found that each year around 38 percent of adults use some form of CAM at the cost of $12 billion. This represents an increase compared to the last time the survey was conducted in 2002.

According to the study, the most popular therapies included biofeedback, deep breathing exercises, meditation and yoga, while tai chi, progressive muscle relaxation and energy healing therapies were found to be less common.

The Model T: Ford’s Great Promise and a Legacy Derailed

It was 101 years ago this week, on Oct. 1, 1908, that Henry Ford unveiled what would become the most popular automobile in the world, the Model T.

Ford promised, "I will build a car for the great multitude. No man making a good salary will be unable to own one and enjoy with his family the blessings of hours of pleasure in God’s wide open spaces."

He kept that promise with the Model T.

The first versions sold for $850. A customer could choose among four colors: red, green, blue or black. Within five years, the price had dropped to just $250, or less than a month’s pay for one of his factory workers. And the color choices had been reduced, too. As Ford said, customers could get "any color they want, as long as it’s black."

The Model T’s four-cylinder engine cranked out 20 horsepower and got 21 miles to the gallon. That’s less horsepower than some of today’s riding lawnmowers. But the car could cruise at a hefty 45 miles per hour. For the first time in history men (and women and children) were free to travel where they wanted, when they wanted. The Model T liberated Americans in ways few visionaries could imagine.

Ford was richly rewarded for his genius. Sadly, this staunch conservative failed to protect his legacy, and the organization he funded with his wealth was captured and subverted by the left. Today, the Ford Foundation finances policies and programs that are the complete opposite of the views and the wishes of the man whose money founded it.

—Chip Wood

Lawsuit Alleges Congress Not Representative Enough

Lawsuit alleges Congress not representative enoughA judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has agreed to convene a panel of three District Court judges to hear a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the current size of the House of Representatives.

Edith H. Jones took little time approving the request from five plaintiffs. If they are successful with the District Court panel, the case will move to the Supreme Court.

Scott Scharpen, founder and president of Apportionment.US, the non-profit organization coordinating the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs, has praised the move saying it shows "the court is taking this lawsuit with the seriousness that it deserves."

The plaintiffs allege that a provision in the United States Code which restricts the size of the House of Representatives to 435 members is unconstitutional and undermines the "one person, one vote" principle. They further state that as the U.S. population has tripled in the past century, the number of House members has stayed the same, rendering some states – including Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota and Utah – underrepresented.

The number of seats in the House of Representatives has remained at 435 since 1911, except for a temporary increase to 437 when Alaska and Hawaii joined the union in 1959.

Traditional Chinese Medicine May Provide A New Tool To Fight Addiction

Traditional Chinese Medicine may provide a new tool to fight addiction A new natural health resource in the fight against alcoholism has been found in a synthetic derivative of Kudzu vine which may help treat the addiction and prevent a relapse.

Some 14 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and the costs of alcohol dependence and abuse equaled $220 billion in 2005, according to TreatmentCenters.net, an addiction treatment resource organization.

Daidzin is a substance found in Kudzu vine, and scientists from the University of California at San Francisco found that it inhibits human aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH-2), which metabolizes alcohol into acetaldehyde.

The accumulation of acetaldehyde, in turn, produces aversive effects and may turn people away from drinking.

Ting-Kai Li, a professor in the department of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and former director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, says extracts of Kudzu vine have been used in Chinese herbal medicine formulas for thousands of years and are believed to be helpful in treating alcoholism and intoxication.

"Recent research has found that several compounds of the isoflavone family – puerarin, daidzin, daidzein – in the Kudzu extract decrease alcohol intake in experimental animals," he stresses.

The value of the treatment is further enhanced by the fact that it appears to be non-toxic, the scientists say.


After Court Dismisses GOP Lawsuit, Democrats Regain Senate Supermajority

After court dismisses GOP lawsuit, Democrats regain Senate supermajority Vice President Joe Biden swore in Paul Kirk as the junior senator from Massachusetts on Friday to replace the late Senator Edward Kennedy, giving the Democrats the filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes.

The appointment – which was announced by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick last Thursday – is expected to make it easier for the Democrats to pass comprehensive healthcare and financial regulation reforms.

Governor Patrick explained he moved ahead with the appointment because "the issues before the Congress and the nation are simply too important to Massachusetts for us to be one voice short."

For some time, the confirmation was up in the air as the Massachusetts GOP filed a lawsuit seeking to block the appointment alleging Patrick had no legal authority to do so, but it was dismissed by a Massachusetts court.

Jennifer Nassour, the state GOP chairwoman, commented that "from President Obama to Senate Majority Leader [Harry] Reid to Governor Patrick, Democrats have mounted a campaign to change Massachusetts election law for their own political expediency," quoted by TheHill.com.

She added that the party’s lawsuit managed to expose them as purely partisan.

The Republicans have also pointed out that in 2004 the Democrats spearheaded the effort to remove the power of gubernatorial appointment at the time when the state was run by Republican Mitt Romney.

Kirk will not run in the special elections held on January 19, 2010, to choose someone to serve the remainder of Kennedy’s term.

How can the Federal Reserve bail out the whole world?

Dear Bob,
How can the Federal Reserve bail out the whole world?

A: All these trillions that make us dizzy is just so much nonsense. Modern money can be created in digital form. They don’t even have to print the paper. It has no normal parameters or limits. Forget about the so-called Federal Debt. They cover us up with myths. Have we lost our minds to the propaganda machine?

Let me make a point here: There is no money of account in the United States. If you ask the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or any money authority, “What is the money of account in the United States?” they cannot and will not answer because there is none. It is all mythical nonsense, it was created to collapse and still will.

Best Wishes,

Hypothyroidism or Iodine Deficiency?

We really can’t separate hypothyroidism from iodine deficiency. They should be looked at together.

Most of the time hypothyroidism and/or iodine deficiency are unsuspected by doctors and most of them don’t test for it.

If one has fatigue, depression, weight gain, memory loss, hair loss, muscle cramps, dry skin, decreased libido, cold feet, confusion, delirium or even heart failure, he/she should suspect hypothyroidism and iodine deficiency first.

Really nothing could be simpler to diagnose and treat.

Anyone can test themselves for hypothyroidism or iodine deficiency. Low basal (at rest) body temperature is a prominent indicator of low thyroid function.

Take underarm temperature for three days, before you get out of bed, and take the average. If you are running as much as one degree or more below 98.6 you can suspect hypothyroidism.

You can request an iodine-loading test from your doctor. I would start my iodine test by just rubbing food grade iodine (Lugol’s) on a small spot, maybe two inches across on my arm. If the iodine disappears overnight, I would take this to mean an iodine deficiency. Even if too much iodine is taken it will be excreted. Iodine has a detoxifying effect on the body.

Chances are that most of us have an iodine deficiency. I think that we can assume this because iodine is generally low in agriculture soils everywhere.

Iodine is important for the whole body, but it is concentrated in the prostate gland, the thyroid and breast tissue.

According to David Brownstein, M.D., in his excellent book, Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, "If a person suffers from iodine deficiency, using thyroid hormone supplementation without first correcting (or simultaneously correcting) the iodine deficit will exacerbate the body’s deficit of iodine."

So iodine and thyroid hormone go together. Thyroid hormones raise the body’s need for iodine. Alternative doctors always recommend Armour Thyroid which is natural thyroid hormone (from pigs) and available from compounding pharmacies.

Points from Dr. Brownstein:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized that iodine deficiency is the world’s greatest single cause of preventable mental retardation.
  • Iodine supplementation markedly increases urinary excretion of fluoride and bromide.
  • Dr. Brownstein says that more than 90 percent of his tested patients exhibit laboratory signs of iodine deficiency.
  • In the brain, iodine concentrates in the substantia nigra, an area of the brain that has been associated with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Iodine deficiency is one of the main underlying causes of many varied illnesses including thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, cancer (including cancer of the breast and prostate) and other health issues.
  • The thyroid gland and the breast primarily utilizes iodine. The prostate gland concentrates iodine. Breast cysts have been treated with iodine for more than 50 years. Iodine deficiency is a causative factor in breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease.
  • The relationship between hypothyroidism and breast cancer has been reported for more than 100 years.
  • Thyroid hormone is essential for normal brain development.
  • In children, iodine deficiency can result in mental retardation as well as goiter.
  • Research has found an almost 50 percent increase in perinatal mortality due to iodine deficiency.
  • Many studies have shown that children who live in iodine deficient areas have lower IQs as compared to children living in iodine sufficient areas.

Neurological Birth Defects May Be Reduced With Choline Supplementation, Doctors Say

Neurological birth defects may be reduced with choline supplementation, doctors sayAccording to a recent study, pregnant women with low levels of the nutrient choline are at a greater risk of having babies affected by brain and spinal-cord defects.

Stanford University School of Medicine researchers collected hundreds of thousands of blood samples from pregnant women and measured the levels of 13 nutrients that play a role in proper formation of the neural tube.

They found that a total of 80 pregnancies were affected by neural tube defects, and they were able to determine that levels of choline were the factor that separated mothers whose infants had defects from those whose babies did not.

In fact, the risk for the defects was 2.4 times higher in women who had sufficient levels of the nutrient, according to Dr. Gary Shaw, professor of neonatology and primary author of the study.

"You can’t change an individual’s genetic predisposition to these defects," says Dr. Louanne Hudgins, division chief of medical genetics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, who did not participate in the study.

"But nutrition components to NTD risk are ripe for therapy," she adds.

Choline is usually grouped within the vitamin B complex and as such can be obtained from nutritional supplements.

Study: Acupuncture May Help Control Pain Naturally

Acupuncture may help control pain naturally, study findsAlthough some people choose pharmacological painkillers, which may have serious side effects, new research is making headway towards understanding the mechanisms behind acupuncture and its impact on the treatment of pain.

The work conducted at the University of Michigan showed that the technique, practiced as part of Chinese traditional medicine for thousands of years, increases the binding availability of mu-opoid receptors in regions of the brain that process pain signals, including thalamus and amygdala.

To arrive at their conclusions, the scientists applied brain imaging to 20 women who had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, and experienced pain at least 50 percent of the time. The participants underwent the scans during the first acupuncture treatment and after the eighth treatment a month later.

Dr. Richard E. Harris, researcher at the U-M Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center and a research assistant professor of anesthesiology at the U-M Medical School, confirms that the increased binding availability of these receptors was associated with a reduction in pain.

Recent studies have extensively documented the benefits of acupuncture in treating or relieving a range of conditions, including pregnancy-related heartburn and chemotherapy-induced dry mouth.

Uncle Sam Did Something Right

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt summoned his personal friend, famed sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, to the White House. His request: Please design new coinage for the United States. Roosevelt wanted our coins modeled on the coins of ancient Greece, the birthplace of democracy.

Although in failing health, Saint-Gaudens accepted what would become his last challenge. He produced a stunning design that many consider to be the most beautiful coin ever produced… the $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. Sadly, Saint-Gaudens died without ever seeing his magnificent coin enter circulation.

The Saint-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle was minted from 1907 to 1933. The last gold coin struck by the U.S. Mint for regular issue, it remains a proud symbol of the emerging greatness of the United States in the early part of the 20th Century. In 1933, during the height of the Depression, a different Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, outlawed private ownership of gold by Americans. Production of new gold coins was halted and gold coins in circulation were confiscated. Double Eagles were melted down and added to the Treasury’s horde of gold. The few that weren’t seized are now highly prized collectibles.

In 1975, U.S. citizens were again permitted to own gold. At the time the bullion coin of choice was the South African Krugerrand. For many reasons our government wanted to issue its own gold coin. A representative of the U.S. Mint came to my office in Washington, DC and purchased a variety of gold coins. I was the executive vice president of Deak-Perera then, a company that specialized in foreign currencies, including gold and silver coins. They purchased gold coins minted in South Africa, Austria, and yes, even Mexico.

A few years later the U.S. Mint announced the production of a new American coin—the gold Eagle. It was available in four denominations: 1-oz, ½-oz, ¼-oz, and 1/10-oz of gold. The obverse featured a redesign of the classic Augustus Saint-Gaudens design.

I’m proud to say that during the first year of issue, 1986, my new company, Asset Strategies International, helped a major precious-metals company pre-sell more of these new American gold coins than any other company in the U.S. One day alone we shipped 600 registered packages throughout the country. Over the course of a year literally thousands of gold coins passed through our offices. The Eagle had definitely landed!

In 1986, the U.S. Mint added a silver dollar to its offerings. The silver Eagle contains 1 ounce of silver and has a face value of $1. The mint wisely chose to use Adolph A. Weinman’s “Walking Liberty” design on the obverse of the coin. To say it is classically beautiful is an understatement. It is a joy to hold in your hand—and an even bigger delight to drop on your desk where it makes that unique “silver on wood” clink that Americans haven’t heard in years.

There is much that our government has done and wants to do with which we could quarrel. But no one can deny that it makes the most beautiful modern coinage in the world. And you can own some for a small premium over the spot price of their gold and silver content!

The best way to purchase these gorgeous coins is through a reputable coin dealer. You’ll find a list of recommended dealers on the website for the U.S. Mint, www.usmint.gov. I’m proud to note that ASI has been included there for many years.

Because demand can rise and fall, so can premiums. Get two or three different quotes before you buy. (And never, never give your business to mass marketers, who always have the highest premiums around. How do you think they can afford all that advertising?)

With gold hovering around $1,000 an ounce, the gold American Eagle is admittedly expensive. Remember, you can purchase versions as small as 1/10th ounce. But note: the smaller the coin, the higher the premium.

An even better investment, in my opinion, is the silver American Eagle. You can purchase this classic American beauty for less than $20 each. As the price of silver continues to climb (something I think is all but inevitable) your coins could turn out to be a superb investment.

When I was growing up, on every birthday, my parents gave me a bright, shiny silver dollar. I still have those coins, mostly for sentimental reasons. But they’ve also soared in value. If you’d like your children to know what “real money” used to look like, you might consider doing the same. After all, the only thing that’s still good as gold is gold… or maybe silver.

Kennedy’s successor to affect healthcare vote

Kennedy's successor to affect healthcare voteGovernor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has named Paul G. Kirk, a democrat, as an interim U.S. senator for the state, which will likely swing the Senate vote on Obama’s healthcare proposal.

Democrats would need 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to override Republican opposition on President Obama’s healthcare proposition. Kirk’s immediate appointment gives the Democrats this critical 60th vote.

Obama is lobbying for the formation of an insurance marketplace which would allow Americans who do not have health insurance through their employers to buy coverage. The new system would combine private insurers and a public option to promote competition and reduces the price of coverage.

Senator Tom Harkin, a democrat from Iowa who took over Senator Kennedy’s position as chairman of the Senate health committee, told Reuters, "I’m convinced we’re going to have a healthcare reform bill on the president’s desk before we go home for Christmas."

Republicans have countered the Obama administration’s proposal with a three-pronged plan which includes making healthcare more affordable, making it more accessible, and promoting healthy lifestyles and higher quality care.

Kennedy's successor to affect healthcare vote

Kennedy's successor to affect healthcare voteGovernor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has named Paul G. Kirk, a democrat, as an interim U.S. senator for the state, which will likely swing the Senate vote on Obama’s healthcare proposal.

Democrats would need 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to override Republican opposition on President Obama’s healthcare proposition. Kirk’s immediate appointment gives the Democrats this critical 60th vote.

Obama is lobbying for the formation of an insurance marketplace which would allow Americans who do not have health insurance through their employers to buy coverage. The new system would combine private insurers and a public option to promote competition and reduces the price of coverage.

Senator Tom Harkin, a democrat from Iowa who took over Senator Kennedy’s position as chairman of the Senate health committee, told Reuters, "I’m convinced we’re going to have a healthcare reform bill on the president’s desk before we go home for Christmas."

Republicans have countered the Obama administration’s proposal with a three-pronged plan which includes making healthcare more affordable, making it more accessible, and promoting healthy lifestyles and higher quality care.

Grunch of Giants by R. Buckminster Fuller

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“Gross Universe Cash Heist (Grunch)” is the theory that large corporations use the government to enforce their economic suppression of the rest of society and steal resources and assets from around the world whenever and wherever they want.

Written by inventor, architect, engineer, geometrician, cartographer and philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller in 1981, Grunch of Giants postulates the theory that the United States industrial complex—corporations—are controlling world events for their own ends. Even politicians are controlled by Grunch, a vast invisible empire that includes airwaves and satellites, factories and research laboratories and large cities.

Nobody knows who runs Grunch, but it controls all the world’s banks and does just what its lawyers tell it to do. All decisions for Grunch are made in back rooms, with the deciding factors being business and money.

According to Fuller, every day 75,000 humans around the world die of starvation and its side effects, even though more than enough food is produced to support all the people on earth. Grunch did not cause this, Fuller says, but Grunch could easily end it if it so chose.

Grunch, Fuller writes, did not invent the universe. In fact, it did not invent anything. It monopolizes know-where and know-how but is devoid of know-why. It is preoccupied with absolute selfishness and its guaranteed gratifications. It is as blind as its Swiss banks are mute.

In order to understand how the Grunch works, Fuller says you must first study their history and development. In beginning his explanation, Fuller quotes one of his friends, who he called a giant and described as a member of the Morgan family (presumably the J.P. Morgan banker family). “Bucky, I’m very fond of you, so I am sorry to have to tell you that you will never be a success. You go around explaining in simple terms that which people have not been comprehending, when the first law of success is, ‘Never make things simple when you can make them complicated.'”

One of the first things Fuller had to do was make a decision: Did he want to try to make money, or make sense, as the two things are mutually exclusive. So Fuller decided to make sense and he used his books to explain how the world works.

This book is not light reading. In fact, it is often difficult to follow and at times quite scientific in its language. Nor is it for the closed-minded, because it challenges conventional thinking and forces the reader to look at the world from a different paradigm.

But if you are willing to consider that things aren’t as they seem, and in fact are completely different from what all are taught, then this book makes a good addition to your library.

Study: Eating fresh fruits may reduce the risk of kidney stones

Eating fresh fruits may reduce the risk of kidney stones, study findsAccording to new research, those whose diet is rich in fruits and vegetables may end up with healthier kidneys and lower their risk of developing kidney stones.

A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms from the crystallization of excreted substances in the urine. The condition, which affects more than 1 million Americans, is particularly painful if the stone breaks loose and travels down the urinary tract.

For their study, scientists from Maine Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston assigned a score to each enrolled participant based on eight components of a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) style diet.

The diet—which is based on fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy products and whole grains and is low in salt, sweetened beverages as well as red and processed meats—is designed to boost the levels of calcium, potassium, magnesium, oxalate and vitamin C in the body.

Compared with those with the lowest DASH scores, participants with the highest scores experienced between 40 percent and 45 percent reduction in the likelihood of developing kidney stones, the scientists found.

AICPA offers guide to end-of-life financial planning

AICPA offers guide to end-of-life financial planning It may not be the most exciting financial arrangement to consider, but the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) says everyone who has dependents, owns a business or property should make end-of-life plans to facilitate inheritance and succession.

AICPA is the professional association of CPAs which sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards. It is now offering a free guide to help navigate the complexities of end-of-life financial planning.

The guide, published jointly with the institute’s 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy program, covers a range of topics, including planning for yourself; dependents; your property and assets, including business ownership, retirement accounts and long-term and disability insurance; and your estate, which covers overall estate planning, wills and living trusts.

"The guide is meant for a wider group than just aging parents and their children," says Ted Sarenski, CPA/PFS, chair of the AICPA PrimePlus ElderCare Task Force, which developed the publication.

"The end of life does not discriminate according to age," he adds.

For those who are looking for ways to preserve and protect their wealth, some financial experts have also recommended converting liquid assets, especially U.S. dollars, into gold and silver. That is because many analyst have warned the government spending and the resulting massive budget deficit is setting the stage for hyperinflation in the next few years.

Senate votes to allow handguns on Amtrak

Senate votes to allow handguns on Amtrak Earlier this month the Senate voted to permit Amtrak passengers to carry handguns in their luggage, and one gun rights proponent has hailed it as a sign that the tide is turning against those who would like more restrictive laws.

John M. Snyder, who is a former National Rifle Association editor and current public affairs director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, says politicians finally seem to "get the message" that most Americans are opposed to gun control.

"American firearm owners form the cutting edge of the modern freedom movement in the U.S.," he said, quoted by Newsblaze.com.

The measure, which passed with a vote of 68-30, was contained in an amendment proposed by Senator Robin Vicker of Mississippi to a transportation appropriations bill. It will take away $1.5 billion for the government-subsidized passenger railroad if Amtrak fails to begin checking in firearms by next March.

Supporters of the amendment state that sportsmen who want to take the train to hunting trips will finally be able to do so.

Meanwhile, opponents such as Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, counter by saying that the rail system does not have the same baggage screening capabilities as airlines, and the requirement will put undue financial burden on it, and possibly cause it to shut down.

The National Rifle Association’s website cites statistics which suggest that the number of new guns in the U.S. increases by about 4.5 million each year, while total violent crime rate is down 38 percent since 1991.