Sea Salt and Psoriatric Arthritis

Dear Bob,

I am writing you a long overdue letter. I used to suffer from psoriatric arthritis in my hands and knuckle joints. My fingers were so swollen they looked like sausages. My knuckles were swollen, red, painful and hot to the touch. If I clenched my fists very tightly my hands would bleed in many places through painful cracks. I had to wear white cotton gloves in order to avoid getting blood on everything I touched. I went to many doctors and dermatologists. No one had an answer, and one even said it was the worst case of psoriatric arthritis he had seen.

Did I say it was painful? So much so the pain would wake me up at night.

Then I read your article in The Bob Livingston Letter about sea salt about two years ago. I bought Redmond Sea Salt, the one mined in Utah. In just 15 days after using it daily the symptoms began to recede. Within a month I was as good as new. To this day I have not had a reoccurrence.

My friend who is my age had similar symptoms but not as severe was amazed and somewhat skeptical when I told him about the sea salt. He tried it and he has had no reoccurrence in a couple of years.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sincerely,
Mike A.

Bob’s Comment: I’m getting more and more reports of simple sea salt (¼ to ½ teaspoon per day) in a glass of water, allegedly curing people of Type II diabetes and various forms of arthritis. I can also say this with certainty: Be sure to give your pet sea salt on a regular basis.

Best Wishes,
Bob

For Optimum Omega-3, Poach Or Bake Fish

Bake, poach or boil fish to get all the omega-3 fatty acidsThe American Heart Association advises that fish can be an excellent source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Now, a new study reveals that the way a fish is prepared can affect how many of these good fats an individual consumes.

The study was led by Lixin Meng of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and presented at this year’s AHA Scientific Sessions. Researchers examined the varying omega-3 levels of a large group of individuals living in Los Angeles between 1993 and 1996.

The team tracked their fish consumption by quantifying and measuring the amount of fish consumed and manners in which it was prepared. They also took into account soy products with plant-based omega-3 acids—items like soy, tofu and shoyu.

Men who ate the most omega-3 per day—3.3 grams—decreased their risk of cardiovascular disease by 23 percent. The team also learned that women should avoid salted and dried fish because of its heavy sodium content.

Meng explained that overall "it appears that boiling or baking fish with low-sodium soy sauce (shoyu) and tofu is beneficial, while eating fried, salted or dried fish is not." ADNFCR-1961-ID-19474851-ADNFCR

U.S. Senators Look To Increase Nuclear Energy, Reduce Emissions

U.S. Senators look to increase nuclear energy, reduce emissionsTwo senators have introduced legislation that would double nuclear energy output in the U.S. over the next 20 years.

Democratic Senator Jim Webb of Virginia and Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee unveiled the $20 billion Clean Energy Act of 2009, which hopes to create advances in nuclear technology and other clean technologies, while lowering carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases.

The appropriations will fund a series of carbon-free electricity loan guarantees, nuclear energy training and research, and the development of solar and alternative power technologies.

"By making a concerted investment in nuclear power and other renewable energy technologies, we can effectively address our nation’s energy requirements and also the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions," said Webb.

The legislation was created in response to the "cap-and-trade" bill that is currently being held up in the Senate, an initiative that Webb and Alexander refuse to vote for in its current form.

Also known as emissions trading, the cap-and-trade bill would set a limit on the amount of pollutants that a company can emit, and would then force that company to purchase credits if they exceed their allotment.

Criticizing the idea of emissions trading, an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal stated that "once the government creates a scarce new commodity—in this case the right to emit carbon—and then mandates that businesses buy it, the costs would inevitably be passed on to all consumers in the form of higher prices."
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Flaxseed Oil To Prevent Osteoporosis?

Flaxseed oil may be a good, natural osteoporosis preventativeRecent animal-based studies indicated that flaxseed oil may be beneficial in reducing the risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal and diabetic women.

The study was conducted by a team at the National Research Center, in Cairo, Egypt, and its results were recently published in the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health.

Researchers examined 70 rats, 30 of which were without ovaries to represent women after menopause, and a second, smaller group was afflicted with diabetes. All rats, except for those in the control group, were given flaxseed oil.

After a two-month study period the team learned that the rats that consumed flaxseed oil experienced a decrease in the occurrence of specific osteoporosis markers that can be measured in the urine and blood.

Overall, the researchers felt that the "n-3 fatty acids" found in flaxseed oil helped the subjects retain higher bone mineral densities.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 10 million Americans already suffer from the condition. Around 80 percent of those with osteoporosis are women.

In addition, women are at the highest risk for osteoporosis. Between five and seven years after menopause, a woman can lose up to 20 percent of her bone density. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19474839-ADNFCR

Wise Men (and Wise Women) Still Give the Gift of Gold

Wise Men (and Wise Women) Still Give the Gift of Gold

Two millennia ago, three wise men arrived in Bethlehem bearing gifts for the Christ Child. A famous Christmas carol celebrates how Caspar, Balthazar and Melchior brought with them the most valuable items of their day—gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Back then, an ounce or two of each one was worth more than a peasant could earn in a lifetime. Today, frankincense and myrrh are no longer as rare, or as valued, as they were back then. But gold—the first gift of the Magi—is still as highly regarded as it was 2,000 years ago… or 3,000 years before that.

This Christmas let me suggest that you do as a Wise Man did 2,000 years ago; give the gift of gold to someone who is special to you.

A good friend of mine told me that he is going to put a 1-ounce gold coin in his granddaughter’s stocking this year. Since she’s only 1 year old, he’ll let her play with the bright shiny object for an hour or so. Then he’ll ask her parents to put it away for safe-keeping for several years.

“This is how I’m going to start her college fund,” he said. “I’ll do this every Christmas. By the time she’s ready for college, I expect two things will have happened. One, her gold coins will be worth a heck of a lot more than I paid for them in paper dollars. And two, as their number and value increases over the years; I hope she’ll appreciate the tremendous difference between something of real, permanent, lasting value—gold—compared to paper fiat currencies, which governments can inflate at will.”

That’s one smart grandpa. May I be so bold as to suggest that you go thou and do likewise? If a 1-ounce gold coin is over your budget this year, remember that the U.S. Eagle—made by the U.S. Mint from gold mined right here in the U.S.A.—comes in 1/10th-ounce, 1/4th-ounce, and 1/2-ounce versions.

In addition to the Eagle, the U.S. Mint currently produces a 1-ounce coin in .9999 pure gold that I recommend to your attention. It is the gold Buffalo, which I wrote about here.

Today’s gold Buffalo is modeled after one of the most popular coins in American history—the 5-cent Buffalo piece, or nickel, that first appeared in 1913. As you can imagine, today’s Buffalo costs a lot more than that. As of early Friday the spot price of gold was $1,159. Because of fabrication and distribution costs, expect to pay 6 percent to 8 percent over spot for each uncirculated gold Buffalo you buy.

If this is a lot more than you planned to spend on anyone this Christmas, let me recommend a much more modest investment—one that will only cost you $25 or so. It is the remarkably lovely silver Eagle from the U.S. Mint.

This genuine silver Eagle (each coin contains one ounce of 99.9% fine silver) is as lovely as it is historic. One side features “Walking Liberty,” first designed by the noted sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens when Theodore Roosevelt was president.

Many people are not aware that the Mint still produces silver coins every year, so it makes quite an impressive gift. Who wouldn’t rather receive one in their stocking, instead of a lump of coal?

Any coin dealer will be able to provide you with gold and silver Eagles from the U.S. Mint. Check your yellow pages under “coins” for a list of retail outlets in your area. Or go to the U.S. Mint’s website, www.usmint.gov, and click on their list of approved dealers. I’m proud to say that my firm, Asset Strategies International, has been on that list since it was first created a dozen years ago.

Another way to give the gift of gold is through jewelry. Most jewelry store offerings are a very expensive way to acquire the Midas metal. The necklaces and bracelets they offer are usually not pure gold—a 14-karat necklace contains only 58 percent gold. And yet this machine-made jewelry is often priced at three to five times its gold content, or more.

A much better deal is a collection of .9999 pure gold jewelry which my company offers in partnership with another firm. It’s called The Heirloom Collection and you can check it out by clicking here. Every link in every chain in The Heirloom Collection is hand-crafted by artisans who have been making these exquisite pieces all their lives. In some cases, they are the second or third generation of their family doing this.

Let me also mention that these pure-gold works of art come in exact weights, from 1 ounce to 5 ounces. They are an incredibly portable form of wealth. You can take them anywhere in the world and, if need be, sell them any place that buys gold. (It’s worth noting that when FDR ordered the confiscation of all bullion and gold coins in America back in the 1933, gold jewelry was exempt.)

If all of that isn’t enough reason to interest you in these wonderful examples of an artisans’ skill, let me mention one more: Your wife or significant other will be thrilled beyond words to receive one of these exquisite creations as a gift this holiday season. Better yet, give her a matching bracelet and necklace set and watch her face glow in appreciation.

Giving the gift of gold (or silver) is a wonderful way to remind your lucky recipients of your principles and your generosity. What a marvelous way to give them many years of pride, pleasure and positive memories of you.

Sure, stocks and bonds and CDs are all very nice. But this holiday season; why not give a gift of lasting value? There is nothing that preserves wealth better than gold. That was true 2,000 years ago. It’s true today. And I expect it to be true for the next two millennia as well.

LiveStrong,

Michael Checkan

Under Republican Criticism, Democrats Torn On Healthcare Bill

Under Republican criticism, Democrats torn on healthcare bill After failing to block the debate on the Senate healthcare reform legislation, the Republicans have singled out three Democrats who they say betrayed their principles and electoral pledges by voting to break the filibuster.

The moderate Democrats who all expressed reservations about the bill but ultimately voted in favor of debate were Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

In particular, Nelson has gone on record as telling ABC’s This Week, "I don’t want a big-government, Washington-run operation that undermines the private insurance that 200 million Americans now have," according to media reports.

This prompted Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele to issue a statement following last weekend’s vote accusing the lawmakers in question of "[sacrificing] their principles to bring America dangerously closer to government-run health care."

Steele summed up their affirmative vote by saying, "Nelson sold out his conscience and voted in favor of federally funded abortions. Lincoln sold out her principles by voting in favor of a government-run insurance plan, something she previously said she opposed. And Landrieu simply sold her vote to the highest bidder after Harry Reid added a $300 million earmark just for Louisiana."

The Senate voted 60-39 on Saturday to break the Republican filibuster, and the bill is expected to move to the floor for debate after Thanksgiving.
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Over GOP Objections, Senate Votes To Open Debate On Healthcare Bill

Over GOP objections, Senate votes to open debate on healthcare bill The Senate voted along party lines 60-39 to open debate on the Senate healthcare reform bill, but after scoring that victory the Democrats are admitting they will have to compromise in order to gather enough votes to pass the legislation.

In addition to most Republicans—such as Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas who called the measure "a disaster" for the nation—independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut stated his opposition to the current version, telling NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday that he will join a Republican filibuster if the bill includes a publically run insurance option which he called "radical."

Among those Democrats who have entered the debate phase emphasizing the need for a realistic and practical approach is Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat in the upper chamber. He said he was open to changing the government-run health insurance option provision that is widely favored by the left, if it means the bill will have a greater chance of passing.

Democrats also admitted that some conservative members of their party have expressed misgivings about the bill’s potentially burdensome fiscal provisions, including the plan to tax those earning more than $200,000 a year as well as insurers providing expensive health plans.

The Senate is expected to begin debate after the Thanksgiving break.
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Racism, the Rich, Record Debt and More Biased Reporting

*Are you a racist? According to Jesse Jackson, if you oppose Obama’s plan for socialized medicine in the United States, you are. And you’re a racist even if you’re black! Yes, incredible as it may seem, the premier race-baiter in America, the so-called “Reverend” Jesse Jackson, told a crowd at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation that “You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.” His remarks were aimed at Rep. Artur Davis, a black congressman from Alabama who voted against the measure. Good for you, Artur. Please stand up to that loud-mouthed bully.

*Are you an American? Here’s an amazing quote from an Associated Press (AP) story distributed Nov. 17: “Americans don’t want to shoulder the cost of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul themselves. They think the rich should pay for it.” Isn’t that something? According to the AP, if you’re rich, you’re not even an American. Just a goose to be plucked, I guess.

*The National Debt sets another record. Did you realize that the National Debt set another record high last week? Yep, it hit $12 trillion. This is the second time the debt has set a record since Barack Obama became president. In March, it hit the $11 trillion mark for the first. And I’m afraid the big spenders in Washington are just warming up. Maybe the new SOS should be Stop Obama’s Spending!

*How’s this for biased reporting? Sarah Palin’s new book, Going Rogue: An American Life, is setting sales records all over the place. Wherever she holds a book signing, the crowds begin lining up 24 hours ahead of time. So naturally the left is going absolutely berserk. At least the reviewer for The Washington Post admitted she hadn’t even read all of the book before she wrote her scathing comments. But Ana Marie Cox thought that was fine. “(I)f I didn’t read it all, neither can Sarah Palin claim to have completely written it,” she said.

—Chip Wood

Aromatherapy Might Ease Holiday Stress

Try aromatherapy for a less stressful holiday seasonThe holidays can be a stressful time for many, and some combat these unpleasant feelings by overindulging. However, one possible solution may be to try aromatherapy and essential oils before gathering around the buffet table.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Denise Lamothe offers some tips on how aromatherapy can help prevent emotional eating by relaxing individuals before a stressful gathering.

She suggests that individuals try to carry self-motivating cards with them if they are concerned about temptation and losing control around food. Aromatherapy can also help, Lamothe says, because she feels that certain scents can enhance positive, calm feelings.

In fact, according to aromacures.com, aromatherapy may "enable a person to come to terms with psychological issues," and emotional overeating can be considered to be one of these conditions. The relaxing scents take the user’s mind away from the stress and situation of the moment.

According to the website, lavender might have a relaxing effect on individuals, and is therefore also useful for easing sleeping disorders. Juniper can also help decrease anxiety and anger, which might be perfect for use before entering a conflicted situation or taxing event. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19474849-ADNFCR

Ron Paul on "End the Fed" (The Campaign and the Book)

I’ll admit I’m prejudiced. I think Ron Paul, the maverick Republican/Libertarian congressman from Texas, is the best friend we taxpayers have had in Washington for, oh, the past 100 years or so.

So when Ron agreed to grant an exclusive interview on his efforts to abolish the Federal Reserve, I jumped at the chance. We spoke for 30 minutes on a wide range of subjects. Because of space limitations, I’ll only be able to cover part of them in today’s column. Look for part two a week from today.

If you’ve never heard Ron speak before, you might be surprised at his delivery. He is no fiery orator. He delivers his remarks in a calm, almost professorial manner. But if his manner is mild, his content most assuredly is not. What he has to say is far more radical, even revolutionary, than anything the average American is used to hearing today.

Ron Paul would actually enforce the U.S. Constitution!

Since he (rightly) regards the overwhelming majority of things Big Government does today as unconstitutional, that means he has never met a spending bill he likes. Or, for that matter, intervention in a foreign land without a congressional declaration of war either. There is a good reason that, among both friends and foes in Washington, Ron is known as “Dr. No.” (In his private life, he is an obstetrician who has delivered thousands of babies.)

After years of toiling in obscurity, in the past couple of years Ron’s message of limited government and unlimited freedom has really caught fire. When he decided to run for president in the Republican primaries last year, even he was startled by the size and enthusiasm of the crowds he attracted.

“Yes, I admit I was pleasantly surprised by the response to my message,” he said. “I think something has been rumbling in the country for a long time, and I happened along just when people were waiting to hear this message.”

And then he made an extremely important point: “I think we’re a lot further along in the freedom movement than some of us have realized. We’re seeing a major shift in the attitude of many people. I think this is happening for two reasons: First, a lot of people have been exposed to free-market economics and the principles of freedom. Second, they are being confronted with dramatic evidence that the current system isn’t working. So whether you’re on the receiving end of government giveaways, or you’re one of the ones whose wealth is being taken, both sides are starting to realize, hey, there’s something wrong!”

Ron’s message has found especially fertile ground among young people. When I introduced him at a conference in Las Vegas a year ago I was astounded by the numbers, the energy and the enthusiasm of most of his supporters, many of whom were high school students. The average age of the crowd was probably around 25, which certainly gave new inspiration to all of us oldsters who were there.

And by the way, I want to offer a few words of praise and encouragement to my fellow seniors who’ve been preaching the message of freedom for many, many years. I know we’ve all-too-often despaired that our message was falling on deaf ears. Not true, my friends! Young people have been listening, they’ve been reading and they’ve been asking some tough questions. And believe me; they are no longer satisfied with the reassuring platitudes they get from today’s politicians.

As Ron put it when we spoke, “Young people in particular grasp our message. They feel as though they’re going to be—if they’re not already—victimized. Whether it’s foreign policy or an attack on their personal liberties and personal choices, they’re very concerned. They’re worried about jobs and how they’re going to pay their bills; about Social Security indebtedness and all of those things.

“The most exciting part for me has been seeing their interest in monetary policy. They’re actually shouting out their support for abolishing the Federal Reserve! That’s been amazing to me.”

Ron told me the story of how his “End the Fed” campaign began. “This followed a debate in Detroit during the primaries. We were talking about the economy and I was claiming we were already in the middle of a recession. Well, my Republican opponents didn’t want to hear that.

“Afterwards, I went to a rally at the University of Michigan. This was early in the campaign and I didn’t expect very much, to be frank. But there were 4,000 or 5,000 young people there. During my speech, they started to chant: ‘End the Fed! End the Fed!’ Some of them even began pulling Federal Reserve notes (you know them as dollar bills) from their pockets and lighting them on fire.

“I could never forget the image of that happening. So of course it became part of my campaign. When it came to picking a title for my book that was an easy choice to make.”

(Quick commercial plug: Ron’s book, End the Fed, climbed to the top of the New York Times’ bestseller list and stayed there for many weeks. It’s dropped a bit recently, which is good news for you if you don’t already own a copy. Because it means you can find them at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com for a substantial discount off the $21.99 cover price. Get ‘em while you can. And think about what a great Christmas present they would make for all of the students on your list.)

To be honest, I don’t think it’s necessary to read every word of every chapter of Ron’s book. Unless you’re simply amused by mumble-jumble and government jargon, you can pretty much skip chapters six and seven (“Conversations with Greenspan” and “Conversations with Bernanke”).

But please pay careful attention to chapter 10, “Why End the Fed?” Here’s how it begins:

“The Federal Reserve should be abolished because it is immoral, unconstitutional, impractical, promotes bad economics and undermines liberty. Its destructive nature makes it a tool of tyrannical government.”

So of course I had to ask him, “Other than that, Ron, what’s wrong with it?”

“Bad government destroys liberty” was his succinct reply. “And the Federal Reserve leads to bad government and bad monetary policy. Not only did they cause the present economic crisis, they’re perpetuating the problem.”

Ron has introduced legislation to audit the Federal Reserve every year for the past dozen or so years. And every year it gets bottled up in committee and never sees the light of day. But this year is different.

When we spoke, Ron already had 301 co-sponsors for the legislation. That is every Republican member of the House of Representatives and a bunch of Democrats, too. So it’s a shoe-in to pass, right?

Wrong. Although Ron has gained some surprising support for the measure, including Massachusetts’ very liberal (but very powerful) congressman, Barney Frank, the powers-that-be are dead-set against the measure. He expects House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to do everything possible to prevent a floor vote.

But at least the measure has been voted out of committee. In an email to me after that action, Ron wrote, “I was pleased last week when we won a vote in the Financial Services Committee to include language from the Audit the Fed bill HR1207 in the upcoming financial regulatory reform bill. As it stands now, if HR 3996 passes, because of this action, the Federal Reserve’s entire balance sheet will be opened up to a GAO audit. We will at last have a chance to find out what happened to the trillions of dollars the Fed has been giving out.”

Does either of us expect an easy victory in Congress this year? Of course not! And even if his measure did pass, despite everything Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts did to stop it, the chances that it will be approved in the Senate and signed by the president are just about zero.

And even when the bill does get signed into law, expect the manipulators of our money system to do everything in their power to protect their trillion-dollar benefactor.

No, folks, this will not be a quick or an easy fight. Ron expects the battle for honest money and limited government to last the rest of his life and beyond. Frankly, so do I.

But rejoice that the battle has been joined! The enemy has been identified! And the weapons we need to win—truth in the hands of an informed public—are all we need, and all we have.

Let me end today’s column as Ron concludes his book. Here are the last three paragraphs of End the Fed:

We have a natural, God-given right to our lives, our liberties, and the fruits of our labor. Protecting those rights is the only role that government ought to have in a free society. To restrain the government from doing more requires a morally determined people willing to assume self-responsibility, rejecting dependence on government force to mold the economy, society, or individual behavior. If the freedom movement continues to grow as it has these past two years, I would say there’s plenty of room for optimism. Freedom and central banking are incompatible. It is freedom we seek, and when that precious goal is achieved, the chant ‘End the Fed’ will become a reality.

Amen to that. Until next time, keep some powder dry.

And remember to look for part two of our interview with Ron Paul next Friday in Personal Liberty Alert.

—Chip Wood

Study: Exhaustive Physical Exercise May Increase Infertility In Women

Study: Exhaustive physical exercise may increase infertility in womenA recent study conducted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology suggests that overly strenuous and frequent physical exercise may reduce a woman’s fertility.

The study found that those who trained every day and those who trained to the point of exhaustion were at an increased risk of infertility. Individuals who did both incurred the highest risk.

"When we compared those who trained to exhaustion to those who trained more moderately, we found that the first group had a three-fold greater risk of impaired fertility," said Sigridur Lada Gudmundsdottir, a Ph.D. candidate at the university.

Gudmundsdottir went on to state that a low level of activity is also a deterrent and that moderate physical activity is recommended for those looking to get pregnant.

However, the researchers said that hard training has been shown to be a temporary cause of infertility.

Meanwhile, for those looking for natural ways of boosting their fertility, experts at WomensHealth.com state there are many alternative treatments that include acupuncture, diet and certain homeopathic remedies.

"Foods rich in vitamin C, E and beta-carotenes are good for maintaining a proper ovulation cycle as well as increasing sperm count and motility in men," the source says.

The site also recommends that men increase their zinc intake an in effort to raise their sperm count.
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Anti-abortion, Pro-choice Groups Blast Healthcare Bill

Anti-abortion, pro-choice groups blast healthcare billAmericans United for Life Action (AULA), a national anti-abortion group, has recently stated that it will vigorously fight the Senate healthcare bill, which was moved to debate by last Saturday’s vote.

The AULA’s CEO Charmaine Yoest stated that she considers the successful passage to be "a pro-abortion vote…because this bill provides for an unprecedented expansion of federally-funded abortion."

Yoest went on to say that the legislation will move the U.S. toward redefining abortion as a form of healthcare, and that it will fail to protect medical providers who object to performing procedures that violate their conscience.

The Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the healthcare bill stipulates that no funds appropriated by the legislation may be used to pay for an abortion or any health plan that includes coverage of an abortion, but it does allow the option to purchase, with the beneficiary’s private funds, supplemental insurance that would cover such a procedure.

Meanwhile, some pro-choice advocates, including Planned Parenthood, reject the healthcare bill because they feel it is a step back for women’s right to choose.

"In reality, no insurance plan is going to go through the painstaking process of setting up two separate plans—one with abortion services offered and one without—to cater to fewer than 20 percent of the exchange participants who are allowed to buy plans that include abortion services," said California Democratic Congresswoman Lois Capps in an article written for Politco.com.
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Happy Thanksgiving! Relax Today, Prepare to Renew the Battle Tomorrow

On Sept. 6, 1620, a group of travelers (English Separatist Puritans) boarded a ship and departed from Plymouth Harbor, England, and embarked on a 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic to what was then being called, The New World or New England.

Two months later, after enduring violent storms and other hardships, the ship, Mayflower, put in at what we now know as Cape Cod, Mass. Four days later, on Nov. 15, a small group of men rowed ashore on a small boat, where they saw a group of “savages” who ran away.

The explorers tried to follow the natives but soon foundered in the thickets and gave up. Exploring the next day they found an abandoned settlement containing evidence of planting, the remains of a shelter and a large kettle with sand heaped around it.

While digging out the kettle they found several baskets of stored food, some of which they took for themselves to carry back to the ship, while reburying the rest. The next day the group found a good place to put ashore and the entire complement of the ship, about 100 people, began Plymouth Colony.

Starting a new colony at the beginning of winter proved a daunting task, and about half of all the settlers died. If not for the food pilfered from the Indians that winter, all might have perished.

The following spring a couple of Indians (one who had learned English from fishermen and another who had been taken into slavery but escaped) befriended the pilgrims and taught them how to plant and fish and gather fruit. Their first harvest that fall was plentiful for the colonists and they and the Indians shared their food during a three-day festival—a time that is known as the first Thanksgiving.

It turns out the celebration was premature. The group structure was designed so that everyone placed the fruits of their labor into a common store. People were then to take what they needed for sustenance. But during the following summers, with some people toiling diligently at farming, fishing and gathering, and others refusing to work, hard feelings developed and food shortages occurred.

So Governor William Bradford assigned each family a plot of ground and allowed the people to use the fruits of their labor to eat or trade as they saw fit. It wasn’t long before so much was being produced that they could use it to trade with others.

The free market had won out over socialism.

Today we live in a country where the top 1 percent of income earners take in 19 percent of the country’s wealth but pay 37 percent of the taxes. The top 5 percent of earners take in 33 percent of the wealth but pay 57 percent of the taxes.

The top 10 percent of income earners take in 44 percent of the wealth but pay 68 percent of the taxes. And 85 percent of all taxes are paid by the top 25 percent of income earners.

Did you get that? The top 10 percent of wage earners bear 68 percent of the tax burden and the top 25 percent of wage earners bear 85 percent of the tax burden.

Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent of income earners take in 13 percent of the wealth but pay only 3 percent of the taxes.

More and more the tax system is slanted to create a growing dependent class that pays little or no taxes while society’s producers are burdened with a growing tax liability. That will only increase if Obamacare and Cap and Tax are foisted on United States citizens.

It’s a system that is doomed for failure today just as it was in the 1600s.

But today is a day for Thanksgiving, and most of us have much to be thankful for. Those of us who practice a religion have our loving God, His grace and the blessings He gives us.

We have our health—granted some are better off than others—but if we look around us we can always find someone dealing with a situation that would for us be a terrible burden.

Four out of five of us have a job (according to shadowstats.com); while the government says about nine out of 10 are working.

Finally, we Americans live in the greatest country in the history of the world, even if it is saddled with a few warts.

And, for a few days at least, Congress is not in session plotting to steal our wealth and liberty.

So let’s relax today and count our blessings. Eat a hearty meal—or two. Enjoy a football game. Recharge our batteries.

And get ready to take up the fight again anew, because tyranny is but a step away.

Meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!

Study: Green Tea May Defend Against Liver Damage

Study: Green tea may defend against liver damageAccording to a new study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, the consumption of green tea may help protect the liver from hepatic fibrosis, one of the leading causes of cirrhosis.

The research team, led by professor Hong-Yon Cho from Korea University, induced lab rats with hepatic fibrosis, administrated green tea and then took tissue samples.

Researchers found that green tea helped reduce the deposition of collagen fibers, which lead to scarring in the liver, thereby ameliorating the condition.

The authors of the study concluded that "green tea provides a safe and effective strategy for improving hepatic fibrosis."

Meanwhile, in a recent study in the Cancer Prevention Research Journal, scientists found that green tea may assist in the prevention of oral cancer, according to NaturalNews.com.

In the study, a total of 41 oral leukoplakia patients at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center were split into two groups. One was given green tea extract and one was given a placebo.

Although there was no difference in oral cancer development between the two groups, it took much longer for the disease to develop in the patients who took the green tea extract.

"While still very early and not definitive proof that green tea is an effective preventive agent, these results certainly encourage more study for patients at [the] highest risk for oral cancer," said Vassiliki Papadimitrakopoulou, senior author of the study, quoted the news source.
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New Study Finds that High Fructose Intake May Lead to Hypertension

Avoiding foods high in processed fat may be beneficial to your healthIt may be a good idea to cut out processed foods from your diet as a new study finds that a diet high in fructose increases the risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure.

While nutritional supplements such as garlic and hawthorn may help control hypertension, it may be beneficial to look into the nutritional facts of your dietary intake.

A study presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s 42nd Annual Meeting found that the rate of obesity has increased sharply since the development of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and that the prevalence of HFCS in processed foods may have something to do with it. It’s been reported that Americans now consume 30 percent more fructose than they did 20 years ago.

The study showed that a diet of more than 74 grams of fructose a day led to dramatic increases in risk of hypertension for those with slightly higher blood pressure. Participants who had a blood pressure level of 160/100 had an 87 percent higher risk of developing hypertension.ADNFCR-1960-ID-19455786-ADNFCR

For Washington, Service Was His Reward

As commander of the various militias during the Revolutionary War, General George Washington served his country without compensation, save for an allowance for certain expenses he incurred. He did this voluntarily, and gladly.

When his duties on the field of battle were over he would have been content to retire to his farm at Mt. Vernon, Va. But his countrymen called upon him to continue his service for eight more years.

On Thursday, April 30, 1789, Washington was sworn in as the nation’s first president. After taking the oath of office, Washington addressed a joint session of Congress assembled inside the Senate chambers.

In his address he stated that he was being called “from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection.” His love for country overrode his desire for a life of leisure.

However, he again turned down any compensation:

“When I was first honored with a call into the service of my country, then on the eve of an arduous struggle for its liberties, the light in which I contemplated my duty required that I should renounce every pecuniary compensation. From this resolution I have in no instance departed; and being still under the impressions which produced it, I must decline as inapplicable to myself any share in the personal emoluments which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the executive department, and must accordingly pray that the pecuniary estimates for the station in which I am placed may during my continuance in it be limited to such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require.”

For Washington, the reward was in the service. Today it seems those holding elected office view things quite differently.

Whether it’s a local city councilor, a state legislator or a member of Congress, every waking thought of the elected class seems devoted to compensating from the public treasury one special interest group or another, with the ultimate goal of being rewarded for it down the road, either through some underhanded pay-for-play scheme or with a cushy lobbying gig upon leaving elected office.

When will another Washington step up?

Thanksgiving Fare Includes Health-Boosting Items

Thanksgiving fare includes health-boosting items While gravy and mashed potatoes do not form part of a healthy diet, researchers say vegetables that traditionally appear in the fall on American tables, such as pumpkin and squash, contain a variety of health-promoting compounds.

In fact, these vegetables are rich in carotenoids—a family of yellow to red pigments which play an important role in human health by acting as sources of provitamin A or as antioxidants.

According to the American Society for Horticultural Science, pumpkins and squash are excellent sources of dietary carotenoids, particularly lutein, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene that have been shown to delay or prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration.

As a result, recent research has focused on helping breeders increase the carotenoid content of vegetables, and the first step towards that is to measure the carotenoid content.

Researchers from the University of Florida’s Horticultural Sciences Department designed a research study using colorimetric analysis in pumpkins and squash and found a strong correlation between colorimetric values and carotenoid content.

They also found a "nine-fold increase in total carotenoids provided within orange–red and yellow–orange colored cultigens versus yellow colored cultigens."

Those who are unable to consume enough yellow and red vegetables on a regular basis may use nutritional supplements to enrich their diet.
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CAIR Protests Government's Attempt To Seize Mosques, Muslim Property

CAIR protests government's attempt to seize mosques, Muslim property Federal prosecutors in New York recently took over four mosques and a skyscraper owned by a Muslim organization accused of terrorist ties, but the action has drawn heavy criticism from Islamic advocates.

The government’s civil complaint in federal court against the Alavi Foundation accuses it of being controlled by the Iranian government and seeks the confiscation of more than $500 million in assets, according to the Associated Press.

However, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has expressed concern about the government’s actions, suggesting they may have implications for the First Amendment rights of members of the American Muslim community.

"The seizure of American houses of worship could have a chilling effect on the religious freedom of citizens of all faiths and may send a negative message to Muslims worldwide," said CAIR national communications director Ibrahim Hooper.

He also stated that he feared the move could fuel a backlash resulting from the recent shooting spree at the military base at Fort Hood, Texas.

On Nov. 5, a gunman identified as Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist and a Muslim, opened fire in the Soldier Readiness Center at the base, killing 13 people and wounding 30 others.
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The White Lies About Black Gold

(Part two of a three-part series on energy. Part three will appear Dec. 9)                

“You lie!”                                           
Rep. Joe Wilson during President Barack Obama’s healthcare 2009 speech

It’s one year after Barack Obama’s presidential victory and the winds of winter are beginning to gale. But don’t expect him to give Jimmy Carter-like sweater-clad chats from a chilly Oval Office.

Carter—the first president to warn us about Arab oil dependency three decades ago—is irrelevant to today’s Democrats. Rather than engage the nation about our critical dependence on Middle East oil, Obama and the Democrats have either ignored our energy problems, or worse—outright lied about them.

At the August 2008 Democratic National Convention Obama declared: “I’ll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in renewable energy—an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can’t ever be outsourced.”

Apparently Obama didn’t feel as “green” after winning the election. Just one day after he reiterated his commitment to renewable fuels in his State of the Union address in January 2009, we were told that the president’s budget cuts would force layoffs at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Then there is Obama’s proclamation made on Oct. 15, 2008, during the presidential debates:

“In 10 years,” said candidate Obama, “we can reduce our dependence so that we no longer have to import oil from the Middle East or Venezuela.”

It’s Called Peak Oil Mr. President
Such comments reveal a president that is either naïve about the energy situation, or is concerned with what is politically expedient. I can’t decide which.

What I do know is that what he says about oil is impossible. And I should know; I have been around petroleum all my life.

My dad was a geologist and oil trader when some of the biggest petro fields in world were struck in the 1950s and 1960s. He became the founder and publisher of OilWeek, a weekly petroleum magazine that counted the Saudi Oil Ministry among its subscribers and which is still published to this day in Calgary, Canada.

I studied geology during the first oil crisis of the 1970s. I graduated from the University of Calgary just as prices were cresting at $36 per barrel—more than 10 times higher than where they had been at the beginning of the decade.

For nearly 30 years I’ve been covering the oil markets and writing about energy. I am certainly not the smartest fellow in and around oil and gas. But I’ve had the good fortune to meet some of the men and women who are.

All would tell you the one truth that I know—that the United States of America is critically dependent on Arab oil.

It is called Peak Oil, and for the U.S. that happened 40 years ago.

Today the U.S. is pumping just 4.9 million barrels of oil per day (mb/d), or just a little more than half of the oil pumped in 1970. In fact the U.S. hasn’t pumped such little oil since the 1940s when Truman was President and our population was half of what it is today.

It is a situation that is going to only get worse as America’s Big Three crude producers—Texas, California and Alaska—are showing major declines.

Nearly half of our domestic crude production comes from these three states. Yet Texas’ oil output has fallen by 57 percent since 1981. California delivers just a little more than half of what it was pumping in 1985 and Alaska, once America’s oil oasis, has had production decline by a whopping two-thirds in the past 20 years.

Why the Bakken Formation is Baloney
One final note about domestic oil production—every time I write about it, I get comments about the Bakken formation.

The Bakken formation is in North Dakota and Montana. A lot of people wanting to sell newsletters and/or penny oil stocks have claimed incredible numbers for the region; some say it holds billions of barrels of oil, others say hundreds of billions of barrels of oil. One promoter even wrote that it had 2 trillion barrels of oil! If true that would mean there is more than twice as much oil below North Dakota rock than what remains in the rest of the world.

The best undertaking of the region was done by the Pittman/Price/LeFever study which estimated the volume of oil at 200 billion to 400 billion barrels. But here is the rub: because of the lower permeability and lower porosity of the formations, only 1 percent of this total is likely to be recovered at an effective cost. In other words we are talking at best 4 billion barrels—about enough oil to keep the U.S. going for five months.

The geology in North Dakota means that the oil is not pooled in elephant fields like Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, Ghawar in Saudi Arabia or Cantarell in Mexico.

Furthermore, meaningful production from the Bakken formation won’t take place for more than a decade. (That’s a similar timeline to bringing new Alaskan oil to market).

According to The Oil Drum, at some point we might have production of 225,000 barrels per day from the Bakken formation, “Which will have only a minor effect on U.S. production or imports.”

To read a detailed geologic analysis of the Bakken formation, go to: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3868.

Digging Instead of Drilling
So while bragging up the Bakken may sell newsletters, it won’t save America from an impending oil crisis. And make no mistake, one is on the way.

We have some stopgap measures, including opening up new areas as well as horizontal drilling and offshore drilling. But oil magnate T. Boone Pickens estimates that if every possible new technology worked and if drilling restrictions were completely removed, the U.S. would still, “Only squeeze another 2 mb/d in added (annual) production.”

As it stands right now the U.S. is importing more than 13 million barrels of oil every day. That total is going to grow and within the next few years one-third of all our oil may come from the Middle East.

Meanwhile—as we discussed in Clean Energy is Pure Fantasy—alternative energy solutions are decades away from fruition.

However there is a real and reliable energy source just a few hundred miles north of Calgary. It is the oil sands of Alberta and Saskatchewan and it is already a major supplier of crude oil to the U.S.

Over the coming decade its importance will only increase and investors that take a stake in it will continue to earn big profits.

Canada is already the largest supplier of oil to the U.S., exporting 2 mb/d. About 1.3 mb/d come from oil sands. Yet in the next 10 years oil sands production will soar to 3.4 mb/d.

Given the rapid decline of Mexican and Alaskan oil fields over that span, Canada will become America’s energy lynchpin, providing it with 4.2 mb/d, or more oil than what the U.S. will be pumping for itself.
 
Invest in Suncor Energy
I first toured Suncor Energy (NYSE, SU, $36.30) nine years ago and as the editor of Outstanding Investments. I urged my subscribers to buy this stock in April 2001 for $12.69 per share (see Suncor price chart below).

But the story of Suncor dates back further than 2001 and will extend well beyond 2010.

It is Canada’s original oil sands developer, having produced the first barrel of crude oil from the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta in 1967.

Today Suncor is the world’s second largest producer of oil sands crude (after Syncrude Canada Ltd.) and is the only company to currently use both mining and in-situ resource technologies.

A fully integrated company, Suncor upgrades the oil from the oil sands to the level of conventional crude at its upstream facilities and then ships the crude to the company’s refineries east to Ontario and south to Colorado.

In August 2009, Suncor merged with Petro-Canada. The move made it Canada’s largest energy company and the fifth largest North American energy company based on market capitalization (the price of the stock times the number of shares trading, which in Suncor’s case is $57 billion).

Action to Take: Buy Suncor at market. The weakening U.S. dollar and supply constraints on oil will push crude prices higher. Suncor stock will continue to climb alongside rising petroleum prices.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

P.S.—Next time, in the conclusion of this three-part series (which will appear Dec. 9), I will look at one real solution to America’s energy crisis, as well as a down-to-earth stock that will heat up your portfolio.

New Study On Paralysis Will Focus On Vitamin B3 Precursor

New study on paralysis will focus on vitamin B3 precursorWeill Cornell Medical College has received a $2.5 million grant from the New York State Spinal Cord Injury Research Board to investigate the impact of a naturally-occurring substance in helping prevent paralysis following an injury.

The research will focus on a vitamin B3 precursor as scientists believe that increasing the levels of the compound that converts to the active form of vitamin B3 (called NAD+) can be useful in preventing permanent nerve damage.

"Our study is aimed at synthesizing a molecule that, when given soon after injury, may augment the body’s production of NAD+ and rescue these cells before they are stressed beyond recovery," says Dr. Samie Jaffrey, associate professor of pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

The theory behind the upcoming study is based on the fact that vitamin B3 plays a key role in cells by activating proteins called sirtuins that help the cells survive under stress. Sirtuins, which can be activated by compounds like resveratrol—found in large concentrations in the skin of grapes used to make red wine—have been shown to possess anti-aging and healing properties.

Those interested in maintaining muscle health may also turn to nutritional supplements containing B vitamins.
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House Committee Passes Domestic Partnership Benefits Legislation

House committee passes domestic partnership benefits legislationOn Nov.17 the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform announced the approval of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009 which will make employment benefits available to the same-sex domestic partners of federal employees.

The legislation will also make certain benefits, including healthcare, available to same-sex domestic partners of former employees and annuitants.

"I am delighted with the committee’s action," said Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), author of the bill. "Equality and diversity in the workplace [will] boost productivity and help…keep the most qualified employees."

The act declares that for an employee to be eligible, they must first certify in an affidavit that their relationship satisfies the criteria set out in the legislation for establishing a domestic partnership.

"We must begin to implement workplace benefits that allow us to be as attractive, if not more attractive, than the private sector," said committee chairman Ed Towns.

Meanwhile, some Republican committee members argued that the legislation grants an improper extension of benefits to a small fraction of federal employees at a time when unemployment is rising, according to GovernmentExecutive.com.

The bill will now move to the House floor for debate. Companion legislation has been introduced by Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

Earlier this year, the committee passed legislation to provide four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees who are fostering or adopting a child.
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