Eating Fruits And Vegetables Can Improve Vision, New Review Concludes

Eating fruits and vegetables can improve vision, new review concludesThe consumption of green leafy vegetables and colored fruits can increase visual performance and may prevent age-related eye disease, according to a recent study.

Researchers from the University of Georgia reviewed various studies and discovered that the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, abundantly found in many fruits and vegetables, have a positive impact on the retina and play an important role in human vision.

Authors of the study also reported that the compounds can enhance contrast and reduce disability and discomfort associated with glare.

Lead researcher Billy Hammond concluded that "it is clear that [carotenoids can] potentially improve vision through biological means. For example, a study conducted in 2008 suggests that the pigments protect the retina and lens and perhaps even help prevent age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataract."

Carotenoids are found in many fruits and vegetables including carrots, peppers, mangoes and kiwis.

Senior citizens should have an especially high dietary intake of the compound, reports. Additional research has concluded that a high blood carotenoid level is associated with a significant protective effect against aging.

Nebraska One Of 33 States To Hike Unemployment Tax On Businesses

Nebraska one of 33 states to hike unemployment tax on businesses On the heels of a surprisingly positive national unemployment report, where the jobless rate fell for the first time in months, the state of Nebraska has announced that it will be increasing the tax levied on businesses to help replenish their dwindling unemployment insurance fund, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

Nebraska is one of 33 states that are expected to increase unemployment tax in 2010 due to the high number of people who claimed joblessness over the past year.

Although most states are required by law to build up unemployment insurance funds in prosperous times to avoid tax increases in a recession, Nebraska is one of the many states whose funds have become depleted. Additionally, Nebraska’s constitution doesn’t allow it to borrow money from the federal government to help supplement state trust funds.

The hike in the unemployment tax will be especially detrimental to small business owners, who create about 60 percent of all new jobs in Nebraska.

"This is a job killer," said small business owner Rick Poore, quoted by the news source. "This isn’t going to help anything," he added.

"Hopefully employers have been preparing for this, but it will be a surprise to some," said Ron Sedlacek, general counsel for the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, quoted by the Los Angeles Times. "It really just depends on how much they’ve been monitoring [the] situation," he added.


Columbia Loses Battle To Take Over Private Land

Columbia loses battle to take over private land A recent court decision, which says New York state cannot use eminent domain on behalf of Columbia University to help it acquire land for construction, marks a significant setback for the school’s plans to expand on the Upper West Side.

The appeals court’s ruling overturned last year’s decision giving the green light for the property takeover that would allow the Ivy League institution to implement its $6.28 billion campus expansion plan that includes 16 new buildings, among them dormitories and science facilities, according to

The court ruled that the state’s designation of the neighborhood bordered by Broadway, Riverside Drive, 129th and 133rd Streets as "blighted,"—the main prerequisite for eminent domain—was not sufficiently proven, according to media reports.

Numerous community groups and individuals, including local business owners, opposed the expansion plans, but the decision surprised many of them nonetheless.

Nicholas Sprayregen, the owner of several self-storage warehouses in the Manhattanville area who refused to sell to the university, told The New York Times he was always "cautiously optimistic," because "I was aware we were going against 50 years of unfair cases against property owners."

Meanwhile, representatives of the Empire State Development Corporation, the agency that approved the use of eminent domain, criticized the court’s ruling and vowed to appeal the decision.

Can Eating Pistachios Help Ward Off Lung Cancer?

Can eating pistachios help ward off lung cancer? Consuming pistachios every day may help reduce the risk of lung and other cancers, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Texas at Houston have found that pistachios are loaded with gamma-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E that has been known to provide a degree of protection against certain forms of cancer.

The study followed 36 healthy participants over a six-week clinical trial period and found that, when eating just 2 ounces of pistachios per day, respondents saw a significant increase in energy-adjusted gamma-tocopherol.

"Pistachios are one of those ‘good-for-you’ nuts, and 2 ounces per day could be incorporated into dietary strategies designed to reduce the risk of lung cancer without significant changes in body mass index," said senior research dietitian Ladia Hernandez.

Other good sources of gamma-tocopherol include peanuts, pecans, walnuts and corn oils.

Meanwhile, in an earlier study, scientists were able to prove that pistachios have a positive impact on cardiovascular health by significantly reducing inflammation in the body.

"Pistachios contain many important nutrients that contribute to [a] positive effect on health," explained nutrition expert Constance Geiger. "Every new study adds another piece to the puzzle of how eating pistachios may benefit heart health," she added.

Give! Give!

As if Americans aren’t already taxed enough, the healthcare reform bill—or Obamacare bill—being discussed by the Senate contains dozens of new taxes and creates 111 new bureaucracies.

Among the new taxes:

  • a 40 percent excise tax on health coverage in excess of $8,500 (individuals)/$23,000 (families).
  • an additional half percent Medicare (Hospital Insurance) tax on wages in excess of $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers) beginning in 2013.
  • an annual fee on manufacturers and importers of branded drugs beginning in 2010.
  • an annual fee on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices beginning in 2010.
  • a reduction by half (to $500,000) the amount of an executive’s compensation that a health plan can deduct from its corporate income taxes beginning in 2013 and a 5 percent excise tax on cosmetic surgery and similar procedures beginning in 2010. (source:

The anti-federalist Brutus, thought by most scholars to be Robert Yates, warned in his essay No. 6 about Congress having too much power under Article 1, Section 8 (…power to lay and collect taxes, imposts, duties, and excises, according to the discretion of the legislature…) and eventually taking all authority from the states.

This power, exercised without limitation, will introduce itself into every comer of the city, and country—It will wait upon the ladies at their toilett, and will not leave them in any of their domestic concerns; it will accompany them to the ball, the play, and the assembly; it will go with them when they visit, and will, on all occasions, sit beside them in their carriages, nor will it desert them even at church; it will enter the house of every gentleman, watch over his cellar, wait upon his cook in the kitchen, follow the servants into the parlour, preside over the table, and note down all he eats or drinks; it will attend him to his bed-chamber, and watch him while he sleeps; it will take cognizance of the professional man in his office, or his study; it will watch the merchant in the counting-house, or in his store; it will follow the mechanic to his shop, and in his work, and will haunt him in his family, and in his bed; it will be a constant companion of the industrious farmer in all his labour, it will be with him in the house, and in the field, observe the toil of his hands, and the sweat of his brow; it will penetrate into the most obscure cottage; and finally, it will light upon the head of every person in the United States. To all these different classes of people, and in all these circumstances, in which it will attend them, the language in which it will address them, will be GIVE! GIVE!

Now government is trying to follow Americans into their sick beds. And just as Brutus predicted, when Congress addresses the American people it is with a common refrain: GIVE, GIVE!

Rid Your Body of Toxins and Parasites with Simple Liquid Fasting

Liquid cleansing and fasting have been an integral part of natural medicine for more than 100 years. Thousands of people have discovered restored health through fasting. Dr. Herbert Shelton was one of the founders of the American Natural Hygiene Society, and during his lifetime he supervised more than 40,000 fasts. His greatest tool for assisting patients in reversing disease was to assist them to safely go without food while drinking only water or juice for three to five days, or as long as 30 days.

Simple juice fasts are a great way to quickly purify the body and prepare it for healing. The three-day juice fast will clean mucus out the body and provide you with nutritious, vibrant foods and supplements that rebuild the system and facilitate healing.

Freshly extracted, raw, organic juices are ideal because they contain high amounts of valuable enzymes that not only help you digest the juice, but also exert a powerful healing influence on the body. If, however, you do not have access to a juicer you may use pure, organic, bottled juices that are purchased from local health food stores. Do not use frozen concentrates or juices with added sugar. Use one juice for at least three days. Choose a favorite juice (apple, carrot, citrus, tomato, barley grass, grape, etc.), but use only one for at least three consecutive days.

Do not eat anything during the three days if possible. If absolutely necessary, the matching fruit or vegetable from which you are making juice may be eaten. If you are drinking apple juice, then eat only apples if you feel the need to eat.

When you stop eating foods that contain bulk and fiber, the bowel may stop moving resulting in constipation. Toxic mucous being eliminated from your system can also cause constipation. To prevent these issues from occurring, drink 16 ounces of prune juice first thing upon arising in the morning. If you are still having problems, you may introduce colon cleansing through the use of enemas.

Dr. Christopher, noted herbalist, taught that we must eat our drink and drink our food. Chewing juice ensures proper digestion by mixing it with enzymes found in the mouth. Swish each mouthful thoroughly.

On the fourth day, introduce vegetable organic juices and raw fruits and vegetables. After the fourth day, you may also introduce steamed foods.

You will experience cleansing symptoms on your juice program. You may notice aches and pains, headaches, weakness and other symptoms as your body eliminates toxins and poisons. This is a natural reaction by your body. Be strong since these symptoms result in faster cleansing and healing.

Another powerful ingredient to aid in your detoxification is the herb milk thistle. Ancient Romans and Greeks often used milk thistle as a remedy for liver problems. Many modern medical practitioners also believe milk thistle is one of the most effective herbs for relieving liver disorders and related problems.

Your liver is like a "traffic cop" for many activities that occur in your body. For example, it eliminates or neutralizes toxins in the blood. It also plays a role in controlling infection.

Milk thistle contains a chemical substance called silymarin, which is believed to help:

  • Cleanse and detoxify your liver.
  • Relieve inflammation of liver cells (hepatitis).
  • Treat symptoms of a scarred liver (cirrhosis) from excess alcohol consumption.

Research shows milk thistle may also help protect your kidneys from damage caused by chemotherapy medications. It can even play a role in protecting your prostate from abnormal cell growth.

—By Michael Cutler, M.D.

Freshman Democrat In The House Crossing The Aisle

Freshman Democrat in the House crossing the aisleFirst term Democratic congressman Parker Griffith of Alabama has said he will join the GOP effective immediately in a possible bid to increase his reelection chances in 2010.

The 67-year-old was narrowly elected last year and has boasted some of the most conservative voting records of any House Democrat, including his opposition to President Obama’s economic stimulus package.

"I have become increasingly concerned that the bills and policies pushed by the current Democratic leadership are not good for north Alabama or our nation," Griffith said during a press conference in Huntsville earlier today.

"More importantly, they do not represent my values and my convictions," he added.

Executive director of the Alabama Democratic Party Jim Spearman told the Associated Press that he was not surprised by the switch but vowed to "[work] strongly to put a Democrat in there" during the midterm elections.

In recent years, many prominent politicians switched party affiliations, including Arlen Specter, a senator from Pennsylvania, who became a Democrat in 2009 after five terms with the GOP. In 2002, just days before filing for the mayoral race in New Orleans, Ray Nagin switched from Republican to Democrat.

With Griffith’s switch, Democrats will hold 257 House seats and the GOP will have 178.

Senators Strike Deals In Exchange For Healthcare Votes

Senators strike deals in exchange for healthcare votesThe Senate’s version of the healthcare bill took a giant step toward passage after several deals were made with moderate Democratic Senators in exchange for key votes.

Senator Mary Landrieu apparently received a $100 million Medicaid deal just for Louisiana—she bragged it was actually $300 million, according to

The deal was so disreputable to Republicans, they gave it a name. "We have new words in our lexicon, the Louisiana Purchase," said Senator John McCain from Arizona.

Joe Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut, was able to strip the bill of a government insurance program in exchange for his vote.

"And it’s a shame that the only way we can come to consensus in this country is to buy votes," said Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, quoted by the news source.

The most notorious deal may have been achieved by Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who agreed to lend his support to the Democratic cause in exchange for stricter regulations on abortion coverage in the healthcare bill.

The deal reached by Nelson would allow people to purchase insurance plans with abortion coverage, but would force them to write two premium checks—one to cover their plan and the other to cover potential abortion procedures. Individual states could also decree that no plans including abortion coverage would be offered.

The compromise has been criticized by pro-life and pro-choice supporters alike.

"It’s being attacked by both sides, not because it’s so moderate but because it’s crazy," said Richard Doerflinger, a spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, quoted by the Washington Post.

Sara Rosenbaum, a George Washington University professor who thinks the language is too restrictive echoes that sentiment: "None of how this is supposed to work is even remotely in the bill, so I don’t know what people are thinking about it."

U.S. And China Broker Climate Deal In Copenhagen

U.S. and China broker climate deal in Copenhagen The U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen has ended with a nonbinding accord that some commentators see as a symbol of "a new world order."

According to the Associated Press, the accord urges deeper cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases, but it is not legally binding. Among the major polluters, the European Union has committed to cutting emissions by 20 percent by 2020; Japan to 25 percent, if others take similar steps, and the U.S. agreed provisionally to a 3 to 4 percent reduction.

Meanwhile, China offered to rein in its greenhouse gas output by 40 to 45 percent, and India, Brazil and South Africa committed to their own voluntary targets.

The deal also calls on rich nations to provide up to $30 billion during 2010-2012 to help developing countries adapt to climate change.

The Washington Post suggested that the deal — which was brokered by Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and all but rubber-stamped by other participants —may provide a glimpse of how issues from world trade to nuclear proliferation will be negotiated in the coming years.

"Coming into this conference, it was about 193 countries, and coming out of it, it clearly came down to a conversation between the leaders of those two superpowers," said Jake Schmidt, international climate policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Fund, quoted by the news provider.

Back on Capitol Hill, many Democrats stressed it was a "hopeful" sign to see China and India get on board. However, Republican Senator Robert Bennett of Utah said he didn’t think "they got anything in Copenhagen that will encourage anybody, except Jim Inhofe," in reference to the Oklahoma Republican who calls global warming a "hoax" and opposes any emissions cuts, according to