Cheney Non-committal On Palin’s 2012 Qualifications

Cheney non-committal on Palin's 2012 qualifications Former vice president Dick Cheney has been a vocal political commentator in recent months, focusing mainly on criticizing the Obama administrations’ foreign and security policy. However, when asked what he thought about Sarah Palin’s suitability to run for president in 2012, Cheney sought to dodge the question.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week last Sunday, Cheney was asked if the former vice presidential candidate was qualified for the job. He responded by saying that he had not yet made a decision as to who he would support in two years.

"Whoever it is [he or she is] going to have to prove themselves capable of being president of the U.S. And those tests will come during the course of campaigns, obviously," he said, quoted by CNN.

Cheney added that all of the prospective candidates today still have work to do to persuade Americans that they are up to carrying out "the world’s toughest job."

Earlier this month the former governor of Alaska delivered the keynote speech at the first-ever Tea Party national convention in Nashville, Tenn. A day after the speech, Palin, who is a new Fox News commentator, revealed that she was receiving daily policy briefings from advisers, and hinted she might run for president in 2012.
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Amy Bishop’s Shooting Spree May Renew Debate About Guns On Campus

Amy Bishop's shooting spree may renew debate about guns on campus Last Friday, a professor at the University of Alabama-Huntsville shot and killed three colleagues, and wounded three others, in a rampage that has reignited the debate about the merit of the laws passed in several states, and pending in many more, that allow guns on America’s campuses.

Amy Bishop, whose history includes a 1986 shooting death of her brother, allegedly opened fire at a department faculty meeting. According to media reports, the Harvard-educated professor had previously expressed resentment over being denied tenure, although nothing suggested she was violent.

Bishop’s history has caused anger among relatives of the shooting victims who have been quoted by the media as asking why the university hired someone with her background.

The accident has also spurred Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus to issue a statement in which it says that "[it] shows once again that an angry individual with access to a deadly handgun can commit mass murder wherever people gather, in workplaces, shopping malls, churches, schools and universities."

The organization’s director Andy Pelosi said that the gun lobby’s push to allow students and faculty to carry weapons on campus in order to fend off similar attacks is a "mistaken wild west fantasy."

"Why does anyone think that untrained students or professors would be better able to stop a rampage shooting than trained security officers?" he asked.

Pelosi called on lawmakers in states with pending ‘guns on campus’ bills to withdraw such legislation.
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The Federal Reserve Conspiracy by Antony C. Sutton

In The Federal Reserve Conspiracy, Antony C. Sutton has taken a complex subject and, with surgical precision, presented it in an easy-to-understand 115 pages.

“Since 1913 politicians and media have treated the Federal Reserve Bank as a kind of untouchable off limits semi-God… no one except certified crackpots and kooks criticizes the Fed. Conventional wisdom dictates that anyone who attacks the Federal Reserve System is doomed and Congressional investigation of the Fed would result in economic chaos and a disastrous plunge in the stock market,” Sutton writes.

Thus he begins to make his case that the Fed was created by bankers and their interests in order to create a money monopoly which enriched—and still enriches—an elite few and gives them complete control over the economic growth of the United States.

Sutton wrote this book in 1995—he died in 2002—yet it remains an excellent source for people interested in the conspiracy that resulted in the Federal Reserve.

Beginning with Alexander Hamilton’s efforts to establish a privately owned national bank in the European model, Sutton brings the reader through the history of the national bank movement in the U.S. He covers who was behind it and who opposed it, and why. Using their own words and writings, Sutton documents their motives and untangles the connections.

Sutton discusses the efforts by Presidents Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and Abraham Lincoln to thwart the central bank crowd. And he covers the relentlessness of the elites as they work to institute a private central bank.

He also unearths a little-known document written by Clifford Roosevelt, a cousin to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which was a forerunner to Roosevelt’s new deal. That manifesto, The Science of Government, Founded on Natural Law, written in 1841, proposed a totalitarian government without individual rights and run by an elitist establishment. The book has been removed from the Library of Congress catalog and only two editions are known to exist.

Clifford Roosevelt was, of course, one of the elites, hailing from a long line of bankers and legislators. In addition to FDR, Clifford’s relatives included Theodore Roosevelt, John Quincy Adams and Van Buren. So it’s not surprising he would advocate a totalitarian government run by an elitist aristocracy.

Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, written seven years later, contained many of the same themes as The Science of Government. Coincidentally, while writing his manifesto Marx was funded by a cabal of German and American bankers, and it espoused a 10-point plan to bring about the destruction of the middle class and establish control in the hands of the elite. Point No. 5 was the establishment of a central bank.

Finally, Sutton brings us to the secret meeting on Jekyl Island, Ga., in 1910, and the names like Rockefeller, Morgan, Warburg and the large financial institutions Guaranty Trust, Bankers Trust, First National Bank and National City Bank.

From there he documents step-by-step the planning, plotting and conspiring that went on right on through to the passing of legislation establishing the Federal Reserve, including the grooming of Woodrow Wilson to be president so he could sign the legislation into law. He uses the conspirator’s own words to show the lengths they went to in order to conceal from the American public what they were doing.

To wrap up his book, Sutton writes:
“The Federal Reserve is a private monopoly of money credit created by Congress under highly questionable circumstances which is beholden to the Chairman of the Board and whose decision cannot be changed by Government or anyone else.

“A free society under the rule of law? The United States has quietly become a hostage to a handful of international bankers. And just dare any Congressman challenge Fed authority!”

As a 1979 Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco job opening announcement for computer programmers proclaimed: “Some people think we’re a branch of the Government. We’re not. We’re the banks’ Bank.”

“This confirms our discussion in this book,” Sutton concludes.

Will Obama Nationalize U.S. Pensions?

Will President Barack Obama nationalize United States pensions? That was the serious question I proposed one year ago in my blog—and it’s time to ask that question again.

Why now? Because President Obama has proposed what one of our experts sees as the "first step in stealth nationalization and forced investment of our retirement benefits."

The bad news comes as part of a tax package said to be aimed at middle-income Americans that was revealed in Obama’s State of the Union speech, as reported by Business Week magazine.

Obama’s stealth proposal is billed by him as an "effort to increase retirement savings by requiring all businesses to offer automatic IRA accounts,” but it drew immediate opposition from U.S. small business associations. Obama claims the plan would let employees automatically enroll in direct-deposit retirement accounts and expand matching tax credits.

Dangerous First Step to Nationalization

But Larry C. Grossman, CFP, CIMA, managing director of Sovereign International Pension Services (no relation to Sovereign Society) and a member of our Sovereign Society Council of Experts, sees the Obama idea as a dangerous move.

Says Grossman, "If you read it closely you will see the heart of the proposal is the requirement to keep 10 percent of the funds in U.S. Treasuries. At the stroke of a pen the president has found a way to bolster the declining demand for Treasuries. I believe forcing retirement plans into U.S. government control is the next step."

This alarm was echoed by Ron Holland, editor of the Inner Circle Intelligence Report published by BFI Consulting AG, a Swiss financial advisory firm, and a long-time member of the Sovereign Society Council of Experts.

Says Holland, "I think the mandatory IRAs just proposed by Obama is the first step in stealth nationalization and forced investment of our retirement benefits to support the U.S. Treasury debt market."

Should you be worried about this latest radical Obama move?

There is an estimated $15 trillion worth of private retirement plans in the United States; $4 trillion in IRAs alone; this constitutes 35 percent of all private assets in America. That is what the Obama government is eyeing to help plug the multi-trillion dollar deficit in his big spending budget.

You could call this move Obama’s attempt to "pull an Argentina."

What’s “An Argentina?”

In October 2008, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner—a peronista—confiscated US$30 billion worth in that country’s 10 privately managed pension funds. This was presented as an emergency measure to meet her faltering government’s financing costs. The Argentine congress went along with this radical property grab of individual retirement accounts, 401Ks and the like.

Could this happen in America?

Grossman’s opinion, "There have been several different academic papers published which have given rise to rumors. At least one congressional hearing on nationalizing pensions has been held. It is difficult to decide in what form it would take if something like this occurred in the U.S. Many believe that if indeed this is approaching, the best way to protect your assets is to place your retirement funds offshore now."

Holland says, "I believe we must fight this proposal and similar plans or else the private retirement system and our retirement wealth will be history in a few short years." Ron has produced a special report on this radical grab entitled, The Obama Retirement Trap Has Started!

Act Now

In my opinion, adopting such a retirement confiscation policy would be another major blow to Americans’ confidence and to any chance of economic recovery. It would further devalue the dollar and it would destroy what little remains of the credibility of Obama and his socialist government.

Folks, I served in the U.S. Congress when Democrats were overwhelmingly in control. I’ve seen what happens when the Republicans are in charge, as well. Meaning simply, anything can happen—so hold on to your wallet… and your retirement account!

—Robert J. Bauman, JD

Biden Responds To Cheney’s Terrorism Remarks, Goes On The Offensive

Biden responds to Cheney's terrorism remarks, goes on the offensiveVice President Joe Biden struck back at Dick Cheney this week, stating that the former vice president is "factually and substantively wrong" regarding his criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of the war against al-Qaida.

Earlier, in an interview with ABC’s This Week, Cheney blasted the president’s approach to national security, including his decision to try 9/11 suspects in civilian rather than military courts.

In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Biden said that the former vice president is ignoring the facts and is either "misinformed or misinforming."

"I don’t know where Dick Cheney has been," said Biden. "Look, it’s one thing again to criticize. It’s another thing to sort of rewrite history."

Cheney also lashed out at Biden personally, criticizing the former Delaware senator for publicly stating that the U.S. is unlikely to face another attack similar to 9/11 due to the current administration’s approach to terrorism.

"You don’t want the vice president of the U.S. running around saying, ‘Oh, it’s not likely to happen,’" said Cheney.

The former vice president also strongly defended waterboarding, the controversial interrogation technique used against terrorist suspects during the Bush administration, but officially banned by President Obama.
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Oregon Hijab Vote Stirs Controversy

Oregon hijab vote stirs controversy The Oregon House of Representatives has voted to remove an 87-year ban on teachers wearing religious attire such as an Islamic headscarf, or hijab. While Islamic organizations applauded the move, others have criticized it for its potential implications.

House Bill 3686 passed by 51-8, taking the state a step closer to removing the ban, subject to a vote by the senate. If both houses approve the legislation, religious clothing will be prohibited only in Nebraska and Pennsylvania.

Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the vote was a "victory for religious freedom in the workplace."

"When this legislation takes effect, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh teachers will no longer be forced to choose between their faith and their chosen profession," said Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of CAIR’s Washington state chapter.

However, opponents of the law, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, have expressed concerns about the rights of students, especially elementary school pupils, to be free from "religious indoctrination," according to The Oregonian.

Similar debates continue throughout the Western world. For example, France banned students from wearing headscarves on university campuses, and there are plans to outlaw the full Islamic veil, or burqa, on the grounds that it infringes on women’s freedom and dignity.
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The Internment of the Japanese Americans

This is a very black week in the history of a country that prides itself on protecting the rights of its citizens. On Feb. 19, 1942, more than 120,000 Americans lost theirs, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066.

The order directed the United States military to remove every person of Japanese ancestry from within 100 miles of the west coast of the U.S. The military then moved them to 10 “internment camps” and kept them there for the duration of World War II.

Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, who directed the operation, testified before Congress, “I don’t want any of them here. They are a dangerous element. There is no way to determine their loyalty…. We must worry about the Japanese all the time until he is wiped off the map.” They even rounded up orphaned infants; Gen. DeWitt said his target was anyone “with one drop of Japanese blood.”

One of the country’s fiercest conservatives, J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), testified against the measure. But a famous liberal, California Governor (and later Supreme Court Chief Justice) Earl Warren defended the mass incarcerations. Hoover said the Japanese Americans posed no significant threat to the country’s security. Supporting his position is the fact that the government never charged a single detainee with spying for Japan, or doing anything else to support our wartime enemy.

In 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion, removal and detention of tens of thousands of Japanese, without permitting them any legal appeals or procedures. The court stated (in a ruling that has never been overturned) that it is permissible to curtail the civil rights of a racial group when there is “a pressing public concern.”

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation apologizing to detainees on behalf of the U.S. Government. And in 1990, some reparations were paid to some survivors of the camps. Can you say “too little, too late”?

—Chip Wood

Banker, Butcher, Spy: Who Our Government Bullies And Bribes to Make This Their Cashless Society

It was the girl with the dark hair. For a few seconds Winston was too paralyzed to move. Whether she was really an agent of the Thought Police, or simply an amateur spy actuated by officiousness, hardly mattered. It was enough that she was watching him.”
George Orwell, 1984

With just days to go and a congressional recess looming, lawmakers are scrambling to find a legislative solution to re-up government surveillance and intelligence-gathering powers that are expiring at the end of the month.

With national security shaping up to be a major issue this election cycle, both sides are under intense pressure to reauthorize three expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act.

Already Senate Democratic leaders are moving toward including a one-year extension on the provisions in their jobs bill, which was expected to be introduced this week.

No one doubts that the world changed for the worse since 9/11. One way has been our own government’s suspicion and surveillance of the very people that elected it.

Of course Washington has been telling us for a decade that it has no choice, that it must spy on us for our own good. It is all part of the War on Terror.

It is worth noting that our government began spying on us in earnest a generation earlier. That time it was because of the War on Drugs.

* * * * 

It was a hot July day in 1990 and I needed a cold drink. The offices to the Myers’ newsletter were on the second floor the Old National Bank Building at the North Division Y on Division Street in Spokane, Wash. One of the perks of paying hefty rent in the new building was that the bank let us use their lunch room replete with cola and snack machines.

Moments after my quarters had plunked into the machine I had a cold can of Coca-Cola in my hands. On the way out of the lunch room I noticed a giant poster on the wall from the Department of the Treasury (see chart below).

Click on the image above to expand the view.

As you can see its pretense is to catch criminals involved in “narcotics trafficking.” See the mention on the bottom? It offers “substantial rewards for information leading to the seizure of currency and/or the arrest and conviction of individuals violating United States currency laws.”

In other words, beware of the kindly bank teller if you deal in cash for whatever reason. He or she has openly been bribed to spy for the Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Department (IRS) and U.S. Customs to boot.

You can see that more than a decade before 9/11 our government was busying itself in spying on its citizens. And the biggest attack on our liberty isn’t on what kind of gun we can own, where we can smoke, or even what we search out on the Internet. It is the slow and insidious control of our currency. How much money we have, where we have it and how we move it has become a preoccupation of the Federal Government.

There was a time when there were $1,000 bills. That is no longer. A rapidly devaluing hundred dollar bill is the biggest unit of currency today (in 2010 a $100 bill has the purchasing power of a 1975 $20 bill).

Twenty five years ago you could buy and own U.S. Treasury bearer bonds. Unregistered, they avoided scores of red tape—they could be bought and sold literally overnight; or if necessary, kept in safe keeping away from prying eyes. They too are extinct.

There was a time when you could move money in and out of the country, no questions asked. You can’t do that anymore. For years anything over $10,000 going across the border must be reported.

Uncle Sam wants to know any transaction over $10,000. That law doesn’t just apply to banks or border agents. If you go into your Ford dealer tomorrow and plunk down $12,000 cash, it will be reported to the Feds. Not only that, but if you spend more than $10,000 cash at a car dealership within a year (bought two cars on two different occasions for $6,000 each), the dealer is responsible to report the total of both transactions. In effect, private business has been conscripted by the Federal Government to report on its customers. And the Federal Government’s heavy hand reaches beyond U.S. borders.

In the late 1990s I was driving from my home in Spokane to Calgary, Canada. At that time it was illegal to transport more than $10,000 currency out of the United States, but Canada had no such laws (that would come a few years later, no doubt under pressure from Washington). At the Kings Gate border in British Columbia the Canadian Customs Agent asked if I was carrying more than $10,000 cash.

“What do you care?” I asked.

This did not sit well with the young lady charged with protecting Canada.

“Are you going to tell me… or are we going to have to strip your car and your person?”

“The answer is no, but what I want to know is why are you asking me this? It is not against Canadian law for me to bring in any amount of currency, is it?”

“No,” she said, “it is not. But it is against U.S. law!”

To underscore what she was saying she pointed 75 yards to the U.S. Customs office welcoming southbound traffic.

“So what you are telling me is that you are not only a Canadian customs agent, but you are also acting at the behest of the United States government?”

I realized I was walking a razor thin line and in jeopardy of having my car torn apart. Fortunately she handed me my drivers license (the days before you had to have a passport) and without a word she motioned me to continue on my trip.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote to you about the War on Gold. What I have learned in the last few years is that our government is conducting a War on Cash. Washington despises cash because it is an instrument we can use to exercise our liberties without being monitored. Yet for non-criminals like you and me it is a disappearing tool. Fewer and fewer of us do business with currency any longer, leaving whatever commerce we have easily tracked and traced.

Yet just as criminals continue to have ready access to guns, they too have mountains of cash. There is almost $900 billion in circulation, four times the amount there was in 1990. Meanwhile there are only 300 million Americans. If the drug cartels and terrorists weren’t holding buckets of cash, every man, woman and child would have $3,000 stuffed in their pockets or mattresses. Even if you account for what the banks have on hand (which is surprisingly little), that is a ludicrous number.

Law abiding Americans are without the utility of cash and the inherent privacy it allows when conducting commerce. Yet the drug dealers and terrorists have stacks and stacks of currency on hand.

Today our government is able to track almost all of our transactions in this increasingly cashless and restricted society. Never mind the War on Drugs and the War on Terror. It seems to me that the real war is being conducted on the American people.

Joe Biden: Success In Iraq Is Obama Administration’s Achievement

Joe Biden: Success in Iraq is Obama administration's achievementOn the Larry King Live show last week, Vice President Joe Biden took credit for the success in Iraq, stating that the United States involvement in the war-torn country "could be one of the great achievements of [the Obama] administration."

The vice president’s statements have angered many Republicans who have pointed out that, as senators, Biden and Obama both opposed the surge in Iraq.

Biden also credited the current administration with the troop withdrawal process that is currently underway, an initiative that was actually negotiated in the Status of Forces Agreement before President Obama took office.

"The reduction in U.S. forces that is under way right now is…largely the continuation of the policy that President Bush had set in place when he negotiated the drawdown schedule with Prime Minister Maliki at the end of 2008," said Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, quoted by Fox News.

When asked how the administration could take credit for an agreement that was signed before their tenure, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that Obama’s political pressure, as a then-candidate, helped to implement the withdrawal accord.
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Can Eating Chocolate Lower The Risk Of Stroke?

Can eating chocolate lower the risk of stroke?New research shows that eating chocolate may help lower the risk of having a stroke.

Study author Sarah Sahib, with McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and her colleagues analyzed three separate studies, two of which showed a link between the consumption of chocolate and a decreased risk of stroke.

In the first study, researchers found that nearly 45,000 people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22 percent less likely to have a stroke compared to people who did not eat any sweets. Meanwhile, a second study found that more than 1,000 respondents who consumed 50 grams of chocolate each week were 46 percent less likely to die following a stroke than those who eat no chocolate.

"More research is needed to determine whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk, or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others," concluded Sahib.

She added that chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which may have a beneficial effect against stroke.

The third study that was analyzed found no link between chocolate and the risk of stroke or death.
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Polls Have Good News For The GOP, But Only If Tea Party Is Excluded

Polls have good news for the GOP, but only if Tea Party is excluded A potential split among America’s conservatives appears to be emerging as a pair of new Rasmussen polls indicates that likely Republican voters now outnumber the Democratic electorate, but the picture changes when the Tea Party movement comes into play.

The first survey—which is a generic ballot—found that 44 percent of respondents would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate, while 36 percent would cast their ballot for the local Democrat, according to Rasmussen Reports. These numbers have led some commentators to suggest that President Obama’s party may be in the worst electoral shape in a half century.

However, when the poll participants were asked about their preferences in a three-way congressional contest with a Tea Party candidate on the ballot, the Democrat garnered 36 percent of votes, while the GOP candidate’s support fell to around 25 percent. The hypothetical Tea Party candidate picked up 17 percent of the vote.

To confirm a growing split among conservatives, an ABC/Washington Post poll found that 35 percent of those who identify themselves as Republicans expressed favorable views of the Tea Party movement, and 40 percent saw it unfavorably.
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Tea Party Activists Begin Work On Contract From America

Fresh off the heels of their first-ever convention that was supposed to unveil a "national strategy for grassroots organizing," the Tea Party movement has signaled its next move in the run-up to the midterm elections.

Conservative activist Ryan Hecker, a member of the movement, said the group plans to use the internet to develop a "Contract from America." Aided by former House Republican Leader Dick Armey, he is now gathering ideas that he will submit for an online vote and come up with 10-12 principles that will be publically unveiled on Tax Day, April 15, according to media reports.

"You are going to be held accountable by us," he told ABC, adding that Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike will be invited to sign it.

Given the movement’s opposition to the government’s fiscal policy, Republicans are likely to be the major beneficiaries of what is rapidly becoming a significant force on the political scene, one that has been quick to embrace technological tools such as Facebook and Twitter.

USA Today pointed to its swift involvement in the Massachusetts special election when opinion polls showed Republican Scott Brown had a chance to win over Democrat Martha Coakley. They also organized a rally at the Capitol just hours before President Obama’s State of the Union address to protest the healthcare plan.

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Mediterranean Diet May Help Ward Off Dementia

Mediterranean diet may help ward off dementiaA new study has suggested that consuming a Mediterranean diet may help lower the risk of developing small areas of brain damage that can lead to thinking and memory problems.

Researchers found that people who strictly followed a Mediterranean diet, which includes a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fish and monounsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil, as well as a low intake of dairy products, meat and poultry, were less likely to have brain infarcts, which are small areas of dead tissue linked to impaired cognitive function.

In the study, more than 700 participants were separated into three groups based on how closely they were following the Mediterranean diet. After six years, MRI brain scans were conducted, finding that 238 subjects had at least one area of brain damage.

The researchers discovered that respondents who most closely followed the diet were 36 percent less likely to have brain infarcts than were those who rarely followed the diet.

"In this study, not eating a Mediterranean-like diet had about the same effect on the brain as having high blood pressure," concluded study author Nikolaos Scarmeas of the Columbia University Medical Center.
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Iodine for Toxemia

According to David Brownstein M.D., 95 percent of those he tested showed deficiency of iodine. Maybe we should consider iodine first for improved health.

Brownstein says that many illnesses have been helped with iodine. These include fibromyalgia, thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue, immune deficiency syndrome, autoimmune disorders and cancer (including breast, prostate, thyroid and ovarian).

Detoxify Toxemia:  Iodine is a potent anti-infective agent. No virus, bacteria or parasite can resist iodine. It detoxifies the toxic halides bromine and fluorine as well as mercury and lead. The toxic halide molecules and heavy metals are in direct competition for iodine.

The thyroid gland, heart, muscles, skin, brain, breasts, ovaries and other glands and tissues are dependent on iodine. If one is chronically cold, depressed, obese, forgetful or has a heart arrhythmia, iodine deficiency could be the cause.

And, iodine has been therapy for chronic sore cystic breasts for a hundred years. I wonder how many women have had mastectomies when all they needed was iodine?

The good thing is, at full sufficiency when there is no longer any iodine deficiency, the excess iodine is excreted.
 
Caution: If you are on the drug Amiodarone, do not take any kind of iodine.

Reference:  Dr. David Brownstein at www.drbrownstein.com. Ask Dr. Brownstein for his book Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It

Curious About Alternative Treatments for Pain? Try These!

People are always asking what are the best alternative treatments for their pain conditions. Given the vast number of modalities available under the “alternative” label, it is no wonder people feel overwhelmed when trying to choose the best one for them.

In this article we’ll look at an overview of some of the best natural, non-invasive therapies for pain. They each have their own focus and methodology, and based on your specific signs and symptoms, the correct treatment for you should jump right off the page.

Massage Therapy: There are literally hundreds of styles of massage. Which one is best for you will depend on your comfort level. Standard massage is good, moves toxins through the body and is relaxing. But it often does not correct structural problems or offer enough correction in the range of motion. And, it is limited range of motion and inflammation that are causing pain.

It is a good idea to use the Internet to look for an individual trained in some of the more specific massage methodologies like deep tissue, neuromuscular technique, Thai massage and myofascial release. Any of these specialties offer much more in terms of somatic correction when combined with standard massage.

Qigong Therapy: Qigong is an ancient Chinese system of energy cultivation. Also called “breath work,” qigong exercises balance energy in the body through coordination of thought, breath and movement in specific actions. The nucleus of qigong is the exercise of consciousness and vital energy. Regular practice of qigong exercises aid in regulating the functions of the central nervous system. Along with exercising and controlling one’s mind and body, qigong influences one’s physical states and pathological conditions. There are both practitioner applied and individual self-regulating qigong methods.

If you are in serious pain and can find a reputable local practitioner, make an appointment. If not, there are good qigong instructional programs available. Look into them. By calming the nerves, regulating blood pressure, relaxing the muscles and slowing the mind, the body can relax, move more blood and release its tight muscle holds. Less pain is not far behind!

Polarity Therapy: Like qigong, polarity therapy also sees the human body as being comprised of “life energy.” However, polarity therapy takes the view that the energy body is in a state of constant “pulsation,” with positive and negative poles and a neutral position. These poles and position form a kind of energetic “template” along the body on which a practitioner can apply touch and pressure to alter the pulsations and derive pain relief and better general states of health.

While it shares common ideas with acupressure and qigong, polarity therapy is more aligned with Indian Ayurvedic medicine and modern osteopathic and chiropractic theories of the body. When people have gone through the complete series of acupuncture or qigong treatments recommended by their practitioner and have not found substantial relief, trying polarity therapy may be the next best modality to embrace. Often times, a person’s polarity (positive/negative energy poles) is reversed and one or more polarity sessions can correct this.

Acupressure and Acupuncture: All Chinese body-healing practices are based on the idea that energy flows through the body in channels called meridians that transport energy and life essence from organ to organ. Where there is low energy or fluid blockage there is pain and soon disease.

Acupressure is the non-invasive and non-needle offspring of acupuncture. Both work on the same theory, and in both cases, the practitioner will either “needle” or apply finger pressure to specific points on the body. Using a correct “prescription” of points, the practitioner can in effect change the energy in a patient, open their channels and help their energy move more freely. Again, when energy moves freely… there is no pain or disease.

Acupuncture and acupressure are both widely practiced today and worth looking into. They have been around for 5,000 years and have helped millions of people… not too shabby!

Hypnosis: There is nothing more powerful than teaching your brain how to control pain and encourage healing. There are many forms of hypnosis and in some states only licensed psychologists can perform hypnosis on patients. The basic idea of hypnosis is to switch off the ideas in the mind that prevent one from achieving set goals. And issues like, “I am always in pain” and “Nothing ever helps” are negative mantras that keep one’s mind and body locked in the pain cycle. The sooner these thoughts are released and replaced with positive ones, the faster the pain relief and recovery begin.

Look online and see what is available in your area, but be sure that “pain” is on the top of their list of specialties rather than hidden under a dozen other areas like smoking, anxiety, weight loss and others.

Herbal Medicine: Chinese herbs promote healing through the bloodstream and meridian complex by balancing organ energy. Over several thousand years of use with millions of patients, herbalists have derived specific "patent formulas" for nearly every health condition… including pain. These formulas contain an average of four-to-six different herbs each—some for stimulating blood, others for coating the stomach, others for pulling the herbals to lower parts of the body. These Chinese herbal remedies are not single-dose herbs for problems, like we see in the West. Many herbs are combined into each formula to provide a well-rounded method of stopping the symptom while at the same time balancing the body to keep it from returning.

Since there are many types of pain (e.g., tendonitis, bruising, flesh wounds, headache, etc.), there are many pain formulas. Having the correct diagnosis will go a long way to choosing the correct formula for your pain. An herbalist will tell you if merely calming the liver or boosting kidney function will relieve the pain over time, or if an actual analgesic pain formula is needed along with a blood-moving formula. Thus, it is advised that one see an actual herbalist before attempting to self-diagnose and prescribe herbs.

Inversion Therapy: Two thousand years ago the Greeks discovered that hanging upside down at various angles for various amounts of time helped citizens with back pain. And today, inversion therapy is helping millions of people with tight muscles, herniated discs and sciatica.

Relieving back pain is the primary reason for considering inversion therapy, as it gently creates space between the vertebrae, lengthens the spine, relieves nerve pressure and stretches tight back muscles.

In addition to pain relief, regularly inverting will help you avoid the "shrinkage" that naturally occurs as a result of gravity over a lifetime. It also improves circulation and lymphatic drainage because when you’re inverted, gravity helps blood to circulate and the lymphatic system to clear toxins faster, easing the aches and pains of stiff muscles.

Trigger Point Therapy: Trigger points, a type of muscle stiffness, are the result of tiny contraction knots that develop in muscle and tissue when an area of the body is injured or overworked. Everyone has trigger points; the question is to what degree.

If you have lingering pain, tightness or restriction of certain movements, it is a good bet that you are experiencing the affects of a trigger point. Massage therapy is usually insufficient when trigger points have a hold on your body and are the cause of your pain. What is needed for relief here is sufficient deep sustained pressure to the "knotted-up area." As the trigger point is worked out, your body will undergo soft tissue release, allowing for increased blood flow, a reduction in muscle spasm and the break-up of scar tissue. It will also help remove any build-up of toxic metabolic waste.

Trigger point therapy can be received at the hands of a manual therapist trained in its method. There are also good self-treatment trigger point systems that can work just as well, or better. With a self-treatment trigger point system, you can apply pressure to the trigger points several times per day until relief is found.

To begin exploring these modalities, do an online search and read the Wiki pages. Call local practitioners for a consultation. The more information you have the better you will be able to choose the right one.

—Dr. Mark Wiley

Survey Shows Support For Healthcare Reform Plummeting

Survey shows support for healthcare reform plummeting As Democrats ponder the uncertain future of their healthcare overhaul plan, a new poll has found that public support for the current reform proposal may be eroding.

The Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll, conducted Feb. 3-5, suggests that although half of all Americans want some form of healthcare reform in the next two years, almost 40 percent do not want the legislation sponsored by the Democrats and the White House to form the basis for that reform, according to HealthDay.

John C. Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas said the results point to the American people’s loss of confidence in Congress and the White House.

"They’ve been soured on this," he said, quoted by the news source, adding that there was too much focus on the painful aspects of the reform—such as how to pay for it, whose taxes to raise and what benefits to cut—than on what people would gain from it.

Following last month’s surprise win of Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in a special Senate election, which led to the Democrat’s loss of a filibuster-proof majority, the party’s leadership decided not to proceed with the current healthcare bill but to reopen negotiations with the GOP.

However, the two sides have not yet come to an agreement on whether to begin from scratch or try to rework the bill that was passed by the House of Representatives last December.
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Obama To Consider Recess Appointments If GOP Continues To ‘Delay’ And ‘Obstruct’ His Nominees

Obama to consider recess appointments if GOP continues to 'delay' and 'obstruct' his nomineesPresident Obama lashed out at Senate Republicans last week, blaming them for holding up a number of his nominees for key federal positions. Obama warned the GOP that if they do not act on these "non-controversial" nominees that have "overwhelming support," then he would consider making several recess appointments when the Senate is not in session.

Since taking office the administration has announced nominees for 569 posts, but so far only 353 have been confirmed, Fox News reports. Obama faults the GOP’s "obstinacy," which he believes is "rooted not in substantive disagreements but in political expedience."

"I respect the Senate’s role to advise and consent, but for months, qualified nominees for critical positions in government—often positions related to our national security—have been held up despite having overwhelming support," Obama said.

The president’s appointment power would allow him to install his nominees while the Senate is in recess. To be confirmed, however, those appointments would need to be approved by the end of the next session of Congress.

Meanwhile, Republican leaders in the Senate have shot back at Democrats, stating that they had a 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority until just a few weeks ago and should have acted quicker on their own nominations, according to The Hill.
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Vitamin D Deficiency Linked To Higher Risk Of Colorectal Cancer

Vitamin D deficiency linked to higher risk of colorectal cancerA large European study has found that low levels of circulating vitamin D are associated with a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.

From 1992 to 1998, more than 520,000 participants from 10 western European countries completed detailed dietary questionnaires and gave blood samples. After tracking the subjects for several years, researchers identified 1,248 cases of colorectal cancer.

After matching those cases with the same number of healthy controls, the study’s authors found that participants with high levels of vitamin D experienced a 40 percent decrease in colorectal cancer risk when compared to subjects with the lowest levels.

However, while below average vitamin D levels were associated with an increased risk of developing the disease, extremely high levels of the nutrient were not related to any additional reduction in colon cancer risk.

Separate studies have also linked vitamin D to the regulation of glucose control, blood pressure and inflammation, three important risk factors associated with heart disease.

The best known sources for the nutrient are the flesh of salmon, tuna and mackerel as well as milk. The vitamin can also be taken in the form of nutritional supplements.
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Acupuncture May Help Treat Depression In Expectant Mothers

Acupuncture may help treat depression in expectant mothersAccording to a new study, acupuncture may be an effective way to treat depression in pregnant women.

Currently, nearly 20 percent of women report symptoms of despair during pregnancy, while approximately 10 percent meet the criteria for major depression. Coping with the disorder can be extremely difficult for many women who do not want to take anti-depressants during pregnancy out of concern for the developing fetus.

"Depression during pregnancy is an issue of concern because it has negative effects on both the mother and the baby as well as the rest of the family," said study author Rosa Schnyer.

In the study, a total of 150 pregnant women meeting the standards for major depressive disorder were separated into three groups. One-third of the respondents were given acupuncture specific for depression, another one-third was given control or "sham" acupuncture and the others were treated only with massage.

The researchers found that the women who received depression-specific acupuncture experienced a significantly greater decrease in symptoms related to the disorder.

Acupuncture may also be used to help alleviate symptoms associated with headaches, lower back pain and menstrual cramps.
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Pediatric Patients With Chronic Pain Look To Acupuncture

Pediatric patients with chronic pain look to acupuncture As part of a new study to analyze the effects of acupuncture on reducing pain and increasing the quality of life in children, doctors from the Rush University Medical Center are now offering pediatric patients access to the ancient Chinese therapy to alleviate the negative side effects associated with many chronic illnesses.

The Children’s Hospital at Rush has begun offering acupuncture therapy to children between the ages of 5 and 20 who are experiencing pain, nausea and fatigue caused by intensive therapy for health problems.

Researchers have reported a lack of treatment options for youngsters experiencing consistent pain. Separate studies have indicated that nearly 70 percent of pediatric patients dealing with severe pain do not experience adequate relief using conventional therapies.

"Many children with chronic or acute health issues turn to complementary or integrative approaches after all other conventional treatment options are exhausted," said Angela Johnson, Chinese medicine practitioner at Rush.

"Parents should be aware that integrative therapies like acupuncture can be helpful from the onset of disease and can have a tremendously positive influence on a child’s quality of life," she added.
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Obama’s Kenyan Aunt Battles Deportation

Obama's Kenyan aunt battles deportation President Obama’s paternal aunt Zeituni Onyango, who is a citizen of Kenya and living in the U.S. illegally, appeared in a Boston court recently to fight a deportation order issued in 2004.

Onyango, who is wheelchair bound, testified before Judge Leonard Shapiro about her asylum request, according to media reports. Her previous request filed in 2002 was denied both in first instance and on appeal, but the 57-year-old remained in the U.S. nonetheless.

The latest round began in December 2008, when the deportation order was suspended pending a new asylum bid. Judge Shapiro did not issue a ruling last week, and attorneys have 30 days to file written closing briefs. The hearing may be continued on May 25 if there is no decision before then.

The case has come under fire from immigration reform proponents, such as Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, who said it is symptomatic of what is wrong with the U.S. asylum adjudication process.

"Her case is all too typical, where you have people who have had countless bites at the apple, continuing to press appeal after appeal…and never actually being removed from the country," he said, quoted by OneNewsNow.com.

Mehlman added that this only encourages immigrants to abuse America’s asylum policies.

A spokesperson for Obama said the president is not involved in any aspect of the case.

"This is a legal issue, and the president strongly believes that the law should be followed by everyone," press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters last week, quoted by CNN.
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