Joint Efforts Raise Awareness To Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Joint efforts raise awareness to help prevent urinary tract infectionsThe National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the Cranberry Marketing Committee recently announced that they will combine their efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of urinary tract infections (UTI) and how this condition can be prevented.

About 8.3 million visits to the doctor are attributed to UTIs each year, according to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC). Women are more likely than men to develop this problem, as nearly one in five women will develop a UTI in their lifetime.

The joint effort, called "Partnership in Education," involves the launch of an informational website which features an online health quiz and a blog where individuals can post their questions, in which doctors will respond.

The partnership also spreads awareness about the benefits of cranberry products, such as juice or supplements. Previous research has shown that cranberries contain a certain compound that may help to prevent UTIs.

John Davis, CEO of the NKF, said that increasing access to information about this health risk is important because "UTIs occur in the bladder, but if not treated promptly, they can spread to the kidneys, causing a more serious infection."

The NKUDIC reports that 20 percent of women who get a UTI will at some point develop another one.

Supreme Court Declines To Review Constitutionality Of Obamacare

Supreme Court declines to review constitutionality of ObamaCareThe Supreme Court has ruled that it will not review the healthcare reform law that was approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama earlier this year.

The nation's highest court on Nov. 8 declined to hear the first constitutional challenge to the healthcare reform legislation, according to media reports. The lawsuit, which was brought by a California conservative group, challenges the government's power to require citizens to obtain healthcare coverage or face financial penalties.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law by the President in March 2010, was recently rejected by voters in Arizona and Oklahoma, who approved amendments to prohibit aspects of Obamacare. Virginia, Idaho, Georgia, Louisiana and Missouri have also passed The Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, which prohibits any law from requiring individuals to have insurance coverage.

According to Reuters, some health policy experts predict that the healthcare law could be unrecognizable within a year. During a panel discussion on Nov. 5 at the Harvard School of Public Health, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former advisor to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and current president of the policy institute American Action Forum, said that conservatives in Congress will dismantle the bill through the discretionary spending process.

"It will slow down the implementation and put it on a timetable to be solved in the 2012 elections," said Holtz-Eakin, quoted by the news provider.

Bipartisan Commission Recommends Multi-Trillion Deficit-Reduction Plan

Bipartisan commission recommends multi- trillion deficit reduction planThe co-chairs of President Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform have released a preliminary proposal to reduce the national deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade.

According to CNN, three quarters of the cuts would be achieved through spending reduction beginning in 2012, while the rest would be accrued through tax revenue. The report from Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson proposes significant cuts to the defense budget, including a freeze on noncombat military pay at 2011 levels for three years and a reduction in pay to overseas bases by one-third.

In response to the report, the Aerospace Industries Association said the cuts in defense resources will compromise America's security efforts. The group added that history provides examples that cuts in defense spending were followed by the rise of threats that the U.S. was unable to meet.

Outside of the defense cuts, the proposal recommends eliminating 250,000 contractors, saving $18.4 billion, and freezing Federal pay for three years, saving $15.1 billion. In addition, the report aims to alter Social Security by lessening benefits for wealthier recipients and raising the retirement age to 68 by 2050.

The report recommends capping Federal health spending to the rate of economic growth plus 1 percent, which would limit growth of Medicaid and other health insurance subsidies.

While the the commission's framework has garnered criticism from some organizations, it has been praised by the Concord Coalition, a non-partisan advocate of fiscal responsibility.

"Bowles and Simpson have delivered a valuable and sobering fiscal reality check," said Concord Coalition executive director Robert Bixby. "Their recommendations put aside partisan rhetoric and get at the essential trade-offs we need to confront among spending, taxes and debt." 

The Adoption Of The Articles Of Confederation

It was 233 years ago this week that our original 13 colonies took a huge step toward nationhood. On Nov. 15, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation. The articles vested the conduct of war and foreign policy in a Federal government, but left everything else to the States.

The Articles of Confederation were modeled after the Swiss Confederation that had been established more than four centuries earlier. On Nov. 15, 1315, the Swiss defeated the powerful Austrian empire in the Battle of Morgarten, when the men of Schwyz (a Swiss canton) lured the Austrians into the mountains and ambushed them in a pass.

The men of Schwyz killed 1,500 Austrian troops, drove hundreds more into Lake Lucerne and put the rest to flight. The country’s inhabitants were so grateful they changed the name of their nation from Helvetia to Switzerland. The country has remained free, independent and faithful to its own Articles of Confederation for nearly 700 years.

Our own Articles of Confederation did not survive nearly as long. Too many Federalists objected to the almost total lack of power the articles gave the central government. Demands for a new Constitutional convention began almost at once.

We know what happened next. Some people still say it was a mistake.

–Chip Wood

Fighting TSA Thugocracy

There is growing resistance to the Transportation Security Administration’s airport porn show /grope fest, where TSA agents give airline passengers a choice of being irradiated while having nude photographs taken or being sexually assaulted in order to fly. And there are a few signs Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano may be backing down in the face of the growing resistance.

Already, talks are underway with pilots unions over pilot screening, and the TSA has decided that children under 12 should not receive the pat down.

But this is not enough, and airline passengers need to continue fighting the totalitarian thugocracy that is the TSA. For an example of how the TSA works, watch the video of Meg McLain, or go here to learn what happened to John Tyner, who is now being investigated by the TSA for refusing to be scanned or groped.

National Opt-Out Day is scheduled for Nov. 24, and travelers are being encouraged to declare they opt of the naked body scanners and submit to the enhanced pat down. This will muck up the system and allow the traveling public to see how innocent Americans are treated by TSA goons. But this should only be the beginning.

We encourage anyone going through airport security to record the experience. Video and audio of the TSA thugs at work is one of the best tools we have against the growing totalitarianism. And if you do make a recording, please send it to We’ll post any we receive on the site, and we guarantee your anonymity.

Airports actually have the right to their own opt-out. The 2001 law that created the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Representative John Mica (R-Fla.), who will chair the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the new Congress, reminds airports they have that choice.

It’s time for Americans to remind the airports, the airlines and the government that the choice actually belongs to the American people — and we choose freedom.


The Tea Party May Save Us Yet

There has been a huge sigh of relief in the corridors of Calgary’s oil towers following the Republican victory in the mid-term election. The GOP win assures much-needed changes in the Federal government’s energy policy; changes that will benefit American consumers as well as Canadian petroleum producers.

It seems certain that climate change legislation in the United States is dead for at least the next two years, and hopefully forever. That is good news for Alberta’s oil sands industry, which has been facing an uphill battle against Greens inside the old Democrat-controlled Congress.

"I think the playing field for Canadian energy will be a lot more level now,” said Republican David Wilkins, the Bush administration’s last ambassador to Ottawa.

Former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson agrees and says that while special interest groups will still keep up their lobbying efforts against oil sands, climate change legislation is DOA. That closes the casket on what could have become a border levy on Alberta’s oil sands.

A Fresh Look For Oil Sands
While Canadians may hate guns and embrace universal healthcare, many are happy about the Tea Party’s influence. This is true of Canadian petroleum executives who understood the threat of ousted Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). They realize that the 112th Congress will have a far more balanced approach to petroleum. Incited by President Barack Obama, Democrats had been making “clean energy” their mantra.

Finally, some sanity is restored. There is a growing realization that wind and solar power are incredibly expensive and are without significant infrastructure, and an understanding that neither will make a noticable dent in America’s energy appetite before the end of this decade.

This truth didn’t seem to faze House Democrats who wanted a national renewable-electricity standard. They were blissfully ignorant of a fundamental truth — that Green energy is more pie in the sky than it is juice on the grid.

Democrats also misunderstood America’s growing dependence on Arab oil. Consider the Obama drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Neither he nor House Democrats seem to comprehend that oil from the Gulf of Mexico was helping the U.S. reduce oil imports. And while the largely untested Bakken formation of the Dakotas and Montana is promising, it was Gulf Coast production that was making the difference.

Stopping The Greens Before It’s Too Late
A more conservative Congress can take immediate steps to re-establish offshore oil drilling and open up oil exploration in Alaska. This cannot happen too soon, as America faces an immense energy crisis — one that the Obama administration has recklessly ignored.

The GOP gets it, especially the conservative wing of the Party, which understands that fossil fuels are and will remain essential to America’s national security. Oil will account for more than 90 percent of U.S. transportation energy and more than two-thirds of U.S. electricity through the end of this decade. The newly elected conservatives promise to be an enormous improvement over the previous Congress, which was focused on strengthening the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007; an act which Obama reinforced last year with stimulus money.

What most Americans don’t realize is what folly taxpayer’s money was being spent on. There is a hidden clause in the Energy Independence and Security Act which was signed into law in 2007. It is found within Section 526.

According to that section, all Federal agencies — with the exception of NASA — are prohibited from purchasing carbon-intensive unconventional fuels:

“No Federal agency shall enter into a contract for procurement of an alternative or synthetic fuel, including a fuel produced from non-conventional petroleum sources, for any mobility-related use, other than for research or testing, unless the contract specifies that the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production and combustion of the fuel supplied under the contract must, on an ongoing basis, be less than or equal to such emissions from the equivalent conventional fuel produced from conventional petroleum sources.”

The U.S. military could not get its fuel from Alberta’s oil sands and instead had to rely on oil from nations like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, two countries renowned for their grassroots hatred of the U.S.

Last month, Energy & Capital pointed out what an obstacle this is, because America’s military is the world’s single largest purchaser of crude oil. Most anyone outside the Democratic Party will take Alberta over Arabia.

That is because most people have some common sense. They understand that having a strategic supply of oil next door in a democratic nation that shares a common language and core values is a good thing. But “most people” does not include Pelosi or Obama.

An Early Thanksgiving
Thank Heaven for the GOP’s victory. Without it, Obama would have been free to sign a climate bill that would have targeted Canada’s oil sands industry. Instead, Obama has been forced to admit that his hopes to put a price on the cost of carbon dioxide emissions — which he and the Greens blame for global warming — will be put on hold for at least the next two years. If you drive a car or heat your home you have to say: Hallelujah and pass the petroleum!

As you know, most Republicans campaigned against a so-called Cap-and-Trade bill that would have put a ceiling on U.S. climate pollution. We have a President that made “Going Green” a priority right after socialized medicine. Obama’s Cap-and-Trade bill was in fact passed by the House, but stalled in the Senate because it was rightfully branded harmful to the U.S. economy by conservatives and others who were not corrupt or feebleminded.

Energy Injustice Derailed
Obama has not given up on saving the environment. The President said he will push for more piecemeal incentives for developing alternative energies that could help the U.S. reduce its “carbon footprint.”

The Greens may get their way if Obama continues forward with his economic policies. A recession turned depression would certainly reduce America’s carbon footprint. It might even make the most radical of the Greens happy.

If you think I exaggerate, consider KAIROS, a coalition of half a dozen large liberal church groups in Canada that includes the United Church, some Catholics, Mennonites and Quakers. They have a staff of more than 20 and an annual budget that exceeds $4 million. Their largest project is called Energy Justice.

According to their Web site: “KAIROS is in the midst of Re-Energize: Time For A Carbon Sabbath, a three-year campaign for personal, community, and political change.”

You might think that Canadian Christian groups might be worried about the lack of democracy or even women’s rights in big Arab oil-exporting countries, some of which are known to finance terror groups like al-Qaida. Instead KAIROS, which unbelievably gets $1.5 million per year from the Canadian Federal government, has set its sights on something it considers far more evil: Alberta’s oil sands.

What is most frightening is that environmental groups like KAIROS have plenty of allies, including Obama, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Liberty For All
And while many Canadians decry American conservative policies, Canada, too, is reaping the rewards of the conservative revolution spreading within the U.S. Canada is like American liberals who oppose handguns yet sleep better at night knowing that criminals are wary of breaking into their homes because at least a few of the neighbors are packing pistols.

Both Canada and the U.S. need Alberta’s oil sands. Canada has roughly 180 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia. More than 95 percent of these reserves are oil sands deposits in Alberta. In the past decade, Canada’s oil production has steadily risen as new oil sands have come on-stream to replace aging, mature fields. This has been fortuitous to the United States, whose own aging fields have been in drastic decline. That the previous Congress thwarted this marriage of necessity borders on treason.

Next week I will be giving thanks with my family that there is new hope with the new Congress; hope sparked by the conservative ideals of the Tea Party, which are arresting the energy idiocy that is Obama and his Democrats.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

Tea Party-Backed O’Donnell Says Her Senate Loss Was Result Of ‘Republican Cannibalism’

Tea Party-backed O'Donnell says her Senate loss was result of 'Republican cannibalism'The Tea Party notched dozens of key wins in the midterm elections despite losses by some of the movement's most high-profile candidates.

In Senate races, Republicans Christine O'Donnell of Delaware, Sharron Angle of Nevada and Ken Buck of Colorado were trumped by Democratic opponents. Moreover, GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller is believed to be trailing incumbent Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), but The Wall Street Journal reports that write-in ballots are still being counted and the winner may not be announced until Nov. 29.

In a gubernatorial race that garnered a lot of national attention, Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) defeated Carl Paladino, who was supported by the Tea Party.

During a Nov. 3 interview on CNN, O'Donnell blamed her loss on insufficient support from the GOP, which she called "Republican cannibalism." She claimed that Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and political strategist Karl Rove were reluctant to support her candidacy, which she believes cost her a victory.

According to CBS News, the candidacies of O'Donnell and Angle may have prevented Republicans from gaining control of the Senate. The news provider suggests that the moderate politicians who were defeated by O'Donnell and Angle in September's primary election would have fared better in the general election. 

Natural Compounds Can Aid In The Treatment Of Some Forms Of Cancer

Natural compounds can aid in the treatment of some forms of cancerBeing physically active, eating healthy and receiving regular medical exams could all help to prevent or detect cancer at an early stage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, new research has discovered that a natural compound may also help in the treatment of some forms of this illness.

Researchers from the University Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium focused their study on a substance called narciclasine that is found in daffodil bulbs. The scientists used computer-based techniques to find the main factor in cancer cells that may benefit from narciclasine.

Genetically altered mice with human melanoma metastatic cells in their brain were either treated or not treated with the narciclasine substance. Researchers found that the narciclasine group lived significantly longer lives.

The scientists noted that the daffodil compound may inhibit the progression of aggressive brain cancer cells while having no effect on normal cells. However, they indicate that more research is set to be conducted on a clinically based trial.

The scientists are hopeful that natural compounds, such as narciclasine, will be effective for treating brain cancer patients, in addition to conventional therapies. 

NIA Backs Sarah Palin In Inflation Dispute

NIA backs Sarah Palin in inflation disputeThe National Inflation Association (NIA) has backed former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in her opposition to the proposed Federal Reserve stimulus measure.

After the Fed announced last week that it would buy up to $900 billion in Treasury bonds in an effort to stimulate the economy, Palin urged Chairman Ben Bernanke to "cease and desist," and expressed her opinion that the Federal government "shouldn't be playing around with inflation."

The former vice presidential candidate subsequently came under fire for her comments. The Wall Street Journal staff reporter Sudeep Reddy penned an article about food inflation, which suggested that the consumer price index's (CPI) measure of food and beverage prices has risen by less than 0.6 percent in the first nine months of this year.

However, NIA representatives countered this argument, saying that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) CPI is not a reliable indicator of any type of price inflation. In fact, the organization believes that the BLS has artificially manipulated the CPI downward, and the real inflation rate may be closer to 5 percent and may rise to more than 10 percent by early 2011.

NIA also expressed concern that if the current policies continue, the average American will depend on the government to survive by the 2012 presidential elections.

"Obama's strategy to get re-elected is to make as many Americans as possible dependent on him and scared to elect a true Libertarian candidate like Ron Paul, who will dramatically reduce government spending in an attempt to prevent hyperinflation," the organization stated. 

It’s a Banned Ol’ Flag

The Flag of the United States. The Stars and Stripes. The emblem of the land we love. It’s adornment, apparel, even automotive appliqué. As the avatar of American liberty, it’s deservedly revered. As the embodiment of American eminence, it’s unfortunately reviled.

While most of our hearts bleed true for the Red, White and Blue, some of the more puerile pinheads on the Left consider Ol’ Glory a punch line. They sully it, stomp on it, even set it on fire; all the while wrapping themselves in the very protections it epitomizes.

Last week the flag took on a new role for one 13-year-old in Denair, Calif.: Scarlet Letter. Cody Alicea is a student at Denair Middle School. Cody proudly displayed the flag on his bicycle in homage to his grandfather’s service in the military. Then, three days before Veterans Day, Stanislaus County, Calif. School District officials put an abrupt stop to Cody’s patriotic expressions. They demanded he remove the flag from his bike.

Allegedly, the flag was drawing complaints from some of Cody’s peers and fellow teachers’ union victims. According to Superintendent Edward Parraz, the mere sight of Cody’s flag-festooned five-speed was racially inflammatory.

"Our Hispanic, you know, kids will, you know, bring their Mexican flags and they’ll display it, and then of course the kids would do the American flag situation, and it does cause kind of a racial tension which we don’t really want… We want them to appreciate the cultures."

So, the Mexican kids are displaying the flag of an entirely different country (for now, anyway); and the Stanislaus County School Superintendent is concerned about their sensitivities should someone display the flag of the country in which they’re living? It’s been said before, but it bears repetition: If it’s the dumbest thing you’ve heard all week:

  1. Liberals—especially teachers’ unions—are involved.
  2. It’s happening in California.

Parraz went on to describe “racial tensions,” citing some unfortunate incidents during a Cinco de Mayo celebration. So, the English-as-a-second-language crowd objected to the American flag, months after a chaotic observance of… a Wednesday. (Mexican Independence Day is actually Sept. 16. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is… May 5.) We’re supposed to appreciate Mexican culture? Which Mexican culture—the culture of Mexico, or the culture of Mexican restaurants?

Either way, Cody should thank Parraz. I’m sure he’d be mortified to learn his shamelessly jingoistic flag-waving was upsetting Paco and Jorge while they celebrated the wrong holiday.

School officials did squeak out a weak claim that their primary concern was to keep Cody safe. From whom: Paco? Jorge? Presidente de México Calderón? If the Stars and Stripes incites violence, shouldn’t the Stanislaus School System have cracked down on the potential offenders, or at least taken away their case of Dos Equis?

By the end of last week, popular outcry had cowed the school into relenting on their bicycle flag-ban. But it’s worth noting that they even thought to bar Cody from displaying the flag in the first place. For every liberal whose idiotic action gets publicly pounded, how many go unnoticed? And considering we’re talking about an Orwellian overstepping of authority with our children, how many kids will simply assume their schools are right?

While the bizarre flap over Cody’s flag deftly demonstrates how the Stanislaus County Public Schools have successfully fostered racial hostilities based on elementary misconceptions about not one culture, but two, it also demonstrates just how far down the rabbit hole we’ve come thanks to our liberal friends. A 13-year-old kid was denied the right to fly an American flag three days before Veterans Day in order to assuage the delicate sensibilities of… other 13-year-olds.

The Democrats’ desperate bid to make room in their tent for people who speak English with a tilde has pushed out the people who speak English at home. The racial divisions deliberately exploited by the Democrats have left American children on the other side of the proverbial border. Cody Alicea just wanted to honor his veteran grandfather. But school administrators were concerned such honor would bring dishonor to them — I’ll presume in the eyes of Presidente Calderón.

The Barack Obama Administration says supporters of meaningful immigration reform are racist. Democrats claim that opposition to amnesty is racist. Presidente Calderón says the same thing. I say: when Democrat-backed teachers’ unions start going after our children — and our flag — racism is the issue, but it’s Americans — in the person of Cody Alicea — who are the real victims.

Meanwhile, out in front of Denair Middle School in Stanislaus County, Calif., there stands a flagpole…

Flying the American flag.

Certain Types Of Exercise May Help To Improve Arthritis Symptoms

Certain types of exercise may help to improve arthritis symptomsThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 27 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, while 1.5 million experience rheumatoid arthritis. These individuals may experience significant pain, inflammation or stiffness in their joints as a result. However, a new study suggests that leading a healthier lifestyle and participating in physical activities may help to reduce joint pain.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina recruited 354 adults who were at least 18 years old and had reported experiencing some type of arthritis. The subjects were divided into two groups, one of which participated in a two-month Tai Chi course. All of the participants received an 8-week follow-up evaluation, during which time the group that did not initially take part in the Tai Chi classes was then given this training.

The scientists discovered that there were improvements in pain, stiffness and fatigue among the individuals who had been immediately placed in the Tai Chi courses. These subjects also reported an overall better sense of wellbeing.

Leigh Callahan, the study's lead author, said the investigation "shows that there are significant benefits of the Tai Chi course for individuals with all types of arthritis."

The CDC reports that 44 percent of adults who suffer from arthritis do not participate in any physical activities. These individuals could consider adding Tai Chi to their daily routine to reduce their joint pain.

Stem Cells Repair Spinal Discs… Permanently!

While the United States government, scientists and the religious right continue to fight over the moral issues involved in stem cell research, the United Kingdom has already made strides toward medical cures with stem cells.

Back pain resulting from degenerated, damaged or herniated intervertebral discs (IVD) is now completely curable as a result of stem cell research and its scientific application. This news is huge, especially when one considers the sheer statistics related to back pain.

Back pain is the most common reason Americans visit their primary care physician each year. In fact, more than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 experience frequent back pain. With this comes millions of dollars per year spent out-of-pocket on pain killers, prescriptions, surgery, chiropractic and acupuncture treatments and massage therapy. It also accounts for a sizeable portion of the 50 billion annual lost workdays and $3 billion in lost wages.

While most back pain treatments like pills, physical therapies and surgeries try to address the symptoms of pain, inflammation and stiffness, they do nothing to correct the underlying problems that cause the issues in the first place. While it is true that surgery is thought to correct the problem (e.g., herniated disc), the truth is that 80 percent of all back surgeries are unnecessary and do not help the patient in the long run. What’s more, the trauma and scar tissue associated with the surgery often leaves the patient in worse condition than the original back pain.

Is back surgery a waste of time? Well, I used to think that in most cases it was a scam. Now, however, I have changed my mind. While I am still not in favor of surgery per se, I have come to know of a minor surgical procedure developed in the United Kingdom that not only helps the symptoms of back pain associated with disc injury or degeneration, but can actually cure it.

In 2006, Dr. Stephen Richardson of the University of Manchester’s Division of Regenerative Medicine uncovered a method whereby stem cells are used to completely regenerate damaged intervertebral discs (IVD) with no rejection from the patient’s body. In collaboration with Arthro Kinetics — a German biotech company — and the well-respected international Spinal Foundation, Richardson developed the procedure of using cell-based tissue to regenerate IVD at the damage site.

With it he is able to combine the patient’s own mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) with a “naturally occurring collagen gel” that can then be surgically implanted into the affected area. The invasion is minimal and therefore appealing to my sense of holism, as it reduces the chances of post-surgical trauma and side effects.

Richardson found that he was unable to utilize IVD cells to regenerate themselves. However, after years of research, he found that MSCs, which are located in the bone marrow, have the ability to grow into a range of different cell types, including muscle, fat, bone and cartilage. He developed the ability to combine the MSCs with a collagen gel and to then implant the combination into the damaged IVD tissue. Richardson and his team were soon able to see the damaged discs regenerate themselves.

In Richardson’s own words:

“The gel used, produced by Arthro Kinetics, is based on a collagen that is a component of many tissues within the body, a totally natural product that is similar to the gel already used clinically for the treatment of articular cartilage defects. The ability to re-implant this within the body with an arthroscopic procedure — similar to an endoscopy, in which a camera is inserted through a narrow tube into the body — means that there is only a very small scar on the back and the patient could hopefully return home on the same day or the day after the surgery. Once implanted, the differentiated MSCs would produce a new NP [nucleus pulposus] tissue with the same properties as the original and would both treat the underlying cause of the disease and remove the painful symptoms.”

The procedure is finishing clinical trials and will soon be available as a treatment in the UK. The result of such a successful and minimally invasive approach to traumatic back pain treatment is enormous. Billions of dollars will be saved in lost productivity and workdays, pain suffered, pills taken and useless surgeries.

For those suffering back pain as a result of degenerated or damaged intervertebral discs, utilizing your own stem cells to repair your own body is a blessing you may soon experience.

— Dr. Mark Wiley

BBC News

Kinzinger And Scott Represent Tea Party On GOP Transitional Committee

Kinzinger and Scott represent Tea Party on GOP transitional committeeTwo Tea Party-backed Republicans have been appointed to the GOP House transition team that is responsible for overseeing the party's shift from minority to majority. reports that Representatives-elect Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined more than a dozen incumbent Republicans on Nov. 9 to meet with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who is expected to become Speaker of the House in January. Scott was one of two African-American Republicans elected on Nov. 2.

The 22-member transition team, which is led by Representative Greg Walden (R-Ore.), recently met with Representatives Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) and Jim Nussle (R-Iowa), who each led their respective parties' transition into power — Capuano in 2006 and Nussle in 1994.

A notable exemption from the current transition team is Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who is the founder of the House Tea Party Caucus and who is aiming for the position of Republican Conference chairman, NPR reports. Her rival for the leadership post, Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), was named to the transition group.

"It's the ideas and ideals of the Tea Party that are important and need to be represented at the table," Bachmann told USA Today

A Simple Way to Tell if Your Produce is Organic

You’ve probably noticed those tiny stickers that appear on almost all fruits and vegetables. These stickers contain bar codes for the checkout clerk, but they also contain a secret the store might not want you to know.

Nutritionist Karma Metzgar of the University of Missouri writes that these stickers also tell you if the fruit is organic or genetically modified. On conventionally grown, non-organic fruit, the sticker has only four numbers. Organically grown fruit has a five-numeral code, which begins with the number nine.

Since organic fruits and vegetables now have to be in separate areas in grocery stores, this confirms that your apple hasn’t ended up in the wrong pile. The store does not have to reveal which fruits and vegetables are genetically modified, but you can find out by looking for the stickers that begin with the number eight.

According to Metzgar, this means a regular banana would have a sticker saying 4011, an organic banana would say 94011 and a genetically modified banana would say 84011.

Some people complain that the stickers are too hard to peel off, so it may be a relief to know that the sticker actually contains important information. And, the adhesive is completely safe to eat.

Bachmann Drops Bid For Chair Of Republican Conference, Endorses Hensarling

Bachmann drops bid for chair of Republican Conference, endorses HensarlingA potential rift within the Republican Party has likely been avoided as Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has dropped her bid to become the chairman of the Republican Conference.

According to media reports, Bachmann, who is a popular figure among Tea Party supporters, ended her campaign for the post on Nov. 10 and pledged her support for Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). Her announcement means that Republicans will dodge an internal election for the No. 4 position in the House hierarchy that could have alienated some Tea Party activists if Bachmann had been defeated.

Her decision is similar to the one made by Tea Party-backed Representative Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who opted not to challenge Represenatative Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for Majority Whip, the No. 3 slot in the leadership structure.

Bachmann said that her endorsement of Hensarling will not stop her from advocating for the Tea Party movement.

"I look forward to continuing my consistent support of the Tea Party," said Bachmann, quoted by The Wall Street Journal. “I plan to advance the Tea Party ideals through their listening arm, the Tea Party Caucus. It is my wish to bring new faces to the caucus, including freshmen members."

Bachmann's announcement came shortly after the chairman of, a portal for conservatives and Tea Party supporters, launched a petition drive to urge House Republican leaders not to intervene in Bachmann's bid. In a letter to activists, Richard Viguerie said that Bachmann and Hensarling both deserved an equal shot at chairing the House Republican Conference because they are both small-government, constitutional conservatives. 

Hunting Can Benefit Economy And Protect Conservation Land

Hunting can benefit economy and protect conservation landThe Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, among other protections, secures a citizen's right to participate in the popular sport of hunting.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) recently released a list of the top benefits of hunting. Outdoorsmen can contribute to the economy's recovery by capturing affordable and healthy food. In addition, individuals contribute to the economy by purchasing hunting gear. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey, Virginia hunters spend more than $480 million per year in trip-related expenditures.

By purchasing hunting licenses and paying special taxes on equipment, hunters have largely funded wildlife conservation efforts in America. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has purchased more than 200,000 acres of land available for hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, hiking and other recreational activities.

The VDGIF also reports that hunters play an important role in wildlife management by helping control the deer population, thus reducing pressure on crops, expensive landscaping and habitats needed by other wildlife.

Residents in South Carolina have expressed their enthusiasm for hunting as well, according to news affiliate WLTX 19. On Nov. 2, voters in the Palmetto State approved an amendment that makes hunting and fishing a constitutional right. The amendment also permits the state to legally provide for proper wildlife management. 

Fate Of Bush-era Tax Cuts Will Test Compromising Abilities Of Political Parties

Fate of Bush-era tax cuts will test compromising abilities of political partiesLess than two months away from gaining control of the House of Representatives, GOP leaders are offering a hard-line stance against President Barack Obama's agenda.

Since their sweeping victory in the Nov. 2 midterm elections, top Republican legislators have publicly expressed their plans to overhaul the healthcare reform, lower taxes for the wealthiest Americans and curb abundant government spending.

Representative Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who is expected to become the next House majority leader in January, told Fox News that compromises between Democrats and Republicans will depend on how much the President and his administration are willing to listen to the voters' resounding message on election day.

The two parties' willingness to compromise will be tested in the upcoming lame-duck session on Capitol Hill, as the nation's Bush-era tax breaks are set to expire on Dec. 31. Most Republicans and some Democrats believe the cuts should be extended for all Americans, while the President and most liberal legislators want the breaks to be extended for only families earning less than $250,000 per year.

According to The Wall Street Journal, two top Senate Democrats recently proposed an idea of extending the tax breaks for all Americans, but for a limited time only. Senators Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) each suggested extensions to the current breaks that would be followed by an overhaul of the tax code to reduce government deficit.

The news provider reports that Republican lawmakers expressed cautious interest in the Democrats' proposal because the approval of a tax overhaul bill may limit the GOP's ability to block future tax increases.

Exit Polls Reveal That Americans Want Stricter Immigration Laws

Exit polls reveal that Americans want stricter immigration lawsMore than 60 percent of voters in the midterm elections said that President Barack Obama has not been aggressive enough in enforcing immigration laws.

According to exit polling, approximately 69 percent of voters said that immigration is an important public policy issue, with 61 percent claiming that the President has not done enough to prevent illegal immigration. Only 4 percent of voters believe that the current administration is enforcing immigration laws too vigorously.

The survey was conducted by The Polling Company, on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

"[The midterm] elections leave no doubt that the American people are deeply uncomfortable with the overall direction of the country," said Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "Exit polling indicates that President Obama's refusal to enforce immigration laws and the Democratic leadership's promotion of amnesty for illegal aliens are part of what led to [a] decisive vote of no-confidence."

Officials from the nonpartisan organization Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) believe that the elections — which resulted in big gains for the Republican party — reflect the nation's need to reform an out-of-control immigration policy. The group states that lax enforcement of workplace laws is allowing millions of undocumented individuals to work in the United States illegally.

Marilyn DeYoung, chairwoman of the board of CAPS, suggests that there should be a mandatory verification of the eligibility of workers and an increased security at U.S. borders. She hopes that the newly elected Congress will listen to the electorate and reject the "open-border and cheap labor lobbies that have dictated immigration policy." 

Planning For The Worst

If you’re going on a vacation, you plan your trip. Especially if a family is involved, hours are spent determining where to go, what to do, how to get there, how much you can spend and what to do with the mail and the pets while you’re gone. If you’re getting married, you not only spend countless hours planning every detail of the ceremony, but you’ll often hire a wedding planner to help with that planning.

Planning for daily lives can involve a desk calendar, smartphone with calendar apps and email notifications of important events, daily Internet reading of planning blogs and attending periodic planning seminars.

But for some reason, the thought of being in the wild (or a wild situation), either by choice or necessity, doesn’t always trigger such planning efforts. That’s a confusing conundrum, because outdoors, away from constant electronic support and contact and with your own life and possibly the lives of others at risk, the lack of planning can be catastrophic.

Cody Lundin, survivalist and co-star of Discovery Channel’s Dual Survival, listed five steps of planning for outdoor excursions in his book, 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive! In a chapter that deals with the “Seven Ps” of the military saying, “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance,” Lundin stresses the need for Physical Preparation, Mental and Emotional Preparation, Materials Preparation, Dangerous Scenario Preparation and Spiritual Preparation.

  1. Physical Preparation: Outdoor activities are synonymous with physical stress and unique sanitary conditions. Maintaining a proper level of physical fitness, health and hygiene is strongly recommended.

This is one of those truths you encounter in life that is so obvious, you forget about it. It’s clear that if getting up from the easy chair for a refrigerator run tires you out, there’s no hope in a situation that requires extreme or prolonged physical exertion. It’s just so much easier to tune to another channel and put off conditioning until another day. Peter Drucker, also known as “The Man Who Invented Management,” said, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans.”  Make a commitment to get in shape and stay in shape.

  1. Mental and Emotional Preparation: Self-confidence is the key and is the result of proper prior planning, skills practice, personal belief systems and your overall backcountry experience.

Drucker also said, “Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately generate into hard work.” Pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone during training results in a mental and emotional attitude that will recognize a dangerous situation and act accordingly. Your attitude changes from that of panic to that of, “I can handle this.”

  1. Materials Preparation: Pack the right equipment for the job (maintained and in proper working order) and know how to use it. Having back-up equipment for critical goods is wise in case of loss or failure.

The noted philosopher Winnie the Pooh once said, “Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” No matter how much training you do or mental fortitude you possess, you’ll do much better in an emergency with an organized supply of survival gear.

You can buy a ready-made kit, start with a purchased kit and add to it or construct your own from scratch. Amazon has a great source list of survival supplies, hurricane survival supplies, and an emergency disaster kit. In addition, Popular Mechanics has a guide on “How to Disaster-Proof Your Life.”

  1. Dangerous Scenario Preparation: Weird stuff happens. Play out possible nightmare scenarios with others in your party, including travel routes, leadership roles and relevant environmental emergencies.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower had this to say about battle plans: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” In most emergency situations, the plans you’ve made won’t unfold exactly the way you expect (an emergency is a series of extreme variables), but preparing for worst-case scenarios will allow you to deal with the inevitable snags that do arise. Don’t allow yourself to go into a “doubt spiral” of increasingly worse scenarios, but do plan how to deal with scenarios unique to your situation. If you’re in a hurricane-prone area, you’ll prepare differently than someone who lives in the mountains.

  1. Spiritual Preparation: A strong grounding in a presence larger than oneself is an extremely powerful force and imparts the gift of a positive, holistic eagle’s-eye view of the current situation and life in general. I have been fortunate enough to witness “atheists” praying during a compromised wilderness scenario, and it is a profound sight to behold.

King Canute (c. 994-1035) once ruled England, Denmark and Norway. It’s said that Canute, fed up with fawning members of his court who claimed he was so powerful that even the tide would obey his command, had his throne carried to the edge of the sea. There, he commanded that the advancing tide stop in its tracks. When it didn’t, he told his courtiers that, “the power of kings is vain and trivial, and that none is worthy of the name of king but He whose command the heaven, earth and sea obey by eternal laws.”

Canute couldn’t command the waves, and you can’t command your circumstances. You’re not in control, and you don’t have to be. The sooner you realize this, the more likely you’ll be to remain calm when things get out of hand.

Adding Beets To One’s Diet May Help Lessen Age-Related Memory Loss

Adding beets to one's diet may help improve age-related memory lossMemory loss is a common symptom among individuals who suffer from dementia. Everyday tasks, including speaking, may become difficult. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that memory problems may also be caused by Alzheimer's disease and stroke.

However, a new study suggests that there are healthy, nutritional ways people could boost blood flow to their brain, which may help to protect against age-related memory loss disorders, such as dementia.

Researchers from Wake Forest University examined how beets, which are rich in nitrate, can have a positive affect on a person's brain. Previous studies have shown that the body can turn nitrate into nitrite. Gary Miller, the study's lead author, said that "one of the great things about nitrite is that it seems to head straight for the places that need more oxygen supplied by increased blood flow."

In their findings, the scientists discovered that beets help to open up blood vessels and improve blood flow to the brain.

The researchers indicated that individuals should maintain a healthy diet that also consists of fruits and vegetables. Foods that have high concentrations of nitrates include celery, cabbage, lettuce and spinach.