November 8, 2011
By Ben Popken
Bank of America charged Roger $39.23 in interest on his credit card, even though he had a zero balance. How could that be?
Chicago Tribune reports that when Roger asked Bank of America for an explanation, he got one. But it didn’t make sense. He had run up a $5,734.13 balance, got $1,450 in credit from two of the merchants, and paid off the remaining balance. So how can you get charged interest where there’s nothing due on the account?
Bank of America told Roger that those credits “are not considered payments,” therefore, “the interest charges were applied correctly.” He contacted a 2nd Bank of America rep to verify, and got the same response.
When Chicago Tribunes “Problem Solver” columnist Jon Yates stepped in, the bank changed their tune. They agreed to waive the fees as a “courtesy” but said the interest charges were valid. They claimed the interest was from a $600 balance Roger had carried. Roger says that doesn’t make sense either because he carried that balance during a 0% promotional interest rate period.
“They never gave me a real good explanation,” Roger told the Chicago Tribune. “I’m not sure that they understand it.”
Word to the wise, if you got a large amount of credit back on your Bank of America credit card, better check your next statement to make sure you they’re not erroneously charging you interest.
November 8, 2011
By Paul Bedard
The Obama economy is so bad that 77 percent of small business owners do not plan to hire any more workers despite all of Washington’s hype that the business climate is getting better. Worse: 64 percent of small business owners in a new survey provided to Whispers see the nation teetering on the verge of another recession.
Most shocking of all in the survey of small and medium sized business owners is that many would like to hire more workers but can’t, and new financing rules imposed by hurting banks have made getting loans sharply more difficult than in the past. [Read: What Obama Can and Can't Do to Create Jobs.]
“Despite positive job numbers for the month of October, it is clear that business owners have a differing view of the economy,” said Connie Certusi, executive vice president and general manager of Small Business Accounting Solutions, a division of Sage North America. Sage, a business management software supplier, conducted the survey among its 3.2 million customers. [See the 10 best cities to occupy.]
“The Sage SMB Perspective on Economic Recovery survey found that 64 percent of business owners who participated in the survey believe that we are either already in a recession or are headed for one in the next six months,” said Certusi. “Not surprisingly, 65 percent of respondents in the Sage SMB Perspective on Economic Recovery said that the negative economy has had an impact on their own business.” And, “The most telling statistic,” she added, “is that 48 percent of business owners would like to hire additional employees but cannot due to issues related to the bad economy.”
[Read about the president's proposed student loan rules.]
The survey will provide fodder to those in Washington worried most about the economic impact on small businesses, the sector Democrats and Republicans agree is key to creating jobs.
Sage broke its survey down by the numbers of employees businesses have. Below is the average response of all of those small businesses surveyed.
November 8, 2011
By Greg Glaser
In times of peace, every State in America allows exemptions from vaccines on religious, moral, and/or philosophical grounds, so vaccines are never technically mandatory.  Parents even have the power to assert the exemptions of their children.  The US government also admits that vaccine exemptions are available during both peacetime and during an emergency for parents and children alike. 
However, there is a potential loophole applied to children specifically that could theoretically be exploited by the powers-that-be. During an emergency, if a parent exercises a vaccine exemption, they can be placed into quarantine or isolation to ‘protect the public’. 
Once the parent is placed into quarantine/isolation, there is no guarantee that the unvaccinated parent and child will remain together in the same quarantine/isolation area (see legal citations below), so a parent can automatically lose his/her ability to provide guardianship to his/her minor children.
Thus, the children can become wards of the State upon a parent’s refusal to accept vaccination. And the State can be expected to vaccinate the children at its first opportunity, or put them in the care of a family member willing to vaccinate. 
In order to close this loophole and protect the right of children to be peacefully natural, States should do the following:
First, pass a clear law that parents in quarantine or isolation do not lose their fundamental parental rights to assert their child’s vaccine exemption.
Second, pass a clear law that during a declared emergency families shall be entitled to self-quarantine together by remaining on private property until cleared to leave by the family’s medical or naturopathic doctor.
November 8, 2011
Nation of Change
Chris Hedges made this statement in New York City’s Zuccotti Park on Thursday morning during the People’s Hearing on Goldman Sachs, which he chaired with Dr. Cornel West. The activist and Truthdig columnist then joined a march of several hundred protesters to the nearby corporate headquarters of Goldman Sachs, where he was arrested with 16 others.
Goldman Sachs, which received more subsidies and bailout-related funds than any other investment bank because the Federal Reserve permitted it to become a bank holding company under its “emergency situation,” has used billions in taxpayer money to enrich itself and reward its top executives. It handed its senior employees a staggering $18 billion in 2009, $16 billion in 2010 and $10 billion in 2011 in mega-bonuses. This massive transfer of wealth upwards by the Bush and Obama administrations, now estimated at $13 trillion to $14 trillion, went into the pockets of those who carried out fraud and criminal activity rather than the victims who lost their jobs, their savings and often their homes.
Goldman Sachs’ commodities index is the most heavily traded in the world. Goldman Sachs hoards rice, wheat, corn, sugar and livestock and jacks up commodity prices around the globe so that poor families can no longer afford basic staples and literally starve. Goldman Sachs is able to carry out its malfeasance at home and in global markets because it has former officials filtered throughout the government and lavishly funds compliant politicians—including Barack Obama, who received $1 million from employees at Goldman Sachs in 2008 when he ran for president. These politicians, in return, permit Goldman Sachs to ignore security laws that under a functioning judiciary system would see the firm indicted for felony fraud. Or, as in the case of Bill Clinton, these politicians pass laws such as the 2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act that effectively removed all oversight and outside control over the speculation in commodities, one of the major reasons food prices have soared. In 2008 and again in 2010 prices for crops such as rice, wheat and corn doubled and even tripled, making life precarious for hundreds of millions of people. And it was all done so a few corporate oligarchs, the 1 percent, could make personal fortunes in the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars. Despite a damning 650-page Senate subcommittee investigation report, no individual at Goldman Sachs has been indicted, although the report accuses Goldman of defrauding its clients.
November 8, 2011
By Scott Neuman
“Keep up the fight, occupiers. You’re making them mad. This is good. –KTRN
The nationwide Occupy movement might be targeting Wall Street, but it’s arguably municipal governments that have felt the biggest impact so far.
Protesters have staged weeks-long sit-ins at public spaces in cities from New York to Atlanta to Pittsburgh to Oakland, Calif. Although the demonstrations have been largely peaceful, hundreds of protesters have been arrested and there have been a handful of violent clashes with law enforcement.
Occupy has put mayors of these cities in a delicate situation: balancing respect for civil liberties with the need to maintain law and order and limit the protests’ physical toll. The cost of policing the demonstrations has skyrocketed, and there is increasing concern over public sanitation in occupied parks and about keeping protesters safe, especially as winter nears.
And so far, there’s no sign that cold weather will put an end to the demonstrations.
“I’m planning to be the last one left in the park,” says 18-year-old Ethan Johnson, a North Carolinian at the Occupy D.C. encampment in the city’s McPherson Square. “And that’s at least until New Year’s.”
A Unique Challenge
David Sklansky, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, says the protests present a unique challenge for city officials and law enforcement.
“There are political questions to be answered here about how municipalities and their police forces weigh not only the interests in public safety but also their interests in maintaining public order and access to public spaces,” Sklansky says. “How do they do that in the context of a movement that has many members of the public as well as elected representatives sympathetic to it?”
A national poll published this week by the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and The Boston Herald suggests that Americans have a better impression of Occupy than of Wall Street. Of the 1,005 adults surveyed, 35 percent had a favorable impression of the Occupy movement, while 16 percent said the same for Wall Street and big business.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, has said he supports protesters’ right to assemble but that they can’t camp outside City Hall indefinitely. He led a recent conference call with seven other mayors to discuss how to handle the Occupy movement and, among other things, the impact on transportation, city services and costs.
Officials in Atlanta said late last month that the Occupy movement could cost the city $300,000. And in New York — where Occupy Wall Street began — police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has put the costs of extra security due to the protests at $2 million.
In Oakland — where protests shut down the city’s port last week and police fired tear gas during violent clashes with some demonstrators — Mayor Jean Quan told The San Jose Mercury News that the overtime bill for law enforcement would “bite heavily” into the city’s budget.
She put the cost at $700,000 and said the outlay meant that fewer community services would be available.
November 8, 2011
By Ethan A. Huff
The medical community is in the process of unveiling a “universal” influenza vaccine that it claims will prevent all flu strains with a single jab. The only problem is that, in the process, the system has inadvertently admitted that current flu shots are medically useless because they fail to target the correct flu strain in many cases, and they do not stimulate a natural flu-fighting immune response even when the strain is a match.
A recent report by CBS 11 News in Dallas / Fort Worth explains that researchers from the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have identified a compound they say spurs the growth of a key protein known as REDD-1, which prevents cells from becoming infected. By injecting this compound into patients, REDD-1 will increase, say the researchers, and thus effectively prevent any strain of flu from taking hold.
But what about current flu vaccines? Dr. Beatrice Fontoura, one of the head researchers involved with the new universal flu shot, explained to CBS 11 that it works differently than current flu shots because it “stimulates our own (immune) response which is already there and boost[s] it to fight an infection.”
In other words, flu shots being sold today at pharmacies across the country do not actually promote natural immunity at all, which begs an important question. If current flu shots do not boost the immune response, then what, exactly, are they good for?
November 8, 2011
By Dr. Josh Axe
Weight loss is almost always a topic of discussion. With the holiday season just ahead of us, eating, weight loss, and how to shed those unwanted holiday pounds comes up in many conversations. In fact, according to an article in the New York Post the average person gains about one pound during the six week holiday season. Doesn’t sound too bad until you take a closer look at the whole picture.
According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine that one pound gained in the short six week period is never lost and accounts for more than fifty percent of the weight the average person gains all year. What’s more is that it was reported in a study out of Tufts University for the USDA that overweight or obese people gain even more weight during the six week holiday season averaging in at five pounds.
You can stop worrying about your waistline when you add these seven amazing little fat burning foods to your daily diet. Of course that doesn’t mean you should give up exercise or eating a diet of mostly ‘real’ or ‘live’ foods. It also doesn’t mean you should overeat.
What it does mean is if you want to maintain the perfect weight for you then adding these seven essentials to your diet is key. When you give your body the right nutrients in the correct amounts it will reward you with a vibrant, youthful body inside and out. The body is created perfectly to balance itself, heal, and live at a healthy weight. Our job is to provide it with the nutrients it needs to do so.
Top Fat Burning Food #1: Cayenne Pepper
Touted by the likes of supermodel Giselle Bundchen and pop star diva Beyonce as weight loss secrets, cayenne pepper or capsicum has been used medicinally for centuries. Originally used by natives of Mexico and Africa this spicy pepper helps the body’s diet induced thermogenisis or production of heat. Studies on cayenne pepper also indicate that it aids in the increase of lipid oxidation. Lipid oxidation is when fat is burned for energy – a highly desirable action for weight loss.
But cayenne pepper’s connection to weight loss doesn’t end there. Cayenne peppers have been linked to decreased appetite and retarding or slowing the growth of fat cells. All of these are important factors in losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.
Top Fat Burning Food #2: Cinnamon
The smells of cinnamon take me to a place of comfort and warmth. This spice was once more valuable than gold and the medicinal uses for cinnamon date back to the days of the Egyptians.
When it comes to weight loss and cinnamon, new research out of a Maryland USDA research center revealed a surprise. Cinnamon was found to lower blood sugar levels. As this discovery was ‘accidental’ the team went on to further investigate cinnamon and blood sugar.
In a separate study conducted on sixty adults diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes the researchers found that taking as little as one-quarter to two teaspoons a day of cinnamon dramatically changed the sufferers blood sugar levels and insulin output. High blood sugar levels are closely associated with weight gain and obesity.
Add this spice to your coffee, tea, and sweet snacks for added flavor and a health boost.
Top Fat Burning Food #3: Ginger
Ginger is traditionally associated with the pickled type you get with sushi. However there’s a lot more to ginger than cleansing your palate. Ginger was once so popular in Europe it appeared on every dinner table as does today’s salt and pepper.
Ginger is a known metabolic activator and has been thought to increase metabolism by as much as twenty percent. Some people swear by ginger’s appetite suppressing abilities too. Although there is no scientific data on ginger and weight loss specifically, adding this to your daily diet is a powerful way to help balance your body. A balanced body is a healthy body.
Ginger can also help improve digestion and even soothe an upset stomach.
November 8, 2011
By John Phillip
“Some good news for us addicted to chocolate.” –KTRN
Everybody likes chocolate, a fact supported by the annual increase in consumption documented by chocolate manufacturers around the globe. This may be good news for many chocolate consumers, but caution is advised to carefully monitor the quantity consumed and the cocoa content of the product purchased. We now have documented evidence to explain how dark chocolate consumption lowers stroke risk in women and slashes heart disease risk in adults. Researchers publishing the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found high chocolate consumption correlates with a lower risk of stroke in women. Further proof of vascular benefits is documented in the British Medical Journal as scientists explain that chocolate consumption lowers heart disease risk by more than a third.
A number of recent studies have shown that eating chocolate has a positive influence on human health due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This includes reducing blood pressure and improving insulin sensitivity, a primary factor in diabetes development and progression in millions of at-risk children and adults. The World Health Organization predicts that nearly 24 million people will die from heart disease by the year 2030, yet proper diet and lifestyle could significantly lower the mortality rate.
High Levels of Chocolate Consumption Dramatically Lower Heart Disease and Stroke Risks
In an effort to confirm past research efforts that suggest a connection between chocolate consumption and lowered risk of heart disease and stroke, Dr. Oscar Franco and colleagues from the University of Cambridge in England analyzed the results of seven studies involving over 100,000 participants with and without existing heart disease. Researchers compared the group with the highest chocolate consumption against those with the lowest, taking into account differences in study design and quality of reporting.
November 8, 2011
By Science Daily
“Think pot is a gateway drug? Think again. Ever hear of cigarettes?” –KTRN
Cigarettes and alcohol serve as gateway drugs, which people use before progressing to the use of marijuana and then to cocaine and other illicit substances; this progression is called the “gateway sequence” of drug use. An article in Science Translational Medicine by study author Denise Kandel, PhD, of the Mailman School of Public Health; and Amir Levine, MD; Eric Kandel, MD; and colleagues at Columbia University Medical Center provides the first molecular explanation for the gateway sequence. They show that nicotine causes specific changes in the brain that make it more vulnerable to cocaine addiction — a discovery made by using a novel mouse model.
Alternate orders of exposure to nicotine and cocaine were examined. The authors found that pretreatment with nicotine greatly alters the response to cocaine in terms of addiction-related behavior and synaptic plasticity (changes in synaptic strength) in the striatum, a brain region critical for addiction-related rewards. On a molecular level, nicotine also primes the response to cocaine by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme―histone deacetylase―in the striatum. This inhibition enhances cocaine’s ability to activate a gene called FosB gene, which promotes addiction.
The relationship between nicotine and cocaine was found to be unidirectional: nicotine dramatically enhances the response to cocaine, but there is no effect of cocaine on the response to nicotine. Nicotine’s ability to inhibit histone deacetylase thus provides a molecular mechanism for the gateway sequence of drug use.
November 8, 2011
The Free Independent Sun
By Jack Wagner
Make sure everyone you know knows the Caucus is on Jan. 3, and that you can register at the Caucus as a Republican to vote for Ron Paul. Share with them this article, let them know that Ron Paul can win, and how to help him if they are so inclined.
Find Your Precinct: https://www.sos.state.ia.us/elections/voterreg/pollingplace/search.aspx
Iowa GOP: http://www.iowagop.org/
You can help Grassroots for Liberty make phone calls to Iowa to identify voters, ask them to speak for Ron Paul at the Caucus, and let them know how they can help.
Grassroots for Liberty – Iowa Voter and Stump Calls
Help the Grassroots for Liberty identify Ron Paul supporters in Iowa and ask them to speak on behalf of the good Doctor on January 3. Sign up to the site, read all the information, and start making phone calls.
The Official Campaign’s Phone Banking effort is currently focused on New Hampshire and Nevada, both important early Primary States. If you have extra time and energy after making calls to Iowa, feel free to help the Campaign win NH and NV. There may also be a push for Iowa through the Campaign’s Phone System, so getting signed up now is a good idea.