Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tell your Representative to support SCHIP

If you have been following the news or this blog, you know that President Bush vetoed bi-partisan legislation sent to him by Congress that would extend the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to include more currently uninsured children. The President claims that extending this program would be an extension of socialized medicine, yet the private sector has clearly failed, with 47 million Americans lacking health insurance, to protect the health care of its citizens, including working Americans.

This bill already enjoys a veto proof 2/3 majority in the Senate. The problem is in the House of Representatives. Although 45 Republican Representatives joined with Democrats in the House, the bill is still 21 votes shy of the 2/3 majority needed in the House to override the President’s veto. It is sad that there are some Republicans that will place Conservative ideology ahead of what is good for America’s children.

On October 18th, Congress will vote to override President Bush’s veto. What you must do is call your Representative at 1-866-544-7573. Ask the switchboard operator for your Representative’s office. If you do not know who your representative is visit: Insert your zip code in the upper left hand corner. Urge him or her to override President Bush’s veto and provide health insurance for millions of American children.

If you are one of the 47 million uninsured Americans and earn too much for Medicaid, visit Health Plans Plus for information on how to find an affordable benefit program.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Al Gore - A Man of Vision

On Friday, October 13, 2007, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to former Vice President Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of international scientists dedicated to climate research, for their role in spreading awareness of the danger of man-made climate change and the need to come up with solutions to solve this problem which threatens our environment. The Nobel Peace panel stated that Mr. Gore is: “probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.”

We are already seeing the effects of global warming. There are NASA photographs showing the melting of the arctic ice cap, and glaciers have been receding in both the arctic and Antarctic regions of Earth as well as mountain ranges. We have already seen some of the results of the melting glaciers. Some indigenous populations have lost houses in the melting permafrost. It is reported that polar bears that must rely on arctic ice to hunt their favorite prey, seals, are growing thinner. Many Arctic and Antarctic species will be threatened with extinction as they lose their habitats.

Humans will be affected as well. If the ice continues to melt, sea levels will raise and eventually coastal cities will flood. There are already portions of Africa experiencing widespread drought. Much of the Earth’s fresh water is contained in this ice. More and more areas on Earth will experience drought. Both flooding and drought will cause mass migration of people and will as a result lead to a refugee crises and even warfare as more and more people compete for fewer resources. In the more immediate future, we can expect to experience unusually warm weather and more Katrina like storms with their devastating effects.

Al Gore is truly a man of vision. He has been passionate about the subject of global warming for many years. His passion in bringing the effects of climate change to the attention of the world will help future generations and other countries for many years to come.

Al Gore has always been my hero. I first experienced his passion when I watched him on the campaign trail as he campaigned for the 2000 Presidential election. When he said that he would fight for working America, I knew how devoted he was to helping everyday Americans. I felt this passion.

Mr. Gore is truly a man of vision and insight. He has not only called it right on global warming and the threat to the environment, but he has been right on so many issues including the disastrous war in Iraq, the torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and on the erosion of our civil liberties by the Bush administration. As an American citizen, I can only lament what would have been had Al Gore, the winner of the popular vote in the 2007 American presidential election become President. Unfortunately that was not to be when the U.S. Supreme Court selected George Bush as President in the closely contested election. But the United States’ loss is the world’s gain, as Al Gore fights for all of Earth’s peoples.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Hormone Replacement Therapy - First Do No Harm
Part 1 - Estrogen Replacement Therapy (EST)

Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing egg cells and menstruation ceases. At the same time, a woman’s body produces less estrogen and progesterone, the two main female hormones. This reduction in hormone levels may lead some women to experience bothersome symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, insomnia, anxiety, and mood swings.
While these symptoms are the result of natural processes and can be relieved by natural remedies, along came the big pharmaceutical companies to make a disease out of menopause and as a result increase profits.

The first hormone replacement medication was the drug Premarin. This medication consists of horse estrogens taken from pregnant mares—hence the name PREgnant MARes urINe. The pregnant mares were usually kept in cramped conditions so they could be on a urine production line. The majority of the resulting foals were destined for people’s tables and sold for slaughter. Horse meat is a delicacy in some overseas market.

It has long been known that estrogen (both natural and synthetic) can increase the risk of certain cancers, yet these hormones continue to be prescribed by physicians. Estrogen has a direct effect on the uterine lining and is known to increase a woman’s risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer and some pre-cancerous conditions such as atypical hyperplasia. Estrogen can also increase the risk of breast cancer because of the effect of estrogen on breast tissue as well as development of potentially deadly blood clots.

Although the best course is to treat menopause as the natural body process that it is, if menopausal symptoms are intolerable, there are several natural therapies that can bring relief with minimal or no side effects. These therapies include black cohosh, red clover, and soy.

Black cohosh (also spelled cohash) has been used for many years as an effective alternative herbal treatment for menopausal symptoms. This herbal remedy has even gone mainstream. In 2001, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated that based on consensus and expert opinion, black cohosh could be helpful for the symptoms of menopause. The pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline, now markets black cohosh, sold under the name Remifemin, as a treatment for the vasomotor symptoms of menopause (hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, etc.). Remifemin has been the subject of double blind, placebo controlled tests proving its effectiveness without causing the effect on breast tissue that estrogen can have.

Red clover and soy are two other supplements that can be beneficial for menopausal symptoms. Red clover is a source of both phytoestrogens and isoflavones which are plant estrogens which mimic human estrogen. This product is also marketed under the name Promensil and has been the subject of research studies proving its effectiveness. Soy products, available in both food and supplement form, also contain phytoestrogens and may provide some relief of menopausal symptoms.

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