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Citizens for Health Alert – 10 Days Left To Say “NO” To NDI Guidance

November 22nd, 2011 No comments

November 22, 2011

Dear Citizen for Health,

By now you are familiar with our campaign opposing the FDA’s “Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues”. We believe this document reflects the FDA’s intention to willfully and grossly misinterpret the law, especially the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), regarding New Dietary Ingredients (NDIs) and filing submissions for them.

Thousands of you have demonstrated your commitment to health freedom with messages to your elected representatives and comments to the FDA, and we at CFH have submitted ours as well. You can read those comments here.

The deadline for comments is December 2. With only ten days left, we’ve created a petition to be delivered to Congress and the Presdient calling on them follow up with the FDA once the comment period closes as a final push to get this dangerous Guidance withdrawn. The targets here are different, so if you have already sent comments to the FDA, augment your voice by signing the petition too!

Sign the petition now!

As we’ve already made clear, if this guidance moves forward to govern future FDA policy it will strike at the very root of our health freedoms, and supplements and other products generally recognized as safe for nearly two decades will be re-assessed as if they contained new ingredients. This would cause major disruption in the dietary supplement market; force a significant number of products off the shelves; and result in revenue losses of over a billion dollars and the unemployment of over 100,000 Americans.

That’s why we need your help now, more than ever, to have the kind of impact that will make the FDA withdraw the guidance.

We want to amss at least 10,000 signatures in the next ten days so act quickly, and be sure to keep an eye out for further developments in this critical campaign.

As always, thanks for your participation,

Read more…

Categories: Be Socially Responsible Tags: ,

Protect Your Supplements from the FDA – File a Comment

November 21st, 2011 No comments


Besides emailing your senators and congressperson as explained in this post, it’s important to file your comments with the FDA itself, which will appear in the Federal Register and hopefully add to the voices of others and help save our supplements; otherwise, the FDA will claim that no one objected.

The link below will take you to where you can Submit a Comment. In one of the mandatory fields, it asks you the name of your organization: you can enter Citizens for Health in this (they’re one of the organizations leading our fight to save our supplements).

Feel free to customize your message and tell the FDA why access to supplements is important to you. The Comment form only allows a few words, so you might want to just put a short summary in it and save a more detailed message in a text (.txt) file, which it allows you to attach.

You can copy the text found here (sample letter) or modify the letter to congresspersons found here , and paste it into Microsoft word, word pad or notepad then save it as a .txt file.
Please note that, due to many requests from people who would be harmed by their loss of supplements, the FDA has granted an extension for us to file our comments — but we must submit them quickly, as they will not consider any submitted after December 2,  2011.

Link to where you can Submit Your Comments:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2011-D-0376-0079

Organization:
Citizens for Health

Notice by the FDA of Comment period extension until December 2,  2011:

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 175 (Friday, September 9, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Page 55927]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-23098]
——————————

—————————————–

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Food and Drug Administration
[Docket No. FDA-2011-D-0376]
Draft Guidance for Industry; Dietary Supplements: New Dietary  Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues; Availability; Extension of  Comment Period

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Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues

November 21st, 2011 No comments

Re: Docket No. FDA-2011-D-0376-0079, “Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues”

This guidance, if enacted, would put in place a series of onerous regulations for the supplement industry that will make it extremely expensive and difficult for the nutritional industry to keep manufacturing supplements — so expensive and difficult, in fact, that it will put most legitimate manufacturers out of business and potentially eliminate most supplements from the marketplace.

The rules as proposed seem innocent enough, requiring a stringent approval process for all supplements on the marketplace since 1994, when Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Information Act (DHSEA). DHSEA was actually intended to protect nutritional and herbal manufacturers from unwarranted FDA harassment, and allow Americans access to legitimate supplements.

The sponsors of DHSEA intended that the law would reduce the regulatory burden on supplement manufacturers, and provide a streamlined process of bringing new products to market. Instead of honoring the purpose of DHSEA, the FDA in its newly proposed regulations seems determined to institute a complicated, burdensome, and financially prohibitive approval process for each and every new supplement on the market since 1994, akin to the drug approval process. No supplement company has the resources to finance such a procedure, which can run into the tens of millions of dollars for every new product. Experts who have reviewed the proposed regulations claim that the FDA could insist that even previously available supplements would also be subjected to such requirements and be classified as “synthetic food additives” – and their manufacturers frankly would have to close down.

The FDA already has the power and authority to prohibit sale of mislabeled, harmful, or dangerous supplements. Through its Good Manufacturing Practices regulations already in place, supplement manufacturers must meet stringent requirements for safety and potency. The FDA also has the authority to punish manufacturers who make inappropriate unsubstantiated claims. In effect, the FDA already has all the power it needs to regulate effectively nutritional supplements.

A colleague said, “In all the years I have been fighting for freedom of choice in health care, the currently proposed regulations are the most troubling, most far-reaching, and with potentially the most catastrophic effects, not only for my own health, family and friends, but for those tens of millions of Americans who rightfully and intelligently use nutritional products for their health-supporting benefits. In other words, this bill creates extraneous red tape, paperwork, and burdensome labeling requirements when everything the bill mandates is already being accomplished under current law!”

During this time, supplements have enjoyed an unrivaled safety record. Statistics show they’re safer than prescription drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, and even safer than food!

According to the Poison Control Centers, there were no deaths due to supplements in 2008. In 2009, there was one.

When the Dietary Health Supplement Education Act was passed, Congress intended a simple notification process for new dietary ingredients. This guidance would turn this into a pre-approval scheme, which goes against the intent of the law. The FDA already has ample regulatory authority to take action against a product if it’s unsafe. They don’t need to have this pre-approval power, too.

This could be disastrous to public health. At a time when preventative measures are even more important to health care costs, the FDA is limiting access to preventative health care.

The guidance creates unnecessary regulations that limit my access to the dietary supplements I rely on. The expensive and burdensome process will force between 20,000 and 42,000 dietary supplements to be removed from the market and will increase the cost of those supplements that remain.

Read more…

Health Risks Of Herbal Dietary Supplements

November 21st, 2011 No comments

Health Risks Of Herbal Dietary Supplements
by Dr. James A. Duke

The front page of the health section of the March 19th, 2000 Washington Post, read: “Mounting evidence suggests that increasing numbers of Americans are falling seriously ill or even dying after taking dietary supplements [...] The victims include men and women of all ages as well as children whose parents are feeding them snacks, drinks and nostrums made with herbal supplements that are neither regulated by the federal government nor tested for their effects on the young.”

With such ominous articles appearing now regularly in the media, and with more and more people taking herbs, it makes sense to ask, “How does the harm done by herbs compare with harm done by other things?” Last year, several people called to ask me what I thought about another article in the Washington Post, “Health Concerns Grow Over Herbal Aids.”

My immediate reaction: mostly nonsense and some truth. The nonsense is fertilizing fears among the lay public and driving them back into the waiting arms of the greedy “pharmaceuticalists.” Two of my good friends were so alarmed by the negative press on herbs that they stopped herbs completely.

The growing health concerns from mass-media articles are being fertilized by trigger-happy journalists, pharmaceutical manufacturers and promoters, and physicians who know so little about herbs, many of them unfamiliar with the statistic from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that prescription drugs are killing 140,000 Americans a year. Herbs (usually through abuse or exceeding recommended dosage) are killing fewer than 100.

WHERE’S THE TRUTH

The elements of truth the Post article adduced apply mostly not to herbs, but synthetic supplements that never saw an herb. The Post article mentions ephedra, a Chinese herb, which can be used wisely and properly (in fact, various species have been used medicinally for thousands of years).

Reminding the readers that automobiles, which killed 41,826 people nationally in 1998, or diseases such as kidney disease, which killed 26,295, kill more people than herbs, the author of the Post article, in all fairness, should have included the other figures, the 40,000-100,000 killed by medical mistakes, the 98,000-140,000 a year killed by prescription drugs in American hospitals and the 77,000-88,000 killed by hospital-caused nosocomial infections. Surely he was aware of these figures. If not, he should not have condemned the more salubrious herbal statistics without comparing the pharmaceutical death rate.

I’ll do that for him today — honestly, not sensationally. Summary: regulated pharmaceuticals kill many more Americans than herbal medicine, a thousand fold more.

Then Guggliotta attempts to nail some of my herbal alternatives. St. John’s wort is fast becoming a Prozac “competitor.” Actually, St. John’s wort is fast becoming a Zoloft competitor, and is being studied as such at Duke University. I predict that St. John’s wort will prove to have fewer side effects than Zoloft. Kava is a more logical alternative to Prozac, less addictive and probably much safer.

Melatonin is a good remedy for jet lag with in my own experience. A supplement it is. An herb it ain’t. Ginkgo biloba allegedly slows dementia. Conversely, Tacrine (Cognex), the first FDA-approved drug for Alzheimer’s, helps about 25 percent of the patients for no more than two years, allegedly upsetting the livers of 25 percent of those patients.

Matter of fact, as Guggliotta says, senna, a natural purgative, was added to Ex-Lax last year to replace a a side-effect-associated synthetic chemical. I suppose Guggliotta’s comments might have herbal people, frightened by his comments, abandoning the ephedra and rushing out to get Ex-Lax for weight-loss and exercise regimes. Most of the alternative practitioners discourage the use of any laxative, natural or synthetic, for protracted periods. Instead, we urge exercise and diet (at least five fruits and five vegetables).

Read more…

Protect Your Supplements from the FDA – An Easy Method to Contact Your Senators and Congressperson

November 21st, 2011 No comments

Please contact your congressperson ASAP.

This website will automatically look up your senators and congressperson and email them: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/750/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8252 – This website has an already-written letter. Please copy the letter below and paste it the message box to replace the letter that is automatically shown.  The letter below is longer but it addresses the issue with more detail.  Read it as well to get educated on the issue.  The Senators seem to not know how wide of an impact this FDA regulation will be.

Detailed letter:

Subject: FDA Supplement Guidance Will Result In The Loss Of Tens Of Thousands Of Jobs and Cost the Economy $21.2 Billion To $39.8 Billion Annually.

What the FDA is telling Congress is misleading. In recent weeks, the FDA has launched an aggressive new campaign to put in place a series of onerous regulations for the supplement industry that in effect would drive most legitimate manufacturers out of business and potentially eliminate most supplements from the marketplace and increase the cost of others by many folds.

Unfortunately, there was a dangerous loophole in the 1994 DSHEA law: while supplements that existed at the time were protected by law, the FDA was given the authority to regulate any new ingredients introduced after Oct. 15, 1994.

What the FDA is telling Congress is misleading: that it has “released draft guidelines intended to assist the dietary supplement industry in deciding when a premarket safety notification for a dietary supplement containing a new dietary ingredient (NDI) is necessary, and in preparing premarket safety notifications. This guidance, when finalized, does not create new regulations or law”, but the problem is that the FDA is trying to turn the clock back with the laws it already has. Our elected officials clearly don’t understand the problem yet. The FDA is trying to turn the clock back with the laws it already has. The guidance document makes it clear that the FDA is willfully and grossly misinterpreting the law, especially the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), with regard to re-defining NDIs and filing submissions for them. The agency’s attempt to create new regulatory requirements using a guidance document is also in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and therefore the agency is in violation of the law.

Those of us who researched this issue need Congress’s help because it has the power to rein in the FDA and have done so in the past when many voters complained that their health would suffer if their supplements were taken away.

This is a blatant abuse of power. What the FDA is doing here is performing an end-run around the existing law. According to the law, the FDA has to prove a dietary supplement is unsafe for it to be taken off the market. These new guidelines turn that on its head. They are clearly not what Congress intended.

The FDA rules as proposed seem innocent enough, requiring a stringent approval process for all supplements on the marketplace since 1994, when Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Information Act (DHSEA). DHSEA was actually intended to protect nutritional and herbal manufacturers from unwarranted FDA harassment, and allow Americans access to legitimate supplements.

The cost of complying with these guidelines would be astronomical. Experts estimate that the studies required would cost between $100,000 and $200,000 per ingredient notification. That adds up to millions of dollars per supplement company. Smaller companies would not be able to afford this and would go out of business.

The economy is already hurting and we have high unemployment. If enacted as currently proposed, this guidance will have a massive impact to the dietary supplement industry and further hurts our economy. Expert analyses show that this guidance will cost the economy $21.2 billion to $39.8 billion annually and result in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

Numerous attorneys have pointed out that the FDA’s attempt to create new regulatory requirements using a guidance document is in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and that this amounts to illegal sleight-of-hand, using a guidance as a side-door effort to avoid the public meetings that would promote a more formal debate. Some have stated:

“The Draft Guidance on NDIs is contemptuous of the intent of Congress when it passed DSHEA, because instead of ensuring access to a full range of products, it obstructs their path to the marketplace. The guidance document makes it clear that the FDA is willfully and grossly misinterpreting the law, especially the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), with regard to re-defining NDIs and filing submissions for them. The agency’s attempt to create new regulatory requirements using a guidance document is also in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and therefore the agency is in violation of the law.

Read more…

Small-Scale Farmering is Better, Says UN Report

June 1st, 2011 No comments

The “Agro-ecology and the right to food” confirmed what many in the traditional food movement already knew, traditional small-scale farming is better than large-scale factory farming.

My vision is to see a community farm in every town, neighborhood, or every few city blocks.  Modernity and civilization do not have to equal a separation of people from the natural world. People are happier and healthier around plants and fresh food, people and food have always existed together, children need to see their food growing and pick up fresh food. This is better for the health, mind, soul, and as this report shows this is better for the society, economy, and the environment.

Eco-Farming can double food production in 10 Years, says new UN report

GENEVA (8 March 2011) – Small-scale farmers can double food production within 10 years in critical regions by using ecological methods, a new UN report* shows. Based on an extensive review of the recent scientific literature, the study calls for a fundamental shift towards agroecology as a way to boost food production and improve the situation of the poorest.

“To feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most efficient farming techniques available,” says Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food and author of the report. “Today’s scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live — especially in unfavorable environments.”

Agroecology applies ecological science to the design of agricultural systems that can help put an end to food crises and address climate-change and poverty challenges. It enhances soils productivity and protects the crops against pests by relying on the natural environment such as beneficial trees, plants, animals and insects.

“To date, agroecological projects have shown an average crop yield increase of 80% in 57 developing countries, with an average increase of 116% for all African projects,” De Schutter says. “Recent projects conducted in 20 African countries demonstrated a doubling of crop yields over a period of 3-10 years.”

“Conventional farming relies on expensive inputs, fuels climate change and is not resilient to climatic shocks. It simply is not the best choice anymore today,” De Schutter stresses. “A large segment of the scientific community now acknowledges the positive impacts of agroecology on food production, poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation — and this is what is needed in a world of limited resources. Malawi, a country that launched a massive chemical fertilizer subsidy program a few years ago, is now implementing agroecology, benefiting more than 1.3 million of the poorest people, with maize yields increasing from 1 ton/ha to 2-3 tons/ha.”

The report also points out that projects in Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh recorded up to 92 % reduction in insecticide use for rice, leading to important savings for poor farmers. “Knowledge came to replace pesticides and fertilizers. This was a winning bet, and comparable results abound in other African, Asian and Latin American countries,” the independent expert notes.

“The approach is also gaining ground in developed countries such as United States, Germany or France,” he said. “However, despite its impressive potential in realizing the right to food for all, agroecology is still insufficiently backed by ambitious public policies and consequently hardly goes beyond the experimental stage.”

The report identifies a dozen measures that States should implement to scale up agroecological practices.

“Agroecology is a knowledge-intensive approach. It requires public policies supporting agricultural research and participative extension services,” De Schutter says. “States and donors have a key role to play here. Private companies will not invest time and money in practices that cannot be rewarded by patents and which don’t open markets for chemical products or improved seeds.”

Read more…

Death by Medicine

January 10th, 2011 No comments

Death by Medicine, Part I

By Gary Null PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, Dorothy Smith PhD

ABSTRACT

A definitive review and close reading of medical peer-review journals, and government health statistics shows that American medicine frequently causes more harm than good. The number of people having in-hospital, adverse drug reactions (ADR) to prescribed medicine is 2.2 million.1 Dr. Richard Besser, of the CDC, in 1995, said the number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections was 20 million. Dr. Besser, in 2003, now refers to tens of millions of unnecessary antibiotics.2, 2a

The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million.3 The number of people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million.4 The total number of iatrogenic deaths shown in the following table is 783,936. It is evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States. The 2001 heart disease annual death rate is 699,697; the annual cancer death rate, 553,251.5

TABLES AND FIGURES (see Section on Statistical Tables and Figures, below, for exposition)

ANNUAL PHYSICAL AND ECONOMIC COST OF MEDICAL INTERVENTION

Condition Deaths Cost Author
Adverse Drug Reactions 106,000 $12 billion Lazarou1 Suh49
Medical error 98,000 $2 billion IOM6
Bedsores 115,000 $55 billion Xakellis7 Barczak8
Infection 88,000 $5 billion Weinstein9 MMWR10
Malnutrition 108,800 Nurses Coalition11
Outpatients 199,000 $77 billion Starfield12 Weingart112
Unnecessary Procedures 37,136 $122 billion HCUP3,13
Surgery-Related 32,000 $9 billion AHRQ85
TOTAL 783,936 $282 billion

We could have an even higher death rate by using Dr. Lucien Leape?s 1997 medical and drug error rate of 3 million. 14 Multiplied by the fatality rate of 14% (that Leape used in 199416 we arrive at an annual death rate of 420,000 for drug errors and medical errors combined. If we put this number in place of Lazorou?s 106,000 drug errors and the Institute of Medicine?s (IOM) 98,000 medical errors, we could add another 216,000 deaths making a total of 999,936 deaths annually.

Condition Deaths Cost Author
ADR/med error 420,000 $200 billion Leape 199714
TOTAL 999,936

ANNUAL UNNECESSARY MEDICAL EVENTS STATISTICS

Unnecessary Events People Affected Iatrogenic Events
Hospitalization 8.9 million4 1.78 million16
Procedures 7.5 million3 1.3 million40
TOTAL 16.4 million 3.08 million

The enumerating of unnecessary medical events is very important in our analysis. Any medical procedure that is invasive and not necessary must be considered as part of the larger iatrogenic picture. Unfortunately, cause and effect go unmonitored. The figures on unnecessary events represent people (?patients?) who are thrust into a dangerous healthcare system. They are helpless victims. Each one of these 16.4 million lives is being affected in a way that could have a fatal consequence. Simply entering a hospital could result in the following:

  1. In 16.4 million people, 2.1% chance of a serious adverse drug reaction,1 (186,000)
  2. In 16.4 million people, 5-6% chance of acquiring a nosocomial infection,9 (489,500)
  3. In16.4 million people, 4-36% chance of having an iatrogenic injury in hospital (medical error and adverse drug reactions),16 (1.78 million)
  4. In 16.4 million people, 17% chance of a procedure error,40(1.3 million)

All the statistics above represent a one-year time span. Imagine the numbers over a ten-year period. Working with the most conservative figures from our statistics we project the following 10-year death rates.

Read more…

Green Routes! Local Eco-Friendly Tourism

July 31st, 2010 2 comments

I found about this cool website today. It is worth sharing with you..

The Green Routes website is an easy-to-use tool to help you find one-of-a-kind places to eat, play, shop, sleep, and learn. Use the map to find a destination, or add filters by clicking the categories above. You can also search or highlight selected routes for traveling. Enjoy!

green-routes
(click to visit Green Routes)

You can explore “Journeys with first nations” and find out how you can visit a ton of “first nation” locations to learn about their food, culture, sustainable projects and history, make new friends plus much more. Here are some of the places you can tour:

Anishinaabe Culture Center and Gallery, Becker County Historical Society, Becker’s Resort, Cass Lake Chamber of Commerce and Hwy 2 Welcome Center, Cass Lake Museum and Lyle’s Logging Camp, Chippewa National Forest – Blackduck Ranger District, Dennis Banks Native Products, Eagle View Organics Farm, First Week Boutique, Forestedge Winery, Great River Pizzeria, Historic Holmes Theater, Historic Winnibigoshish General Store and Resort, Ice Cracking Lodge & Resort, Lake Country Scenic Byway, Lakes Area Farmers Market, Lakes Processing, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Fitness Center, Leech Lake Tribal College, Maplelag, Minwanjige Café, Mississippi Headwaters Hostel, Muskrat Coffee Company, Native Harvest/White Earth Land Recoverey Project, New Horizons Resort & Lodge, Northern Adventures Guide Service, Northern Lights Casino Gift Shop, Palace Casino Gift Shop, Sahkahtay Indigenous Preservation Society, Spirit of the Forest Enrichment Center, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, White Earth Public Transit, White Earth Tribal and Community College Extension, York’s Log Cabin

Visit now: journeys.greenroutes.org

You want to explore more?   Nation-wide? .. Visit places such as:

Buffalo Lake Farm & Flea Market, Fairfax Farmers Market, Fieldstone Vineyards, Great Plains Designs, Hector Farmers’ Market, Jeffers Petroglyphs, Moonstone Farm, Morgan Creek Vineyards, Olivia Farmers Market, Putting Green, Renville County Historical Society, Renville Farmers Market, Tatanka Bluffs B&B and thousands of other eco local-tourism options!

Simple!

Find these and more here: www.greenroutes.org

Don’t buy into polluting, blind, commercialized, hyped-up, profit-centered tourism!

Find a local location worthy of your time and money, make new friends, vacation consciously, align your travel plans with your morals and values.

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On Built-in Meanings & Change

July 30th, 2010 No comments

Hi again!

Here are a few thoughts for you to consider today:

.

The more the old systems reveal their inadequacies the more people will believe change is needed. Every thing that happens is an opportunity. Everything is neural, if you define it as positive you get a positive effect.

NOTHING has a built-in meaning.

.

.

love,
Ethan

Dump Your Water If You Want To Go In & Then Buy Water From Me!

July 11th, 2010 No comments

BasilicaI went to the Basilica Block Party yesterday. If you know me then you know I am not big on parties, concerts, loud music, etc.. I was invited to go so I went. People were much better well behaved than I expected, I think Minnesotans are generally nice and polite and this contributed to the party situation. Maybe the fact this was a Basilica party also made a difference. The music was fun, especially the Barenaked Ladies band (the Chinese Chicken song).

What I did not like was how party admission volunteer staff had everyone get rid of any food or beverages (including water). I understand that they would like people to not bring food or alcohol or even soft drinks, but water is a different story.

I felt that asking people to get rid of their water was an overreaching rule (and a wasteful one). They were filling trash container after another with bottles of water and other drinks, a huge waste.

I did not have my own water bottle with me, so I did not have to get rid of anything. But, had I had water I would have felt very uncomfortable doing that and probably would have refused.

Once I was inside the fenced, barricaded “camp” you could only buy water from a few places and each bottle was sold for $4!  A $1 bottle for $4!

I call this an abuse of power, even extortion. It also felt like an infringement on my human and constitutional rights. Further, you could buy food and beer from many vendors, water was only available at a couple places, no free (fountain) water was available.

What If I said No?

The next time I go to a party I will take my water bottle with me, and I will refuse to throw out my water. If they insist I do, I will say I need it because of health reasons. If they say “no” I will ask for FREE water inside. If they say “no”, I will write about it here again and will then consult with an attorney to see if I could take legal action.

As far as I am concerned what they did was extortion in order for me to buy water from them at their inflated prices.

You may have to wait a few years before I get to try this, since I rarely go to parties like these.

To the Basilica of Saint Mary I say, “please do not extort me again”. Just, “stop it, now”.

To you, the readers, if you had similar experiences I’d like to hear from you, please leave a comment below. If you are a representative of the Basilica I’d love to hear from you, do leave a comment below.

Thanks!

Happy Valentines Day!

February 14th, 2010 No comments

heartGreetings and salutations!

the following is a message that I feel is very worthy of sharing with those of us who are seeking wholeness, especially on this day many call “valentines day”. This message was sent out yesterday from the founder and leader of Young Living brand essential oils. if you don’t know who or what i’m talking about then here’s my quick shpeel: Young Living is passionate and serious about producing therapeutic-grade products; Gary has the strictest standards for purity, potency and safety when it comes to the essential oils that Young Living produces, and he is passionate about bringing a higher quality of life to all of the world. if you are new to ‘essential oils’, they can be considered, but are far from limited to the word aromatherapy. they are basically considered the blood of a plant/tree/fruit/flower and this blood contains enormous healing potential, and is imbued with the intelligence of nature.

I am a distributor of these oils-
i use them in a variety of ways daily, on myself, on dogs, and in my massage and healing practice, so i have stories from using the oils myself, as well as from other people over the last year and a half, since I first heard about Young Living.

i hope you have a wonderful valentine’s day! know that i love you, and care for you so very much. You are an invaluable piece of the giant Cosmic Puzzle, I will say. and that is no small thing! I mean, your ability to realize grander dreams and desires for ourselves and others, is important. Your health, happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction in life IS IMPORTANT. i think you came here to this thing we call “Life” to evolve and achieve deeper fulfillment in your own unique and perfect way. And really, right here and now, you are doing that just perfectly. You are perfect, whole and complete. You are lovely. I love you!

if you would like to get to know more about the Young Living essential oils on your own, you can click here or just get in touch with me.

peace!

~angie

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Advice from founder of Young Living brand therapeutic oils, D. Gary Young
“I feel very strongly that the biggest problem we face today is a lack of love. I learned several years ago from patients I saw in my practice that the cause of what we call “dis-ease” is nothing more than a deficiency of self love. When we have self love, we take care of our body–our temple–because we expect it to serve us. When we have self love, we feed it the way it should be fed. When we have self love, we nurture and care for our bodies. We don’t damage and destroy them.

Stop The Toxic Sulfide Metal Mine in Minnesota

January 29th, 2010 No comments
I just received this email and am sharing it here with you.  Please consider taking action now!

Subject: HELP, please: Comment by FEBRUARY 3 on PolyMet’s Draft EIS – first proposed toxic copper mine

My dear friend of Minnesota’s environment and public health,

Can you take just a couple minutes to help save Minnesota lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater from the first serious threat of pollution by toxic Acid Mine Drainage from copper-nickel mines?  Here’s a quick-and-easy webform provided by our friends at Organic Consumers Association:  http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/642/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=1839

TWIN-CITIES COMMENT-WRITING WORKSHOP  this Sunday:

Also, you and anyone you  know who might be interested are invited to attend this special comment-writing workshop Sunday, January 17, 1-4 PM in St. Paul.  Please refer others, even if you’re not likely to attend.  It is a private meeting for contributors to substantive public comments on the draft environmental impact statement, hosted by WaterLegacy.org.

This is a limited opportunity, with comment period set to close *February 3*, 2010. Your comments are critical to the project receiving the scrutiny it deserves. It would create toxic acid mine drainage for hundreds or thousands of years.

Register NOW. Be sure to state your topic(s) or area(s) of interest in the DEIS.
http://www.mepartnership.org/mep_calendar.asp?cal_id=3510

All levels of citizen participation are welcome. Some would just like to sign a form letter and hand it in. Some would like to pick a narrow topic and write comments in one hour, or stay for the duration and write extensive comments. We held a similar workshop in Cloquet last weekend, which was very well-attended and productive.  Many completed and either emailed or mailed their comments that day.

You will benefit by learning from other citizens, background and technical documents, information about PolyMet and the environmental review process, and tips to make your comments most effective. We can provide talking points and drafts.  We will facilitate according to your needs.

Professional input will be available and more is welcome.

NOTE:  Even if you may not feel comfortable submitting written comments on the EIS directly, your expertise would be very beneficial.

Meanwhile, you can demand that DNR provide adequate public participation in the environmental review process. Specifically, ask for 1) extension of the comment period from only 90 to at least 180 days; 2) more convenient and interactive public hearings around the state. Email: Stuart Arkley MDNR stuart.arkley@dnr.state.mn.us <mailto:stuart.arkley@dnr.state.mn.us>

Read more…

Elders Speak – Listen to Native American Prophecy

December 30th, 2009 No comments

Very valuable – must watch:

Christmas, It’s The Time To Be Stress Free!

December 21st, 2009 2 comments

xmas2It is sad how people experience stress during the holidays, but things don’t have to be this way!

The shopping, driving, mailing out greeting cards, going to the post office, budgeting, traveling and seeing relatives. Sounds familiar?

I want to tell you now, that you can change this. You do not have to be stressed. In fact, you can be happy and make a bunch of other people happy.

You do not have to navigate crowded malls, get stuck in traffic, drive long distances, deal with airports and air travel, worry what gifts to buy, wrap gifts, mail gifts, send cards… nothing! Yes, you can simply say “no”.

Many alternatives to the commercialized, stressful, costly and polluting norms exist. Consider finding a bunch of friends that are close to your heart and locale (in your same state or region) and spend time with them.

Give people good words, give good wishes, give hugs, give love, give smiles, do good deeds, be extra relaxed, open doors for people, plant trees, etc.. The sky is the limit. You do not have to venture into these pesky malls.

You have the power to save money, save the environment, save yourself from headaches and have a greater more positive impact this season by being a better friend to yourself, to others and to nature.

Yes, YOU have to power to keep things simple. To say no. To start new traditions. To be unique.
Consider giving a donation to non profit organizations, give the Gift of Microfinance , be selfless, serve others, or make some good food and invite people to eat.

Consider spending time alone in meditation, in counting your blessings, in reflection, in prayer, in adoring Nature or a candle’s flame. Take a walk on a trail, go alone or take a loved one, if it’s cold bundle up and go out, adore the snow, adore the sky, adore the trees, spend time with your God or Nature.

Make the new years, Christmas, solstice or Yule a time to be good, truly good to yourself, to nature and to other people.

If you celebrate Christmas, this year remember that Jesus said “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” and “sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

Rid yourself of materialism and stress, keep things simple, honest, spiritual; you will be happier and make others happier while saving a bunch of trees, reducing your carbon and waste footprint and feeling better than ever for having done what you KNOW is right, not what you are told is right.

Remember, you are not alone.

Blessings, Love & Wisdom

This Holiday Season, Give The Gift Of Microfinance

December 19th, 2009 1 comment

Rather than buying gifts, packaged in boxes, wrapping them & mailing them out (think of the carbon and waste produced as a result), how about giving the gift of hope and opportunity to people via micro-finance or micro-credit?

This season, you can help others find hope and start businesses in the US or around the world with a small financial gift!

Learn more here:

Find more on how you can support charitable efforts

Winona LaDuke – Added to Seeking Wholeness’s “Best Of”

November 15th, 2009 No comments

winona_ladukeWinona LaDuke, is an Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Anishinaabeg and is the mother of three children. Winona is the Program Director of Honor the Earth and Founding Director of White Earth Land Recovery Project.

Leading Honor the Earth she provides vision and leadership for the organization’s Regranting Program and its Strategic Initiatives.  In addition, she has worked for two decades on the land issues of the White Earth Reservation, including litigation, over land rights in the 1980′s.  In 1989, she received the Reebok Human Rights Award, with which in part she began the White Earth Land Recovery Project.

In 1994, Winona was nominated by Time Magazine as one of America’s fifty most promising leaders under forty years of age, and has also been awarded the Thomas Merton Award in 1996, the Ann Bancroft Award, Ms. Woman of the Year Award (with the Indigo Girls in 1997), the Global Green Award, and numerous other honors. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, she has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues.

Her books include: Last Standing Woman (fiction), All Our Relations (non-fiction), In the Sugarbush (Children’s), and The Winona LaDuke Reader.

To show respect to all of her work, I post this article about Winona LaDuke under the Best Of category.

For more information, visit: http://nativeharvest.com.

73% of Doctors Want a Public Option

September 15th, 2009 No comments
mahd_button

mad as hell doctors.com - Where the rubber gloves meet the road

For those who have doubts about where doctors stand on the public option, this recent survey of doctors should help.

New England Journal of Medicine: 73% support a public option

New England Journal of Medicine article

NPR:
NPR article

Watch The Ad That CNN is Refusing to Air

September 7th, 2009 No comments

Since CNN is refusing to air this ad, I am posting it here.

Tell CNN to play this ad here

Senator Bernie Sanders on Public Healthcare

August 29th, 2009 No comments

Worth watching:

 

Animation Video Explaining Why We Need Government-Run Universal Socialized Health Insurance

August 27th, 2009 No comments

This is a good cartoon video titled ‘Why We Need Government-Run Universal Socialized Health Insurance‘. It explains why we need a public health insurance option or some sort of a government-run health system in the US.

The video compares Health Insurance to the fire department in a very effective manner. I’d like to add that fire departments used to be private and for profit in Chicago, then came the Chicago fire. After the Chicago fire the fire department was socialized to distribute risk and lower cost.

It’s ironic that nowadays fire department remain socialized, and work very well. We all expect the fire fighters to show up at a phone’s call, yet when your own body, your own intestines, brains, or heart are on fire (i.e. sick/ill) you cannot get the attention needed, since the system is so very broken.

Enjoy the video:

Animated by Andy Lubershane. More comics at http://www.earthlycomics.blogspot.com

Text transcript of the video:

Why we need government-run universal, socialized, call it what you want, health insurance.

We all know from basic civil class, or just being alive, that a lot of essential services are already government-run, universal, socialized, whatever you wanna call it.

Think water treatment, police, fire, postal service, coast guard, all those things you know are gonna be there for you, every single day without even thinking about them. We all pay our taxes and the government uses the money to pay for the things everyone needs just to get by.

Now, health care is just as essential as any of these services. Sure, a few of us may be lucky enough to make it through our whole lives without any medical problem but the rest of us depend on health care at some point in our lives just to get by. Besides its essentialness, there’s another reason health insurance is just like those government run, universal, socialized, whatever you wanna call them services, that’s this: There are very very few people that can afford to pay on their own the cost of health care when disaster strikes and they or someone they love gets really really sick.

So, we all need insurance, which basically means when we pool our money together enough so what when anyone of us gets really really sick there’s enough money in the pool to pay for that person to get better, that’s insurance.

But, who should we choose to manage the pool of our money and give out our money to the people who need it? Well, private insurance companies are the ones that we are using right now, but there’s a problem. On average, these companies take 10 – 20 cents out of every dollar we put in the pool.

Read more…

77 Percent Support “Choice” Of Public Option

August 23rd, 2009 2 comments

More than three out of every four Americans feel it is important to have a “choice” between a government-run health care insurance option and private coverage, according to a public opinion poll released on Thursday.

A new study by SurveyUSA puts support for a public option at a robust 77 percent, one percentage point higher than where it stood in June.

But the numbers tell another story, as well.

Earlier in the week, after pollsters for NBC dropped the word “choice” from their question on a public option, they found that only 43 percent of the public were in favor of “creating a public health care plan administered by the federal government that would compete directly with private health insurance companies.”

Rea more at Huffington Post

U.S. Has The Highest Child Poverty, High Fertility But Low Life Expectancy

May 22nd, 2009 No comments

According to a new report released by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), happiness levels are highest in northern European countries.

Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands rated at the top of the list.

Outside of Europe, New Zealand and Canada also made the top 10. The U.S. did not.

The U.S. ranked the highest for child poverty and obesity among the western nations polled.

Other Very Interesting Findings include:

Adult height: Americans are not getting taller. The United States is the only country in the OECD where men and women aged 45-49 are no taller than those aged 20-24 years old, indicating no improvement in health and social conditions determining gains in height.

Health care: The United States spends the most per capita on health care, but despite their high levels of health spending the Unites States has relatively low life expectancy.

Net National Income: The United States is one of the richest countries in the OECD. In 2006, the United States had a per capita National Net Income in excess of USD 35 000. Only Luxembourg and Norway were higher.

Fertility: The United States has a much higher fertility rate than most other OECD countries of 2.1 children per mother, compared to an OECD average of 1.65.

Child poverty: Child poverty has fallen since the mid-1990s but one in five US children still live in poverty, a rate exceeded only in Poland, Mexico, and Turkey

Social protection: The United States is the fourth lowest in the OECD in terms of income shares of public social spending. However, when tax breaks for social purposes and private social spending are also considered, social spending in the United States rises above the OECD average of 28% to 31% of income.

Eating time: Americans spend around an hour and a quarter eating every day, slightly more than only Canadians and Mexicans but less than half the eating time spent by the French. Despite this limited time spent eating, their obesity rates are the highest in the OECD.

Leisure time of men and women: American men have nearly 40 minutes more leisure time than women per day.
Find the report here: http://www.oecd.org/document/24/0,3343,en_2649_34637_2671576_1_1_1_1,00.html

Let me ask you,

  • Are we a nation of Me’s or a nation of We’s?
  • How can one justify that it is more important to have a fetus develop into a baby and then be born than to give that new born baby and child health coverage or keep them from poverty?

We may make more money per capita in the US but we spend most of it on health insurance and other ‘fees’ – These are what I call hidden taxes.

These hidden taxes go to corporations not to benefit other citizens; they suck money up the ranks to make the rich richer, making huge profits and paying CEO’s millions of dollars that are basically denied health care reimbursements to you.. In other words, money from your pocket to theirs.

Taxes are used by governments (i.e. we the people) to benefit the population at large, these fees are simply how some corporations (after lobbying congress) dip their hands in your pockets and ‘steal’ your money.

Read more…

What I Learned About Being Happy

April 15th, 2009 8 comments

impmsgWont you say that the pursuit of happiness is one thing that is programed in most of us?  Not counting mentally unstable individuals, its safe to assume that we all want to be happy. The interesting thing though is how little we know about what it takes to be happy or satisfied. We often seek happiness only to create suffering.

I use the words ‘happy’ and ‘satisfied’ interchangeably, the way I see it they are the same. Suffering also needs to be clarified here, suffering encompasses any of these: stress, negative emotions, misery, pain, etc.

Why is the list below so long (80+ topics)? Well, after getting a pulmonary embolism last week, a potentially lethal medical condition, I decided to write down a list of ideas and concepts that are dear to me in one post and to push them out on the Internet. This article is essentially my message to the world; I was planning on writing an article for each of (or a combination of) the topics listed below; as you will notice some article have already been written; however, who knows if I’ll live long enough or if I’ll ever have the time to write articles on all these topics.

The list below is a compilation of things I learned or developed (through thought processes), philosophies, beliefs and ideas that I consider dear to my heart and I do live by.  I do not want to take credit for any of the topics below, these were passed on to me through people, nature and other life events. I only learned them, tried to sincerely live them, and now, wrote them down. I believe that the more of these that you embrace the more satisfied and happy you will become.

Please share your tips for happiness by leaving a comment.

Message to the world, brought to you by Wholeness Blog:

  1. Appreciate and delight in the smallest things and the simplest things.
  2. Plan the future but don’t get obsessed about it. You can plan so much, but when something unplanned happens, then it is what it is, collect yourself and move on.
  3. Many unexpected things may happen, sometimes things are what they are, sometimes they are not. Know which is which.
  4. If you are faced with bad news, a bad reality, you will have to first accept it before you can deal with it. Some people go through denial and other moods, but you cannot move forward until you accept reality.
  5. Take what you have and go along with it. Make the best with what you have.
  6. See the positives and the lessons in everything  you experience.
  7. Don’t see the obstacles and the so called ‘negative’ things, you will only pull yourself away from living a better life.
  8. When you dream or plan, be free, explore all the possibilities, identify your dream as if no restrictions exist at all. Then, add the restrictions, examine which are real and which are self imposed, then create plans.
  9. There is no good or bad. A few things are absolute good or bad, the rest are all in between, they are shades of gray. Even in your life, what you see as bad, may actually be good, your evaluation of something as bad is your own opinion, your own view, and your view is influenced by your mind set. (Read this on the good and bad).
  10. Keep your mind OPEN to seeing the good in everything.
  11. Stop and notice nature, birds, the wind, beaches, rain, smells, grass, dew drops, plant leaves, etc.. and see the beauty and life in them.. See the good in them.
  12. See the good in you, all you’ve done, all you’ve overcome, the past events and challenges you lived through. Appreciate what you’ve managed to do and deal with. See how all these things made you who you are now and how they made you more mature and stronger.
  13. Respect yourself. If you don’t no one will.
  14. Love yourself. If you don’t no one will.
  15. See the good that you have, your healthy blood, brain, eyes, ears, oh so many things that you are fortunate to have.
  16. Demand respect of others, BUT give it back.
  17. Treat others as you wish to be treated.
  18. Make peace not war, in your mind, in your heart, with others, with nature and with everything.
  19. Appreciate what you got. Do not take anything for granted. We got countless of things that should not be taken fro granted, for instance: Your house, the roads, the water, sewers, the food, the highway system, having fuel, electricity, the sun, the clean air, the money you have, your job, pets, rain, the night sky, green plants, fruits and on top of them all your health.
  20. Remember, so many people are not as blessed as you are.
  21. Read more…

Yet Another Food Recall — Salmonella In Pistachios

April 1st, 2009 No comments

pistachios2_ip791

Here we go again with another food recall. On Tue Mar 31, 2009 a California pistachio processor issued a nationwide voluntary recall due to potential salmonella contamination.

Thus far, several illnesses have been reported by consumers that may be associated with the pistachios, the FDA said.

The pistachios are roasted and tested for quality, it is believed the cross-contamination occurred at the processing / packaging plan.

The FDA is advising consumers avoid all pistachio products

The last food recall due to salmonella contamination outbreak was with peanuts and peanut butter that has sickened more than 690 people in 46 states. The company in the news then was Peanut Corp. of America, the company behind the current outbreak is Setton.

Both Setton and Peanut Corp. of America are bulk provider of nuts to food manufacturers and wholesalers. That means that the contaminated pistachios could have ended up in a variety of processed foods, including ice cream, cookies, candies and trail mix.

I try to purchase and consume (i.e support) organic and small farm products when I can, I do not support large scale commercial factory farming and food processing.

When are we going to learn than small farms and smaller food manufacturers will provide better quality and be more socially and environmentally friendly?

News articles:

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=103267

http://cancer.about.com/b/2009/04/01/fda-issues-pistachio-warning.htm

http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssFoodDistribution%20&%20Convenience%20Stores/idUSN3139386420090331

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/business/1238034318314750.xml&coll=7

Injustice And Hunger – What If It Was Me?

March 31st, 2009 2 comments

I would like to present these notions to you, do you agree with me?

Any injustice, anywhere, in the world is too much to tolerate.

Any sick person is one too many. Any hungry person is one too many.

Any hateful crime anywhere in the world is as bad as a hateful crime against me.

Any poor and helpless person on the planet, is just one minute away from being me.

Anything that I would hate on myself I hate on anyone else, if not for moral reasons then at the least because this person could have been me.

What if it was Me?

Join Earth Hour Tomorrow Saturday 3/28/2009 At 8:30 PM

March 27th, 2009 No comments

no_light_bulbTomorrow, March 28, 2009, at 8:30 PM local time  is Earth Hour.

You can join in easily, all you have to do is turn off  all your lights for one hour!

Join the rest of the world and turn off your lights for 1 hour only.

Turn out.   Take action. Be part of this historic event.

You don’t really have to sign up on the Earth Hour website. This is but a small personal action to show support to our mother Earth, it can also be fun ;)

Some of the things you could do during this hour include a romantic candle light dinner, going on a walk or meditating! ..

Find out more here:  http://www.earthhourus.org/

We Are The Evil – Watch Carl Jung Interview

February 16th, 2009 No comments

Does Evil exist? This article has an excerpt from an interview with Carl Jung and he is seen clearly saying that man is the origin of evil. That is, humans are the origin of all evil.

Some very interesting questions to ask yourself after you watch this interview:

  • What makes a person Evil, their thoughts or their actions?
  • We can all agree that the only evil species on this planet is Humans, correct?
  • Why are we evil?
  • Not to diminish the badness of ‘evil’, but can we break evilness down to attributes such as selfishness and stupidity as the prime causes for evil thoughts and actions?

Many people, including Carl Jung, say that “we are the evil” on this planet..

The conclusion here is, if you fear evil then fear people.

Read more…

ADD Is Not A Disorder!

January 24th, 2009 No comments

I don’t think that ADD is a disorder nor a disease. I know many parents may disagree with me, however I believe that I’ve done enough research to reach this conclusion.

I started a discussion thread here. Feel free to join the discussion and contribute your opinions/experiences.

I know a few that agree that ADD is not a disorder or a disease, one example that comes to mind is Thom Hartman an author on the subject of ADD/ADHD.

I strongly oppose drugging children that are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, If I had kids I won’t let them go on “medication” to treat this “disorder”.

Mood altering drugs, in my opinion, are not medications, and ADD is not a disorder, simply a personality type.

Oceti Sakowin: The People of the Seven Council Fires – Trailer

January 17th, 2009 No comments

Watch Trailer:

Watch the trailer for the documentary entitled “Oceti Sakowin: The People of the Seven Council Fires” below.

Read more…

The People of the Seven Council Fires – Documentary Summary pt4

January 17th, 2009 No comments

This is part 4 of the series of articles entitled “The People of the Seven Council Fires – Documentary Summary“. Find part one here, part two here, part three here.

This article is about Family and the new way of life the Oyate were forced into.

Relationships are very important to the Oyate. If you were an Oyate you can make new relatives, by adopting someone as a relative, as a mother, son, sister or brother.

Social structure

The social structure is one of an extended family.

The men assume the role of the protector, provider and leadership.

Women

Women maintain the household. Women are viewed as nurturers & educators.

Women educate the children until a certain age, when boys go with men mentors and women stay under the womens’ mentorship

Grandmothers are usually the educators of the young

Women owned the house and tipi

Ethnic Cleansing

The Lakota were men of peace, lived in balance with creation and addressed all creation as relatives, they were relatives with the white buffalo

The Lakota was the last of tribes to resit the US military, odds and numbers were against them and eventually they worse faced with a new way of life.

Treaties were made and broken. Land was taken. People were forced into farming, and into boarding schools that were basically functioning in a Catholic school system. Further, families broken apart and separated, men and women and children separated.

Their roles were taken away. The women could no longer teach and nurture their children who were taken away from them; the men had no buffalo to hunt and mentoring to give.

The rationale for the boarding schools was, as Carlisle founder Richard Henry Pratt often said, to “kill the Indian and save the man.” But the actual reason was economic: By taking away the children, the U.S. government was able to take away and maintain control of the Indian land base.

Alcohol & drugs came into their lives when reservations started; the buffalo was replaced by rations as part of a government ration system.

The Oral tradition ended; now Cathlic nuns taught children and provided the children protection, someone else was providing for the children.

It was against the law to be Lakota from 1880 to 1978 !!!

In the 1950′s 100% of the Lakota denied their indiannes and they did not speak in Lakota.

Read more…