Sunday, September 28, 2008

America America, God Shed His Grace On Thee

If you are one those patriotic Americans who tolerate dissent and different points of view then I solute you for being true to the American spirit.

Join me now as we relive an idea that we inherited as citizens of this great land.

The American

As Francis Scott Key stood offshore on a British vessel having secured the release of American prisoners held below through negotiation with the British Admiral, he stood with the Admiral watching the British fleet open fire on Fort Henry about 1,000 yards away.

The American prisoners below wanted to know the position of the American flag signifying defiance or surrender. As the bombardment of the fort continued for hours the men wanted to know: Tell us where the flag is! Is it still standing? What have they done with the flag? Is the flag still flying over the rampart?

One hour passed, then two, then three.

The flag remained standing over the rampart. The British then directed all their guns to the position of the flag.

After a while the British Admiral expressed exasperation that the flag was still standing signifying continued defiance. Then he said to Francis Scott Key: "Your people are insane. What is the matter with them? Don't they understand this is an impossible situation?"

It was then that Francis Scott Key recalled what George Washington had said about what set the American Christian apart from all the other people in the world. He said to the British Admiral:

"He will die on his feet before he will live on his knees"


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Thursday, September 25, 2008


The thought that Congress might not back Paulson is terrifying markets. You can't see the strain in share prices but in the money markets, which have frozen. Overnight money is flowing only because central banks are pumping funds into the system. But the rates at which banks lend to each other have rocketed. Hedge funds - many of which still have cash locked up at Lehman - fear another collapse and are closing positions and demanding that their brokers return collateral.

The worst part is that there are still two days to go - Paulson has demanded that Congress back him by Friday. By last night, that seemed unlikely to happen. But the message from the paralysed money markets is that Buffett and Paulson are not bluffing: fear is back. Friday is shaping up as a very big day.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fast Facts On Pharmaceuticals

The drug Lipitor is the pharmaceutical industry's biggest moneymaker. At its sales peak, it brought in a million dollars an hour, 365 days a year (nine billion dollars a year).*

Personally, if you have a serious cholesterol problem (total cholesterol greater than 220) these drugs have their place. However if your total cholesterol is under this number please consider other alternatives with virtually no side effects.

An alternative to taking Lipitor is taking red yeast rice(available at some Walmart stores or Sam's Club), with a diet low in saturated fat, and vigorous exercise: 5-6 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes per day. The exercise specifically improves your good cholesterol(HDL) and taking red yeast rice(containing a natural statin) lowers your triglyceride level and LDL (bad cholesterol). As with any statin, liver function should be checked periodically.

I have reduced my total cholesterol by 15-25% yearly and improved my triglycerides levels using this method and have avoided the use of Lipitor and its side effects.

* David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, Anticancer, A NEW WAY OF LIFE (Paris, France: Editions Robert Laffont, S.A., 2007). American translation, (New York, New York: Viking Penguin, 2008), p.116

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