Saturday, December 27, 2014

Communism Left So Many Scarred Lives Behind

Canada Free Press ^ | 12/27/14 | Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh 

The scars left on the soul and minds of so many surviving victims of communism are hard to heal
On Christmas 1989, twenty-five years ago, the brutal communist dictatorship of Romania ended with the execution of the tyrant Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena in front of a firing squad at Tirgoviste, following a brief trial. His reign of terror lasted 24 years (1965-1989).
The first communist despot, Gheorghe Georghiu-Dej (1945-1964) was so ruthless, the citizens felt like “hunted” animals during his regime.
Almost forty-four years of brutal communism left a deep and festering wound that would be hard to heal and would scar a few generations. In 1990 the world found out about the dreadful orphanages where hundreds of thousands of “orphans” were institutionalized under the benevolent “care of the state.”
(Excerpt) Read more at canadafreepress.com ...

Researchers take 'first baby step' toward anti-aging drug!

MedicalXpress | HealthDay ^ | 12/24/14 | Dennis Thompson 

Researchers could be closing in on a "fountain of youth" drug that can delay the effects of aging and improve the health of older adults, a new study suggests.
Seniors received a significant boost to their immune systems when given a drug that targets a genetic signaling pathway linked to aging and immune function, researchers with the drug maker Novartis report.
The experimental medication, a version of the drug rapamycin, improved the seniors' immune response to a flu vaccine by 20 percent, researchers said in the current issue of Science Translational Medicine.
The study is a "watershed" moment for research into the health effects of aging, said Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
Rapamycin belongs to a class of drugs known as mTOR inhibitors, which have been shown to counteract aging and aging-related diseases in mice and other animals.
Barzilai, who wasn't involved in the study, said this is one of the first studies to show that these drugs also can delay the effects of aging in humans.
"It sets the stage for using this drug to target aging, to improve everything about aging," Barzilai said. "That's really going to be for us a turning point in research, and we are very excited."
The mTOR genetic pathway promotes healthy growth in the young. But it appears to have a negative effect on mammals as they grow older, said study lead author Dr. Joan Mannick, executive director of the New Indications Discovery Unit at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.
When drugs like rapamycin are used to inhibit the effects of the mTOR pathway in mice, they "seem to extend lifespan and delay the onset of aging-related illnesses," Mannick said.
Mannick and her colleagues decided to investigate whether a rapamycin-like drug could reverse the natural decline that elderly people experience in their ability to fight off infections.
In the clinical trial, more than 200 people age 65 and older randomly received either the experimental drug or a placebo for several weeks, followed by a dose of flu vaccine.
Flu is particularly hard on seniors, with people 65 and older accounting for nine out of 10 influenza-related deaths in the United States, according to background information provided by the researchers.
Those who received the experimental version of rapamycin developed about 20 percent more antibodies in response to the flu vaccine, researchers found. Even low doses of the medication produced an improved immune response.
The researchers also found that the group given the drug generally had fewer white blood cells associated with age-related immune decline.
Mannick called this study the "first baby step," and was reluctant to say whether it could lead to immune-boosting medications for the elderly.
"It's very important to point out that the risk/benefit of MTOR inhibitors should be established in clinical trials before anybody thinks this could be used to treat aging-related conditions," she said.
Barzilai was more enthusiastic. Research such as this could revolutionize the way age-related illnesses are treated, he said.
"Aging is the major risk factor for the killers we're afraid of," he said, noting that people's risk for heart disease, cancer and other deadly illnesses increases as they grow older. "If the aging is the major risk, the way to extend people's lives and improve their health is to delay aging."
Until science focuses on aging itself, "you're just exchanging one disease for another," Barzilai said. For example, he said, a person receiving cholesterol-lowering treatment to prevent heart disease likely will instead fall prey to cancer or Alzheimer's disease.

GOP to Become Party of "Yes"

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 27 Dec 2014 | John Semmens 

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) brushed off complaints from his Party's conservative wing that his recent actions on the Cromnibus Bill served mainly to enable President Obama's illegal amnesty and fund all of his ill-conceived initiatives—including Obamacare—that Republicans had pledged to oppose if they won the November elections.
"Rather than get bogged down in fighting over every specific policy or program, we are going to rebrand the GOP as the Party of 'yes,'" McConnell said. "People don't like to hear the word 'no.' They prefer to get what they want. If we can communicate the message that Republicans are the ones who say 'yes' to what the people want we can solidify our Party's grip on the majority."
According to the new Majority Leader, "continuing to try to stave off amnesty or socialized medicine are lost causes. It is clear that regardless of what the law says, President Obama is going to allow immigrants to enter the country illegally. He is going to give them documents that will enable them to get jobs if they want them or to collect welfare if they don't. He is going to get them registered to vote and to the polls on election day. There is nothing we can do to stop this."
"But if we can persuade all these newcomers that the GOP can do a better job of giving them everything they want we will woo them over to our side and thwart the Democrats' plans for dominance," McConnell explained. "By saying yes to the trillion dollar continuing resolution even when we didn't have to, I think we earned crucial street cred with Latino voters. As we demonstrate to this cohort that we can give them everything that the President has promised we will eradicate any need for them to vote Democrat."

The Fate of Deserter Bowe Bergdahl

Coach is Right ^ | December 27, 2014 | Jim Emerson, staff writer 

Several of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s former colleagues claimed that he abandoned his unit and his post on June 30th, 2009 leaving behind his weapon and body armor. Several hundred regular and Special forces troops joined the search for the missing private; a search during which at least six Americans were killed. Six soldiers and possibly more known to have been lost looking for an alleged deserter, but the Pentagon is too cowardly to admit it as the search has often been added to non-related missions. The early cover story of Bergdahl’s disappearance suggested he was captured when he fell behind on patrol. But this fable was soon refuted by Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers who were there the night he left his post.

Nearly five years later Bergdahl was traded for five high-level Taliban terrorists held in Guantanamo. The trade was done illegally, without notifying congress. The Taliban lost their favorite propaganda tool. Though a captive, Bergdahl shouldn’t have been considered a prisoner of war because he was captured/surrendered while violating the UCMJ.
Bergdahl was promoted twice and was eligible for a third automatic promotion. After nearly two weeks of recovery at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Bergdahl was moved to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. At no time was he allowed to talk to the press before being assigned to desk duty at Fort Sam Houston.

Current Situation
(Excerpt) Read more at coachisright.com ...

TOPICS: Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: afghanistanbergdahltaliban
UCMJ ART. 85. Desertion
(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;

(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or

(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States; is guilty of desertion.

(b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.
(c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.

Party Of The Rich? Not The One Most Think It is

IBD ^ | 12/272014 

A look at political donations shows that the big-dollar contributors put their money on the Democrats. So which group is really the party of the rich?
For decades, the Democrats have been getting away with portraying Republicans as hateful men who do the bidding of the wealthy at the expense of the country's poor and middle class.
Yet as the Associated Press reported just before Christmas, "it's actually the liberal-minded who shelled out the most cash in the just completed midterm elections."
What's more, "the two biggest super PACs of 2014," the "Senate Majority PAC and House Majority PAC," were both backed by Democrats.
The AP, using data from the Center for Responsive Politics, continues:
• "Among the 183 groups that wrote checks of $100,000 or more to another group, Democrats had a 3-to-1 cash advantage."
• "Overall, for the campaign season that just ended, donors who gave more than $1 million sent roughly 60 cents of every dollar to liberal groups."
• "Among the 10 biggest donors, Democrats outspent Republicans by an almost 3-to-1 margin."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...