Thursday, October 30, 2008

A HypnoBirthing testimonial

This is a testimonial/birth announcement from one of my past class members...

Hello Carol!
Well Chloe decided to show up on the 10/17 around 6 pm..after 16 hours of labor! I would like to share our birthing story with other HypnoBirthing parents so they are reassured that no matter what happens during their birthing experience as long as they keep an open-mind it will be a wonderful experience!

I had been getting regular surges for the last 2 weeks before the big day, even though they seem strong my cervix stayed at 1 cm for over 2 weeks! On 10/16 my doctor told me that she wanted to induce me in 4 days!! ( I was at 41 weeks)..I remember crying that night thinking about all the bad side effects of inducing a baby!!! My wonderful husband was very reassuring and took me out for dinner to distract me ...... the same night my water broke...I could not believe it!!! So many worries and tears for NOTHING!

I had we knew that the doctor wanted us in the hospital right away to start the Penicillin IV.... Jerry and I decided to stay at home and labor peacefully until 6 am... we arrived at Mary Birch Hospital around 6:20, went thru our room after 1 hour... within 30 minutes I was hooked both on Penicillin and regular IV...the hospital policy was to keep the baby heart monitor on at all time...and the blood pressure monitoring was on my arm.... with all those cables on me I felt that I was a lab monkey!!...( and this feeling was only going to get worst since they later added the epidural IV and bladder catheter)

Around 10 am I was checked at 3 cm... with very strong surges lasting up to 55 seconds and only one minute apart...... I was very tired and was not able to rest enough between the surge...the amniotic liquid was getting low and putting the life of the baby at risk... after declining all pain medication ( the nurse keep asking every 45 minutes or so if I wanted any medication to take the edge off) and Pitocin for the last 10 hours...Jerry and I decided to get the epidural and the pitocin ... at this point I had been in labor for over 11 hours.... the pain was pretty intense and it seems that all strength was drained out of my body.... Within 5 hours of the pitocin and epiridural ... I gave birth! A beautiful birth!!!

I used HypnoBirthing techniques during the 16 hours of labor....The balloon breathing and the blue ribbon picture worked wonderfully for me...going deep inside and picturing the baby coming and my cervix opening like a flower were very helpful as well.

I am very proud of how Jerry and I worked as a team, everything went peacefully and smoothly! Chloe is such a very calm and content baby.

I wish all Carol's couples a beautiful and easy birth experience!! A big thank you from the bottom of my heart to Carol for the HypnoBirthing lessons and continuous and caring support even after the classes were over!


Thanks for sharing your story, Emma, & congratulations on the birth of your baby!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Moisturizers Linked to Skin Cancer?

Moisturizers Linked To Skin Cancer?

Studies: 4 Commonly Used Moisturizing Creams Promote Tumors In UV-Exposed Mice

(WebMD) Four commonly used moisturizers promoted skin cancers in mouse studies.

Mice are not men. But the unexpected finding suggests that these -- and perhaps other products -- may not be as safe as they're thought to be.

The moisturizers tested in the study were Dermabase, Dermovan (a wholesale only product discontinued in 2006), Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream, and Vanicream.

In a mouse model of sun-related skin cancer , frequent application of each product resulted in more skin tumors and faster tumor growth, says study leader Allan H. Conney, PhD, director of the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research and professor in the school of pharmacy at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J. "This was unexpected. We really did not expect to see the tumor-promoting activity of these creams," Conney tells WebMD.

In fact, Conney and colleagues were getting ready to use one of these moisturizers -- Dermabase -- in human clinical trials of topical caffeine, which prevents skin cancer in animal studies.
"We thought it would be prudent to test Dermabase by itself to see if it had tumor-promoting activity," Conney says. "We did not think it would. But lo and behold, to our surprise we got an increased rate of skin cancer."

This led to new tests of Dermabase and the three other moisturizers, which the Conney team hoped to use in their human study. For these new animal studies, the researchers used hairless mice irradiated with ultraviolet light twice a week for 20 weeks. With no further irradiation, such mice eventually develop skin cancer -- very much like humans overexposed to sunlight early in life.

Five days a week, for 17 weeks, the researchers rubbed moisturizer into the animals' skin. The result:

Dermabase increased the total number of tumors by 69%.
Dermovan increased the total number of tumors by 95%.
Eucerin increased the total number of tumors by 24%.
Vanicream increased the total number of tumors by 58%.

"The multimillion-dollar question is, what about humans?" Conney asks. "The answer is, we don't know. Our study raises a red flag and points out the need for epidemiologists to take a look at people who use moisturizing creams. And the companies that market these products should take a look at animal models and see if their products promote tumors."

Testing Moisturizers for Safety

Dermatologist Keyvan Nouri, MD, director of dermatologic surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and author of the best-selling book Skin Cancer, agrees that companies that make moisturizers should test their products.

"This study could definitely be a warning to alert these companies to consider testing moisturizing creams with some sort of assay," Nouri tells WebMD. "These creams need to be tested first before they come to market."

Moisturizers are classified as cosmetics by the FDA, which does not require that they undergo the same safety and efficacy tests required for drugs.

The moisturizers did not cause cancer in the mice. That came from their early-life radiation exposure. But the creams did make skin cancers grow faster and more readily.

Nouri notes that the radiation damaged the skin of the mice before the moisturizing creams were applied. That, he says, might account for the moisturizers' unusual tumor-promoting effect.
However, he notes that the skin cancers are becoming much more common in humans.
"There are over a million cases a year," he says. "It is by far the most common cancer we deal with. Skin cancers account for more than half of all cancers combined. But most skin cancers are totally curable."

What is it about the moisturizers that might promote cancer?

The Conney team asked Johnson & Johnson to make them a "custom blend" moisturizer without two ingredients previously linked to skin iritation (sodium lauryl sulfate) and tumor promotion (mineral oil). The custom blend (on which Rutgers University and Johnson & Johnson hold a patent) did not promote skin cancer.

But not all of the products tested use these ingredients, so exactly what -- if anything -- might be linked to cancer isn't known. And it's certainly clear that mouse and human skin are very different.

Moisturizers Still Necessary

Nouri warns consumers not to stop using moisturizers.

"As we get older, our skin gets drier," he says. "We need to moisturize, otherwise our skin gets dry and we get eczema , dermatitis , rashes , and so on. It is too soon to say from this study people should stop moisturizing."

Eucerin is made by Beiersdorf Inc.

"We have just learned about this study and are currently reviewing it to understand the findings," Beiersdorf says in a statement to WebMD. "Eucerin Original Creme has been on the market for more than 100 years and is a highly respected, dermatologist-recommended brand. It has been widely used by both individuals with normal skin and those with diseased skin under the care of physicians, and no incidents of this nature have ever been reported."

Vanicream is made by Pharmaceutical Specialties Inc. In a statement to WebMD, PSI President Conrad O. Thompson, RPh, says there is nothing in the Conney study to indicate any need for change in current recommendations for use of Vanicream.

"Treatment with Vanicream Skin Cream clearly did not increase the proportion of animals that developed tumors," Thompson notes.

Dermovan, a wholesale-only product used as a base to which other ingredients are added by compounding pharmacists, was made by Healthpoint Ltd. until the product was discontinued in 2006.

"The product has been around for 50 years, and has no safety issues related to it," Healthpoint spokesman Mark Mitchell tells WebMD.

Dermabase maker Paddock Laboratories Inc. did not respond to WebMD's request for comment.
The Conney study appears in the Aug. 14 advance online issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

**If you want a moisturizer made from Certified Organic (to food grade levels) ingredients that are cold-pressed & cold-extracted, choose Miessence products. Go to my website at & click on the Miessence tab to learn more.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Unnecesarean

The Unnecesarean (

Have you heard? The c-section rate in the United States is at an all time high. One in three babies is brought into the world by surgery.

Do you care? Maybe not. Maybe not until you, your partner, your mom, your friend or your sister is told that her baby is too big for vaginal birth and is wheeled off to the operation room for a major abdominal surgery that she doesn’t need.

The World Health Organization recommends no higher than a 10-15% for all nations, which is based on its 2004 study in which higher rates of morbidity were found in countries with rates below 10% and higher than 15%. This ideal rate is sometimes dismissed as arbitrary at best, yet even if the “ideal rate” was 20%, it would still amount to approximately 421,000 unnecessary surgical deliveries in the United States.

The Cesarean section is an essential, life-saving surgery for both mother and child when performed with medical indication. However, too many women and their partners are unnecessarily coerced into the surgery by doctors and hospital nurse-midwives under the argument that it's what's best for their baby or babies and for their body.

Doctors have been pressured to lower their rates for decades and yet the rate climbs. The onus of lowering this rate does not rest solely on the shoulders of the medical hierarchy.
The current cultural trend in the United States is for women to check themselves into hospitals in labor with a savvy consumer mentality that they are going to receive a series of safe technologically and scientifically based management services from doctors and nurses which will result in the following:
*Pain alleviation
*Information about their numbed body’s progress
*Delivery of a perfect baby

If the consumer is not happy with the end result of the services that they feel the hospital was responsible for providing them, they will do what any American consumer will do when they are not happy with a product or a service—demand reparations.

Hospitals now create a paper trail and preemptively counter the unrealistic expectation that their medical training and expensive technology will guarantee a safe birth experience for mother and baby by over-managing pregnancy and labor—unnecessary tests and drugs, induction drugs of questionable safety and, frequently, prophylactic vaginal bypass surgery—the unnecesarean.

Read more by going to the website ( , the blog & make sure you read the page about how to avoid an unnecesarean! (For you HypnoBirthing moms, make sure you "cancel, cancel" anything negative & focus on what you want rather than don't want after you visit this site.)

Please share with your friends...more people need to know that they have options!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

What the founder of HypnoBirthing says about Juice Plus

What Mickey Mongan, the founder of HypnoBirthing, says about prematurity, nutrition & Juice Plus:

The Number 1 Cause of Newborn Deaths in America

And what about the other late-term complications?

Let's talk about Phytonutrients

Do you know that more than 17% of newborns die because they were born too early. The shocking and little known fact is that one in every eight babies is born too soon, many so small and frail that they are not able to fight the good fight for survival. The last two decades has seen an increase in pre-term births to a startling figure as high as 31%. We're talking about almost one third of our babies; and, yet, the main stream public and the medical people who serve it have very little knowledgeable about how pregnant women can possible avert having this tragic event occur in their birthing experiences. Other undesirable, and sometime times critical late-term conditions, include toxicity, pregnancy-induced hypertension, suspected pre-eclampsia, early release of membranes, low-birth weight and intrauterine growth restriction--conditions that strike a woman only when she is pregnant. Conditions that the obstetrical world should be able to anticipate and prevent in many cases, but it's not happening. Instead, the recommendation is to see that the baby is born as soon as is practicable. Because the treatment of choice among health care providers is often bed rest and medication, these conditions can be debilitating for the pregnant woman, and usually the treatments are stop-gap measures rather than cures. As soon a the baby is believed to be developed enough to be born, inducement, often leading to other interventions, is recommended. The good news is that there are many who believe that this loss of infant lives and the hazards of pre-term complications can be avoided.

The late Dr. Thomas Brewer, noted author, was one of these people, and he devoted a large portion of his life to forwarding the theory that food is the best prescription in treating late term complications, but his theory on the absolute importance of food in pregnancy health care was largely brushed aside by the medical world until early 2000. In that year, an obstetrician in Mississippi, recognized that a few of his patients were consuming three portions of fruits and four portions of vegetables. He recommended a fruit/vegetable powder product (FVJP), and it soon became apparent that he was seeing something very encouraging within his obstetric practice. Many of his patients were not experiencing these late-term complications.

Recognizing that the parents of Doug Odom who reported taking a specific fruit and vegetable powdered product (FVJP) capsules, were experiencing fewer obstetric complications as compared to other women served by the same practice, a study at the Mississippi Baptist Medical Center at Mississippi University in Jackson was conducted. The study identified 178 women within the practice who reported taking the product between January 2000 and December 2002 as Group I. Group II was made up of 178 women, who had not taken the product. They were selected from the next consecutive birthing women, matching Group I women by age, parity, ethnicity, and prior preterm birth history. Hospital records were reviewed by a technician and verified by a hospital physician. The results showed that gestational age for Group I women was one week longer than Group II women. No Group I women birthed before 37 weeks, as compared to 35 in Group II. No instances of preeclampsia were noted in Group I, as compared to 38, in Group II. No babies of Group I moms were admitted to the NICU, while 17 with neonatal respiratory distress were admitted from Group II. No moms in Group I gave birth to low-birth-weight babies. The average weight for babies in Group I was 7 lbs 11.7 oz. Oxidated stress has been linked to the development of pre-term labor, as well as low-birth weight, premature release of membranes, and preeclampsia. In a separate study, not restricted to pregnant women, it was found that FVJP capsules taken regularly showed a reduction in oxidative stress in the body. It can be inferred from this study that pregnant women would benefit from a reduction of undesirable obstetric outcomes.

Based on these results, the medical world is taking note of the importance of food for pregnant women. A major randomized, prospective study is currently being conducted on FVJP. The information on the University of Mississippi study was reported in the JANA Research Report and presented at the 70th Annual Meeting of the Central Assn. of Obstetrician and Gynecologists in San Diego in October of 2003 by a group of seven doctors who had participated in the study.

How does this relate to HypnoBirthing?

I think that is obvious. It was this study and a presentation by Dr. William Sears that drew me to Juice Plus (FVJP) initially when I knew nothing about this food product. If these findings show that we can help our moms toward healthier eating and a healthier pregnancy, I want to be there when the rest of the world catches up with this. Why am I personally excited about FVJP, or Juice Plus? Because, like Dr Sears, I feel that it helped me maintain my level of strength and energy two years ago, when a medical condition caused me to be unable to hold little, sometimes nothing, down for a period of over a year. I lost weight, but was never unable to maintain my same level of productivity or travel and teaching. Most people never even knew I was experiencing this.

Now, I see an opportunity to help you while you help HypnoBirthing. As you know we are launching a documentary of major proportion. It takes a lot of funds to do this. Our goal is to raise nearly $90,000. The title of the film is, "Taking the Birthing World by Calm." The purpose of the film is not to expose everything that is bad out in the birthing world, but rather to showcase all that is good. We are making heroes and champions out of the doctors who do line up on our side. Their testimonies are wonderful. We intend to show families what they can aspire to in birthing, and to help bring about an awareness on the part of those in the medical field who do not suffer from psychosclerosis but who just have never realized that doctors are making a difference in the shift toward gentle, calm birthing.

We are asking you to help yourself and your family (gummies for kids) and the parents you serve by coming on board with the Juice Plus HypnoBirthing Team. (all moneys currently derived are being directed to the documentary fund--I receive nothing.) The Institute Documentary Fund will receive, bonuses from all of your activity, even if you subscribe only for yourself and your children. This is a great way to help fund this project and at the same time save you money on doctor bills, as you realize the health benefits of this great food product. Please think abut all the good you can do by affiliating with the HypnoBirthing Team of Juice Plus. Think of the babies you can help come into the world who may not have to suffer with the effects of these late term complications. Some will ask, "Is it ethical to be telling our parents about this study?" I ask, "Is it unethical to have this knowledge and not do what you can to help make it work for families (yours included) and birthing parents?" I believe it is.

Make it a point to contact Carol Yeh-Garner (www.AWellLivedLife.Net) and find out more about how you can become a wholesale member of the HypnoBirthing Team. You'll be helping your family, the HypnoBirthing Documentary Fund, and, at the same time, help the birthing mothers of the world.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A TV show that might be worth watching

This is a show that was originally aired in the UK as Outlaw Births. I believe it highlights unassisted births. Laura Shanley, the guru of unassisted births, spoke at the Hypnobirthing convention I was recently at. Her belief is that birth is natural, normal & healthy & that is what led her to have her own unassisted births. She showed a few videos of unassisted birth & it was really of the moms spoke to her baby as she was coming out & telling her baby, "You're doing great...keep going...oh! I love you!"

Laura did warn that while the video of the parents & the births are great, the portions of the OBs were not because all they talked about was how dangerous unassisted birth was.

Now, I'm not advocating unassisted births although I do support anyone who decides to go that route. I would encourage you to tape or watch the show & be ready to "cancel, cancel" anything negative that is said or anything regarding "pain". The reason I am encouraging people to watch this is because it is going to be a really great visualization tool for moms/dads-to-be because these parents truly embrace birth being a normal, natural it goes along well with the HypnoBirthing philosophy.

Premieres Tuesday, October 21 at 9 pm

Tune In: Freebirthing

A growing movement of women in the US and in the UK are defying medical advice and choosing to give birth with no drugs, no midwife and absolutely no medical support. Supporters claim it's how having a baby was always meant to be. Doctors say this new 'freebirthing' craze carries great risks. In this program, we chart the stories of three pregnant women who have decided to go against the advice of their doctors and go it alone. With intimate access, we follow the challenges they have to overcome from negative family opinions and medics, to their own fears and through to the eventual and extraordinary births.

Watch the premiere, Tuesday, October 21 at 9 pm on Discovery Health!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Toxic car seats

Can you believe it?

A recent study conducted by the watchdog group, Friends of the Earth, found that 56% of infant carriers, 44% of car seats, and 40% of the strollers they tested had dangerous levels of toxic fire retardant chemicals.[1]

This is downright scary--and is yet another toxic exposure on a long list of children?s products with toxic chemicals to come out lately.

We have to turn this tide.

The good news: Graco, the giant manufacturer of children's products, responded to the Friends of the Earth report the day it was published. Graco says they want to do the right thing, but they haven't yet committed to removing these chemicals. If Graco gets rid of these chemicals, other baby product manufacturers will be under enormous pressure to follow suit.

*Ask Graco, and other manufacturers of children's products, to not use any more halogenated fire retardants ? period!


Halogenated flame retardants have been shown to cause serious health disorders including endocrine disruption, cancer, birth defects and a host of reproductive and neurological disorders in developing fetuses and offspring in animals.

Forward this note to your family, friends, and community so we can all let Graco, and other manufacturers, know that nobody wants toxins near their kids. When consumers speak, companies listen. Moms' voices are turning the tide on toxins: After our petition with your signatures was delivered several weeks ago on getting the toxic bisphenol A (BPA) out of baby bottles, Toys"R"Us, Babies"R"Us, and CVS announced they'll stop selling baby bottles which contain BPA, and Playtex committed to stop using BPA in all of their baby bottles by the year's end.

So please forward this blog far and wide to get as many signatures as possible--we know your signatures will have an impact. We want Graco, and other manufacturers of children's products, to know that making safe products includes keeping toxic chemicals out of them. Together, we can make help keep dangerous chemicals away from our children.

Thank you to Friends of the Earth and Make Our Milk Safe for their tremendous work on this issue.

[1] Friends of the Earth report, entitled Killer Cribs,

p.s. To see the CBS story on flame retardants:


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fight Breast Cancer

Hi everyone-

I just joined the Love/Avon Army of Women — and you should, too!

The amazing Dr. Susan Love has a call to action for women withOUT breast cancer, whether cured, never had and no risk factors. She has said she is striving for prevention, not just the cure.

In order to become one in the Army of Women who would be willing to share their blood, saliva, breast tissue, etc. with scientists, go to and sign up. Signing up does not necessarily mean you will be chosen, just that you are willing to be. Dr. Love said they are piling the women into regions and will divy them/us out to the scientists in the area. It could be many months before we learn if we have been chosen.

Please, please consider becoming one of the volunteers if you do not have breast cancer! Our sisters (and brothers, because men get breast cancer, too!) need us to help.

The Love/Avon Army of Women offers women the opportunity to partner with the scientists who are conducting research that will end this disease--once and for all. Breast cancer has been around for decades, but it does not have to be our future. We can be the generation that stops breast cancer once and for all by figuring out what causes this disease and how to prevent it!

Sign up for your sister, mother, daughter, granddaughter, best friend, and the woman you met last week. This is YOUR chance to be part of the research that will end breast cancer. It takes a just a minute to join. But the impact we will have will last a lifetime.

Please Join Me in Being One in a Million!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Green Your Halloween

I just found out about the following Halloween campaign (Reverse Trick-or-Treating) and have ordered the free kit (the only cost is S/H $4.95). It involves raising awareness about Fair Trade by distributing Fair Trade chocolate to neighbors while Trick-or-Treating. There is so much to be gained from letting people know how mainstream chocolate companies exploit children in cocoa-producing countries in West Africa and beyond. If you are interested in participating, please visit: and be sure to read more from the link The deadline for the free kit is Oct. 13th.

There is also a great mother-founded organization which is spreading nationwide called Green Halloween ( Its purpose is to encourage healthier and more eco-friendly holidays, starting with Halloween. There are lots of great ideas for alternative Halloween treats. And if you're motivated to get your school involved (for Halloween and/or other holidays), check this out...

Happy Hallo-Green!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

About this financial mess we're in....

All right everyone...calm yourselves & educate this video & then read what Michael Moore has to say about the current financial "bailout" proposal...

Web Video of the Week from the Organic Consumers Association
Zeitgeist - The Federal Reserve

The original two hour Zeitgeist movie was released in 2007, but its provocative and insightful investigation of the history of the Federal Reserve and the U.S. central banking system could not be more relevant than right now. Every American needs to truly understand the background of this system. We have posted the section of the movie focused on the Federal Reserve. It'll make you think twice about everything you are hearing in the news.

From: Michael Moore

Friends, The richest 400 Americans -- that's right, just four hundred people -- own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. 400 rich Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is $1.6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly $700 billion -- the same amount that they are now demanding we give to them for the "bailout." Why don't they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They'd still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves! Of course, they are not going to do that -- at least not voluntarily.

George W. Bush was handed a $127 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not his, he did what the rich prefer to do -- spend it and never look back. Now we have a $9.5 trillion debt. Why on earth would we even think of giving these robber barons any more of our money?

I would like to propose my own bailout plan. My suggestions, listed below, are predicated on the singular and simple belief that the rich must pull themselves up by their own platinum bootstraps. Sorry, fellows, but you drilled it into our heads one too many times: There... is... no... free... lunch.. And thank you for encouraging us to hate people on welfare! So, there will be no handouts from us to you. The Senate, tonight, is going to try to rush their version of a "bailout" bill to a vote. They must be stopped. We did it on Monday with the House, and we can do it again today with the Senate..

It is clear, though, that we cannot simply keep protesting without proposing exactly what it is we think Congress should do. So, after consulting with a number of people smarter than Phil Gramm, here is my proposal, now known as "Mike's Rescue Plan." It has 10 simple, straightforward points. They are:

1. APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE. Before any new money is expended, Congress must commit, by resolution, to criminally prosecute anyone who had anything to do with the attempted sacking of our economy. This means that anyone who committed insider trading, securities fraud or any action that helped bring about this collapse must go to jail. This Congress must call for a Special Prosecutor who will vigorously go after everyone who created the mess, and anyone else who attempts to scam the public in the future.

2. THE RICH MUST PAY FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT. They may have to live in 5 houses instead of 7. They may have to drive 9 cars instead of 13. The chef for their mini-terriers may have to be reassigned. But there is no way in hell, after forcing family incomes to go down more than $2,000 dollars during the Bush years, that working people and the middle class are going to fork over one dime to underwrite the next yacht purchase. If they truly need the $700 billion they say they need, well, here is an easy way they can raise it: a) Every couple who makes over a million dollars a year and every single taxpayer who makes over $500,000 a year will pay a 10% surcharge tax for five years. (It's the Senator Sanders plan. He's like Colonel Sanders, only he's out to fry the right chickens.) That means the rich will still be paying less income tax than when Carter was president. This will raise a total of $300 billion. b) Like nearly every other democracy, charge a 0.25% tax on every stock transaction. This will raise more than $200 billion in a year. c) Because every stockholder is a patriotic American, stockholders will forgo receiving a dividend check for one quarter and instead this money will go the treasury to help pay for the bailout. d) 25% of major U.S. corporations currently pay NO federal income tax. Federal corporate tax revenues currently amount to 1.7% of the GDP compared to 5% in the 1950s. If we raise the corporate income tax back to the level of the 1950s, that gives us an extra $500 billion. All of this combined should be enough to end the calamity. The rich will get to keep their mansions and their servants, and our United States government ("COUNTRY FIRST!") will have a little leftover to repair some roads, bridges and schools.

3. BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME. There are 1.3 million homes in foreclosure right now. That is what is at the heart of this problem. So instead of giving the money to the banks as a gift, pay down each of these mortgages by $100,000. Force the banks to renegotiate the mortgage so the homeowner can pay on its current value. To insure that this help does no go to speculators and those who have tried to make money by flipping houses, this bailout is only for people's primary residence. And in return for the $100K paydown on the existing mortgage, the government gets to share in the holding of the mortgage so that it can get some of its money back. Thus, the total initial cost of fixing the mortgage crisis at its roots (instead of with the greedy lenders) is $150 billion, not $700 billion. And let's set the record straight. People who have defaulted on their mortgages are not "bad risks." They are our fellow Americans, and all they wanted was what we all want and most of us still get: a home to call their own. But during the Bush years, millions of them lost the decent paying jobs they had. Six million fell into poverty. Seven million lost their health insurance. And every one of them saw their real wages go down by $2,000. Those who dare to look down on these Americans who got hit with one bad break after another should be ashamed. We are a better, stronger, safer and happier society when all of our citizens can afford to live in a home that they own.

4. IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GETS ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A "BAILOUT," THEN WE OWN YOU. Sorry, that's how it's done. If the bank gives me money so I can buy a house, the bank "owns" that house until I pay it all back -- with interest. Same deal for Wall Street. Whatever money you need to stay afloat, if our government considers you a safe risk -- and necessary for the good of the country -- then you can get a loan, but we will own you. If you default, we will sell you. This is how the Swedish government did it and it worked.

5. ALL REGULATIONS MUST BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD. This catastrophe happened because we let the fox have the keys to the henhouse. In 1999, Phil Gramm authored a bill to remove all the regulations that governed Wall Street and our banking system. The bill passed and Clinton signed it. Here's what Sen. Phil Gramm, McCain's chief economic advisor, said at the bill signing: "In the 1930s ... it was believed that government was the answer. It was believed that stability and growth came from government overriding the functioning of free markets. "We are here today to repeal [that] because we have learned that government is not the answer. We have learned that freedom and competition are the answers. We have learned that we promote economic growth and we promote stability by having competition and freedom. "I am proud to be here because this is an important bill; it is a deregulatory bill. I believe that that is the wave of the future, and I am awfully proud to have been a part of making it a reality." This bill must be repealed. Bill Clinton can help by leading the effort for the repeal of the Gramm bill and the reinstating of even tougher regulations regarding our financial institutions. And when they're done with that, they can restore the regulations for the airlines, the inspection of our food, the oil industry, OSHA, and every other entity that affects our daily lives. All oversight provisions for any "bailout" must have enforcement monies attached to them and criminal penalties for all offenders.

6. IF IT'S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT'S TOO BIG TO EXIST. Allowing the creation of these mega-mergers and not enforcing the monopoly and anti-trust laws has allowed a number of financial institutions and corporations to become so large, the very thought of their collapse means an even bigger collapse across the entire economy. No one or two companies should have this kind of power. The so-called "economic Pearl Harbor" can't happen when you have hundreds -- thousands -- of institutions where people have their money. When you have a dozen auto companies, if one goes belly-up, we don't face a national disaster. If you have three separately-owned daily newspapers in your town, then one media company can't call all the shots (I know... What am I thinking?! Who reads a paper anymore? Sure glad all those mergers and buyouts left us with a strong and free press!). Laws must be enacted to prevent companies from being so large and dominant that with one slingshot to the eye, the giant falls and dies. And no institution should be allowed to set up money schemes that no one can understand. If you can't explain it in two sentences, you shouldn't be taking anyone's money.

7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF "PARACHUTE" OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY. In 1980, the average American CEO made 45 times what their employees made. By 2003, they were making 254 times what their workers made. After 8 years of Bush, they now make over 400 times what their average employee makes. How this can happen at publicly held companies is beyond reason. In Britain, the average CEO makes 28 times what their average employee makes. In Japan, it's only 17 times! The last I heard, the CEO of Toyota was living the high life in Tokyo. How does he do it on so little money? Seriously, this is an outrage. We have created the mess we're in by letting the people at the top become bloated beyond belief with millions of dollars. This has to stop. Not only should no executive who receives help out of this mess profit from it,but any executive who was in charge of running his company into the ground should be fired before the company receives any help.

8. STRENGTHEN THE FDIC AND MAKE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE'S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES. Obama was correct yesterday to propose expanding FDIC protection of people's savings in their banks to $250,000. But this same sort of government insurance must be given to our nation's pension funds. People should never have to worry about whether or not the money they've put away for their old age will be there. This will mean strict government oversight of companies who manage their employees' funds -- or perhaps it means that the companies will have to turn over those funds and their management to the government. People's private retirement funds must also be protected, but perhaps it's time to consider not having one's retirement invested in the casino known as the stock market. Our government should have a solemn duty to guarantee that no one who grows old in this country has to worry about ending up destitute.

9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY. Turn off the TV! We are not in the Second Great Depression. The sky is not falling. Pundits and politicians are lying to us so fast and furious it's hard not to be affected by all the fear mongering. Even I, yesterday, wrote to you and repeated what I heard on the news, that the Dow had the biggest one day drop in its history. Well, that's true in terms of points, but its 7% drop came nowhere close to Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market in one day lost 23% of its value. In the '80s, 3,000 banks closed, but America didn't go out of business. These institutions have always had their ups and downs and eventually it works out. It has to, because the rich do not like their wealth being disrupted! They have a vested interest in calming things down and getting back into the Jacuzzi. As crazy as things are right now, tens of thousands of people got a car loan this week. Thousands went to the bank and got a mortgage to buy a home. Students just back to college found banks more than happy to put them into hock for the next 15 years with a student loan. Life has gone on. Not a single person has lost any of their money if it's in a bank or a treasury note or a CD. And the most amazing thing is that the American public hasn't bought the scare campaign. The citizens didn't blink, and instead told Congress to take that bailout and shove it. THAT was impressive. Why didn't the population succumb to the fright-filled warnings from their president and his cronies? Well, you can only say 'Saddam has da bomb' so many times before the people realize you're a lying sack of shite. After eight long years, the nation is worn out and simply can't take it any longer.

10. CREATE A NATIONAL BANK, A "PEOPLE'S BANK." If we really are itching to print up a trillion dollars, instead of giving it to a few rich people, why don't we give it to ourselves? Now that we own Freddie and Fannie, why not set up a people's bank? One that can provide low-interest loans for all sorts of people who want to own a home, start a small business, go to school, come up with the cure for cancer or create the next great invention. And now that we own AIG, the country's largest insurance company, let's take the next step and provide health insurance for everyone. Medicare for all. It will save us so much money in the long run. And we won't be 12th on the life expectancy list. We'll be able to have a longer life, enjoying our government-protected pension, and living to see the day when the corporate criminals who caused so much misery are let out of prison so that we can help reacclimate them to civilian life -- a life with one nice home and a gas-free car that was invented with help from the People's Bank.

Yours, Michael Moore

P.S. Call your Senators now. They are going to attempt their own version of the Looting of America tonight. And let your reps know if you agree with my 10-point plan.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why Women Need to Vote

This came across my desk & it was worth sharing...


This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-Grandmothers. They lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote. The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and! left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.

Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and
poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.


So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder. All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was angry…with herself. 'One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. 'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order. It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to
declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

History is being made!