What Moms Really Want For Mother’s Day

SAN FRANCISCO, (UPI) — Seventy-five percent of U.S. mothers say they would prefer a handmade card over a necklace from Tiffany & Co., a survey indicates.

Plum District, which provides locally relevant offers targeted for mothers, surveyed its 1 million members to find out what they want for Mother’s Day.

The survey, which involved 19,256 of its members during March, indicated two-thirds would prefer to not pick out their own gift and 54 percent would choose to spend quality time with their own mother.

However, what mothers really want is some sleep. Eight-of-10 mothers said they would choose to sleep in versus a sunrise breakfast with the kids.

One-third of moms said they secretly want the day to themselves, while 52 percent would use an hour to themselves for a massage, while the other 48 percent would go on a bike ride.

“Some of the things we discovered in our survey were pretty surprising to us, like the fact that only 56 percent of husbands/significant others always remember Mother’s Day,” Megan Gardner, chief executive officers of Plum District (plumdistrict.com), said in a statement. “What didn’t surprise us is that at the end of the day, moms might crave some ‘me’ time, but their families will always rank first.”

No margin of error was provided.

Ex-CIA Official Defends Waterboarding

NEW YORK, (UPI) — A former CIA official says he has no regrets about the interrogation techniques once used on suspected high-level al-Qaida members.

In an interview Sunday on the CBS News program “60 Minutes,” Jose Rodriguez said waterboarding and other interrogation methods now banned by the Obama Administration were essential to fighting terrorism after Sept. 11, 2001.

Rodriguez, who retired from the CIA in January 2008, denies claims the harsh methods caused detainees to provide false information.

Rodriguez has written a book, “Hard Measures,” defending the methods he authorized while heading the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center.

“We made some al-Qaida terrorists with American blood on their hands uncomfortable for a few days,” he said. “But we did the right thing for the right reason. And the right reason was to protect the homeland and to protect American lives. So yes, I had no qualms.”

Rodriguez said he developed the interrogation techniques with the assistance of a former military psychologist who had helped train American soldiers on how to resist torture if they were captured. The “enhanced interrogation techniques” were based on methods used by Cold War adversaries.

He said about six interrogators were given a two-week training course under his supervision and that his superiors signed off on the techniques.

Rodriguez said 75 detainees were subjected to the harsh interrogation techniques, including three who endured waterboarding.

Rodriguez said the information obtained by the techniques helped stop at least 10 major terrorist attacks. He said President Obama’s cancellation of the interrogation program has tied the government’s hands in the war on terror, CBS News reported.

Australian Billionaire To Build Titanic II

BRISBANE, Australia, (UPI) — Australian billionaire Clive Palmer says he plans to build a new Titanic that is guaranteed not to sink.

The mining magnate announced a deal Monday with a Chinese shipyard to build Titanic II, which would sail from England to North America in late 2016.

He said the ship, which would be fitted with the latest navigation and safety systems, will be a near replica of the original Titanic that sank in 1912, 9 News Austria reported

Palmer said design work is already under way.

1 World Trade To Be Tallest NYC Building

NEW YORK, (UPI) — Officials say the new 1 World Trade Center is about to become New York’s tallest building, outstripping the Empire State Building by 21 feet.

Workers will hoist a steel column atop the building’s exoskeleton Monday, after which the building will reach 1,271 feet into the sky, The New York Times reported.

In the next couple of months, the building’s framework will be completed, bringing its height to 1,368 feet. Once the building is completed and an antennae is added next year, its final height will be 1,776 feet — a total of 526 feet higher than the Empire State Building, and 408 feet taller than the original 1 World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks.

Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said the fledgling skyscraper, which can now be seen from LaGuardia Airport 8 miles away, is exciting for another reason.

“You’ve got floor-to-ceiling views in every direction,” he said. “If you strain your neck and look carefully enough, to the west you can see Alaska.”

Student Accuses Bar Of Discrimination

IOWA CITY, Iowa, (UPI) — A college student is accusing a bar in Iowa City, Iowa, of discriminating against her by not letting her dance in a conspicuous spot because of her weight.

Jordan Ramos, a 21-year-old University of Iowa student from West Liberty, told the Iowa City Press-Citizen her last two visits to the Union Bar in recent months left her embarrassed and furious because security guards would not allow her to dance on a platform overlooking the dance floor. She said the security guards told her she was “obviously pregnant” and “not pretty enough.” However, her friends were allowed onto the platform.

Ramos said she heard from other people who had similarly experiences at the bar because of their weight or appearance. She tried to contact the establishment’s management more than a month ago, but had yet to hear back. She is considering filing a complaint with the Iowa City Human Rights Commission.

“It made me start questioning myself and thinking. ‘Are my friends so much better than me?’ I know they’re thinner, but those bouncers made them seem more valuable,” she said.

The newspaper said Union Bar owner George Wittgraf said he wasn’t familiar with the situation but wouldn’t condone such behavior by his workers.

U.S. Wary Of Al-Qaida Attack On Aviation

WASHINGTON,(UPI) — A top U.S. counter-terrorism official said Sunday al-Qaida apparently still is open to a plot to attack commercial aviation as it did on Sept. 11, 2001.

John Brennan, chief counter-terrorism adviser to President Obama, said Sunday while al-Qaida has been significantly weakened, a high state of vigilance is still needed in the air-travel industry.

“Aviation has been a traditional target of al-Qaida and they continue to do that,” Brennan said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Brennan agreed the slaying of Osama bin Laden a year ago was a major development in what he said was the overall degradation of al-Qaida capabilities.

Brennan said the reputed new leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, does not have the same charisma and “institutional support” within al-Qaida that Bin Laden enjoyed. But at the same time, al-Qaida’s operations in Yemen remain a particular concern.

“They have demonstrated both the intent, as well as the capability to try to carry out an attack,” he said.

Does The Republican Establishment Want To Lose?

The Republican Party establishment has employed all types of shenanigans and underhanded tactics to ensure its candidate to oppose President Barack Obama is Mitt Romney and not a true conservative.

Most of the Republican voters find Romney less than slightly palatable. Whereas 2008 nominee John McCain was truly a bitter pill, Romney is a bitter pill with a thin honey coating. If you swallow it fast enough, maybe the bitterness won’t make you retch.

Conservatives recognize that Romney is not one of them. They see through the veneer the elites have pasted over him. He’s trying to sound conservative, but it’s not working. Americans know a phony when they see one.

But the message being pounded home by the elites through the mainstream media is that Romney is now the nominee; and more specifically, that he’s the Republicans’ best hope to beat Obama in November. Republican talking heads continuously take to the airwaves to push this meme.

But in the back rooms they don’t really believe it. According to POLITICO, if you give the “Republican professionals” a truth serum, they’ll tell you they think Romney will lose.

The article reads:

But under the table, there is pervasive pessimism among Republicans about Romney’s prospects this fall. It’s apparent in rampant discussions about which Republicans will run in 2016—talk that obviously presupposes a loss in November—and it’s downright glaring in private conversations with GOP officials on Capitol Hill and in consulting shops across Washington.

And the skepticism about Romney isn’t just a Beltway phenomenon. Rank-and-file Republican voters are also uncertain he can win, though it’s the chattering class that is most bearish.

What’s going on here? Are Republicans (I mean the elites and string pullers, not Joe and Jane Republican Voter) trying to lose?

Robert Ringer recently asked a similar question when writing about a GOP gathering in Arizona. He wrote:

What is it that causes the mushy masochism that drives Republicans to seek out disaster year after year, decade after decade?  It wasn’t enough that the Republican Party stubbornly picked yet another RINO automaton, apparently believing that the 2008 election disaster was just an aberration.  No sir, it had to taunt conservatives by bringing McMush back from the dead and pushing him on stage, front and center, with MittMan… And, of course, Romney had his moderate mode on cruise control, once again being careful to say nice things about Der Fuhrbama.  He said he liked him as a man, but felt his decisions were disappointing.  Aw … shucks, Mitt.  You brought a tingle to my leg.

It seems clear that the Republican establishment — or at least the behind-the-scenes party apparatchik — is once again trying to lose, which brings us to the question of why. What is to be gained by a Republican loss? I posited one theory last fall. But now I believe there is a better answer. But before I get to it, a short history lesson is in order.

The Republican Party grew out of the ashes of the Whig Party. The Whig Party was a single-minded proponent of what party leader Henry Clay called the American System: protectionism, government control of the money supply through a central bank and government subsidies for railroads, shipping and other favored industry. It was a corporatist or fascist system based on British mercantilism.

As economist Murray N. Rothbard wrote in The Logic of Action II, it was “a system of statism which employed economic fallacy to build up a structure of imperial state power, as well as special subsidy and monopolistic privilege to individuals or groups favored by the state.”[i]

Edgar Lee Masters described the Whig Party thusly:

Clay was the champion of that political system which doles favors to the strong in order to win and to keep their adherence to the government. His system offered shelter to devious schemes and corrupt enterprises… He was the beloved son [figuratively speaking] of Alexander Hamilton with his corrupt funding schemes, his superstitions concerning the advantage of a public debt, and a people taxed to make profits for enterprises that cannot stand alone. His example and his doctrines led to the creation of a party that had no platform to announce, because its principals were plunder and nothing else.[ii]

Or as U.S. Senator John Taylor of Virginia (1753-1824) put it in his book Tyranny Unmasked, it was a system that benefited a “monied aristocracy.”

Abraham Lincoln was a Whig who idolized Clay. He served as a Presidential elector for the Whigs in 1840 and 1844. When the Whig Party imploded in the 1850s, Lincoln switched to the Republican Party but assured Illinois constituents there was no difference between the two parties.[iii] He brought the American System along with him, and it has formed the basis for the actions of the Republican Party ever since, years of vacuous rhetoric from Republicans as being the Party of small government and a foil to Democrat nanny-state big government policies notwithstanding.

For years, the monied aristocracy used the Republican Party and its statism (or corporatism or fascism, whichever is your favored word) to benefit its friends and partners. Now the monied aristocracy has a new use for the Republican Party.

They — the monied aristocracy — believe the time is ripe to end the faux two-party system, remove all pretenses that the United States is a republican government and usher in the age of direct democracy. Another loss by the Republican Party because of an unpalatable, unelectable candidate may well do this.

The elites have been laying the groundwork for this for some time. All of the elites in government — both Rs and Ds — and in the media tell us each day that the United States is a democracy. This has been going on for years. It was no accident that they have used this word. They have used it for so long now that it is rarely challenged.

Knowing the disaffected American voter will need some place to turn, the monied aristocracy has created what it calls a new system. It’s a place for the voter to go with the belief that there is an alternative system that is better because it sets aside party labels. It’s called Americans Elect, and it purports to allow an opportunity to pick a President, not a party. It calls itself the first nonpartisan Presidential nomination and its listed “declared” candidates are Buddy Roemer, Rocky Anderson, Laurence Kotlikoff and a host of others. “Drafted” candidates include Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg, a couple of clowns and a few others.

On the surface it sounds fine and dandy. But we always look beneath the surface, and things are not as they seem.

In The Huffington Post, Lynn Forester de Rothschild writes:

The message is clear: as politicians become more partisan and less effective at governing, the electorate is ready for a radical restructure of our election system itself. Voters are refusing to be held hostage to the self-interests of either party. Thankfully, in true American fashion, our civic society has built the tools to meet the challenge; for the first time in our history, the means exist to level the electoral playing field for an independent candidate.

While a small minority may indeed be saying this, it is not the message I’ve heard from the electorate. However, it’s one the elites, advocating a New World Order, would love to see come about. They have combined Europe under one umbrella (though the union is seemingly coming apart at the seams), but they have not been able to bring about a combined North America. The United States remains too factionalized, too States’ rights-oriented, and the two-party system and Electoral College only serve to perpetuate it. Voters are no longer under the thumb of the corporate mainstream media.

But who is this Lynn Forester de Rothschild? She’s married to Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, the head of the richest family in the world (NM Rothschild & Sons, the Rothschild bank and former head of De Beers). She is also on the leadership board (read chief funder of) Americans Elect.

And she states the crux of her goal: “Simply, both the political environment and the tools are in place for a total disintermediation of our political duopoly.” And a move to what?

According to The Daily Bell it’s a move to direct democracy.

The governor (sic) of New York, Michael Bloomberg – an elitist worker-bee if there ever was one – is a big supporter of an element of direct democracy, which includes the elimination of the two-party system.

But what is it REALLY? Well … it is basically a full implementation of the USSR’s communist system that died 20 years ago! The idea is that a technocracy of the elite can present candidates who are the most “competent” at administration. The corollary to this, of course, is that one must accept EVERY FACET of the CURRENT system to accept that one is voting purely for competence.

In other words, if people do not like the current corporatist/authoritarian/totalitarian/militarized state that is being constructed around them, they’re simply plumb out of luck. That’s because the candidates on this “best of all worlds” won’t be running on how to CHANGE what’s going on – only on how to administer it BETTER.

Just take a look at how Bloomberg, a supposed nonpartisan independent who is in fact a big government nanny-stater, is governing New York City. He’s pushed through myriad laws to restrict peoples’ diets, choices and activities, and monitors every street corner with Orwellian “telescreen” cameras. But remember, he’s looking out for the best interests of New Yorkers, as all nanny-staters do — or claim they do.

Direct democracy — as Bloomberg illustrates — is just another form of tyranny. John Adams warned: “Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

The U.S. Constitution guarantees each State a republican form of government. Don’t fall prey to wiles of the monied aristocracy. Don’t reach for their version of hope and change again.


[i] Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Real Lincoln, p. 56.

[ii] Ibid, pp. 58-59.

[iii] Ibid, pp. 55-56.

What About Mitt Romney?

Dear Mr. Livingston:

At a crucial point in the presidential campaign, I find it appalling that you will distribute a newsletter urging the financial support of a Congressional candidate from Arizona, which follows a newsletter some months ago, encouraging support for Rick Santorum in his presidential campaign. Other organizations have sent out similar newsletters urging support for Newt Gingrich.

However, not once has Personal Liberty Alerts or any other religious and/or non-profit organization sent out a newsletter on behalf of Mitt Romney who has been the frontrunner of Republican Party for many months; and after winning five large primary elections last night it is obvious that he will be the nominee.

If you truly believe it is “Time to Shock Obama Campaign Back to Reality,” shouldn’t you FIRST utilize your efforts to promote Mitt Romney in his campaign to win over Obama in the upcoming presidential campaign?  

While Congressional positions are also important to our Party, it is time for every Republican to urge people to support Mitt Romney in his uphill battle to challenge and unseat Barack Obama as President of the U. S., who reportedly said, “They will destroy Mitt Romney.”

As clarification, I am not an employee or a volunteer for the Mitt Romney campaign.  However, as a concerned citizen for the critical condition of our beloved country, I believe Mitt Romney is the best candidate with the leadership ability to turn our country around.  It is indeed puzzling as to why your organization and others are not utilizing your efforts to influence and encourage people on your mailing list to support and vote for Mr. Romney as President of the U. S., which is the most important election of most of our life time?

Concerned for my country,

Constance

Dear Constance,

The “newsletter” you are referring to is a paid advertisement. Candidates and corporations pay us to run their advertisements and donation solicitations to our email list. Our running those ads does not necessarily imply endorsement of a candidate any more than political advertisements running in newspapers or on television stations imply an endorsement. In the past we ran ads for Gingrich, Bachmann, Cain and others. At no time have we endorsed Santorum, Gingrich, Bachmann or Cain.

You write: “However, not once has Personal Liberty Alerts or any other religious and/or non-profit organization sent out a newsletter on behalf of Mitt Romney who has been the frontrunner of Republican Party for many months; and after winning five large primary elections last night it is obvious that he will be the nominee.” First, we are not a religious or a non-profit organization. We are a for-profit private business, we receive no funding from government or foundations, and we must make a profit to survive. I’m sure you understand that concept. As for “other religious and/or non-profit organization(s),” I do not control what they do.

Second, the Mitt Romney campaign has been offered the opportunity to run a paid advertisement to our email list just as the other candidates were. Apparently, Romney’s campaign does not believe it would be a good investment. As he has tens of millions of dollars in his campaign chest from the big banksters, I can understand why.

You write: “If you truly believe it is ‘Time to Shock Obama Campaign Back to Reality,’ shouldn’t you FIRST utilize your efforts to promote Mitt Romney in his campaign to win over Obama in the upcoming presidential campaign?” It is not our mission to promote Mitt Romney or any other candidate, especially one who campaigns on issues we disagree with. We have long endorsed Ron Paul and will continue to do so as long as he’s in the race since we align with his views on the economy, the police state, the military state and most other issues.

You write: “As clarification, I am not an employee or a volunteer for the Mitt Romney campaign. However, as a concerned citizen for the critical condition of our beloved country, I believe Mitt Romney is the best candidate with the leadership ability to turn our country around.” You are certainly entitled to your opinion, and your decision on whom you should support is certainly yours to make. I just don’t happen to agree with your assessment.

You write: “It is indeed puzzling as to why your organization and others are not utilizing your efforts to influence and encourage people on your mailing list to support and vote for Mr. Romney as President of the U. S., which is the most important election of most of our life time?” It is Mr. Romney’s job to earn our support. He has yet to do so. If he were to change his position on important issues, we might get behind his election. As it stands, I don’t see that happening. However, he is free to purchase advertising space on our site or for a chance to advertise to our email list if he desires.

Best wishes,

Bob

Small Farms Under Attack

Government efforts to do away with the small family farm in the United States to make the populace dependent on large corporate-and-bureaucratic-controlled farming operations for food are becoming increasingly successful.

Last week, the website The Economic Collapse outlined an alarming trend in the Nation: the complete wiping out of the family farm.

From the article:

An entire way of life is rapidly dying right in front of our eyes.  The family farm is being systematically wiped out of existence in America, and big agribusiness and the federal government both have blood all over their hands.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farms in the United States has fallen from about 6.8 million in 1935 to only about 2 million today.  That doesn’t mean that there is less farming going on.  U.S. farms are producing more than ever.  But what it does mean is that farming is increasingly becoming dominated by the big boys.  The rules of the game have been tilted in favor of big agribusiness so dramatically that most small farmers find that they simply cannot compete anymore… Big agribusiness, the food processing conglomerates, and big seed companies such as Monsanto completely dominate the industry.  Unless something dramatic is done, the family farm is going to continue to be wiped out of existence.  Unfortunately, it does not look like things are going to turn around any time soon.

The article is backed up by recent news stories about government regulatory assaults on small farming operations initiated by well-funded corporate lobbies. It is estimated that about 80 percent of food grown in the Nation is linked to Monsanto Co.

In Michigan, farmers have been told that they are not allowed to raise hogs on small family farms that do not meet the State’s approval.

Raw milk farmers are attacked repeatedly by Federal Food and Drug Administration jackboots for peddling their pure products.

Government, in the name of safety (surprise), is working feverishly to make it illegal for children to do certain farm work. They have backed down for now amid public backlash, but probably not for long.

Small food operations throughout the country are under attack from the corporately corrupted FDA.

The results of allowing corporate control to take over the U.S. agriculture industry are lower-quality food and the ruination of naturally occurring crops as genetically modified varieties take over. Another result: communities that lack the ability to produce foodstuffs on their own, making them wholly dependent on the State in the event of societal distress and the disruption of modern food supply.

As government continues in its effort to control every aspect of American life, a statement made by Henry Kissinger in 1970 sums up the reasoning behind taking food production out of the hands of small farms, “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”

The 5 Things You’d Better Have in Your Bug Out Bag, But Probably Don’t

When you are preparing for the worst, it becomes very easy to overlook simple items that you’ll need to survive. Sure, you’ll have your basic first aid kits and rations of food, but there are a few items that you should always remember to have with you — items that might be so commonsense that they can be easily overlooked.

I wanted to share with you five items that you should definitely have in your bug out bag that most people won’t. And if you think that you have an upper hand being prepared now, then ensuring that you have these will solidify your survival when the stuff hits the fan.

1. Energy: What are you going to need most in an emergency? What’s the thing that’s going to pull you through? Energy. I know what you’re thinking: I can’t pack energy. Yes, you can. Some good items to pack for this would be NoDoz® pills or 5-hour ENERGY® shots.

You’re going to need to hustle to get to a safe place, whether that is away from a natural disaster or a stampeding human herd. You will have to keep yourself going in those crucial first 24 hours; you will need all the edge you can get. It would be great to say that you could have a fresh start in the morning after eight full hours of sleep, but we all know that’s probably not going to happen. You’ll need to wake up quickly and maintain that energy. The way to do that is by literally packing energy.

2. A flask of whiskey or alcohol: As much as I’d like to say that this is to make an emergency more entertaining, it isn’t. You won’t be partying when a crisis hits. A flask of alcohol can be used for a lot of things, whether it be cleaning wounds or relaxing you if you need some type of medical treatment.

Throughout history, when troops have been hurt on the battlefield, alcohol has been used for just about every surgical procedure. Having whiskey in your bug out bag can make your life so much more comfortable when you’re in a world of pain.

3. A weapon: Common sense, right? Well, it may not be for a lot of people. If a crisis hits, you as well as I know that it’s going to be every man for himself and his family. You want to be able to protect yourself and what you have. A small, concealable weapon can accomplish this.

Don’t pack something that can be found in nature. A rock is not a weapon. A baseball bat could be good, but you can find sticks and branches and make that yourself later on.

You’re going to want to pack a quality knife or a small gun. Both will fit in your bag and both will protect and provide for you. A knife, as you know, has multiple functions and can be used for surgery, starting fires, hunting and defense — just to name a few uses. A gun can be used for protection, hunting and signaling. Protection will be paramount in a crisis.

The choice is yours as to what to pack, maybe even both items. But if you can choose only one weapon, a good knife is best.

4. Vitamin supplements: You know what your mother used to say, “Eat your vegetables.” Why is that? She wasn’t working for the Department of Agriculture, so it wasn’t to promote the sales of vegetables or a government function — it was to keep you healthy.

Vegetables and fruits have vitamins in them that keep your body’s defenses up and keep you healthier for longer periods of time. When you’re out on your own, you may not have a lot of options for food. Taking a good vitamin supplement will keep you kicking longer. It will prevent you from catching colds and allow your body to heal faster if you get hurt.

Vitamins are critical to your survival, especially when you don’t know what kind of attack you may be avoiding. They will also provide you the long-term energy that you need that can’t be provided by the energy resources above.

5. Duct tape:  I mentioned your mom, so let’s talk about your Dad. Remember how he could fix anything with duct tape? Guess what? So can you.

Think about the functionality of Duct Tape. You can hold things together, whether it’s a splint for a broken bone, torn skin or the bumper of your truck. You can fix holes in tents and shoes, and hang things in trees if need be. Duct tape fixes literally anything. In a worst-case scenario, you can even make a belt out of it.

These five items will make a major difference in your life if you remember to pack them in your bug out bag. Sadly, not many people will know to pack them, but you will, and that may make the ultimate difference in your life in a crisis situation.

Be smarter than they think you are.

–Tim Young
Managing Editor, Absolute Rights

Michelle Obama Shares Her Secret Service Fantasy

Michelle Obama took questions from children on the 20-year anniversary of the White House’s “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work” day.

The first lady has no plans of occupying the Oval Office. When asked, “Will you ever run for president?” Obama responded: “Absolutely not.”

She also revealed her “fantasy.”

When another tyke asked Obama what she would change about “the first lady job,” she said:

It’s hard to sneak around and do what you want. … If I could change something, I’d be able to sneak around a little more. …I have done it a couple of times. But you know one fantasy I have, and the Secret Service they keep looking at me because they think I might actually do it, is to walk right out the front door and just keep walking.

First Lady’s Trip To Spain Cost Taxpayers $467,585

Following the first lady’s lavish getaway to Spain in 2010, the White House assured American citizens that the Obamas would pay for any personal expenses. But Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates government corruption, has announced that government documents suggest it was on taxpayers’ dime — to the tune of $467,585.

U.S Airport records indicate that the cost of flying Michelle Obama round-trip to Spain was $199,323.75. Lodging the flight crew cost $10,290.60, car rental cost $2,633.50 and food cost $876.30 (which included $57.68 for maple syrup and pancake mix).

In addition, the trip cost the Secret Service $254,461.20.

The hefty bill also included lodging for a dog.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said:

The American people can ill afford to keep sending the First Family on vacations around the globe. There needs to be greater sensitivity to the costs borne by taxpayers for these personal trips. It is hypocritical for President Obama to fire GSA officials for wasteful conference spending, while his family went on a luxury vacation in the Costa del Sol Spain that cost taxpayers nearly half a million dollars. No wonder it took two years and a lawsuit to get these documents out of the Obama administration.

Tampa Seeks Gun Ban During RNC

Many Republicans are ardent supporters of 2nd Amendment rights, but those who are planning to attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., may have to leave their guns at home despite State laws favorable to concealed carry.

Tampa officials are worried about people toting guns to the RNC, and they want to eliminate their fears by executive order. The City Council voted Thursday to ask Republican Governor Rick Scott to help them temporarily ban concealed weapons during the event.

The city leaders have already proposed a host of banned items including lumber, hatchets, gas masks, chains and “super soaker” water cannons but are prevented from outlawing concealed guns because of State concealed carry laws. They say guns must not be allowed because of the political volatility of the event and the chance of large protests.

Charlotte, N.C., is expected to pursue similar anti-gun initiatives for the Democratic National Convention in spite of that State’s laws that allow for concealed carry.

Buffett Awakens PSA Test Controversy

LOS ANGELES (UPI) — Warren Buffett’s decision to get two months of radiation for stage 1 prostate cancer highlights questions about prostate screenings, U.S. health officials say.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which issues recommendations on medical testing and treatment, said in 2008 men age 75 and older should not receive the prostate specific antigen test, which measures blood levels of a protein secreted by the prostate gland.

Elevated levels in younger men are usually a sign a biopsy needs to be performed to detect cancer but most prostate cancers are slow growing and 80 percent of men age 80 and older are not apparently harmed by the cancer and will most likely of some other cause, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The task force said “there is moderate or high certainty the service has no net benefit or that the harm outweighs the benefits.” Side effects from treatment of a prostate tumor can include incontinence, impotence, rectal bleeding and many other complications.

Nonetheless, last year Dr. Scott E. Eggener of the University of Chicago Medical Center, found many older men getting unnecessary PSA screening.

Eggener and colleagues used data from the 2005 and 2010 National Health Interview Surveys and found in 2005, before the recommendations, 43 percent of men age 75 and older received the PSA test. In 2010, two years after the guidelines were released, the percentage had grown to 43.9 percent.

In both years, the researchers excluded men who had a test because of a specific prostate complaint, restricting it only to those who received the test as part of routine screening. Only 12.5 percent of men in their 40s and 33.2 percent of men in their 50s — both groups that could benefit from early diagnosis and treatment — received the test.

 

G-Spot Found In Dead Women Who Was 83

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (UPI) — A Florida gynecologist said he discovered the G-spot last fall during a post-mortem on an 83-year-old woman at a university in Poland.

Dr. Adam Ostrzenski, a semi-retired gynecologist in St. Petersburg, Fla., said he performed his research on the dead woman because dissection of human remains is permitted in Poland soon after death, when it’s easier to see fine distinctions in tissue, The Miami Herald reported.

Ostrzenski, who performed reconstructive and cosmetic gynecological procedures at the the Institute of Gynecology, developed seven new techniques for vaginal rejuvenation.

He said he peeled back the six layers of the cadaver’s vaginal wall and found a sac structure between the fifth and sixth layers that housed grape-like clusters of erectile tissue, which is supposed to boost women’s orgasmic sensation. The dissection took 7 hours.

Ostrzenski said he was inspired by the first principles of medicine “first establish the anatomy.”

If the finding, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, is confirmed by further investigation, Ostrzenski said he hoped his work will help rewrite anatomy books.

However, Beverly Whipple, a Rutgers University nursing school professor who popularized the G-spot when she co-authored the 1982 book “The G Spot and Other Discoveries about Human Sexuality,” said Ostrzenski’s discovery is not the G-spot because the G-spot is not one entity.

4,500 U.S. Employees Killed On Job In 2010

WASHINGTON (UPI) — More than 4,500 U.S. workers died from occupational injuries and approximately 49,000 deaths were attributed to work-related illnesses in 2010, officials say.

In 2010, 4,547 U.S. workers died from occupational injuries and approximately 49,000 deaths were attributed to work-related illnesses, officials say.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported approximately 3.1 million workers in private industry and 820,000 in state and local government had a non-fatal occupational injury or illness.

An estimated 2.7 million workers were treated in emergency departments for occupational injuries and illnesses, and approximately 110,000 were hospitalized, said a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Recent research estimated the cost of fatal U.S. worker injuries at $6 billion and the cost of fatal illnesses at $46 billion, but economists are working to calculate the costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses in the United States.

Non-fatal injuries and illnesses were estimated to cost $186 billion and $12 billion annually, a study in the Milbank Quarterly reported.

Workers Memorial Day, set for Saturday, recognizes workers who died or sustained work-related injuries or illnesses.

 

U.S. Workers Not Getting Enough Sleep

ATLANTA (UPI) — An estimated 20 percent of the more than 42,500 U.S. vehicle crashes a year are linked to drowsy driving, federal health officials said.

A report published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said insufficient sleep can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences for fatigued workers and those around them.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends healthy U.S. adults sleep 7-9 hours per day, but 30 percent of civilian-employed U.S. adults — about 40.6 million workers — reported getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep per day on average, the report said.

“The prevalence of short sleep duration fewer than 6 hours per day varied by industry of employment with a significantly higher rate of short sleep duration among workers in manufacturing — 34.1 percent — compared with all workers combined,” the report said.

“Among all workers, those who usually worked the night shift had a much higher prevalence of short sleep duration — 44 percent representing approximately 2.2 million night-shift workers — than those who worked the day shift at 28.8 percent, representing approximately 28.3 million day-shift workers.”

There was high prevalence of short sleep duration among night shift workers in the transportation and warehousing industries at 69.7 percent, and 52 percent in the healthcare and social assistance fields, the report said.

U.S. Teens Lead In Deaths, Pot And Obesity

NEW YORK (UPI) — U.S. teens smoke the most marijuana in the world, have the highest mortality in the world and have high binge drinking rates, a worldwide study found.

A study published in The Lancet examined challenges and problems faced by 1.8 billion young people in the world — including 40 countries overall and 27 nations described as wealthy.

U.S. adolescents die a violent death — due to guns or vehicle fatality — as much as 20 times more than teens in any other wealthy developed nation, the New York Daily News reported.

Following the United States in violent deaths were New Zealand and Portugal. Singapore, the Netherlands and Japan had the lowest rates of violent teen deaths.

The study found Canada, Spain and France followed U.S. youth in smoking the most marijuana. The developed countries that led the world in binge drinking were Austria, Ireland and the United States.

Among all the countries studied, the Pacific island of Tonga had the highest rate of obesity for those ages 13-15, but the United States led the wealthy nations with most obese teens, followed by Canada, Greece, Italy and Malta.

Despite the high U.S. teen obesity rate, U.S. teens exercise as much, or more, than young people in any other country in the study — especially boys.

GM Cries Poor On CEO Pay

DETROIT (UPI) — General Motors, 32 percent owned by U.S. taxpayers, has implored the government to allow it to raise pay levels for top-level executives.

“Appropriately recognizing and rewarding these key contributors and competing with other large, multinational employers to attract and retain fresh talent with critical skill sets is extremely difficult,” GM said in a proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, referring to limits set on GM by the Treasury Department.

“We are not able to deliver compensation for critical personnel in a manner that will continue to focus and drive their efforts in alignment with GM’s internal business plan for sustained long-term growth,” the filing said.

The Detroit News reported Thursday that pay for GM’s Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson, was set at $9 million for the year, but that Akerson received $7.7 million due to the timing of some of the stock options he was awarded.

The News also said that Akerson’s pay was substantially lower than CEO pay at Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler.

Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally earned $29.5 million in total compensation for 2011, including $2 million in salary and $5.46 million in bonus pay.

Mulally’s pay was a substantial 11.3 percent higher than his 2010 compensation package.

Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne earned $22 million in 2011, but all of that came from Fiat and Fiat Industrial, a subsidiary. Chrysler, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, did not pay Marchionne at all in 2011, the News said.

The Detroit Free Press reported that GM’s highest paid executive for 2011 was Thomas Stephens, who retired as vice chairman and global chief technology officer at the beginning of April 1.

Stephens was paid $8.3 million, in 2011, a 48 percent pay hike from the $5.6 million he received in 2010.