Chicago Says 438 Dead In 2012 Gun Violence

CHICAGO (UPI) — Chicago recorded 438 homicides so far this year, three more than in all of 2011, making it one of the most violent cities in the United States, officials say.

In a recent killing, a 33-year-old father of four was shot and killed Monday, an innocent bystander in a turf war between gangs, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.

The city’s homicide toll has made headlines around the world, a fact that is proving a challenge to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The total, however is nowhere near the record 790 recorded in 1974.

Emanuel said he’s proud of milestones the police department has achieved toward cutting the crime rate.

Crime is down 9 percent overall, the largest drop on record, he said. Emanuel noted the city has torn down 200 buildings in a campaign to eliminate hangouts for criminals. He added that crime this month dropped 30 percent from 2011, one of the biggest declines on record.

The city’s homicide rate has been declining for about two decades. In the early 1990s, Chicago recorded 900 homicides a year. Since 2004, the rate has been lower than 500 every year except 2008.

Compared to other major U.S. cities, Chicago’s homicide rate is still high, the Chicago Tribune reported.

New York, which has more than twice the Chicago population, had 339 homicides through Oct. 21, a drop of nearly 20 percent from a year ago. Los Angeles reported 238 homicides through Oct. 20, a dip of 1 percent.

U.S. Amphibious Unit Off Middle East

WASHINGTON (UPI) — A U.S. Marine amphibious unit has reported for duty in the Persian Gulf area, the Corps announced Tuesday.

The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit sailed into the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, which includes the Persian Gulf, the overall Middle East and eastern Africa.

The 15th MEU has about 2,400 troops aboard three transport ships, including the amphibious assault ship USS Peleilu. They will take part in routine exercises with allied nations during their stay and otherwise be on call to respond to any crisis in the area that might call for U.S. troops, the Marine Corps said in a written statement.

The force set sail from San Diego last month and took part in amphibious exercises off Timor before reporting to the Indian Ocean.

 

Afghan Shoots, Kills 2 ISAF Troops

KABUL, Afghanistan (UPI) — A person dressed as an Afghan police officer killed two International Security Assistance Force members in southern Afghanistan Tuesday, officials said.

The matter is being investigated, the ISAF said in a release.

ISAF did not provide other information about the incident nor the identities of the victims. It is ISAF policy to defer to relevant national authorities for victim identification.

The ISAF also said Afghan and coalition forces arrested a Taliban leader in Helmand province Tuesday, Khaama Press reported.

The arrested leader was believed to have been providing tactical information to senior Taliban leaders and help moving roadside bombs to terrorist cell members.

Coalitions and Afghan forces also arrested a Taliban weapons and IED facilitator in Kandahar province Tuesday, the ISAF said. The detainee is suspected of smuggling weapons throughout the province and obtaining bombmaking materials.

The First Time

Oh, my! The kiddies do seem riled up about the newest video sensation that’s confusing the Nation. As the clock ticks down on President Barack Obama’s chances to avoid being a Presidential footnote, Obama turned in an unusual — and not just a little bit creepy — direction to rally what he seems to think is some vast reservoir of untapped teenage voting muscle. And when I say “creepy,” I really mean “unmarked panel truck parked across from the elementary school for three straight days” creepy.

As last week drew to a close, a new viral ad hit the Web. In it, a young woman named Lena Durham — otherwise noteworthy for acting in, writing, directing and producing some witless, juvenile shlock named “Girls” for HBO (It’s not TV; it’s HBObama!) — describes voting for Obama in tones that I might use to describe Rebecca De Mornay showing up at my door with a bottle of The Black Grouse and a winning Powerball ticket. Actually, the “My First Time” ad is worse than my idea — if only because I’m not using sex to sell the most duplicitous President in history to children.

Here’s the ad.

 

 

Yikes. Now, don’t lump me in with the puritanical types who are screaming bloody murder about the unbelievably inappropriate tone of “My First Time.” Pointing out that this unsettling little bit of pro-Obama hype represents the sort of thing that makes my older brother consider sending my niece to a convent in the Yukon Territory is as obvious as suggesting Obama occasionally struggles with the truth. But I learned back when I was a kid that harping on overtly sexualized entertainment is a fool’s errand. Democrats responded to criticism of the spot by claiming that only “old white guys” criticized the ad. They might be right. By the standards of the audience at whom apparently everything produced by young Durham is aimed, I’m an old white guy; and I thought the project needed crampons and a pickaxe to reach insipid.

But being old and white doesn’t make me wrong. “My First Time” is supposed to inspire kids to cast their ballots for Obama.  It inspires me to wonder if we should reexamine the 26th Amendment. Of course, I don’t really think we should raise the voting age. Nearly 70 million Americans voted for Obama in 2008. The overwhelming majority of them were well past their 18th birthday. Given the Democrats’ predilection for — ahem — electoral mischief, some were likely well past their final birthday. But I would suggest that the Nation is in dire need of serious civics tutoring; and I don’t just mean the kiddies.

Perhaps I’d be better served by addressing the kids directly.

Hey, kids. Forget about Obama’s unprecedented failure as a diplomat, an economist and a man. This guy is right in the middle of record National debt; record underemployment; record loss of wealth; record numbers of Americans requiring government assistance to survive; record job losses; the cover-ups of Operation Fast and Furious, Benghazi and the murders (which could have been prevented) of at least five Americans; the most arrogantly corrupt Federal government since the Warren Harding Administration; and the most divided populace in 150 years.

But ignore all of that. Instead, consider this: If you think that casting a ballot for some jug-eared, mom-jeans-wearing blowhard who lies as easily as you breathe and who runs and hides in the girls’ locker room whenever he gets caught is anything like doing “it,” then you’re doing “it” wrong.

–Ben Crystal

A Tenther’s Guide To The Election

ten·ther ˈten-thər  noun

1. A person who supports the Constitution: every issue, every time, no exceptions and no excuses.

2. Those who actively use the principles of decentralization to advance the cause of liberty.

see alsoTenther Movement

Ron Paul is out. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are not going to win. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney represent the classic “lesser of two evils” situation. Rocky Anderson and Virgil Goode are barely a blip on the radar.

Look, I’ve heard all the arguments in this Presidential election. A vote for anyone but Romney is a vote for Obama. A win for Romney means the right will go back to sleep like they were under George W. Bush. The lesser of two evils is still evil. And more.

Like every other Presidential election, people everywhere are shouting from the rooftops: “This is the most important vote of your lifetime!” But all these arguments are missing the point entirely.

The 2012 Presidential election is not a make-or-break election. America, as the Founders envisioned, has already been broken for a long, long time.

Broken

That’s no understatement, either. Pick a clause of the Constitution, and it has likely been violated to the point of nonexistence. Read through the Bill of Rights and you’ll see how few of those essential liberties are truly in place today.

We live under a Federal dictatorship of sorts. Sure, you get to choose your oppressors every few years, but those people still claim the power to do plenty. They tell you what kind of light bulbs you can own and how big your toilet can be. They will arrest you for growing a plant in your backyard and fine you for not purchasing an insurance product. They relentlessly spy on you, monitor phone calls and read emails.

They drop bombs wherever they want around the world; Constitutional requirements for Congressional declarations of war are now considered an anachronism. If they don’t like your opposition to what they do, they’ll use a drone to watch your every move, then kidnap you and keep you in a secret military prison. They call that one “indefinite detention.”

We now have free-speech zones; business and environmental regulations that should be the purview of the States or the people; corporate bailouts; and endless excuses for the lies, rules and failures. It’s never-ending. And, all the while, officials keep debasing the currency in the hopes that their house of cards continues to stand.

Ole King George would have salivated at this kind of power. But, today, some people seem to think that simply casting a vote every few years is all they need to do to advance the cause of the Constitution and your liberty.

They’re wrong.

Top Five

So what’s a good Tenther to do on Nov. 6?

Like my friend Steve Palmer wrote in a recent article, the No. 1 most important thing is not what happens on Nov. 6. What really matters is:

… what we do on 364 other days of the year. If we go back to sleep because we’re happy that the winner is wearing a red jersey or a blue one, we’re doomed to be exploited. If we stay vigilant and ensure that the use of force by government is limited to its Constitutionally legitimate role, then society will bring the blessings of prosperity to all of us.”

I’m not trying to talk you out of voting for one of the Presidential candidates — or even into voting for a different one. More than 90 percent of potential voters are already dead set on who they’re going to vote for — or against, most likely.

My goal here is to encourage you to do more. Since you’re already set on who you’ll be voting against, spending time reading, watching or complaining about any of the candidates is nothing more than a daily soap opera. You can certainly spend your time far more wisely — and help us all in support of the Constitution.

Here’s my list of the top-five things a good Tenther can do this election season.

5. Vote For Good State And Local Candidates

It seems like everyone forgets about the little guys. But these are the people who can change the world. Like the Constitutional structure that the Founders gave us, a revolution in thought and action isn’t a top-down proposal. It’s bottom up.

So check out your State and local campaigns and vote for people that support the Constitution and your liberty. There are some great ones out there, surprisingly enough. Here are a few examples:

Aaron Libby is running for re-election in the Maine State house. He’ll be introducing one of the strongest Obamacare nullification bills in the country.

John Logan Jones is also in Maine — and a strong challenger, too. He was well-positioned to run for Congress, but recognized the absolute need for State governments to take “an activist role in reasserting powers” stolen by the Feds.

My friend Anthony Rice is running for city council in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. And Mark Hopp is running for county commissioner in Alamance County, N.C. These are the kind of guys who will have absolutely no qualms pushing legislation to nullify the National Defense Authorization Act (like 16 communities around the country have already done) and just about anything else on a local level.

David Simpson is running for re-election to the Texas State house. He’s been leading the charge to nullify unConstitutional searches and seizures by the Transportation Security Administration.

Bernie DeCastro is running for sheriff in Marion County, Fla. And Ray Seidel is running for sheriff in Lincoln County, N.M. Both of these guys have been endorsed by Sheriff Richard Mack; and, if they win, they could establish some of the freest counties in the country.

Matt Shea is running for re-election to the Washington State house. He’s a relentless supporter of the Constitution and has worked on legislation to nullify NDAA and Obamacare and worked in support of sound money and more.

4.  Educate

Read. Learn. Share. As more people learn about Constitutional principles, the more good people will take action locally, where real change can be affected.

“Nullification: The Rightful Remedy” is a power-packed DVD that can introduce people to these issues in less than 90 minutes.

Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty is the essential guide to the Tenther movement. It’s the owner’s manual.

Liberty Classroom’s State Nullification: What is it? is a fantastic, free resource.

3.  Lobby Your State And Local Representatives

Hammer away at your local politicians. They usually get ignored; so when they start getting just a few calls to support a particular issue, they’ll start paying attention. Call the ones you know are your opposition, too. Sometimes, politicians are so slimy that they have absolutely zero principles. (OK, sometimes is too modest.) Those people will change with the wind. If you press them, you can make things happen.

The Tenth Amendment Center has model legislation ready for introduction in your area regarding the NDAA, Obamacare, drones, Constitutional tender, the TSA and more.

2.  Vote To Nullify 

There are ballot initiatives in play around the country. You can vote to ban Federal or State insurance mandates in Montana. You can drive a truck through the unConstitutional drug war in Colorado, Oregon and Washington State. You can stand up for healthcare freedom in Florida, Alabama and more.

Check those referendums and vote “yes” on anything that defies Washington, D.C. Every crack in the armor will make us stronger.

1.  Organize

The most important thing you can do right now is organize. This really encompasses all the previous four, and will make every future effort even stronger. Educate people in your community. Build strong support networks for local candidates and referendum campaigns. Get teams of people together to lobby those already in office. And build strong campaigns and coalitions to nullify unConstitutional Federal acts.

You can use the Tenth Amendment Center’s Nullify Obamacare Organizer’s toolkit (pdf) to help you along. It’s a free, 17-page document filled with ideas and methods that work. And, no, you don’t have to focus only on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; you can use these time-tested strategies on whatever issue is most important to you. You might even want to head up your own nullification campaign.

Truth

Bottom line? The time to act is now. Not next year or next fall. Not next month or next week. Today, not tomorrow. Right now.

If all you’re doing is voting, you’re not doing enough. Please start doing more. There. I said it.

While I know that statement will likely irritate some people, I firmly believe it to be the truth. And on truth, Thomas Jefferson couldn’t have been more right:

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”

–Michael Boldin

 

Media Continues Election Race-Baiting

Mainstream media continue to push the idea that the upcoming Presidential election is about race.

In a television appearance Sunday on ABC’s This Week, Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Beast said that if Mitt Romney wins a majority of the vote in Florida and Virginia, the electoral map will look exactly as did the pro-slavery portion of the United States during the Civil War.

Sullivan was responding to an observation made by This Week host George Stephanopoulos noting that national polls indicate Romney holds the favor of six out of 10 white voters.

The Associated Press has also done its part to push the race narrative as the Presidential election season draws down. The news agency published a poll on Saturday titled “AP poll: Majority harbor prejudice against blacks.”

The article begins:

Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.

Those views could cost President Barack Obama votes as he tries for re-election, the survey found, though the effects are mitigated by some Americans’ more favorable views of blacks.

The AP’s polling data suggest that 51 percent of Americans harbor negative feelings toward blacks.

National Security And Kindergarten

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is looking for potential future additions to the United States’ massive security/surveillance apparatus; her agency has begun to target kindergarten-aged children with cybersecurity training.

In a recent blog post on the Department of Homeland Security website, Napolitano writes of the importance of recognizing the next generation of government cybersecurity experts:

At DHS, we’re working to develop the next generation of leaders in cybersecurity while fostering an environment for talented staff to grow in this field.  We are building strong cybersecurity career paths within the Department, and in partnership with other government agencies.  We are also creating training and development opportunities to retain our most talented employees and ensure their professional development.  In collaboration with the National Security Agency, we are strengthening the nation’s educational infrastructure by supporting Centers of Academic Excellence across the country.

In addition, we are extending the scope of cyber education beyond the federal workplace through the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, involving students from kindergarten through post-graduate school. And we sponsor the U.S. Cyber Challenge, a program that works with academia and the private sector to identify and develop the best and brightest cyber talent to meet our nation’s growing and changing security needs.

The DHS has been working desperately in recent years to identify young cybersecurity talent to work in what officials say will play a key role in keeping Americans safe.

Obama Wants ‘Secretary Of Business’

President Barack Obama, seeking to embolden his weak record on American business, said that he would appoint a “secretary of Business” if he is elected to a second term in the White House.

The President said in a recent interview that he would consolidate a number of government business agencies to create a “one-stop shop” for business oversight.

“I’ve said that I want to consolidate a whole bunch of government agencies. We should have one secretary of Business, instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like giving loans to SBA [the Small Business Administration] or helping companies with exports,” he said in an interview with MSNBC.

Under a proposal that Obama put forth in January, six government commerce and trade agencies — including the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Export-Import Bank — would be combined under one Federal agency. He also suggested the SBA should have a seat in the Presidential cabinet.

Congress was not enthusiastic about the President’s proposal, and the initiative failed to gain the support needed to move forward.

Despite Obama’s attempts to appeal to America’s business community, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is continuing with a message that paints the President as a decidedly anti-business candidate.

Political Opportunism And Sandy

As Hurricane Sandy threatened much of the United States’ Eastern seaboard, political pundits took the opportunity to shout back and forth about which Presidential candidate would cut the most funding to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Huffington Post dug up a Mitt Romney quote from during the Republican primary. The candidate was discussing the possibility of doing away with FEMA and making emergency management the responsibility of the States.

“Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better. Instead of thinking, in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite question, what should we keep?” Romney said of the agency.

Headlines from various other news organizations ran with the theme touting things like Salon’s “Mitt’s Frankenstorm economics.” That article claimed that Romney has a vision of an America where free enterprise takes advantage of people in helpless situations as a result of privatization.

Conservative publication Breitbart swung back at the Barack Obama apologist media by pointing out that the President’s proposal for the upcoming budget sequester also calls for cuts to FEMA.

The source reports:

Obama’s proposed cuts to FEMA include the following (emphasis added):

  • Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program – $8 million
  • State and Local Emergency Programs (non-defense) – $183 million
  • State and Local Emergency Programs (defense) – $5 million
  • United States Fire Administration and Training – $4 million
  • Salaries and Expenses (non-defense) – $75 million
  • Salaries and Expenses (defense) – $7 million
  • Disaster Relief – $580 million
  • Emergency Food and Shelter – $10 million
  • Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program – $3 million
  • National Pre-disaster Mitigation Fund – $3 million

Are The Foods In Your Pantry Contaminated?

There have been hundreds of food product recalls in the last few years for everything from tomatoes to peanuts. But consumers don’t always heed the news. According to a survey released by Rutgers University in New Jersey, only 60 percent of Americans check for recalled foods in their home.

William Hallman, professor of human ecology and lead researcher, said he hopes to get more consumers not only to pay attention to the recalls, but to take active steps to rid the products from their homes. Currently, Hallman said only about 25 percent of those surveyed threw out food after hearing about a recall.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Associated Press estimate that about 87 million people get sick from food every year. About 371,000 of those are sick enough for a hospital visit. About 5,700 people die from food poisoning.

In fact, the peanut-related Salmonella outbreak that began in 2008 sickened more than 700 people in 46 States and was linked to nine deaths. The Salmonella outbreak in 2009 linked to hot peppers and tomatoes sickened more than 1,400 people. And a Trader Joe’s peanut butter recall is still ongoing. The CDC reports there are 30 illnesses in 19 States from salmonella-contaminated peanut products.

For more information, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website and sign up for email alerts for the latest news about recalls and contaminated products. You can also use Recall Owl to follow food recall information.

Chevrolet And Mattel Create A Muscle Car

LAS VEGAS (UPI) — U.S. toymaker Mattel Inc. and automaker General Motors Co. are promoting a special edition Camaro as a Hot Wheels car for grownups.

For the first time in 44 years of producing Hot Wheels toys, Mattel is working with a car company to produce a special edition vehicle. The cost for the life-sized, special edition muscle car will be $44,000 for an eight-cylinder version and $37,000 for a six-cylinder model.

The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that the car — which is a marriage of an iconic toy and an iconic automobile — will be featured next week at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association trade show in Las Vegas.

The car features the Hot Wheels logo of red flames and the racing stripe that has been a constant in the Hot Wheels Camaro since it was first produced as a toy in 1968.

That’s only one year younger than the real Camaro, which made its first appearance in 1967, the Detroit News pointed out.

“Who wouldn’t want to grow up and drive a Hot Wheels car?” said John Fitzpatrick, marketing manager for Chevrolet Performance cars.

The companies expect fans of both Hot Wheels and Camaro will be attracted to the special edition vehicle, Fitzpatrick said.

Most Don’t Know They Don’t Save Enough

BOSTON (UPI) — Most people say saving for retirement is their top financial priority, but most don’t save enough and behavioral economics may explain why, a U.S. expert said.

A survey sponsored by the mutual fund company T. Rowe Price found about 72 percent of U.S. adults said saving for retirement was their top financial goal, while 42 percent said a contribution of at least 15 percent of their pay was “ideal.”

However, the survey found 68 percent said they were saving 10 percent or less, which Stuart Ritter, a senior financial planner for T. Rowe Price, described as “not very much.”

The average contribution was about 8 percent of pay, calculated Fidelity Investments, which tracks client contributions to the 401(K)s it manages.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service recently increased the limit on contributions to 401(K) and 403(B) retirement plans from $17,000 to $17,500 and the so-called catch-up contribution available to people who are age 50 or older remained unchanged at $5,500.

Ritter said behavioral economics research has shown employers unfortunately send the message to their workers that about 3 percent is sufficient for the employee to put aside for retirement because that is how much the employer usually matches.

Ritter told Squared Away, a Financial Security Project at Boston College, in an interview the financial industry is partially to blame.

“We have done a really good job of conveying to people how important saving for retirement is, but what we haven’t done as good a job of is telling them how much to save,” Ritter said.

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found typical U.S. baby boomer households had $42,000 in their retirement plans at work in 2010.

Consumer Spending Rose In September

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. consumer spending rose 0.8 percent in September, twice the rate of incomes, the U.S. Commerce Department said Monday.

For the second consecutive month, spending, which climbed 0.5 percent in August, gained at its fastest pace since February. For the three months prior to August, spending rose an average of less than 0.2 percent per month.

Incomes rose 0.4 percent — $48.1 billion — and disposable income gained 0.4 percent or $43 billion. But when adjusted for inflation, disposable incomes was flat after dropping 0.3 percent in August, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said.

Private wages and salaries rose by $19.1 billion after rising by $4.1 billion in August and $9.3 billion in July.

With spending rising faster than incomes, the savings rate declined from 3.7 percent to 3.3 percent.

Consumers were also squeezed by rising prices, but the squeeze was relatively mild with prices up 0.4 percent for the second consecutive month in September.

Core prices, which exclude energy and food prices, rose 0.1 percent, the department said.

Stock markets were closed in New York Monday as the city braced for Hurricane Sandy, leaving investors a day to contemplate how to adjust to Monday’s report.

Economist had expected incomes to rise 0.4 percent and spending to rise 0.6 percent.

Deal Could Merge Penguin And Random House

LONDON (UPI) — Two companies in Europe that run brand name book publishers Penguin and Random House said they would merge their consumer publishing assets.

The companies, Bertelsmann and Pearson, would make the largest English-language consumer book publishing house in the world — Random House — even bigger, The New York Times reported Monday.

“Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers, Marjorie Scardino, chief executive officer of Pearson, said.

Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe also said the merger of divisions would consolidate costs and help the firms compete in a publishing world dealing with new digital options.

“With this planned combination, Bertelsmann and Pearson create the best course for new growth for our world-renowned trade-book publishers, to enable them to publish even more effectively across traditional and emerging formats and distribution channels,” Rabe said.

The deal includes a new arrangement for management and sidesteps the difficulty created when Bertelsmann merged its music publishing business with Sony of Japan in a 50-50 deal that resulted in so much conflict that Bertelsmann later sold its shares.

The current deal would give Random House 53 percent of the merged company, but allow Random House CEO Markus Dohle to become the top executive of the merged company. Penguin’s chief executive, John Makinson, would become chairman.

Some literary agents have already said the deal would not be good for authors, who would see competition for their work decline. The merger could also run up against regulator opposition, given the new company would control one-quarter of the U.S. consumer book publishing business.

Industry Rallies To Defeat Sweet-Drink Tax

EL MONTE, Calif. (UPI) — The mayor of El Monte, Calif., said soda companies came out of their corner swinging to oppose a ballot initiative to tax sugary beverages.

Originally believing the tax on soft drinks would be met with voter approval and provide an easy $7 million for the city’s budget, soft drink companies came out in force to oppose the ballot referendum, spending $1.3 million to lobby against the measure while the city spent $57,000 to promote it, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The city’s sales pitch is based on the obesity and diabetes that are associated with sugary drinks.

But the city is now blanketed with “No on Measure H” signs as the industry has brought in seasoned consultants who are out to convince residents the cost of hundreds of drinks would jump if the tax was to pass.

There are 500 drinks — everything from chocolate milk to Red Bull — listed on a Web site promoting opposition to the tax, which would add a penny to every ounce of “sugar-sweetened” drinks.

Opposition groups have targeted various cultures specifically, showing a Latino woman complaining about the added cost to chocolate milk while an Asian woman complains of the price for “boba milk tea,” that would go up.

Mayor Andre Quintero said he thought he had a referendum that couldn’t fail, but now believes it will fail at the polls.

“What they’re trying to do is not just defeat this measure, they’re trying to obliterate it, so that no elected official ever again considers putting something like this on the ballot,” Quintero said.

That defeat includes the city spends promoting the referendum, which could end up as money they cannot recoup and the simple risk to politicians.

“A lot of people are saying to me, ‘You know this will be the end of your political career,'” Quintero said.

Doctors, Patients Use Massage As Therapy

EVANSTON, Ill. (UPI) — Seventy-five percent of U.S. adults say their main reason for getting a massage in the past 12 months was either medical- or stress-related, a survey indicates.

The survey by the American Massage Therapy Association indicated 87 percent of individuals view massage as being beneficial to overall health and wellness.

Association President Cynthia Ribeiro said medical reasons included pain relief, soreness, stiffness or spasms, injury recovery, migraines and general well-being.

“The findings from this year’s survey display a growing sense of awareness among consumers about massage being an effective tool for a variety of health conditions,” Ribeiro said in a statement. “Physicians are recommending massage therapy to their patients for stress-related tension, pain relief and injuries, as well as to help maintain overall health and wellness.”

Fifty percent said their doctor either strongly recommended or encouraged them to get a massage.

This suggested consumers and healthcare professionals regard massage as a viable option to address health concerns, Ribeiro said.

“A growing body of evidence shows that massage therapy can be effective for a variety of health conditions and massage is rapidly becoming recognized as an important part of health and wellness,” said Dr. Keri Peterson, a board certified internal medicine physician. “Many of my patients come to me with chronic pain including back and knee pain, as well as migraines and injuries after exercise. I am now referring more people than ever to meet with massage therapists as an alternative, before considering surgery or prescribing prescriptions.”

Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed said massage was effective in reducing pain, while almost 30 percent have used massage the therapy at some time for pain relief.

No survey details were provided.

Genes, Not Family, Up Breast Cancer Link

DALLAS (UPI) — Five percent to 10 percent of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary, but women with these gene abnormalities have higher cancer risk, a U.S. surgeon said.

Dr. David Euhus, a surgeon at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said women with the BRCA genes might have as much as an 80 percent risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes.

“Knowing that you carry a mutation in one of the BRCA genes opens up numerous options for early diagnosis and cancer prevention,” Euhus said in a statement. “If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer recently, this information is critical for making treatment decisions.”

Euhus offered a checklist to help individuals decide whether they should consider genetic testing for breast cancer:

— Three or more blood relatives on the same side of the family diagnosed with breast cancer.

— A family history of ovarian cancer.

— A relative on either side of the family diagnosed with breast cancer before age 45.

— Being of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.

— A family member who had triple negative breast cancer before age 60.

— Any male in the family who has had breast cancer.

— Female relatives who have had cancer in both breasts.

Osteoporosis, A Symptom-Free Disease

DALLAS (UPI) — Osteoporosis is a “silent” bone disease because most people — the disease affects 10 million U.S. adults — are unaware of it until a fracture, an expert said.

Dr. Khashayar Sakhaee, chief of the mineral metabolism division at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said most often osteoporosis affects postmenopausal women who undergo a dramatic drop in estrogen — a hormone that assists in the absorption of calcium and prevents calcium loss from the bone. However, the disease can affect anyone with a hormone imbalance, including men who have been treated for prostate cancer.

Proven osteoporosis risk factors include: race — Caucasians have 50 percent to 60 percent more risk — a family history of the disease, lack of exercise, low body weight and smoking. Patients who take high dosages of corticosteroids are also more susceptible to fragile bones, Sakhaee said.

To help prevent development of the disease, Sakhaee advised to:

— Exercise and eat a healthy diet rich with vegetables, fruits and sources of dairy.

— Postmenopausal women and everyone older than 70 should get 1,200 milligrams of calcium every day through diet or supplements. The best source of calcium is always dairy products; one 8-ounce glass of milk includes 800 milligrams of calcium, and one slice of cheese or a single serving of yogurt both have about 200 to 300 milligrams of calcium.

— Postmenopausal women and people over 70 years of age should get 1,000 units of vitamin D each day.

— At age 50, all women should ask their physicians for a bone-density test.

Parental Stress Linked To Child Obesity

PHILADELPHIA (UPI) — Stressed-out parents are more likely to have obese children, U.S. researchers suggest.

“Stress in parents may be an important risk factor for child obesity and related behaviors,” Dr. Elizabeth Prout-Parks, a nutrition specialist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who was the study leader, said in a statement. “The severity and number of stressors are important.”

Among the parental stressors associated with childhood obesity were poor physical and mental health, financial strain and leading a single-parent household, Prout-Parks added.

The researchers analyzed self-reported data from 2,119 parents and caregivers who participated in telephone surveys in the 2006 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey/Community Health Database.

The households contained children ages 3-17, among whom 25 percent were obese. Among the variables included were parental stressors, parent-perceived stress, age, race, health quality and gender of children, adult levels of education, body mass index, gender, sleep quality.

The study, scheduled to be published in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics, found of the measured stressors, single-parent households had the strongest relationship with child obesity, while financial stress had the strongest relationship for a child not being physically active.

Neither parent stressors nor parent-perceived stress was associated with decreased fruit and vegetable consumption by their children, but there was an association between parent-perceived stress and more frequent fast-food consumption by children.

Women May Add 10 Years By Quitting Smoking

OXFORD, England (UPI) — Smoking costs women at least 10 years of life on average, but quitting at about age 30 may gain back those years, researchers in Britain said.

“Both in Britain in the United States, women born around 1940 were the first generation in which many smoked substantial numbers of cigarettes throughout adult life,” Richard Peto of the University of Oxford said in a statement. “Hence, only in the 21st century could we observe directly the full effects of prolonged smoking, and of prolonged cessation, on premature mortality among women.”

Two-thirds of all deaths of smokers in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are often due to smoking-related diseases, including lung cancer, chronic lung disease, heart disease and stroke.

However, the study, published in The Lancet, found women who stopped smoking at about age 30 reduced their risk of premature death to due to cigarettes by 97 percent.

The Million Women Study recruited 1.3 million women in Britain ages 50 to 65 from 1996 to 2001. Participants completed a questionnaire about their lifestyle, medical and social factors and then took another survey three years later.

At the start of the study, 20 percent of the study participants were smokers, 28 percent were ex-smokers and 52 percent had never smoked.

The researchers found women who were still smokers when surveyed three years later were nearly three times as likely as non-smokers to die over the next nine years.

Advice: Text, Don’t Call, In Hurricane

NEW YORK (UPI) — U.S. wireless carriers, preparing for the impact of Hurricane Sandy Monday, urged customers to text rather than call to reduce network congestion.

“Limit non-emergency calls to save battery power and free up wireless networks for emergency workers and operations, and send brief text messages instead,” Verizon Wireless said in a hurricane preparedness statement reported by NBC News.

“When the network gets busy, texts have a higher chance of getting through the first time and can be more efficient,” the statement said.

Wireless carriers also suggested users keep their phones, and accessories like chargers and spare batteries, in sealed plastic bags to avoid water damage.

If cell service goes down in users’ areas but their home WiFi network remains on, they should switch their phones to WiFi, carriers said.

All carriers have been setting up portable cell sites and mobile emergency generators in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast that can replace cell towers that could be damaged in the storm, NBC reported.