Woman Placed On Probation For Protesting TSA

A woman has been found guilty of disorderly conduct after she refused to let Transportation Security Administration agents pat down her and her teenage daughter. Andrea Abbott has been placed on probation.

Abbott faced up to 30 days in jail, but the judge opted for probation because Abbott does not have a criminal record. Nonetheless, Judge Joe P. Binkley Jr., hopes that probation will prevent Abbott from getting “into any further problems with the law.”

In July 2011, Abbott refused to abide by the TSA’s orders. She didn’t want someone to see their “bodies naked.” Abbott began cursing and calling the officers pedophiles. She was then arrested.

The prosecution claimed that Abbott caused an unnecessary disturbance which made the other security lines come to a standstill.

“The defendant should have been aware that her behavior would prevent others from carrying out their lawful activities,” said Assistant District Attorney Megan King.

Defense Attorney Brent Horst argued that the unlawful activity is the invasion of a person’s privacy.

“Since 9/11, we’re losing a lot of freedom, and we have to draw the line somewhere,” he said.

I Am On Obama’s Enemies List

 

Hello. I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. Before I even begin my video commentary today, I’d like to read you a major part of the Articles of Impeachment that Congress leveled at President Richard Nixon:

He (Nixon) has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.

My commentary this week is a personal story. It’s as personal as you can get. You see, I am on Barack Obama’s enemies list. I believe Obama is employing the same tactics as President Nixon. If so, he should meet the same fate: Congress should investigate and, if proven true, impeach Barack Obama for violating the Constitutional rights of American citizens.

Here’s my personal story. I’ve gone through an almost two-year ordeal with the IRS which, I believe, was triggered by my vocal criticism of the Obama Administration. Americans need to hear this story of a small-business owner — not a billionaire — with an unblemished tax record for 30 years suddenly facing this kind of harassment, persecution and intimidation.

If a President of the United States can go after me personally because he doesn’t like my political beliefs, then no one is safe. Today, it’s me; tomorrow it could be you. It doesn’t matter if the President is Republican or Democrat. This cannot be allowed to happen to anyone, regardless of his party or his beliefs.

But it is happening. I’ve done my own personal investigation, and I’ve found a pattern of abuse. This is happening all across America. Our Commander in Chief is a bully. Just like in the old Soviet Union, he’s using the power of the IRS and other government agencies to punish his political opposition and to try to intimidate and silence his critics.

It’s time for Congress to get involved. It’s time for Congressional hearings to determine if this is a widespread pattern of abuse. If this is a pattern of Obama using government to destroy his opposition, to destroy people’s lives, whether it is billionaires or small-business owners like me, Obama and his henchmen must be held accountable. The government of the United States has no right to persecute its citizens for political purposes.

This all started in 2008 when I became the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee and was campaigning across America. I informed audiences that I was Obama’s college classmate, class of ’83 at Columbia University. I told audiences what I thought Obama’s goal would be as President. I predicted he’d follow the strategy taught by two former Columbia professors, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.

I predicted that Obama would promote policies that would damage the economy and bankrupt the business community, so as to cause doubts about capitalism — to shake our faith in the current system. I predicted that he’d accomplish all that by overwhelming the system with spending, addicting a record number of Americans to entitlements, exploding the debt, demonizing business owners and then trying to convince the masses to redistribute wealth (with massive tax increases). 

Sound familiar? It’s all happened exactly according to plan. My prediction was on the money (excuse the pun).

Over the past four years, my opinions critical of the Obama Administration appeared in newspapers across the country and many of the Internet’s most popular conservative websites (like Personal Liberty and FOX News), reaching tens of millions of Americans. I made frequent television appearances on networks like Fox News and CNBC and thousands of appearances on talk radio — always criticizing Obama and his anti-business, anti-capitalist policies.

Obviously, this caught the attention of Obama and his socialist cabal that was hell-bent on destroying capitalism — and anyone who got in the way. Obviously, Obama’s dirty tricks Chicago hit squad decided to intimidate and distract me, in the form of an unsettling call from the IRS.

In January of 2011, an IRS agent called my home and left a message. Without waiting for a response, he immediately called my accountant. We were both shocked at how eager and excited he sounded to get started. My accountant told the IRS agent that he had my “power of attorney” and he was to speak only with the accountant from this point forward.

Guess what this overzealous IRS agent did next? He immediately called me again.

My accountant remarked that in 30 years of dealing with IRS audits, he’d never heard of an IRS agent starting an investigation with a phone call to the taxpayer, then the taxpayer’s accountant and then the taxpayer again. The IRS always sends a letter asking the taxpayer to call them. That was the tipoff something was out of the ordinary. My conversation with the IRS agent seemed odd as well.

The agent let me know that he understood that my accountant had the power of attorney and he was not allowed to speak to me. But he said he just wanted to speak with me once because he was “my biggest fan.” He just had to tell me that he read all of my political columns and often listened to me on the radio. Then, he said he supported my politics and agreed with most everything I said. He said that he personally requested to be my auditor and it was a great “honor” to be auditing me.

I hung up the phone and felt a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. This was an unsettling conversation. It was clear to me that the IRS agent was trying to imitate “Columbo” (the detective from the 1970’s hit TV show). He was playing a game, trying to win my confidence, let my guard down, to hide a more sinister motive. I immediately thought to myself, “This agent is telling a story to try to throw me off the scent of what’s really happening — an attempt to persecute and intimidate a critic of President Obama, ordered by the Obama administration.”

Soon, my gut instinct was verified. My accountant called to say he’d had several conversations with the IRS agent and something seemed very different from any IRS audit he’d ever handled. This agent clearly had an agenda. He was unreasonable. He disregarded facts. He simply disallowed virtually all of my legal deductions. There was even a debate over my mortgage deduction. Soon, he was auditing a second year. It got worse with each conversation.

My accountant called and said, “Wayne, it is so clear that this IRS agent is out to badly damage you. You must hire a top tax lawyer. This is like nothing I’ve ever dealt with. This is not an ordinary IRS audit. You need legal representation right now.”

Please keep in mind, I’m no billionaire or big shot politician. I’m a small-business owner, home-schooling dad and citizen politician. With my many businesses and careers all struggling in this Obama economy, I was now facing a massive IRS attack, an unaffordable tax bill and huge legal fees to fight it.

Soon thereafter I found out that my accountant of 25 years — one of the finest, nicest, men I’ve ever met in my life — had also just received an IRS audit notice for himself only weeks after mine. Coincidence?

I got the message: This was an attack based on my political views. I researched tax attorneys and found the best one in the country. He agreed to handle my case. He looked over my tax records and assured me that he felt the IRS agent was 100 percent incorrect in his belief that any taxes were due. My attorney was also concerned that a review of the audit revealed a highly and unusually aggressive IRS position.

As such, my attorney immediately changed venue to Los Angeles (where he is based) and appealed the case to U.S. Tax Court in California. After almost 18 months of sleepless nights, lawyer bills I could not afford, accounting bills I could not afford, damage to my marriage and who knows how many years of my life reduced by stress, this past July we won a full and complete victory. Not a dime was owed. All of the IRS agent’s unreasonable and overzealous assertions were thrown out. Case closed. 100 percent vindication. Complete victory.

Except the story isn’t over. It gets far worse. I had five days to celebrate. Five days to feel like my life was mine again, with no cloud hanging over me. Five days to hug my wife, with both of us exhaling and repeating out loud: “No more IRS. No more cloud over our heads. No more legal fees!”

And then the unimaginable happened. My tax attorney called to say: “Are you sitting down? I have bad news. I don’t know what to say, but the IRS just contacted me. You’re being audited again.” 

We had just won a complete victory for the years 2007 and 2008 five days before. And now I was being audited again (for the 2009 and 2010 tax years) five days later. In all his many years of practicing tax law, my tax attorney has never heard of such a situation. Ever.

And the new IRS agent treated my attorney the same way: with disdain. He disallowed every legal deduction. It was the same treatment all over again.

Here’s some important personal history you need to know. I have a perfect tax history. Not a single blemish. Thirty years of filing taxes without a problem. I was chosen at random for two audits in my life and came out of both owing nothing — not one dollar. I’ve never been late with a tax bill in my life. I’ve never owed money on a payment plan to the IRS. Nothing. I’m a model citizen and taxpayer.

The odds of this being some random occurrence are zero. People with perfect tax records for 30 years don’t suddenly become an IRS tax target. And certainly not after winning a complete 100 percent victory in U.S. Tax Court only five days before. There is no such thing ever.

And I’m not a billionaire. I’m not wealthy at all. There’s nothing big to go after. This is not just a witch hunt, but a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money. Why would the IRS be persecuting a small-business owner (twice) who happens to be a vocal critic of President Obama?

There’s the answer. The answer is my media megaphone.

That’s why this story is so chilling. If this is allowed to stand, then anyone who has an opinion that government or a politician doesn’t like is at risk of being persecuted, harassed, intimidated and ruined. Free speech is at risk. Today, it’s me; tomorrow it could be you — even if you’re just a small-business owner.

Remember the famous lesson of the Holocaust?

“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

I’m one of several who have come forward to call attention to this dangerous pattern of political persecution going on under Obama, but I’m betting that this is happening all across America to Republican and conservative critics and donors.

We know from media reports that virtually every Tea Party in the country is under IRS attack — not just simple harassment. The IRS is asking frightening questions, such as demanding the names of all members, donors and even speakers at Tea Party events. Are all of these critics of Obama being targeted for IRS persecution because of their ideological beliefs? And what are they doing with the names of Tea Party speakers? Let me give you two guesses: attacking them with IRS audits or attacking them with IRS audits?

We know Sheldon Adelson, the biggest GOP donor in America, is suddenly under Justice Department investigation. Coincidence? He calls it a “smear campaign” orchestrated by the Obama Administration.

Steve Wynn is another outspoken critic of Obama and a major GOP donor. He has been quoted as calling Obama the most anti-business President of his lifetime. Wynn says every business owner he knows is frightened by Obama. Days ago, it was disclosed in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Wynn, too, is under Federal investigation. Coincidence? 

I’m sure the lawyers of billionaire CEOs like Adelson and Wynn have told their clients to no longer criticize Obama publicly. This is how Obama plays the game — like the Mafia. He learned it from politicians in Chicago. This is how you silence your critics.

I have had numerous conversations with high-profile friends who contribute to the GOP or are GOP bundlers, and they are also being audited by the IRS. One of my neighbors is a big GOP fundraiser and bundler, and he’s being attacked by the IRS. Several friends of mine know wealthy donors who received an IRS audit notice only weeks after making major contributions to Romney. One such donor has even gone public. His name is Frank VanderSloot. Just a few weeks after giving $1 million to Romney, he came under attack from both the IRS and the Labor Department. Coincidence?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell even recently accused Obama of using “Nixonian” tactics to target and silence Republican donors.

How many more victims of this Obama witch hunt are out there? I’m betting after my story comes out, thousands of GOP politicians, donors, Obama critics and conservative talk hosts come out of the woodwork to say that they, too, are under IRS attack. This is no coincidence. This can’t be an isolated incident. This is a pattern of abuse. It’s happening right now, right here in America under Obama.

It’s time for all of us to speak up now, before Obama is re-elected and we lose the right to speak out. Free speech and political expression are endangered in Obama’s second term. It is time for Congressional investigations. It is also time for Congress to pass a law that no Administration has the right to order the IRS to attack critics. It is time to reign in our government. It is time to demand an end to government witch hunts ordered by powerful politicians. It is time to shine the light of day on government attempts to intimidate and silence political opponents.

When President Nixon was found to be playing dirty tricks and targeting political opponents, the media screamed loudly about oppression, persecution and political intimidation and cried out for criminal investigations. Where is the media this time? It is time for the media to get outraged and demand Obama be held accountable, just as they did with Nixon.

Let me state this clearly. The IRS isn’t the problem. The IRS is filled with mostly good people, trying to do their jobs. They are just like you and me. But when they get a call from high above, from the office of the President of the United States or a close friend of the President, then they are fearful for their jobs. My outrage is toward President Obama and his henchmen. This is so wrong on so many levels.

But the bad news for Obama and his political mobsters is that they picked on the wrong guy. Not only have I never had a problem with the IRS in my life, I’m willing to do everything in my power to call out this political attack for what it really is. It is time for you to join me in asking questions about the harassment being aimed at critics of the Obama White House. It’s time for Congressional investigations.

I am on Obama’s enemies list. Next, it could be any one of us. It could be you. This cannot be allowed to go on in the United States of America.

I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. I pray that none of you ever have to go through what I’ve been through for the past 22 months. No matter what your political party. No matter what your beliefs. Not in America. This cannot stand.

See you next week. Same time, same place. God Bless.

Bernanke May Step Down From Fed

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will likely resign from his position in January 2014, regardless of whether President Barack Obama is re-elected.

Though Bernanke has declined to comment publicly about the possibility of giving up the position he has held since the George W. Bush Presidency, it is reported that sources close to him say he will likely step down.

“I am very focused on my work, I don’t have any decision or any information to give you on my personal plans,” he said at a news conference last month.

Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has already vowed to replace the Fed chairman if he is elected, most likely with Glenn Hubbard, former Bush Administration head of the Council of Economic Advisers and current economic adviser to the candidate’s campaign.

If Obama is re-elected, a possible replacement for the Fed chairman could be Lawrence Summers, who served as Treasury Secretary from 1999 to 2001 and Director of the White House United States National Economic Council until November 2010.

Whoever replaces the current Fed chair, Bernanke’s Keynesian legacy will likely impact American economics for decades to come. The Fed in recent years has given banks about $16 trillion in undisclosed funds, including $3 trillion to foreign banks. It also announced with its most recent round of quantitative easing that inflationary fiat money printing could continue indefinitely.

An Improper Consolidation

The Union was formed as a confederation of States that joined together voluntarily. It was the States that joined together, not the people.

The Founders saw the States as checks on the Federal government. They understood that the Federal government would attempt to assume more power than it was granted by the Constitution. So the Senate was devised in Article I, Section 3 in such a way as to give the State legislatures Senate-appointing powers. This made the Senators accountable to the States rather than special interests.

The War of Northern Aggression (aka the Civil War) took away one check the States had on Federal overreach: secession. The 17th Amendment took away the other. (As an aside, Obamacare would never have passed if not for the passage of the 17th Amendment.)

Once direct election of Senators was established, States — and, therefore, the citizens — lost control of their Senators. Now Senators are fascists. They are beholden to the corporations that fund their campaigns. They pass laws to benefit those corporations to the detriment of the people they are supposed to represent. Unless you have deep pockets, it is almost impossible to gain an audience with a U.S. Senator. At best, all you can expect is lip service.

In Federalist No. 62, James Madison wrote, “The appointment of senators by the state legislatures… is recommended by the double advantage of favoring a select appointment, and of giving to the state governments such an agency in the formation of the federal government, as must secure the authority of the former… In this spirit it may be remarked, that the equal vote allowed to each State is at once a constitutional recognition of the portion of sovereignty remaining in the individual States, and an instrument for preserving that residuary sovereignty. So far the equality ought to be no less acceptable to the large than to the small States; since they are not less solicitous to guard, by every possible expedient, against an improper consolidation of the States into one simple republic.”

While a repeal of the 17th Amendment won’t completely abolish the fascist corporatocracy that currently rules to our detriment, it would go a long way toward improving the system. The 17th Amendment must be repealed.

Transit Worker Turns In Wallet With $912

BOSTON (UPI) — A Boston transit worker who turned in a lost wallet containing more than $900 said keeping the cash would not have been “the right thing to do.”

Gaynol Waugh, 34, who has been repairing Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority buses since 2005 and is training to get his commercial driver’s license, said he found the wallet Monday on the front seat of the Route 101 bus while he and his training class were on the vehicle at the garage in the Charlestown neighborhood, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

“Whether it be one dollar or a million, it’s not mine and it’s not the right thing to do,” Waugh said of keeping the cash. “I’ve always felt that way.”

“It’s not my money and obviously it belongs to somebody and I just wanted to make sure she got it back,” Waugh said.

Waugh gave the wallet, which contained the owner’s ID and $912 cash, to his instructor and Kevin Graney, district superintendent at the Charlestown bus facility, was able to locate the wallet’s owner.

“They were overjoyed,” Graney said. “Couldn’t believe the honesty.”

Woman Claims $100,000 Lotto Prize Via Mail

COLUMBIA, S.C. (UPI) — South Carolina lottery officials said a woman with apparent faith in the U.S. Postal Service sent her $100,000 winning ticket to them in the mail.

The officials said the rules allow winners to mail tickets worth $100,000 or less, but the vast majority of six-figure winners prefer to collect their winnings in person at the Claims Center in Columbia, WMBF-TV, Myrtle Beach, S.C., reported Wednesday.

Claims Center workers said the woman, who won the money from a Carolina Panthers scratch-off ticket, told them she is a “local driver” from Surfside who decided to take “a chance” on the Postal Service rather than brave the 150-mile drive to Columbia.

Officials said the woman’s check is in the mail.

Two Claims Filed For Backyard $150,000

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (UPI) — An Illinois man the $150,000 in cash he found in his garden last year generated two competing claims for the money.

Wayne Sabaj, who discovered the cash in his McHenry County broccoli garden last year, said the cash would have become his if no one had claimed it by Oct. 1, but authorities said a Naperville liquor store robbed of about $150,000 in 2010 filed a petition to claim the money, as did Sabaj’s 87-year-old neighbor, WGN-TV, Chicago, reported Wednesday.

Both claims were filed two days before the deadline, authorities said.

Lawyers for Sabaj’s neighbor, Dolores Johnson, said the woman suffers from memory problems and does not remember what happened to the money she has been collecting for several years. Johnson’s daughter said she believes her mother threw the cash into Sabaj’s yard.

Robert Burke, Sabaj’s attorney, said he believes the cash was drug money that fell from a sea plane spotted over the Fox River shortly before his client made the discovery.

Cremated Ashes Left At Car Wash

SAN DIEGO (UPI) — A San Diego business group is trying to find out who left a box of cremated remains at a car wash after cleaning out their vehicle.

Liz Greene of the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association said the group is trying to return the ashes of Henry Efebvre, who died 17 years ago, to the person who left them behind Monday at the OB Suds car wash, KGTV, San Diego, reported Wednesday.

Greene said the sticker on the box revealed the man’s name and the year of his death, but the information has yet to lead to any family members.

The box was labeled Secure Crematorium and a business with that name in Santa Ana said it has no record of Efebvre because his cremation was more than 10 years ago.

Police: Man Stole On Way Out Of Jail

SANTA FE, N.M. (UPI) — Authorities in New Mexico said a man being released from jail allegedly swiped $80 on his way out of the facility and used the cash to buy lunch.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said Frank Rodriguez-Tapia, 20, was released from jail Friday and a security camera recorded him taking $80 in cash that belonged to another inmate who was being booked into the jail, KOAT-TV, Albuquerque, reported Wednesday.

Rodriguez-Tapia was supposed to report directly to the electronic monitoring office, but on the way he stopped for lunch at Blake’s Lotaburger, investigators said.

Sheriff’s Lt. William Pacheco said Rodriguez-Tapia admitted to the theft when he arrived at the electronic monitoring office and turned over the remaining $67. He is now facing a larceny charge.

“You would think after three of four times in jail, you would take to heart why you’re in there, maybe try to change your behavior,” Pacheco said.

U.S. Sales Of New Homes Rose In September

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Sales of new single-family homes rose 5.7 percent August to September, the U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000 from a revised August rate of 368,000.

Sales also rose 27.1 percent more than the annual rate of 306,000 from September 2011.

The Commerce Department said the average sale price for a new home sold in September was $292,400, slight drop from August.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of how many new homes were on the market at the end of the month was 145,000, which is 4,000 more than August and represents a 4.5-month supply at the current rate of sales.

Mortgage Activity Slows In Week

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. mortgage activity fell last week as long term interest rates were mostly higher, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

In the week that ended Friday, U.S. mortgage activity fell 12 percent and refinancing fell 13 percent, the MBA said.

Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages rose from 3.57 percent to 3.63 percent with points rising from 0.44 to 0.45.

The average interest rate for 30-year contracts on jumbo loans — loans larger than $417,500 — rose from 3.81 percent to 3.85 percent, rising off a record low for the survey.

Points for 30-year jumbo loans remained at 0.42.

Interest rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose from 2.87 percent to 2.96 percent, rising after eight consecutive weeks. Points for 15-year, fixed rate contracts fell from 0.39 to 0.36.

The average rate for 30-year loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration rose from 3.34 percent, an historic low, to 3.41 percent, while the average rate for short-term adjustable rate mortgages rose from 2.59 percent to 2.72 percent in the week, the MBA said.

Retail Has An Off Week, Up From A Year Ago

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. retail sales fell 0.7 percent during the week ending Oct. 20, but were 2.9 percent higher than during the same week of 2011, a Washington trade group said.

The International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs weekly consumer tracking survey released Wednesday found store traffic was lower than during the same week of 2011, although traffic in department and apparel stores was “somewhat stronger.”

Weather Trends International, which advises retailers on climate factors that influence shopping, said the week “was the warmest third week of October in more than 21 years,” with average temperatures 3.3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than during the same week of 2011.

While warmer temperatures might encourage shoppers to get out of the house, there are times when cool weather helps, prompting seasonal sales of items like boots, mittens, hats and skis.

In the week ending Saturday, U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed the national average price of gasoline “tumbled by 13.2 cents from the prior week to $3.687 per gallon,” indicating more discretionary spending power for consumers, the ICSC report said.

Gasoline prices fell to their lowest level since early August, but the average price was 6.5 percent higher than during the same week of 2011. Relative to the same week a year ago, prices rose for an 11th consecutive week.

Monks Win Another Round In Coffin Fight

NEW ORLEANS (UPI) — A federal appeals court has ruled Louisiana monks can sell handcrafted coffins, finding that a state regulation aims only to restrict competition.

In a unanimous decision late Tuesday, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of St. Joseph Abbey near Covington, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported. The abbey has been fighting a cease-and-desist order from the Louisiana Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors for about two years.

“The great deference due state economic regulation (does not require) courts to accept nonsensical explanations for naked transfers of wealth,” the judges of the 5th U.S. Circuit wrote in their decision. “We insist that Louisiana’s rules not be irrational.”

The judges said Louisiana residents are free to buy caskets and coffins on the Internet and that state law does not actually require burial in a container. Therefore, the regulation requiring all in-state purchases of coffins to be from licensed funeral directors has one purpose, protecting their economic interests.

After the abbey’s woodlands, which had been a major source of income, were devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the monks invested $200,000 in starting St. Joseph’s Woodworks. They offered a “monastic” coffin for $1,500 and a “traditional” model for $2,000, considerably less than funeral homes were charging.

A U.S. District Court also ruled against the state board.

CareerBuilder Points Out Job Growth

CHICAGO (UPI) — Knowing where to go and what to do could be a critical help in finding a job, research from CareerBuilder suggests.

“Job creation in the United States is on an upward trajectory,” said CareerBuilder Chief Executive Officer Matt Ferguson in a statement.

“While growth has been slower or stagnant in certain areas, there is a wide range of industries where the production of new jobs has accelerated,” he said.

The job categories that are on the upswing include “markets tied to energy, production, technology, healthcare, transportation and consulting,” he said.

Jobs with growth in the double digits and that have added at least 20,000 jobs since 2010 include drilling oil and gas wells, up 29 percent; electronic shopping, up 23 percent; crude oil extraction, up 21 percent; and temporary help services up 20 percent, CareerBuilder said.

Also on the fast-growth list: Marketing consulting, computer systems design, and specialized freight and home healthcare services.

And what markets are growing?

Go West, young job seeker.

The San Jose, Calif., job market has grown 7 percent from 2010, while the Houston job market has grown 6 percent.

In Austin, Texas, the market is up 6 percent and in Detroit, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, and Raleigh, N.C., jobs are up 5 percent, CareerBuilder said.

San Francisco and Phoenix, Ariz., have also seen solid job growth, both markets up 4 percent, CareerBuilder said.

Sunburn, Job In Sun Linked To Skin Cancer

TAMPA, Fla. (UPI) — A history of blistering sunburn and having a job in the sunlight was associated with increased risk of skin cancer, U.S. and French researchers found.

The study, published in the journal BioMed Central, found both a history of blistering sunburn and having a job in the sun were associated with basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.

Sunlight exposures at younger ages “tended to be associated with squamous cell carcinoma, but not basal cell carcinoma, risk,” researchers concluded.

Senior study author Dana E. Rollison of the Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at the University of South Florida and the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France surveyed people with both types of cancers, as well as those with no history of skin cancer, to determine the effects of intermittent versus continuous sunlight exposure, as well as the timing of the exposure and age.

“There are more than a million new cases of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas diagnosed in the United States each year,” Rollison said in a statement. “While mortality associated with non-melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas is low, patients may experience substantial morbidity and treatment costs are high.”

Tinted Contact Lenses Can Damage Eyes

CHICAGO (UPI) — Decorative tinted contact lenses are popular on Halloween, but a U.S. optometrist warns improper use without a prescription could cause eye damage.

Peter Russo, director of the Contact Lens Program at Loyola University Medical Center near Chicago, said non-prescription Halloween contacts that come in such colors as white zombie, red vampire and “sexy sapphire” are sold illegally in beauty shops, costume stores and over the Internet.

“Contact lenses should never be worn without a prescription from a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist,” Russo said in the statement. “In fact, it is against the law to sell decorative contact lenses without a prescription.”

Many buyers are teenagers and young adults and when purchased without a prescription, these lenses might not be fitted properly, and buyers usually do not receive proper instruction on how to care for and wear contacts, Russo said.

For example, users might use the wrong solution, share with a friend, wear improperly, fail to disinfect or use tap water rather than contact lens solution, Russo said.

Improper use can cause inflammation and infections, making eyes red and painful. Even when these complications are treated, there’s still a risk that scar tissue could permanently impair vision and require a corneal transplant, Russo said.

“Even when worn for a relatively short period of time, such as during a Halloween party, decorative contact lenses can damage eyes if not used properly,” Russo said.

Parents Fear Backlash Over Ill-Child Care

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (UPI) — A survey indicates one-third of U.S. parents of young children reported they fear losing jobs or pay when they stay home to care for sick children.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked parents who have children age 6 and younger in daycare about the impact of child illness on their families.

Almost one-half of the parents indicated they’ve missed work in the last year to care for sick kids, and one-quarter missed work three or more times.

Half of parents of young children in daycare said finding alternative or backup care is difficult because many providers have rules excluding sick children from care.

Thirty-one percent said they don’t have enough paid leave to cover the days they need for sick children, the survey said.

In addition, 8 percent of parents said they took their sick children to the emergency room because it was more convenient than seeing a primary care doctor.

Dr. Andrew Hashikawa, clinical lecturer in pediatric emergency medicine at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, said many daycare facilities exclude sick children until they have a doctor’s note, are taking antibiotics or their symptoms improve, but not every child with a runny nose or cold needs to be sent home from child care.

Typically, colds are spread before the child has any symptoms, so exclusion from daycare does not necessarily reduce the spread of illness, Hashikawa said.

Politics Demonstrates Body Language Well

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (UPI) — Pointing fingers, interrupting and smirking are ill-advised at work, so there is much to learn from political candidates’ body language, a U.S. expert says.

Melvin Scales, executive coach and Wake Forest University Schools of Business assistant director of student career services, said regardless of political affiliation, debates are a one-stop shop for observing what body language and speech styles reflect the best impression.

“Given that we only have 7 seconds to make a good first impression, it’s important to make every second count and 75 percent of that impression comes from body language such as strong eye contact, a slight smile and a firm handshake,” Scales said in a statement. “Pleasant conversation accounts for the other 25 percent.”

Scales coaches students to control their body language using a technique he calls “head, shoulders, knees and toes:”

— Keep eyes focused on the interviewer without staring. Blink, don’t wink.

— Smile now and then to assure the interviewer that you understand what is being asked, as well as during your responses. This generates confidence.

— Don’t look up or from side to side when responding to a question. Averting your gaze makes you seem less certain, trustworthy and truthful.

— Keep back straight, head up and with arms at the side.

— Minimize the use of hands.

— To make an emphatic point, lean slightly toward the interviewer without invading his or her space, which is about 3 feet.

Probiotics Lessen Severity, Days Of Colds

NEWARK, N.C. (UPI) — College students, who took probiotics had shorter, less severe colds than students who didn’t take the beneficial microorganisms, U.S. researchers found.

Registered dietitian Tracey J. Smith, an adjunct professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey–School of Health Related Professions, randomized 198 college students ages 18-25 living on-campus in residence halls at Framingham State University in Massachusetts.

One group received a placebo and the other group got a powder blend containing Hansen’s probiotic strains Bifidobacterium animalis lactis, or BB-12, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, or LGG, for 12 weeks. Each day, students completed a survey to assess the effect of the probiotic supplementation.

The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found the rate of colds was similar between the two groups, but those who took the probiotics had colds two days shorter, symptoms that were 34 percent less severe and a higher quality-of-life resulted in fewer missed school days — 15 vs. 34 missed by students taking the placebo.

“The study supports the combination of LGG and BB12 — two very specific strains of probiotics. These two strains also are in a number of supplement-type products that are available over the counter,” Smith said in a statement. “But consumers need to read the label to be sure that the product contains LGG and BB12. There also are some yogurts that contain LGG and/or BB12 but check the labels, since companies change the probiotics strains often.”

Dogs React To Yawning After 7 Months

LUND, Sweden (UPI) — Dogs, like humans, are susceptible to contagious yawning, but it develops gradually and puppies younger than 7 months seem immune, Swedish researchers say.

Researchers at Lund University, writing in the journal Animal Cognition, report a developmental, age-related trend in susceptibility to contagious yawning seems to operate in both humans and dogs.

Previous research has demonstrated contagious yawning in humans, adult chimpanzees, baboons and dogs, and suggests it is evidence of empathy.

The researchers studied 35 dogs between 4 and 14 months of age in bouts of play and cuddling with humans and observed the dogs’ responses when people repeatedly yawned, finding only dogs older than 7 months showed evidence of contagious yawning.

A similar pattern exists in humans, researchers said, with children typically beginning to yawn contagiously at age 4 when a number of cognitive abilities begin to show.

The results suggest a general developmental pattern, shared by humans and other animals, in terms of affective empathy and the ability to identify others’ emotions, they said.

Brain Waves Predict Video Game Performance

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (UPI) — A recording of brain waves can be used to predict who will improve most on an unfamiliar video game, researchers at the University of Illinois report.

Using electroencephalography to record electrical activity in the brains of 39 study subjects as they began playing Space Fortress, a video game developed for cognitive research, researchers found subjects whose brain waves oscillated most powerfully in the alpha spectrum — about 10 times per second, or 10 hertz — tended to learn at a faster rate than those whose brain waves oscillated with less power.

The brain signals were an excellent predictor of improvement on the game, postdoctoral researcher Kyle Mathewson said.

“By measuring your brain waves the very first time you play the game, we can predict how fast you’ll learn over the next month.”

Electrical activity in the brain reflects the communication status of billions of neurons, Mathewson said.

“These oscillations are the language of the brain, and different oscillations represent different brain functions.”

The new findings offer tantalizing clues to the mental states that appear to enhance one’s ability to perform complex tasks, he said.

Researcher’s ‘Self-Plagiarism’ Detected

TORONTO (UPI) — A medical journal has castigated a University of Toronto medical researcher for quoting his own previous studies in what it called “self-plagiarism.”

Editors at the Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews issued a rebuke to Stephen Matthews and two colleagues for using unattributed text from five of Matthews’ previous papers in a paper published in 2005, Postmedia News reported.

The replication was uncovered by an undisclosed software program used to seek out plagiarism, the report said.

The journal issued a retraction to the report this month along with a harsh criticism.

“Re-use of any material should be appropriately cited and quoted,” the journal says. “As such this article represents a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system.”

The retracted paper written by Matthews and two associates focused on the effects of glucocorticoid drugs routinely used on pregnant women at risk of early delivery, Postmedia said.

Matthews’ various research projects have received more than $10 million in Canadian federal funding from various agencies, which define self-plagiarism as “redundant publication” and disallow the practice, the report said.

Neither Matthews nor the university would comment on the journal’s retraction.

Gun Advocates Seek To Overturn Maryland Law

RICHMOND, Va. (UPI) — Lawyers for gun-rights advocates challenged a Maryland law  Wednesday, arguing gun owners should not have to show a reason for carrying a weapon.

The state appealed a federal judge’s ruling that restrictions in the law violate the Second Amendment, The Baltimore Sun reported. Raymond Woollard of Baltimore County challenged the law after he was refused a renewal of his gun permit in 2009 because he did not have “good and substantial reason” for carrying a firearm.

Alan Gura, a lawyer for the Second Amendment Foundation, told a federal appeals panel in Richmond, Va., that other constitutional rights do not come with that kind of hedge. For example, he said, no one has to show a good reason for exercising the right to free speech.

“There’s no way we can apply such a restriction to the right to bear arms,” he said.

Gura said the foundation is not objecting to the notion of requiring licenses.

Matthew Fader, an assistant attorney general, said overturning the law would allow almost everyone to carry a gun whenever they wanted to.