States Get Crafty In Effort To Ease Cost Of Obamacare

Lawmakers in Washington State have devised a way to bail State government out of massive new costs related to funding Obamacare mandates, by rearranging part-time public worker classifications so that more employees become eligible for coverage under a Federal exchange program — where they’ll be covered by Federal, instead of State, dollars.

In order to do that, a lot of part-time workers will have to give up their present coverage, choosing instead from among private plans set up under an exchange program run by the State. How will that save the State money? Because health exchanges, a key feature of President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, are eligible for Federal subsidy.

For States like Washington that have signed on to Obamacare, it’s a futile attempt at exerting some measure of sovereignty in implementing an unfunded — or grossly underfunded — Federal mandate.

The more States realize how big a chunk Obamacare will take from their annual budgets, the more they’ll seek ways to displace that burden by “qualifying” more covered individuals for insurance coverage that the Federal government, under the new law, must pay for.

But doing so debases insurance coverage and drives up premiums, as more people who previously went without coverage join the ranks of the insured. And in order for Obamacare States to keep up with the jump in enrollees and the accompanying jump in State costs, they will have to agree to more subsidizing by the Feds — subsidizing that comes across only if the States agree to all the terms.

It’s a vicious cycle. The Federal government can continue to justify an expansion of sovereign powers over the States as long as it regulates them into an untenable position of either accepting Federal subsidies, per the terms of the Act, or opting out altogether and watching their annual public revenues disappear under the crushing weight of Medicaid.

Washington State’s proposal isn’t the only example of a State government innovating ways  to put the costs of Obamacare back on Washington, D.C. Because the Obamacare plan stipulates that anyone who works more than 30 hours a week is a “full time” employee for coverage purposes, States like Virginia already have slashed wage-grade public employees’ hours in order to put them in the group eligible for Federal subsidy.

Credit Card Thieves Have Built A Sophisticated Criminal Marketplace Online

It is no secret that in this age of Internet-everything identity theft is a growing problem. And new research shows that online credit card thieves are among the most well-organized criminals in cyberspace.

Michigan State University criminologist Thomas Holt took a look into the underground world of credit card theft, discovering that the crooks involved have built a sophisticated online marketplace similar to a black market version of eBay or Amazon. By getting together online with other criminals, the thieves are able to sell data and money laundering services, often on Web forums, and send and receive payments electronically or through a third party.

“These aren’t just 15-year-olds stealing credit card info online and using it to buy pornography,” said Holt, associate professor of criminal justice. “These are thieves who come to trust one another. There’s a layer of sophistication here that can’t be understated, that’s very different than what we think about with other forms of crime.”

The thieves begin by stealing credit card information either by hacking into the database of a bank, retailer or service provider, or by sending fraudulent emails with official-looking logos to individuals in an attempt to “phish” for sensitive details such as usernames and passwords. The information can also be stolen in the physical world by attaching a hard-to-spot device on an ATM or by co-opting people who work in sales to swipe the card details with electronic devices.

Then, many thieves opt to sell the card information online to avoid using the stolen card and creating a paper trial. Holt said that stolen information for a Visa Classic card, for instance, will routinely sell online for between $5 and $20.

According to Holt, the card buyers are then able to turn around and find a trove of criminal services online, which — for a fee — help them use the cards for purchases or cash withdrawals without being tracked down by authorities.

The criminologist said that the Internet-based marketplace allows the criminals to take a very Democratic approach to building a vast organized crime network, unlike traditional criminal organizations that have relied on hierarchical structure.

How 18 Financial Superstars Plan To Thrive In Obama’s Terrible Economy

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps-zbIII80k&w=560&h=315]

 

Hello, I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. My new book, The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide, was just released last week. I’m proud to report that, as of this moment, it is the No. 1 finance best-seller in the world at Amazon. It is also the No. 1 economics best-seller. It is also the No. 1 conservative or liberal political best-seller. Last week, it ranked the No. 21 best-seller of all 3 million books sold at Amazon.

Timing is everything in life. Americans are scared to death and searching for hope. They know the economy is bad and getting worse. They know there are no jobs. They know there is no recovery. They know they are being fed a pack of lies by President Barack Obama and the mainstream media that adores him. They know at this moment our economic survival is in question.

It is clear that Obama’s policies will, at best, make things worse over the next four years. At worst, they will collapse the economy. After all, they are the exact same policies that have led to the collapse of the EU economy happening now before our very eyes. Europe is in a Great Depression, maybe the greatest of all time. And the EU is America’s No. 1 trading partner. Its crisis will become our crisis. Its collapse will deepen our collapse.

But there is good news amid this terrible economic crisis. Did you know that there were more self-made millionaires created during the Great Depression than in any other period in history? While the vast majority of citizens were crushed (and that’s a tragedy), a select smart few Americans made fortunes. That’s because crisis, decline and collapse often create great opportunity for those with vision, courage and a unique understanding of the situation. So how can you capitalize on this same scenario today?

Much like the first Great Depression, we are about to experience “the greatest wealth transfer in world history.” You’ll need to get on the right side. You’ll need a detailed plan that will empower you to do better, even as the economy gets worse.

The first thing going in our favor is that Obama is so predictable. He’s going to do what he’s always done: more big-government spending and massive cradle-to-grave entitlements. That much is clear.
 Despite the President’s reckless policies and insane levels of spending and debt, your path to success is to create your own “Booming Personal Economy” in the midst of economic collapse. To write my new book,The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide, I turned to 18 of the smartest and richest superstars of business and finance for help. Almost all are worth $100 million or more. A couple are billionaires. Several manage a billion-dollar hedge fund. I was honored they agreed to give my readers their valuable advice and game plan for the next four years. They were actually excited to contribute.

Let me give you a small taste of what they told me.

First, let me demonstrate something: If you had invested $1 million in 1913 in the U.S. dollar (kept your money in the bank or put it under the mattress), your assets today would be worth about $40,000. But if you had instead invested in gold, your assets would be worth $87 million. These are facts.

Our reckless and spendthrift politicians and inept government have let it happened again and again. In 1971, if you had invested the same $1 million in the dollar, today it would be worth $200,000. If you had chosen gold instead, you’d have about $47 million. How about the year 2000? Today, your $1 million investment in the dollar would be worth $663,000. If you chose gold, it’s worth about $5.7 million.

The smartest bankers in the world concur. In 2012, central bankers of the world’s industrialized nations bought more gold to protect their countries than in all the years since 1964 combined. They know what my 18 business superstars know: Very bad times are coming. If you don’t invest in precious metals to protect your assets, you are playing Russian roulette with your family’s future.

And now it’s the perfect time to buy. Gold and silver had a large decline last week. Count your blessings. You can now buy at a big discount. The masses are (as usual) headed for disaster, panicking and selling gold at its lowest point in years and crowding (like a herd of cattle) into stocks, bonds and the U.S. dollar at their highest points. History suggests this will not end well. My 18 millionaire and billionaire friends are using this drop in price to buy gold with both fists.

Evidently, some very smart people agree; because in response to that one day crash of gold, we saw record-setting gold sales. In Asia, it was described as the biggest gold-buying spree in 50 years. In Europe, there is a three- to four-week wait to get the physical gold you bought last week, because gold dealers can’t keep up with the demand. And one of smartest and richest billionaire investors on Wall Street announced just days ago that he believes economic disaster is coming and that the only possible way to protect yourself is gold.

But my 18 millionaires and billionaires had lots of priceless advice beyond buying gold. These superstars of business and finance also agree that you should:

  • Move to a no-tax State like Texas, Nevada or Florida. Over the course of a typical 40-year working life, you can save an extra $1 million for your retirement without actually earning $1 more or working any harder. You save the extra money simply because you keep more of what you earned.
  • Invest in oil and energy stocks. Instead of complaining about the price of gas and home heating oil, you can instead prosper from it. When the price of a barrel of oil goes up, you’ll cheer instead of curse, because you own it.
  • Invest in farmland and agriculture stocks. Instead of complaining about the dramatic rise in the price of food, prosper from it. Every time you go to the supermarket and the prices of meat, milk and lettuce are up, you’ll cheer instead of complain, because you own it.
  • Invest in medical real estate and medical stocks. Obamacare is the biggest boondoggle in history. But like it or not, it’s here to stay. Instead of complaining about the trillions of dollars the government will waste on Obamacare and the 40 million new patients we’re paying for (including illegal immigrants), prosper from it. Buy stock in health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, medical real estate investment trusts. Every time the government spends $50 on a $1 procedure, you’ll cheer because you own it.
  • Invest in foreign stocks, bonds and real estate. You already have a home, a career and a pension fund invested in America. It’s time to diversify. Obama was right about one thing: You must “spread your wealth around” — to countries that have lower taxes, more opportunity, better demographics and a brighter future than America under Obama. My millionaires and billionaires are investing in China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland, to name a few. The future is brighter than America in those countries. The people in those countries are hungry, driven and ambitious — the way Americans used to be. You need to invest in their success.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and you’ll need a very sturdy lifeboat to weather this storm. When it comes to Obama, first get mad; then get even. This is how you do it. With an 18-point plan called Y-PODS: “Your Personal Obama Defense Shield.”

It all starts with the battle plan above from my new book, The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide. America’s survival is in doubt, but yours doesn’t have to be. You have a duty to survive, to protect your assets, to save your family. You must create your own “Booming Personal Economy,” no matter what Obama does to the American economy. Your mission is to survive, thrive and prosper despite Obama.

You can find my best-selling book, The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide, at Amazon.com or at Costco, Barnes & Noble, Sam’s Club, Books-A-Million or any fine bookstore. Or you can find more information in the box right under this article. Just look for the book cover of The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide to order your very own copy.

I’m Wayne Root for PersonalLiberty.com. See you next week. Same time, same place. God bless.

A Double Deathblow To The 4th Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Amendment 4 to the U.S. Constitution

For years, the 4th Amendment has been whittled away. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and subsequent amendments to it — including the FISA Amendment Acts of 2008; the USA Patriot Act; National Security Agency spying; the National Defense Authorization Act; and new technology that allows government snoops to peer inside your homes, cars and beneath your clothes — have all chipped away at its very foundation.

But this week, the 4th Amendment, thought so important by the Founding Fathers who had experienced the tyranny of warrantless searches and seizures by British soldiers, suffered a double deathblow. The first came on Friday in Boston, as police ordered hundreds of innocent homeowners from their homes at gunpoint and conducted warrantless, illegal searches of their homes in a hunt for a teenage bombing suspect who had killed three people. And it came in Congress on Tuesday as the House passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which allows the government to access online data.

Police actions in Boston set an unnerving precedent that harkens back to Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. CISPA essentially “legalizes” what the government has been doing from some time through FISA and the Patriot Act.

From the United States Holocaust Museum website:

The Nazi state in fact alleviated many of the frustrations the police experienced in the Weimar Republic. The Nazis shielded the police from public criticism by censoring the press… The Nazis centralized and fully funded the police to better combat criminal gangs and promote state security. The Nazi state increased staff and training, and modernized police equipment. The Nazis offered the police the broadest latitude in arrests, incarceration, and the treatment of prisoners. The police moved to take “preventive action,” that is, to make arrests without the evidence required for a conviction in court and indeed without court supervision at all… Crime did indeed go down and the operation of criminal gangs ended. Order was restored. But there was a price… The Nazis took control and transformed the traditional police forces of the Weimar Republic into an instrument of state repression and, eventually, of genocide.

Once a precedent is established de facto, it is only a matter of time until it is established de jure. It will take time. But the criminal elected class and their partners in crime believe they have all the time they need and many incidents of “terror” on the horizon to help create the false notion that one more liberty-stealing law will make us that much safer.

Dangerous, Illegal And Common

If Stephen King, Dean Koontz and William Peter Blatty were locked in a room with a laptop, the collected works of Edgar Allen Poe and a truckload of Bogota, Colombia’s finest nose candy, I’m not sure they could come up with something quite as horrifying as a regular business day at the abortion clinic and house of horrors run by accused murderer Kermit Gosnell. And if three titans of terror did manage to produce a tale as twisted as any Tuesday at the Women’s Medical Society of Philadelphia, I doubt I would let them out afterward.

Yet I’m left wondering how this real-life slasher film could even have unfolded. After all, the Democrats and their anti-life allies have been insisting for decades that rendering abortion “safe, legal and rare” would eliminate just this sort of thing. No more untrained and possibly deranged pseudo-doctors committing unspeakable acts in back alleys. No more of those crude coat-hanger abortions they claimed ran rampant before Roe took out Wade.

How then to explain the litany of abuses that trail “Dr.” Gosnell throughout his decades-long career in the sub-basement of modern medicine’s worst tenement? In an age during which not only do the anti-lifers mingle with lawmakers but they often are the lawmakers, how could Gosnell’s crimes have been committed, much less gone unreported? According to the grand jury report, Gosnell:

[R]egularly and illegally delivered live, viable, babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors… he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels — and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths.

According to witness testimony, one baby who survived an abortion “was like swimming” in the toilet. “Basically, trying to get out.” The same witness later recounted Gosnell joking about one victim being “big enough that it (sic) could walk to the store or the bus stop.” Hey, if you’re going to run an abortion mill with the hygiene of a Third World abattoir, at least you should have a sense of humor about it, right? At least Gosnell wasn’t doing anything incredibly creepy, like keeping trophies of his victims in jars or participating in an abortion experiment that would give Josef Mengele the heebie-jeebies.

Could not one of the millions of dollars in taxpayer funding handed over to abortion-cover group Planned Parenthood be spared to ensure Gosnell’s freak show was reported? It certainly had enough cash on hand after the Gloria Steinem-headlined fundraiser it held scant miles away from Gosnell’s clinic. According to Planned Parenthood, its Southeastern Pennsylvania’s 17th Annual Spring Gathering with Keynote Speaker Gloria Steinem sold out the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Could Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius not have taken a day away from lying about the cost increases in Obamacare to send an inspector by to at least check the plumbing? From the grand jury report:

James Johnson, who supposedly cleaned the clinic and bagged its infectious waste, confirmed [clinic employee Latosha] Lewis’s account. He testified that sometimes patients “miscarried or whatever it was” into the toilet and clogged it.

No other species on the planet kills its own young as a matter of simple convenience. No dolphin mommies drown their little Flippers to go clubbing with the barracuda and his posse. No queen ant chows down on her own little antlets because she has no time to feed them. Even when the major predators go after their own kind, the mothers will die to protect their cubs, not douse them in steak sauce and serve them with garnish. Yet some humans — the masterwork produced by more than 4 billion years of animals fighting desperately to survive — will not only kill their children rather than deal with the hassle of raising them; they’ll let Gosnell handle the wet work.

Instead of “safe, legal and rare,” the abortionists have created a death culture that includes Gosnell’s Philadelphia freak show, the Women’s Health Center of Philadelphia: definitely unsafe, probably illegal and depressingly common.

–Ben Crystal

Rand Paul Likely Just Lost Some Supporters, Even If He Really Doesn’t ‘Love The Drone’

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been taking heat from his libertarian-leaning supporters after making comments on Monday about domestic drone use that were either resultant of parapraxis or representative of a flip-flop from the positions he held just more than a month ago.

Paul said during a FOX Business interview late Monday, “Here’s the distinction: I have never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an act of crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him. But it’s different if they want to come fly over your hot tub or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities.”

The Senator’s statement, which suggested that he was fine with drastically lowering the threshold at which government agents should be allowed to carry out lethal drone strikes on American citizens, stirred up a great deal of consternation among supporters who championed his anti-drone filibuster in March.

Drudge Report exclaimed in its signature headline-centric fashion: “Rand Paul Learns To Love the Drone!”

And The Daily Paul, a libertarian news and opinion blog kicked off by Ron Paul supporters, garnered heavy readership on a post entitled: “Rand Paul is a FRAUD and another Obama!”

From that piece:

He redeemed himself in my eyes when he accomplished the epic 13 hour filibuster which I actually watched more than half of. I was thrilled he was standing up for all of us and the country. I became a Rand Paul supporter once more.

NOW…. he has committed treason against the U.S. people and he has nullified his epic filibuster by going directly against it.

Rand Paul says at 2:30 point of the video below “If someone is coming out of a liquor store with a gun and $50 dollars I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.”

WTF???!!!! REALLY???

You – Rand Paul….. Don’t Care if a drone is JUDGE JURY AND EXECUTIONER of someone ROBBING a store? So someone should be KILLED for robbing a Store?

How Dare you….. believe drones should KILL people during a crime instead of letting a jury of their peers convict them!!!! Also, who is to say the real robber didn’t toss the person out with the gun, no one knows what the real situation is, until evidence is completely provided in a COURT ROOM!

Paul responded to the criticism on Tuesday, in an attempt to recast his earlier statements in a more Constitutionally affable light.

“My comments last night left the mistaken impression that my position on drones had changed,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “Let me be clear: it has not. Armed drones should not be used in normal crime situations. They only may only be considered in extraordinary, lethal situations where there is an ongoing, imminent threat. I described that scenario previously during my Senate filibuster.”

Liberty advocate Judge Andrew Napolitano came to Paul’s defense Wednesday, also during a FOX Business interview, contending that poor word choice was what made the Senator’s statements seem so opposite his past positions.

“The filibuster was about the concept of targeted assassinations, about the President picking and choosing who to kill in the U.S. or elsewhere who have not received due process of law,” Napolitano said. “They have not been charged of a crime, they have not been convicted of a crime, they’ve just gotten in the President’s crosshairs. That is the essence of the filibuster.”

Napolitano went on to say, “He probably should have said ‘Coming out of a liquor store shooting and with 50 bucks.’ If someone is using a deadly weapon on police or the civilians, the police can use a deadly weapon with which to repel that person.”

Leftist TMZ Rips Model For Gun Dress

Apparently, no corner of American society is safe from liberal gun bashing — not even fashion.

Sleaze mongers TMZ ripped into model Karolina Kurkova over the weekend for daring to step onto a public sidewalk in New York City wearing a white dress covered with silhouettes of various guns.

The website called her selection in daywear “by far the most insensitive fashion choice for anyone, much less a supermodel, could make on this particular day….Either Karolina’s been under a rock…or she just doesn’t give a crap.”

Hopefully, she doesn’t.

Hat tip to Breitbart, which offered this retort:

“Wear a Che Guevara T-shirt any day, any time, and no one from the media will say a syllable about it.”

Oof.

Taxpayers Fork Out $890,000 For Fees On Unused Government Bank Accounts

The White House and several officials continue to moan and groan and cry “wolf” over sequester cuts, but here’s yet another story to illustrate why bureaucrats reap what they sow. This year, the Federal government is slated to spend nearly $1 million on service fees for bank accounts that it doesn’t use.

According to The Washington Postthe Federal government currently has 13,712 bank accounts with nothing in them, which will cost taxpayers at least $890,000 in banking fees for the year.

The accounts are supposed to be closed by bureaucratic employees, but it seems no one really wants to do the paperwork required to close them. So, as government workers and the White House continue to talk about the devastating impacts of sequester, taxpayer dollars are still being used to pay $65 per year, per account to keep them open.

The Worst Job In America? News Reporter

What do door-to-door salesmen, lumberjacks, soldiers, meter readers, mail carriers and roofers have in common?

They all have better jobs than reporters.

A survey by Careercast.com has found, to no one’s surprise, that being a reporter is the worst job in America (for those of us who do still have jobs) in 2013.

The report used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to assess the quality of more than 200 professions according to criteria including work environment, physical demand, income, stress and job outlook.

Low pay, high stress, terrible schedules, near-universal disdain from media consumers, the rise in popularity of alternative online news and the high cost of journalism school are all factors contributing to the reporting profession’s dubious honor.

Did Brain Injuries Lead To Boston Terror? Probably Not

Citing rapid behavioral changes that occurred in his 20s, some people have posited that Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev could have been more easily radicalized to the point of carrying out acts of terror because of brain injuries he may have sustained in his fledging boxing career.

Researchers say that the possibility that brain injuries played a role is worth looking at, but not likely.

From The Boston Globe: 

Two pioneering researchers of brain disease among athletes in violent sports recommended Saturday that investigators conduct special autopsy tests on amateur boxer Tamerlan Tsarnaev to determine whether the Boston Marathon bombing suspect could have been affected by boxing-related brain damage.

The researchers expressed serious doubt the disease — chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE — could have factored in the wave of violence that led to Tsarnaev’s death early Friday in a firefight with police.

But they suggested investigators would be remiss if they did not autopsy Tsarnaev’s brain for signs of CTE. The disease can only be diagnosed through post-mortem forensic tests of the brain.

Study: Being Alone Makes Danger Appear Closer Than When In A Group

EAST LANSING, Mich. (UPI) — Humans when alone see threats as closer than they actually are but in a close group that misperception disappears, Michigan State University researchers say.

Their study is evidence people’s visual biases change when surrounded by members of their own group, creating a perception of “safety in numbers,” they said.

“Having one’s group or posse around actually changes the perceived seriousness of the threat,” psychology Professor Joseph Cesario said. “In that situation, they don’t see the threat quite so closely because they have their people around to support them in responding to the threat.”

The research was inspired by an earlier MSU study of wild hyenas in Kenya where scientists played recordings of hyenas from other parts of Africa and found the Kenya hyenas were more likely to approach the source of the sound when they were in groups and more likely to flee when they were alone.

In two studies of more than 300 participants, Cesario and colleague Carlos Navarrete found people who are alone judge threats as much closer than when they are in a group.

It’s an evolutionary adaptation found in many social species, they said.

“This is about evolutionarily significant threats, such as members of a different group coming to steal resources or attack you,” Cesario said. “The cost of not responding soon enough to a threat like that could be death or serious injury. So seeing that threat as closer allows you to respond with enough time to spare.

“What our work shows is that having your group or coalition around you makes that kind of early responding less necessary.”

Bill Could Mandate Background Checks For Gunpowder

A bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would mandate background checks on anyone attempting to buy traditional gun powder, commonly known as black powder.

The move comes as Democratic Senators react to the Boston Marathon bombing. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), on whose behalf Reid introduced the bill, said requiring the checks “is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of our communities.”

While gunpowder is no longer used in the majority of modern consumer ammunition, it’s still used for explosives, fireworks and muzzle-loading weapons. Other types of munitions powder, including modern smokeless powder, would also require background checks for amounts exceeding 50 pounds.

 

Survey: Most Family Caregivers Lie To Those They’re Caring For

NAPLES, Fla. (UPI) — Seventy-three percent of U.S. adults who care for an elderly parent of family member admit to lying to the person they’re caring for, a survey indicates.

AgingCare.com surveyed more than 700 people taking care of an elderly parent or family member and found:

— Of the 73 percent of family caregivers, who admitted to lying to the person they’re caring for; 43 percent lied on a weekly basis.

— Half who admitted to lying said it was justified because it either made their own life easier or it’s for the elderly family member’s “own good.”

— Only 28 percent, who lied said it was wrong and felt guilty.

Family caregivers are most honest about their loved one’s medical condition and least honest about their own feelings: 65 percent lied about their own feelings, while 10 percent lied about their loved one’s medical reports or test results.

The AgingCare.com Caregiver Forum provides an outlet for caregiver honesty; members can share their candid feelings or worries without condemnation, without guilt and without hurting the one they love.

For example, one forum member said: “People tell me how great I am for taking care of my mom and when they tell me this I feel worse because of the way I really feel deep inside. I want my life back.”

Another member said, “I’m usually pretty compassionate but people who compare taking care of someone with dementia to taking care of a child should be whomped upside the head.”

No survey details were provided.

More Green Spaces: Better Health, Less Stress, More Money

EXETER, England (UPI) — People who live in cities with more green space reported less mental distress, better health, higher life satisfaction and income, British researchers say.

Mathew White and colleagues at the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter Medical School examined data from a national longitudinal survey of households in Britain.

“Living in an urban area with relatively high levels of green space compared to one with relatively low levels of green space was associated with a positive impact on well-being equivalent to roughly a third of the impact of being married vs. unmarried and a tenth of the impact of being employed vs. unemployed,” White said in a statement.

The study, published in Psychological Science, showed even if stacked up against other factors that contribute to life satisfaction, living in a greener area had a significant effect.

“These kinds of comparisons are important for policymakers when trying to decide how to invest scarce public resources, e.g. for park development or upkeep, and figuring out what ‘bang’ they’ll get for their buck,” White said.

Findings from previous research suggested a correlation between green space and well-being, but those studies weren’t able to rule out the possibility that people with higher levels of well-being simply moved to greener areas, White said.

White and colleagues said they solved the problem by using longitudinal data from the national survey collected annually from more than 10,000 people from 1991-2008.

Meeting The Sexual Needs Of Partner Helps Keep Spark Alive

TORONTO (UPI) — People willing to meet their partner’s needs above their own may keep the sexual spark alive in long-term relationships, Canadian and British researchers say.

Amy Muise, a post-doctoral fellow of the University of Toronto, and colleagues at the University of Cambridge in England and the University of Guelph in Canada said in a 21-day daily experience study of 44 long-term couples, individuals higher in sexual communal strength engaged in daily sexual interactions for approach goals, and in turn, reported high levels of daily sexual desire.

“Communal relationships” refers to giving to a partner based on need without the expectation of direct reciprocation, where exchange relationships involve giving with the expectation that similar benefits will be returned or tit-for-tat.

“Sexual communal strength is communal motivation in the specific domain of sexuality — so a motivation to meet a partner’s needs without the expectation of direct reciprocation,” Muise told United Press International.

Sexual communal strength also buffered against declines in sexual desire over a four-month period of time. These associations held after controlling for general communal strength, relationship satisfaction, sexual frequency, age and whether or not the couples had children, the study said.

In other words, those who put the needs of their partner ahead of their own and put the relationship ahead of their own needs, ended up having higher intimacy and more desire for sex.

The findings are scheduled to be published in the May issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Mangoes May Help Lower Blood Sugar And Cancer Risk

STILLWATER, Okla. (UPI) — Mangoes may have a positive effect on blood sugar in obese individuals and help to limit inflammation, U.S. researchers suggest.

Edralin Lucas, an associate professor of nutritional sciences at Oklahoma State University, examined the effects of daily mango consumption on clinical parameters and body composition in obese subjects — body mass index of 30 or more.

Eleven men and nine women participated in the study, which included daily dietary supplementation with 10 grams of freeze dried mango — the equivalent to approximately 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces, of fresh mango for 12 weeks.

Blood sugar levels at the conclusion of the study were significantly lower than the baseline in both male and female subjects, but there no significant changes in body composition for either gender, and BMI increased significantly in female subjects but not male subjects.

These findings are the result of a single study and more research is needed on the effects of mango consumption on human health.

“The results of this study support what we learned in our recent animal model, which found mango improved blood glucose in mice fed a high-fat diet,” Lucas said in a statement. “Although the mechanism by which mango exerts its effects warrants further investigation, we do know that mangoes contain a complex mixture of polyphenolic compounds. Research has shown that several other plants — soy, green tea and grape seed — and their polyphenolic compounds have a positive effect on adipose tissue.”

The findings were presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Boston.

Expert Suggests Not Reheating Food In Plastic In Microwave

TEMPE, Ariz. (UPI) — Heating leftovers in the office microwave can leave possible toxins in the food and cold spots that harbor bacteria, a U.S. expert says.

Rolf Halden, the director for the Center for Environmental Security at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, said the level of chemicals leaching into food while being reheated in the microwave depends on the type of plastic put in the microwave, the time it is heated and the physical condition of the container, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“We don’t know if and how many people die from plastic exposure, but we do know that in the developed world we suffer from a lot of diseases —  breast cancer, obesity and early onset puberty — that are less prevalent in developing countries,” Halden told the Journal. “These are a result of our lifestyle. From a public health perspective, we should consider heated plastic an unnecessary source of exposure to harmful elements and eliminate it.”

Halden, who has done studies on emerging contaminants and plastics for more than a decade, said phthalates can leach into food, resulting in hormone imbalances and birth defects — but no one knows at what level those effects are triggered.

Bisphenol A is potentially worse. Used in everything from the lining of metal soup cans to receipt paper, BPA was banned from baby bottles by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but other exposure continues.

Old, cracked plastic containers and those washed hundreds of times often give off more toxins when heated, Halden said.

Instead of plastic, Halden suggested using glass or ceramic for microwave heating, or better yet, avoid the the hot and cold spots of microwave reheating and use an oven or the stove.

Mortgage Activity Rises Marginally

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. mortgage activity rose slightly last week, as long-term interest rates dropped, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

The association said mortgage activity rose 0.2 percent in the week, while refinancing activity rose 0.3 percent from the previous week.

Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages decreased from 3.67 percent to 3.65 percent during the week. Points for 30-year conforming loans fell from 0.5 to 0.41.

The average interest rate for 30-year contracts on jumbo loans — larger than $417,500 — was unchanged at 3.77 percent. Points for 30-year jumbo loans rose from 0.27 to 0.37.

Interest rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell from 2.91 percent to 2.89 percent, with points rising from 0.34 to 0.4.

The average rate for 30-year loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration held at 3.37 percent with points rising from 0.55 to 0.64. The average rate for short-term, adjustable-rate mortgages rose in the week from 2.57 percent to 2.62 percent in the week, with points falling from 0.29 to 0.21, the MBA said.

Durable Goods Down In March

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. durable goods orders dropped 5.7 percent in March, marking the second downturn in the past three months, the U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Factory orders dropped to $216.3 billion, down by $13.1 billion after a 4.3 percent increase in February, which was previously reported as a 5.7 percent gain.

Excluding transportation equipment, factory orders for goods expected to last at least three years fell 1.4 percent. Excluding defense orders, new business for factories dropped 4.7 percent, the Commerce Department said.

Transportation orders, which have been see-sawing for seven months, dropped 15 percent or $11 billion to $62.4 billion.

Among transportation orders, non-defense aircraft and parts led the decline with a drop of $8.5 billion in new orders.

Durable goods inventories, up for 17 of the past 18 months, rose slightly to $377.2 billion. Shipments, up six of the past seven months, rose 0.4 percent to $230 billion.

New orders for capital goods in March fell by 10.6 percent or $8.3 billion to $70.2 billion.

The capital goods category is considered a leading indicator, showing how much businesses are investing in themselves for items such as printing presses, tool and die presses, backhoes and other equipment. If business managers sense a downturn ahead, they hesitate to invest in new equipment.

Women Associate Business With Immorality More Than Men

BERKELEY, Calif. (UPI) — U.S. researchers suggest women enter business school at a lower rate than men and are underrepresented in high-ranking positions because of ethical concerns.

Laura J. Kray of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and Jessica A. Kennedy of the University of Pennsylvania said they propose women, more than men, find ethical compromises unacceptable.

Ethical compromises may be especially prevalent in business organizations because the primary goal in business is to produce profit, a secular value. Many business executives feel obligated to compromise their values to advance their careers and achieve company goals.

Although all careers may involve ethical compromises to some extent, the profit motive distinguishes business from other fields, such as law and medicine, which also have ethical values, such as justice and health, as underlying justifications, the researchers said.

In one study, the researchers found when reading decisions that compromised ethical values for social status and monetary gains, women reported feeling more moral outrage and perceived less business sense in the decisions than men.

In the second study, the researchers established a causal relationship between aversion to ethical compromises and disinterest in business careers by manipulating the presence of ethical compromises in job descriptions.

In the third study, Kray and Kennedy found women implicitly associated business with immorality more than men did.

“Women’s relatively strong implicit association between business and immorality may explain why they are underrepresented in business careers,” the study said.

The study was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Opposition To SEC Disclosure Rule Joins Forces

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Three major business groups in Washington have lined up against a proposed rule that would force firms to disclose political donations, a joint letter shows.

The letter from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable was sent to executives of Fortune 200 companies encouraging them to oppose efforts to force publicly traded firms to disclose political donations, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Securities and Exchange Commission officials, however, have indicated that they are working on a rule that could be proposed by the end of the month, the Times said.

While business groups stand in opposition to current laws that allow for secret political donations, the SEC has been flooded with requests for the agency to create a regulation that would have companies under their jurisdiction disclose what they dole out to political campaigns.

Close to a half a million comments have been submitted to the SEC on the issue, the most comments filed on any issue in the agency’s history, the Times said.

Overwhelmingly, the comments are in favor of a new rule.

Companies fear political retaliation or a negative reaction from customers if their political donations are exposed.

The issue is so heated that Republicans in the House have introduced a bill that would prohibit the SEC from writing a rule concerning transparency of political donations.

“The SEC has to deal with its own problems, and with what they’re actually authorized to be doing,” said Steve Lonegan, an official with Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political organization.

On the other hand, “it’s a basic precept of American securities law that shareholders should be given the information they need to evaluate their companies,” said Robert Jackson Jr. a law professor at Columbia University.