May 11, 2012

The 6 Worst Cities to Drive In

Is traffic your worst nightmare? If that is the case, you might want to stay away from the following cities in the U.S. – unless you have alternate transportation. buy bitcoin

Los Angeles

There is a price for making it big in Hollywood – and, from the look of the traffic situation in L.A., this may be it. The metropolitan area is widely considered the worst in the country. You’ll need to remember safe drivers have auto insurance discounts if you experience the stressors that such high volume of traffic brings here.

New York City

The City That Never Sleeps is quite appropriate for the second spot on the list. According to (2010 list), it has 94 weekly hours of congestion, which beats all others in this statistic. If you drive in New York City, you might want to make sure the iPod is loaded and ready; or, “Take the ‘A’ Train” instead.


Aside from being a major city, Chicago is in the tri-state area (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin), which adds to travelers and commuters of all kinds. As with other major cities with a lot of traffic, there are plenty of alternatives to driving in Chicago. A wonderful city to explore on foot – but think twice about manning your own 4 wheels.

Washington D.C.

Yes, you can insert your joke relating lack of progress on the roads and in the Nation’s capital. As another major city with devastating traffic, planning is key. While most other cities are at their worst on Friday at 5 p.m., sporadic D.C. traffic requires you check traffic reports before leaving home.

Dallas-Fort Worth

Still offering many weekly hours of congestion (43 here), the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. From 2010 stats, it may seem like all 1.2 million are on the road if you need to get anywhere in this area. Don’t expect quick travel times during peak hours in this part of Texas.


Another area of Texas makes the list with the addition of Houston, Texas. The fourth-largest city in the U.S. at 2.1 million people, certainly produces a great amount of traffic. Interestingly enough, only number two on our list (New York) beats Houston, Texas, for more Fortune 500 headquarters.
Take a closer look if you must travel through, or live, in one of these areas. All of them have a lot to offer, which means that effective planning can add to the experience. Time it well to make the best of these traffic capitals of the U.S.

5 Weirdest Diseases around the World

Conditions that cause rarities in development aren’t commonly discussed. However, there are a lot of deformities and disease out there that are definitely interesting. Here are the top 5.

1. Congenital Insensitivity to Pain

What would it be like to live without pain? It may sound like something you’d prefer, but if you think about it, pain is useful. It tells us when something is wrong. What would happen if you touched a burning pot, but couldn’t feel the pain? You may be burned badly before noticing. Those with congenital insensitivity to pain do not feel pain. This causes the need for constant supervision while young and vigilance as an adult. Many die at a young age because of this rare disease.

2. Human Werewolf Syndrome

This condition causes lanugo, the hair that newborns have at birth, to persist. Typically, this hair falls off within a few months of birth, but with this disease, it continues to grow, causing the person to be covered in hair except on their hands and feet. Over time, it may eventually disappear, or it could get worse, depending on the case.

3. Elephantiasis

This condition causes one member of the body (arm or leg) to grow out of proportion to the rest of the body. It is caused by various parasitic worms that are transmitted by mosquitoes. Because of the mode of transmission, this disease shows up primarily in third-world countries. Public health practices, like the use of mosquito nets, are being put into place to reduce the transmission of these parasites.

4. Methemoglobinemia, or Blue Skin Disease

How would you like to have blue skin? It may sound alien to you, but it’s an actual condition that is caused by the blood having too much methemoglobin. This increased methemoglobin makes it difficult for the blood to release oxygen into tissues, causing the skin to look blue. The most famous example is the Fugate family of Kentucky. Because of genetics, this condition had been passed down through the Fugate family since the 19th century.

5. Foreign Accent Syndrome

This happens when someone’s natural accent changes so that their native language sounds like it’s being pronounced with a foreign accent. Typically, it’s caused by some type of trauma to the brain areas that control linguistic patterns. In one case, a British woman began to speak with a Chinese accent after a severe migraine. Other cases have been caused by severe head traumas or strokes.

These are just a few of the most fascinating diseases around the world. Have you heard of any other rare diseases that should be added to this list?

What did the Iraq war give US?

US Military Saddam Hussein "most wanted&q...

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What did the war on Iraq give the U.S? Did they discover the weapons of mass destruction. Or did they find Saddam Hussein in a hurry? Or did they by chance find Osama thinking he was hiding in Saddam’s palace?

As per public opinion the war on Iraq was a misadventure. America went to Iraq to save the world, but now it had to save its face. The shame it had brought to its people by the activities of its military were disturbing. People were not convinced by the killings of innocent people.

A lot of American lives were lost as well. Soldiers lost their lives not fulling knowing whom they’re fighting and for what purpose.
The Federal Government justified its actions stating that millions of people were freed from oppressive rule. Another thing was that a stable government was in Iraq was a stimulant for regional peace. But again, people ask, how is America concerned about peace in that region?

A lot of justifications are doing the rounds. The war on Iraq was supposedly looked at with great need by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Both countries have a cordial relationship with the U.S. Now given the penchant of U.S. to support its allies, this was no surprise. But would U.S do it without a purpose? Why is the U.S. not getting the scruff of rogue Pakistan which is snapping at the heels of America’s good friend India?

A lot of questions have to be answered, and a lot of questions are yet to be raised.

Will America lose its Economic Prominence


Image by International Monetary Fund via Flickr

Different countries have taken dominance over different phases of time in the history of the world. Once the Roman empire reigned supreme. Later the Ottoman empire took over control. After the fall of the Ottoman empire there were lot of European countries vying for this position. Which eventually led to the World War 1.

The U.S came in then. Charged with liberated economic practices, and robust industrial growth, it was automatically the next heir. When building its economy, America made sure that a culture of innovation was embedded in the core consciousness of every citizen. It was like an ultimatum – You innovate or lose out.

Somehow people feel that the age of America is drawing to a close. As per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States is only years away from losing its economic power status to America. By the next presidential elections, the president of the United States would have to listen to the Chinese president.

IMF published its findings in the World Economic Outlook journal. 2016 is the year when China will start to come into prominence. At this time, the U.S GDP line will come close to China’s growth line – graphically speaking.

By the year 2016, China’s GDP would have touched nineteen trillion dollars. And the U.S would trail behind by a couple of trillion dollars. Thus making China the economic superpower. But industry analysts say statistics are of no use when it cannot even predict a recession. Although all is not lost for the U.S the indications are clear. The U.S has to act.




A casual understanding of the Af-Pak policy

Map of Afghanistan with flag.

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Af-Pak is something that has been created by the U.S. You could say it is a neologism. Over the years much of America’s problems have been coming from this region. America has recognized that Afghanistan and Pakistan are areas that have come under focus during the past terrorist events.

The U.S has a special policy for Af-Pak. Under the Obama administration this policy is developing every day. The main aim of the policy is to disable the infrastructure and resources with which the terrorists operate.

As per Obama, the future of Pakistan is somehow linked to the future of Afghanistan. Since 9/11, Afghanistan-based terror organizations have permeated into Pakistan. This has given rise to a regional-stability issue. Pakistan has a potent nuclear arsenal. And with the terrorists close-by, all hell can break loose.

Obama has categorically stated that even if it were not an American problem, it is a threat to international peace. Very soon even America could become a victim to it. The issue is not national, it is global. Just like global warming.

Another aspect of Af-Pak policy is to bring stability to Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan as per the U.S. are not ready for a Taliban rule again. A Taliban rule means getting the country back to brutality. The U.S does not want this to happen.

Obama made it clear that the Af-Pak policy is not to control Afghanistan or Pakistan. It is designed to control the situation in the world, before it becomes a global threat.



Exposed Units Lead to Soldier Deaths

Chinook helicopter above Combat Outpost Keatin...

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A U.S. military probe into the deaths of eight American soldiers that died during an attack in northeastern Afghanistan concluded that the deaths could have been prevented if commanding officers had heeded warnings and not left the troops exposed. In addition to the eight deaths, 22 of the other 45 soldiers stationed at the remote outpost of Combat Outpost Keating were injured in the attack when more than 200 Afghan insurgents advanced on the vulnerable troops with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and guns in October 2009.

It took more than 18 months for U.S. Central Command to complete the investigation report, which recommended that four officers - a captain, a major, a lieutenant colonel, and a colonel – be punished with official letters of admonition or reprimand for their part in putting soldiers from B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry in a “tactically indefensible position” with an “unclear mission.” The names of the officers were rescinded in a public copy of the investigation report.

According to survivors, many of the Afghan soldiers that were stationed at Combat Outpost Keating with American troops ran or hid during the attacks, which may have led to an worse loss. Other contributions to the attack included too few soldiers stationed at the outpost and the lack of barriers and other defenses built there. The outpost had been scheduled to close previously.

The eight soldiers who died in the attack were: Sgt. Justin T. Gallegos, Spc. Christopher T. Griffin, Pfc. Kevin C. Thomson, Spc. Michael P. Scusa, Sgt. Vernon W. Martin, Spc. Stephen L. Mace, Sgt. Joshua J. Kirk and Sgt. Joshua M. Hardt.

Pentagon Papers Finally Released

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Forty years after a leak brought parts of the Pentagon Papers to light in the New York Times, the papers, officially called “United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense,” were declassified and released by the National Archives in June 2011. At the time they were leaked, the Pentagon Papers became a catalyst for both general knowledge of U.S. political and military involvement in the Vietnam War and a coup in the legal matter of burden of proof for prior injunction.

The Pentagon Papers showed that the Johnson administration, the Kennedy administration and even prior administrations had been involved in escalating the conflict in Vietnam without alerting the U.S. Congress, the American public or even U.S. military allies.

While many of the secret details that are within the papers are already known because of the eventual publication by dozens of newspapers of the most interesting details, the release of the 7,000 page document is historic because of both the legal and cultural ramifications the original leak and subsequent attempt to stop the press from publishing it had on the American landscape. A little more than 30 percent of the report was never published or released anywhere else but can be read now.

The Pentagon Papers leak back in 1971 was considered the Wikileaks of its time. Daniel Ellsberg, a private foreign policy analyst, had copied pages of the report that he removed from a safe each night and then replaced in the mornings until he had enough to hand over to the New York Times. Now everyone has access to the papers.



National Guard Mission Along Southern Border Extended

Border control in the United States (U.S. Cust...

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The Department of Defense is paying $35 million to extend the National Guard mission along the U.S. – Mexican border for another three months. That will allow the National Guard to continue to support border control along the border through the end of the federal government’s fiscal year, which means it’s likely that the program will be funded in next year’s budget and the extension of funds just means that there won’t be an interruption in their service.

President Barack Obama authorized the National Guard’s mission to provide up to 1200 active duty troops to support to Customs and Border Protection agents and officers since August 2010. However, no more than 560 National Guard members have ever served during the mission and less than 560 are currently serving at the border. According to Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler, the National Guard has been a “critical bridge” to bringing more people, technology and barriers to the border. They have also been effective, helping to catch more than 7,000 illegal immigrants and make seizures of more than 14,000 pounds of marijuana as they serve in their observation posts throughout the Arizona desert.

Providing an extra set of eyes and ears to assist Customs and Border Protection agents is part of the administration’s border security plan, along with the president’s call for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. However, some critics – namely both of Arizona’s senators, Republicans John McCain and Jon Kyl – have criticized the program, saying that Obama isn’t providing enough security at the border. They’ve repeatedly called for 6,000 troops on the U.S. – Mexican border.

The Vietnam War


ASVG-S-1031-65/AGA68 RVN Saigon Viet Cong dead... 

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The US has been involved in several wars since its formation. Every war has its impact on the social, economic and political make up of the country. Most of the time, the repercussions of the wars were directly correlation to the power that the opposition held. However, the Vietnam War was different. Although fought against a relatively underdeveloped nation, the war cost America dearly in both, monetary terms as well as the number of lives lost.


The Vietnam War was the result of America’s support for South Vietnam and it’s so called socialist government against the communist government of North Vietnam. The South Vietnamese government, however, was corrupt and dealt with the common public with tyrannical methods. Hence, the general public of South Vietnam supported the North in what they considered was an American War against their homeland.


Fought between 1957 and 1975, the war was expected to be a one sided affair. The South Vietnamese government was supported by the well armed American troops. Although the North Vietnam troops were aided by Chinese intelligence and weapons, they mainly fought a guerilla war. This is where America lost the war. Battles were fought in forested terrain not known to American soldiers. Even though techniques such a Napalm bombing was used by US forces, it resulted in too many civilian deaths when compared to military casualties.


The US administration faced several public protests at home as questions were raised about the motive behind the war with millions believing that the war was an unnecessary interference in foreign affairs. After America lost the war, even the veterans returning home didn’t receive a hero’s welcome until much later.


Dealing with Unfair Treatment from the Law

Did you know that child abuse wasn’t even recognized, or at least accepted as possible, until the early 1960′s? Children who were victims before that were not believed. They often ran away, only to be sent back to the abusive home.

History of Child Abuse

In America, the first court case of child abuse was in 1874 when a girl, Mary Ellen, was found shackled to her bed, malnourished and beaten. The courts refused to do anything until the ASPCA argued that Mary Ellen was a member of the animal kingdom and therefore had the same rights to protection as dogs and other animals. She won this case and was placed in foster care.

Early Years of Recognized Abuse

Although Mary Ellen was rescued, it was not until the early 1960′s that physical abuse was really taken seriously and prosecuted. It still took quite a bit to get a case to court. Children were killed before the parent was prosecuted. Sexual and emotional abuse took even longer to reach the courts.

Child Abuse Today

In today’s world, in America especially, child abuse is seen differently. Cases of neglect, sexual abuse and even emotional abuse are tried openly. The need for civil attorneys is increasing as more cases are recognized and handled. One of the problems, however, is when you find yourself on the other side with a wrongful accusation. Children have been taken away because of a vindictive spouse or spouse’s family. The state has removed children, causing emotional harm because of wrongful accusations. Some have been convicted for life on false evidence. Good representation is essential when dealing with unfair treatment from the law.