Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Sunday 'Report;' 12/25/2011

Merry Christmas To All, and to All A Happy New Year!!
What The National Pamphleteers Don't Report:
The Syria Crisis: Assessing Foreign Intervention
by Scott Stewart,
December 15, 2011
    The ongoing unrest, violence and security crackdowns in Syria have been the subject of major international attention since February. Our current assessment is that the government and opposition forces have reached a stalemate in which the government cannot quell the unrest and the opposition cannot bring down the regime without outside intervention.
    In the Dec. 8 Security Weekly, we discussed the covert intelligence war being waged by the United States, Israel and other U.S. allies against Iran. Their efforts are directed not only against Tehran’s nuclear program but also against Iran’s ability to establish an arc of influence that stretches through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. To that end, the United States and its allies are trying to limit Iran’s influence in Iraq and to constrain Hezbollah in Lebanon. But apparently they are also exploring ways to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad, a longtime ally of Iran whose position is in danger due to the current unrest in the country. In fact, a U.S. State Department official recently characterized the al Assad regime as a “dead man walking.”  We therefore would [....]

So THAT'S where the rocks for Stonehenge came from 5,000 years ago
Discovery paves way to new understanding of how stones were transported
by Tamara Cohen
December 20, 2011
    For centuries, scientists and historians have argued over why Stonehenge was built and, even more puzzlingly, how.  They are now closer to cracking one aspect of the mystery after working out the exact spot where some of the rocks came from.  The 5,000-year-old circle of stones – thought at various times to have been a temple of healing, a calendar, or even a royal cemetery – have been traced to an outcrop 150 miles away in north Pembrokeshire.
    Dr Richard Bevins of the National Museum of Wales and Dr Robert Ixer at Leicester University narrowed down the source of the rocks, – called rhyolites – to the 70m-long (0.04 miles) area called Craig Rhos-y-Felin after [....]

Notable startups that failed in 2011
by Tom Musbach
Yahoo! Small Business Advisor
December 16, 2011
From energy star to political hot potato
    Solar-panel maker Solyndra may be the highest profile startup failure of the year. The company filed for bankruptcy in September after receiving $535 million in loan guarantees from the government. The shutdown became an embarrassment for the Obama administration, as the president made a public appearance there and the company was the first renewable-energy company to receive a loan under the federal stimulus program.
    Another widely reported casualty was Aptera Motors, an electric-car company based in Carlsbad, Calif. The company was probably best known for its futuristic two-person 2e car that balanced on three wheels. It closed down in early December, and company leaders destroyed the 2e models.
"This is a difficult time for everyone connected with our company because we have never been closer to realizing our vision," said Paul Wilbur, Aptera's CEO. "Unfortunately, though, we are out of resources."
    Here are some other startups that fell short of realizing their dreams:
Foodme launched in 2010 with funding from IdeaLab with the [....]

The Iraq War: Recollections
by George Freidman
December 20, 2011

    The war in Iraq is officially over. Whether it is actually over remains to be seen. All that we know is that U.S. forces have been withdrawn. There is much to be said about the future of Iraq, but it is hard to think of anything that has been left unsaid about the past years of war in Iraq, and true perspective requires the passage of time. It seemed appropriate, therefore, to hear from those at STRATFOR who fought in the war and survived. STRATFOR is graced with seven veterans of the war and one Iraqi who lived through it. It is interesting to me that all of our Iraq veterans were enlisted personnel. I don’t know what that means, but it pleases me for some reason. Their short recollections are what STRATFOR has to contribute to the end of the war. It is, I think, far more valuable than anything I could possibly say.
Staff Sgt. Kendra Vessels, U.S. Air Force
STRATFOR Vice President of International Projects
Iraq-2003, 2005
    Six words capture my experience during the invasion of Iraq: Russian linguist turned security forces “augmentee.” I initially volunteered for a 45-day tour of the theater — one of those unique opportunities for those in the intelligence field who don’t see much beyond their building with no windows. My field trip of the “operational Air Force” turned into a seven-month stint far beyond my original job description. But in the end I wouldn’t trade anything for that experience.  I will always remember March 19, 2003 — not only because it was my 22nd birthday but also because it was the day that brought an end to the hurry-up-and-wait that I had experienced for the four months since I’d arrived in Kuwait. During that time it was a slow transition from the world I knew so well, which was confined to a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF) and computer screens to [....]

We have searched for years for the St. Michael prayer that saved a soldier in the Korean War, told in the true story of a Marine Named Michael.
Now we have found this extraordinary prayer...
[Blogger Note:  I've heard of this story before.  Now that I've found it 'in print,'  I can only guess at it's authenticity.  I'm willing to assume the story is factual and true!!]
Veronica - Now Michael has placed his sword down as though he was digging into the ground, but he's not. I don't know what he placed it into. Oh, I see he's placed it into satan....
St. Michael - "You have nothing to fear but fear. Face it, and it will disappear. Face it with prayer." - June 16, 1973
First we will have the Letter from Michael...
There's a story about a young Marine named Michael who wrote a letter home to his mother while he was in the hospital after having been wounded in Korea in 1950. A Navy Chaplain named Father Walter Muldy apparently was given the letter, checked the facts and concluded what was in the letter was true. A year later he read the letter in public for the first time, to a gathering of some 5,000 Marines at the Naval Base in San Diego. Here is the letter:

Dear Mom,
    I wouldn't dare write this letter to anyone but you because no one else would believe it. Maybe even you will find it hard but I have got to tell somebody. First off, I am in a hospital. Now don't worry, ya hear me, don't worry. I was wounded but I'm okay you understand. Okay. The doctor says that I will be up and around in a month.
But that's not what I want to tell you.
Remember when I joined the Marines last year; remember when I [....]

Obama signature creates 'continental perimeter'
Move described as key step in advance of North American Union
by Jerome Corsi,
WorldNet Daily
February 8, 2011
Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper quietly have taken a major step toward erasing the border between the two nations with a new "Beyond the Border" bilateral declaration.  In a ceremony designed to remain below the radar of national public opinion, Obama and Harper bypassed Congress to sign on the basis of their executive authority a declaration that put in place a new national security vision defined not by U.S. national borders, but by a continental view of a "North American perimeter."
    It happened Friday, the day the Obama administration usually pushes through issues that it prefers the media ignore.  By signing the declaration, the Obama administration has implemented without congressional approval a key initiative President Bush began under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, moving the United States and Canada beyond the North American Free Trade Agreement, commonly known as NAFTA, toward a [....]

Gay Couple Receives Obama Congratulations on Wedding
by Colleen Curry,
ABC News
December 20, 2011A gay couple in Brooklyn, N.Y., were surprised to find a letter in their mailbox six months after their wedding congratulating them, but they were more surprised to find it was from the commander in chief.
Matt Katz, 32, and Aaron Lafrenz, 36, were married at the Katz [....]

Super young retirement savers

Slideshow (1-6)
Older Americans who haven't saved enough for retirement could learn a lesson or two from these young retirement savers -- they've already socked thousands of dollars away for their golden years.
Fabian Fernandez-Han1
Age: 14
Age started saving: 10
Amount saved: $10,000
Hometown: Houston, TX
One day I saw my dad trading on eTrade. It looked interesting so I wanted to do it. I had always saved my allowance money and birthday money, and the first thing I bought was Apple stock -- when shares were [....]

The Biggest Tech Companies' Single Biggest Failures of 2011
by Rebecca J. Rosen
December 8 2011
Even giants stumble. None of the four biggest tech companies -- Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon -- made it through the year without a misstep.  Much has been written about the coming showdown among the four tech giants -- Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. As Farhad Manjoo wrote in FastCompany:
To state this as clearly as possible: The four American companies that have come to define 21st-century information technology and entertainment are on the verge of war. Over the next two years, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google will increasingly collide in the markets for mobile phones and tablets, mobile apps, social networking, and more.
This past year has seen bumbling missteps by each of these companies, some of which are the results of their efforts to step into another's turf, and some of which are the results of the natural hazards of the spaces they inhabit.  Here's a look at each company's missteps of the year now coming to a close.
1. Google's Social Networking Gambit Fails to Launch
In late June Google launched its latest attempt at building a Facebook-like social site, Google+. For a few weeks (days?), Google+ was the only [....]

U.S. military, Taliban use Twitter to wage war

by Ernesto Londoño,
Washington Post
December 18, 2011
KABUL —The Twitter war began in earnest Sept. 14, in the midst of a sustained attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the adjacent headquarters of the U.S.-led international military force.  Until then, NATO officials had kept close tabs on the messages posted on two accounts linked to the Taliban’s media arm — but had refrained from engaging or acknowledging them.  On Afghan-Pakistan border, suspicions reignA battle of tweets with the TalibanU.S. general fired for criticizing KarzaiFor some families, Marines fall short on friendly-fire protocolTaliban fighters attack 2 U.S. bases in KandaharTaliban increasingly reliant on high-profile attacksU.S. had advance warning of abuse at Afghan prisons, officials sayMore headlines from around the worldNATO, U.N. differ on Afghan violenceIran’s hosting of Taliban shows desire for larger roleObama: Still intent on withdrawing 33,000 troopsKarzai accuses Pakistan of supporting terroristsIndia and Afghanistan sign security and trade pact10 years on, Afghan Americans see lost decadeAfghan parliament clears hurdle to IMF aidKarzai calls for parternership with America but with conditionsKarzai announces new areas to come under Afghan controlCrocker: Kabul attack won't spawn sectarian violencePakistani Taliban: No peace talks with governmentU.S. commander defends night raids in AfghanistanAfghan folk tales take new role in the classroomAfghan local police units found to commit abuses.  U.S. military officials assigned to the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, as the coalition is known, took the first shot in what has become a near-daily battle waged with broadsides that must be kept to 140 characters.  “How much longer will terrorists put innocent Afghans in harm’s way,” @isafmedia demanded of the Taliban spokesman on the second day of the embassy attack, in which militants lobbed rockets and sprayed gunfire from a building under construction.
“I dnt knw. U hve bn pttng thm n ‘harm’s way’ fr da pst 10 yrs. Razd whole vilgs n mrkts. n stil hv da nrve to tlk bout ‘harm’s way,’ ” responded Abdulqahar Balkhi, one of the Taliban’s Twitter warriors, who uses the handle ­@ABalkhi.

Are You On Obama’s “Enemies List?”

by Howard Rich
May 13, 2011
    Wherever possible President Barack Obama has sought to dilute or disguise the ideological war his administration has been waging against capitalism over the past twenty-seven months. As a result, his massive bureaucratic bailout became an “economic stimulus.” His takeover of the financial markets was labeled “Wall Street Reform.” His socialized medicine plan became the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” act (which of course would magically shrink, not expand deficits). And his massive energy tax increase was cleverly billed as a “cap-and-trade” emissions marketplace.
    Yet when Obama’s union goons on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) challenged aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s right to locate a new facility in the right-to-work state of South Carolina, all subtlety evaporated.  There, in a black-and-white complaint, is indisputable evidence that the Obama administration is waging war against the American free market on behalf of union thugs and entrenched government bureaucrats. It’s a costly war, too – one that’s being funded by trillions of tax dollars (and trillions more in deficit spending).  Obama’s silence on the NLRB-Boeing issue has been deafening. Rather than rebuking this unprecedented imposition on a company’s right to move new business where it sees fit – Obama has hidden behind his goon squad like a fashionable gangster unwilling to get his hands dirty.
    Earlier this week, he was abruptly – and deservedly – called out for these tactics by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.
“Mr. President, do you have an enemies list?” Paul asked. “Is this decision based on the fact that South Carolina appears to be a Republican state, has two Republican senators? Is this decision based on the fact that South Carolina is a ‘right to work’ state? Are they on your enemies list?”

“The president has said now that he’s going to ask contractors who do business with the government ‘Who have you contributed to?’” he said. “Mr. President, do you have en enemies list? Will you now punish contractors who have given money to Republican candidates? I’m concerned – there are two Republican Senators from Kentucky. Are we on your enemies list? Is Alabama on your enemies list? Is Texas on your enemies list?”

Who else is on Obama’s enemies list?
What about shareholders in General Motors – whose assets were wiped out when Obama’s creative bankruptcy maneuvering handed control of the company to the government and the unions?
What about America’s private health care insurers, who in addition to being saddled with costly new government mandates were overtly threatened last year by Obama’s Medicaid czar Kathleen Sebelius?
More broadly, what about individual citizens who beginning in 2013 will be compelled to purchase health care insurance or face stiff fines?
What about American motorists, who face soaring gas prices due to Obama’s [....]

7 deadly financial sins

by Suze Orman,

Financially Fit
December 22, 2011
    People are always asking me for advice on what to do with their money. But if you really want to get ahead financially, the smarter question is what you shouldn't do with your money.
1. Borrowing From Your 401(k)
For starters, the money you take out of a traditional 401(k) is pre-tax, but when you pay it back it will be with money you already have paid tax on. Then, years down the line, when you withdraw the money in retirement you'll owe tax again. I think paying tax once is plenty.  You also lose out on the compounding of that money. Just think about folks who pulled money out of their 401(k) in late 2008 and early 2009: That's money that wasn't invested when the stock market staged its epic rally beginning in March 2009. Lastly, there's the [....]
How to Shut Down the Welfare State
by Richard B. Jones
December 16, 2011    Welfare workers are constantly trying to figure out how to make their jobs effective, how to do something to actually combat poverty. Their jobs are very high-stress, so they often meet after work on Fridays, when happy hours encourage them to philosophize.  If only the clients had to look for work -- no, they're already under such a requirement. If the government built more public housing so the slumlords didn't grab every increase in benefits -- no, that's been tried. If food stamps and cash assistance were combined into one check -- no, that resulted in a class action suit, and threatened the criminal economy. There must be some way the welfare system can actually assist the poor.
    Happily, there is an answer: shut it down. No, don't just suddenly chain the doors of the welfare office closed, as some workers suggest at the end of happy hour. Do a gradual shutdown that eliminates the system and its whole bureaucracy over a period of eighteen years -- a shutdown that salvages logistical resources and allows people to learn to take care of themselves at a rational pace.
First step: recognize that the entire concept of state and national public assistance is a mistake. Just like bilingual education, the War on Poverty is a beautiful theory that just doesn't work in reality. People are better off getting local assistance for verifiable emergencies, but to improve their general lifestyle, they are much better off if left to suffer the consequences of their behavior.  Just as children learn a target language more quickly on the playground with speakers of that language than they do in structured classes, people living in poverty learn to get away from it -- if they want -- much more quickly by suffering its disadvantages than by having those disadvantages artificially relieved.
Second step: decide, nationally, on a date to start shutting down the welfare system. September 1 would be a good date, fiscally. The government would announce that it will stop taking welfare applications at midnight, August 31 of that year. That way no employees will lose their jobs; no recipients will suddenly be dumped in the street; no pregnant persons will be denied medical care; the illegal food stamp economy will not be disrupted. There just won't be any more applications accepted, so people from then on will have to accept that the nation has decided to rescind the program. Sorry, it's over.
Third step: the vast pool of welfare bureaucracy employees will provide a human resource pool for all other government agencies. All their employment paperwork is [....]

Curious Employee Foils Corporate Credit Card Fraud Scam

by Scott Burke
    MOLLY, THE ASSISTANT, Molly treasurer at XYZ Corp. in Miami, opened an e-mail from a former colleague who no longer worked for the organization. The e-mail read: "Hi Molly, there should be a refund of $716 on my old corporate Visa card from the IP Conference. I paid for, but did not attend, the conference and did not turn in the charge to XYZ for reimbursement. Can you have Visa issue a refund check to me? Thanks very much for your help."  The e-mail was from Jerry, a former XYZ executive who had been Molly's boss at one time. The message seemed innocuous enough. Jerry had legitimately charged a business conference to his corporate credit card, but he had canceled his registration because he left the company. Therefore, he was due a refund.
    It would have been very easy for Molly to trust her former boss and get him the refund. Instead, because something didn't seem quite right, she chose to check on whether XYZ had already reimbursed Jerry for the conference.  To make this determination, Molly accessed Jerry's corporate credit card records online and retrieved his expense reports from the accounts payable file room. The expense reports confirmed that Jerry had not expensed the conference fee, but when Molly looked at his credit card statement, she saw a couple of odd items.
First, the most recent statement indicated that the former XYZ executive had made four payments to his credit card in one month. Second, the statement [....]
Heroic football player stops potentially lethal teacher attack
by Cameron Smith
December 16, 2011
By all accounts, the attack looked like it would be lethal.
    In the moments after the school bell rang, a 40-year-old teacher brutally attacked a fellow teacher. With screwdriver blows from English teacher Ronette Ricketts raining on the victim, fellow English teacher Cynthia Glozier, a varsity football player thought quick, relied on his athletic instincts and stopped the attack in its tracks.  According to New York TV network WPIX and the Poughkeepsie Journal, among other sources, Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) High senior linebacker Justin Richardson is now being hailed as a hero and a likely lifesaver as a result.
"I saw Ms. Ricketts just hammering her in the side of head," Richardson told PIX 11 TV. "I saw a lot of blood. It was shocking. I just jammed her really hard to get the screwdriver [to] fly out of her hand. If I didn't step in she would have killed her."

Top 10 Worst Supermarket Foods

By David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding

Dec 12, 2011
    Want to know the quickest way to lose 20, 50, even 100 pounds? No, not dieting. No, not surgery. You can do it by thinking.  Don’t believe me? Then meet Tim Wadsworth. He stripped 92 pounds of flab off his body in just 12 months by walking a little more and flipping through Eat This, Not That! on his weekly trips to the local supermarket.  What Tim learned is that the supermarket is like a county fair. Roll your cart down the aisles and you're assaulted by bright lights, enticing smells, and shameless hucksterism ("Nine vitamins and minerals! Everyone's a winner!"). The typical supermarket boasts roughly 45,000 unique food items, and nearly every one presents itself as healthier than it truly is, with fancy fonts, earthtone colors, and misleading front-of-package images to convince you that they're better than flab-forming junk foods. Tim learned not to fall for it—to listen to his brain instead of his stomach. You can, too.
    Consider the 10 popular grocery items below. By choosing slightly different versions of them, you can save more than 3,800 calories. That’s more than a pound of weight loss in one day’s shopping trip. If you go to the market twice a week, like most Americans, you’d save enough calories to lose—I’m not kidding—more than 100 pounds in the coming year. And that’s just from these 10 swaps, excerpted from the all-new Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide. When you know the smartest choices to make when it comes to eating all your favorite foods, it's easy to melt belly fat without dieting.
#10: Worst “Healthy” Frozen Entrée Healthy Choice Roasted Sesame Chicken
440 calories
9 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
470 mg sodium
23 g sugars
    Reality check: The name says roasted chicken, but read the fine print and you see the meat is coated in flour and then cooked in vegetable oil. Sounds an awful lot like fried chicken, doesn’t it? Then Healthy Choice soaks the pasta in pineapple juice and coats the fruit side dish in a sweetened syrup to deliver a candy bar’s worth of sugar. Healthy? Hardly.
SUGAR EQUIVALENT: 3 Krispy Kreme Traditional Cake Donuts
Eat This Instead!
Kashi Southwest Style Chicken
310 calories
5 g fat (1 g saturated)
680 mg sodium
3 g sugars

Politics 2012: Web tool makes it easy to learn about candidates
by Nicole Debevec,
United Press International
November 6, 2011

    Republican presidential candidates participate in the CNN sponsored GOP debate at the Florida State fairgrounds, in Tampa, Florida on Sept. 12, 2011. VoteEasy could make it easier to decide which one has views closest to a voter's own.  Voters can vet 2012 U.S. presidential and congressional candidates to see how they mesh with their own views without all the distractions and dissonance created by debates and sound bites.  The interactive online tool VoteEasy, housed on, puts hours of research on candidates and issues just a few mouse-clicks away from a voter's fingertips, allowing instant information on which candidates align with their own positions on key issues facing the country.
    Visitors to VoteEasy key in their ZIP code to answer the same questions their candidates were asked, and VoteEasy displays the candidate or candidates most like them, with the option to drill deeper into the details of the candidates' records.  The data in VoteEasy combine responses to the organization's Political Courage Test directly from congressional candidates and information compiled by Vote Smart researchers on 12 hot-button issues: abortion, Afghanistan, crime, economy, education, environment, guns, healthcare, immigration, social issues, Social Security and taxes.  VoteEasy and Project Vote Smart represent a simple concept that's hard to achieve, Project Vote Smart President Richard Kimball says. It is a huge virtual warehouse of information about candidates of all political stripes developed by people whose only goal is to fill that warehouse.
"We cover all candidates," Kimball said of the political research center based in the Montana Rockies. "And they all get the same deference. … We don't have an ax to grind."

If the staff fails to get information from the candidates directly, then a "very thorough examination of records, comments, voting records, ratings review -- everything -- and divine, if you will, what would be the answer to the question if the candidate had [the] courage to answer it in the first place," Kimball said.  Candidates get another opportunity to talk to Project Vote Smart volunteers, Kimball says, because they're told, "We're going to answer on your behalf. If you think we're wrong, tell us. We'll clarify it."  Kimball said candidates should want to do "the right and honorable thing" and be as transparent as possible with the voting masses, but he's found "fewer candidates are willing to go on the record."  While traffic hasn't been as high as he and others had hoped, Kimball said he expects more people will visit the site once the 2012 election cycle really heats up.  Right now, politicos, researchers and people into politics visit the site, Kimball said. Citizens, he said, will visit as Election Day draws closer.  This is the first year no presidential candidate [....]

A Timeline of the Top-Selling Christmas Gifts... Ever.

by Esquire Magazine
A year-by-year look back over the last eight decades at the must-have presents that sent parents a-tramplin'.
2011: Let's Rock Elmo (Hasbro)
The Big Deal: Elmo doesn't just laugh his ass off like he did 15 years ago or babble incessantly like he did in 2008. This time, the character that never fails to captivate toy-market watchers (one of whom actually calls this "virtually the only exciting product" of the season) applies a more mature instinct: He's a bona fide rock star, albeit a very polite one. Let's Rock Elmo comes with a mic, tambourine, and drum set (anything more than percussion costs extra) and can launch into versions of "What I Like About You" and "It Takes Two." There are a few frightening video demonstrations out there, if you must.
The Weird Part: That Elmo is back yet again. And that he pairs surprisingly well with a certain adult singer-songwriter.
Where to Buy It Today: Prices starting at $50 on Yahoo! Shopping
2010: Apple iPad
The Big Deal: Really, were there any other contenders? It's the first of its kind — a slim tablet that lets you seamlessly glide between movies, music, browsing the web, and Street Fighter beat-downs. With Wi-Fi and 3G, everything from racing simulators to magazines are just a touch away. And don't get us started on that gorgeous LED display.
The Weird Part: You can use the iPad to do just about anything, but you're probably going to waste all your time on Angry Birds, which has been purchased over 10 million times on Apple's App Store.
Where to Buy It Today: Apple iPad Wi-Fi + 3G and iPad 2 available on Yahoo! Shopping at $499.
2007: iPod Touch (Apple)
The Big Deal: The first touchscreen and Web-enabled iPod went from annual fanboy fantasy to national must-have, largely because [....]

Earn more, work less: 8 great jobs that escape the rat race

by Sarah B. Weir,
Yahoo! blogger
Power Your Future 
December 22, 2011
    Yoga teacher and self-titled "Life Stylist" Sadie Nardini advises her clients, "Think huge-small and medium have a lot of competition." That's just what she did when she went from being a broke, harried studio yoga teacher to harnessing technology, streamlining her workload, and earning in a day what she used to make in a week. In 2010, she put in the hours she wanted and netted close to $300,000.
    Nardini got her start as a yoga teacher moonlighting after her day job in cubicle land. Eventually, she got fed up with laboring long days for little money doing office work and decided to teach full time. Soon enough, she was teaching 25 classes a week and feeling just as burnt out as before. "I love the scene in 'Finding Nemo' where he swims into the current with the sea turtles and speeds effortlessly toward his goal," she says. "I asked myself, 'How can I be more passive and less active income-wise?'"
    Nardini posted free online videos to gain a wider audience. Now she has 25,000 subscribers on YouTube and 40,000 Facebook followers. She started selling DVDs and teaching at large conferences instead of small classes. She branched out into wellness counseling and life coaching. On a practical level, she set up automatic responses on her website and outsourced all of her administrative work.
    Nardini says that fear gets in the way of people actually doing something instead of just talking about it. "People often have skills that they doubt anyone will care about. I advised a friend who loved making bracelets to sell them on Etsy. A magazine featured her work and within a month she had earned more money from her bracelets than she had made in a year working an office job."
Here are seven more jobs that offer flexibility, fun, and a good wage:
Massage Therapist
According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), the majority of massage therapists work under 27 hours a week. Massage therapist Jenny Adams, who has practiced in Pennsylvania for 20 years, describes the benefits of her career: "I get to wear comfy clothes, set my own hours, and work [....]

Best-Performing Cities 2011

by Ross DeVol, Armen Bedroussian, and
Kevin Klowden with Ka Wai Ho
December 15, 2011
    Texas metros, led by number one San Antonio, took nine of the top 25 positions among the 200 largest metros in the 2010 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index -- and four of the top five.  Leaders in this year's index, which ranks U.S. metros based on their ability to create and sustain jobs, are cities that most benefited from renewed investment in business equipment; have diversified technology bases, which also drive growth in business and professional services; are exposed to America's booming energy sector; and are home to a large military presence.
The 2011 top 10 performers (with 2010 rankings) of the 200 largest metros:
1. San Antonio, TX (14)
2. El Paso, TX (9)
3. Fort Collins- Loveland, CO (50)
4. Austin-Round Rock, TX (2)
5. Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX (1)
6. Salt Lake City, UT (49)
7. Anchorage, AK (8)
8. Huntsville, AL (3)
9. Provo-Orem, UT (25)
10. Kennewick-Richland-Pasco WA (5)
    The Best Performing Cities index includes both long-term (five years) and short-term (one year) measurements of employment and salary growth. There are also four [....]
Until Next Sunday....
The program's volunteers -- all unpaid interns -- try to directly ask candidates 15 questions and document six efforts if they're rebuffed, Kimball said.
Luckily for all involved, Richardson did step in to stop a shocking attack before it became a deadly one. As it is, Ricketts is still facing charges of first-degree attempted assault, second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, and is likely to lose a job in which she was previously highly respected.  It remains uncertain what caused the longtime English teacher to snap -- the two teachers were reportedly talking in the hallway moments before the screwdriver attack -- but Ricketts is now facing potentially life-changing charges, all while Glozier faces [....]
Paul’s invocation of a Nixonian “enemies list” provides a useful framework for examining the conduct of this administration – which is simultaneously trying to muzzle and strong-arm corporate and individual citizens.
Paul didn’t stop there – blasting Obama for his recent threat to require government contractors to disclose donations to groups that participate in political activities.
The running spat appears to be the sole open line of communication between Americans and the Taliban after exploratory peace talks collapsed this year. U.S. military officials [....]



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