Saturday, December 06, 2008

What To Know Before Buying Waterfron Home.

(Dana Point, photos by Jieranai Maier - 2005)

Good Articles to Read about Waterfront Home.

People love luxury waterfront homes, whelther it is a beachfront home, a lakefront home or a home on the canel.

Waterfront Living
An Aquatic Destination
Looking for a home with a water view? Get the inside scoop on what life is like by the water.

Boston is one of the Top Ten Best Waterfront living.

La Jolla, Calif. is another Top Ten Best Waterfront living.
Honolulu & San Francisco made the list also.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Top Countries in Global Competitiveness

No. 1: U.S.
Market Size: 1Innovation: 1Education/Training: 5

The U.S. retains its position this year as the world's most competitive country. Many robust structural features, such as business systems, formidable universities, and top-ranked innovation make the American economy remarkably powerful and productive. They also help to soften economic shocks such as routine business downturns and, with luck, the current financial crisis. However, despite having the largest economy on the planet, fiscal deficits in recent years have weakened the country's global standing and increased public indebtedness. That could limit flexibility in fiscal policy in the future and leave the U.S. more vulnerable to outside influences.

No. 2: Switzerland
Market Size: 37Innovation: 3Education/Training: 7

No. 3: Denmark
Market Size: 46Innovation: 10Education/Training: 2

No. 4: Sweden
Market Size: 32Innovation: 5Education/Training: 3

No. 5: Singapore
Market Size: 53Innovation: 11Education/Training: 8

No. 6: Finland
Market Size: 50Innovation: 2Education/Training: 1

No. 7: Germany
Market Size: 5Innovation: 8Education/Training: 21

No. 8: Netherlands
Market Size: 20Innovation: 12Education/Training: 11

No. 9: Japan
Market Size: 3Innovation: 4Education/Training: 23

No. 10: Canada
Market Size: 13Innovation: 13Education/Training: 9

No. 11: Hong Kong
Market Size: 38Innovation: 24Education/Training: 28

No. 12: Britain
Market Size Rank: 6Innovation Rank: 17Education/Training Rank: 18

Read the story;

Top Countries in Global Competitiveness
Despite this year's global market turmoil, many of the same countries, including the U.S., remain atop the World Economic Forum ranking
By Matt Mabe

Friday, June 20, 2008

Career Management

Career Management

by Toni Bowers, Head Blogs Editor
Employers who check out job candidates on MySpace could be legally liable

If a potential employer uses a social networking site to check out a job candidate and then rejects that person based on what they see, he or she could be charged with discrimination.


According to, a site that helps HR reps stay current with all matters HR, employers who use the data available on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace to make hiring decisions could be subject to charges of employment discrimination and litigation.

Employers could be accused of using the data on such sites to cull minorities, homosexuals, and other applicants who are members of protected class. It is even illegal in some states to make a job decision based on applicants’ political activities, a factor that would be easy to find out on a social networking site.

From the site:

A survey of about 350 employers in October 2007 by New York-based, a media company focused on careers, found that 44% of employers use social networking sites to examine the profiles of job candidates, and 39% have looked up the profile of a current employee.

Although “failure to hire” lawsuits are rarer than other kinds of employment litigation, their numbers are expected to increase due to the growing use of social networking sites. There’s always a time lapse between problems that arise because of technology and legal precedents that address them.

Monday, June 09, 2008

First Lady Travels to Afghanistan

First Lady Travels to Afghanistan
Posted: 2008-06-08 18:04:39
Filed Under: World News
BAMIYAN, Afghanistan (June 8) - First lady Laura Bush, on a mission to highlight signs of progress in war-weary Afghanistan, ventured outside the capital Sunday to an area that symbolizes both the destruction and attempt at rebirth.

Laura Bush Visits Afghanistan

Fresh attacks swept across the country and the BBC reported that one of its Afghan journalists was kidnapped and killed.

On her third visit to the country, the first lady flew into Kabul before boarding a helicopter for a 50-minute flight to Bamiyan province, the farthest she has traveled from Afghanistan's largest city.

The helicopter landed in a dusty field at a provincial reconstruction team compound operated by New Zealand. From there she could see the empty niches in a cliffside where two giant Buddha statues once stood.

They were carved into the sandstone cliffs more than 2,000 years ago. The Taliban, which considered the statues idolatrous and anti-Muslim, demolished the treasures in March 2001, causing an international outcry. The repressive Taliban ruled Afghanistan until the U.S. invaded after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Bush's visit came ahead of a conference Thursday in Paris where the U.S. hopes other countries will pledge billions of dollars to help Afghanistan. She intends to address the conference.

"The people of Afghanistan don't want to go back and live like that," Bush told reporters during the nearly 14-hour flight to Kabul. "They know what it was like. The international community can't drop Afghanistan now, at this very crucial time."

President Bush, in an interview in Washington on Friday with RAI TV of Italy, said bluntly, "Afghanistan is broke."

Afghanistan is seeing a resurgence of violence, even as the U.S. and NATO have poured more thousands of new troops into the country, and a spiraling heroin trade. Last year, more than 8,000 people were killed in insurgency-related attacks — the most since the 2001 invasion — and violence has claimed more than 1,500 lives this year.

On Sunday, insurgents attacked a police convoy in central Afghanistan, killing 11 police and wounding one, an official said. Militants in the east attacked and killed four men including a local government official. The BBC said the body of one its Afghan journalists was found after he had gone missing in Helmand province.

During her daylong visit, the first lady met with President Hamid Karzai, saw a police academy where female recruits are trained and visited U.S. troops. The U.S. now has some 33,000 troops in Afghanistan, the most ever.

President Bush has defended Karzai against critics who say his government is weak and not doing enough to battle corruption and drug trafficking.

Karzai said at a news conference with the first lady on the grounds of the presidential palace that his government will go to the Paris conference with a "very realistic evaluation" of the past six years, including a look at problems such as corruption.

"We'll come back with some significant assistance from the international community to the Afghan people," Karzai said.

Laura Bush said the U.S. and other nations should not blame Karzai unless they are going to give him credit for all the progress being made.

"It's really not that fair," she told reporters before meeting the Afghan leader. "I think it's undermining, frankly, to blame him for a lot of the things that may or may not be his fault. He inherited — just by becoming president — a country that's been totally devastated. It is very, very difficult when you have al-Qaida and Taliban all over the borders and making incursions into Afghanistan, and it's intimidating for everyone."

At Bagram Air Field north of Kabul, she told about 600 U.S. soldiers gathering in a hangar of the "huge step forward to defend freedom from the forces of oppression." She thanked them for their service and acknowledged "your work isn't easy," noting multiple deployments and time away from families.

Her trip sought to focus on signs of progress. While standing beside Karzai, she said, "We've been discussing a lot of other issues that have to do both with our partnership between the United States government and Afghanistan, as far as education is concerned, and all the other great projects I visited today, a lot of agriculture, a lot of other things."

Earlier, she met with women training at the National Police Bamiyan Regional Training Center. She celebrated the construction of a paved road linking the Bamiyan airport with its bazaar and town center and toured a learning center under construction that will double as an orphanage.

Several dozen future students, all school-age children in traditional white scarfs, sang to her at the center, a project of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council. The council was set up to help women gain the skills and education deprived them under the Taliban.

"Of course we want more girls in school and I think that's really key to the success of Afghanistan," Bush said.

For the Paris conference, France has set a goal of raising $12 billion to $15 billion for Afghan reconstruction projects through 2014. The United States is looking to contribute about one-quarter.

International donors have pledged about $32.7 billion in reconstruction money for Afghanistan since 2001, including $21 billion from the U.S.

"It's more important than ever for the international community to continue to support Afghanistan — certainly for the U.S. to continue to support Afghanistan — because we don't want it to be the way it was when the Buddhas were destroyed," she said.

From Afghanistan, she planned to fly to Slovenia, joining her husband on Monday for his final U.S.-European Union summit.

Associated Press writers Rahim Faiez and Amir Shah contributed to this report from Kabul.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2008-06-08 17:06:14

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Turmoil In Asia.

Meanwhile Myanmar is still reeling and in need of HELPS!

UN chief condemns Burma response

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has criticised Burma's military junta for its "unacceptably slow response" to helping cyclone victims.

Nearly 32,000 people were killed by the cyclone on May 3 and almost 30,000 others are still missing, according to Burma state television.

"We believe that it's going to be very difficult to reach everybody and to tackle the crisis as we would like without some outside military and civilian assets," John Holmes, the UN's top humanitarian official, told reporters.

Almost all foreign relief workers have been barred entry into the isolated nation. The junta says it wants to hand out all donated supplies on its own.

"I want to register my deep concern - and immense frustration - at the unacceptably slow response to this grave humanitarian crisis," Ban said.

"Unless more aid gets into the country - very quickly - we face an outbreak of infectious diseases that could dwarf today's crisis. I therefore call, in the most strenuous terms, on the government of Burma to put its people's lives first. It must do all that it can to prevent this disaster from becoming even more serious."

Ban said Burma's leaders had not returned his repeated calls and letters to them, including a second letter sent on Monday, seeking greater co-operation with the UN and other international relief efforts.

Burma braced for more rain

Survivors of the Burma cyclone are bracing themselves for further torrential rain.

Storm warnings have been issued for the region despite large swathes of the country still lying submerged under putrid floodwater from the initial cyclone.

The Burma government has come under sustained international pressure as aid agencies warn the death toll following the cyclone could reach 1.5 million.

Further heavy deluges will hamper the progression of embryonic aid efforts which are only now starting to reach the more remote areas.

Oxfam said the stricken country faces a public health catastrophe unless clean water and sanitation are quickly provided.

Save the Children spokeswoman Kathryn Rawe said huge storms were expected to strike Burma.

7.9 Earthquake In China

Nearly 19,000 Buried Alive in Town Near China Quake's Epicenter

May 13: Local residents work to clear away debris from a collapsed building in Mianzhu City, southwest China's Sichuan Province.

May 13: Local residents work to clear away debris from a collapsed building in Mianzhu City, southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Rescue workers sifted through tangled debris of toppled schools and homes Tuesday for nearly 19,000 victims buried or missing after China's worst earthquake in three decades, where the death toll soared to more than 12,000 people in the hardest-hit province alone, state media reported.

Hope that many survivors would be found was fleeting. Only 58 people were extricated from demolished buildings across the quake area so far, China Seismological Bureau spokesman Zhang Hongwei told the official Xinhua News Agency. In one county, 80 percent of the buildings had been destroyed.

Myanmar: Senior Red Cross Red Crescent aid worker returns from devastated delta

13 May 2008

The situation in Myanmar’s cyclone-devastated Irrawaddy delta is “overwhelming” according to Bridget Gardner, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ head of delegation who returned to Yangon today following a two day assessment visit. Ms Gardner was the first international aid official to visit the disaster zone with official permission.

Please donate to INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS and other organizations!!!

International Red Cross Red Crescent

Catholic Relief Services (CRS - USCC)

Catholic Relief Services was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and disadvantaged outside the country. Working through local offices and an extensive network of partners, CRS operates on 5 continents and in over 90 countries.

Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders delivers medical help to populations endangered by war, civil strife, epidemics or natural disasters. Each year over 2,000 volunteer doctors representing 45 nationalities work worldwide in front-line hospitals, refugee camps, disaster sites, towns and villages providing primary health care, performing surgery, vaccinating children, operating emergency nutrition and sanitation programs and training local medical staff.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

The ICRC, independent of all governments and international organisations, endeavours to promote international humanitarian law and the fundamental human values underlying that law. The ICRC was founded by Geneva citizens in 1863 and has its headquarters in Geneva.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

The UNHCR provides protection and assistance to the world's refugees. Today, the UNHCR is one of the world's principal humanitarian agencies, with headquarters in Geneva, and offices in some 115 countries. More than 80 percent of UNHCR's 5,000-member staff work in the field, often in isolated, dangerous and difficult conditions. The UNHCR has twice been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its work.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR)

The focal point for the activities of the United Nations in the field of human rights is located in Geneva at the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

The IFRC is one part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which comprises National Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the Federation), and the ICRC.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Myanma Update

Almost a week after a devastating cyclone hit low-lying areas of southern Burma, hundreds of thousands of people are still in urgent

Burma warned over cyclone delays

The US has ships with aid standing by in the Gulf of Thailand

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has warned of dire consequences if foreign aid workers continue to be denied access to Burma.

Speaking before the UN launched its $187m (£96m) appeal to help those hit by the cyclone, he said early action was needed to prevent catastrophe.

Burma, where the UN fears the death toll could reach 100,000, says it will accept aid from any quarter.

No contact

Aid agencies already in Burma say they have been doing what they can, but are frustrated by the government's reluctance to allow international aid teams into the country and its insistence on distributing aid itself.


The UN believes as many as 1.5 million people could have been affected by Cyclone Nargis, which struck on 3 May, and many say Burma does not have the capacity to respond adequately on its own.

Two BBC correspondents who have travelled to the Irrawaddy delta say tens of thousands of bodies are strewn across the landscape, with houses toppled and trees uprooted.

They say diseases like dysentery are already starting to take hold, and although some aid has arrived there is still no relief effort to match the size of the catastrophe.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tens of thousands killed in Myanmar cyclone

A map showing areas worst-hit by Tropical Cyclone Nargis. Aid workers battled Wednesday to get food and water to desperate cyclone survivors in Myanmar, whose government is under fire after more than 22,000 people died in one of Asia's worst natural disasters.


Wed May 7, 12:52 AM ET

A Thai air force personnel waits for load food and disaster supplies for shipment to Myanmar at the military airport in Bangkok May 7, 2008. Disease, hunger and thirst pose a major threat to hundreds of thousands of survivors of Cyclone Nargis, aid agencies said on Wednesday, urging Myanmar's military rulers to open the doors to international humanitarian relief. With 22,500 dead and 41,000 missing, most of them from a massive storm surge that washed over the Irrawaddy delta, it is the most devastating cyclone to hit Asia since 1991, when 143,000 people died in neighbouring Bangladesh. .

REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang (THAILAND)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Net Users - The Next Billion

Intel Classmate low-cost laptops landing in stores in the Philippines, Intel (INTC) is saying that it will sell the $300 machines in the U.S. and Canada.

Mar 19 2008 11:03AM EDT

The Next Billion Net Users, Coming Fast

Technology companies are in a hurry to get the next billion people online, adding to the approximately 1.2 billion people already on the Net in some way. Two reports today show how that's coming along. In India, cell operators are adding 8 million subscribers a month -- in other words, adding the population of New York each month. Total Indian cell users is up to 246 million, nearing the entire population of the U.S. Of course, not all those cell customers are on phones that can tap the Internet, but surely a lot are.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tibet Riots

Cultural Genocide Is Taking Place

The Dalai Lama called Sunday for an international probe into China's crackdown on protesters in Tibet. "Whether the (Chinese) government there admits or not, there is a problem. There is an ancient cultural heritage that is facing serious danger," he said. "Whether intentionally or unintentionally, some kind of cultural genocide is taking place."

China's communist government is hoping Beijing's hosting of the Aug. 8-24 Olympics will boost its popularity at home as well as its image abroad. But the event has already attracted international scrutiny of China's human rights record and its pollution problems.

International criticism of the crackdown in Tibet so far has been mild, with no threats of an Olympic boycott or other sanctions. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Sunday on China "to exercise restraint in dealing with the protests."

Rice said she was "concerned by reports of a sharply increased police and military presence in and around Lhasa." Her statement urged China to release those jailed for protesting.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said Saturday he opposed an Olympic boycott over Tibet.

On the Net:

International Campaign for Tibet:

Chinese official news agency:

Tibet Daily:

Sunday, March 09, 2008



Earth movers

Pitching boomers housing that is green as their hair goes gray

By Stephanie I. Cohen

Last update: 3:33 p.m. EST Feb. 24, 2008

PRINCETON, N.J. (MarketWatch) -- Shea Homes, one of the nation's largest home builders, believes baby boomers are looking for communities that make an environmental difference.

This month, Shea announced the opening of Victoria Gardens, an "active lifestyle," or retirement, development in Florida sandwiched between Orlando and Daytona Beach. The homes were advertised as having a carbon footprint that is 20% to 30% less than that of a "typical household."

Billed as eco-friendly and energy-wise, the homes feature solar attic fans, green-fiber recycled insulation, motion-sensor triggered lighting, energy-efficient windows and appliances, and garages outfitted with electric-vehicle charging stations. Shea says it has focused on small, incremental green features that will collective add up to energy savings.

Housing developments that target baby boomers may be the next big push for the green housing market and statistics indicate this could be a good marriage. "There is no doubt that the green trend is going to accelerate more and more," said Rick Andreen, president of Shea Homes Active Lifestyle Communities division, in a recent interview.

Victoria Gardens marks Shea's debut in the Florida retirement market though the company is building similar homes in northern and southern California, Arizona, and Washington. The energy-efficient features are considered standard in these homes.
Other retirement communities from Texas to Maine are taking similar steps and adding green features to existing homes. An Army retirement community in San Antonio recently announced plans to install solar hot water systems in the community's 180 homes. Sea Coast Management Company, which manages retirement communities in Maine, is offering existing residents incentives to install solar hot water heaters and offering a Toyota Prius and/or a free solar hot water system to new customers purchasing a home.

Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, grew up alongside the environmental movement of the 1960s and '70s. "These guys were at Woodstock," said Matthew Kahn, a professor at UCLA's Institute of the Environment. "This is the birth cohort that was at the environmental movement's summer of love."

In 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated there were approximately 78.2 million baby boomers in America. A December 2007 survey by AARP found that roughly half of all boomers see themselves as environmental stewards, or "green boomers."

Besides being a large swath of the population, boomers are overwhelmingly homeowners. Boomers are also far more affluent than earlier generations of retirees, making it more likely that they will consider paying a premium for environmentally friendly housing features.

Read the whole article:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Citadel rescue plan offers hope in Iraq

Today's article on USATODAY offers some hope for Iraq and the world for obtaining peace & prosperity.

Citadel rescue plan offers hope in Iraq

By Elena Becatoros, Associated Press

IRBIL, Iraq — Towering above the modern streets and buildings of Irbil, the citadel's narrow alleyways and dusty courtyards stand almost deserted. Its mud-brick houses, built atop layers of ancient civilizations stretching back through millennia, are crumbling.

Irbil's citadel, claimed to be one of the longest continuously inhabited urban areas on Earth with a history of more than 8,000 years, is in danger. Its slopes are eroding and its buildings are collapsing.

But authorities in northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region have a plan to rescue it. They hope to turn the citadel, and the vast archaeological wealth buried within the mound on which it stands, into a world-renowned tourist site complete with hotels, coffee houses, art galleries — and a vibrant, permanent living community.

The planned reconstruction is a beacon of hope for Iraq's rich cultural heritage, and highlights the vast differences between the relatively tranquil Kurdish region in the north, and the violence in other parts of the country.

In Irbil, the Kurdish region's capital 215 miles north of Baghdad, the only indication that this is still a country at war is the tall concrete blast walls, featuring bucolic murals, that protect government buildings and major hotels from bombs.

Read The Complete Article.