XIAM007

Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Monday, 22 August 2011

US Military Intervention in Libya Cost At Least $896 Million... -

US Military Intervention in Libya Cost At Least $896 Million... - 


The cost of U.S. military intervention in Libya has cost American taxpayers an estimated $896 million through July 31, the Pentagon said today. 


The price tag includes the amounts for daily military operations, munitions used in the operation and humanitarian assistance for the Libyan people.  


The U.S. has also promised $25 million in non-lethal aid to the Libyan Transitional National Council, half of which the Defense Department has already on MRE’s (military lingo for Meals, Ready to Eat).   


The military delivered 120,000 Halal MRE’s to Benghazi in May and a second shipment that included medical supplies, boots, tents, uniforms, and personal protective gear in June. 


While Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi appears on the way out, NATO says flight missions over Tripoli will continue, with the U.S. playing a role in helping to keep a tight window over the area that’s been in effect for weeks. 


Over the past 12 days, U.S. planes have flown 391 sorties for a total of 5,316 since April 1, according to figures provided by the Defense Department.  That total includes 1,210 airstrike missions over the same three and a half month period. The U.S. has also conducted 101 Predator drone strike missions in Libya. 


A U.S. official credited NATO flight cover over the past many months with allowing the Libyan rebels enough time to eventually regroup and begin their pushes.   


One significant offset to the cost of U.S. involvement in the flights worth noting is the sale of military equipment to allies also involved in the cause.  Pentagon officials say the sale of ammunition, replacement parts, fuel, and technical assistance to allies since March has totaled $221.9 million.
Read more -
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/08/us-military-intervention-in-libya-cost-at-least-896-million-.html

The Seman-Soaked Hotel Room... - DSK's $3K-per-night Sofitel Hotel Suite Was Stained With The Semen Of Four Other Guys -

The Seman-Soaked Hotel Room... - DSK's $3K-per-night Sofitel Hotel Suite Was Stained With The Semen Of Four Other Guys - 


In a motion to dismiss rape charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Manhattan prosecutors today reported that an analysis of carpet stains in the Frenchman’s $3000-per-night Sofitel hotel room “contained the semen and DNA” of three unknown men, while a stain on the room’s wallpaper contained the semen and DNA of a fourth unknown man.
The revelation that the swanky 28th floor suite was semen-soaked is contained in a footnote in a New York State Supreme Court recommendation for dismissal filed by prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
As for the source of that stray semen, investigators noted that, “the circumstances under which the unidentified DNA was deposited are unrelated” to the encounter between the 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn and hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo.
On August 8, Diallo, 32, filed a civil lawsuit accusing Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund, of sexually assaulting her in mid-May at the Times Square-area hotel.
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Pottermore, the new, officially J.K. Rowling–sanctioned Harry Potter website, is now conducting a "closed beta." -

Pottermore, the new, officially J.K. Rowling–sanctioned Harry Potter website, is now conducting a "closed beta." - 


Pottermore, the new, officially J.K. Rowling–sanctioned Harry Potter website, is now conducting what's known as a "closed beta." That means that it's not open to the public, but a bunch of lucky fans, about a million of them, have been invited in to explore it early.
I'm one of them. My daughter, whom we'll call Plum, is another. Plum is 7, but she's a voracious reader and no mean Potter scholar. She's about to finish the series for the second time. She is, needless to say, crazed with excitement. She also has a very short attention span.
Plum and I settled in for our first session with Pottermore the other day. I sat at the keyboard, since Plum doesn't use a computer yet, and she looked over my shoulder. We logged in, using the username and password Pottermore had given us. The Pottermore interface is elegant — a thing of twisted branches and silver filigree. There's an owl perched at the top of the screen.


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2089575,00.html#ixzz1VnBIisgS

Previous12 Creepiest Abandoned Prisons on Earth -

Previous12 Creepiest Abandoned Prisons on Earth - 
Ohio State Pen


Around the world there are many abandoned prisons, once cages for people – some criminals, some political prisoners. Many disused prisons have been left to rot and decay, while a few have been demolished. No longer places for the incarcerated, many of these derelict landscapes are now the realms of urban explorers who document the abandonment and degradation of the former correctional institutions in pictures.


Read more - http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-10-creepiest-abandoned-prisons-earth

You've heard of swimming with dolphins, but what about riding inside one? -

You've heard of swimming with dolphins, but what about riding inside one? - 





You've heard of swimming with dolphins, but what about riding inside one? A California company specializes in making watercrafts that are not only shaped like sea-creatures, but go underwater like them. Video courtesy of Fox News.

Hoping to Contact Extraterrestrials? Think Again - Aliens might destroy life on Earth or plan to eat or enslave humans -

Hoping to Contact Extraterrestrials? Think Again - Aliens might destroy life on Earth or plan to eat or enslave humans - 




Astronomers who have been searching for extraterrestrial intelligence for decades are suddenly saying such an encounter might not be a happy one.
Aliens might destroy life on Earth or plan to eat or enslave humans if they sense our civilization was expanding too rapidly and could harm others, according to a latest study.


The scenario was brought up in a joint study by Seth Baum, Jacob Haqq-Misra and Shawn Domagal-Goldman.
Researchers say extraterrestrials might behave the way we humans have behaved whenever we have discovered other previously unknown intelligent beings on Earth, like unfamiliar humans or chimpanzees and gorillas.
"Just as we did to those beings, the extraterrestrials might proceed to kill, infect, dissect, conquer, displace or enslave us, stuff us as specimens for their museums or pickle our skulls and use us for medical research," according to the study, which was published in the journal Acta Astronautica.
Why should we worry about aliens? The simple reason is that if they can find us, they would be more advanced than humans.
"A core concern is that ETI will learn of our presence and quickly travel to Earth to eat or enslave us," the study says.
The authors speculate that extraterrestrials might try to spread their beliefs through evangelism or to use humans for entertainment.
Just because an ETI civilization holds universalist ethics does not mean that it would never seek our harm. This is because ETI may be quite different from us and could conclude that harming us would help maximize whatever they value intrinsically.
For example, if ETI place intrinsic value on lives, then perhaps they could bring about more lives by destroying us and using our resources more efficiently for other lives. Other forms of intrinsic value may cause a universalist ETI to seek our harm or destruction as long as more value is produced without us than with us.
Aliens also could harm or destroy us if they believe we are a threat to other civilizations. Rapidly expanding civilizations may have a tendency to destroy other civilizations in the process, just as humanity has already destroyed many species on Earth.  
Read more - 

1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa racecar sold for $16.4 million, the highest amount ever paid for any car at auction -

1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa racecar sold for $16.4 million, the highest amount ever paid for any car at auction - 
Ferrari racecar sells for world record $16.4 million

A 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa racecar sold at a California auction Saturday for $16.4 million, the highest amount ever paid for any car at auction.
The price includes a 10% fee for the auction company, Gooding & Co. The name of the buyer was not immediately available. The name of the seller, described in Gooding auction catalog as "a preeminent collector with a passion for Italian automobiles," is also undisclosed.

The car, a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, was the first Testa Rossa built, and served as the prototype for all subsequent Testa Rossa race cars.
The car has a 300-horsepower 3.0-liter V-12 engine and a four-speed manual transmission, and it had an eight-year racing history in both Europe and the United States.
It won first place in the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, an event where classic cars are judged based on their appearance. The auction in which the car was sold was held in conjunction with the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.


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21 Signs That The New Reality For Many Baby Boomers Will Be To Work As Wage Slaves Until They Drop Dead -

21 Signs That The New Reality For Many Baby Boomers Will Be To Work As Wage Slaves Until They Drop Dead - 


All over America tonight, millions of elderly Americans are wondering if their money is going to run out before it is time for them to die.  Those that are now past retirement age are not going to be rioting in the streets, but that doesn’t mean that large numbers of them are not deeply suffering.  There are millions of elderly Americans that are leading lives of “quiet desperation” as they try to get by on meager fixed incomes.  Many are surviving on Ramen noodles, oatmeal, peanut butter or whatever other cheap food they can find in the stores.  There are some that are so short on cash that they will not turn on the heat in their homes until things get really desperate.  As health care costs soar, millions of elderly Americans find themselves deep in debt and facing huge medical bills that they cannot possibly pay.  A lot of older Americans would go back to work if they could, but jobs are scarce and very few companies seem to even want to consider hiring them.  Right now caring for all of the Americans that have already retired is turning out to be an overwhelming challenge, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.  On January 1st, 2011 the very first Baby Boomers turned 65.  A massive tsunami of retirees is coming, and America is not ready for it.
Sadly, most retirees have not adequately prepared for retirement.  For many, the recent economic downturn absolutely devastated their retirement plans.  Many were counting on the equity in their homes, but the recent housing crash crushed those dreams.  Others had their 401ks shredded by the stock market.
Meanwhile, corporate pension plans all across America are vastly underfunded.  Many state and local government pension programs are absolute disasters.  The federal government has already begun to pay out significantly more in Social Security benefits than they are taking in, and the years ahead are projected to be downright apocalyptic for the Social Security program.
So needless to say, things do not look good for the Baby Boomers that are now approaching retirement age.
The following are 21 signs that the new reality for many Baby Boomers will be to work as wage slaves until they drop dead….
#1 According to a shocking AARP survey of Baby Boomers that are still in the workforce, 40 percent of them plan to work “until they drop”.
#2 A recent survey of American workers that included all age groups found that54 percent of them planned to keep working when they retire and 39 percent of them plan to either work past age 70 or never retire at all.
#3 A poll conducted by CESI Debt Solutions found that 56 percent of American retirees still had outstanding debts when they retired.
#4 A recent study by a law professor from the University of Michigan found that Americans that are 55 years of age or older now account for 20 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States.  Back in 2001, they only accounted for 12 percent of all bankruptcies.
#5 Between 1991 and 2007 the number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by a staggering 178 percent.
#6 Most of the bankruptcies among the elderly are caused by our deeply corrupt health care system.  According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percentof the personal bankruptcies in the United States.  Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.
#7 The U.S. government now says that the Medicare trust fund will run dry five years fasterthan they were projecting just last year.
#8 Starting on January 1st, 2011 the Baby Boomers began to hit retirement age.  From now on, every single day more than 10,000 Baby Boomers willreach the age of 65.  That is going to keep happening every single day for the next 19 years.


#9 Over 30 percent of all U.S. investors currently in their sixties have more than 80 percent of their 401k retirement plans invested in equities.  So what happens if the stock market crashes again?
#10 All over the United States predatory lenders are coldly and cruelly foreclosing on elderly homeowners.  You can read what one lender is doing to a 70-year-old woman and her terminally ill husband right here.
#11 Medical bills are absolutely devastating large number of elderly Americans right now.  Many are going to great lengths to try to pay their bills.  An elderly woman that lives in the Salem, Oregon area that is fighting terminal bone cancer tried to raise some money for her medical bills by holding a few garage sales on the weekends.  However, a neighbor ratted her out, and so now the police are shutting her garage sales down.
#12 Social Security’s disability program has already been pushed to the brink of insolvencyand wave after wave of new applications continue to pour in.
#13 Approximately 3 out of every 4 Americans start claiming Social Security benefits the moment they are eligible at age 62.  Most are doing this out of necessity.  However, by claiming Social Security early they get locked in at a much lower amount than if they would have waited.
#14 According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security systempaid out more in benefits than it received in payroll taxes in 2010.  That was not supposed to happen until at least 2016.  Sadly, in the years ahead these “Social Security deficits” are scheduled to become absolutely nightmarish as hordes of Baby Boomers retire.
#15 In 1950, each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by 16 U.S. workers.  In 2010, each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by approximately 3.3 U.S. workers.  By 2025, it is projected that there will be approximately two U.S. workers for each retiree.  How in the world can the system possibly continue to function properly with numbers like that?
#16 According to a shocking U.S. government report, soaring interest costs on the U.S. national debt plus rapidly escalating spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare will absorb approximately 92 cents of every single dollar of federal revenue by the year 2019.  That is before a single dollar is spent on anything else.
#17 Most states have huge pension liabilities that are woefully underfunded.  For example, pension consultant Girard Miller recently told California’s Little Hoover Commission that state and local government bodies in the state of California have $325 billion in combined unfunded pension liabilities.  When you break that down, it comes to $22,000 for every single working adult in the state of California.
#18 Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua D. Rauh of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management recently calculated the combined pension liability for all 50 U.S. states.  What they found was that the 50 states are collectively facing $5.17 trillion in pension obligations, but they only have $1.94 trillion set aside in state pension funds.  That is a difference of 3.2 trillion dollars.  So where in the world is all of that extra money going to come from?  Most of the states are already completely broke and on the verge of bankruptcy.
#19 According to one recent survey, 36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything at all to retirement savings.
#20 According to another recent survey, 24 percent of all U.S. workers saythat they have postponed their planned retirement age at least once during the past year.
#21 Even though prices for necessities such as food and gas have been exploding, those receiving Social Security benefits have not received a cost of living increase for two years in a row.  Many elderly Americans that are living on fixed incomes are being squeezed like they have never been squeezed before.
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