XIAM007

Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

LinkedIn releases this year’s most overused buzzwords - “Creative” is the top buzzword among professionals -

LinkedIn releases this year’s most overused buzzwords - “Creative” is the top buzzword among professionals - 






“Creative” is the top buzzword among professionals in the United States and Canada.


So concludes an annual survey of overused words conducted by LinkedIn, an eight-year-old online professional network that now boasts 135 million members around the world.


As it searched through its members’ personal profiles, LinkedIn came up with a Top 10 list of “overused buzzwords” in the U.S.:


1. Creative


2. Organizational


3. Effective


4. Extensive experience


5. Track record


6. Motivated


7. Innovative


8. Problem solving


9. Communication skills


10. Dynamic


LinkedIn also sorted the top buzzwords by country.


Creative was the top buzzword in Canada, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the U.S.


In some other countries, the No. 1 buzzwords were:


France: Dynamic


Italy: Problem solving


India: Effective


Brazil: Multinational


Ireland: Motivated


Spain: Managerial


Singapore: Track record


LinkedIn’s connection director Nicole Williams used this list as an excuse to remind members to steer clear of clich├ęs.


“Even though this year’s list of overused terms differs from last year’s, your objectives remain the same: Banish buzzwords from your profile,” Williams was quoted in a press release. “Use language that illustrates your unique professional accomplishments and experiences. Give concrete examples of results you’ve achieved whenever possible and reference attributes that are specific to you.”


Read more -
http://www.toronto.com/article/707144

ex Pot Smoker Newt Gingrich once called for death penalty - if convicted more than once of carrying 2 oz of marijuana -

ex Pot Smoker Newt Gingrich once called for death penalty - if convicted more than once of carrying 2 oz of marijuana - 


Over the weekend, struggling Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson reminded MSNBC viewers that GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich had once to called to punish some drug offenders with death.


“Newt Gingrich, in 1997, proposed the death penalty for marijuana — for possession of marijuana above a certain quantity of marijuana,” Johnson explained. “And yet, he is among 100 million Americans who’ve smoked marijuana.”


“I would love to have a discussion with him on the fact that he smoked pot, and under the wrong set of circumstance he proposed the death penalty for, potentially, something that he had committed. I have troubles with that,” he added.


Johnson, a former New Mexico governor who has advocated for marijuana legalization since 1999, is at least partially correct about Gingrich’s position.


As Speaker of the House, Gingrich introduced the “Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996.”


The bill would have required a “sentence of death for certain importations of significant quantities of controlled substances.” It would have applied to anyone convicted more than once of carrying 100 doses — or about two ounces — or marijuana across the border. Defendants would have had a window of 18 months to file their one and only appeal. 


Read more - 
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/12/gary-johnson-gingrich-proposed-the-death-penalty-for-marijuana/

Santa Claus Gets a TSA Pat-down - Could this legendary figure be part of the mythical al Qaeda group? -

Santa Claus Gets a TSA Pat-down - Could this legendary figure be part of the mythical al Qaeda group? - 


Obviously, TSA officials are concerned. Here’s an actual photo sent in by one of our listeners of a man dressed as Santa Claus receiving a pat-down at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the very airport also in the news today after considering a total ban of radiating body scanners. Note the red Santa coat in the bin behind him.


INFOWARS Santa Claus patted down by TSA at Ft. Lauderdale airport


Read more - 
http://www.infowars.com/santa-gets-a-tsa-patdown-photo/

Monkeys to Track Fallout at Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Plant - 1000 monkeys with radiation meters and GPS transmitters -

Monkeys to Track Fallout at Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Plant - 1000 monkeys with radiation meters and GPS transmitters - 




Wild monkeys have been enlisted by Japanese researchers to obtain detailed readings of radiation levels in forests near the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant.
Professor Takayuki Takahashi and his team of scientists at Fukushima University are fitting nearly 1000 animals with radiation meters and GPS transmitters in order to track the spread of radiation leaked from March’s nuclear accident, the worst in Japan’s history.
Until now, radiation monitoring has been conducted primarily by air, using helicopters equipped with testing devices. Takahashi says aerial monitoring can track radiation across a wide area, but it only gives a general idea of radiation levels on the ground, not specifics on its movement.
“The monkeys can help us get more accurate readings in areas that aren’t so accessible,” Takahashi said. “We’ll get a better idea of how radiation is spread by rain, by plants, by rivers in the forest.”
Researchers also hope to monitor the amount of radiation exposure in wild animals.
The project is being launched in partnership with Minamisoma, one of the cities hardest hit by the nuclear disaster. Radiation fears prompted more than half of its 67,000 residents to evacuate, in Fukushima’s aftermath. A third of the city sits inside the 12 mile government mandated exclusion zone, deemed too dangerous for people to live in. In the larger Fukushima prefecture, more than 80,000 residents have been displaced by the nuclear disaster.
With 14 monkey colonies in Minamisoma’s forests alone, Takahashi is hopeful his researchers will get a broad spectrum of readings, from the ground level to the highest trees.  The collars equipped with radiation meters and GPS transmitters will be detachable by remote control, but the plan is to keep the devices on the animals, for decades.


Read more - 
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/12/monkeys-to-track-fallout-at-japans-fukushima-nuclear-plant/

35 Shocking Facts That Prove That College Education Has Become A Giant Money Making Scam -

35 Shocking Facts That Prove That College Education Has Become A Giant Money Making Scam - 


College education in America is a bad joke.  Instead of preparing the next generation of leaders for the jobs of tomorrow, the college education “industry” has become a giant money making scam.  We constantly preach to our high school students that they “need” to go to college and we tell them to not even worry about how much it is going to cost because a college education is “always” worth the money.  Then we lend them outrageous amounts of money so that they can pay the gigantic bills for the “education” that they are receiving.  But the truth is that the quality of education at America’s colleges and universities is absolutely abysmal these days.  I spent 8 years at U.S. universities, and most of the courses that I took could have been passed by the family dog.  Sadly, once our young people graduate they quickly discover that there are way too many college graduates and not nearly enough good jobs.  Today, we have millions upon millions of young Americans that are enslaved to student loan debt for the rest of their lives.  They were promised a bright future, but instead most of them are discovering that they are going to be working really hard to pay off financial predators for decades to come.  Unfortunately, for most college graduates a diploma is simply a ticket to a crappy job and a lifetime of debt slavery.


The following are 35 shocking facts that prove that college education in America has become a giant money making scam….


The Student Loan Debt Bubble


#1 After adjusting for inflation, U.S. college students are borrowing about twice as much money as they did a decade ago.


#2 According to the College Board, college tuition is absolutely soaring.  The following comes from a recent CBS News article….


Average tuition and fees at public colleges rose 8.3 percent this year and, with room and board, now exceed $17,000 a year, according to the College Board.


#3 Average yearly tuition at private universities in the United States is now upto $27,293.  That figure has increased by 29% in just the past five years.


#4 In America today, approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loan debt.


#5 In 2010, the average college graduate had accumulated approximately $25,000 in student loan debt by graduation day.


#6 According to the Student Loan Debt Clock, total student loan debt in the United States will surpass the 1 trillion dollar mark in early 2012.


#7 The total amount of student loan debt in the United States now exceeds the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.


#8 Over the past 25 years, the cost of college tuition has increased at an average rate that is approximately 6% higher than the general rate of inflation.


#9 Back in 1952, a full year of tuition at Harvard was only $600. Today, it is$35,568.


#10 The cost of college textbooks has tripled over the past decade.


#11 One survey found that 23 percent of all college students actually use credit cards to pay for tuition or fees.


#12 According to recent Pew Research Center polling, 75% of all Americansbelieve that college is too expensive for most Americans to afford.


#13 College has become so expensive that it is causing many college students to do desperate things in order to pay for it.  For example, an increasing number of young college women are actively advertising on the Internet for “sugar daddies” who will help them pay their college bills.


#14 The student loan default rate has nearly doubled since 2005.


#15 Approximately 14 percent of all students that graduate with student loan debt end up defaulting within 3 years of making their first student loan payment.


The Quality Of College Education In America Stinks


#16 The typical U.S. college student spends less than 30 hours a week on academics.


#17 According to very extensive research detailed in a new book entitled “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses”, 45 percent of all U.S. college students exhibit “no significant gains in learning” after two years in college.


#18 Today, college students spend approximately 50% less time studying than U.S. college students did just a few decades ago.


#19 35% of U.S. college students spend 5 hours or less studying per week.


#20 50% of U.S. college students have never taken a class where they had to write more than 20 pages.


#21 32% of U.S. college students have never taken a class where they had to read more than 40 pages in a week.


#22 U.S. college students spend 24% of their time sleeping, 51% of their time socializing and 7% of their time studying.


#23 Federal statistics reveal that only 36 percent of the full-time students who began college in 2001 received a bachelor’s degree within four years.


Not Enough Jobs For College Graduates


#24 Only 55.3% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 were employed last year.  That was the lowest level that we have seen since World War II.


#25 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the “official” unemployment rate for college graduates younger than 25 years old was 9.3 percent in 2010.


#26 One-third of all college graduates end up taking jobs that don’t even require college degrees.


#27 In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors that have college degrees.


#28 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.


#29 In the United States today, approximately 365,000 cashiers have college degrees.


#30 In the United States today, 24.5 percent of all retail salespeople have a college degree.


#31 The percentage of mail carriers with a college degree is now 4 times higher than it was back in 1970.


#32 Right now, there are 5.9 million Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 that are living with their parents.


#33 According to one recent survey, only 14 percent of all Americans that are 28 or 29 years old are optimistic about their financial futures.


#34 Record numbers of Americans are going to college, but incomes for young American adults just keep falling.  Since the year 2000, incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation.


#35 Once they get out into the “real world”, 70% of all college graduateswish that they had spent more time preparing for the “real world” while they were still in school.


So is going to college always a bad idea?


Of course not.


But it is a huge gamble.


There is no guarantee that all of the time, money and effort that you put into getting a college education is going to pay off with a promising career.


If you want to go to college, my advice would be to get someone else to pay for it.  Failing that, try to get the best quality education that you can at the lowest price possible.


And try to go into as little debt as you possibly can in the process.


Today, there are millions of college students that wish that they had done things differently.


For example, the following student loan horror story comes from a recent Business Insider article….


“I am the first in my family to go to college. Without family support, I self-financed three college degrees (BA, MA and PhD) at state colleges between 1988 and 2005 using Pell Grants, multiple jobs, scholarships and $90,000 in subsidized and unsubsidized student loans.


My loans have been bought and sold so many times it is impossible to keep track of changes in rates, balances and terms of service since I have never had to resign any promissory notes. Eventually, I was able to consolidate the loans with Sallie Mae at a 7% interest rate. My loan payments have ranged from $400-600/mo. depending on the loan provider and lowest possible payment option available.


…I am currently a public school teacher with an income of $50,000, barely enough income to pay the interest-only payments. I have never missed a payment in over ten years … and my loan balance stands at $105,000. To date, I have paid over $40,000 in loan payments and because my income restricts me to interest-only payments, and the 7% daily capitalized interest rate, I now owe $15,000 more than I borrowed….


My student loan situation has nothing to do with a lack of financial responsibility.


I have never missed a student loan payment and I have paid off $20,000 in credit card debt and a $10,000 car loan since graduation. I have no mortgage or any other outstanding debt, just my student loans. I have a credit score of 820. However, because of the usurious interest rates, capitalization of interest and the sole option of interest-only payments, I will never be able to pay off my student loan.


It’s just not possible, unless I win the lottery.“


Please learn a lesson from those that have gone before you.


Student loan debt is very cruel and it can ruin your life.


So do you have a student loan debt horror story to share?  Or do you have an opinion about the money making scam that college education in America has become?  If so, please leave a comment with your opinion below….


Read more - 
http://www.blacklistednews.com/35_Shocking_Facts_That_Prove_That_College_Education_Has_Become_A_Giant_Money_Making_Scam_/16980/0/0/0/Y/M.html

17 Signs That The European Financial System Is Heading For An Implosion Of Historic Proportions -

17 Signs That The European Financial System Is Heading For An Implosion Of Historic Proportions - 


What happens when you attempt a cold shutdown of one of the biggest debt spirals that the world has ever seen?  Well, we are about to find out.  The politicians in Europe have decided that they are going to “take their medicine” and put strict limits on budget deficits.  They have also decided that the European Central Bank is not going to engage in reckless money printing to “paper over” the debts of troubled nations.  This may all sound wonderful to many of you, but the reality is that there is always a tremendous amount of pain whenever a massive debt spiral is interrupted.  Just look at what happened to Greece.  Greece was forced to raise taxes and implement brutal austerity measures.  That caused the economy to slow down and tax revenues to decline and so government debt figures did not improve as much as anticipated.  So Greece was forced to implement even more brutal austerity measures.  Well, that caused the economy to slow down even more and tax revenues declined again.  In Greece this cycle has been repeated several times and now Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic depression.  100,000 businesses have closed and a third of the population is living in poverty.  But now Germany and France intend to impose the “Greek solution” on the rest of Europe.  This is going to create the conditions needed for a “perfect storm” to develop and it means that the European financial system is heading for an implosion of historic proportions.


The easiest way to deal with a debt spiral is to let it keep going and going.  That is what the United States has done.  Sure, “kicking the can down the road” makes the crisis much worse in the long run, but bringing the pain into the present is not a lot of fun either.


Europe has decided to do something that is unprecedented in the post-World War II era.  They have decided to put very strict limits on budget deficits and to impose tough sanctions on any nations that break the rules.  They have also decided that they are not going to allow the European Central Bank to fund the debts of troubled nations with reckless money printing.


Without a doubt, this is a German solution for a German-dominated Europe.  Germany does not want to pay for the debt mistakes of other EU nations, and so they are shoving bitter austerity down the throats of those that have gotten into too much debt.


But this solution is not going to be implemented without a massive amount of pain.


In fact, this solution is going to make a massive financial collapse much more likely.  The following are 17 signs that the European financial system is heading for an implosion of historic proportions….


#1 As noted above, when you reduce government spending you also slow down the economy.  We have already seen what brutal austerity has done to Greece – 100,000 businesses have shut down, a third of the population is living in poverty and there is rioting in the streets.  Now that brand of brutal austerity is going to be imposed in almost every single nation in Europe.


#2 As the economy slows down in Europe, unemployment will rise.  There are already 10 different European nations that have an “official” unemployment rateof over 10 percent and the next recession has not even officially started yet.


#3 Before it is all said and done, the EU nations that are drowning in debt will likely need trillions of euros in bailout money just to survive.  But at this point Germany and the other wealthy nations of northern Europe are sick and tired of bailouts and do not plan to hand over trillions of euros.


#4 The European Central Bank could theoretically print up trillions of euros and buy up massive amounts of European sovereign debt, but this would go against existing treaties and most of the major politicians in Europe are steadfastly against this right now.  But without such intervention it is hard to see how the ECB will be able to keep bond yields from absolutely skyrocketing for long.  In fact, without massive ECB intervention it is hard to see how the eurozone is going to be able to stay together at all.  Graeme Leach, the chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said the following recently….


“Unless the ECB begins to operate as a sovereign lender of last resort function, with massive purchases of eurozone public debt, the inexorable logic is that the eurozone will break up.”


#5 European leaders are hoping that the new treaty that was just agreed to will be ratified by the end of the summer.  In reality, it will probably take much longer than that.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made it clear that the solution to this debt crisis is going to take a long time to implement….


“It’s a process, and this process will take years.”


Unfortunately, Europe does not have years.  Europe is rapidly running out of time.  A massive financial crisis is steamrolling right at them and they need solutions right now.


#6 Sadly, the cold, hard reality of the matter is that none of the fundamental problems that Europe is facing were fixed by this recent “agreement” as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard recently noted in one of his columns….


There is no shared debt issuance, no fiscal transfers, no move to an EU Treasury, no banking licence for the ESM rescue fund, and no change in the mandate of the European Central Bank.


In short, there is no breakthrough of any kind that will convince Asian investors that this monetary union has viable governance or even a future.


Germany has kept the focus exclusively on fiscal deficits even though everybody must understand by now that this crisis was not caused by fiscal deficits (except in the case of Greece). Spain and Ireland were in surplus, and Italy had a primary surplus.


#7 Nobody wants to lend to European banks right now.  Everyone knows that there are dozens of European banks in danger of failing, and nobody wants to throw any more money into those black holes.  The U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank have been lending them money, but a lot of European banks are already starting to run out of “acceptable forms of collateral” for those loans as one Australian news source recently explained….


“If anyone thinks things are getting better, they simply don’t understand how severe the problems are,” a London executive at a global bank said. “A major bank could fail within weeks.”


Others said many continental banks, including French, Italian and Spanish lenders, were close to running out of the acceptable forms of collateral, such as US Treasury bonds, that could be used to finance short-term loans.


Some have been forced to lend out their gold reserves to maintain access to US dollar funding.


So will the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank keep lending them money once they are out of acceptable collateral?


If not, we could start to see banks fail in rapid succession.


Charles Wyplosz, a professor of international economics at Geneva’s Graduate Institute, is absolutely certain that we are going to see some major European banks collapse….


“Banks will collapse, including possibly a number of French banks that are very exposed to Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain.”


#8 Not only does nobody want to lend money to them, major banks all over Europe are also dramatically cutting back on lending to consumers and businesses as they attempt to meet new capital-adequacy requirements by next June.


According to renowned financial journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, European banks need to reduce the amount of lending on their books by about 7 trillion dollars in order to get down to safe levels….


Europe’s banks face a $7 trillion lending contraction to bring their balance sheets in line with the US and Japan, threatening to trap the region in a credit crunch and chronic depression for a decade.


When nobody wants to lend to the banks, and when the banks severely cut back on lending to others, that is called a “credit crunch”.  In such an environment, it is incredibly difficult to avoid a major recession.


#9 European banks are absolutely overloaded with “toxic assets” that they are desperate to get rid of.  Just as we saw with U.S. banks back in 2008, major European banks are busy trying to unload mountains of worthless assets that have a book value of trillions of euros.  Unfortunately for the banks, virtually nobody wants to buy them.


#10 European bond yields are still incredibly high even though the European Central Bank has spent over 274 billion dollars buying up European government bonds.


Up until now, the European Central Bank has been taking money out of the system (by taking deposits or by selling assets for example) whenever it injects new money into the system by buying bonds.  That makes this different from the quantitative easing that the U.S. Federal Reserve has done.  But at some point the European Central Bank is going to run out of ways to take money out of the system, and when that happens either the Germans will have to allow the ECB to print money out of thin air to buy bonds with or we will finally see the market determine the true value of European government bonds.


#11 Bond yields are going to become even more important in 2012, becausehuge mountains of European sovereign debt are scheduled to be rolled over next year.  For example, Italy must roll over approximately 20 percent of its entire sovereign debt during 2012.


#12 Once the new treaty is ratified, eurozone governments will lose the power to respond to a major recession by dramatically increasing government spending.  So if the governments of Europe cannot spend more money in response to the coming financial crisis, and if the ECB cannot print more money in response to the coming financial crisis, then what is going to keep the coming recession from turning into a full-blown depression?


#13 Credit rating agencies are warning that more credit downgrades may be coming in Europe. For example, Moody’s recently stated the following….


“While our central scenario remains that the euro area will be preserved without further widespread defaults, shocks likely to materialise even under this ‘positive’ scenario carry negative credit and rating implications in the coming months. And the longer the incremental approach to policy persists, the greater the likelihood of more severe scenarios, including those involving multiple defaults by euro area countries and those additionally involving exits from the euro area.”


#14 S&P has put 15 members of the eurozone (including Germany) on review for a possible credit downgrade.


#15 The stock prices of many major European banks are in the process of collapsing.  If you doubt this, just check out the charts in this article.


#16 Bank runs have begun in some parts of Europe.  For example, a recent article posted on Yahoo News described what has been going on in Latvia….


Latvia’s largest bank scrambled Monday to head off a run among depositors who were gripped by rumours of the bank’s imminent ruin.


Weekend rumours that Swedbank was facing legal and liquidity problems in Estonia and Sweden sent thousands of Latvians to bank machines on Sunday, with some lines reaching as many as 50 people.


The Greek banking system is literally on the verge of collapse.  According to a recent Der Spiegel article, the run on Greek banks is rapidly accelerating….


He means that the outflow of funds from Greek bank accounts has been accelerating rapidly. At the start of 2010, savings and time deposits held by private households in Greece totalled €237.7 billion — by the end of 2011, they had fallen by €49 billion. Since then, the decline has been gaining momentum. Savings fell by a further €5.4 billion in September and by an estimated €8.5 billion in October — the biggest monthly outflow of funds since the start of the debt crisis in late 2009.


#17 There are already signs that European economic activisty (as well as global economic activity) is really starting to slow down.  Just consider the following statistics from a recent article by Stephen Lendman….


In November, French business confidence fell for the eighth consecutive month. In October, Japanese machinery orders dropped 6.9%, following an 8.2% plunge in September.


South Africa just reported a 5.6% drop in manufacturing activity. Britain recorded a 0.7% decline. China’s October exports fell 1.7% after dropping 3.8% in September.


Korea’s exports are down three consecutive months. Singapore’s were off in September and October. Indonesia’s plunged 8.5% in October after slipping 2% in September. India’s imploded 18.3% after being flat in September.


Are you starting to get the picture?


Europe is in a massive amount of trouble.
The equation is simple….


Brutal austerity + toxic levels of government debt + rising bond yields + a lack of confidence in the financial system + banks that are massively overleveraged + a massive credit crunch = A financial implosion of historic proportions


Unless something truly dramatic happens, the economy of Europe is a dead duck.


There is no way that Europe is going to be able to substantially reduce the flow of money coming from national governments and substantially reduce the flow of money coming from the banks and still be able to avoid a major recession.


Look, I want it to be very clear that I am in no way advocating government debt in this article.  It is just that under the debt-based monetary paradigm that we are all operating under, there is no way that you can dramatically reduce government spending without experiencing a whole lot of pain.


An economic “perfect storm” is developing in Europe.  All of the things that need to happen for a major recession to occur are falling into place.


So does anyone out there disagree with me?  Does anyone think that Europe is going to be just fine?


Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….


Read more - 
http://www.blacklistednews.com/17_Signs_That_The_European_Financial_System_Is_Heading_For_An_Implosion_Of_Historic_Proportions_/16978/0/0/0/Y/M.html