May 11, 2012

The 6 Worst Cities to Drive In

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

Los Angeles

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

New York City

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


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

Washington D.C.

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

Dallas-Fort Worth

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


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

National Guard Mission Along Southern Border Extended

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

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

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

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

Have a wonderful holiday

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Driving a BMW car dream came true

Every one of us has some dreams in life isn’t it? Yes, even I have a dream to drive a BMW and this dream came true when I booked a BMW through a carrentals during my visit to London last month. One of my friends suggested me about this car rental company and I thought of giving a try because of the reputation and credibility among many satisfied customers.

So when I visited the web page the first thing that attracted me was the multi-lingual navigation feature where I was able to translate the page to English with a single click. I read the terms and conditions and got convinced with their crisp and clear rules and regulations. Then I filled the next page with my age and name details along with rental duration, time of pick up place of pick up drop off details etc.

Then I was asked to choose from a list of cars and I chose my dream BMW car at affordable price. I paid for accident, theft and damage waiver insurance along with taxes for airport, local tax and parking charges. All these made my trip convenient, comfortable and safe when I took my car at Heathrow Airport. Thanks for this carrentals for making my trip memorable.

Is There Hope for the Economic Recovery of Detroit?

The city of Detroit called the motor city, has had a long history of being the car manufacturing center of America. In recent years many auto manufacturers and suppliers have closed down several plants. The ripple effect of plant closures have caused many problems in this once prosperous city. However, recent reports have shown that Detroit is slowly making its way back to life. Here are some of the factors having a positive impact in Detroit.

  • Decline in Unemployment Rate

The local CBS station in Detroit issued a report in February 2011 where it states that unemployment rate in February went down from the previous month. The unemployment rate for Detroit in February was 9 percent. The average unemployment rate for the U.S. in February dropped to 8.9 percent. Detroit’s unemployment rate is very close to the national average which shows that the city may be heading for brighter days.

  • More Contract Job Opportunities

Auto manufacturers are turning to contract workers for more flexibility and lower pay rates. Manufacturers like Chrysler have increased its U.S. contract labor force by approximately 150 percent in 2010. Many of these contract workers are hired through staffing agencies. As a result, local staffing firms are seeing an increase in profits, which contributes to the economic growth of Detroit.

  • Revitalization of Mortgage Lenders

A non-profit organization called Southwest Housing Solutions has taken on the huge task of getting people interested in buying and refinancing homes in Detroit. With grant funding from government and private institutions, Southwest plans to use its own money to assist potential buyers.

The city of Detroit may be down but it’s not out. There is still hope for the economic recovery of Detroit.

Benefits of Buying a Home in a Bad Economy

Hundreds of Americans were hit hard with the mortgage crisis and the downturn of the economy. Many families were no longer able to afford their mortgage payments because of high umployment and subprime mortgage rates. However, there is a silver lining in this dark cloud as there are benefits to buying a home in a bad economy. Here are some benefits that can make buying a home in a recession an attractive investment.

  • Low Interest Rates

According to Freddie Mac’s weekly primary mortgage survey for the first week of March 2011, the national average interest for a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.87 percent and 4.15 percent for a 15 year fixed-rate mortgage. These interest rates have been on a consistent decline for almost a month. With these rates you can lock-in an affordable mortgage payment before the economy becomes a sellers market.

  • More Affordable Prices in Affluent Neighborhoods

The foreclosure crisis has affected even the rich. Many affluent neighbors all across the country in suburban towns near cities like San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Chicago, have homes availalbe for prices way below market value. A local Chicago brokerage owner Paul Stepanovich said that “the foreclosure crisis has crept into the homes of affluent households as big corporations laid off their top executives.” Now may be the perfect time to purchase your dream home in that wealthy neighborhood you always had your eye set on.

  • Good Market for Lanlords

If you have the cash or good credit rating, purchasing a home up for foreclosure or auction is the perfect opputunity to become a landlord and earn extra income. Since it’s still a buyers market, the best thing to do is to rent or lease your property and sell when the market improves.

With benefits like these, you can make good use of a bad economy to be your stepping stone to affordable home ownership and prosperity.

Ways To Not Let The Economy Get You Down

The economy has been up and down for the last few years. A fact that can prove to be very depressing. If you allow it to be. Part of handling this unsteady state of affairs is to keep up one’s outlook in a positive manner. Ways to not let the economy get you down can also help. Each in their own individual ways.

One of the biggest ways to not let the economy get you down is this. You should maintain a positive outlook and reflect that outlook to others.  Being positive produces the positive and positive results.  Apply the positives to how you feel about the economy and you will definitely not feel down. Allowing yourself to be bummer and be sour. Will only aid in creating unrest and passint it along to those closest around you. Morale means everything in the workplace. Good morale  is not only good for the entire job environment. It is also good for productivity. People who go to work. Should go upbeat and liking their jobs. They should also feel like. They are making a difference to the economy. By performing their specific career daily in the working world. All of us can be effective to some degree. We must each feel that we are effecive and do count.

Be determined to not let the stress get to you. With stress comes fear and with fear comes high blood pressure/other health issues. The best way to fight stress is to immediately create a means to de-stress. Exercise is a great way to help get rid of stress fast Exercise can take on the form of walking, riding a bicycle, jogging, you name it.  The sky is the limit here!

Ways to not let the economy get you down do exist. You just need to find what specific outlet works for you best and apply it faithfully. Fear and stress are not it!

How To Travel Cheaply In This Economy

In today’s Topsy-turvy economy. It is important to save as much money as one can. This same truth applies to travel and leisure time. Traveling cheaply in this economy is indeed possible. If you know all the right ins and outs to doing so from the get go. Part of getting things at a lower cost is looking for things. That are less in price and this can be done successfully. If one is willing to do the research that is required of them.

There are indeed ways to travel for cheap or even for free. A person just needs to know these ways and how to go about using them effectively in their favor whenever journeying. One of the most obvious of all means is to seek airlines that are low-cost or budget in price. These fares also apply to bus and train if not going via a plane. However, if you are using an airplane for your vacation or travel excursion, some of the budget airlines include Jetstar and EasyJet to name two.

These same budget airlines do tend to offer free flights to different destinations at times too. Only just another reward of using a budget flight option to begin with for your trip. Two of the best ways to secure budget airfare tickets is to go to the airline websites to check out their prices and to seek out any deals/ special rates for booking flights at travel websites.

How to travel cheaply in this economy can happen in many ways. Some ways a person can also buy airline tickets at the last-minute at a discount airline ticket website online. Another course of action to get low airline ticket costs is to buy tickets on unusual dates for travel. Making yourself open to traveling on any dates when other travelers are unlikely to fly is a sure-fire way to get tickets that are much lower in price.

How To Do Your Part To Help The Economy

If we truly care about the United States and want it to see it succeed. We each need to know. What is expected of us. How to do your part to help the economy. Is something that begins and ends with you. No one can do what you can and that is only your best. Hopelessness is something that a troubled economy does tend to generate. This overwhelming feeling of uncertainty can be fought, but a person needs to be armed with the right essentials.

Each of us can do our own parts to stimulate and help keep the economy healthy as it can be. Small businesses are the thing that make the economy a true economy. Therefore, one of the first things is to support small business, and this can be done by buying products directly from small businesses. This is something that can help to stimulate the economy in a big way. Small businesses are stand alone in that the government does not bail them out directly or lend them large sums of money as a loan. Companies that are much bigger in size do tend to qualify for things that smaller businesses do not. So a person that cares about making a difference in the economy can and will by purchasing items or services from any of the small businesses out there.

There are a number of things. You can do both at home and for your whole community to help boost the economy. One of the most obvious of these things is to be the best that you can be at your job. Giving it your all at your career will help the company that your work for and keep it thriving from a profit standpoint. Volunteering your time for a good cause in your community is something that will bring personal satisfaction and thanks to you for all that. You are fortunate to have in your life.

Crisis in America-Homelessness and Poverty in the U.S

Homelessness is becoming an epidemic that is rarely addressed by the government in depth. During the recession, the percentage of homeless people rose due to job loss, divorce, home foreclosure, no public assistance, substance abuse and other such factors.

That’s not including the children that end up on the streets, either by running away from home or being kicked out. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimated in 2004, about 1.6 million kids slept on the streets during a year span. The number has grown, now in the range of 2.8 million. Many of the children are teens running from abuse, often times physical, sexual, or both. Others, including adults, have mental disorders and no one to help care for them. Shelters these days fill up quickly and can’t help every homeless person that comes in. The Obama administration hopes the tax breaks and redistribution of wealth can lower the percentage of people living on the street or those about to lose their homes. The results won’t happen soon according to a report by the National Center on Family Homelessness. 1 in 50 children are homeless, a good percentage of them being African and Native American.

“Tent Cities”, so called because of the homeless setting up tents in abandoned lots to live, are popping up across the nation. A major one was found in Sacramento and more are forming every day. The estimated numbers are close to 20,000 people living in that squalor. The government recognizes the problem as dire but still struggles to find a positive solution amidst bigger issues of economy and war with the Middle East. The Obama administration believes when the economy is stable again more jobs will be available which would lead to more workers and less homelessness.

That vision is hard to see for those sleeping on street corners or huddled in an abandoned building not fit for human conditions.