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Demeter

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2003, 02:04 PM
Number of posts: 79,425

Journal Archives

Ann Arbor Priest confirms on social media post that parish will not hold further gun classes

http://www.wxyz.com/news/region/washtenaw-county/ann-arbor-priest-confirms-on-social-media-post-that-parish-will-not-hold-further-gun-classes

Concealed pistol classes at Christ the King Catholic Church in Ann Arbor have been cancelled, according to the parish priest.

Rev. Ed Fride is still not talking to the media but he made several posts on Facebook, confirming that he would follow the directive of the Bishop of the Diocese of Lansing.

Fride encouraged parishioners to arm themselves after the recent threat of violence at a school near the church. He followed up his message from the pulpit with a 7-page follow-up that was sent by email to members of the congregation.

Holding the class on church property had generated some controversy within the parish community. This week local, national and international media picked up on the story. USA Today featured the Detroit Free Press story. The Daily Mail of London has a big splash online as well.

Fride did not respond to my phone call or email yesterday but a statement attributed to Bishop Earl Boyea of the Diocese of Lansing late Monday afternoon made it clear that Father Ed had overstepped his bounds. In a post on his Facebook page Tuesday, Fride joked he might become a cloistered monk by sending an application to the Carthusians.

Then later in the day, he posted this message:

I would like to make the following statement in relationship to the CPL controversy currently in the media:

The Lord Jesus has blessed us greatly in calling Bishop Earl Boyea to serve us as the fifth Bishop of Lansing. I have been and continue to be very grateful for his ministry, especially his great work in leading the Diocese in the fulfillment of the Holy Fathers' call to the New Evangelization that all people would hear the message of the saving love of the Lord Jesus Christ. As our Bishop, he is responsible for setting policy for our parishes and he has decided and publically stated that CPL classes are not appropriate on Church property. That is his call to make and we will obviously follow his policy on this and on all decisions he makes as he shepherds this Diocese. No parish is an island unto itself and no priest operates on his own. I am his priest and I will continue to serve him to the best of my ability."

Fr. Ed Fride


VIDEO NEWS CLIP AT LINK

Ah, no. The scientists and engineers could foresee the problems just fine

But they aren't the Deciders.

It's the Bean Counters, the Profiteers, that make the safety decisions to "cut this" and "cheapen that" and "eliminate safeguards". With sufficient lying, and payoffs to the politicians and the press, bad things happen.

Too many times the REAL Crooks pass the blame off on the technical staff, but it isn't so. (Disclosure: I'm an engineer by training and genetics from a long line of the technically gifted. I have seen this blame-shifting in my own life, and that of my family)

After all, do you ever hear of GOOD things happening "accidentally"? Only when the Profiteers, crooked Politicians, and paid-off Press don't have a finger in the pie....and the People, the engineers and the scientists get to make the decisions.

Mailman who landed gyrocopter at Capitol sent back to Florida, barred from D.C.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-gyrocopter-court-appearance-20150416-story.html

The Florida mail carrier accused of landing a gyrocopter outside the U.S. Capitol was charged in federal court Thursday and has been barred from returning to the District of Columbia or flying any aircraft, officials said.

Douglas Hughes, 61, was charged with violating aircraft registration requirements, a felony, and violating national defense airspace, a misdemeanor. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to three years in prison for the felony and one year in prison for the airspace violation.

He was released on his own recognizance Thursday and will be placed on home detention in Florida, prosecutors said...


Well, at least he isn't lying in a pool of his own blood on Pennsylvania Avenue...

Prop. 1 is a "Soak the Poor" Proposition

the effects of sale taxes are always regressive, despite the exemption of food. Poor people pay the freight, not those wealthy enough to afford it without suffering.

And the deception employed: only a portion (less than half, I believe) of the money raised goes to the roads, and some to the schools, and the rest runs through ratholes into special interest pockets.

Furthermore...the first thing to suffer in an economic downturn is the sales tax revenues. So this is a cheap way to look like they are fixing a problem, when in fact, they are making it worse.

The PROPER way to fund any government, especially in a putative democracy, is through progressive taxes on current income (and only that portion which is above a reasonable standard of living), and estate taxes to prevent the formation and growth of an economic aristocracy.

Note how the GOP is hell-bent on eliminating both these funding sources....so the DeVos family can rest easy, like the Fords and such before them....

Hantz Woodlands to plant 5,000 more trees on once-blighted lots in Detroit



http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2015/04/hantz_woodlands_to_plant_5000.html

More than 1,400 volunteers last May planted 15,000 saplings in a desolate section of Detroit once consumed with blight. This year, the future inner-city forest will expand to include 5,000 more...The land, nearly 180 acres, is a collection of abandoned lots last owned by the city of Detroit following years of foreclosure. Hantz Woodlands, with the blessing of Gov. Rick Snyder, purchased the land, about 1,300 parcels, for just over $500,000 in 2013. Hantz Woodlands cleared the lots, removed debris, overgrowth, trash, tires, more than 50 rotting homes and is now planting trees...

"Join us on May 9 as we continue to transform blight to beauty on Detroit's lower east side with the planting of 5,000 tulip poplar trees," the Facebook page says. "In addition to tree planting, there will be live music, equipment demonstrations, face painting, educational tours and complimentary food."

Volunteers planted about 20 acres in 2014 and will plant another five this year, says Hantz Farms President Mike Score. Hantz Woodlands is the brainchild of business mogul John Hantz, a Detroit resident and the CEO of Hantz Financial in Southfield who said he was sick of looking all of the blight driving to and from his home in Indian Village. The project faced some adversity early on from opponents who saw it as a speculative land grab, but seems to have won over many, including Mayor Mike Duggan and, perhaps most importantly, numerous residents who have told MLive over the last two years their neighborhoods look better than they have in a long time. Score said the for-profit company plans to sell the lumber produced in a couple decades to offset maintenance costs. It will also likely benefit in the long term from increasing land values.

The company mows 180 acres bi-weekly and has about 80 acres left to totally clear in preparation for planting, Score said Friday. He said the plan is to grow the trees for about 10 years in tight rows,causing them to grow taller and straighter, and then "thin" them by transplanting some to other open lots. Score believes community support will continue with the second annual planting event.

"We don't have any goals, we just want people to come out and have a good time," he said. "I think we'll have more than we had last year.

"It wouldn't surprise me if we had about 2,000."




I DON'T THINK YOU CAN BE TOO CYNICAL ABOUT THIS...THE VOLUNTEERS ARE DOING STOOP LABOR FOR A FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION ON LAND THEY WILL NEVER OWN, WHOSE PROFITS THEY WILL NEVER SEE....

Weekend Economists in the Market for a Change April 17-19, 2015

Well! What a week it was!

I'm talking about the weather, of course. The rest of the world went to hell in a handbasket, but Spring has returned to Michigan, at least the southern part. I saw the swans flying in; they nest on our ponds annually. The Daffodils are in bloom, and the birds are singing away. Ground crews are spiffing up the joint, and I've taken the plastic sheeting off the windows!

I even turned off the heat one night, but the next day was cloudy so there was no solar gain and I needed to turn it back on at night. It's off again, though!



Anyway, let's talk about the market--the Black Market. A Wikipedia definition would be in order:

A black market or underground economy is a market in which goods or services are traded illegally. The key distinction of a black market trade is that the transaction itself is illegal. The goods or services may or may not themselves be illegal to own, or to trade through other, legal channels. Because the transactions are illegal, the market itself is forced to operate outside the formal economy that is supported by the established state power. Common motives for operating in black markets are to trade contraband, avoid taxes, or skirt price controls. Typically the totality of such activity is referred to with the definite article as a complement to the official economies, by market for such goods and services, e.g. "the black market in bush meat".

The black market is distinct from the grey market, in which commodities are distributed through channels which, while legal, are unofficial, unauthorized, or unintended by the original manufacturer, and the white market.


The black market is considered a subset of the informal economy, of which 1.8 billion people worldwide are employed.

The literature on the black market has not established a common terminology and has instead offered many synonyms including: subterranean; hidden; grey; shadow; informal; clandestine; illegal; unobserved; unreported; unrecorded; second; parallel and black.

There is no single underground economy; there are many. These underground economies are omnipresent, existing in market oriented as well as in centrally planned nations, be they developed or developing. Those engaged in underground activities circumvent, escape or are excluded from the institutional system of rules, rights, regulations and enforcement penalties that govern formal agents engaged in production and exchange. Different types of underground activities are distinguished according to the particular institutional rules that they violate. Five specific underground economies can be identified:


  1. criminal drugs
  2. the illegal economy
  3. the unreported economy
  4. the unrecorded economy
  5. the informal economy


The "illegal economy" consists of the income produced by those economic activities pursued in violation of legal statutes defining the scope of legitimate forms of commerce. Illegal economy participants engage in the production and distribution of prohibited goods and services, such as drug trafficking, arms trafficking, and prostitution.

The "unreported economy" consists of those economic activities that circumvent or evade the institutionally established fiscal rules as codified in the tax code. A summary measure of the unreported economy is the amount of income that should be reported to the tax authority but is not so reported. A complementary measure of the unreported economy is the "tax gap", namely the difference between the amount of tax revenues due the fiscal authority and the amount of tax revenue actually collected. In the U.S. unreported income is estimated to be $2 trillion resulting in a "tax gap" of $450–$500billion.

The "unrecorded economy" consists of those economic activities that circumvent the institutional rules that define the reporting requirements of government statistical agencies. A summary measure of the unrecorded economy is the amount of unrecorded income, namely the amount of income that should (under existing rules and conventions) be recorded in national accounting systems (e.g. National Income and Product Accounts) but is not. Unrecorded income is a particular problem in transition countries that switched from a socialist accounting system to UN standard national accounting. New methods have been proposed for estimating the size of the unrecorded (non-observed) economy. But there is still little consensus concerning the size of the unreported economies of transition countries.

The "informal economy" comprises those economic activities that circumvent the costs and are excluded from the benefits and rights incorporated in the laws and administrative rules covering property relationships, commercial licensing, labor contracts, torts, financial credit and social security systems. A summary measure of the informal economy is the income generated by economic agents that operate informally. The informal sector is defined as the part of an economy that is not taxed, monitored by any form of government, or included in any gross national product (GNP), unlike the formal economy. In developed countries the informal sector is characterized by unreported employment. This is hidden from the state for tax, social security or labour law purposes but is legal in all other aspects. On the other hand, the term black market can be used in reference to a specific part of the economy in which contraband is traded.


Well, that looks like 10 lbs. of **** in a 2 lb. bag, to me.

Let's see if we can tease out the "allegedly illegal" from the "absolutely immoral" and the "Darwinian stupid". Let's find the contracts, express or implied, that underlie "legality" and see if anything is permissible at all....





Germany Proves Life With Less Fossil Fuel Getting Easier

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-12/germany-proves-life-with-less-fossil-fuel-getting-easier

Sitting in a control center that helps ensure uninterrupted power for 82 million Germans, Gunter Scheibner is proving that renewable energy from the sun and wind can be just as reliable as fossil fuels. Scheibner, in charge of keeping flows stable over 6,200 miles (9,976 kilometers) of transmission lines in eastern Germany, must keep power from solar and wind in harmony whether it’s sunny or overcast, windy or still. In doing so, he’s overcoming the great challenge for renewable energy: how to keep supplies steady when the weather doesn’t cooperate. The system Scheibner manages has been so successful that Germany experiences just 15 minutes a year of outages, compared with 68 minutes in France and more than four hours in Poland. The model in Germany, the biggest economy in the world to rely so heavily on renewables, is being copied from California to China as wind and solar displace traditional fuels such as nuclear and coal.

“Our job has become much more complex,” Scheibner said in an interview from the control center outside Berlin owned by 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, one of Germany’s four main grid operators. “It’s not an easy mission, and it will cost money. But if you are doing it consciously, then it will be doable. We have already come so far.”



Fossil Backup

Providing grid stability means predicting as accurately as possible how much power solar panels and wind turbines will produce. To improve that, companies like 50Hertz use data from five different weather forecasters to fine tune its operations. Still, the perception of renewable power as a fickle source that must be backed-up by fossil fuels, usually coal, remains. The Edison Electric Institute, an industry group based in Washington, and incumbent producers claim that variable flows from renewables will destabilize the power grid. Germany’s decade-long 120 billion-euro ($127.1 billion) investment binge to shift toward low-polluting energy forms is proving critics wrong. The country has raised its share of renewable power for electricity to about 28 percent, more than any source including lignite. In Scheibner’s region, it’s more than 40 percent. When transportation and heating are included, 9 percent of Germany’s energy comes from renewables, triple the U.S. level and six time what the U.K. uses, according to BP Plc.

Higher Concentrations

Researchers studying the grid say that a much higher concentration of renewables -- 50 percent or more -- is possible. That will come at a cost. Germany needs to invest 6.1 billion euros a year in its grid by the end of this decade to cope with additional wind and solar farms, the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin estimated.

“There’s a myth among opponents of renewable energy that you need 100 percent backup spinning all the time, and it’s utter nonsense,” said Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Any grid needs flexibility. You can have a nuclear plant shut down by jellyfish or a coal plant closed because of a freeze and you can’t shovel in supplies fast enough.”



MORE

It's Depressing But True: The Bankers Run the Show By Ellen Brown / Web of Debt blog

http://www.alternet.org/economy/its-depressing-true-bankers-run-show?akid=12984.227380.Hn4v19&rd=1&src=newsletter1034502&t=6

According to a new study from Princeton University, American democracy no longer exists. Using data from over 1,800 policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page concluded that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of – or even against – the will of the majority of voters. America's political system has transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where power is wielded by wealthy elites...“Making the world safe for democracy” was President Woodrow Wilson’s rationale for World War I, and it has been used to justify American military intervention ever since. Can we justify sending troops into other countries to spread a political system we cannot maintain at home? (ACTUALLY, WE ARE SPREADING THE OLIGARCHY, GLOBALISM: THE NEW WORLD ORDER! DEMETER)

The Magna Carta, considered the first Bill of Rights in the Western world, established the rights of nobles as against the king. But the doctrine that “all men are created equal” – that all people have “certain inalienable rights,” including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” – is an American original. And those rights, supposedly insured by the Bill of Rights, have the right to vote at their core. We have the right to vote but the voters’ collective will no longer prevails...In Greece, the left-wing populist Syriza Party came out of nowhere to take the presidential election by storm; and in Spain, the populist Podemos Party appears poised to do the same. But for over a century, no third-party candidate has had any chance of winning a US presidential election. We have a two-party winner-take-all system, in which our choice is between two candidates, both of whom necessarily cater to big money. It takes big money just to put on the mass media campaigns required to win an election involving 240 million people of voting age...In state and local elections, third party candidates have sometimes won. In a modest-sized city, candidates can actually influence the vote by going door to door, passing out flyers and bumper stickers, giving local presentations, and getting on local radio and TV. But in a national election, those efforts are easily trumped by the mass media. And local governments too are beholden to big money.

When governments of any size need to borrow money, the megabanks in a position to supply it can generally dictate the terms.
Even in Greece, where the populist Syriza Party managed to prevail in January, the anti-austerity platform of the new government is being throttled by the moneylenders who have the government in a chokehold.

How did we lose our democracy? Were the Founding Fathers remiss in leaving something out of the Constitution? Or have we simply gotten too big to be governed by majority vote?
The stages of the capture of democracy by big money are traced in a paper called “The Collapse of Democratic Nation States” by theologian and environmentalist Dr. John Cobb. Going back several centuries, he points to the rise of private banking, which usurped the power to create money from governments:

A HISTORY OF US AND BANKS AND DEMOCRACY FOLLOWS: SEE LINK

Ellen Brown is an attorney, chairman of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the bestselling Web of Debt. In her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. She is currently running for California State Treasurer on a state bank platform.

Revolutionary care: Castro's doctors give hope to the children of Chernobyl

Eleven-year-old Olga enters the beach house in flip-flops, her hair still wet from a dip in the Caribbean. "I really like it here," she says. "The food is great, the beach is awesome. I made some fantastic friends."

A typical child's reaction to a beach holiday, perhaps – only this is no ordinary seaside break. Olga is a Ukrainian "Chernobyl child", in Cuba not for a holiday but to undergo intensive medical treatment with some of the country's best doctors. She goes to school along with 180 other Ukrainian children. "I miss some bits of my home town," she muses. "But I don't ever want to leave."

Olga is one of more than 18,000 Ukrainian children to have been treated over the years at the Tarara facility near the Cuban capital, Havana. The programme was set up in 1990 to treat the victims of the world's most devastating nuclear accident four years earlier.

A steady procession of children with bald heads, skin lesions and other malformations have since benefited from splashing in the clear blue Caribbean waters. Twenty-three years after Chernobyl, the Cuban programme is still going strong. Remarkably, children born years after the disaster still suffer physical consequences of the meltdown that irradiated large parts of Ukraine and Belarus; equally remarkably, despite isolation and economic miasma, Cuba still manages to tend to them...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/jul/02/cuba-chernobyl-health-children?CMP=ema_565

Revolutionary care: Castro's doctors give hope to the children of Chernobyl

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/jul/02/cuba-chernobyl-health-children?CMP=ema_565

Eleven-year-old Olga enters the beach house in flip-flops, her hair still wet from a dip in the Caribbean. "I really like it here," she says. "The food is great, the beach is awesome. I made some fantastic friends."

A typical child's reaction to a beach holiday, perhaps – only this is no ordinary seaside break. Olga is a Ukrainian "Chernobyl child", in Cuba not for a holiday but to undergo intensive medical treatment with some of the country's best doctors. She goes to school along with 180 other Ukrainian children. "I miss some bits of my home town," she muses. "But I don't ever want to leave."

Olga is one of more than 18,000 Ukrainian children to have been treated over the years at the Tarara facility near the Cuban capital, Havana. The programme was set up in 1990 to treat the victims of the world's most devastating nuclear accident four years earlier.

A steady procession of children with bald heads, skin lesions and other malformations have since benefited from splashing in the clear blue Caribbean waters. Twenty-three years after Chernobyl, the Cuban programme is still going strong. Remarkably, children born years after the disaster still suffer physical consequences of the meltdown that irradiated large parts of Ukraine and Belarus; equally remarkably, despite isolation and economic miasma, Cuba still manages to tend to them...
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