Monday, June 08, 2015

I take it there wasn't a lot of 'face time' in Europe.

No different than the Iraqi Prime Minister, President Obama seeks out time to talk to allies and friends. There is currently a crisis in Ukraine. The IMF is instrumental to dissecting Ukraine debt. There are many problems with Ukraine. So, I am not surprised President Obama didn't have time for others. The best way to address anything with President Obama is to get on his schedule.

President Obama is not a man of few words. He would choose to not engage a conversation, especially when it was in regard to national security and the status it enjoys in the way of secrets. I am confident he noted the Prime Minister, but, was compromised to talk to him because of the numerous media presence. 

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Fun facts. The Great Lakes are considered a place where planes and jets disappear,

It is called "The Bermuda Triangle" of the Great Lakes. The imagination of people stating this is illustrated in the video below. Many state the evidence of this is found at depth in Lake Michigan where USA military aircraft can be found.

There is finally an answer to this phenomena. 

A very talented art curator has been able to find and piece together a fascinating history regarding the US Air Force and WWII. Kindly listen to an interview with Ms. Amanda Wetzel (click here).

It would seem as though the aircraft resting at the bottom of Lake Michigan were student pilots learning to fly the planes that would carry bombs to Hitler and potentially Japan. 

So how did they get the aircraft carriers to Lake Michigan? They built them using large ferries that were more like water taxis for the area. Below is an article.

February 19, 2015
By Garrett Ellison

TRAVERSE CITY, MI -- Loose lips sink ships.
The familiar mantra (click here) was prevalent around Northern Michigan in the early 1940s, when a pair of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers traversed Lake Michigan on daily pilot training operations the local folks knew about but didn't discuss.
"You didn't know who you could trust," said Amanda Wetzel, assistant director at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum near Northport.
"The belief among everyone up here was that there were German and Japanese spies everywhere," said Wetzel, who has spent months researching the secret naval training on Lake Michigan during World War II....

Ms. Wetzel is opening the exhibit soon, however, she has only been able to raise enough funding for six months. She is hopeful to have additional funding when people realize how important this exhibit is to the region and country. It is a point of pride to the Great Lakes and the people that witnessed the intense training to defeat the enemies of the USA. Many facts and artifacts came from former soldiers and their families when they learned about the project.

Ms. Wetzel is still finding facts and artifacts regarding this incredible effort. The project has the potential to unlock vast amounts of information from the region. 

The flattops known as SS See Bee and the USS Wolverine were docked in Chicago at the Navy Pier. They trained 17,000 pilots during the years of the war. The reason Lake Michigan was chosen by the USA military was because of the German U-Boats patroling the Atlantic Ocean.

If this project proves to be as important as expected Ms. Wetzel is hoping it will be a permanent exhibit in the region to draw the interest of veterans and Americans on vacation. 

Oh, well. So much for UFOs and the Bermuda Triangle of the Great Lakes. 

The country has a gun problem. 1000 shootings in Chicago. Not 1000 deaths, but, there are deaths that have occurred.

June 8, 2015

The mother's cries (click here) filled the empty street in Bridgeport as her 17-year-old son lay under a white sheet behind yellow crime scene tape.
"I just need to touch him," she cried out. "I just need to see it's my child. Please."
Then in a final plea, she screamed, "Just let me get him.  Let me get him."... 

...Chicago has hit the somber milestone even sooner than the violent year of 2012, when the city saw 500 homicides for the first time since 2008 (poverty and crime).  Shootings that year were up 11 percent. The city reached the 1,000 mark on June 6 in 2012. In 2013 it was on June 26 and last year it was on June 15.

This year, Chicago passed the mark sometime late Thursday into early Friday morning, according to data collected and analyzed by the Chicago Tribune.... 

There were many minorities that lost wealth in 2008 and never recovered it.

 Interestingly, (click here) it looked like the index for single family homes bottomed in April of 2009, but then it dipped three more times. Much of this repeated dipping is a seasonal effect but recently the seasonal recovery in prices was exceptionally strong. May and June 2012 came along and blew the numbers out of the water – prices were up 4.5% and 4.6% from April and May respectively, which is huge. Even after adjusting for seasonality these were the largest one month increases in 24 years.

Guns are facilitating the crime economy in Chicago.

November 26, 2014

More than a quarter of Chicago households (click here) –more than 282,000–recently turned to the Chicago Housing Authority in their search for a better or more affordable home.
The households are vying for an apartment in public housing or a housing voucher, either of which could be a step up from their current living situations. But the huge response to the four-week registration period for the agency’s wait lists also exposes a glaring need for quality, affordable housing in Chicago.
The registration period, which ended Monday, is the first time CHA has opened its public housing wait list since 2010 and its voucher wait list since 2008. The wait lists, for the first time, used a single online application....


November 16. 2015

...With 25 percent of its African-American residents jobless, (click here) Chicago has the highest black unemployment rate among the nation’s five most populous cities.
Chicago’s rate is higher than Philadelphia’s 19 percent, Los Angeles' 18 percent, Houston’s 15 percent and New York City’s 14 percent, based on 2013 U.S. Census figures.
Experts point to Chicago’s unique brand of residential segregation, among other factors.  Almost 75 percent of black Chicagoans live in a community that’s at least 90 percent black, according to Census data. Blacks are about one-third of Chicago's population. The unemployment rate for white Chicagoans is 7 percent; for Latinos, it's 12 percent....  

$15 million to fight blight in 4 cities. That doesn't even come close to what is needed.  The cuts in the US Budget after such a huge economic disaster is far to little.

May 27, 2014
...Gary, Indianapolis and three other Indiana cities (click here) have received a total of about $15 million to help eliminate blighted and abandoned homes.

The other cities granted funds from the Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program are East Chicago and Hammond in northwest Indiana and the city of Lawrence in Marion County. The grants are the first round in a series of grants that will total $75 million.

Gary will receive $6.6 million of the initial amount. A team spent several months collecting data on blighted structures throughout the northwest Indiana city....

The unemployment rate for African Americans hasn't budged in 50 years. NAFTA had no effect and neither will the TPP or any other trade agreement.

August 28, 2013
By Brad Plumer

..."Indeed," (click here) notes EPI, "black America is nearly always facing an employment situation that would be labeled a particularly severe recession if it characterized the entire labor force. From 1963 to 2012, the ... annual black unemployment rate averaged 11.6 percent. This was... higher than the average annual national unemployment rate during the recessions in this period — 6.7 percent."...

The cities that have trouble with crime and homicides have the highest unemployment rates among African Americans. So, what is a man to do? Turn toward crime because nothing else he tries works. 

Prison is part of life and simply an extension of the community. 

Our US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy was correct when she stated the Japan economy was thriving.

Japan doesn't pander to impoverishment to it's corporate interests. It is one of the most progressive economies in the world. Japan demands a minimum wage that is a living wage and there are many consumer laws that impacts quality of life. 

Wall Street has complained about the Japanese government for decades. Their complaints leading to profits was never ignored, but, were always balanced to the outcomes of the Japanese people. 

June 8, 2015

Growth in the Japanese economy (click here) in the first quarter has been revised sharply higher, official government data shows.
The world's third largest economy expanded 1% in the first three months from the previous three, up from an initial estimate of 0.6%. 

It also grew 3.9% on an annualised basis, compared to a preliminary reading of 2.4%, and much higher than forecasts of 2.7% growth.

A jump in business spending helped boost growth well above expectations.
In the initial estimate, business spending was up just 0.4% from the previous quarter. The revised reading was 2.7% higher, compared to forecasts of 2.3%.
The revised figures make growth in first quarter the best for Japan in two years.
The data is boosting hopes of a continuing recovery from the recession that the country fell into last year and is good news for the government and central bank which have both been trying to stimulate growth in the Asian giant.

Republicans are trying to pin "an identity crisis" on Secretary Clinton.

Believe it or not Democrats are farmer, too. There are more and more all the time as the American Family Farm returns with the GMO Free movement.

Since the 1970s American Family Farms have vanished from the countries landscape because of the rise of factory farms. The story in Iowa is not different than other states with a large segment of their economies as agriculture. 

The GMO and organic foods demand has put family farms back in the forefront of agriculture. 

American Farm Bureau Federation (click here)

...One in three U.S. farm acres is planted for export.

31 percent of U.S. gross farm income comes directly from exports.

About 23 percent of raw U.S. farm products are exported each year.

Farmers and ranchers receive only 16 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home. The rest goes for costs beyond the farm gate: wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution. In 1980, farmers and ranchers received 31 cents.

U.S. farm programs typically cost each American just pennies per meal and account for less than one-half of 1 percent of the total U.S. budget....

US Agriculture still feed the world and without agricultural exports the balance of trade would be drastically different.

It is easy to discern where family farms exist. In the year 2016 there is less cropland for production than in past decades. 

Off farm sales can be commodities and those commodities do not need trade authority. American agricultural exports have been a stable part of export products for a century.

August 11, 2013
By Lidia DePillis

...But here's the first untrue thing: (click here) Even while the average size of farms is going up, there are more small farms than ever, especially in small states with farmland preservation programs like Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Community-supported agriculture, plus the local and organic food movement, are starting to show up in the numbers. It's the mid-sized farm, between 100 and 500 acres, that's disappearing.

And here's the second thing that's wrong about our understanding of the disappearance of family farms: 96.4 percent of the crop-producing farms in the U.S. are owned by families, and they represent 87 percent of all the agricultural value generated (non-family owned farms are defined as "those operated by cooperatives, by hired managers on behalf of non-operator owners, by large corporations with diverse ownership, and by small groups of unrelated people"). That hasn't changed since about 1996....

Farm preservation is very important. In states where farm preservation is part of the law, farmers seek Circa status. In that is an additional income for the farm as they become part of the tourism industry, too. 

Local school systems have new venues of education for class trips to successful family farms that have proven longevity in it's product production. The family farms also offer opportunity for "Pick Your Own" vegetables and fruit. There are sometimes farm markets on the property where preserves of farm products are sold along side other consumer products in demand.

The organic food market often sells directly to consumers asking higher prices for their stock and produce such as turkeys at Thanksgiving. These offerings to the consumer market is met with higher and higher demand in 2016. These side lines of farm income is a growing consumer demand. It doesn't matter the higher prices for GMO free and free ranging animals products; consumers want to know where their food comes from and demand these products. 

The farmers that cater to consumers are finding acceptance and reliability in the  demand. It is not unusual in 2016 for consumers to place their names on waiting lists for turkeys and hams for the dinner table on holidays. These farmers actually sell out during the holidays. It is the waiting list and success of their marketing that increases the demand which then drives production. These farms are family owned and like to market locally. Their income structures are tightly managed. These incomes are important to the viability of the farm. 

These farms are definitely small businesses and can have employees for production and in their retail farm market on property. 

These farms do not receive subsidies. The spending of subsidies by the federal government are taken by large corporate farms. These small family operations will tell anyone who asks that the only farms receiving subsidies have lawyers. And that is definitely more than one lawyer.

Farmers understand far more than commodity production, they understand markets and how those markets impact them. The new organic farmer likes to know their farm will have a sustainable income. 

A growing percentage of these farms are owned and operated by American Veterans. That's right. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans enjoy the challenge farming presents including the physical aspect of their farms. They aren't suffering from PTSD so much as the challenge to develop their market strategy and keeping consumers happy. They are successful.

"Ground Operations" - Battlefields to Farmfields (click here)

Anyone Can Farm (email form on the site)

Mark Baker, Farm Owner

Learn to grow food wherever you live, taught by Air Force veteran Mark Baker and his family, on 80 acres in Michigan. Continuing in the spring of 2013, courses on the complete guide to Pastured Poultry, Pastured Pork, Bio Char & Rocket Stoves 101, Introduction to Permaculture & Soils, Grass Feed Beef (Rotational Grazing), and Growing Vegetables will be held here at the Farm.The courses will be multiple day courses and you will lodge in the Anyone Can Farm Bunk House, Camp in the Camp Ground or stay at a local hotel.

These farmers can be a focus of government tactics to show support for the corporate cronies such as Monsanto.

Mr. Baker's farm came under attack in Michigan, but, he rallied his own self-will and was joined by the Michigan farm community including their local customers to fight back.

January 25, 2014
...There are effectively no feral swine in Michigan.(click here) Oddly though, the DNR issued a declaratory ruling effective back in April of 2012 that all feral pigs had to be destroyed. In their description of feral pigs, they included characteristics often found in domesticated pigs, like having a curly tail or a straight tail or having hair or not having hair…you get the idea. For a full list, please visit here or here. The DNR’s description of feral swine fits every pig in the US; probably the world.  Nowhere in this list of characteristics was there actually a requirement that the pigs be feral.  Feral, as in, living outside of fences....

The truth is there are about 300 feral hogs in Michigan, but, they are usually killed and reported to the state. The feral hogs in Michigan migrated from other states, there are no native feral breeds in Michigan. Frequently these farmers have breeds little known on corporate farms. The pigs and other livestock including laying hens are "Heritage Breeds."

There are well researched species of plants and animals known to be good producers, but, lend themselves to greater care and supervision. The fanciful breeds and plants attract consumers. When species grown are chosen for their quality rather than quantity consumers like the added quality not found with factory production. There is also a growing movement for humane treatment of farm animals used for production. These farmers are very much ahead of that curve.
There had to be help from the outside in the New York State prison break. I understand there was a chain and lock on the manhole cover. But, how did service workers get into the underground network?

There has to be an access point where workers can get into the underground tunnels in order to remove the manhole cover to carry out any work. There has to be a way in even if that entrance is a mile or more away.

When does the anti-trust lawsuits start?

The Agricultural community is really upset about the control Monsanto has over their operations and now this.
June 7, 2015
(Bloomberg) -- Monsanto Co. (click here) is prepared to pay a $2 billion break-up fee should its takeover bid for Syngenta AG fail as it seeks to accelerate a push to combine its leading franchise for genetically modified seeds with the world’s largest maker of agricultural chemicals.

The break-up fee would be payable if Monsanto is unable to obtain global regulatory approvals, Monsanto said in a statement.

Syngenta on May 8 rejected an unsolicited offer of 449 francs a share, with 45 percent in cash, saying it undervalued the company and that a merger would have significant risks.

--With assistance from Matthew Campbell and Andrew Noël in London and Ed Hammond in New York.

Keep doors and windows locked including the car. "Situational Awareness.

"Morning Papers"

The Rooster


If the escapees haven't keep up with modern society, they won't understand things like facebook and iPhones. They'll turn up. Sooner or later, they'll turn up on someone's video somewhere, either intentional or by chance.

June 7, 2015
By Jessie McKinley and J. David Goodman

...“They’re basically untraceable,” (click here) said Joseph L. Giacalone, a retired New York City detective sergeant and an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Indeed, in the early hours of the hunt, law enforcement officials were using road blocks and bloodhounds to try to find David Sweat and Richard W. Matt, both of whom were serving lengthy prison sentences for murder. On Sunday, hundreds of police and corrections officers were combing the wilderness and rural communities, going house to house in neighborhoods near the prison, a formidable redoubt high in the Adirondack Mountains, just 25 miles from the Canadian border.

Describing a wide net and a sprawling investigation, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that officials had received more than 150 tips from across the state, tantalizing investigators: The State Police, for instance, confirmed a connection of one of the fugitives to the Syracuse area, where Mr. Sweat may have lived. Points of entry in Canada had been alerted, though it was not clear, the police said, if the escaped killers had access to a vehicle....

The authorities on Sunday searched homes on Smith Street in Dannemora, N.Y., near Clinton Correctional Facility. A $100,000 reward is offered. Credit Nancie Battaglia for The New York Times 

...Key to the search, he said, will be figuring out whom the two men talked to by phone or in person while in prison. “Who are they married to?” he said. “Are there girlfriends? Who visited them, who did they speak to? It doesn’t have to be a recent contact. You just have to connect the dots.”...

Good Night, Moon

Waning Gibbous

20.5 days old

67.3 percent lit

At 45 degree north parallel the moon rises as midnight and sets at 10:18 AM

4 June 2015
By Jonathan Amos

Hubble has revealed (click here) fascinating new details about Pluto's four smaller moons.
At a distance of five billion km, the telescope only sees the satellites as faint pinpricks of light, and yet it has been able to discern information on their size, colour, and rotational and orbital characteristics.

Hubble finds the little objects to be somewhat chaotic in their behaviour.
They are very likely wobbling end over end as they move through their orbits.
"If you can imagine what it would be like to live on [these moons], you would literally not know where the Sun was coming up tomorrow," said Mark Showalter from the Seti Institute, US.

"The Sun might rise in the west and set in the east. The Sun might rise in the west and set in the north for that matter. 

"In fact, if you had real estate on the north pole… you might discover one day you’re on the south pole."...

Additional Pictures (click here)

Image of Pluto taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. When it was discovered in 1930 by an astronomer from the United States, Pluto was known as the smallest planet in the solar system and the ninth planet from the sun. Nowadays, it is referred to as a "dwarf planet." Like other planets, so-called dwarf planets orbit the sun but they are so small they are not able to clear other objects out of their paths.

The newest discoveries about Pluto add to the existing evidence testifying to what would be a very inhospitable environment for visiting explorers. 

Credit: Hubble/NASA