Friday, March 03, 2017

The Flint River Water Project is ongoing.

I am hoping to return to Flint this spring to make short videos to illustrate the my understanding of the Flint River.

March 1, 2017

The Coca-Cola Company, (click here) Nestlé Waters North America, the PepsiCo Foundation, and the Walmart Foundation have announced that they have partnered to fund an integrated recycling education and awareness initiative for the 10,000 school students affected by the Flint water crisis, led by national non-profit Keep America Beautiful and its local Flint, MI, affiliate Keep Genesee County Beautiful.

In January 2016, the four companies announced they would provide up to 6.5 million bottles of safe and clean drinking water to Flint school students. From the outset of the program, they have been providing for the storage and delivery of the bottled water, as well as the transporting of the empty water bottles for recycling....

I think the Russian businesses were just an enticement to cooperation and it worked. Trump rolled over.

March 3, 2017
By Phillip Bump

In the most abstract sense, (click here) there is nothing noteworthy about a government official meeting with an ambassador from a foreign country. When such an interaction becomes important is when that official is an ally of a presidential campaign that’s got a complex set of possibly inappropriate relationships with other representatives of that ambassador’s country — and when that official while under oath says he did not have communications with representatives of that country.

What we’re going to endeavor to do here is to parse out that complex set of relationships, using the information we have at hand....

Donald Trump has been playing ball with Russia for awhile now. The "Slate" article spelling out the cross Atlantic communication line is at least the known beginning of this. Trump enterprises was involved with communications with Russia when it was illegal according to sanctions drafted in regard to the broken treaty regarding Ukraine.

People don't realize how serious the broken treaty is. The USA and Germany, as a diplomatic country within Europe, could have gone to war with Russia. By invoking sanctions Putin was emboldened to do more mischief and used Russian businesses for the "carrot and stick" to the Republican Elephant. It is those business relationships that Tillerson and Trump are still holding onto as an important part of USA relations with Russia.

Trump was stating NATO wasn't important.

As of today Sweden is experiencing increased pressure with the USA causing confusion over Russia. Sweden has returned to conscription to their country. They have used that before, but, was feeling very safe and strongly allied until Trump took office. All this is not playing well in Europe.

Governor Baker is correct, the states need to step up funding for Planned Parenthood and women's health.

March 3, 2017
By Priyanka Dayal McCluskey

Governor Charlie Baker (click here) is pledging to boost state funding for Planned Parenthood clinics in Massachusetts if his fellow Republicans in Washington push ahead with a plan to slash the flow of federal dollars to the organization.

Massachusetts’ five Planned Parenthood clinics stand to lose a total of about $2 million a year, from a budget of $21.5 million, if the federal cuts take place. That money does not go directly from the government to Planned Parenthood; it is paid through Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that provides health coverage for low-income Americans....

...The Republican proposal would effectively block Medicaid patients from receiving women’s health services such as cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and contraception from Planned Parenthood....     

Sympathies to family and friends. His impact to the movie industry will be felt. He was remarkably talented.

March 2, 2017
By Radar Staff

...But Jon Otten, (click here) who is married to Paxton’s sister, Ann, told Radar that the tragedy came as a total shock to family members.
“We didn’t even know he was going to go into surgery,” Otten told Radar. “It’s very tragic and sudden.”
Otten said Paxton was close with family members, which only makes the loss that much more heartbreaking.
“I’m sure his wife knew, but no one in the extended family knew,” Otten claimed.
Just weeks before his death, Paxton revealed that he had suffered valve damage from a case of rheumatic fever as a child. But Otten says it’s not yet clear what caused the stroke.
“We don’t know his condition and how easy it was to fix,” Otten said. “He was healthy from what we knew.”....

Those in glass houses.

March 3, 2017
By Tony Cook

Vice President Mike Pence (click here) routinely used a private email account to conduct public business as governor of Indiana, at times discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues.

Emails released to IndyStar in response to a public records request show Pence communicated via his personal AOL account with top advisers on topics ranging from security gates at the governor’s residence to the state’s response to terror attacks across the globe. In one email, Pence’s top state homeland security adviser relayed an update from the FBI regarding the arrests of several men on federal terror-related charges.

Cyber-security experts say the emails raise concerns about whether such sensitive information was adequately protected from hackers, given that personal accounts like Pence's are typically less secure than government email accounts. In fact, Pence's personal account was hacked last summer.

Furthermore, advocates for open government expressed concerns about transparency because personal emails aren't immediately captured on state servers that are searched in response to public records requests....

...When public officials fail to retain their private-account emails pertaining to public business, "they're running the risk of violating the law,” Britt said. “A good steward of those messages and best practice is going to dictate they preserve those."

All of the emails provided to IndyStar, part of the USA TODAY Network, were ones captured on state servers.

The emails were obtained after a series of public records requests that the Pence administration did not fulfill for nearly four months before Pence left office.

The administration of Pence’s successor, Gov. Eric Holcomb, released 29 pages of emails late this past week. But it withheld others, saying they are deliberative or advisory, confidential under rules adopted by the Indiana Supreme Court or the work product of an attorney.

Holcomb’s office declined to disclose how many emails were withheld....

..."Clinton did it. The Bush White House was doing it. It’s nothing new. But it’s a bad idea," he said, noting that Pence's account was vulnerable to a low-level hacker.  "If they can get in there, ex-KGB agents can get in there. It’s a bad idea because of the hacking thing and the potential destruction of records."

Lanosga of the Indiana Coalition for Open Government said it's a problem that seems to cross party lines.

"Officials are eager to point the finger at a lack of transparency when it happens on the other side," he said, "but they dodge those issues when it comes to their own side."

This is the level of intolerance in USA society today, "...a man sitting there in a zipped-up red jacket, his hands in his pockets, just sitting there..."

He was just sitting there. Does anyone have an idea of how cold air conditioned offices and classrooms can get?

He was just sitting there and there is an ongoing investigation. OF WHAT!

Rajan Juniku was in an appropriate place outside on a campus where he worked. He was just sitting there ready for some fool to actually think a man in a jacket sitting outside is a terrorist or some kind of sex pervert. Amazing. 

He was just sitting there. I suppose Donaldson and his "Pole-lease" don't have a darn thing to do but investigate NOTHING that happened while a man was sitting outside in a red jacket where he works for a living. Amazing.

This is where we are in the USA. "...He was just sitting there...." Amazing.

It is racism. PLAIN AS THE NOSE ON Mr. Juniku's face. It is spelled R-A-C-I-S-M. Yes, racism. There is no doubt. This is racism and profiling. "See something, say something," even if "...He is just sitting there...."

We have too many "Pole-lease" in the United States of America. TOO MANY "POLE-LEASE!"

March 2, 2017
By Cammie Bellamy

Wilmington -- The University of North Carolina Wilmington (click here) on Thursday released audio of calls to campus police that resulted in a lecturer being searched and claiming he was racially profiled.

UNCW chemistry lecturer Rajan Juniku was searched by campus police Tuesday after a university employee reported a suspicious person on campus. Juniku, whose wife Alicia Juniku said was sick with the flu, was sitting outside Cameron Hall in a jacket at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. In the redacted and voice-modulated call released by UNCW, a caller told a police dispatcher he was concerned by the man's behavior.

"There's a bench there and a man sitting there in a zipped-up red jacket, his hands in his pockets, just sitting there," the caller says. "Now he’s taking a drink from a water bottle. But I just think it’s odd that it’s almost 80 degrees and he's sitting there zipped up in a jacket with his hands in his pockets, watching people walk by. And I don’t know if he’s a 10-60 subject (suspicious person) or just someone who wants to warm up."

The dispatcher asked the caller to describe the man's race: "Can you tell if he’s black, white, Hispanic?"

"Um, from here he almost looks like, Indian maybe," the caller responded.

"Like, Middle Eastern?"...

..."It's just completely erroneous and misplaced. In this case the officer reacted quickly and based on information from dispatch," he said. "The officer really acted professionally, he was courteous, he acted consistent with his training and he remained on task with the mission of public safety."...

This is the level of dignity of "Talk Radio."

March 2, 2017
By Kim Janssen

Rising nationally syndicated conservative talk-radio star (click here) who makes fun of Chicago homicide victims on his show says he is being honored by his bosses at radio giant iHeartRadio as the "Talk Personality of the Year."

Texan Michael Berry mocks Chicago homicide victims in his regular feature, "Chicago Weekend Crime Report," which includes a shooting victim bingo game in which listeners are supposed to guess where in the body victims were shot....

What dignity? Anything other than mockery of base instincts doesn't enter the picture?

This is entitled, "The perfect "angry black man."

The warmer than average seasonal temperature indicates why there are tornadoes.

Intellicast maps for March 3, 2017
11:00 AM EST

The temperatures today are very different than normal. 

The top map shows the US current temperature while the one below it shows the temperature departure from normal.

Degree Departure Scale (click here) with degrees in Fahrenheit

Dark green +30
Dark orange +15 to +20
Orange +10 to +15
Yellow +5 to +10
Light blue -5 to -10
Blue -10 to -15
Royal blue -15 to -20
Deep blue -20 to -25

Yes, + means above normal.

Below and to the right is the National Weather Service map which contains warnings for the (USA today (click here).

This is interesting. Trump holds no Wall Street darlings above the law.

Perhaps this is a signal to all of Wall Street, including the Big Banks, in that none are above the law, not even Goldman Sachs.

March 3, 2017
By Ally Marotti

Years of federal scrutiny (click here) over Caterpillar's overseas business practices and tax strategies came to a head Thursday with a raid on the heavy machine maker's Peoria headquarters.

Authorities from three agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, arrived before 11 a.m. at the headquarters and two nearby facilities. Initially only confirming the raid, Caterpillar later in the day acknowledged it was tied to the same issue that has dogged the company for eight years: its use of a parts subsidiary based in Switzerland and tax-saving practices that sparked a Senate investigation, shareholder lawsuits and a $1 billion penalty.

The raid is the latest shock to a city still adjusting to Caterpillar's January announcement that it would relocate its headquarters from Peoria to the Chicago area.

Long a global and domestic powerhouse in the world of mining and construction equipment, Caterpillar has been under investigation by federal authorities for years....

...In 2014, a Senate investigation found the company had used its Swiss affiliate to take advantage of a corporate tax rate it negotiated and avoided paying at least $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes. Soon after, shareholders filed lawsuits against the company and its accounting firm, PwC, alleging breach of fiduciary duties. That matter is ongoing.

A technical change Caterpillar made in 1999 shifted most of the profits from replacement parts sold outside the U.S. to the Swiss subsidiary, Caterpillar SARL, or CSARL, but "did not ... otherwise change how Caterpillar's replacement parts business functioned on the ground," according to a Senate report....

The American people are tired of the SLICK Wall Street CEO. No different than Alcoa in building a smelter plant in Iceland RATHER THAN digging in and finding answers to CO2 emissions as other countries have. We are sick of it. 

It is called MORALITY, in case there was confusion about it.

It is not a church morality, it is decency and loyalty and responsible citizenship. Wall Street wants to think of itself as people, American people; THEN ACT LIKE IT!!!!!