Monday, May 01, 2017

President Carter, are you seeing this?

Hamas has won popular support by styling itself as a resistance movement willing to stand up to Israel 

May 2, 2017
By John Reed

Hamas, (click here) the militant Islamist group, on Monday dropped a call for Israel’s destruction and endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state inside 1967 borders, in a rhetorical shift that analysts said reflected the group’s political ambitions and changing priorities in a new Middle East.

A policy paper released in Doha by Khaled Meshaal, Hamas’s political leader, described the creation of an interim Palestinian state in the 1967 lines — the cornerstone of the two-decade-old peace process supported by Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority — as “a formula for national consensus”.

The paper’s release came two days before Mr Abbas is due to meet Donald Trump, the US president, who has said he wants to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal with support from regional states, including Egypt....

Will President Trump help the Palestinians with a real economy they can value that will turn their anger into quality of life.?

"Losing my religion for equality" by Jimmy Carter

Women and girls (click here) have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.
I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.
This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries....
Jimmy Carter was president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.
There is no doubt young people seeking their moral compass can be susceptible to leadership such as Putin and Russia. If Putin and Russia were on the path to peace I would be endorsing every effort, but, there is a far different agenda with the Russians these days.

Democratic leaders need to realize they cannot estrange their young citizens because they will continue their quest.

Send Baxter home! Honestly. Baxter is of no consequence to the USA. I am glad he felt like he wanted to linger a little longer. I guarantee he didn't pay attention to the time stamp so much as the date. 

May 2, 2017

A Canberra man has been imprisoned (click here) by immigration officials in the United States for overstaying his US visa by less than two hours, after being denied entry to Canada.

Baxter Reid, 26, and his American girlfriend, Heather Kancso, travelled to the Canadian border in upstate New York before Mr Reid was arrested by US border police on Sunday, April 24 local time....

The monument in this video is "Penarth War Memorial." (click here)

Jamie Dunmore can be found on "Facebook" and "You Tube." The search for peace and truth is on.

President Trump would receive strong support from Democrats in both the House and Senate, but, the Republicans would not support these initiatives.

May 1, 2017
By Jennifer Jacobs and Margaret Talev

President Donald Trump (click here) said he’s actively considering a breakup of giant Wall Street banks, giving a push to efforts to revive a Depression-era law separating consumer and investment banking.

“I’m looking at that right now,” Trump said of breaking up banks in a 30-minute Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News. “There’s some people that want to go back to the old system, right? So we’re going to look at that.”

Trump also said he’s open to increasing the U.S. gas tax to fund infrastructure development, in a further sign that policies unpopular with the Republican establishment are under consideration in the White House. He described higher gas taxes as acceptable to truckers -- “I have one friend who’s a big trucker,” he said -- as long as the proceeds are dedicated to improving U.S. highways....

There is a lot to consider when reflecting on 2008, if that is what President Trump is doing. Reviving Glass-Steagall is a strong cornerstone of reform, but, there has been a great deal of mischief that created a perfect storm in 2008.

There is no super computer built today that can perform a complete overview of the 2008 crash. Call it what you want, but, 2008 was a collapse. It was a Great Recession in regard to labor, but, President Obama carried out a large funding as his first act when taking office in 2009. It turned the failing labor numbers around.

At the time Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner (click here) stated, the funding wasn't enough to fill in the hole left by the collapse. He was right. The funding bill was short by about half a trillion. It worked out, but, it took a little longer and required more legislation and funding for the Small Business Administration. 

April 21, 2017
By William D. Cohan

Among the many silly ideas (click here) floating around Washington these days about how to re-regulate Wall Street is that old chestnut about separating investment banking from commercial banking.

It’s getting a fresh look after Gary Cohn, the powerful head of President Trump’s National Economic Council, supposedly told a private gathering of the Senate Banking Committee recently that the Trump administration would be open to the idea. The president has yet to confirm publicly that he would support such legislation.

The concept is nothing new, of course. After the stock market crash of 1929, the so-called Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 gave banks a year to choose between commercial banking and investment banking. For the next 66 years, the law more or less stood until Congress repealed it, making de facto what had long been de jure. (Many banks had been violating it for years without consequences.)

Then in 2013, a bipartisan group of United States senators — led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona — proposed what they called the 21st-Century Glass-Steagall Act with the goal of breaking up banks with assets greater than $50 billion. They argued — incorrectly — that what caused the 2008 financial crisis was big banks again using their customers’ deposits to take big risks....            

Stop the pollution, cities are people, too.

May 1, 2017
By Cristian Farias

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday (click here) that the city of Miami can sue Bank of America and Wells Fargo under federal housing law for allegedly engaging in discriminatory lending practices toward minority borrowers. But in the same ruling, it set a high bar for cities claiming that they too were victims, down the road, of that discrimination.

In its lawsuit, filed in 2013, Miami contended that the two banks’ targeting of prospective black and Latino homeowners for riskier, less favorable mortgage loans ultimately drove a wave of defaults, foreclosures and a fall in property values in the city. As a result, Miami argued, it was left with less tax revenue and a rash of blighted homes that forced it to funnel more municipal resources into the affected communities.

The Supreme Court held in a 5-to-3 decision that Miami counts as an “aggrieved person”under the Fair Housing Act and therefore may use the law to pursue its claims against the banks.

So, now, cities are people, too.

“Here, we conclude that the City’s claims of financial injury in their amended complaints — specifically, lost tax revenue and extra municipal expenses — satisfy the ‘cause-of-action’ ... requirement” in the law, wrote Justice Stephen Breyer....                       

"When we invaded Iraq, we destroyed that seed bank and we destroyed the great ancient seeds that had been collected for the benefit of mankind."

SEED: The Untold Story (Official Theatrical Trailer) from Collective Eye Films on Vimeo.

Start with an arrest warrant for Marc T. Short for obstructing justice.

Everyone knows Russia is involved, it is no secret. Russia is carrying out the same methodology in nearly every democracy on Earth. Arrest Short!

If necessary Congress needs to appoint a "Special Prosecutor." 


May 1, 2017
by Oliver Willis

Marc T. Short, (click here) the White House director for Legislative Affairs, is leading the Trump administration’s obstruction of the congressional inquiry into Michael Flynn and Russia. Short is also a major player in Vice President Mike Pence’s political operation, and further connects Pence to the Flynn scandal.

As previously reported, Pence was in charge of the Trump transition team, which ostensibly included vetting Donald Trump’s appointments to his White House. Pence received information detailing Flynn’s status as a lobbyist for a foreign government, but later denied knowledge of the entire affair, claiming Flynn had lied to him. That claim led to Flynn’s removal from the position of national security adviser.

But a recent report from NBC News reveals that Pence did conduct a background check, albeit “very casually,” and was aware of Flynn’s connections to foreign governments, which the Trump team apparently ignored in order to appoint Flynn anyway.

The House Oversight Committee is seeking documents related to this process, but the White House is actively obstructing that investigation. Short authored the April 19 letter to the committee, refusing to turn over the requested documents about what the Trump team knew about Flynn and payments he received from the Russian government for an appearance at an event that was followed by dinner with Vladimir Putin.

In the letter, Short said it was “unclear” how the documents requested “would be relevant” to the inquiry. Both Democrats and Republicans have indicated that they view Flynn’s actions as potentially criminal, as he received guidance from the Department of Defense that taking money from Russia as a former military officer could break the law....                             

This was one of the tornadoes that killed so many people over the weekend.

27 tornadoes slammed the United States over the weekend, killing 13 and injuring dozens of people caught up in a huge storm system that barreled through Texas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The storm formed late Friday night and is still tracking east, expected to bring more rain and thunderstorms to parts of the northeast and mid-Atlantic on Monday afternoon.

1 May 1917
UNISYS Water Vapor Satellite of the North and East Hemisphere (click here for 12 hour loop - thank you)

I checked this satellite about 7 AM today and I thought for sure it would be out of the Gulf of Mexico by now.

May 1, 2017
UNISYS Water Vapor GOES East Satellite (click here)

I am not so sure that is even a vortex so much as a tropospheric tornado. It has enormous size. That system has depth and width that stretches out into the Atlantic.

May 1, 2017
By Mika Miyashima

Honolulu (click here)The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu recorded a record low temperature of 61 degrees Sunday morning.  That beats the record low of 63 degrees set in 1995.
"There are a couple of different systems that are combining to affect our weather. One is a big upper level disturbance which is diving down from the north across the islands today, and then the other one is an old stationary front which is down by the big island."  Said Robert Ballard, Science and Operations Officer at the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service says it's the combination of those two weather systems that's bringing the rain and cool weather.
In the last 24 hours, Maui has seen the most rainfall.
"They've had anywhere between 3 and 7 inches, a couple spots maybe even heftier than that." Said Ballard.
On Oahu, the Honolulu Zoo was closed for the day due to the wet weather....

That accumulation of water vapor creating a structure over Hawaii is new. It is extremely rare.

1 May 2017
UNISYS Water Vapor GOES West Satellite (click here for 12 hour loop - thank you)

April 30, 2017
By Jobeth Devera

...And on Maui, (click here) the torrential rain left parts of South Kihei Road underwater near the Maui Lu Resort. 
A landslide covered Kahekili Highway near mile marker 11 and crews were out in the rain over on the east side near Kaupo fixing a large sinkhole.
At Kaupo Gap, Piilani Highway remains closed due to water flowing over the road....

May 1, 2017
By Kelly Simek

The National Weather Service (click here) has issued a flood advisory for Hawaii Island until 8:30 a.m. Monday.

At 5:25 a.m., the radar showed showers and thunderstorms streaming over the Big Island from the southeast, affecting the area from near South Point to Cape Kumukahi to Hilo.

Additional heavy showers are poised to move ashore through the morning. Rainfall rates between one and two inches per hour can be expected in the heavier showers.

Locations in the advisory include but are not limited to Hilo, Kailua-Kona, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Captain Cook, Honokaa, Paauilo, Naalehu, Orchidlands Estates, Pepeekeo, Kawa Flats, Pahoa and Pohakuloa Camp.

Stay away from streams, drainage ditches and low lying areas prone to flooding. Rainfall and runoff will also cause hazardous driving conditions due to ponding, reduced visibility and poor braking action.

Do not cross fast flowing or rising water in your vehicle, or on foot

This advisory may need to be extended beyond 8:30 a.m. if heavy rain persists.

Tornado season officially starts June 1, 2017. There is a shift east of the density in the number of tornadoes.
The USA House is suppose to be passing a health care bill. There will be something to read.

Seattle, Washington passed a $15.00 minimum wage in 2014. The economy has never been better.

June 2, 2014
By Lynn Thompson and Amy Martinez

The Seattle City Council (click here) unanimously approved a $15 minimum wage Monday, giving its lowest-paid workers a path over the next seven years to the nation’s highest hourly pay.

The outcome was not in doubt as a progressive mayor and City Council throughout the spring vowed to address the national trend of rising income inequality and a city that has become increasingly unaffordable for many of its residents....

Seattle, Washington wasn't going to take chances. They are followed in their higher minimum wage by "The University of Washington" to report on "how things are going."

...Jobs: (click here)
Overall, the Seattle labor market was exceptionally strong over the 18 months from mid- 2014 to the end of 2015.
Seattle’s job growth rate tripled the national average between mid-2014 and late 2015.
This job growth rate outpaced Seattle’s own robust performance in recent years.
Surrounding portions of King County also had a very good year; the boom appears to fade with geographic distance.
 Job growth is clearly driven by increased opportunities for higher-wage workers, but businesses relying on low-wage labor showed better-than-average growth as well.
For businesses that rely heavily on low-wage labor, our estimates of the impact of the Ordinance on the number of persistent jobs are small and sensitive to modeling choices. Our estimates of the impact of the Ordinance on hours per employee more consistently indicate a reduction of roughly one hour per week.
Fewer hours per employee could reflect higher turnover rather than cutbacks in staffing.
Reductions in hours are consistent with the experiences of low-wage workers...

There is every reason to believe increasing the minimum wage RETURNS quality of life to Americans, increase their opportunities in housing and recreational time in movie theaters, parks and picnics and sports events, including sports events of their children.

One of the most devastating effects of 2008 was the instability of neighborhoods. REBUILD and continue to grow the local economy. Local economies REACT FIRST to increased income in a neighborhood. Local economies are vital, provide stability and encourage quality of life. Local economies have a real stake in the game.

Congratulations, Seattle!                        
"Morning Papers"

The Rooster 


What was the reason for the $15 minimum wage?

Quality of life? 

Yes, happy Americans do better in life. They have more time of their own to pursue education, marriage and more quality time with the family that go ON VACATION.

But, what was the reason for the $15.00 minimum wage economically?

Wall Street wants to know, right? Wall Street says it will cost jobs. 

A $15.00 minimum wage will NOT cause job cuts, UNLESS, the CEO is looking for a quick fix for his BONUS CHECK. Got that. Right?

Okay. Does a $15.00 minimum wage in ACTUALITY cause SHRINKAGE of the economy? 

No, the economy experiencing higher minimum wages will EXPAND. It takes the PROFIT MARGIN of any CEO to STOCKHOLDERS and put it all back into circulation in the local economy. Right? What does that mean in the long run? It means a more vibrant economy with low unemployment, happy people expanding their QUALITY OF LIFE and SPENDING MONEY on the aspects of life they could not reach before.

Does it help housing? You know the place where Americans pack away EQUITY for their asset balance for RETIREMENT.

The rule of thumb is that prices in houses go up with demand. 

March 28, 2017
By Mike Rosenberg

For the fifth straight month, (click here) Greater Seattle has registered the sharpest home-price increases of any major market in the country, as home costs soared at their fastest pace in three years.

The typical price of a home across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties rose 11.3 percent in January compared to a year prior, according to the monthly Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday....

Seattle is into the beginnings of the $15.00 minimum wage and the housing market is feeling the increased demand. My guess is two income families are ready to move out of those apartments and into their own homes where EDUCATION of the children can be garnered with participation in their local Board of Education.

Is being involved in local government where decision makers effect the education of children a QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUE? Yes, it is. Americans like to feel their tax dollars are working for them and local involvement is vital to that peace of mind.

Duterte was a populous candidate.

Globally there is a change in candidates within democracies since the change in USA Supreme Court leanings of "Citizens' United" (click here)

There are remarkable dynamics that are consistent from case to case. The large amount of money into a candidates ambitions is removed from the moral message of that same candidate. The winning candidates find a hate filled populous message powerful enough to be elected. Then no matter how humane and unrealistic the hate filled promise is, the candidate is propelled forward to carry it out to maintain his/her elect-ability.

Russia has a winning strategy, learned from the US Supreme Court.

It is repeated over and over. The immoral monies of entities without hearts, lungs and body are causing huge insults to the human condition. Those non-living citizens within a democracy are becoming a weapon that is used against the living citizen and they actually believe their liberties are being upheld.

The machines are winning within democracies.

April 30, 2017
By Mark Landler 

Mr Duterte has been mobbed by supporters throughout much of the election campaign which culminates next month

...“By essentially endorsing Duterte’s murderous war on drugs, (click here) Trump is now morally complicit in future killings,” said John Sifton, the Asia director of Human Rights Watch. “Although the traits of his personality likely make it impossible, Trump should be ashamed of himself.” 

Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Twitter, “We are watching in real time as the American human rights bully pulpit disintegrates into ash.”

Administration officials said the call to Mr. Duterte was one of several to Southeast Asian leaders that the White House arranged after picking up signs that they felt neglected because of Mr. Trump’s intense focus on China, Japan and tensions over North Korea. On Sunday, Mr. Trump spoke to the prime ministers of Singapore and Thailand; both got White House invitations.

Mr. Duterte’s toxic reputation had already given pause to some in the White House. The Philippines is to host a summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in November, and officials said there was a brief debate about whether Mr. Trump should attend....

"Good Night, Moon"

The waxing crescent

5.3 days old

28.2 percent lit

April 28, 2017
By Alan McRobert 

Sunday, April 30 (click here)
• These spring evenings, the long, dim sea serpent Hydra snakes far across the southern sky. Find his head, a rather dim asterism about the width of your thumb at arm's length, in the southwest. (It's lower right of Regulus by about two fists at arm's length.) His tail reaches all the way to Libra rising in the southeast. Hydra's star pattern, from forehead to tail-tip, is 95° long.
• As twilight fades, look above the crescent Moon in the west for Pollux and Castor, and a similar distance left of the Moon for Procyon.
Monday, May 1
• At nightfall, the first-quarter Moon forms part of a gigantic curving arc: To the Moon's lower left is Procyon, to its upper right are Pollux and Castor, and continuing way farther right, you can include Menkalinan and then brilliant Capella. These stars alone, minus the Moon, form the Arch of Spring.
Tuesday, May 2
• It's May now. But wintry Sirius still twinkles very low in the west-southwest in twilight, far below Procyon. It sets soon after dusk. How much longer into the spring can you keep Sirius in view each evening? In other words, what will be its date of "heliacal setting" as seen by you?
Wednesday, May 3
• The waxing gibbous Moon, 1.3 light-seconds away, shines near Regulus, 79 light-years away. Regulus is the bottom star of the Sickle of Leo, marking Leo's forefoot.
Thursday, May 4
• The moon now shines under the belly of Leo — with Regulus to its right, Algieba a little farther to its upper right, and Denebola a lot farther to the Moon’s upper left.
Friday, May 5
• Now the Moon is under Leo's tail star, Denebola (by about a fist at arm's length). To the Moon's lower left is bright Jupiter, with Spica about half again farther on.
Saturday, May 6
• The Moon tonight forms a gently curving arc with, to its lower left, bright Jupiter and then Spica. Look between the Moon and Jupiter for 3rd-magnitude Porrima (Gamma Virginis), a fine, close telescopic double star.
• Summer is more than six weeks away, but the Summer Triangle is beginning to make its appearance in the east, one star after another. The first up in view is Vega. It's already visible low in the northeast as twilight fades.
Next up is Deneb, lower left of Vega by two or three fists at arm's length. Deneb rises about an hour after Vega does, depending on your latitude.
The third to rise is Altair, which shows up far to their lower right around midnight.