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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,621

Journal Archives

NOT Baskin Robbins

'When It Rains, It Pours': Global Warming Brings Increased, Heavier Storms

Published on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 by Common Dreams

'When It Rains, It Pours': Global Warming Brings Increased, Heavier Storms
Report documents increasing and heavier snowstorms and rainstorms since 1948

- Common Dreams staff

The impacts of human-caused global warming are being felt across the U.S. as increased and heavier storms -- predicted by climate scientists -- are confirmed in a report released Tuesday.

The report, "When it Rains, it Pours Global Warming and the Increase in Extreme Precipitation from 1948 to 2011" from Environment California Research & Policy Center, shows the effects of a warmer Earth, which is increasing evaporation and causing the atmosphere to hold more moisture. The report shows that extreme rainstorms and snowstorms are happening 30 percent more frequently on average across the contiguous U.S. since 1948; the heavy rainstorms or snowstorms that happened once every 12 months on average in 1948 now happen an average of every 9 months, with the largest annual storms nationwide producing 10 percent more precipitation.

"It's a significant trend, and it's the kind of thing that we can expect more of in the future if we continue to emit lots of global warming pollution," Travis Madsen one of the report's lead authors and a policy analyst at the Frontier Group, said.

The report also finds that 43 states exhibit a significant trend toward more frequent storms with extreme precipitation. New England has been walloped by an increase in severe storms; the region experienced an 85%-increase in extreme rainstorms and snowstorms since 1948, with other regions showing significant increases as well. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/07/31-4

Metro Atlanta transit measure fails; Teabaggers rejoice

By Craig Schneider
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A big loss for the T-SPLOST was a big win for the Georgia tea party, whose leaders didn't shy away Tuesday night from claiming giant-slayer status.

"We took on the governor, the lieutenant governor, the mayor, big business and slick political consultants. We emerged victorious," crowed tea party leader Debbie Dooley, celebrating with other T-SPLOST opponents at Hudson Grille in Midtown.

Looking ahead, some pundits read the T-SPLOST leaves as foretelling increased tea party clout on other state and local issues; others said the loosely knit group still lacks the muscle — and the money — to achieve sustained influence.

Many agreed, though, that the tea party, more than anyone else, placed its stamp upon the effort to tear down the $7.2 billion transportation referendum. With Tuesday's resounding victory, the group made liars of critics who had months ago written it off as as a passing fad whose power had peaked. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.ajc.com/news/transportation-referendum/tea-party-notches-a-1488517.html

Voters reject plan to boost transit in the gridlocked Atlanta area

Metro Atlantans headed to the polls Tuesday and resoundingly defeated the T-SPLOST by a margin of 63 to 37.

For those who campaigned vigorously against it, the vote served as validation of months of effort.

A diverse group of T-SPLOST opponents, about 50 in all, gathered at a sports bar in midtown Atlanta to watch the results.

The returns soon showed a big defeat for the one percent sales tax increase, a plan that would have raised more than $7 billion for road and transit projects across the metro region over 10 years. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://pba.org/post/voters-reject-t-splost-opponents-talk-plan-b

Appeals court: Michigan cities, townships can't ban growing, use of medical marijuana

from the Detroit Free Press:

LANSING – Michigan cities and townships cannot bar the cultivation and use of medical marijuana, a state appellate court has decided in a case involving an ordinance adopted by the city of Wyoming and challenged by a patient there.

In an opinion released this morning, a unanimous three-judge panel of the court said the local ordinance was clearly pre-empted by the medical marijuana state law, and that local governments could not use the federal prohibition on marijuana as an excuse to ban it.

The appeals ruling is a significant victory for advocates of medical marijuana, who claim that cities and townships have been attempting to thwart the law, approved by state voters in 2008. Similar legal challenges have been brought against other communities, including Livonia, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, which enacted similar ordinances.

“The entire medical marijuana community is elated by this decision,” said Tim Beck, one of the leaders in the successful ballot proposal, “It confirms our belief that states have a right to regulate their own affairs.” ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/article/20120801/NEWS05/120801037/michigan-medical-marijuana-appeals-court-ruling?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Hiding America’s Recent History

from Consortium News:

Hiding America’s Recent History
August 1, 2012

Between the shallowness of even the “serious” mainstream news media and the sophistication of political spin, it is no wonder the U.S. public is so thoroughly uninformed and misinformed, observes Danny Schechter.

By Danny Schechter

Some years ago, I meet a major in American intelligence, a member of the “Red Cell Unit.” As he explained it to me, his unit was actually charged with assessing other spy shops by offering other views, critiquing intelligence estimates and perhaps even evaluating security systems like the specialists who test airport systems by probing for their soft spots and vulnerabilities, and seeing if they can beat them.

This officer had been sent as one more gung-ho officer into the war in Iraq only to return, like many, if not disillusioned, aware that all was not working well. He was actually involved in guarding so-called HVT’s (imprisoned High Value Targets) including Saddam Hussein himself. The officer came to respect Hussein for his intelligence before his untimely demise with a rope around his neck. Saddam’s many crimes and errors were often dwarfed by our own.

The United States today has a vast intelligence apparatus on the ground, in the sky and even in space. Technically, it puts to shame the old Soviet Union’s ability to monitor what people are doing and saying. The U.S. system sucks up millions of terabytes of data daily.

But, that doesn’t mean that what is reported is understood. The analysts seek to make sense of it, but the policy- makers are often so locked into templates of action and pre-formulated strategies that insure the input doesn’t lead to course corrections or changes in direction. The policy-makers operate with a kind of intellectual “locked-in” disease that freezes out new ideas. ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2012/08/01/hiding-americas-recent-history/

Bill Moyers Preview: Suppressing the Vote

Preview: Suppressing the Vote
July 31, 2012

The fight against voter fraud is a solution in search of a problem — these days, documented instances are virtually non-existent. Nonetheless, in 14 states, new election laws passed by Republican-dominated legislatures since the 2010 midterm elections seek to limit voter registration or require government-issued photo IDs to vote — identification that for many is too expensive or otherwise difficult to obtain.

This week on Moyers & Company (check local listings), Bill talks to Keesha Gaskins and Michael Waldman of the Brennan Center for Justice about accusations that new voter ID and other election laws are thinly-veiled attempts to keep the young, elderly, minorities and the poor from exercising one of the most fundamental American rights.

“When these votes come under attack by this level of partisan gamesmanship, it’s completely inappropriate and antithetical to our history,” Gaskins tells Bill. “This is a very real political issue, but beyond that, this is a real issue of real Americans being able to access and be self-determinative in how we’re governed.”


The Rich: Once We ‘Clawed Back’ Them All

from Too Much: A Commentary on Excess and Inequality:

The Rich: Once We ‘Clawed Back’ Them All
July 30, 2012

The movers and shakers of scandal-ridden Wall Street are busy scapegoating a ‘few rotten apples’ — and hoping the rest of us don’t notice they’re still holding billions in ill-gotten gains.

By Sam Pizzigati

Remember Ina Drew? This past spring Drew had her 15 minutes of fame as the JPMorgan Chase exec in charge of the reckless derivatives trading that may end up costing the Wall Street banking giant as much as $7.5 billion.

Drew will apparently pay a price for her role. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon announced earlier this month that the bank will “claw back” approximately two years worth of the pay Drew has already collected.

Which two years? Dimon didn’t say. Drew collected about $14 million last year and $15.9 million the year before.

Drew resigned from JPMorgan in May after 30 years of faithful service. In all those years — a span of time that has included one financial industry scandal after another — no other bank executive as high-ranking as Drew has had to suffer the indignity of having take-home clawed back. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://toomuchonline.org/the-rich-once-we-clawed-back-them-all/

The Courage of Conscience

from truthdig:

The Courage of Conscience

Posted on Jul 31, 2012
By Nomi Prins

“Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times”
A book by Eyal Press

Eyal Press’ book “Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times” is a stunning, deeply stirring collection of true stories about the most unlikely of heroes: four men and one woman who chose uncomfortable, and in some cases potentially lethal, courses of action because they could envision doing nothing else.

None sought to be heroes. None were motivated by external validators such as money, power or fame. Indeed, in all cases, the opposite occurred—loss of money, influence and status. They acted, rather, out of a profound sense of empathy and compassion, putting the needs of the “many” before their own.

Throughout the book, Press presents theories, experiment results and analyses of what motivates people to nonconformity, quoting luminaries such as Hannah Arendt and Adam Smith. But in the end, theories are just that. Press’ message is that people can, and do, have the capacity to make humanity-preserving choices, regardless of the obstacles. It is not because they are radicals, but because they witness something terribly wrong in the system they trust.

Leyla Wydler was a successful financial adviser at Stanford Group Co., making $150,000 a year in 2002. The last chapter, The Price of Raising One’s Voice, follows her decade-long fight after she blew the whistle on her employer, Allen Stanford, who was the perpetrator of a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, one of the largest in U.S. history. In addition to using his ill-gotten gains for extravagant living and influencing politicians, Stanford paid handsome bonuses to salespeople to sell fraudulent CDs to clients. Yet, his crimes went uninvestigated for years. On June 14, 2012, Stanford was finally sentenced to 110 years in prison, convicted of 13 felonies. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/the_courage_of_conscience_20120731/

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