Thursday, January 31, 2008

Good Morning Flint 01/31/08


01/31/08 BY Terry Bankert

Posted first to, for the full article. [posted also to Craigs list, Face Book, My Space, Flint Citizen, Blogg Good Morning Flint. on occasion You tube. Please circulate.]


I sent the following to Matt Bach today at Nice look on mlive, you are winning the internet positioning battle with TV12.

I saw the Dearing article, and his invitation to link community blogs.

I will continue to be satirical critical of the Flint Journal but will discontinue...other things.. Submitted for your review and request for inclusion is my principal blog.

I would suggest that the Flint Journal archives be indexed by category, i.e. " City of Flint", " Comcast", etc so the casual reader can absorb the history of an issue quickly.

I would also suggest that your invite the community producers kicked off of comcast to post to your web page their video, what ever they are called, Your Tube, Google video etc.... An internet for dummies help page would also help.

I do not know what an RS feed is, what it does or how to use it... for example...

This has been a one year experiment with me. I have impacted 3 elections and am on Face Book, My Space, Craigs List,, my own Flint Citizen, kicked off of MLIVE, my daughter is quite impressed with this and glad she left town so her friends won't know.

Additionally I vlogg on occasion my radio show on WFLT 1420 am 9 am every Sat, and have a column in the CPSA courier.

One theory of management is ready ,shoot, aim. I am at the aim stage now.

I am shifting my practice to domestic relations and community mediation and thus will shift my tone of public opinion expression. All of the above will continue but with a different tone and objective.

Success on the internet usually is found where the principals of organization are free, inclusive, only moderated or controlled to keep out criminal actions, personal slander [moral turpitude]....commercialization..[yes I said that]..and keep a focus on the declared purpose of the site. Best wishes . Terry Bankert


Wednesday night members of Flint City Council received a mid-year review of the city budget, and the numbers do not look good. [WJRT013008]

This should be posted on line.[trb]

This comes amid recent layoffs and already mounting concern about city finances. [WJRT013008] The lay offs appear to be a responsible reaction to the revenue decline.[trb]

We were told by several council members that more pink slips were issued to city workers Wednesday.[WJRT013008]

The administration would have told you the same thing I believe.[trb]

And the auditor said these recent layoffs are a likely indication that budget issues do exist.[WJRT013008] Who is the auditor? Is the report a public document?[trb]

The finding of a mid-year projection on the city of Flint's budget is that the city is $4.2 million short.[WJRT013008]

What is the annual budget? My recollection is that it is 60 million, this would then be over 5%.[trb] During a meeting with an auditor, council members were briefed on the figures and given the lowdown on what the future may hold.[WJRT013008]

"If you add all the numbers up, we do end up in a deficit as of June 30, 2008," said Brian Ross.[WJRT013008] Who is Ross with?[trb]

The issue, some believe, is that city spending is outpacing revenue coming in.[WJRT013008]

Another way to state this that is Some believe the national depression the Bush administration has led us into is strangling business and increasing the number of unemployed Flint Citizens causing the loss in City of Flint Tax Revenue.[trb]

Councilman Jim Ananich says $9 million in emergency spending under Flint Mayor Don Williamson's administration is partly to blame.[WJRT013008]

Partly to blame may be the 7th Ward Council person who was fiancé chairperson, in the hot seat of responsibility, and he jumped ship to avoid the heat. Any critical comments from him would seem to lack sincerity.[trb]

"Then you wonder about some of the departments that have overspent in a six-month period," said Council President Carolyn Simms.[WJRT013008]

The review of these issues is why we have a city council. They should dig in and let the community know what is happening to our City.[trb]

Simms says overspending in departments such as Building Code Enforcement -- where, just this week around a dozen pink slips were issued -- also shares the burden.[WJRT013008]

Another way to state this is that the Mayor has stepped in and stopped the overspending of a City Department.[trb]

"These layoffs are just a Band-Aid, and you're hurting families and you're not going to the root of the problem," Ananich said.[WJRT013008]

Mr. Ananich will now position himself as our critical eye on the budget from a safe distance. He could have been our leader on financial issues, a role he has abandoned.[trb]

There's also an issue of whether the administration violated the state's uniform budgeting act by spending money that has not been allocated.[WJRT013008]

The plan now is to get the state treasurer involved.[WJRT013008]

"Again, these are projections, but they're pretty sound," said Councilman Scott Kincaid. "The next area that will probably be affected will be police and fire, which this community cannot withstand cuts in police and fire."[WJRT013008]

There was also talk of putting a deficit-eliminating plan in place.[WJRT013008]

Although City Administrator Darryl Buchanan was not at the meeting, earlier this week he mentioned that the mayor has been working on a strategic reorganization plan.[WJRT013008]

Stay tuned I think this will get ugly. The last thing we need is State involvement in the affairs of the City of Flint.[trb] —end–

Posted Here by Terry Bankert

—where did this stuff come from---

[WJRT013008] By Bisi Onile-Ere FLINT (WJRT) -- (01/30/08

[TRB] Comments of Terry Bankert

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Mediation Discussion

GOOD MORNING FLINT! 01/30/08 BY Terry Bankert [trb] Posted first to Flint Talk [posted also to Google blog Good Morning Flint, Flint Citizen,Craigs list,Face Book and My Space, feel free to repost] A CONVERSATION ABOUT MEDIATION. [OOSL2] Terry, is this mediation you speak of meant to take the place of the old "settlement conference" where lawyers and clients would meet to hash out their differences and reduce to writing a property settlement for a "stipulated" judgment of divorce or stipulation and property settlement to be attached to the judgment? [trb] The Courts are moving towards increasing the use of mediation to resolve the emotional issues of divorce and allow court time ,which is short in supply, for that 5% of the cases that are tried. The judges in reality are using the tools of mediation themselves to resolve the problem of too little time and too many cases. When the parties come to mediation they are ending a relationship with all the bitterness, frustration, disappointment and anger the loss entails. In addition they have a low level of trust in each other. The adversarial process can increase this emotional bitterness .When parties have children they will be in contact or proximity until the children are adults. Mediation is a process in which an impartial 3rd person facilitates communication and negotiation and promotes voluntary decision making by the parties to the dispute. The common practice in Genesee County is for the attorneys to be available but not necessarily present. Mediation is based on the principal of self determination by the participants The starting point for 50% of the Divorces in Genesee County is each party thinks their position is right and the others is wrong. Child Custody, parenting time and support are emotional issues not easily solved by a mathematical approach or adversarial approach. Mediation is a process of fairly balancing power in a non coercive way to achieve accommodation and result in agreement. The attorneys through the adversarial process are focused on the disagreement. The mediation process will begin with a focus on the agreements or common ground.Then to the reasons for the disagreements and discovering new common ground. When our married lives are unwound through the divorce process the emotions of the breaking up process find their way into the pleading, hearing and personal interactions of the husband and wife. Mediation offers the opportunity to ventilate and move parties to be agreement ready. Where there are difference the Why is explored with focus on the underlying interests and options on how to achieve those interests. The parties are then in a balanced way put in an environment where they can move to yes or agreement and resolve their own problems . The parties are in control of their divorce not victimized by the process. The image of a 4 way at the table ,parties and counsel negotiating a settlement does not occur until a trial date where all are obligated to appear and be ready for trial. Most trial dates have 4-6 cases ordered to be ready for trial. Since only one at a time can go plus there may be emergency hearings or carry overs from a prior day the probability of having a trial on your first trial date is only 10% , on your 2nd trial date 50% + and 90% on your third trial date. The judge usually will direct the parties to attempt to settle in the hall ways and report back before being released. The parties will feel maximum pressure, loss of control and often a sense of victimization by the system. The Practice of mediation in Genesee County is usually towards the end where the attorneys have completed discover and staked out positions by brief. Most cases will have already had a court settlement conference with the judge where a judge indicated the likely conclusion at trial on facts presented by counsel. In Judge [N] court there is early mediation by the Community Dispute Center that takes place on the motion morning to help resolve issues of child custody, child support, parenting time until there can be a trial, 6 months away. Stipulated or consent judgements are already 95% of the cases, mediation offers a different pathway to get there [00SL2]Do you see the divorce meditations being any more productive than just discussing settlement and resolving differences through respective counsel? [trb] Yes! Mediation is a positive addition to the role of counsel. Divorce and its included decisions of custody support and property division is an emotional process. In this adversarial process the attorneys stake out client positions with authority for minor modification. The farther from the trial date the more entrenched the positions. When neither party is prepared to accept the others position a third way is needed. The options are early on in the [N] court for mediation, in [W,B,T] for a FOC referee to give the parties a brief hearing and make a recommendation which often is an order even if objected until a later,30 days, hearing/trial, can be scheduled. Judge [G] will attempt to resolve in open court often delaying to another day and directing the parties to negotiate. Meditations serves various purposes, including the opportunity of the parties to define interests, explore and assess possible solutions and reach mutually satisfactory agreements when desired. The parties are in control of the process and divorce with dignity. The process is private, quicker, its reduces long term conflict, saves money and is better for the children. The solutions are party generated agreements on coerced. Success in mediation is not measured by resolving all the issues. It is measured by putting the parties in control and preparing both to be agreement ready. Attorneys regularly use the mediation process to resolve the emotional conflicts between the parties usually concerning children and support. The economic issues can be resolved through mediation but most often once the parties emotional conflicts are mediated the dollar and cents final resolution is completed by the attorneys. Posted here by Terry Bankert 1/30/08 34633

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Divorce with Dignity

Divorce with Dignity. Mediation allows privacy, fairness and respect! By Terry Bankert 01/29/08 First Posted to Flint Talk [posted also to Google blog Good Morning Flint, Flint Citizen,Craigs list,Face Book and My Space, feel free to repost] Last week I began and completed a 40 hr hands on mediation training. there are 2 small steps to go and I will qualify for court ordered mediation. My objective is to grow family and community dispute mediation as a significant portion of my law practice and community involvement. So yes the following does look a little like advertising. I believe if you talk the talk you must walk the walk. Mediation is the foundation for the new kinder gentler, fairer Terry Bankert. Stay tuned. So let me begin. To legally dissolve a marriage, a lawsuit must be filed, but it is no longer necessary to follow the traditional path of litigation to work out the terms of the divorce. Today many couples are turning to mediation to resolve their disputes and negotiate the terms of their divorce. I have been involved in community mediation since 1987 during my stewardship of the Flint Ombudsman office. Mediation builds for the future not tear down because of the past. Mediation is a process in which an impartial third-party mediator facilitates the resolution of a dispute by promoting voluntary agreement by the parties. The mediator facilitates communications, promotes understanding, focuses the parties on their interests, and seeks creative problem solving to enable the parties to reach their own agreement. The mediators can guide you to settlement, prepare the paper work , start to finish, allowing your family to walk with dignity as its members embark on new paths. Goals of Divorce Mediation Whether divorce mediation is agreed to voluntarily by the parties, or is court-referred, the goals of the divorce mediation process are to: Create an equitable, legally sound, and mutually acceptable divorce agreement; Avoid the expense and trauma that often accompany litigation; and Minimize hostility and post-dissolution controversy. Why Divorce Mediation? As the number of divorces has increased, divorcing couples have frequently become frustrated with the humiliation ,excessive costs and delays associated with an overburdened, adversarial litigation system, and have sought ways to play a greater role in determining the details of their divorces. Likewise, the court system has recognized the importance of developing methods of handling disputes outside of the courtroom, and so court-related mediation programs have increased in popularity around the country. Today, mediation, either voluntary or court mandated, is the predominant form of alternative dispute resolution for divorcing couples. Divorce Mediation: Advantages Mediation is a forum in which a neutral mediator facilitates communication between parties to promote reconciliation, understanding, and settlement. Mediation is particularly suited to divorces and other family law proceedings because there is likely to be a continuing relationship between the parties, especially if minor children are involved. Many divorcing couples find mediation allows them to avoid the high financial and emotional costs of a litigated divorce. Because settlement is generally quicker, costs are reduced. Mediation also allows couples to avoid the risks of trial, protects confidentiality, and decreases stressful conflict. Mediation may also protect the children of a marriage from the pain of parental conflict. Because the parties work to create their own agreements, couples who mediate their divorce settlement often find greater satisfaction than those who go to trial. Moreover, the couples learn skills to help them resolve future conflicts. The Divorce Mediation Process Mediation preparation is often limited, as there is no formal discovery. Frequently, mediation begins with a "general caucus" where the parties and the mediator meet in the same room. The mediator establishes the ground rules in an "agreement to mediate." In court-mandated mediation, the court order will often contain or refer to the "rules of mediation." One of the most important mediation rules is the requirement for confidentiality. Typically, all matters disclosed or occurring during mediation, and any record made during the procedure, are confidential and generally may not be disclosed to anyone unless the parties agree to the disclosure. The parties in a mediation are not required to reach an agreement, and sometimes they do not. Whether the case settles or reaches an impasse, the mediator usually meets with the parties together at the end of the session. If the case has neither settled nor reached an impasse, the mediator will likely encourage the parties to attend another mediation session. If the case does settle, the mediator will urge the parties to sign a settlement to memorialize the agreement. Generally, there is no record of the mediation session, and the only document produced is the settlement (or mediation) agreement. My office will prepare all documents necessary to cause entry of your court judgement of divorce. If settlement is not reached the parties may decide to litigate. If you would like to explore the mediation process and Divorce with Dignity both of your are invited to call for an appointment. The first meeting can be in my office , your church or another neutral setting you decide on. Terry Bankert P.C. 235-1970 or through 34493

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

An Afican American president? Why not!!!!!!

GOOD MORING FLINT! BY Terry Bankert 01/27/08 Posted also to Flint Talk ( and also posted craigs list,My Space, Face Book, Flint Internet Citizen, Good Morning Flint Blog ,others but not Flint Town Talk) - A BLACK MAN MAY BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, HOW FAR WE HAVE COME?(TRB) Strong black vote helps Obama in South Carolina [WJRT12012608) COLUMBIA, S.C.(01/26/0 --Barack Obama has routed Hillary Rodham Clinton in the racially-charged South Carolina Democratic primary Saturday night, regaining campaign momentum in the prelude to a Feb. 5 coast-to-coast competition for more than 1,600 Democratic National Convention delegates. [WJRT12012608) This presidential primary system. By the National Convention the impossible will have happened in American. A woman and an african American will acccept the nomination for either president of the United States or for Vice President. We may very well have boyj of them on the ticket. (Trb) Former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina is running third, a sharp setback in the state where he was born and scored a primary victory in his first presidential campaign four years ago.[WJRT12012608) We do not need a hair cut and a suit. We need leaders, (trb) About half the voters were black, according to polling place interviews, and four out of five of them supported Obama. Black women turned out in particularly large numbers. Clinton and Edwards each won roughly 40 percent of the white vote, with about 25 percent going to Obama.[WJRT12012608) My not,why not black women supporting a black famlily man, why not a community throwing behind its own. This is the way it has been for 150 years or more in Amreica. Why not Obama.(trb) The victory was Obama's first since he won the kick-off Iowa caucuses. Clinton scored an upset in the New Hampshire primary a few days later. They split the Nevada caucuses, she winning the turnout race, he gaining a one-delegate margin.[WJRT12012608) In an historic race, she hopes to become the first woman to occupy the White House, and Obama is the strongest black contender in history.[WJRT12012608) The South Carolina primary marked the end of the first phase of the campaign for the Democratic nomination, a series of single-state contests that winnowed the field, conferred co-front-runner status on Clinton and Obama but had relatively few delegates at stake. [WJRT12012608) Get invovled in this presidential constest. The result will change our world. (Trb) That all changes in 10 days' time, when New York,Illinois and California are among the 15 states holding primaries in a virtual nationwide primary. Another seven states and American Samoa will hold Democratic caucuses on the same day. [WJRT12012608) Your grand kids will ask you if you were involved in this election. Get ready to tell them yes.(Trb) Posted here by Terry Bankert This is my somewhat dailey blogg. I use the technique of having a conversation with a news artice from local or other media. I posted on the TV 12 web site. I suggest you do that also. TV 12 has the best internet information and access in the Flint Area. I just finished my formal training as a mediator. I am now a peacekeeper activley engaged in alternative dispute resolution. The theory is Keep it out of court! Call if I can help 810-235-1970 –where did this stuff come from-- [WJRT12012608) WJRT TV 12 ABC Flint Mi 01/26/08 (trb) Commtents of Terry Bankert 34068

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

GMF 01/26/08

GOOD MORNING FLINT! 01/26/08 A somewhat Dailey blog by Terry Bankert President Bush wants Congress to broaden the government's powers to eavesdrop on private conversations without court approval. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, a controversial public surveillance law is set to expire February 1.(SR) President Bush says the government's ability to listen-in on telephone calls is critical to fighting terror. (SR) —SUMMARY– Wire tapping bad, terrorist bad, wire tapping needed, oversight needed, Bush is wrong to not advocate stronger oversight of the wire tapping ability.(trb) ___ As much as I instinctively oppose this I have to agree.(trb) "One of the most important tools is to be able to figure out the intentions of an enemy that still wants to do us harm," he said. "If they are making calls into America, we need to know why they are calling, what they are thinking, and what they are planning."(SR) We have to recognize how people communicate. Much communication occurs on the phone and the internet. Name a person who does not have a cell phone or an emaill address.(trb) U.S. intelligence agents currently monitor international phone calls between people in the United States and suspected terrorists under a law known as the Protect America Act. That law expires next Friday, but President Bush says the threat to America will not.(SR) We need a full review by congress with a focus on constitutional safeguards and then continuation of the prodigy of this act.(trb) He wants legislation that permanently extends that authority, grants broader powers to wiretap without court approval and gives legal immunity to telephone companies that have helped the government monitor communications.(SR) Extending the authority is reasonable and should be done. As authority is broadened with less incremental court review, that review must become more mandatory and periodic and deeper. The private sector should get no immunity. Their own sense of self preservation will force their questions into court which will protect us all. I do not want government walking hand in hand with the private sector when my rights to privacy are at stake. (trb) "It will maintain the vital flow of intelligence on terrorist threats," he added. "It will protect the privacy of Americans while making sure we do not extend those same protections to terrorists overseas. It will provide liability protection to companies now facing billions of dollars in lawsuits only because they are believed to have assisted the efforts to defend our nation following the 9/11 attacks."(SR) All I ask is that Congress give this a full and meaningful debate as to the adequacy of the protections. The results of the lawsuits will make for a better America. Corporate American was took quick to violate our privacy rights. We are not a fascist society, they are accountable.(trb) The president told a meeting of House Republicans in the state of West Virginia that the government's ability to respond quickly to new threats will be weakened if the law is not renewed in time.(SR) GW cries wolf too often.(trb) Critics say more oversight is needed to protect the privacy rights of Americans. Opposition Democrats say if the government wants to monitor communications between suspected terrorists abroad and people in the United States, it should get approval from a secret court established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).(SR) We already have the FISA that reports to a closed congressional committee. Its all that we can reasonably do. Lets strengthen FISA.(trb) North Dakota Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan says President Bush is politicizing an issue that ought to be about protecting the nation as well as its civil liberties (SR). "We thought we had done that by putting together the FISA court," he said. "We thought we had done that by establishing a procedure that needed to be followed. We now understand that the president with his lawyers say those laws don't matter. There is in the Constitution, they say, something about the powers of the Commander-in-Chief, and he can do whatever he wants. That is a pretty dangerous interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. We debate this in so much ignorance, because almost no one knows what this administration has done."(SR) After months of resistance, the White House agreed Thursday to give Congress access to internal documents on the wiretapping program and the legal basis for its establishment.(SR) Please read the previous sentence. Who does Bush think he is!(trb) -end- My approach here is to simply take an article ( I prefer editorials) and turn it into a conversation, here a blog conversation. My purpose is to learn my own position and lay it out. In the process I learn. For the reader an opportunity to reflect on their own interpretation of information given to us by the media. I do not think we can uncritically accept unchallenged what the commercial media feeds us any longer. I do not think I do this particularly well, but I am doing it. (Trb) Posted here by Terry Bankert - (SR) Voice of America the Sterns report (trb) Comments of Terry Bankert 33935

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008


GOOD MORNING FLINT! 1/22/08 BY Terry Bankert ,

Posted first to Flint Talk

Just inconvenient for us, but it may kill our great grandchildren. Is it just their problem? Or is it ours?!(trb)

With all major Democrats and some Republicans promoting a change in policy, ... voters should ask themselves which candidate will most zealously fight global warming.(OWO)

SUMMARY for the chatters (twoTap): Republican plan or lack of, bad! Democratic candidates plans Good!(trb) Read no further it may hurt your eyes.(trb)

Where is Al Gore when you really need him?(trb)

DEMOCRATS HAVE THE ONLY REAL ANSWERS IN AMERICA (trb) For their part, the Democratic candidates have not been shy about discussing the issue on the campaign trail. Hillary Clinton says she wants "a new beginning in terms of energy and global warming." John Edwards says "America's got to clean up its act" on climate change. And, like many other candidates and pundits, Barrack Obama talks about "freeing ourselves from dependence on foreign oil." (OWO)

Europe: Climate expert calls for plan to stop Global Warming from preempting the Super Bowl.(Dummies012108)

"It means if you are a company or an enterprise that reduces your greenhouse gas emissions you earn a credit," McCain told a VFW hall in New Hampshire in December. "Then when somebody else starts a business or an enterprise and they are emitting greenhouse gas emissions, they can buy that credit from you and meanwhile there is a gradual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions."(OWO)

John, we are dying! Is your plan enough?(t rb)

No cap-and-trade system is currently in effect in the United States -- primarily because such a system is opposed by the Bush administration.(OWO)


"Climate change is a top concern of South Carolina primary voters," said Cynthia Powell, a Myrtle Beach resident and undecided voter. "We see a clean energy future in South Carolina as the best way to create jobs and protect the environment."(OWO)


Copenhagen/Washington, 21 Jan. (AKI) - The European Union's chief environment expert, Jacqueline McGlade, said countries must invest more in the battle to fight climate change .[AI 012208)


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its Fourth Assessment Report (released in 2007) concludes that the “warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.” It further reports that the temperature change at the turn of this century is projected to increase by 1.1-6.4 C with a rise in sea level of 18-59 centimeters relative to 1980-1999 levels. (MT012208)


McGlade, head of the European Environment Agency (EEA) said Europe needed a Marshall plan of investment - up to several percentage points of GDP per year - to reduce vulnerability to climate change. [AI 012208)

"All three of these Democratic candidates are way, way beyond any kind of presidential discourse that we've had on global warming," environmental journalist Mark Hertzgaard told OneWorld. " All the presidential candidates on the Democratic side recognize that the problem is real, that it requires immediate action , and that you've got to get to what the science says is necessary -- which is quick, deep cuts [in greenhouse gas emissions] beginning within five years [and] getting all the way to 80-percent cuts by the year 2050."(OWO)

Go team! (Trb)

In an interview with the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), McGlade said Europe must also lead by example on global warming , especially in reducing the use of coal and encouraging action in the developing world.[AI 012208)

Do you remember George Bush the soon to be ex president of the United States ever speaking in a meaningful manner about Global Warming?(trb)


As previously mentioned, this is caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the Earth’s atmosphere that is causing sunlight, that is reflected by the Earth’s surface, to be reflected back to Earth causing global warming. The major source of GHG is carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Because of global warming, the glaciers and ice sheets in the coldest parts of the world are melting, causing the sea levels to rise. The temperature increase also heats the ocean waters contributing to the increase in sea levels and the incidence of more powerful typhoons and hurricanes. The global warming also has caused heat waves, droughts in some areas of the world while other parts of the world are experiencing severe rains and floods . (MT012208)

It affects the US also(TRB)

With many miles of tidal shoreline and an economy that depends heavily on tourism and agriculture, South Carolina is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, said the Carolina Climate Network in a statement Sunday, arguing that investments in renewable energy technologies like wind, solar, and biomass can create more jobs than "a highly automated plant burning dirty imported fuel."(OWO)


Britain endorses Indias stand on climate change DH News Service, New Delhi: India's persistent efforts to use per capita emission as the basis of all future global climate change negotiations have been endorsed by the UK. [DH 012208)

Speaking ahead of the EU's planned release this week of what she called a "very ambitious climate change and energy package", McGlade said she wanted to ensure that Europe was both united in its approach to the environment and "doing its utmost" in the bloc's own environmental policies.[AI 012208)

We are all in this together, what is our policy? Ask your congressman.(trb)

As head of the EEA which services the EU's 27 members as well as 10 other European countries, McGlade oversees Europe's environmental information system - a think-tank that studies economic, social and scientific aspects of global warming, air pollution, and other issues.[AI 012208)

Sorry we don’t use that think tank stuff, its for whimps.(trb)

She said since Europe was already falling short of its robust targets to reduce carbon emissions and the EU Commission's package would move to consolidate the targets and a future approach to climate change.[AI 012208)

So much for planning. GW (global warming) needs to be repackaged. Like GW the ultimate weapon of mass destruction! Yep that will get their attention.(trb)

BRITNY SPEARS IS PISSED OFF she vacations in the Philippines with each husband, what will she do next.(Dummies012108)

The Philippines is exposed to the effects of super typhoons, which are expected to become even more powerful in the coming years as a result of the warmer ocean water. The increase in sea levels will endanger the inhabitants of coastal towns causing massive dislocation, migration, loss of livelihood, reduction in agricultural and fisheries outputs, and health problems. (MT012208)


McGlade told dpa that a major advance had been made with the agreement in December to include aviation emissions in the EU's carbon trading scheme.[AI 012208)


But there was a disagreement, especially in Germany, over the commission's recent approval of strict limits on automotive carbon dioxide emissions. [AI 012208)

More negotiation needed! With whom, the devil? (Trb)

After his meeting with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the visiting UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said per capita emission rates was an “important and equitable principle”, which should be “seriously considered” in global climate change negotiation.[DH 012208)

Small economic interest are bent on killing us.(trb)

McGlade said she was also bracing for a fight within Europe on coal - an issue which is also important with respect to China and India and their emissions reductions.[AI 012208)

Some are fighting back.(trb)

"Europe must lead by example, with China and India" she said.[AI 012208)

However, she said the EU's track record on the environment had been less than illustrious. [AI 012208)

"While at the same time wanting to meet very ambitious targets, we have the UK announcing a whole new generation of coal plants," said McGlade, a former environmental advisor to the British government.[AI 012208)

"When confronted with the package ... countries like Poland and Germany must be seriously rethinking what that means if they are going to try to meet these much more aggressive emission targets." [AI 012208)

"Ultimately, we will have to rethink the use of coal," McGlade said. [AI 012208)

Europe should need little convincing of the threats posed by global warming. The 2003 European heat wave was blamed for 35,000 deaths. Greece and Britain witnessed extreme fires and floods just this summer that cost billions of dollars. [AI 012208)

McGlade proposed a "Marshall Plan" for Europe to adapt to climate change and reconstruct itself to "reduce vulnerability for the coming century." [AI 012208)

India is trying.(trb)

Countering intense pressure from the USA and other European nations on cutting down of green houses gases like carbon dioxide and methane that warm up the planet, Dr Singh proposed to use per capita emission as the basis for climate change negotiation. While in absolute terms, India is the world’s fourth largest emitter after USA, EU and China, the per capita analysis makes it aptly clear that India is way behind the USA or EU on emission.[DH 012208)


"It's gradually dawning on everyone that it's no good just building a flood defense a few feet higher," she said. "It's no good building new houses in areas where there will be drought." The EU expert said she was optimistic that adaptation and mitigation were within reach, because the international will to do so was strong. [AI 012208)

International investors, for example, were increasingly insisting that companies calculate their carbon footprint and reduce emissions. Venture capital was also flowing into green technology. However, she said none of the steps would come cheap. Even more expensive than mitigation are the adaptive measures - such as rethinking the location of industrial and maritime shipping and building up fire and flood defenses. [AI 012208)

Former World Bank chief economist, Nicholas Stern, said inaction could also cost up to 5 percent of GDP in terms of social and infrastructure costs.[AI 012208)

"While Kyoto has been discussed (in the past) in terms of burden sharing, the terminology has now shifted to benefit sharing," McGlade said. [AI 012208)


India’s per capita carbon dioxide emission is 20 times less than that of the USA and almost 10 times less than European Union. [DH 012208)

The UK per capita carbon dioxide production is 9.2 tonnes whereas for India, the figure stands at mere 1.1 ton. When Dr Singh proposed the formula at Heiligendamn, the only support he received was from the German chancellor Angela Merkel. [DH 012208)

The UK is the second influential nation that rallied behind New Delhi.[DH 012208)

Responding to technology transfer demands from India, the UK has agreed to work together to find out the barriers preventing transfer of low carbon technologies from the UK to India.[DH 012208)

She insisted it was up to Europe to present a common front in 2009 when the international community is due to meet in Copenhagen to mold environmental policies for the time after the 2012 expiry of the Kyoto Protocol. [AI 012208)



What measures should we take? We have to do our share in reducing carbon dioxide emissions by “cleaning-up” our factories and transportation system. The smoke-belching campaign of government has not been found effective with many vehicles still plying our streets emitting a lot of black smoke. We also have to adopt power-generation technologies that do not add to GHG accumulation like solar, wind, hydro power and geothermal. (MT012208)

We may have to require owners or designers of new buildings and factories to use self-generated power that does not use fossil fuels, like solar panels and wind turbines as part of their total power requirement. Owners of old buildings and factories may have to retrofit their electrical and power systems so that said systems become more power-efficient. We have to make efficient use of power and energy in our homes, offices and everywhere. We should encourage people to use our mass-transit system or have car pools and to use fuel-efficient vehicles. (MT012208)

We need to protect our remaining forests that help in absorbing part of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. CO2 has an estimated atmospheric lifetime of 50 to 200 years. We should also mobilize people to plant trees to create additional capacities for CO2 absorption. We should also control population growth. A bigger population will require more houses, buildings, food, power usage, etc. which directly contribute to GHG accumulation. (MT012208)

"It's all a matter of degrees," Nayak told OneWorld. "The differences between the Democrats and most of the Republicans is really night and day. That's something any voter, no matter how engaged, will get." Nayak said the leading Democrats' main difference on environmental policy is one of style. But, he said, when it comes to combating global warming that's not insignificant. (OWO)

"The one part of the story that hasn't gotten enough scrutiny is how effectively and how quickly can the next president bring the world together," he said. "This is going to need to be a massive international effort, and the next president will have to lead the way." (OWO)

Posted here by Terry Bankert I hope the silly stuff did not detract from the message: We need a plan, now!

–where did this stuff come from-- [AI 012208) Adnkronos International - [DH 012208) Decann Herald 01/22/08 - (MT012208) The Manila Times 01/22/08 - (Dummies012108) Snappy little moronic comments from the intellectuals of mid Michgian MDEAD.DUMB @ BOOTHIES Of course these site , MDEAD , quotations are not true, just here to keep attention, but you knew that? - (TRB) Comments of Terry Bankert - (OW0) Aaron Glantz, OneWorld US Mon Jan 21, 5:26 PM ET - also posted to Flint Citizen,Good Morning Flint, Good Morning Michgian Craigs list, Face Book, My Space, feel free to send to your friends 33470

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Selling of America.

By Terry Bankert

Posted first to Flint Talk

Will the economic chaos of Michigan and Flint happen to the rest of the country?

Is America in a period of economic instability?

What is really going on? Who do we trust to tell us?(trb) Follow the money!(trb)

Overseas Investors Buy U.S. Holdings at a Record Pace (Nyt012008)

I know little of macro economics and will not rely on internet fanatics for answers. Lets start with the New York Times!(trb)

- QUOTATION OF THE DAY - "This is a phenomenon that could be called the growth of state capitalism as opposed to market capitalism. The United States has not ever been on the receiving end of this before." - JEFFREY E. GARTEN of Yale School of Management, on the purchase of American companies by investment funds controlled by foreign governments. (Nyt012008)

What does this term State Capitalism mean?

(trb) State capitalism , in its classic meaning, is a private captialist economy under state control. This term was often used to describe the controlled economies of the great powers in the First World War. In more modern sense, state capitalism is a term used to describe a system where state is intervening in the markets to protect and advance interests of big business. This practice is in sharp contrast with the ideals of market capitalism.

It is logical to assumes that an economic shift has begun before the economic lay people are aware of the shift. In retrospect what does an economic shift look like?(trb)

Last May, a Saudi Arabian conglomerate bought a Massachusetts plastics maker. In November, a French company established a new factory in Adrian, Mich., adding 189 automotive jobs to an area accustomed to layoffs. In December, a British company bought a New Jersey maker of cough syrup.(Nyt012008)

We have heard the political arguments for new industry and diversifications. This is good, right?(trb)

For much of the world, the United States is now on sale at discount prices. (Nyt012008)

Who has put my country up for sale? Is it the republican president and his congress? Or was it collectively the 30 second sound bite, form over substance mediocre media and institutions to include unions and elected bottom feeders that have led our precious America for the last eight years?(trb)

With credit tight, unemployment growing and worries mounting about a potential recession, American business and government leaders are courting foreign money to keep the economy growing. (Nyt012008) Is it in our interest to let this happen? Which prodigy of a mating canine do we allow to be our spokesperson on this issue?(trb)

Foreign investors are buying aggressively, taking advantage of American duress and a weak dollar to snap up what many see as bargains, while making inroads to the world’s largest market. (Nyt012008)

Is the enemy now among us? Are we protected from the potential of foreign corporate terrorism?(trb)

Last year, foreign investors poured a record $414 billion into securing stakes in American companies, factories and other properties through private deals and purchases of publicly traded stock, according to Thompson financial, a research firm. That was up 90 percent from the previous year and more than double the average for the last decade. It amounted to more than one-fourth of all announced deals for the year, Thomson said. (Nyt012008)

Look I do not pretend to understand but I do not trust any spokesperson that relies on the patronage of big money like this Thompson firm must. Do you have any answers? We are at economic war, the enemy is on our shores and the big money interest have gone multinational and sold us out. These interests use Bush as an employee and are probably attached to every other political leader from any party. If true who can we trust? A presidential selection paradigm may well be it’s the economic take over by foreign and multinational corporations stupid! Just who do you trust?(trb)

During the first two weeks of this year, foreign businesses agreed to invest another $22.6 billion for stakes in American companies — more than half the value of all announced deals. If a recession now unfolds and the dollar drops further, the pace could accelerate, economists say.(Nyt012008)

The county may be heading for a recession, Flint is already in a depression.(trb)

Our Country is on the brink of economic instability.(trb)

The perceived problem of inherent instability takes on further importance insofar as it is a principal cause of the next structural phase of the system. The new phase is often described as state capitalism because its outstanding feature is the enlargement in size and functions of the public realm.

In 1929, for example, total U.S. government expenditures—federal, state, and...

The surge of foreign money has injected fresh tension into a running debate about America’s place in the global economy. It has supplied state governors with a new development strategy — attracting foreign money. And it has reinvigorated sometimes jingoistic worries about foreigners securing control of America’s fortunes, a narrative last heard in the 1980s as Americans bought up Hondas and Rockefeller Center landed in Japanese hands.(Nyt012008)

State capitalism is a popular term to denote the state’s encroachment on free market capitalism. ....“The difference between free-market capitalism and state capitalism is precisely the With a growing share of investment coming from so-called sovereign wealth funds — vast pools of money controlled by governments from China to the Middle East — lawmakers and regulators difference between, on the one hand, peaceful, voluntary exchange, and on the other, violent expropriation.” The problem is that most people do not realize the differences when using the term capitalism, and incorrectly lump all capitalism as one or the other. ..(Sc)

are calling for greater scrutiny to ensure that foreign countries do not gain influence over the financial system or military-related technology. On the presidential campaign trail, the Democratic candidates have begun to focus on these foreign funds, calling for international rules that would make them more transparent. (Nyt012008)


Debate is swirling in Washington about the best way to stimulate a flagging economy. Despite divided opinion about the merits, foreign investment may be preventing deeper troubles by infusing hard-luck companies with cash and keeping some in business.(Nyt012008)

Okay that may be good.(trb)

The most conspicuous beneficiaries are Wall Street banks like Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, which have sold stakes to government-controlled funds in Asia and the Middle East to compensate for calamitous losses on mortgage markets. Beneath the headlines, a more profound shift is under way: Foreign entities last year captured stakes in American companies in businesses as diverse as real estate, steel-making, energy and baby food. (Nyt012008)

Well this is bad ! They use the phrase captured state, this will be soon replaced with control. They could then break up our remaining corporations, nothing will be left that American! Is that good or bad? (Trb)

The influx is the result of a confluence of factors that have made the United States both reliant on the largesse of foreigners and an alluring place for opportunistic investors. With American banks reeling from the housing downturn and loath to lend, businesses are hungry for cash.(Nyt012008)

Yeah and a drug addict may be hungry for cash from a loan shark with out looking at the ramifications long term only to days fix.(trb)

The weak dollar has made American companies and properties cheaper in global terms, particularly for European and Canadian buyers. Even as Americans confront the prospect of a recession, economic growth remains strong worldwide, endowing oil producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia and export powers like China and Germany with abundant cash.(Nyt012008)

As the German company ThyssenKrupp Stainless broke ground in November on what is to be a $3.7 billion stainless steel plant in Calvert, Ala., its executives spoke effusively about the low cost of production in the United States and the chance to reach many millions of customers — particularly because of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which allows goods to flow into Mexico and Canada free of duty.(Nyt012008)

After a shake out..will we offer incentive of low cost of production? That means low income disappearing middle class , good for corporations and their owners bad for us working stiffs!(trb)

“The Nafta stainless steel market has great potential, and we’re committed to significantly expanding our business in this growth region,” said the company’s chairman, Jürgen H. Fechter, according to a statement.(Nyt012008)

Foreign giants like Toyota Motor and Sony have been sinking capital into American plants. Investment in the American subsidiaries of foreign companies grew to $43.3 billion last year from $39.2 billion the previous year, according to the research and consulting firm OCO Monitor. “This is a vote of confidence in the American economy, the American marketplace and the American worker,” the deputy Treasury secretary, Robert M. Kimmitt, said. “These investments keep Americans employed and keep balance sheets strong.”(Nyt012008)

Bushes people argue this is a good thing, foreign purchase of America!(trb)

Five million Americans now work for foreign companies set up in the United States, Mr. Kimmitt said, and those jobs pay 30 percent more than similar work at domestic companies. Nearly a third of such jobs are in manufacturing, which explains why Rust Belt states have been wooing foreign investment.(Nyt012008) Its almost sounding like a good thing, boy I am confused now(!trb)

“We’ve lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs,” said Michigan’s governor, Jennifer M. Granholm, a Democrat, who has traveled three times to Europe and twice to Japan in pursuit of investment since taking office in 2003. “I’ve got to get jobs for our people.”(Nyt012008)

Ah..our friends are selling us.(trb)

Some labor unions see the acceleration of foreign takeovers as the latest indignity wrought by globalization.(Nyt012008) Where has the union voice been? (trb)

“It’s the culmination of a series of fool’s errands,” said Leo W. Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers. “We’ve hollowed out our industrial base and run up this massive trade deficit, and now the countries that have built the deficits are coming back to buy up our assets. It’s like spitting in your face.”(Nyt012008)

Its more like digging you own grave!(trb)

Other labor groups take a more pragmatic view. (Nyt012008) “We need investment and we need to create good jobs,” said Thea Lee, policy director for the AFL CIO in Washington. “We’re not in the position to be too choosy about where that investment comes from. But it does bring home the consequences of flawed trade policies over many, many years that we’re in this position of being dependent.”(Nyt012008)


Ask your presidential candidate how they will mend these flawed trade policies.(trb)

At the center of concern is the growing influence of sovereign wealth funds, which invested $21.5 billion in American companies last year, according to Thomson. Analysts say they could skew markets by investing to improve the fortunes of their national companies or to pursue political goals. (Nyt012008)

Foreign money pursuing American domestic political goals, is this a good thing? (trb)

“This is a phenomenon that could be called the growth of state capitalism as opposed to market capitalism,” said Jeffrey E. Garten, a trade expert at the Yale School of Management. “The United States has not ever been on the receiving end of this before.”(Nyt012008)

Bush will go done in history as being the American steward that allowed this to happen.(trb)

emblematic of national ambivalence, in an appearance on CNBC last week, the voluble market analyst Jim Cramer spoke in menacing terms about the growing role of state investment funds from the Middle East and China.(Nyt012008) A spokesperson!(trb)

“Do we want the communists to own the banks, or the terrorists?” Mr. Cramer asked. “I’ll take any of it, I guess, because we’re so desperate.”(Nyt012008)

Its not the communist stupid, it’s the foreign rich kids graduates of Harvard and Yale that are the enemy on our shores.(trb)

Proponents of investment from overseas note that finance from sovereign wealth funds is a mere trickle of the overall flow from abroad. Indeed, the bulk comes from Europe, Canada and Japan. Just as Americans have scattered investments around the world in pursuit of profit — with holdings of foreign stock and debt exceeding $6 trillion in 2006, according to the Treasury Department — foreigners are looking to the United States, with their capital generating economic activity, proponents say.(Nyt012008)

Ahh. Look this is just my stream on consciousness..somebody please explain this last paragraph.(trb)

If fear of foreign money now inspires Americans to erect new barriers, that would damage the economy, said Todd M. Malan, president of the Organization for International Investment, a Washington lobbying group financed by foreign companies.(Nyt012008)

The representative of the horses we let out of the barn now argue the door should not now be shut.B.S!!(trb)

“The policy choices on the negative side would have enormous economic implications that would make the current situation look like a bubble bath,” he said.(Nyt012008)

Just who are we to believe?(trb)

Tensions spawned by foreign investment hark back to the 1980s, when Japan snapped up prominent American businesses like Columbia Pictures, and some intoned that the American way of life was under assault. The new wave of foreign money is washing in at an even more important time, analysts say.(Nyt012008)

The United States has lost more than three million manufacturing jobs since 2001, with foreign trade often taking the blame. Foreign-made goods now account for roughly one-third of all wares consumed in the United States, roughly tripling their share over the last quarter-century. The soaring price of oil and a widening trade deficit underscore how the American economy is increasingly vulnerable to decisions made far away. (Nyt012008)

Sucks to be us!(trb)

In 2005, Congressional opposition scuttled a bid by the state-owned Chinese energy company Cnooc to buy the American oil company Unocal. The following year, furor on Capitol Hill prevented DP World, a company based in the United Arab Emirates, from buying several major American ports.(Nyt012008)

Who in congress led these fights and what were the vote of all the presidential contender?(trb)

No such outcry has greeted the purchase of stakes in major Wall Street banks by state investment funds in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, China, Singapore and South Korea. This is largely because the banks sold passive slices and ceded no formal control, which would have set off a federal review of the national security implications. But the silence also reflects the imperative that these enormous institutions swiftly secure cash.(Nyt012008)

its all about money.(trb)

“It would be good if these companies didn’t need all this capital and better if the capital was available in the United States,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, who was a vocal opponent of the DP World deal. “But given the situation that these institutions find themselves in and the fact that there’s a pretty strong credit squeeze, there’s only two choices: Have foreign companies invest in these firms or have massive layoffs.”(Nyt012008)

The rock and the hard spot creates a test of leadership. Do we have any?(trb)

In years past, particularly when Japanese money washed in, many foreign purchases proved not to be so prudent in the end. This time, with the dollar weak and troubled American companies in a poor bargaining position, the prices really do seem cheap, some economists say.(Nyt012008)

“They’re buying financial assets at well under book value,” said Gary C. Hufbauer, a trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.(Nyt012008)

This is code for they are stealing our stuff right under the presidents nose.(trb)

Trade experts assume tensions will rise as developing countries — which tend to have more state companies — continue to expand their share of investment in the United States. (Nyt012008)

Canada still spends the most money buying stakes in American companies — more than $65 billion in 2007, according to Thomson. But other countries’ purchases are growing rapidly. South Korea’s investments swelled to more than $10.4 billion last year from just $5.4 million in 2000. Russia went to $572 million from $60 million in that span; India to $3.3 billion from $364 million. (Nyt012008)

But even if political tension increases, so will the flow of foreign money, some analysts say, for the simple reason that businesses need it. (Nyt012008)

“The forces sucking in this capital are much bigger than the political forces,” said Mr. Garten, the Yale trade expert. “If there is a big controversy, it will be between Washington on the one hand and corporate America on the other. In that contest, the financiers and the businessmen are going to win, as they always do.”(Nyt012008)

What do you think?(trb) Posted here by Terry Bankert Posted also to other sites

–where did this stuff come from...


New York Times, Business 01/20/08 By PETER S. GOODMAN and LOUISE STORY ---

(Sc) State Capitalism ---

(trb) Comments of Terry Bankert

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Friday, January 18, 2008



1/18/07 By Terry Bankert

Posted first to
Flint Talk

First impression of the morning.


Flint is in a depression and the nation in a recession heading for a depression.

Why?- All General Motors Employees are being offered a buy out to be replaced by a work force making half the money. Note ALL THE BLUE COLLAR EMPLOYEES OF GENERAL MOTORS ARE BEING ASKED TO LEAVE GENERAL MOTORS THE EASY WAY WITH A BUY OUT. The hard way will surely follow.

Thank you one and all for NAFTA.

Thank You General Motors HTANK YOU UAW.

Just when we need information the corporations are takinf it away from us. Just where is Michael Moore when you need him?

The Flint Journal has offered buy outs accepted by many long term employees.

No hard news to follow... I just listened to Channel 12 try to put a positive spin on this! What a group of cheer leaders.

Just when we need information:
Comcast has stolen Public Access from us.
We have lost the voices of Bob Leonard, Eric Mays and Ted Jan..[however you spell his name]
You may not agree or even like these guys but they gave us information.

The Booth newspapers [ or who ever the King Kong is that bought them]through M.Live is restricting access to their community forums.

We have lost many of the Flint Journal Reporters we trusted.

Zacks shut down the uncommonsense.

Who do we trust?

Where do we get our alternative information?

East Village magazine?

And about all that is left.

We need a plan to keep information flowing.

I suggest

I suggest the people in the know , sign up to ,use a screen name and let us know what is going on

This really is no surprize,but its here now. 40,8000
Say good by to your neighbors. 5200 ALREADY have been offer the buyout.


The General Motors lost 38 Billion dollars last year US cars sales will be 15.5 million cars this year down from 16.1 Last year. General Motors plans to save 5billion in labor costs over the next next 3 yrs

General Motors Corporation, also known as GM, an American multinational corporation, is the world's largest auto company since 1931. [4] However, it ranks second behind Toyota in net worth, revenue and profit. Founded in 1908, in Flint, Michigan, GM employs approximately 284,000 people around the world. With global headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan, USA, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. Their European headquarters are based in Zurich, Switzerland. Their Holden headquarters are in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. In 2006, 9.18 million GM cars and trucks were produced globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM is the majority shareholder in GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. of South Korea and has had collaborative ventures in technology and manufacturing with several of the world's automakers. Daewoo is GM's most recent acquisition, having been rescued by the combine shortly after going into receivership towards the end of 2000. The brand has been retained for the home market of South Korea, although since January 2005 the brand's products have been sold as Holdens in Australia and Chevrolets in other markets. Holden is the Australian division of GM, although some of its products have been exported to other countries in low volumes, as Chevrolets (Middle East, Brazil and South Africa), Buick (China), Daewoo (South Korea), Vauxhall (UK), and Pontiac (US). Saab is a prestige marque based in Sweden and sold world-wide. Hummer and Saturn are almost exclusively sold within US and Canada, with both of these brands having being created within the last two decades. The Hummer H3 is now made in South Africa. This car is also now available for sale in Australia Opel is the key European brand, although high volumes of its products are made in Africa and Asia. Since the early 1980s, Vauxhall has been a Britain-only brand, with virtually all of its models since then being identical to Opels. GM Parts and accessories are sold under GM Performance Parts, GM Goodwrench and ACDelco brands through GM Service and Parts Operations which supplies GM dealerships and distributors worldwide. GM engines and transmissions are marketed through GM Powertrain. GM's largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany. GM owns nearly-half (49%) of the finance company GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive, residential and commercial financing and insurance. GM's OnStar subsidiary is a vehicle safety, security and information service provider. There have only been a limited number of models bearing the General Motors brand. The GM EV1 was an electric vehicle that was offered for lease only in the 1990's, before being unceremoniously scrapped. The Holden Statesman (1971 - 1985) was originally marketed as the General Motors Statesman.

Posted here by Terry Bankert Posted to Flint Talk Facebook My Space Flint Citizen [Consider jointing!] Craigs list Good Morning Flint Blog Could somebody post this to Flint Town Talk,... 32822

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Thursday, January 17, 2008


BY Terry Bankert

First posted to Flint Talk (Thank You Steve Meyers)


"Public corruption, bribery and forgery are always serious charges, but they are even more heinous when they risk putting Michigan citizens in danger," said Cox. "My office is committed to cracking down on public corruption." [mc]

FLINT -- For a handful of Genesee County politicians, landing on free parking at Bishop Airport is about to get easier than doing the same thing in a game of Monopoly.[fj01162008]

This is just the beginning. The Genesee County Palace Court is on the make.[trb]

The county Board of Commissioners is being offered free parking passes from the airport if they don't have them already, getting them into a special employee parking area that's close to the terminal building.[fj01162008]

A political payoff,bribe,something of value,political corruption, name one they all apply.[trb]

Commissioners appoint some members of the Bishop AIRPORT Authority, which oversees the facility, and sometimes attend ribbon-cutting and other ceremonies here.[fj01162008]

The new regime at the County thinks they are owed something from every public agency. The Fox’s are guarding the hen house.[trb]

But they have no direct responsibility for the operation, and two members said Wednesday they won't accept the perk while one commissioner acknowledged he already takes advantage of the free parking when he travels -- even on personal vacations.[fj01162008]

Good job Fonger.[trb]

Commissioner John Northrup, D-Flint, said he's been treated to free parking for years and has no plan to give up the perk. Northrup said the arrangement amounts to nothing more than a courtesy.[fj01162008]

This is classic Northrup.[trb]

But two commissioners -- Jamie Curtis, D-Burton, and Archie Bailey, D-Flushing -- said Wednesday they won't accept the free parking.[fj01162008]

Curtis is my commissioner, thank you. Archie you continue to lead, thank you.[trb]

"I don't have a problem with paying" myself, said Curtis. "I'll use Bishop AIRPORT (but) I'll pay for my own parking."[fj01162008]

This is the right answer.[trb] Bailey said the nine members of the county commission "should park where the public must find a parking spot, then wait for the shuttle to the terminal, and then be required to pay -- just like Joe and Mary Citizen.[fj01162008]

Why does this new regime at the County think that they are better than the taxpayer.[trb] "The airport service is excellent and should be appreciated even by county commissioners. I won't be taking advantage of the free pass," Bailey said in an e-mail.[fj01162008]

My guess is that if he , Bailey, was still at the helm he would have stopped this attempt at manipulating the County by playing to the greed of select commissioners.[trb]

Commissioners Raynetta Speed, D-Flint; Ted Henry, D-Clayton Twp., and Rose Bogardus, D-Clayton Twp., said they don't see a problem with the free parking. But Bogardus said she would not use the free parking when traveling or visiting on business.[fj01162008]

This must be the reward the new regime is giving themselves for putting in Stanley. Did you just note Rose talking out of both sides of her mouth.[trb]

Speed called the passes "just one of the perks of being a county commissioner."[fj01162008]

Fonger, did you catch that? Just what are these other perks? Go gettum Fonger![trb]

The Journal could not reach other commissioners for comment Wednesday.[fj01162008]

Why did you not interview Stanley? Are you protecting your future county executive from this horrible taint committed on his watch?[trb]

County Board Coordinator Dan Harrell sent commissioners a memorandum about the parking Tuesday, reminding them that the airport has a "long-standing practice" of offering free parking to Flint and county officials.[fj01162008]

Harrell is the Picasso of political patronage. The commissioner brought back the “A” team to get their perks.[trb]

After returning to work for the county from retirement in 2007, Harrell said he found out commissioners no longer had parking passes and made arrangements with airport officials to get them.[fj01162008]

What else did he find that the previous good government commissioner leadership had taken from the imperial commissioners?[trb]

Harrell said one commissioner also mentioned getting the free parking passes, but he no longer remembers which commissioner it was.[fj01162008]

Give me an S, give me a T,give me a an A, give...well you see where I AM GOING...[trb]

Rice said the practice of giving free parking has gone on for many years -- sometimes by giving out passes and sometimes by leaving the names of Flint and county officials with parking clerks.[fj01162008]

Rice said this..I think he administers local state and FEDERAL, funds and he is handing out political patronage,my,my,my.[trb]

"It's always been a policy of mine to allow it... . They haven't (abused) it," Rice said.[fj01162008]

The giver of graft is now the judge of abuse or again a Fox is guarding the hen house.Mr. Rice you are a great asset to this community, this is nonsense.[trb]

The Journal could not reach Flint City Council President Carolyn Sims for comment Wednesday.[fj01162008] Here I do not think you tried hard enough Mr. Fonger.[trb]

Rice said he wasn't sure whether Flint City Council members or Mayor Donald Williamson use the free-parking offer or have parking passes.[fj01162008]

I do not believe this statement.[trb]

The Airport Authority is appointed by the mayor, with approval of council, as well as the county commissioners.[fj01162008]

Again thank you for allowing this scandal to surface, Mr. Fonger,Dearing,and the entire MDEAD crew. Please take this to the next level.Document the perks. Remember these are the same wizards that are continuing the investigation of Loving and their other cronies, see previous comment about the Fox’s.[trb]

Here might be a photo op for our attorney general. Make he might make the following statement on this issue?[trb]

“A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. “[mc]

I would like to thank all of the investigators and agents who cooperated in order to crack this case," concluded Cox. [mc]

Archie where are you when we need ya?[trb]

Posted here by Terry Bankert

—Where did this stuff come from?-- [mc] Mike Cox attorney General of Michigan,1607,7-164--178290--,00.html [fj01162008] Bishop Airport offers free parking to county commissioners Posted by Ron Fonger The Flint Journal January 16, 2008 17:25PM [trb] Terry Bankert posted to Flint Talk facebook My space Flint Citizen craigs list Could someone please post this to Flint Town Talk, the MDEAD crew has banned by IP address, a problem soon to be solved.


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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

GMF 1/16/08


BY Terry Bankert
posted first at

Public access!...A REPRIEVE!!! Paul Herring of Flint is leading a revolt. He wants Comcast cable customers to boycott the company. [FJ011508 ] Thousands of Genesee County residents enjoy the Public Access programing on channel 17 Comcast. Comcast a monolply is obligated to public acess ,hoodwinked the stae legislature and has almost taken it away from us.[trb] The cable company planned to move PEG channels in Michigan into the 900 range, which would require subscribers to buy digital, cable-ready TVs or rent or buy a digital converter box for each analog set they own.[Cen01/15/08] Comcast Cable is a regulated monopoly essentially because at its inception they needed public property to string their cable, in exchange we got public access programing. By a state law slight of hands or campaign contributions the state legislature let them run away with our access to television. Ask a State Rep How did you let this happen?[ trb]

The nation's largest cable provider wanted to move the PEG channels to free up bandwidth so it could offer other services, including high definition stations, to customers paying premium rates.[Cen01/15/08]

"We want people that are Comcast customers to get mad ," Herring said. "Say, 'We're mad as hell, and we aren't going to take it anymore.'" [FJ011508]

Meridian was one of two communities that prevailed in U.S. District Court late Monday as Judge Victoria Roberts agreed to block Comcast from moving public, educational and governmental access (PEG) channels higher up the dial.[md01/16/08]

The court order was issued in response to a lawsuit filed Friday by Dearborn and Meridian Township in suburban Lansing. The communities said Comcast planned the change without consulting with the communities , in violation of state and federal law, and that up to 400,000 customers statewide who couldn’t afford to pay for a converter box would lose access to community news. The suit also charged that the communities would lose a vital way of communicating with residents [fp01/15/08]

The communities argued Comcast had planned the changes without consulting with local leaders, in violation of state and federal law, and that up to 400,000 customers in the state who couldn't pay for a converter box would lose access to the community stations. [md01/16/08]

A similar ruling was made by Macomb County Circuit Court Judge David Viviano Monday in a lawsuit brought by the city of Warren. A hearing on that issue will be held Jan. 22. [md01/16/08]

Comcast is evaluating its options after a federal judge on Monday imposed a temporary restraining order on the cable company’s plans to move community access channels higher up the dial, a move that would have made them unavailable to Michigan cable subscribers with analog televisions.[fp01/15/08] Communities throughout Michigan are being invited to help pay for a legal challenge against Comcast as several municipalities and the cable provider appear to be settling in for a lengthy court fight over access stations [md01/16/08]

Lawyers for those communities argued that Comcast planned the change without consulting with the communities, violating state and federal laws. They said the communities would lose an important way of communicating with residents.[Cen01/15/08]

“This proposal would have forced many Michigan consumers to pay additional fees to rent set-top boxes to receive the high-quality educational programming they are currently guaranteed with basic cable services," Dingell said in a written statement.[Cen01/15/08]

Herring is president of the Producers Association, a group of 140 -"about 15 or 20 are active," he said - who write, produce and film public access programs for Comcast [FJ011508]

Meridian Township near Lansing this week sent a letter to local communities requesting financial support for a federal lawsuit it filed and won a temporary order banning Comcast from making changes to the stations. [md01/16/08]

In December, Comcast ended local production statewide, eliminating the availability of studio space and equipment. Some producers, like Herring, are able to continue because they have their own equipment and studio. But many had to end their programs. [FJ011508]

A state judge and a federal judge have each ruled that Comcast cannot move community-access cable television channels higher up the dial and out of the reach of thousands of Michigan subscribers as it had hoped to do on Tuesday.[Cen01/15/08]

A federal judge in Detroit issued a similar ruling late Monday in a lawsuit filed by Dearborn and Ingham County's Meridian Township.[Cen01/15/08] "We lost about 30 producers that were using the studios," said Herring, adding he hosts or produces 10 programs. "There are about 50 producers left." [FJ011508]

"Macomb County Chief Circuit Judge David Viviano's temporary order, issued Monday, could affect 400,000 Comcast customers statewide. A hearing is set Jan. 22 on whether the order should become permanent.[Cen01/15/08]

Tapes of the new programs have to be delivered to an office in Southfield. [FJ011508] Beginning today, Comcast will air the various public, educational and governmental programs on 900-plus channels. [FJ011508]

"You have to have digital service or a free converter box to get the public access station at 916," Herring said. [FJ011508] Herring said the box is free for a year, and after that customers will be charged $4.20 a month. [FJ011508]

Monthly basic digital service that includes the 900 channels is about $55 a month. [FJ011508]

"Not everybody can afford that," Herring said. [FJ011508]

Satellite services do not offer public access channels. [FJ011508]

The Producers Association has posted an online petition that Herring hopes to present to legislators in an effort to force Comcast to secure public access in a way "that the poorest of us can get it free of charge [FJ011508]

Herring hopes to collect 26,000 signatures, a number he estimates to be 1 percent of Comcast statewide customers. [FJ011508]

"We would assume Comcast would treat everyone the same , but we have a long way to go before we reach the conclusion," said Warren City Attorney David Richards. [md01/16/08]

"Boycott in any way, shape or form," Herring said. "You can call Comcast and complain. If you can't cancel your service, then downgrade. Make a service call and then cancel it, or upgrade and then cancel. But do something." [FJ011508]

Patrick Paterno, director of communications for Comcast's Michigan region, said the majority of Michigan customers have advanced digital programming and use digital equipment. [FJ011508]

"Comcast will provide public education and government programming to nearly all of our 1.3 million Michigan customers in a high-quality digital format on the basic tier of service," Paterno said. [FJ011508]

"Additionally, these channels will be grouped together in a uniform fashion, making it easier for viewers to find them no matter where they are in the state." [FJ011508]

And U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said a subcommittee will hear testimony Jan. 29 on the provision of public, educational and governmental access programming, known as PEG.[Cen01/15/08]

Dingell said his committee applauded the decision to block Comcast's plan.[Cen01/15/08]

Comcast, which had offered to provide customers with a free converter box for one year, said it was disappointed with the court ruling and was reviewing its options.[Cen01/15/08]

A lawyer for the communities said Comcast's plans violate state and federal law.[fp01/15/08 ASHEN]

"These aren't channels they own," their attorney, Joe Van Eaton, also of Washington, D.C., told Roberts. "They're the communities' channels. "[fp01/15/08 ASHEN]

Comcast lawyer Scott disputed that Comcast's move would violate federal or state law, saying there are no statutes that allow communities to dictate where cable providers place PEG service. He also said Comcast, unlike its competitors, has provided free cable service to public schools in Michigan and that some of Comcast's competitors don't carry PEG channels.[fp01/15/08 ASHEN]

Scott also said the communities waited too long to ask for the injunction.[fp01/15/08 ASHEN]

"The cities have had 60 days and waited 55 before coming to court to stop this activity," he said. He said it's unfair to present a judge with such complicated legal and technical issues on such short notice.[fp01/15/08 ASHEN]

Comcast lawyer Robert Scott on Monday disputed that Comcast's move would violate federal or state law. He said the company has provided free cable service to public schools in Michigan and noted that some of its competitors don't offer PEG channels at all.[Cen01/15/08]

"The majority of our Michigan customers already enjoy our advanced digital programming and use digital equipment," Comcast spokesman Patrick Paterno said in a statement. "These (PEG) channels would be grouped together in a uniform fashion, making it easier for viewers to find them no matter where they are in the state."[Cen01/15/08]

"While we have been willing to front the associated costs to date, given that Comcast has elected to take a hard line on these issues, and because it appears we will soon be engaged in litigation with this mega international corporation, we are now asking" for assistance. [md01/16/08]

Comcast had planned on making changes to its channel lineup Tuesday. Subscribers with analog televisions would have to purchase digital cable-ready TV sets or rent a digital converter box from Comcast. [md01/16/08]

Comcast spokesman Patrick Paterno said in a statement the cable company was making the changes to make it easier for viewers to find the PEG channels and to offer more high-definition channels. [md01/16/08]

"We are disappointed with the court's actions and are evaluating our options," Paterno said in the statement. [md01/16/08]

Meridian Township indicated in its letter that it expects to spend more than $50,000 in litigation costs.[md01/16/08]

It's unclear whether the final federal and state court rulings will impact all of Comcast's member communities or just those who have filed legal challenges to the changes. [md01/16/08] In exchange, the township will share with participating cities and townships legal counsel and other advice on the controversy. [md01/16/08]

Herring's petition is available online at [FJ011508]

also see SAVE ACCESS

"Hopefully, this reminds Comcast of their obligation to all subscribers," said Meridian Township attorney Michael Watza of Detroit. "And the communities and Comcast can renew our partnership that we've enjoyed for so many years."[fp01/15/08 ASHEN]

Posted here by Terry Bankert

posted to Flint Talk
Save Acess blog
Flint Citizen Face Book(Flint MI)
Could someone post to MLIVE I cannot.
-----CITES----- [FJ011508] THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITIONTuesday, January 15, 2008 By Brenda Brissette • 810.766.6361 --- [Cen01/15/08] 01/15/08 --- [md01/16/08] PUBLISHED: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 Communities may combine cash in legal battle against Comcast Towns oppose higher numbers for local access channels By Mitch Hotts Macomb Daily Staff Writer --- [fp01/15/08] Comcast weighs options after judge restrains access-channel change January 15, 2008 By ZACHARY GORCHOW FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER --- [fp01/15/08 ASHEN] Comcast channel changes on hold 1. Court steps in amid public access concernsJanuary 15, 2008 BY DAVID ASHENFELTER FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER --- [trb] Comments of Terry Bankert 32616

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, January 5, 2008


This material has altered the cited case for presentation orally. Seek counsel and review the original material before you rely on it
Custody; Established custodial environment; Fletcher v. Fletcher; Foskett v. Foskett; Jack v. Jack; Baker v. Baker; Ireland v. Smith; Best interest factors (b), ©), (d), (e), (f), (g), (j), and (k);
Whether the trial court violated the automatic stay rule in MCR 2.614(A)(1); Bayati v. Bayati; Loyd v. Loyd;
Denial of motion for new trial under MCR 2.611; Gilbert v. DaimlerChrysler Corp.; Trial court’s failure to apply MCL 722.31(4); Fast Air, Inc. v. Knight; Spires v. Bergman;
Whether the trial court deviated from the formula prescribed by the Michigan Child Support Formula when it imputed income to defendant-mother without explaining its deviation pursuant to MCL 552.605(2); Ghidotti v. Barber; Stallworth v. Stallworth;
Attorney fees; Reed v. Reed;
Whether the parenting time awarded to defendant in the divorce judgment was not feasible because she moved from Virginia to Florida after the judgment was entered; Appellate attorney fees and costs
Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished), No.276038
Case Name: Rasmussen v. Casamatta
e-Journal Number: 37989
Judge(s): Per Curiam - Donofrio, Sawyer, and Cavanagh
Washtenaw Circuit Court No. 05-000390-DM(12/20/07)

The trial court properly awarded the plaintiff-father sole legal custody and primary physical custody of the parties’ child.
There was evidence to support the trial court’s finding plaintiff actively pursued a relationship with his child, although this was made difficult by his residency in Virginia and conflict with defendant.
The evidence supported a reasonable inference the instability existing during the divorce proceedings precluded either party from establishing a custodial environment with their young child (who was born during the divorce proceedings) that, in at least a psychological sense, was marked by qualities of security, stability, and permanence.
The evidence the child was temporarily living with defendant in her daycare provider’s home at the time of trial could only add to the instability of the custodial situation. The evidence did not clearly preponderate against the trial court’s finding there was no established custodial environment with either party. Further, even if the trial court erred in finding an established custodial environment did not exist, the error was harmless.
Notwithstanding the trial court’s statement it could apply a preponderance of the evidence standard, it explained its custody decision was actually supported by clear and convincing evidence. Thus, any error in the trial court’s determination an established custodial environment did not exist was harmless. The court also concluded defendant failed to establish the trial court’s custody decision was an abuse of discretion. Affirmed.

Defendant MOTHER appeals as of right from a judgment of divorce. Relevant to this appeal,
defendant challenges the trial court’s decision to award plaintiff FATHERS sole legal custody and primary physical custody of the parties’ child, Sophia Casamatta (born June 23, 2005).
Defendant also challenges the trial court’s determination of child support and its decision to award plaintiff attorney fees of $3,000.
Because defendant has not established any basis for relief with respect
to the trial court’s: custody decision, denial of a new trial, decision not to apply MCL 722.31,
determination of child support, and award of attorney fees to plaintiff, we affirm.

On appeal, defendant primarily challenges the trial court’s custody decision.

In deciding custody disputes, a trial court must first determine whether an established
custodial environment exists. Jack v Jack, 239 Mich App 668, 670; 610 NW2d 231 (2000).

Brief, definite, and pertinent findings on contested matters are sufficient, MCR 2.517(A)(2), and
a court is not required to comment on every matter in evidence or every argument made by the
parties, Fletcher, supra at 883; Bowers v Bowers, 198 Mich App 320, 328; 497 NW2d 602
Here, while the trial court did not make findings on each criterion in MCL 722.27(1)©),
it stated the statutory criteria and facts material to its determination that an established custodial
environment did not exist.
The custodial environment of a child is established if over an appreciable
time the child naturally looks to the custodian in that environment for guidance,
discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort.
The age of the child, the
physical environment, and the inclination of the custodian and the child as to
permanency of the relationship shall also be considered. [MCL 722.27(1)©).]
Under this statute, an established custodial environment is one "in both the physical and
psychological sense in which the relationship between the custodian and the child is marked by
qualities of security, stability and permanence." Baker v Baker, 411 Mich 567, 579-580; 309
NW2d 532 (1981).
But there is evidence to support the trial court’s
finding that plaintiff actively pursued a relationship with his child, although this was made
difficult by his residency in Virginia and conflict with defendant.
The evidence supports a
reasonable inference that the instability that existed during the divorce proceedings precluded
either party from establishing a custodial environment with their young child that, in at least a
psychological sense, was marked by qualities of security, stability, and permanence. Baker,
supra at 579-580.
The evidence that the child was temporarily living with defendant in her
daycare provider’s home at the time of trial could only add to the instability of the custodial
The evidence does not clearly preponderate against the trial court’s finding that there
was no established custodial environment with either party. Foskett, supra at 5.
Furthermore, even if the trial court erred in finding that an established custodial
environment did not exist, the error was harmless.
The significance of an established custodial
environment is that it governs the standard of proof to be applied to decisions changing a child’s
custody. If an established custodial environment exists, a trial court must apply a clear and
convincing evidence standard, as opposed to a preponderance of the evidence standard, before
changing custody. Baker, supra at 579; see also MCL 722.27(1)©). Here, notwithstanding the
trial court’s statement that it could apply a preponderance of the evidence standard, it explained
that its custody decision was actually supported by clear and convincing evidence. Thus, any
error in the trial court’s determination that an established custodial environment did not exist was
harmless and remand for reevaluation of the custody decision is unnecessary. See Ireland v
Smith, 451 Mich 457, 468-469; 547 NW2d 686 (1996); Fletcher, supra, 447 Mich at 889.
With regard to the trial court’s actual custody decision, we review the trial court’s
findings of fact with respect to the best interest factors in MCL 722.23 under the great weight of
the evidence standard and its application of law for clear legal error. Foskett, supra at 4-5. The
court’s ultimate custody decision is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Id. at 5. The court’s
resolution of the statutory best interest factors need not be given equal weight. McCain v
McCain, 229 Mich App 123, 131; 580 NW2d 485 (1998). As this Court stated in Heid v
AAASulewski (After Remand), 209 Mich App 587, 594; 532 NW2d 205 (1995), "[t]he process of
reviewing these wrenching decisions is not, at bottom, a problem of quantitative analysis; our
duty is finally to analyze the quality of the evidence adduced to determine whether a party’s
burden of proof is met."

Defendant challenges the trial court’s findings with respect to best interest factors (b), ©),
(d), (e), (f), (g), (j), and (k) of MCL 722.23. To the extent that defendant argues that the trial
court failed to address particular matters in evidence, we point out that a court is not required to
comment on every matter in evidence or every argument raised by the parties. Fletcher, supra,
447 Mich at 883; Bowers, supra at 328. Additionally, to the extent that defendant relies on her
own testimony to establish error, the record reveals that the trial court found that defendant was not a credible witness, particularly with respect to the disputed issue concerning which party was
the aggressor of domestic violence in the home.
We give deference to the trial court’s resolution
of credibility issues. Fletcher, supra, 229 Mich App at 25; see also MCR 2.613©).
Additionally, there is no support in the record for defendant’s suggestion that the trial court was
biased against her.
A trial court is charged with the responsibility of determining the credibility
of witnesses, and judicial remarks that are critical, disapproving of, or hostile toward parties or
their cases ordinarily do not establish bias. Cain v Dep’t of Corrections, 451 Mich 470, 497 n
30; 548 NW2d 210 (1996). Defendant has not overcome the heavy presumption of judicial
impartially. Id. at 497.
With respect to factor (b), "[t]he capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give
the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in
his or her religion or creed, if any," MCL 722.23(b), we disagree with defendant’s claim that the
trial court’s evaluation of this factor is inconsistent with its evaluation of factor (a). Factor (b)
goes beyond existing emotional bonds by requiring the trial court to project a parent’s capacity
and disposition to provide love, affection, and guidance in the future. The trial court reasonably
looked beyond the parties’ past interactions with the child to project their capacity and
disposition to provide for the child’s needs. Its finding that factor (b) favored plaintiff is not
against the great weight of the evidence.
With respect to factor ©), the evidence that plaintiff, unlike defendant, had a history of
stable employment and income supports the trial court’s finding that plaintiff had the superior
capacity and disposition to provide for the child’s material needs. Defendant has not established
that the trial court’s ruling on this factor is against the great weight of the evidence.
There is a degree of overlap between factors (d) and (e). Ireland, supra at 465.
Factor(d) is the "length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the
desirability of maintaining continuity." MCL 722.23(d). This factor "calls for a factual inquiry
(how long has the child been in stable, satisfactory environment?) and then states a value (‘the
desirability of maintaining continuity’)." Ireland, supra at 465 n 8.
Factor (e) is "[t]he
permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes." MCL
722.23(e). "Taken literally, factor e appears to direct an inquiry into the extent to which a
‘home’ will serve as a permanent ‘family unit.’" Id. at 465. The acceptability of the home is not
pertinent to this factor. Fletcher, supra, 447 Mich at 885. The focus of factor (e) is on the
child’s prospects for a stable family environment. Ireland, supra at 465.
The stability of a child’s home can be undermined in various ways. This
might include frequent moves to unfamiliar settings, a succession of persons
residing in the home, live-in romantic companions for the custodial parent, or
other potential disruptions. Of course, every situation needs to be examined
individually. [Id. at 465 n 9.]
With regard to the trial court’s finding that factor (d) did not favor either party, we agree
with defendant that the trial court did not comment on evidence that the child lived with her
during the 15 months preceding the trial. The focus of the court’s finding that the child was not
in a stable, satisfactory environment was on the first six months of the child’s life when plaintiff
was visiting her in the marital home.
The trial court arguably erred to the extent that it failed to
consider the child’s circumstances at the time of trial. It is clear from the court’s earlier findings,
however, that the court recognized that defendant had spent 15 months with the child. Further,
defendant’s own testimony indicated that the child’s environment had changed shortly before
trial, inasmuch as she and the child were temporarily staying in the daycare provider’s home, and
the trial court’s findings with respect to factor (e) clearly reflect the court’s awareness of
defendant’s plan to move to her father’s home in Ohio after the trial.

Considered as a whole, any error by the trial court in applying factor (d) was harmless in
light of the undisputed evidence that the child’s environment had changed shortly before trial and
would be changing again after the trial, regardless of which parent was awarded custody. It is
apparent that the court would have reached the same result regarding the instability of the child’s
environment, even if it considered her current circumstances in its evaluation of factor (d).
With respect to factor (e), defendant’s claim that the trial court improperly reopened the
proofs when considering this factor is not properly before us because it lacks citation to
supporting authority. A party may not leave it to this Court to search for authority to sustain or
reject a position. Thompson v Thompson, 261 Mich App 353, 356; 683 NW2d 250 (2004);
Prince v MacDonald, 237 Mich App 186, 197; 602 NW2d 834 (1999). We note, however, that it
is not improper for a trial court to interrogate witnesses, even after both parties have rested.
People v Betts, 155 Mich App 478, 480-483; 400 NW2d 650 (1986); see also MRE 614(b);
People v Davis, 216 Mich App 47, 50-51; 549 NW2d 1 (1996). Therefore, to the extent that the
trial court attempted to elicit an assurance from plaintiff that he would rent or purchase a home if
the child was placed with him so that he could have control over the child’s physical
environment, we find no error.

Although it appears that the trial court went beyond the scope of factor (e) by considering
the acceptability of defendant’s proposal to stay in her father’s home and, in particular, the
evidence regarding his past domestic violence with defendant’s mother, the trial court also
expressed reservations about plaintiff’s situation. It did not find that either party had established
a proposed home that would serve as a permanent "family unit," but rather that plaintiff was
staying with a woman whom the court knew little about and that defendant’s stay in her father’s
home would be temporary. The distinction ultimately drawn by the trial court with regard to the
child’s prospects for a stable family environment under factor (e) arose from plaintiff’s superior
ability to control the child’s physical environment by taking financial responsibility for securing
a home. Overall, we are not persuaded that the trial court would not have reached a different
decision, even if it had not considered the acceptability of defendant’s proposed home when
evaluating factor (e). Therefore, any error in applying factor (e) was harmless. Ireland, supra at
Factor (f) is the "moral fitness of the parties involved." MCL 722.23(f). Like other
factors, the moral fitness must relate to parental fitness. Fletcher, supra, 447 Mich at 886-887.
The type of morally questionable conduct relevant to this factor includes "verbal abuse, drinking
problems, driving record, physical or sexual abuse of children, and other illegal or offensive
behaviors" Id. at 887 n 6. Contrary to defendant’s argument on appeal, the trial court
specifically addressed the moral fitness factor, weighing it in favor of plaintiff after commenting
on evidence regarding both parties. Because defendant has failed to recognize and address the
full basis of the trial court’s decision, we decline to consider this issue further. Roberts & Son
Contracting, Inc v North Oakland Dev Corp, 163 Mich App 109, 113; 413 NW2d 744 (1987).

The trial court found that factor (g), the "mental and physical health of the parties
involved," MCL 722.23(g), highly favored plaintiff, because defendant’s past conduct
demonstrated problems with her emotional health. Therefore, we reject defendant’s claim that
the trial court’s concern was based on the psychological test results. Further, defendant has not
established that the trial court’s decision is against the great weight of the evidence.
We also are not persuaded that the trial court’s findings that factor (j), which concerns
each party’s willingness and ability to foster a parent-child relationship with the other party,
favored plaintiff is against the great weight of the evidence.
Further, the trial court’s decision to
weigh factor (k), domestic violence, in favor of plaintiff rested largely on its assessment of the
witnesses’ credibility. Overall, while domestic violence on the part of either party is not
excusable, giving appropriate deference to the trial court’s finding that defendant was the
aggressor and very confrontational during the marriage, it cannot be said that the trial court’s
finding that factor (k) favored plaintiff is against the great weight of the evidence.
In sum, even if we were to conclude that the trial court erred in its application of factors
(d) and (e), we would not reverse because we are satisfied that the trial court would have reached
the same decision that clear and convincing evidence existed to award custody of the child to
plaintiff. Further, defendant has not established that the trial court’s custody decision was an
abuse of discretion. Foskett, supra at 5.
Defendant’s next claim regarding the trial court’s failure to apply MCL 722.31(4) is not
properly before us because it was not presented to or decided by the trial court. Fast Air, Inc v
Knight, 235 Mich App 541, 549; 599 NW2d 489 (1999). Regardless, defendant has not
established that the trial court was required to apply MCL 722.31(4).
We review issues of statutory interpretation de novo as a question of law. Spires v
Bergman, 276 Mich App 432, 436; ___ NW2d ___ (2007), lv pending; Brown v Loveman, 260
Mich App 576, 582; 680 NW2d 432 (2004). MCL 722.31 was intended to codify, with some
modification, the common-law test previously applied by this Court to determine if a child’s
domicile should be changed. Spires, supra at 436. The statute provides, in part:
(1) A child whose parental custody is governed by court order has, for the
purposes of this section, a legal residence with each parent. Except as otherwise
provided in this section, a parent of a child whose custody is governed by court
order shall not change a legal residence of the child to a location that is more than
100 miles from the child’s legal residence at the time of the commencement of the
action in which the order is issued.
(2) A parent's change of a child’s legal residence is not restricted by
subsection (1) if the other parent consents to, or if the court, after complying with
subsection (4), permits, the residence change. This section does not apply if the
order governing the child’s custody grants sole legal custody to 1 of the child’s
(3) This section does not apply if, at the time of the commencement of the
action in which the custody order is issued, the child’s 2 residences were more
than 100 miles apart. . . . [MCL 722.31.]
This statute applies in all cases in which one parent wishes to change the legal residence
of a child whose custody is governed by a court order. Spires, supra at 436. "[T]he Legislature
intended that a parent who shares joint legal or physical custody may petition the court to
relocate a minor." Brown, supra at 589. The statute does not apply if one parent is granted sole
legal custody in the order governing custody. MCL 722.31(2); Sehlke v VanDerMaas, 268 Mich
App 262, 265; 707 NW2d 603 (2005), rev’d in part on other grounds 474 Mich 1053 (2005).
Further, the statute does not apply if, "at the time of the commencement of the action in which
the custody order is issued, the child’s 2 residences were more than 100 miles apart." MCL
722.23(3). A separate inquiry is made utilizing the best-interest factors in MCL 722.23 if the
matter involves a change in custody. See Brown, supra at 585.

The first inquiry under MCL 722.31 is to determine if the child’s custody was governed
by an order and, if so, the terms of the order. Defendant does not identify any particular order
that she claims constitutes a custody order for purposes of MCL 722.31. Although the lower
court record contains several orders governing temporary parenting time, those orders are silent
with respect to legal custody issues.

The Child Custody Act, MCL 722.21 et seq., does not use "parenting time" and
"custody" synonymously. See MCL 722.27(1) (trial court in custody dispute may award custody
to one or more parties and grant reasonable parenting time); MCL 722.26a(7) ("joint custody"
defined as a relationship in which the "child shall reside alternatively for specific periods with
each of the parents" or parents share decision-making authority on important issues). Parenting
time is granted in accordance with the child’s best interests under MCL 722.27a. See Brown,
supra at 595.
"In construing a statute, the court should presume that every word has some meaning and
should avoid any construction that would render any part of a statute surplusage or nugatory."
Thompson, supra at 361 n 2. The primary goal of statutory construction is to ascertain and give
effect to the legislative intent. Id. at 361 n 2. Because MCL 722.31 plainly requires a child
subject to a custody order, and the record contains only parenting time orders, we conclude that
MCL 722.31 does not apply. Therefore, we reject defendant’s claim that the trial court was
required to render a change-of-domicile decision under MCL 722.31.

Next, defendant argues that the trial court erroneously deviated from the formula
prescribed by the Michigan Child Support Formula (MCSF) when it imputed income to her
without explaining its deviation pursuant to MCL 552.605(2). A deviation will be found where a
trial court does not follow the MCSF when imputing income. Ghidotti v Barber, 459 Mich 189,
198-200; 586 NW2d 883 (1998). The standards for imputing income are set forth in 2004 MCSF
2.10. Stallworth v Stallworth, 275 Mich App 282, 285; 738 NW2d 264 (2007). Because
defendant does not argue that the trial court misapplied § 2.10, however, we find no basis for her
claim that the trial court was required to apply the deviation standards in MCL 552.605(2).
Next, defendant argues that the trial court abused its discretion by awarding plaintiff
$3,000 in attorney fees. Attorney fees in a domestic relations case are governed by statute,
MCL 552.13, and court rule, MCR 3.206©). See Reed v Reed, 265 Mich App 131, 164; 693
NW2d 825 (2005). The trial court awarded plaintiff attorney fees of $3,000 because of
defendant’s violations of court orders pertaining to the marital home and possessions in that
home. Because defendant does not address the basis for the trial court’s decision to award
attorney fees, appellate relief is not warranted. Roberts & Son Contracting, Inc, supra at 113.

Next, defendant argues that the parenting time awarded to her in the divorce judgment is
not feasible because plaintiff moved from Virginia to Florida after the judgment was entered. If
a parent believes that proper cause or change of circumstances merits a change in parenting time,
the parent may move for modification of parenting time in the trial court. MCL 722.27(1)©);
Brown, supra at 595; Terry v Affum (On Remand), 237 Mich App 522, 534-535; 603 NW2d 788
(1999). Indeed, the record reflects that defendant moved for a modification of parenting time
while this appeal was pending. The instant appeal does not involve any postjudgment order
modifying parenting time, but rather is an appeal as of right from the final divorce judgment.
See MCR 7.203(A)(1) and 7.202(6)(I). Our review is limited to the record presented to the trial
court. Amorello, supra at 330. Because defendant’s challenge to the parenting time schedule is
based on circumstances arising after the judgment, we conclude that it is not properly before us
and decline to address it..

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