Wednesday, April 30, 2008


BY Terry Bankert 5/1/08
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WHY WOULD A BLACK OLD PREACHER KEEP DOWN THE NEW GENERATION OF BLACK LEADER? Black and white voters in next week's primary states agreed on one thing Wednesday: Barack Obama's preacher had hurt the Democratic presidential candidate at a crucial time. The question was how much.[A] Huckabee: Rev. Jeremiah Wright needs Obama to lose to justify his views [H] I grew up after the civil rights victories but within the evolution of our country that is allowing the cream of the black community to rise and lead. Why would a participant of the battle like Reverend Wright not allow his prodigy, Obama , to taste the sweet nectar of greatness? As Obamas sun rises the old guards sun will set. An old guard of the likes of Jackson, Sharpton, and a social stratum of the old school pastors such as Wright just need to get out of the way be quite and offer gentle support and leadership to their prodigy. These street fights cannot do it, they are inclined to eat their young for another second of fame , or to just sell their book. How sad.[trb]

IT IS ABOUT A BOOK DEAL. In the past few days, Mr Wright has made a series of public appearances - he has a book coming out later this year - that have infuriated the Obama campaign, which hoped it had put the Wright controversy behind it. [T] I think the flap over the Rev. Wright has gotten overblown, but there was one thing he said that really rankled me. On Monday at the National Press Club, he insisted that the attacks on him were tantamount to attacks on the black church. What a cop-out. As if the black church were the source for Wright’s most inflammatory statements, or would stand behind them. As if some of Wright’s views, which are fringe and have no basis in fact or scholarship, don’t deserve debate or harsh criticism. [f]

WRIGHT IS A BLATHERING OLD MAN IN DECLINE Larry Sharpe said he saw it coming, even if his friend did not. Watching Obama's former minister speak on national TV this week, the friend thought the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was making sense and putting an end to recent controversies that had rocked Obama's presidential campaign.[A]

THE OLD GUARD MUST DERAIL THE NEW BLOOD, OR THEY ARE DONE. "But I said, 'No, it's going to kill him,'" said Sharpe, a black Democrat who is intensely following Obama's battle with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.[A] The pugnacious pastor didn't back down before the national media this week in a combative and playful performance in which he damaged Senator Obama directly by suggesting the senator's previous rejection of some of the things the pastor had been saying was simply a politician talking. [T] "If Senator Obama did not say what he said, he would never get elected," Mr Wright said. [T] A grave looking Senator Obama, who is vying to be the first black president, said yesterday: "At a certain point, if what somebody says contradicts what you believe so fundamentally and then he questions whether or not you believe it - in front of the National Press Club - then that's enough. That's a show of disrespect to me. It is also, I think, an insult to what we've been trying to do (in the campaign). Whatever relationship I had with Mr Wright has changed as a consequence of this." [T]

CLINTON HAS THE BLACK PREACHERS, WRIGHT IS A BLACK PREACHER, CLINTON TOLD WRIGHT WHAT TO DO! HE DID IT! North Carolina and Indiana hold primaries Tuesday, and voters' reactions there to the Wright affair will help determine whether Clinton continues her recent string of victories over Obama, who still leads in the delegate count.[A]

DO YOU REALIZE HOW HARD IT IS FOR A BLACK MAN TO REPUDIATED HIS PREACHER. HOW STRONG A MAN OBAMA IS. HOW WEAK A PREACHER WRIGHT IS. Sharpe, 59, in some ways beat Obama to the mark. After a full day of rather tepid efforts to distance himself from Wright's fiery remarks to the National Press Club, the Illinois senator called a news conference Tuesday to denounce the retired pastor in severe tones, a tacit admission that his ties to Wright were damaging his campaign.[A] SenatorBarack Obama’s aura of inevitability in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination has diminished in the wake of his loss in the Pennsylvania primary and the furor over his former pastor, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll. [n] So, he has a killer instinct after all--or at least some limit to his forbearance. Obama's response yesterday to Jeremiah Wright's flurry of appearances, and especially to the pastor's speech at the National Press Club on Monday, was pretty steely. He called what Wright had to say "a bunch of rants". He said he was disgusted, and looked it. In contrast to his earlier and widely noted speech on race, in which he said he could never repudiate Wright the man, this time he just went ahead and did so.[z] We shall see whether this works. Wright isn't going away. His NPC appearance showed that he is a narcissist as well as a racist demagogue, so there will be more. (So much, by the way, for taking his sermon snippets out of context. Wright has embarrassed not just Obama but also many moderate sympathisers who felt the reverend should be cut some slack. When asked about the government conspiracy to spread AIDS among the black population, he did not apologize for getting carried away; he affirmed that this was his view, saying that the government was capable of anything.) Perhaps Obama has now separated himself, but perhaps not.[z]

OBAMA IS BRINGING US TOGETHER. THE WRIGHTS, JACKSONS AND SHARPTONS MAKE A LIVING DRIVING US APART. THEY ARE HIS REAL ENEMY. And ours.[trb] The issue threatens the multiracial coalition that is crucial to Obama's hopes of becoming the first black president, and it has highlighted a gulf between white and black Americans on matters of church and religion. But interviews with more than two dozen Indiana and North Carolina voters Wednesday suggested Obama may have made the best of a bad situation, even if belatedly.[A] The rift between the pastor and his former follower runs deeper than words. It is a generational conflict. If what the pastor is saying is antithetical to everything Mr Obama has stood for as an adult, it is equally true to say that Mr Obama would not now be challenging the nomination without the broadsides from the fiery preacher. One generation of black leader is dependent on the other. [g]

WHITES ARE JUST TIRED OF THIS CRAP. THIS COUNTRY HAS TO MOVE ON AND REPLACE THE LEADERSHIP THAT WILL NOT. While many white voters were shocked to hear a minister curse America and promote conspiracy theories from the pulpit, some accepted Obama's argument that he should not be blamed for his former pastor's words. Many black voters, meanwhile, were far more familiar with Wright's style of preaching — whether or not they agree with it — and believe the issue will not cripple Obama's campaign.[A]

SILENCE SPEAKES LOUDER THAN THE RANTING. THE BLACKS ARE TIRED OF THIS CRAP. OUR COUNTRY HAS TO MOVE ON AND REPLACE THE LEADERSHIP THAT WILL NOT. In fact, in a day of interviews with North Carolina and Indiana voters of all races and ages, Sharpe was the only one to raise the Wright issue without prodding. Virtually all the prospective voters knew details of the matter. But unlike TV and radio talk show hosts, they found it far less interesting than the candidates' positions on health care, gasoline prices and other kitchen table issues.[A]





IT IS A NEW DAY. "Absolutely it hurts" Obama's campaign, said Sharpe, a retired truck driver. But Obama has done his best to distance himself, he said, and people who won't accept his explanation probably would not have voted for Obama anyway.[A] "What more can he do?" said Sharpe, who is leaning toward Obama even though he attended a speech by former President Bill Clinton in Sanford.[A]

I HOPE THE SUPER DELEGATES SEE THE SUPER COURAGE OF OBAMA Despite the Wright issue, Obama has continued to gain the backing of superdelegates, the prominent Democrats who are free to choose either candidate. Obama trails Hillary Rodham Clinton by just 21 superdelegates, 243-264, cutting her lead in half in less than two months. This week, he picked up seven delegates to her four.[A]

EVIL LURKS IN THE HALLWAYS OF THE HOUSE OF FARRAKHAN, WRIGHT IS HIS GUEST. June Biven, 85, of Evansville, Ind., was typical of many white voters interviewed. "Everybody I've talked to has said it was terrible of him to start this with the May primary coming up," she said of Wright, who this week restated his praise of Louis Farrakhan and repeated his own claim that the U.S. government may have invented the AIDS virus to attack blacks.[A]

LIKE A LEVEL 5 IT WILL BLOW OVER "I think it will blow over," said Biven, an Obama supporter. "It might hurt a little bit, but I do think he is the only one who can really change Washington."[A] Troy Morin of Apex, N.C., said he is leaning toward Clinton, but not because of the Wright matter.[A] "I just don't think it's all that important," said Morin, 41, who is white. "I think it's overblown."[A]

HILLARY IS JUST A PISSED OFF SOCCER MOM. OBAMA BRING US BACK OUR DIGNITY A quality engineer who brought his wife and two sons to hear Bill Clinton speak in Apex on Wednesday, Morin said he tilts toward the New York senator because of her experience in Washington, a point made by nearly every pro-Clinton person interviewed.[A]

LET YEE WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE To be sure, some white voters take a sterner view of the controversy. Betsy Lipsky of Raleigh, N.C., said she was deeply troubled by Wright's remarks and could not understand why Obama stayed in the Chicago church from which the minister recently retired. Lipsky strongly supports Clinton but said she would reluctantly vote for Obama in November if he is the nominee. GOP candidate John McCain "frightens me," she said, because he would continue Bush administration policies she abhors.[A]

WRIGHT IS A SMALL MAN WITH A SMALL MESSAGE As for the candidates themselves, Clinton said Wednesday she found Wright's remarks "offensive and outrageous." She said of her rival, "I think that he made his views clear, finally, that he disagreed. And I think that's what he had to do." She commented in an interview with Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly.[A] Obama, campaigning in Indiana, said, "The situation with Reverend Wright is difficult, I won't lie to you. We want to make sure this doesn't become a permanent distraction."[A]

WRIGHT ONLY SPEAKS FOR HIMSELF, TOO HIMSELF AS HIS STAR FADES AWAY Several black voters said Wednesday that they, too, sharply disagreed with some of Wright's comments. But none felt the matter should disqualify Obama.[A]

LETS NOT GET CARRIED AWAY. WRIGHT IS JUST A FALSE PROFITEER... "If a pastor said something I didn't like, I wouldn't go back to that church," said Deltrice Watkins, 34, a black housekeeper at Eastland Mall in Evansville. "I can't say what Obama should do." Some other black voters said Wright's remarks should have almost no impact on the election. "What he said shouldn't reflect on Obama at all because that's his own opinion," said Stacey Norman, 43, a home caregiver also from Evansville. She said her own pastor's political views "are not my political views, and Obama's pastor's views are not his." In Tramway, N.C., southwest of Raleigh, Naika Benjamin had harsh words for Wright and praise for Obama.[A]

A FOOL BY ANY OTHER NAME OR TITLE IS STILL A FOOL Wright, she said, "acted like a pure fool this week. I go to a black church, and my minister doesn't talk like that."[a] Benjamin, 24, who works at a hair salon, said she relates to Obama because he was raised by a single mother, like herself. As for Wright's remarks, she said, "I don't think they should make a big issue out of it. I don't think that's fair at all."[a]

AS WE TRAVEL ON THIS ROAD TO A BETTER AMERICAN WRIGHT IS JUST A HOWLING DOG BAYING AT THE MOON AS WE TRAVEL FORWARD TO OUR FUTURE LEAVING HIM AND HIS TYPE IN THE PAST SOON TO BE FORGOTTEN Sharpe, the North Carolina Democrat who scours the newspapers, TV, and Internet for political news, said the Wright incident goes to the heart of misunderstandings and suspicions between black and white Americans.[a]

LETS WALK THIS WALK TOGETHER He agrees with Obama that there is no basis to Wright's claim of a possible government conspiracy to spread AIDS among blacks. "But whites shouldn't be so shocked" that some blacks believe it is possible, he said, given the infamous Tuskegee Institute experiments on unsuspecting black men in Alabama who had syphilis decades ago, he said.[a]

YOU CANNOT NOT COMPREHEND NOR UNDERSTAND THE RAGE OF AMERICANS BLACK OR WHITE IF OBAMA IS UPSET BY THE BELTWAY PROS AND THEIR LACKIES Similarly, Sharpe said, if Democratic superdelegates steer the nomination to Clinton despite Obama holding a lead in pledged delegates, "then white America will not understand why black people are so upset." [a] Monday in Washington, he lost me, seeming more to revel in the spotlight. Maybe he didn’t say anything he hadn’t said before in his church, but I wondered about his judgment saying it at the National Press Club in the heat of a presidential campaign. But should Wright be a factor? Do we fairly make decisions about Barack Obama based on the beliefs and remarks of the retired pastor of his former church? These are the kinds of "swift boat” non-issues that distort campaigns. Wright was wrong, sure, but so is the national media for obsessing over him.[f] Republicans are already trying to portray Mr. Obama as a liberal who is outside the mainstream of American values, but the poll suggests that — at least so far — he is not viewed that way by most Americans. Nearly two-thirds of registered voters said they believe he shares their values, about the same number who felt that way about Mr. McCain (58 percent said Mrs. Clinton shared their values).[n]

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[a] AP

[trb] Comments of Terry Bankert to include Cap headlines.

[H] Houston Chroncile

[N] The New York Times

[u] U.S.News and World Report

[t] The Austrailian,25197,23623735-2703,00.html


[g] The Guardian

[z] The


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Sunday, April 27, 2008



BY Terry Bankert 4/27/08
You are invited to join me at Face Book ___________________________
Full article at
Flint Talk __________________________

IMAGINE IF WE LEARNED OUR TROOPS WERE BEING WATERBOARDED! Legal experts critical of the administration, noted the paper, indicated that the Justice Department seemed to be arguing that the task of preventing a terror attack could justify interrogation methods that would otherwise be illegal.[A] "What they are saying is that if my intent is to defend the United States rather than to humiliate you, than I have not committed an offense," Scott Silliman, a professor of national security from Duke University, was quoted by The Times as saying. [A] The humiliating and degrading treatment of prisoners is prohibited by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. [N]...the Bush administration lawyers are citing the sometimes vague language of the Geneva Conventions to support the idea that interrogators should not be bound by ironclad rules. [N] The United States has faced heavy criticism from rights groups and some allies for its use of a simulated form of drowning known as "waterboarding" during interrogations and for holding hundreds of suspected militants in a prison camp at a U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.[R]

WHAT IS WATERBORDING Waterboarding is a form of torture that consists of immobilizing a person on their back with the head inclined downward (the Trendelenburg position), and pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages.[1] Through forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences the process of drowning and is made to believe that death is imminent.[2] In contrast to merely submerging the head face-forward, waterboarding almost immediately elicits the gag reflex.[3] Although waterboarding does not always cause lasting physical damage, it carries the risks of extreme pain, damage to the lungs, brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation, injuries (including broken bones) due to struggling against restraints, and even death.[4] The psychological effects on victims of waterboarding can last for years after the procedure.[5] Waterboarding was used for interrogation at least as early as the Spanish Inquisition to obtain information,[6] coerce confessions, punish, and intimidate. It is considered to be torture by a wide range of authorities, including legal experts,[4][7] politicians, war veterans,[8][9] intelligence officials,[10] military judges,[11] and human rights organizations.[12][13] Despite its long use as a technique, the first use of the actual term "waterboarding" occurred in the May 13, 2004, New York Times. In 2007 waterboarding led to a political scandal in the United States when the press reported that the CIA had waterboarded extrajudicial prisoners and that the Justice Department had authorized this procedure.[14][15] The CIA has admitted waterboarding Al-Qaida suspects Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.[16] [W]

U.S. ALLOWED TO COMMIT “OUTRAGES”? AFTER ALL THE SPANISH DID! The Geneva Conventions' ban on "outrages against personal dignity" does not automatically apply to terrorism suspects in the custody of U.S. intelligence agencies, the Justice Department has suggested to Congress in recent letters that lay out the Bush administration's interpretation of the international treaty. [w] A March 5 letter from the Justice Dept. to Congress makes clear the Bush administration has not defined which interrogation methods might violate the Geneva Convention's bans on "outrages upon personal dignity," the Times said.[RI] The letters were provided by the staff of Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The panel received classified briefings on the matter and Wyden requested further information, which yielded the letters, the Times said.[RI]

TOURTURE BY ANY OTHER NAME Lawyers for the department, offering insight into the legal basis for the CIA's controversial interrogation program, reasserted in the letters the Bush administration's long-held view that it has considerable leeway in deciding how the conventions' rules apply to the harsh questioning of combatants in the war on terrorism. [w] The Justice Department has told Congress that American intelligence operatives attempting to thwart terrorist attacks can legally use interrogation methods that might otherwise be prohibited under international law. [n] WHAT IS ....IS! While the United States is legally bound by the conventions' Common Article 3 and its requirement to treat detainees humanely, the definition of humane treatment can vary, depending on the detainee's identity and the importance of the information he possesses, a Justice Department official wrote last September and this March to a Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee. [w] In one letter written Sept. 27, 2007, Mr. Benczkowski argued that “to rise to the level of an outrage” and thus be prohibited under the Geneva Conventions, conduct “must be so deplorable that the reasonable observer would recognize it as something that should be universally condemned.” [N]

CIA IGNORING BUSH The legal interpretation, outlined in recent letters, sheds new light on the still-secret rules for interrogations by the Central Intelligence Agency. It shows that the administration is arguing that the boundaries for interrogations should be subject to some latitude, even under an executive order issued last summer that President Bush said meant that the C.I.A. would comply with international strictures against harsh treatment of detainees. [N]

AMERICANS WANT TO LEAD IN HUMAN RIGHTS, NOT EXPLAIN THEM AWAY "Some prohibitions . . . such as the prohibition on 'outrages against personal dignity,' do invite the consideration of the circumstances surrounding the action," Brian A. Benczkowski, the principal deputy assistant attorney general, asserted in one of the letters. [w] Benczkowski's letters were provided to The Washington Post by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who asked the Justice Department to explain the legal foundation for President Bush's executive order last year authorizing the CIA's continued interrogation of terrorism suspects. The existence of the letters was first reported last night by the New York Times. [w] A spokeswoman for Wyden said the administration's suggestion that the Geneva Conventions could be selectively applied was "stunning." [w]

PRESIDENT BUSH’S LOGIC WOULD JUSTIFY KILLING THE FIRST BORN OF..... “The fact that an act is undertaken to prevent a threatened terrorist attack, rather than for the purpose of humiliation or abuse, would be relevant to a reasonable observer in measuring the outrageousness of the act,” said Brian A. Benczkowski, a deputy assistant attorney general, in the letter, which had not previously been made public.[N]

WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND "The Geneva Convention in most cases is the only shield that Americans have when they are captured overseas," the spokeswoman, Jennifer Hoelzer, said in a phone interview. "And for the president to say that it is acceptable to interpret Geneva on a sliding scale means that he thinks that it is acceptable for other countries to do the same. Senator Wyden -- and I believe any other reasonable individual -- finds that argument appalling." [w]

DO THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS What they are saying is that if my intent is to defend the United States rather than to humiliate you, than I have not committed an offense,” said Scott L. Silliman, who teaches national security law at Duke University.[N] The Justice letters allow that certain acts by interrogators -- sexual mutilation, for example -- would be unlawful under any circumstance. But when judging whether a specific interrogation practice would violate the conventions' ban on degrading treatment, the government can weigh "the identity and information possessed by a detainee," Benczkowski wrote. [w] Some legal experts critical of the Justice Department interpretation said the department seemed to be arguing that the prospect of thwarting a terror attack could be used to justify interrogation methods that would otherwise be illegal. [N] A senior Justice Department official, speaking to the Times on condition of anonymity, said of the classified information: "I certainly don't want to suggest that if there's a good purpose you can head off and humiliate someone."[R] But he said "the fact that you are doing something for a legitimate security purpose would be relevant."[R]

WHEN IS PULLING OUT FINGERNAILS...ALLOWED? He suggested that a suspect with information about a future attack could be subjected to harsher treatment, noting that a violation would occur only if the interrogator's conduct "shocks the conscience" because it is out of proportion to "the government interest involved." [w]

JUST SAY YOU DID NOT MEAN TO...AND ITS OKAY! Moreover, to fit the definition of an "outrage upon personal dignity," an action must be deliberate, involving an "intent to humiliate and degrade," Benczkowski wrote. [w]

THIS PRONOUNCEMENT SHOULD BE TESTED IN FEDERAL COURT! The CIA declined to comment on the memo. However, agency spokesman Mark Mansfield said the CIA's detainee program "has been and continues to be in full compliance with the laws of our country." [w]

AND SO DOES THE PRICE OF GAS "The program has disrupted terrorist plots and has saved lives," Mansfield said. [w]

BUSH SAYS ANYTHING GOES TO PROTECT THIS COUNTRY The administration of President George W. Bush has told Congress that US intelligence agents trying to prevent terrorist attacks can use interrogation methods that in other circumstances might be prohibited under international law, The New York Times reported on its website Saturday.[A] Mr. Wyden said he was concerned that, under the new rules, the Bush administration had put Geneva Convention restrictions on a “sliding scale.”[N] If the United States used subjective standards in applying its interrogation rules, he said, then potential enemies might adopt different standards of treatment for American detainees based on an officer’s rank or other factors. [N] “The cumulative effect in my interpretation is to put American troops at risk,” Mr. Wyden said. [N]


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[w] The Washington Post
[N] The New York Times
[W] Wikipedia


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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Emotional now or financial later!!!

BY Terry Bankert 4/26/08
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WFLT 1420 AM 9 AM 4/26/08- PROGRAM “ KNOW THE LAW” CALL IN! On Saturday 4/26/08 from 9:am until 9:30 am We will talk about Spousal support reviewing a case on spousal support on my radio program “ Know the Law” WFLT 1420 am radio. This is a call in program and you may ask question on the air by calling 810-239-5733. __________________________

Spousal support; Olson v. Olson; Maldonado v. Ford Motor Co.; Moore v. Moore; Fletcher v. Fletcher; Hanaway v. Hanaway; Sands v. Sands;

Whether plaintiff-wife was entitled to share in the appreciation of the rental property defendant purchased before the parties' marriage; Reeves v. Reeves;

Denial of plaintiff's request for attorney fees; Kosch v. Kosch; Maake v. Maake; Chisnell v. Chisnell; Quade v. Quade;

Whether the trial court abused its discretion by prohibiting plaintiff from presenting evidence of alleged fraud during trial;

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)4-15-2008

Kent Circuit Court

Case Name: Kettlewell v. Kettlewell e-Journal Number: 39070 Judge(s): Per Curiam - Fitzgerald, Smolenski, and Beckering The court held the trial court's determination of spousal support was inequitable because the award did not balance the needs and equities of the parties in a manner preventing the plaintiff-wife from becoming impoverished.

On remand, the trial court should reconsider the award of spousal support, keeping the ultimate objective in mind. While the trial court appeared to take the appropriate factors into account, the court found the trial court abused its discretion by awarding plaintiff insufficient spousal support to prevent her from invading her marital assets to support herself.

The trial court did not balance the needs and incomes of the parties without impoverishing plaintiff.

The trial court specifically recognized the parties previously enjoyed a "middle class" standard of living, plaintiff needed spousal support and would not be able to avoid a "wide disparity in incomes" without it, and the defendant was able to pay spousal support.

However, the trial court only awarded spousal support in the amount of $1,000 per month ($12,000 per year) for 60 months (5 years).

In contrast, defendant's base salary was approximately $125,000 per year.

Thus, not only did the trial court's award of spousal support result in a disparity between the incomes and lifestyles of the parties, but it was unlikely plaintiff, without a post-secondary degree or significant work experience, would be able to maintain a "middle class" standard of living on $12,000 per year without immediately invading her marital assets, contrary to the court's mandate in Hanaway.

Further, it was unlikely plaintiff, who will be over the age of 50, would be able to maintain even a modest lifestyle after 5 years, when defendant no longer provides spousal support. While the trial court found plaintiff responsible for the breakdown of the marriage, fault is only one of the relevant factors in determining spousal support, and "a judge's role is to achieve equity, not to ‘punish' one of the parties."

There are 14 factors the court should review when setting spousal support.
1.The relation and conduct of the parties during the marraige.
2.The length of the marraige.
3.The parties ability to work.
4.The distribution of the assests awared to the parties.
5.Age of the parties.
6.The ability of the parties to pay support.
7.present situation of the parties.
8.The parties needs.
9.Health of the parties.
10.Prior standard of living and whether one party had been responsible for the support of the other.
11.Parties contribution to the marital estate.
13. Effects of co habitation equity (fairness) Olson V Olson 256 MA 619, 631 671 NW2d 64 (2003)

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. [The e-journal was modifed for blog and radio presentation, look to the origonal]

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Thursday, April 24, 2008



4/25/08 You are invited to join me at Face Book ___________________________
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Robert Zurbin in his book ‘ Energy Victory argues the Saudis are the root of all evil besetting America. He argues an indistinguishable wedding of the terrorist organization Al Qaeda and Saudia Arabia.[trb]


" The Saudies are looting our economy to the tune of a trilllion dollars. They are using a portion of these proceeds to finance a worldwide Jihad against civilization, while deploying another part to corrupt our political system so that we don’t strike back. If this situation is not corrected it will be much worse. With the industrialization of China and India, demand for oil is growing rapidly- a development that will set the stage for sky rocketing prices and consequential exponential growth of Saudi power. [Z at pg 57]


Soaring prices on everything from food to gasoline walloped consumers Thursday as the Bank of Canada warned of weaker economic growth to come - new evidence the U.S. recession has deepened and is dragging down other sectors of the economy as it continues to slide.[c]


Basic food items are becoming more scarce and the price of those commodities is soaring, matched only by the rapid increase in the cost of gasoline. Food shortages, hoarding by producing countries and a pernicious cycle of energy prices driving up production costs is only making the situation worse.[c]


Zubrin’s book lists a rouges gallery of Washington power republicans and the Clintons who are on the Saudi take serving on Saudi boards becoming rich in the process.[trb reading (Z) pg 50-57]

The theory of Zubrin is that our congress has been bought directly by the oil money or indirectly by control of think tanks, lobbyists and institutions congress depends on for information. I agree. This Saudi money comes from a governemtn promoting terroism while being our friend through their own religious RIGHT called Wahhabi.[trb]


The Saudi royal family has its own reckoning to do with Wahhabism. By giving Wahhabis a free hand over Saudi Arabia's religious and educational sectors, the royal family guaranteed the showdown. Instead of fostering a liberal and intellectual class that despises the Wahhabis and could have been an important ally against them, the Saudi government instead imprisons those calling for liberal reform. [w]


Barrack Obama is the only presidential candidate to not have taken Saudia Arabian money. That is my guess.[trb]


The issue of our energy dependence is not a mere matter of being forced to pay $3 per gallon [now almost $4-trb] for gasoline. Both the American republic and the future course of human civilization are at stake. We need to break the oil cartel before its too late." [z at pg 58]
Our armies should be occupying the oil field in Iraq, Saudia Arabia to save our economy and break the oil monopoly before it bankrupts our nation..[trb]

Prepare for gasoline prices to hit $2.25 a litre by 2012 and for crude oil to soar to $225 US a barrel as scant supply growth delivers us into the "age of scarcity," says CIBC World Markets chief economist Jeff Rubin. [c]

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—where did this stuff come from....
Robert Zurbin author of " Energy Victory" 2007
Comments of Terry Bankert and Cap headlines.
The Washington Post



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BY Terry Bankert 4/24/08
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Posted here by Terry Bankert ... 04/24/08
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Food and fuel increases will destabilize your world...wake up....

Era of cheap food ends as prices surge[t]
Food and food increases will destabilize your world.....wake up![trb]
GOOD MORNING FLINT! BY Terry Bankert 4/22/08
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Flint Talk , summary,

We get the impression that very few people in Jamaica are aware of, or care about the fact that the world is in the throes of a food crisis that has the potential to plunge millions of people into extreme poverty.[j]

SOME SPEND HALF THEIR INCOME ON FOOD"Food price rises pose a significant threat to poor people in developing countries, many of whom spend more than half their income on food already and will face hunger and even starvation unless we act now," said Phil Bloomer, British charity Oxfam's director of policy.[A]Families have been warned that the prices of basic foods will rise steeply again because of acute shortages in commodity markets. [t]COST BENEFITS

ANALYSIS WILL BALANCE NEW FUEL SOURCES AGAINST FOOD!Those battling global warming by promoting biofuels may unintentionally be adding to skyrocketing world food prices, creating what one expert calls "a silent tsunami" in developing nations.[C]

In a strange sense, that is understandable, as humans tend to focus on their individual circumstances in times of adversity, ignoring the broader picture and its ripple effect.[j]

RICE,WHEAT & VEGETABLE OIL PRICES UP AND RIOTS UPExperts told The Times yesterday that prices of rice, wheat and vegetable oil would rise further. They also forecast that high prices and shortages — which have caused riots in developing countries such as Bangladesh and Haiti — were here to stay, and that the days of cheap produce would not return. Food-price inflation has already pushed up a typical family’s weekly shopping bill by 15 per cent in a year. [t]

BUTTER UP 62%A further 15 per cent increase in the price of a standard Kingsmill loaf would push it up from £1.09 to to £1.24. Butter has gone up by 62 per cent in the past year. A similar rise would bring the price of a 250g pack to £1.52. [t]

RICE TRIPLED IN A YEAR WILL STARVATION TRIPLE?The price of rice, which has almost tripled in a year, rose 2 per cent on the Chicago Board of Trade yesterday as the United Nations food agency gave warning that millions faced starvation because aid agencies were unable to meet the additional financial burden. [t]

IS SCALING BACK BIOFUEL THE ANSWERGordon Brown responded to mounting concerns about the global rise in food prices by signaling that he might scale back Britain’s commitment to biofuels, which critics say has exacerbated the food crisis because land has been given over to grow crops for energy rather than food. [t]

FUEL FROM FOOD. Producing fuel from plant crops is supposed to be greener than drilling for oil, and biofuels generally burn cleaner, too. But the global biofuels industry now stands accused of a list of side effects that are said to be damaging lives, especially of the world's poorest people.[C]

WHEAT PRICES DOUBLED IN A YEAR, CORN OIL TRIPLEDJohn Bason, finance director of Associated British Foods, one of Britain’s biggest food producers, said that wheat prices had doubled in a year and supermarkets would have to raise the price of bread again. Vegetable oil was also likely to soar in price because the price of corn oil in the US had almost tripled, he said.[t]EGGS UP ALSOPoor harvests and fierce competition for food supplies has already meant the price of eggs, rice, bread and pasta in supermarkets has rocketed. [t] said that eggs from free-range poultry in Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s were 47 per cent more expensive than a year ago; basmati rice was up 61 per cent and fusilli pasta 81 per cent. [t]

However, the cold, hard fact is that rising fuel costs, coupled with the impact of biofuels on agriculture have created a crisis of the kind not seen since World War II.[j]

The upshot has been deadly protests in Haiti, sections of Africa and Asia. At least one government official, Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis of Haiti, has lost his job.[j]
Famine traditionally means mass starvation. The measures of today's crisis are misery and malnutrition. The middle classes are giving up health care and cutting out meat so they can eat three meals a day.[s]

BRITAIN SAYS IT MUST BE MORE SELECTIVE ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVESAt a meeting at Downing Street yesterday, Mr Brown asked farmers, supermarkets and consumer groups to agree steps to rein in rising food costs. He said that Britain must become "more selective" in how it supported environmental initiatives to counter climate change. [t]"If our UK review shows that we need to change our approach, we will also push for change in EU biofuels targets," he wrote on Downing Street’s website. [t]Britain is now likely to press the European Union to recast its target for 10 per cent of transport fuels to be supplied from biofuels by 2020. [t]

FOLLOW THE MONEYThe drive for more biofuels means more investment is going into those crops, meaning less land and less investment going in for food crops, causing a massive conflict and resulting in rising prices, which is having a huge negative impact, especially on developing
countries," said Clare Oxborrow, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth.[C]

DOES THE US HAVE A TARGETDowning Street sources said that ministers would press for any such target to be introduced in a more "sustainable" way and that Britain would not go beyond its own target for 5 per cent of fuels to come from biofuels by 2010. Rising food costs will pile the pressure on Mr Brown, coming after double-digit increases in household fuel bills earlier this year and the continuing row over tax increases for millions of low-paid workers. [t]

OIL COSTS AND POPULATION SOARING- Yesterday’s meeting on food prices also focused on the impact on developing countries of global increases in food costs, driven by higher production costs as oil prices soar and increased demand due to population growth. [t]The Department for International Development announced that it would allocate £400 million over five years to research into hardier and higher-yielding crops. It also promised £30 million to the World Food Programme for countries where the risk of hunger is greatest, plus £25 million in aid for Ethiopia alone. [t]The Government will meet consumer groups to discuss how households are coping with higher prices. Jonathan Shaw, the Rural Affairs Minister, will host the meeting next Thursday as part of a study into the impact of the higher household bills on the poorest, most vulnerable groups in society.[t]Opposition parties accused Mr Brown of making the squeeze on families worse.[t]

FAMILIES ARE BEING HIT HARD...WILL YOURS BE NEXT?The cost of food, we are told, has increased by around 40 per cent worldwide,...[J]
The middling poor, those on $2 a day, are pulling children from school and cutting back on vegetables so they can afford rice. Those on $1 a day are cutting back on meat, vegetables and one or two meals, so they can afford one bowl. Those on 50 cents a day face disaster.[s]
Roughly a billion people live on $1 a day. If, on a conservative estimate, the cost of their food rises 20 percent (and in some places, it has risen a lot more), 100 million people could be forced back to this level, the common measure of absolute poverty. In some countries, that would undo all the gains in poverty reduction made in the past decade of growth.[s]

Philip Hammond, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: "At a time when families are facing soaring food, fuel and mortgage bills, Gordon Brown’s response is to clobber them with higher taxes." [t]Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrats’ Treasury spokesman, said: "Rising food bills will hit families already struggling to keep their heads above water following big rises to many utility bills. [t]

WHAT WILL NEXT YEAR LOOK LIKE. Gas $6.00 a gallon, food pantries bare, home lost to foreclosure, world wide riots?[trb]
It is certainly a storm that has hit with little warning and has plunged an extra 100 million people into poverty. [b]The crisis has triggered riots in Haiti, Cameroon, Indonesia and Egypt and is deemed a dangerous threat to stability. [b]It is not so much famine that is the worry, it is widespread misery and malnutrition. [b]The WFP's biggest concern is for the people living on 50 cents a day who have nothing to fall back on. [b]

POLITICAL WILL, COURAGE, GUTS ,BALLS CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT... WE NEED IT"The Government must show more urgency in ensuring the current world talks on agricultural trade no longer drift hopelessly because of a lack of political will." [t]

100 MILLION TO LIVE IN HUNGERThe United Nations Food Agency said that rising food prices threatened to plunge 100 million people across the world into hunger. [t]

THE NEW FACE OF HUNGER....WILL IT BE YOURS?Josette Sheeran, head of the UN’s World Food Programme, said before yesterday’s meeting: "This is the new face of hunger — the millions of people who were not in the urgent hunger category six months ago but now are." [t]
The impact of the crisis is already being felt in different parts of the world. Unless new funding can be found on time, WFP will have to suspend school feeding to 450,000 children beginning in May in Cambodia.[b]

BIOFUEL CONSUMING FOOD ASSETS. START YOU HUMMER AND..."With one child dying every five seconds from hunger-related causes, the time to act is now," Brown stressed[C]
FIVE ISSUES MUST BE RESOLVED NOWThere are at least five issues that need to be analyzed at the April 28-29 UN meeting for the start of a world food policy to be put into place.1. There is a need to intensify action on climate change. This year, there has been bad weather in key growing areas; in particular Australia, normally the world’s second-largest wheat exporter, has been suffering from an epic drought. This may be a result of particular weather conditions this year or may be a sign of climate change. It is necessary to analyze the impact of climate change on long-term food production and see alternative strategies.[tf]2. Higher prices for food are a reflection of the higher price of oil and energy costs. Much modern farming is energy-intensive for producing fertilizers, running tractors, and transporting farm products to consumers, often at long distances. Oil prices are influenced by the violence and social breakdown in Iraq and heavy speculation on the oil markets. There is a need both for short term measures to bring oil prices down to a reasonable level based on production costs and transportation as well as longer-range energy policies to free countries from oil dependence.[tf]3. Higher prices for oil have encouraged a greater use of ethanol and other biofuels, often without consideration of the impact of the production of biofuels on land use and food production. While biofuels are likely to be useful, their use should be limited at present so that the consequences of their use can be studied.[tf]4. Governmental food and agriculture policies need to be analyzed and reviewed carefully. The agricultural policies of the European Union and the larger food exporting countries —USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia — need to be reviewed and the impact of agricultural subsidies and export encouragement looked at beyond trying to build political support from farmers.[tf]5. There needs to be a detailed analysis of the role of speculation in the rise of commodity prices. There has been a merger of the former Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade to become the CME Group Market which deals in some 25 agricultural commodities. Banks and hedger funds, having lost money in the real estate mortgage packages are now looking for ways to get money back. For the moment, there is little governmental regulation of this speculation. There needs to be an analysis of these financial flows and their impact on the price of grains.[tf]

For decades, this produced low world prices and disincentives to poor farmers. Now, the opposite is happening. As a result of yet another government distortion -- this time subsidies to biofuels in the rich world -- prices have gone through the roof. Governments have further exaggerated the problem by imposing export quotas and trade restrictions, raising prices again. Agriculture is now in limbo. The world of cheap food has gone. With luck and good policy, there will be a new equilibrium. The transition from one to the other is proving more costly and painful than anyone had expected. But the change is desirable, and governments should be seeking to ease the pain of transition, not to stop the process itself.[s]

The current crisis has been described by Ms Josette Sheeran, the World Food Programme's executive director, as a "silent tsunami" of hunger sweeping the world's most desperate nations. Ms Sheeran's comments were made yesterday at a meeting with lawmakers and experts in London at which the British Prime Minister, Mr Gordon Brown, voiced the realistic view that this crisis poses "a threat to the political and economic stability of nations".[J]


The UN's World Food Programme is warning of more violence caused by hunger: "We are beginning to see more and more civil unrest, and I think it's pretty clear that a hungry man is an angry man, and as food gets more and more difficult to access, I think we can expect to see more incidents of civil unrest," said a spokeswoman.[e]

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Monday, April 21, 2008



BY Terry Bankert 4/22/08 early edition
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The journey of the Olympic torch around the world has been marred by protests and anti-China demonstrations, but the situation seems to be calming down.[t]


Demonstrators staged rallies in several Chinese cities on Saturday to demand a French goods boycott following protests during the Paris leg of the Olympic torch relay against China's crackdown on dissent in Tibet.[R]


After a series of demonstrations in Chinese cities in which young men burnt French flags and insulted French "heroes" from Jeanne d'Arc to Napoleon, President Sarkozy took a series of actions to demonstrate French goodwill towards the Chinese people. [i]


Now it appears that the Chinese are unhappy about the way their nation has been targeted and have decided to take to the streets to register their protest against those countries they believe displayed sympathy for pro-Tibet agitators. [t]


Chinese anger against France, though partly spontaneous, has been carefully whipped up by the official media. A handicapped Chinese athlete, Jin Jing, 27, who fought off a pro-Tibetan demonstrator in Paris while carrying the Olympic torch in her wheelchair, has become the subject of hero-worshipping articles and television programmes. [i]


There are signs that the Beijing government is concerned the upsurge in Chinese nationalism in response to Olympic Games protests may harm internal investment and the essential task of maintaining economic growth.[v]


Reports suggest that thousands of people are calling for a boycott of French goods, and blaming the western media of biased reporting about the unrest in Tibet. Some commentators have advised the Chinese to come to terms with dissent. But don't the Chinese equally have a right to protest like people in France or Britain? [t]

"It has to be understood that a large part of the Chinese population was very shocked by the incidents that occurRed during the passage of the Olympic flame in Paris."[R]


French supermarket group Carrefour has not felt a serious effect on sales from anti-French protests in China but is concerned by the anger felt there, the group's head Jose-Luis Duran said in an interview.[R]


Although the protests may be stage-managed, as some have suggested, there is every indication that the depth of nationalistic fervour in China has taken even the government by surprise. Restraint is being urged at every step, though the government has stopped short of outright condemnation.[t]

Handling outbursts of nationalism in China is always a delicate matter for the Communist Party, as it was for the imperial dynasties before it.[v]

A deep pool of unquestioning nationalism is an important reservoir for Beijing to be able to call on in difficult times. But once roused, inflamed passions can quickly turn on the pinnacle of power, as they have on many occasions in China's history, sometimes bringing down the dynasty.[v]


In any case, these protests are as legitimate as those in Paris or London. Portraying the outcry as merely a sham is to ignore the danger that an alienated China poses to the world. If the Chinese are feeling offended, perhaps it is time for the rest of the world to try to understand their grievance. [t]CHINA HAS A RIGHT TO BE ANGRYPushing China into a corner is unlikely to help the world. It will merely achieve a growth in militant Nationalism that will, in a sense, allow the government to continue its human rights violations. In other words, an image of China as a nation beset by unfair attacks might lead to it becoming even more hostile to the views of the western world. [t]

What it does not want is a lasting breach, especially with the industrialized countries whose investment in China is maintaining growth in job creation and the ability to buy control of overseas resources.[V]

So late last week, the official Xinhua news agency applauded the "sincere demonstration of public opinion" that spurred the Carrefour boycott campaign. But the commentary urged the Chinese to channel their "patriotic zeal to concentrate on development."[v]


The divide between how the Chinese view themselves and how they are perceived in the world should be narrowed instead of making it wider. It will be wise, therefore, to engage China on different terms and avoid tensions from spiralling out of hand over the Olympics, which the Chinese are justifiably proud of being called upon to host.[t]

China has conspicuously singled out France for more blame than other countries which gave the Olympic torch a bad time, such as Britain. That seems partly to have been motivated by anger at the mixed messages generated by Paris in recent weeks. France's Human Rights minister, Rama Yade, was quoted as laying down a series of "conditions" for M. Sarkozy's attendance at the Olympic ceremony, including "autonomy" for Tibet. Mme Yade and other ministers later repudiated these remarks. [I]

China is equally convinced the Dalai Lama instigated March 14 riots by ordinary Tibetans that led to the deaths of 18 people, most of them shopkeepers and their families.[v]
People known in China as "cybernationalists" say the Carrefour chain is owned by luxury goods group LVMH and ultimately controlled by French billionaire Bernard Arnault -- who, it is claimed, financially supports Tibetan separatists.[v]

Calls in Chinese internet chatrooms for a boycott of French goods and contracts have had little impact so far, according to French businessmen in China. They are concerned, however, that the anti-French feeling could spin out of control.[i]

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Sunday, April 20, 2008


Marriage Matters: A $112 billion carrot in tax savings [s]


BY Terry Bankert 4/21/08 early edition
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Family fragmentation, specifically divorce and unmarried childbearing, costs U.S. taxpayers more than $112 billion annually. That's the staggering outcome of research released ...(recently)..., to coincide with tax day.[s]

The misery and headache family dysfunctions cause cannot be measured. Here I will talk about an option to a final family fragmentation.[trb] The study was conducted by four policy and research groups, including Institute for American Values and Georgia Family Council.[s]

The report, "The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing: First-Ever Estimates for the Nation and All 50 States," breaks down the total by state.[s]

(These)...calculations were based on the assumption that households headed by a single female have relatively high poverty rates, leading to higher spending on welfare, health care, criminal justice and education for those raised in the disadvantaged homes. The $112 billion estimate includes the cost of federal, state and local government programs, and lost tax revenue at all levels of government. Reducing these costs, ... "is a legitimate concern of government, policymakers and legislators."[a]

MICHIGAN RANKED 8TH Michigan ranked eighth in the nation, with a $1.6 billion share of that $112 billion price tag.[s]

Researchers' estimates of the federal, state and local costs to taxpayers arising from family fragmentation include funds spent for the justice system, food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid, child welfare, WIC, Head Start, and school lunch and breakfast programs.[s]

REAL SUFFERING "These numbers represent real people and real suffering," said Randy Hicks, president of Georgia Family Council, in the press release. "We fight problems like racism, poverty and domestic violence because we understand that the stakes are high."[s]

FAMILY FRAGMENTATION Those "stakes" are the real people hurt by family fragmentation, especially the women and children who fall into poverty as a result of divorce or unmarried childbearing.[s]

DIVORCE BRINGS POVERTY TO CHILDREN In Michigan, of the 469,000 children living in poverty, 316,000 of them live in a single-mother household.[s]

Potential risks to children raised in those families, in addition to poverty, include mental and physical illness, infant mortality, lower educational attainment, juvenile delinquency, conduct disorders, adult criminality, and early unwed parenthood.[s]

Sponsors say the study is the first of its kind and hope it will prompt lawmakers to invest more money in programs aimed at strengthening marriages. Two experts not connected to the study said such programs are of dubious merit and suggested that other investments — notably job creation — would be more effective in aiding all types of needy families.[A]

TRY A SEPARATE MAINTENANCE FIRST, GIVE THE MARRIAGE A CHANCE Divorce, that's grim. But there is hope, both from the economic standpoint as well as the social.[s]

According to the report, "even very small increases in stable marriage rates would result in very large returns to taxpayers. For example, a mere 1 percent reduction in rates of family fragmentation would save taxpayers $1.1 billion annually."[s]

Once way to save a MARRIAGE is to request a separate maintenance agreement to allow a cooling off period. This action is also used when the parties have a religious objection to divorce, or want to stay married so that both have continued health care coverage. An action for separate maintenance is filed in the same manner and on the same grounds as a divorce.[m]

When the matter is concluded, the parties are still technically married, but the marital property may be divided, and the court may order spousal support, child support, parenting time and custody.[m]

My observation is that the grass is not greener unless there has been long term absence of the traditional bonds of matrimony, or any incidents of domestic violence , substance abuse or criminality.[trb]

MEDIATION IS ALSO AN OPTION The mediation process can also be used to explore the options to a divorce or for the parties to decide that divorce is the only option. This process is private to the couple and conducted with dignity and respect.[trb]

LAWMAKERS SHOULD MAKE A SEPARATE MAINTENANCE MANDATORY BEFORE DIVORCE. Sponsors say the study is the first of its kind and hope it will prompt lawmakers to invest more money in programs aimed at strengthening marriages. [A]

Or just efforts to save existing marraiges.[trb]

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Caucus aftermath! Is the Democratic party weaker or stronger? __________________________
BY Terry Bankert 4/20//08
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CLINTON & OBAMA :WHOSES DELEGATES ARE THEY? Young Democrats did not succeed in sending a delegate to the national convention. Obama delegates are Clinton shills. The worst are the Clacks out of Genesee County[trb] “I’m madder than hell,” said Gwen Taylor, of Farmington Hills. “They tried to pull the wool over our eyes Hello, the UAW is for Hillary.”[FC]

ITS MESSY WHEN THERE IS AN ACTIVE MINORITY Churchill would have told you that democratic rule is not only messy and inconvenient but a very poor form of government. The problem, he would have continued, is that it is better than any other. [g]

UNITY IN FIGHT OVER CLINTON VS OBAMA DELEGATES..AN AGREEMENT TO DISAGREE FOR TODAY AND UNITE FOR TOMORROW. Disunity within ranks as delegates fight over choosing Clinton versus Obama [fc] But the caucus for the uncommitted delegates lasted for more than two hours as tensions evolved between solid supporters of Sen. Barack Obama and union-backed candidates who declined to say who they would vote for at the convention.[fc] But as in other Southeast Michigan districts, there also was a group, apparently made up mostly of union members and centered on a group from Monroe County that argued uncommitted delegates should remain uncommitted. The divide mirrored some of the geographic and demographic splits that marked the hotly contested Democratic primary in the district in 2002, when Dingell defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Lynn Rivers after congressional redistricting put the two incumbents in the same district.[dn]

BREWER DELUSIONAL AS USUAL "It appears that there's been good turnout at all the conventions around the state," Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer said Saturday afternoon. "Nobody has called with anything out of the ordinary."[AP2].....EXCEPT HIS HEAD!.....[TRB]

With the race for the nomination still undecided, the caucuses carry a weight not seen in decades. 1980 was the last time Democrats went into the convention with a serious competition, and 1952 was the last time a Democratic nominee was chosen by delegates at the party convention. The last truly brokered convention, when the nomination is not settled after the first two rounds of voting, was 1952, when Adlai Stevenson emerged as the winner.[AJC2] The hitch: The winners still have no assurance they will get inside the Denver event [grp].

SOLIDARITY WITH THE LABOR CAUCUS ....FOREVER! Calls for Democratic unity Saturday morning in Pontiac went largely unheeded as shouting matches broke out as Democrats from Oakland County's 9th Congressional District convened to pick delegates to the party's national convention this summer in Denver.[f] For some of the political newcomers who caught Obama or Clinton fever, today could provide a crash course in hardcore politics. In some cases, it's not just average voter versus average voter. In District 5, for example, where 45 women are competing for three spots on Obama's team, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin is one of those 45[AJC2] Labor has a right to recruit and cause to be elected enough precinct delegate to be a controlling force in Michigan Democratic politics. This exercise of control on key occassions seems odd to new democrats. People dissatisfied can build their own coalitions its their right. Another option is to build some votes and negotiate. We all need each others help in a general election. What is hard to cause is a meaningful process of party building when the first contact with a party at convention is a labor steam roller. Labor has no obligation to compete less just because unorganized new democrats who do not carry a union card want a stronger voice. On the other hand labor should not look at these new people or active democrats without a union card as the enemy. What is needed is a balance. Those who have earned the right ,through election of precinct delegates and backing democrats who become elected, to remain in control. But control of how much. Granted their are key votes and issues. For instance I want organized labor to be a significant deciding vote at a brokered national democratic convention.Loyal delegates that can be controlled are fundamental to that happening. Causing to be elected uncommitted delegates who will say they are for Obama today but will shift on cue to Clinton say on the third ballot is necessary. Additionally organized labor has a real stake to protect its members from legislation or controlling appellate decisions . It does this by endorsing candidates to the State legislatures ,Congress and the Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. When labor protects their members interests they are also protecting mine. But these key issue are relatively few when compared the tremendous number of issues and problems confronting our state and nation. Coalitions are necessary. A strong party is necessary. To build a strong party there has to be room for new people, new voices, and new causes to take root. Labor when it dominates must have the vision to back off a little. Put the velvet glove over the iron fist. Recognize that is is important to have allies out side of labor to make this a better society. What we need is a stronger democratic party. ONLY THE DOMINATE FORCES (ORGANIZED LABOR IN MICHGIAN)CAN CAUSE THIS TO HAPPEN BY OPENING THE DOOR A CRACK FOR OTHERS TO JOIN.[trb]

Disunity within ranks as delegates fight over choosing Clinton versus Obama [fc]

OAKLAND COUNTY DEMOCRATS By the time it was over, Sen. Hillary Clinton was awarded three delegates and three others were elected as uncommitted delegates, although two of them promised to support Sen. Barack Obama at the convention. The outcome left a bitter taste for many Obama supporters, including some who said they couldn't vote for Clinton if she becomes the party's nominee.[f]

STATE WIDE DEMOCRATS WITHHOLD VOTE TALLY Similar Democratic meetings occurred in all 15 Michigan congressional districts Saturday, though the outcomes won't be announced by party officials until Monday. A total of 83 delegates and 15 alternates were elected Saturday. [F]

THE GEORGIA 5TH water, sandwiches and doughnuts. They implored, cajoled and quite nearly begged.[AJC] Frankly, this wasn't what David L. Reeves expected when he agreed to attend the 5th District Democratic Party caucus Saturday and cast a vote for his friend.[AJC] But at the Teamsters Hall and in the other districts, the energy of the day was centered squarely on the fight for Obama seats. His overwhelming victory in the Feb. 5 Georgia presidential primary assured him of the lion's share of the state's delegates.[ajc] In the 5th District, for example, five delegate seats were up for grabs, and more than 80 Democrats vied for the spots Saturday. Three of the seats were designated for women, and two for men.[ajc]

THE MICHIGAN 5TH The Union organized Unity Slate was distributed recommending who the Obama Delegates should be. I presume these are people who will listen closely to the Labor Unity Slate at the National democratic Convention when they are politely asked to abandon Obama on the possibly 3rd ballot.[trb] The Benedict Arnolds of Genesee County are the Clack family Floyd and State representative Brenda Clack.[trb] Obama's campaign has had little formal role in Michigan, leaving it to the Michiganders for Obama activists to try to organize the state. Montague said that Obama staffers told her this week that if Obama captures the nomination, he will use his substantial influence as the party's standard bearer to block any Clinton supporters from being seated as uncommitted delegates. [dn]

THE POWER BROKERS BEHIND THE SUPER DELEGATES GET THEIR’S ..SOON! Another 45 (delegates) will be picked May 17 by the party's central committee. In addition, Michigan has 28 superdelegates, mostly major current and past elected officials and party leaders.[f] Delegates in the congressional districts were apportioned based on the voting in Michigan's Jan. 15 presidential primary within each district. Based on those votes, Clinton was to receive 47 delegates and uncommitted 36, but the big question Saturday across the state was the same as in the 9th District: Would Obama be able to lay claim to all the uncommitted delegates?[f]

MANY IN MICHGAN AND AROUND THE COUNTRY WHO HAD GIVEN NOTICE THEY WANTED TO BE OBAMA DELEGATES WITHDREW Lakewood, a buzz circulated through the room when it was announced Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin had removed her name from the candidates' list.[ajc] She and other elected officials and party leaders have other paths to Denver available to them, as the state party has 32 at-large delegate slots to award at its annual convention in May.[ajc] The state broke party rules when it held its primary Jan. 15, even though the DNC warned it would strip the state of its 156 delegates if it did so. The DNC followed through on its threat.[grp]


Clinton was on the Michigan primary ballot, but Obama and three other major candidates at the time withdrew their names because the national party had said Michigan's vote wouldn't count. The state violated national party rules by scheduling the primary too early.[f]

PONTIAC DEMOCRAT In Pontiac on Saturday, the Clinton caucus picked its delegates in 15 minutes without controversy.[f]

OBAMA SUPPORTS VS UNION BACKED DELEGATES But it took about two hours to pick the three uncommitted delegates as more than 100 Obama supporters sparred with mostly union-backed delegates.[f] Catherine Martin, a UAW member seeking an uncommitted delegate slot, told the group she planned to remain uncommitted because her union hadn't endorsed a candidate. But Obama supporters weren't buying it, suggesting the union clearly supports Clinton.[f] "I'm madder than hell," said Gwen Taylor of Farmington Hills. "They tried to pull the wool over our eyes. Hello, the UAW is for Hillary."[f] Taylor said she won't vote for Clinton if she becomes the Democratic nominee.[f] "At some point, these backroom shenanigans have got to stop," she said. "If she's the nominee, I would have to consider voting for John McCain."[f] Joseph Person, an Obama supporter from West Bloomfield, also said he would have a hard time voting for Clinton.[f] "There is serious resentment on the part of African Americans because" former President Bill "Clinton played the race card in South Carolina," Person said.[f]

R.E.S.P..E.C.T......THAT’S WHAT WE NEED "To try and disrespect us now and then expect us to carry you to victory in November is dishonest."[f] Still, he added, he would take his "marching orders from Barack, because any Democrat is better than the same old, same old."[f]

GET A GRIP...WE WILL ALL WORK TOGETHER IN THE END Linda Varonich, a Clinton supporter from Pontiac, said it won't be hard to work for either candidate.[f] "I still want Hillary to win so badly," she said. "But I'll go door-to-door in my neighborhood for Obama if he's the nominee, because I just want my country back."[f] Deborah Goldberg, chairman of the 9th Congressional District Democrats, said she sees hope in Saturday's events even if there was dissension.[f] On Friday, Democratic candidate Barack Obama criticized McCain for comments he made in a television interview saying there had been "great progress economically" in the period since Bush became president. McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said the Arizona senator's remarks had been taken out of context, noting McCain went on to say the economic improvements were "no comfort to families now that are facing these tremendous economic challenges."[A] In the radio address, Dean said: "If you want to see more of this Bush economy, if you want to see our troops in Iraq for a long period of time, we can stay the course with Senator McCain. But the Democrats have a different vision for America's future. Both of our candidates for president have a plan to get us out of Iraq responsibly so that we can invest in the American people and American jobs."[A]

LABOR HAS A RIGHT TO DIRECT THE PRECINCT DELEGATES IT RECRUITED. HAVE AN OBJECTION!..GO GET YOUR OWN PRECINCT DELEGATES.....GOOD IDEA! "Somebody from each segment of the party got elected today, so that shows we're going to come together in the end," she said. "We're just going to have to gear ourselves toward bringing all these people together."[f]

MARK BREWER SCREWED UP THIS ELECTION AND HE SHOULD GO! Still, the Michigan delegates' role in Denver remains unclear because there has been no resolution on seating representatives from Michigan or Florida, which also broke the party's rules with an early primary.[f] What the state doesn’t have yet is an invitation to the national convention. The Democratic National Committee stripped Michigan of its delegates when it moved its primary to Jan. 15 in violation of party rules. While both campaigns and the DNC have said that Michigan should have a delegation at the convention, a solution on how to seat those delegates has not been reached.[FC]

IN NOVEMBER THERE WILL BE DEMOCRATIC UNITY, THIS SPRING IS JUST A FAMILY SPAT! In summary, things today were a bit competitive, but once the conventions are over and we can fully concentrate on November... we will be unstoppable. We have no other choice. The future of our country, and the world, is in our hands. America can no longer afford a government of, by and for the Corporations. Obama, as a constitutional scholar and a national inspiration, could not be more needed than at this time. [G]

Posted here by Terry Bankert ...
Join my political party of preference,

—where did this stuff come from?
[f] Detroit Free Press
[A] ap [m] Muskegon Chronicle [trb] Comments of Terry Bankert to include block headlines [fc] FREEP.COM [DN] Detroit News .com [GRP] Grand Rapids Press [AJC] AJC.COM [g] Gather [AP2] AP [AJC2] AJC.COM 50167


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Saturday, April 19, 2008


BY Terry Bankert 4/19//08
You are invited to join me at Face Book 1. ___________________________
Full article at
SUMMARY ON Flint Talk __________________________
WFLT 1420 AM 9 AM 4/19/08- PROGRAM “ KNOW THE LAW” CALL IN! On Saturday 4/12/08 from 9:am until 9:30 am We will talk about A RECENT MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS CASE WHERE HUSBAND WENT TO JAIL AND WIFE GOT THE HOUSE. on my radio program “ Know the Law” WFLT 1420 am radio. This is a call in program and you may ask question on the air by calling 810-239-5733. posted to Flint Talk


Issues: Divorce; Whether the trial court's property distribution was equitable; Quade v. Quade; McDougal v. McDougal; Whether the trial court should have followed the procedures provided by MCR 2.004(E) before allowing the defendant-husband (who was incarcerated) to participate in the proceeding via telephone; Plain error review; Kern v. Blethen-Coluni; Applicability of MCR 2.004; Whether the trial court should have entered an order requiring the plaintiff-wife to pay defendant's attorney fees; Borowsky v. Borowsky; MCL 552.13; MCR 3.206(C); Stackhouse v. Stackhouse; Whether the trial court should have waived defendant's filing fees and costs based on his indigent status pursuant to MCR 2.002; Whether defendant's right to due process was violated because he was denied an attorney and had to represent himself over the telephone; Haller v. Haller; Hall v. Hall; Whether the parties had a postnuptial agreement governing the division of their property; Lentz v. Lentz [disclaimer-this document has been altered for the purpose of a radio presentation only reliy on the origional opinion-terry abnkert] Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished) UNPUBLISHED April 10, 2008 v No. 275669 Wayne Circuit Court Family Division RAY B. RENUSCH, LC No. 06-619662-DO Case Name: Renusch v. Renusch e-Journal Number: 39035 Judge(s): Per Curiam - Murray, Sawyer, and Cavanagh WIFE WAS THE BREADWINNER, HUSBAND WAS A CRIMINAL WIFE GETS THE HOUSE HUSBAND GET A PICTURE Since the trial court clearly articulated on the record its consideration of the factors for equitable distribution of the property, and considering the plaintiff-wife was the main contributor to the marital estate (making the down payment on the house and maintaining all the mortgage payments on her own while the defendant-husband was in prison) and defendant's past misconduct led to large legal fees greatly decreasing the value of the marital estate, the court held the trial court's distribution of the marital property, awarding plaintiff the house and defendant the artwork collection, was not inequitable. 17 YEAR MARRAIGE The parties were married in 1991. Defendant was incarcerated in 1995 for an 8 to 20-year term and was not due for release at least until 2011. The trial court determined the house was valued at $189,000 with an outstanding mortgage debt of $13,000. WIFE THE ONLY ONE TO MAKE THE HOUSE PAYMENT The trial court found plaintiff contributed $60,000 to its purchase (defendant admitted she contributed at least $50,000) and since defendant's incarceration in 1995, she had been the only contributor to the marital estate, including repaying loans taken out to pay his legal fees, mortgages, and maintenance fees on the house. The trial court also noted defendant's incarceration in part diminished the value of the marital estate by virtue of his legal fees and his lack of earning capacity to contribute to the house. The court was not left with a firm conviction the trial court's ruling was inequitable. HUSBAND DID A GOOD JOB DEFENDING HIME SELF HE JUST DOES NOT LIKE THE OUT COME The court also rejected defendant's claims he was denied access to the trial court and the right to counsel. While he argued the trial court erred in not following the procedures provided by MCR 2.004(E) before allowing him to participate in the proceeding by telephone, the court rule did not apply because the parties' marriage did not produce any children. The trial court also did not err in failing to enter an order requiring plaintiff to pay for an attorney to represent defendant. He adequately defended himself in this relatively simple divorce. Affirmed. – BACKGROUND: The parties to this case were married in 1991. Defendant was incarcerated in 1995 on an 8 to 20 year term of imprisonment, and is not due for release until at least 2011. Plaintiff filed for divorce from defendant on August 12, 2006. The marital estate consists of a house (which was awarded to plaintiff) and a collection of artwork (which was awarded to defendant). Defendant appeals as of right the judgment of divorce, arguing that the trial court’s distribution of property was inequitable, and that he was improperly denied access to the court and the right to counsel. We ( THE Michigan Court of Appeals)affirm. HUSBAND/Defendant first argues that the trial court erred by failing to follow certain procedures,provided by MCR 2.004(E), before allowing him to participate in the proceeding by telephone. We disagree. This issue is unpreserved and reviewed for plain error affecting substantial rights. Kern v Blethen-Coluni, 240 Mich App 333, 336; 612 NW2d 838 (2000). By its own terms, MCR 2.004 only applies to domestic relations actions involving minor children or “other actions involving the custody, guardianship, neglect, or foster-care placement of minor children, or the termination of parental rights.” MCR 2.004(A)(1)-(2). The parties’ marriage did not produce any children; therefore, this rule does not apply to defendant. Defendant next argues that the trial court erred when it failed to enter an order that would have required plaintiff to pay his attorney fees. We disagree. We review a trial court’s decision whether to award attorney fees for an abuse of discretion. Borowsky v Borowsky, 273 Mich App 666, 687; 733 NW2d 71 (2007). In a divorce action, one party may be forced to pay the other party’s reasonable attorney fees in order to enable the other party to defend or prosecute the action. MCL 552.13; Borowsky, supra at 687. MCR 3.206(C) provides: (1) A party may, at any time, request that the court order the other party to pay all or part of the attorney fees and expenses related to the action or a specific proceeding, including a post-judgment proceeding. (2) A party who requests attorney fees and expenses must allege facts sufficient to show that (a) the party is unable to bear the expense of the action, and that the other party is able to pay . . . The party requesting the fees has the burden of showing need and that the fees were reasonable and in fact incurred. Borowsky, supra at 687; Reed, supra at 165. Attorney fees should only be awarded if necessary to allow a party to defend or prosecute an action. Stackhouse v Stackhouse, 193 Mich App 437, 445; 484 NW2d 723 (1992). Here, defendant adequately defended himself in this relatively simple divorce proceeding involving the division of two marital assets (a house and an artwork collection). The trial court took testimony from defendant on each of the issues, allowed defendant to question plaintiff about her testimony, and then subsequently made a decision on the record. In light of these facts, defendant failed to establish the need for an attorney (or that plaintiff was able to pay), as he was not prevented from proving his side of the case. Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court did not err when it failed to enter an order that would have required plaintiff to pay for an attorney to represent defendant. Borowsky, supra at 687; Stackhouse, supra at 445.. Defendant next argues that the trial court erred when it failed to waive his filing fees and costs based on his indigent status pursuant to MCR 2.002. Once again, we disagree. We review a trial court’s decision regarding whether to waive fees and costs for an abuse of discretion. Lewis v Corrections Dep’t, 232 Mich App 575, 580; 591 NW2d 379 (1998). MCR 2.002(E)(1) provides: In an action for divorce, separate maintenance, or annulment or affirmation of marriage, the court shall order suspension of payment of fees and costs required to be paid by a party and order that they be paid by the spouse, if that party (a) is qualified for a waiver or suspension of fees and costs under subrule (C) or (D), and (b) is entitled to an order requiring the spouse to pay attorney fees. MCR 2.002(C) and (D) state that parties receiving public assistance or who are otherwise indigent are entitled to a waiver of fees and costs. The party is required to establish his qualifying status “by ex parte affidavit or otherwise.” MCR 2.002(C)-(D). Here, the trial court did not doubt that defendant was indigent. However, defendant has not shown how the lack of an order waiving filing fees made any difference in the case. The trial court heard and decided defendant’s motion for summary disposition, and ruled on all issues presented at trial. And, as previously discussed, defendant was not entitled to an order requiring that plaintiff pay for an attorney for defendant. Accordingly, the trial court did not abuse its discretion. Defendant next argues that his right to due process was violated because he was denied an attorney and made to represent himself over the telephone. We disagree. There is no constitutional right to counsel in a divorce action. Haller v Haller, 168 Mich App 198, 199; 423 NW2d 617 (1988). In Hall v Hall, 128 Mich App 757, 761-762; 341 NW2d 206 (1983), cited by defendant, a panel of this Court held that it was generally in the trial court’s discretion to make a determination regarding whether an incarcerated litigant be allowed to personally attend a divorce proceeding, and when making such determination should consider: [W]hether the prisoner’s presence will substantially further the resolution of the case, the security risks presented by the prisoner’s presence, the expense of the prisoner's transportation and safekeeping, and whether the suit can be stayed until the prisoner is released without prejudice to the cause asserted. [Id. at 762 (internal quotation omitted).] The trial court did not directly address whether defendant’s presence would be a security risk or the expense associated with allowing his presence. The court did, however, establish that defendant would be incarcerated for at least another five years. In the court’s estimation, this was too long to delay a relatively simple divorce proceeding. Most relevant, the need for defendant’s presence was significantly diminished by the court’s willingness and ability to allow defendant to participate in the proceeding by telephone. Defendant was able to hear and respond to all parts of the proceeding. In total, the court did not abuse its discretion by conducting this proceeding by telephone because defendant was not hindered in his ability to participate in the proceeding. See Hall, supra at 763-764. Defendant’s final argument is that the trial court’s award of the house to plaintiff was inequitable.1 We disagree.2 On review, this Court must decide if the trial court’s dispositional ruling was fair and equitable in light of the trial court’s findings of facts. Quade v Quade, 238 Mich App 222, 224; 604 NW2d 778 (1999). The trial court’s ruling is discretionary and should be affirmed unless this Court is left with the firm conviction that it was inequitable. Id. When determining an equitable division of property, a court should consider in its distribution the duration of the marriage, the contribution of each party to the marital estate, each party’s station in life, each party’s earning ability, each party’s age, health and needs, fault or past misconduct, and any other equitable circumstances. McDougal v McDougal, 451 Mich 80, 89; 545 NW2d 357 (1996). In considering these factors, the trial court should make specific findings on the record. McNamara v Horner, 249 Mich App 177, 186; 642 NW2d 385 (2002). the instant case, the trial court gave the house, which it determined was valued at $189,000,3 with an outstanding mortgage debt of $13,000, to plaintiff. The trial court found that plaintiff contributed $60,000 to the original purchase of the house (defendant even admitted that plaintiff contributed at least $50,000) and, since defendant’s incarceration in 1995, has been the only contributor to the marital estate, including repayment of loans taken out for the purpose of paying defendant’s legal fees, mortgages, and paying maintenance fees on the house. The court also noted that it was defendant’s incarceration that has in part diminished the value of the marital estate – by virtue of his legal fees as well as his lack of earning capacity to contribute to the house. The trial court concluded: The [c]ourt believes under all the equities in which the marital estate was substantially reduced by the occurrence of defendant’s criminal conviction, the substantial attorney fees that were incurred, her contribution toward attorney fees, her contribution which by the way, defendant does agree that there was some $60,000 contributed by the plaintiff to the home, that it is fair and equitable since she’s paying for it since 1995, has maintained it since 1995 without assistance from anyone, has paid a big portion of the attorney fees for the defendant – he’s in fact, received his share of the marital estate by virtue of all the payments she made for his legal fees. The house is awarded free and clear to the plaintiff on a basis of equity. Thus, the court clearly articulated, on the record, its consideration of the factors for equitable distribution of property. McDougal, supra at 89. Given that plaintiff was the main contributor to the marital estate (making a $60,000 down payment on the house and maintaining all mortgage payments on her own while defendant was in prison), and that defendant’s past misconduct led to large legal fees that greatly decreased the value of the marital estate, we are not left with a firm conviction that the trial court’s dispositional ruling was inequitable. Affirmed. /s/ Christopher M. Murray /s/ David H. Sawyer /s/ Mark J. Cavanagh –END-- 1 We note that there is no dispute regarding the trial court’s distribution of the art collection to defendant. 2 We reject defendant’s argument that his oral agreement with plaintiff when he entered prison, that plaintiff would move in with her sister and lease the property in question in order to pay the mortgage, constituted a postnuptial agreement that governs the division of their property. A postnuptial property agreement is a contract between spouses to determine the division of property in contemplation of termination of the marriage. Lentz v Lentz, 271 Mich App 465, 473-474; 721 NW2d 861 (2006). The aforementioned agreement does not purport to divide the parties’ marital property in contemplation of divorce, and accordingly, is not a postnuptial property agreement. Id. We note that defendant has stated that the house subsequently sold for $155,300 after trial. -END OPINION– Posted here by Terry Bankert ... Join my political party of preference, 49926/13057

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