Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Punishing Corporate Greed!

by Terry Bankert


Tian Wenhua chairwoman of a Chinese diary company , and several other executives, went on trial on Wednesday over a tainted milk scandal that has killed at least six children and made thousands ill. She is the former general manager of the Sanlu Group, pleading guilty to charges of "producing and selling fake or substandard products,"

The four executives are Sanlu's former board chairwoman and general manager Tian Wenhua, former deputy general managers Wang Yuliang and Hang Zhiqi, and Wu Jusheng, a former executive in charge of the firm's milk division. Defendant Wang, in a wheelchair after losing the use of his legs in a suicide attempt, sobbed when speaking in court.

See video at:

The crime committed by these dairy producers is that they diluted milk supplies with water so that they could make more money. They added the industrial chemical melamine to the diluted milk in order to give the appearance of higher levels of protein. Melamine is described as being "Harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Chronic exposure may cause cancer or reproductive damage. Eye, skin and respiratory irritant.”

The European Union set a standard for acceptable human consumption of melamine at 0.5 milligrams per kg of body mass, Canada declared a limit of 0.35 mg and the US FDA’s limit was put at 0.63 mg, but was later reduced to 0.063 mg daily.


Sanlu products were found to have the highest content of melamine, at 2,563 milligrams per kilograms. Wenhua and three other executives face a possible sentence of life in prison. These creation failed to report cases of Chinese children developing kidney stones and other complications from drinking milk adulterated , by them, with melamine for months . Melamine, an industrial compound used in making plastic chairs, countertops, plates, flame retardants and even concrete, has been added to food to cheat nutrition tests due to its high nitrogen content. China is bringing to justice 17 people involved in producing, selling, buying and adding melamine in raw milk. Six children have died and more than 290,000 made ill from the contaminated milk.

The Government in China will restore credibility by passing stiff sentences.

Already executed was Zheng Xiaoyu, former head of the food and drug watchdog, the State Food and Drug Administration taking bribes.

Posted Here by
Terry Bankert
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

$17.4 Billion of your dollars.....

By, Terry Bankert

The bailout of General Motors has raised a legitimate question: What good will it do if customers can’t get the financing to buy vehicles?

I support the bail out bascially because from Flint we have very little option. We should still question. Did you know GM's US sales dropped 41% in November.

The car maker explained the drying up of GMAC's own financing was the principal reason for the crash in sales. Personally I think you can tell a General Motors executive is lying by the movement of its lips. Its too bad there is not a crime for incompetence.

We learned last night our government is now shelling out cash to keep the industry afloat. A $5 billion stake in GMAC, the financing arm of General Motors to prop up the company was announced by Treasury. Our government will lend GM as much as $1 billion so that it can buy more equity in GMAC. GMAC finances about 80% the wholesale purchases of GM's cars by dealers world-wide.

The tax money will come from the Troubled Asset Relief Fund , TARP,the 700 Billion Dollar tar pit our government has set aside to rescue the American financial system pillaged by the greed and incompetence of Wall Street (code for Rich guys and Gals).Remember this is in addition to $17.4 billion in previous emergency loans. General Motors and an outfit called Cerberus Capital Management owned GMAC.

Watch Bush he is no above helping a lot of rich guys on the way out . Did you know John Snow, a top player at Cerberus, was the Bush administration's Treasury secretary before Henry Paulson. Monday evening surprised some (main stream media) but for most of us was not entirely unanticipated.

On Christmas Eve the Feds allowed GMAC to become a bank holding company, an action that permits it to receive TARP funds. The strings: GMAC had to convert 75% of its debt to equity by last Friday at midnight. However, earlier Monday the company refused to say if it had met the goal by the deadline.

What? The people giving our tax money to these private business people said they would not do it unless GMAC raised new capital, which the company tried to do through a debt-equity swap that expired Friday. GMAC’S goal was to raise $30 billion by converting 75% of its issued debt into preferred-stock holdings.

The bondholders of GMAC are not cooperating. Last week, less than 60% of bondholders had signed on and the offering had been extended four times. The government's role in the industry is becoming open-ended, the Treasury Department said Monday it had set up a separate program within the Troubled Asset Relief Program with no limits.

Okay lets recap.
1.We give $717 Billion dollars to the auto industry which is failing.
2.The industry cannot retun to prospeity without financing so we are bailing out a desperately floundering finance company.
3.We allow the troubled finance company to become a bank. It cannot be any worse than any of the other monoliths that are failing.
4.This done on the condition that it had to convert its debt to equity and it will not tell us if has complied.
5.We still gave them the money.

These numbers are so big we are numbed and no longer question.

Just who is watching this evolve that we can trust to understand and tell us the truth? The Republican Treasury has scrambled to spend the first half of the TARP pot of gold.

It seems the only accountability congress imposed was that in order to receive the second $350 billion the administration will need to submit a report to Congress explaining how the funds will be used. Outgoing Republican Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said that the remaining amount will need to be tapped, though it is not clear whether he will do it.

Do you wanna bet on that one?

Part of the deal with the auto makers is that they would be forced into bankruptcy by the end of March if they did not come up with viable restructuring plans.

We could be throwing good money after bad.

At this point we have no other choice.

But, just who can we rely on to be telling us the truth?

Posted here Terry Bankert
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Monday, December 29, 2008

2010 Census

GOOD MORNING FLINT ! 12/29/08 By Terry Bankert Did you know that the Federal Funding that comes into Flint is based on our census count? Did you know that the City Of Flint gets at least $1,500 in Federal dollars returned to Flint based upon our census count? Did you know that the city of Flint only counted 61% of its population in the year 2000? Millions of dollars are at stake. See Information on census jobs. Language barriers. Cultural diversity. Suspicion about the government. They're all part of the daunting challenge the Census Bureau faces in just 18 months to accurately tally the number of Americans. Counting each person in the USA every 10 years hasn't been easy since the first Census in 1790, when counters went door to door on horseback. But 220 years later, the hurdles could be unprecedented. The nation now has more than 300 million people. It's more diverse than ever. Natural disasters such as hurricanes Katrina and Ike have displaced tens of thousands. Home foreclosures have put countless families into temporary living arrangements. To count them, the Census Bureau first has to find them. Complicating the task is a widespread climate of suspicion about personal data landing in the wrong hands and government's increased surveillance power. Much of the unease is engendered by the growing problem of identity theft and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. New anti-terrorism measures such as the Patriot Act expanded the authority of law enforcement agencies here and abroad. The Census vows confidentiality, but new state and local laws that aim to crack down on undocumented immigrants are making even some legal immigrants nervous. "It's the first post-9/11 Census," says Terri Ann Lowenthal, a legislative consultant for The Census Project, a coalition of groups eager for an accurate Census. "There's a double issue: concern about immigrants and concern about privacy of data." The Census Bureau has to get past the distrust and break through a vast number of languages and cultures. At the same time, the agency is scrambling to satisfy congressional overseers upset over mounting costs of the 2010 Census — now estimated at $14 billion — and its failure to use more technology such as online filing and handheld computers to help gather data. WHAT CAN WE AS A COMMUNITY DO TO GET AS MANY FLINT PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE COUNTED? Posted Here By Terry Bankert 110801

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Saturday, December 27, 2008


By, Terry Bankert

KWANZA, A Celebration of Culture and Heritage. Special interview with Paul Herring at UAW Local 1292.
Thumbnail, 19 photos and 34 videos

SlideShow, 19 minuets

Posted Here by
Terry Bankert

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Are more nukes needed?

From My email Mr. Calder disagreed with one of my posts. His retort follows in full I just added some spaces for readability.My commentas are in CAPS or within [ ]

first_name: Christopherlast_name: Calderday_phone: 541-345-6372

Your essay on biofuels was full on falsehood. Barack Obama had the choice of ending the world food crisis and saving millions of lives, or continuing biofuel production, which shrinks the human food supply by displacing normal agricultural activity.
Even though biofuels have proven to be an energy drain rather than an energy source, and a serious ecological disaster as well, Barack Obama still chose to make ethanol manufacturers rich by continuing his unnecessary war on our global food supply security.
Obama's new plan to infect American farmland with invasive biofuel weeds (switchgrass, etc.) is a deadly plot that a villain in a James Bond movie might hatch. Looking at United Nations figures on worldwide malnutrition deaths, it is reasonable to estimate that global biofuel production was the predominate cause of at least 2 million avoidable deaths due to malnutrition and related illness in the past 12 months, and was a significant contributing factor in the deaths of up to 20 million people in the past 12 months. Even back in the year 2005, over 16,000 children died from hunger-related causes every day.
The rate of malnutrition deaths has risen dramatically since then, as Barack Obama and other biofuel advocates have increased the cost of basic grains by at least 50%, and are responsible for approximately 30% of overall food cost inflation during the last 4 years.
Experts disagree as to exactly how many people Mao Tse-tung killed through starvation with his foolish 1958 "Great Leap Forward" 5 year plan. Did Mao kill 14 million people or 40 million people?
Exact numbers of starvation deaths are impossible to fix, but it is clear that Obama's biofuel hoax has already killed more people globally than George Bush has killed with his war in Iraq. Obama wants to continue turning millions of acres of farmland into fuel-land, thus reducing the food growing capacity of the United States and continuing to drive up the cost of fertilizer.
Barack Obama won the 2008 election by courting the Midwest biofuel industry and farm vote, and he adamantly pushes the false hope of biofuels even though he has been informed that dedicating America's entire 300 million acres of cropland to biofuel production would only satisfy about 15% of U.S. highway fuel demand.

It is distressing that Barack Obama has appointed a biofuel advocate, Professor Steven Chu, as our new secretary of Energy. The problem is not limited to ethanol from corn driving up grain and fertilizer prices. Biodiesel production from soybeans and rapeseed has driven up the price of cooking oil all over the world, starving Third World families while self-deluded "green" Americans burn edible cooking oil in their trucks and automobiles. It takes 9,000 gallons of water to produce just 1 gallon of biodiesel made from soybeans, so we obviously need to save our very limited supplies of ground water to grow food, not fuel.
In California water is now so precious that some farmers want to sell water instead of food. Even without biofuel production, we are turning vast areas of land into desert every year through loss of topsoil due to farming for essential food.
Biofuel zealots claim they want to produce ethanol from cellulose instead of food, but a study from three agricultural economists at Iowa State University with insider information on the latest biofuel technology states that ethanol made from cellulose will likely never be affordable. SEE study at:
Switchgrass, crop waste, and wood chip biofuel schemes are too expensive to ever work.Here are the dismal energy efficiency calculations for switchgrass-ethanol production provided by UC Berkeley scientist, Professor Tad W. Patzek."Mass and energy balances of the switchgrass-ethanol cycle" -"
Biofuels are for people who think that 2 plus 2 equals 22." - Professor Tad W. Patzek "There is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel. These strategies are not sustainable." - David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell University "It would be morally wrong to divert cropland needed for human food supply to powering automobiles. It would also deplete soil fertility and the long-term capability to maintain food production. We would destroy the farmland that our grandchildren and their grandchildren will need to live." - Professors James Jordan and James Powell, Maglev Research Center at Polytechnic University of New York. SEE - The False Hope of Biofuels -

As the Princeton study published in SCIENCE showed that all biofuels are far worse for the environment and global warming than using ordinary gasoline, biofuel advocates have little cover to hide behind. SEE - and other biofuel weeds will be grown by ordinary, profit motive driven farmers, not by environmentally trained scientists.
Farmers will grow switchgrass on land that could be used to grow corn, wheat, or soybeans, and farmers will want to maximize yield, so they will use lots of fertilizer to increase output.
The plans biofuel idealists are now trying to sell the American public will never produce the kind of "green," food friendly energy source they promise.
Biofuels displace food production, as our tiny overpopulated planet does not have enough usable land, water, or fertilizer to grow both food and fuel.
Few science fiction movie fans can forget the 1963 movie, The Day of the Triffids, which told a grim tale of carnivorous weeds taking over the earth. Barack Obama wants to plant millions of acres of invasive biofuel weeds on U.S. farmland, thus taking that land out of food production. Imagine the difficulty we will face when we inevitably realize that weed based biofuels are also a tragic mistake.
Switchgrass, Barack Obama's Triffid of choice, has very deep roots and is difficult to get rid of once it has been planted. Future newspaper headlines will tell of the high cost eradicating the biofuel weeds, which include water hungry giant reed and toxic jatrophra. Jatropha is being planted in poor tropical countries to turn its poisonous seeds into biodiesel, and it is even more difficult to eradicate than switchgrass.
The planting of millions of acres of jatrophra in Burma, India, Indonesia, and the desperately poor nations of Africa could destroy the value of the tropical lands for food production and wildlife habitat for centuries to come.
Biofuels have been condemned by United Nations food officials, Oxfam, and poverty fighting groups around the world. Planting biofuel weeds is just another way to destroy the food production capacity of our overpopulated little planet.
The fact that biofuel production speeds global warming, causes water shortages and water pollution, drives up the price of fertilizer, and erodes vital topsoil is ignored by biofuel propagandists. Their attempts to replace the massive stored energy of fossil fuels with the tiny energy of biofuels shows a lack of understanding of basic mathematics and science. Every year the human race burns up the equivalent of 400 years' worth of total planetary vegetation in the condensed form of fossil fuels.
The one and only energy source that is large enough in volume to replace all of that massive stored energy is nuclear power. The mass of an atom is in its nucleus, not in its electrons, and as E=MC2 the nucleus is where the really BIG energy is stored.
The tiny energy created by bonding and unbonding electrons through chemical reactions in the growth of vegetation must be amplified over centuries by the slow process of fossilization in order to make that inherently small energy strong enough to run an industrialized, heavily populated planet. Solar and wind power can help us a little, but those diffuse energy sources are far too weak and fluctuating to satisfy the bulk of our energy needs unless we want to revert to a horse and buggy economy and intentionally kill off the majority of the earth's human population.
Human beings can eventually replace fossil fuel energy by creating an infrastructure based on nuclear power, improved electric car battery technology, and the use of new technology to make superior quality, sulfur free gasoline and jet fuel from atmospheric carbon dioxide in a new process called Green Freedom. This new energy scheme is cheaper and more practical than using hydrogen as fuel because it is completely compatible with current vehicles and our existing energy distribution infrastructure.
Using nuclear fuel reprocessing and adding abundant thorium as fuel, we have enough nuclear materials to last for over 10,000 years. An essentially endless supply of carbon neutral gasoline is possible if we start facing reality and stop trying to sell the public phony biofuel schemes that are mathematically impossible. - news story - Green Freedom pdf Barack Obama is now surrounded by many pseudo-environmentalists who want to force all Americans to become vegetarians who only eat organic food that is grown in their own neighborhood. These childish and decadent people, who have never been hungry a day in their lives, will drive up the price of food so high through impossible regulations and new taxes on food production that the current global famine will get even worse.
They even want to tax farm animal flatulence as part of a carbon tax scheme that will put American beef and chicken farmers out of business. Mao Tse-tung and Pol Pot killed the most people through well meaning, idealistic agricultural policies, not through executions.
If you get both food and fuel policies dead wrong you will destroy the nation, and that is what Barack Obama is going to do unless he stops thinking politically and idealistically and starts thinking scientifically and realistically.
It is everyone's moral obligation to explain to Barack Obama all the terrible harm he has done by supporting biofuel production, and urge him to reverse course immediately. For more information and better energy alternatives, see my page on the biofuel disaster at - Calder (Democrat - food security advocate)Not written but Posted here by
Terry Bankert

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Turkey Give Away

GOOD MORNING FLINT! 12/23/08 Many in Flint, 500+, received free turkeys yesterday. The give away was sponsored by the Concerned Pastors for Social Action, a group of local church pastors, which sponsored and hosted the event. Community Partners were Al Serra Auto Plaza, Kroger grocery stores, Gordon Food Service and the Detroit Pistons to make the event possible. My law firm donated $100. Antioch is not new to supporting the Flint Community. It donates food to the general public every second Tuesday of the month, but this is the first time the Concerned Pastors hosted the turkey giveaway. The Rev, Lewis Randolph of Antioch, president of the organization, said economic hardships prompted the group to hold the event. If we can help each other know about other areas of help for people/families in need in Flint lets us know I will cross post it where I can. Thank You Rev Randolph and Antioch. Merry Christmas. Terry Bankert 12/22/08

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Monday, December 22, 2008


Citizens Committee report on the Closing of Flint Schools.
My thanks for the work of the community members. What can we do to help this process now , responsibly?
Posted Here
Terry Bankert

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Helping those in need in Flint

Dale Weighhill of Resource Genesee Was on WFLT with me this morning. He shared information on how we can guide the needy to services in Genesee County.

slide show

Thank You Dale
Running a camera is a hobby that I need instruction on.
Posted here by
Terry Bankert.

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In Flint helping those in need?

Good Morning Flint!
By Terry Bankert

My objective in using social networking is to build coalitions of knowledge and people, shifting issues to issue, to advocate and impact public policy.

I am a Flintoid born in Flint MI USA the birthplace of the UAW recipient of the benefits of 7 General Motors plants now in various stages of closing. I was Flint City Clerk and later Flint Municipal Ombudsman as my daughter will say way back in the 1990's.

To my Face book, My space,, Goggle blog " Good Morning Flint!",Flint Citizen and Twitter friends Hello.

I have a weekly radio show on 1420 A.M a Gospel station where I present information on Family law, I am a divorce lawyer, often talking about recent court of appeals decisions.

My objective is marketing of course but also to help people and their families in divorce to understand the process to better protect themselves and their families.

It is a call in program.

Today at 9 am Eastern on WFLT 1420 AM 1-810-239-5733 I will talk about social services available to people in Flint devastated by our economic crisis. I plan to make it my mission to spread information to people in need and people who talk to people in crisis so we can all help one another. It’s a call in show you can call from any where on planet earth.

My guest will be Dale Weighill Leader of the Resource Center in Flint. The purpose of the resource center s to make available social service information to help families.

I often ask my audience a question that in my presentation I attempt to answer. Todays question is. Your child or sister or brother lives in Flint Michigan has a first grade child no job no food in the fridge utilities about to be shut off home foreclosed they have an illness and cannot work their spouse just abandoned the home and family and will contribute no finds. The spouse has a good job. What do we do!

The radio may be live on Flint Talk Radio at 9 am.

If you are in Flint please join me for a Coney and a Coke at Tom Z’s Flint Original Coney Island corner of Court and Grand Travers in Flint MI. I will be there at 10 am. On most Saturdays.

Posted Here by Terry Bankert

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Only 2 attorneys working..just enough to start a fight

Good Morning Flint!
12/19/08 extra
George Hamo and Terry Bankert appear to be the only attorneys working in Flint MI 12/19/2008

Thumbnail photos

slide show

Shovel often and stay warm
Terry Bankert

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Managed bankruptcy.. what is that

Good Morning Flint!
12/19/08 Terry Bankert

What a cruel joke.

Bush devastated the America middle class while his base, the republican economic elite gorge, themselves on free markets, NAFTA and globalization.

He teases the UAW and Big Three salaried workers and stockholders with hope after his Republicans in the Senate pull the plug on the Senate bailout.

Bush lets the press leak false hopes of a Presidential Economic Pardon and Federal loan for the Darwinian failures that control the now not so Big Three Auto makers, GM, Ford and Chrysler.

Then he announces the drop of the Other Shoe!

OOOpsie daisy,...just did not hear me right.

You get a controlled bankruptcy. Just what is a controlled bankruptcy. Is it a hanging with a bungee cord?

The White Guys House said on Thursday it is considering/told to support the option of an "orderly" bankruptcy as it weighs/abandons aid for U.S. automakers.

The cowardly move by the JR. Bush force fed uncertainty into the politically charged feeding frenzy over a bailout for General Motors Corp and Chrysler now reaching a forgone conclusion of Bankruptcy after a month of BS.

The Bush managed bankruptcy demands bloodletting by stakeholders including management, labor and dealers, as part of not so large aid package expected to be announced as early as Friday.

Meaningless, Bush is turning his back as did the Senate deal busters and will let the industrial might of America slip away.

Bush just does not want a "disorderly bankruptcy" which might harm other markets.

What is he going to do keep it a secret?

Bush never thought U.S. automakers can become viable.

Bush says why put more money down a rat hole.

Bush missed the point “Both Chrysler and GM and their political allies have said bankruptcy is not an option since it would risk pushing their suppliers to collapse, driving dealers out of business and compounding job losses at a time when the U.S. economy is already mired in recession.” 1 in 20 jobs in American are touched by the auto industry.

“Bankruptcy, whether it's structured or not, would destroy demand for that company's vehicles and put dealers out of business," Annette Sykora who heads the National Automobile Dealers Association said in a statement.”

American auto companies will die as will the economic lives of their share holders and employees and the same will happen to automobile suppliers.

Financial deregulation and not defending our economic boarders is a planned event by the Republican economic elite, their money left a long time ago.

Economic traitors one and all led by the lesser Bush. “GM shares closed down 71 cents, or 16.3 percent, at $3.66. Ford shares ended down 30 cents, or 9.6 percent, at $2.84, also on the NYSE.” We have paid that for a gallon of gas.

Great human pain is coming.

Our society in will continue to reorganize its self.

There are economic cemeteries in America. Once thriving locals whose industry shifted away and change was not managed or possible.

Will Flint become one of these cemeteries? Heck no...just what are your leaders doing?

Posted here by Terry Bankert -

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Community Christmas Party, lawyer sponsored.

Good Morning Flint!
Terry Bankert


Lawyers from the Genesee County Bar Association and their families gave a Christmas cheer to hundreds of children and fed about 1,000 people at its 16th annual Community Holiday Dinner at the Masonic Temple, 755 S. Saginaw St. in downtown Flint.

A special Thank You to Attorney Brian Barkey And Ramona Sain Director for their personal efforts and the hundreds of volunteers.

The Flint Jopurnal wrote “Lawyers, usually in business suits arguing law, were in aprons serving a buffet line of chicken, ham and salad.” "Part of being a lawyer is giving back to the community," said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, the president of the bar association. "This is directly assisting people who need help."

I took some photos and videos, they follow.



Posted By
Terry Bankert
You are invited to join me at facebook see:

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Flint School Closing

Good Morning Flint!
Terry Bankert

At least 300 people packed the Sarvis Center in Flint for the Flint School Board meeting.

The board had announced that the citizens committee charged with reviewing the number of schools was to report. In their report it was announced we only need 18 out of 30 something schools. So now the decision has to be made which to close.

Jay Topping gave an excellent report on school finances.

His thesis, we cannot afford to keep more than 18 schools open, we must maintain what we have got. There was discussion about a possible school millage.

We are in trouble as a city and as a school district. Now is the time for serious discussion by serious people.

The committee or board will have an inter active delayed release before the schools to be closed are identified. Smart!

The board is elected to make these decisions.

The process should be transparent, open to community comment but quick There is little to be gained by waiting. This is tough duty.

We should not tolerate fools and gadflies pontificating.

To the board make a decision, thoughtful but quick.

Ira Rutherford in his economic analysis I think said the schools should no longer provide recreation that should be Don Williamson job, or who ever is mayor.

Good luck on that one.

The review committee deserves our thanks.

And again to Topping, my friend I was impressed with your presentation.

I will beat TV 12.

Posted Here by Terry Bankert 109447

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Flint Hero applications accepted

12/16/08 Terry Bankert,
You are invited to offer suggestions on this topic,”Helping One another.” or


Some of the country are doing well, some in recession, some depression we are fighting for our lives in Flint. We are all in this together. Its time we begin to work together. We encounter the desperate everyday.

We all need to learn a little social work and be able talk about what help is available in Flint. Be a Flint Hero and help out. Give recognition to those that do.

A community forum to address mental health during tough economic times was held Tuesday at the Genesee County Administration Building in Flint. Some say the citizens of Genesee County and Flint are is in a crisis unlike anything since the Great Depression.

It will take all of us working together to keep people from falling apart in the even tougher economic times ahead. Several FLINT HEROS PRESENTED:Robert Cuthbertson, MD, psychiatrist and vice president of Medical Affairs and Lawrence Reynolds, MD, president and CEO of Mott Children's Health Centers will offered mental health insight for individuals and families who are undergoing difficult economic times. That was the message Tuesday night at a community forum sponsored by the Genesee County Department of Community Mental Health.

The panel discussion was led by state Rep. Brenda Clack and County Commissioner Raynetta Speed, TWO FLINT HEROS, who also serves as chairwoman of the board for Genesee County Community Mental Health. Dr. Robert Cuthbertson, a psychiatrist and vice president of medical affairs for GCCMH, sounded the first call to arms, warning that deepening economic woes coupled with the holidays are making this a particularly troubled time.

But he fears the future could be even worse as unemployment benefits, interim health care insurance and lifelong savings trickle away.


One speaker said ;"People are grieving the losses they're experiencing -- their homes, their livelihood, their savings -- far deeper losses than most of us have ever experienced," Just what does a family do when the health insurance runs out and you have small kids. Another speaker said we are in a “ toxic stew of stress, anxiety and depression in the Flint area.

Ahead we face a “ boiling point with increasing rates of suicide, substance abuse and domestic violence.”

Did you know "Two years ago we were dealing with about 120 foreclosures a year. This year we've had 700 people come to our classes and about 300 seeking individual counseling," said Amanda Crews of Metro Housing Partnership Inc. , which offers counseling services to those at risk of losing their homes. "And that's only what we were able to do at capacity. We couldn't catch up with the demand."

Daniell Brown offered thoughts about Hamilton Health center,"Hamilton had the most encounters we have ever had in November -- more people than we have the capacity to see. We can't grow fast enough to keep up with the rate," Hamilton is county's main free medical clinic.

Another service provider weighed in.Resource Genesee, formerly the Resource Center, fielded about 10,000 calls this year from people needing help finding the right agency for their particular needs, from paying a heating bill to finding temporary shelter.

A growing number of them are first-time callers, said spokesman Dale Weighill. Past Donors now are service consumers."They're telling us in the past they've contributed to the United Way or other social service organizations and now they're relying on social services for the first time in their lives," said Weighill. We need to help the homeless said Frank Woods.

He continued “700 people have come through the doors of the One Stop Shop Housing Resource Center since it opened in August to help the homeless two days a week.”

People need food;"Woods said We gave out 13,000 pounds of food s in an hour and fifteen minutes, Many first time people now are in environment. They're distraught and embarrassed. They say they didn't know this could happen to them this quickly." The conclusion of the workshop was an acknowledgement that “The best thing to do right now: seek help from the dozens of social service agencies poised to offer it.”

Just how can we identify these servcies? Elected officals Clack and Speed are helping "These are middle-class people trying to hold on to their dignity. It's a whole different type of life people are living now. It's a new lifestyle to ask for help when you've never had to ask before," said Clack."That's why we need to let our citizens know there are services here they can connect with," said Speed.

Q: Where is the best on line resource for Flint, Genesee County, Mid Michigan, Michigan people/families in need?
Here are a couple; • Want to learn more about Genesee County Community Mental Health? (810) 257-3705.
• For help in finding the right agency for special human services: Resource Genesee (810) 767-0500.

Are you a Flint hero or do you know one?
See Posted here by Terry Bankert,
You are invited to offer suggestions on this topic,”Helping One another.” or 109320

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Video: Flint Coney Island pleads to the President to save Flint MI USA

video just in

This is the Message on Tom Z’s electronic outside bulletin board.
Tom Z’s Coney Island Grand Traverse and Court Flint Mi.
The sign reads:

Please Mr. President Approve Bailout for G.M. .
If they can work. We can work.
To keep Michigan Workers alive and open our doors open.
This message approved
by Tom Z’s. Thank You
Thumbnail photos
Slide show --- Posted Here By Terry Bankert 12/16/08

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Monday, December 15, 2008

More financial regulation needed

12/16/08 Terry Bankert

The bad news: Current PONZI Scheme King Bernard L. Madoff, former Nasdaq Stock Market chairman and founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities has ripped off trusted clients for $50 billion. Thats $50,000,000,000.00 . Like an unlicensed garage mechanic he ran an unregistered money-management business.

The good news: This $50 billion figure is only what clients were told they had in their accounts at the firm, not the amounts they originally invested. Madoffs advisory business catered to rich people and institutional investors as well as hedge funds, was “all just one big lie.”

Its been broke for years.

Special thanks are in order for Ronald Reagan for de regulation.

What can we learn from the devastation of Madoff on the private wealthy who flocked like lemming to his high rate of return?

These wizards of finance and scions of privilege are months away from a McDonalds grill job or being a Walmart greeter and receive no pity here. What can we learn from this 1% that has been doing it downhill into our lives.

But again we just might pick up some of these lost investments of the rich. Once again we will bail out the greedy rich while auto workers starve. Really greedy rich people should be excluded from the Securities Investor Protection Act, or SIPA.

We should ask what is wrong with the the business model of funds of hedge funds – which run about $685bn in assets. Just where was the the Securities and Exchange Commission's and its oversight of the investment management industry.

I can just hear the whinning at the congressional hearings. Something must have went horribly wrong for a fraud on such a scale. Barney Frank will play the blame game.

The speaker of the house will be distracted with hand-wringing. The bureaucrats will cart in rewritten rules Audit regulators will spout we told you so.

This predators company ,an investment-advisory business ,was in the gun sights of oversight by the SEC in 2006, they blew it. Other traders said nobody can be as good as Madoff the money people just wanted their profits.

Now Predator Mr Madoff was not a hedge fund manager they were his prey. His profits made all the hedge fund look good so they kept shoveling their client money to him and banked their commission based upon non existent gains.

We need change in this industry. Scrape the current fee structure . Create one that affects everybody good and bad times. The manager should lose when the fund goes down as well as gaining when it goes up.

We need more regulation. The regulatory agency typically examines only 10% of the new funds that are registered. That is not good enough. Madoff did not have a world class auditor looking at him. What are the odds that there was not an arms length relationship.

Rumor has it that rivals to Madoff raised concerns about the fund in 1999.

Our country needs hedge fund manager registration rules. Congressman Barney Frank, D-Mass., is on it stating he plans to introduce new hedge fund manager registration legislation. We will need more staffing for the oversight agencies. Government must control the extremes in our society.

Those extremes of human need and here human greed must be controlled by government. We need professionals in government. We must respect them so they will want to work for us.

What has happened to our country by the breakdown in the self policing controls of a not so free market should end forever the howls for smaller government of those greedy parasitical predators in the financial community.

Or at least we should never listen to them again.

Posted here by Terry Bankert

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Flint School Closing, do you know the issues?

By Terry Bankert

How would you feel if your school were to close in Flint? There is a good chance it may? Do you think it might be a good idea to study up on the why? Our school board will have to take care of the public business and only have open the schools it needs. But which one do we close?

We are waiting for a citizens report calling for half of the Flint Schools to be closed. Now its just a report but the board has to close schools and the sooner the better. Three options are on the table. This will reduce the district from 35 to 18 buildings. The elementaries will take the biggest hit. Do you know where your kids are going to school next year?

There is no financial middle ground if we want the district to stay out of bankruptcy.
We have had a huge drop in the number of students dropping from 46,000 students in the late 1960s to less than 15,000 today.

The report will be presented to the district at Wednesday's school board meeting. Committee of the whole starts at 5:30, regular meeting at 7 p.m., at the Sarvis Center 1231 E. Kearsley Street.
The Flint Journal reported:
• Three possible scenarios will be presented.
• Includes the possibility of closing nearly half of Flint's school buildings, from 35 to 18.
• Two scenarios are 14 elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools; and 12 elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools.
• Will name specific elementary schools recommended for closure but doesn't name secondary schools.
• Building a new high school and a couple of new elementary schools.
• The idea to return to "neighborhood elementary schools."
• Pre-school programs in every elementary school.
• Turning Flint schools into "green schools" that would make the district a model for other schools around the country.
• All schools having uniform standards so that there would no disparity between the quality of facilities,
• Massive building renovations and finding different ways to use school buildings.
• Improved maintenance plans to keep facilities in good shape.
• Possible ways to fund each scenario, which could cost at least $140 million. Could include a millage that would go to voters, bonds that would not need community approval, grants and other resources

Following is an educational series several volunteer put together previously to help you understand educational issues. I hope it helps you understand so you can create your own opinion and help to save public education in Flint MI. I hope to see you at the meeting.

Educational seminar Posted by PUBLIC DEVELOPMENT

Public Develpment is a nonprofit organization that engages citizens with community issues, ideas, concerns, people, technology & solutions through the utilization & creation of public media.

Part one On February 10, 2007, concerned Flint citizens again gathered at a workshop sponsored by Flint Attorney Terry Bankert, to address the future of the Flint Public School System. In this installment, Jim Richardson of the Great Schools Initiative outlines the "9 Standards for Great Schools" and more.

Part two On February 10, concerned Flint citizens again gathered to address the future of the Flint Public School System. In this installment, 2007 Board of Ed. candidates introduce themselves & MCC political science professor Paul Rozycki outlines a history of public schools in Michigan.

Part three On February 10, concerned Flint citizens again gathered to address the future of the Flint Public School System. In this installment, former Beecher School Board Member, David Grant, outlines how his district addressed many of the same challenges now faced by Flint public schools.

Part Four
On February 10, concerned Flint citizens again gathered to address the future of the Flint Public School System. In this installment, mayoral candidates Dale Weighill & Norm Bryant address the audience. Then, former State Rep. Jack Minore discusses how schools are funded.

Part Five On February 10, concerned Flint citizens again gathered to address the future of the Flint Public School System. In this installment, former State Rep. Jack Minore continues his discussion of how schools are funded.

Posted Here by
Terry Bankert

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Photo blog of local convention

My ,12/13/08, photo blog of the Genesee County Democratic Party Convention.
I was elected to the Executive Committee.
Its good to be back.
Thumbnail page

Ten Minuet slide show, there are several videos

Posted here
Terry Bankert
You are invited to join me on facebook

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What do you think when thoughts of financial fraud come to mind. Enron, Ponzi, a dozen or so names come to mind.

Well here is a new one: MADOFF.

This will be the greatest yet reported rip off of one guy on the financial systems. Rich people will be hit. Its all private money.

Our system will not insure it so the little people will not have to pay for it.

Quite unlike the 700 Billions in upper class reparations we are currently ponying up.

Beyond belief.

This all began with Regan deregulation and mass denial when we unquestioningly accepted globalization and stopped defending our economic boarders.

Now here we are. The middle class is threatened with ruin by the US Senate turning its back on the US auto industry while enriching its friends with the 700 billion given to wall street types.

Maybe that rich class is receiving their poetic justice from the hands of Madoff.

What did Madoff do?

He committed a $50 billion fraud.

He is a former Nasdaq Chairman Bernard Madoff. Impact of his crime is rippling deep into Boston's wealthy elite, forcing a charitable foundation to close and triggering losses by prominent philanthropists.

The people who should know better , private banks have lost billions.

Swiss private banks are estimated to have lost at least £2.5 billion in Wall Street veteran Bernard Madoff’s alleged $50billion (£33 billion) fraud. He was recently arrested.

Madoff was arrested last week after confessing to employees that the business bearing his name was "a giant Ponzi scheme".

He is currently free on a $10m bond. Why?

These are not mom and pop pensions plans lost.

Many of the world’s richest families are embroiled in the saga. Fred Wilpon, owner of the New York Mets baseball team, and J Ezra Merkin, chairman of the car finance giant GMAC, are among dozens emerging as the victims of Madoff’s scheme.

Some call what is known so far as the "the tip of the iceberg".

Who do we trust to keep our financial system stable. Never buy the argument again that is the private sector and free market. These people cannot protect them selves.

This exasperated post by
Terry Bankert




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Help each other now

BY Terry Bankert

On Flint Talk a thread was started suggesting that with our national economic problems I should switch to Bankruptcy.

I decline but here are my thoughts.

Thank You for the opportunity to talk about my specialty , family law. I only practice in this area except for probate/guardianship to get grandparents custody.

For Family Law questions call me at 235-1970 there will be no charge to you for the first office visit.

This blatent advertising is brought to you because there is hardship in the legal community also. In my specialty it seems there is an in- migration of attorneys that in the past practiced family law then moved on to the big money.

They are back chasing an overall reduction in the client base. People are leaving. I do not practice bankruptcy, but I used to and have several atty I refer to .
Some of my older advertising still carries it.

My thoughts.

1.Its only fraud if you move assets around just before you file for bankruptcy. I do not recall the look back, 6 months comes to minds.

2.Every body should cut the discretionary spending. Drunks should get sober.

3.If there is no value in your home do not be attached to it. Down size if you have too.

4.The economy is tearing families apart. My observation is that "The Grass is not greener on the other side". Families can part, married couples can have orders for custody, child support and parenting time" without divorcing. Mom can move in with family dad can leave the state for work.

5.What does a good parent pay in child support? It is a formular based upon number of children, overnighs of the parents with the children and gross/net incomes.

The State of Michigan through the legislature and Supreme Court has said that this formua is what is fair. If you lose your job have your child support order reviewed immediately. File a motion. It could go up or down.

If a Working Mom with kids loses her job her child support could go up.

If the Dad loses his job his child support could go down. The State of Michigan has non retroactive modification of child support.

[Somebody change this law...quick.]

Your child support is not changed any farther back than when you file a motion not when you actually lost your job.

My plan is to learn everything I can about free services for families in economic distress, Possibly a thread on this board could be just to give information to those in need....Steve?Or Blogging for Michgian?

I will talk about this topic on my radio show 9 am WFLT 1420 AM today.

It is a call in show 1-810-239-5733.

Governor you are invited to call.

I will be at The Genesee County Democratic Party Convention today.

I plan to photo blog.

Terry Bankert

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Political paybacks, Clayton TWP

By Terry Bankert

President Bush making Federal rule changes just before he leaves office, Clayton township supervisor making contract changes just before he left office. See the similarity.

Unseasoned and reacting hastily , newly elected Clayton Township Supervisor Bruce Beatty caused Tempers to flared at times during a packed Clayton Township board meeting last night.

Beatty got caught as he played political pay back to all the professionals given a contract under the former Supervisor Rod Shumaker.

Beatty seem to lack leadership temperament but it is a township position and he has plenty of time to grow into the job.

When pressed he made up a silly reason for his actions. He admitted he "... I took it upon myself to suspend them with pay until the board can decide what to do with their contract," The board quickly voted unanimously to reinstate Township Police Chief Melki and the other two township officials but only for 60 days at will.

Clayton Township is one of the most desirable places to live in Genesee County mainly because of its low crime rate and the contribution of the police chief Melki.

Residents said:
"Our crime rate is almost down to zero because our policemen are very visible. And I don't understand why we are here,"

One reason may have been that Melki was investigating issues in the township that may have included the supervisor.

It appears that either for Beatty his new position of power has gone to his head, or he is trying to right a wrong. We will have to wait an see.

Posted Here by
Terry Bankert

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Good the Bad and the Ugly.

Terry Bankert

THE RELATIVE GOOD NEWS Our country will lose 2 million jobs in 2009 and undergo economic contraction through the first half of the year.

THE BAD NEWS The quarterly forecast issued by UCLA's Anderson School of Management was peppered with words like "ugly," "nasty" and "abnormalities." In the report, senior economist David Shulman said the recession will include four quarters of declining real gross domestic product, and unemployment will rise to 8.5% by late 2009 from the 6.7% reported last month.

THE BADDER NEWS We have thrown billions to the free market private sector to avoid a recession. Now this guy says “The report began with a blunt statement from Shulman: "The news from the economy is bad.

The recession that we had previously hoped to avoid is now with us in full gale force."”

THE WORSE NEWS The future declines in our gross national product are predicted to be” 4.1% annual rate in the current quarter, in 2009 by a rate of 3.4% in the first quarter and 0.8% in the second, the report said. GDP declined at a 0.5% rate in the third quarter of this year.

THE HORRIBLE NEWS Americas . deficit will exceed $1 trillion in fiscal 2009, and is such a mess that it is difficult to predict by those people whose day job is to predict the economy. Just how did this happen?

The oil cartel did not do this , we did it to our selves.

The housing market collapse was a trigger for increased defaulted mortgages, which threatened the liquidity and solvency of the economy as it became "dependent upon the easy flow of mortgage credit." Where were our leaders when the dominos began to fall? The collapsed housing market caused by the downturn, this caused severe asset price deflation. Some say our leaders should have seen this when the monster first reared its head as a liquidity crisis in the short-term money market in August 2007, causing a financial panic.

We elect and pay people to watch these things for us.

Where were the watch dogs?

With all the bailouts the stock markets are crashing worse than during the great depression. Some say this began in the 1990. Remember the .com busts. Now our middle class is crumbling. Ask you friends about their 401k or mutual fund or the equity in their homes, will their kids be able to go to college. We should be angry instead of sheep in shock. Here is a measure of our pain: homes and cars, the industries most tied to middle class wealth and credit of consumer assets, are suffering. Our middle class housing starts will drop below a 700,000 unit annual rate, the lowest in the postwar history. It also noted car sales are at a 25-year low.

HERE A NEW TERM, FIRST RECESSION, THEN DEPRESSION NOW DEFLATION? To survive business are lowering prices. Good today when I go to the Mall. But a a sustained retreat in prices for goods and services will be further drag on the economy. These falling prices will cut demand and discourage employers from hiring. The end result we will have scarce cheap stuff nobody can afford to buy?

THE UGLY NEWS Reduced hiring will lead to increased firing. It is predicted that in late 2009 the U.S. unemployment rate will hit 8.5 percent, compared with 6.7 percent in November, as employers shed an additional two million jobs over the next year.

Being from Flint I have to support the GM bailout, we have no choice.

But we can insist on a sharing of the pain.

In the end what will the frantic lemming like actions of congress have accomplished?

Will the rich still be rich and we are just a bunch of drowned rats.

Posted here by

Terry Bankert

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good Job Buchanan

By Terry Bankert


It’s a good thing for the City of Flint to have a representative in Washington DC to lobby for financial assistance to General Motors. It is appropriate that the city admistrator was the one selected. How can we not be proud that our city administrator was interviewed on CNN.

Good job Mr. Buchannan. Flint City Administrator Darryl Buchanan was part of the Mayors Automotive Coalition, which met with legislators to push for the $15-billion aid package and held a news conference last Tuesday to push for aid for the automakers.

I heard that Buchanan on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" Tuesday where he talked about Mayor Don Williamson's 2006 "Save All of America" plan, which would give vouchers to Americans to help buy new cars. An article in the Flint Journal stated "People were calling in from around the country and asking questions," he said.

Buchanan was talking about Williamson recommendation for government to give a $5,000 voucher toward the purchase of a new car for every household where a registered voter lives. Buchanan said if the loan is not extended to the automakers, millions of jobs, billions in wages and property taxes would be lost across the country.

Its good economic theory that if you give money to the consumers to only buy American cars it will help the economy faster and better that filtering it through a federal bureaucracy and General Motors Corporate structure. It would sell cars faster and put people to work quicker. Good ideas are always appreciated.

Mr. Buchanan should consider reporting to the community the impact his trip had and his thought about our economic situation.

Posted here by
Terry Bankert

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Blog on holiday break

Thank you for the expierence

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Child Support Modification

Good Morning Flint!
By Terry Bankert 12/6/08
The following is a summary of the material I will present on WFLT 1420 AM Radio on Saturday 12/6/08. This is a call in program 239-5733 if you have questions on this presentation or family law. I can also be reached through the web page listed above.
Issues for discussion 12/6/08

[Longer article at ]

Q1: If the baby’s mama makes you agree to not lower your child support in order to have you child overnight 167 nights a year can you get your child support lowered later after your income declines?

Q2:You put the above in a contract but you know the law says child support is always modifiable does that change your answer.

Q3.To get these grate overnights you had to promise to give mom 25 % of your yearly bonus in addition to child support above the guidelines , you are now paying way above the guidelines, does that change your answer.

Q4. Mom makes $80,000 a year and all she gave up was a little spousal support can you get
your child support reduced.

Q5. Mom and dad are lawyers, dad make $177,000 [practicing law] and mom makes $80,000 [ in private business], dad gets annual bonus in the amount of six figures normally mom would have been awarded spousal support. Can dad get his child support lowered.

1.Child support; Whether the trial court properly granted the defendant-father's motion to modify his child support obligation;

2.Change of circumstances; governing determination of child support;

3.Michigan Child Support Formula Manual (MCSFM); .
[This opinion has been modified for media presentation consult an attorney before you rely on its content.(...) Indicates content has been removed CAP headlines have been added-Terry Bankert 12-5-08]
Michigan Court of Appeals (Published), Case Name: Holmes v. Holmes e-Journal Number: 41219, Judge(s): Gleicher, Bandstra, and Beckering
The court held since the child support guidelines set forth a parent's minimum support obligation, a voluntarily assumed obligation to pay an amount in excess of the minimum is not inherently objectionable and a contract enhancing a parent's child support obligation should be enforced, absent a compelling reason to forebear.

The parties, both attorneys, have two minor children.

A consent divorce judgment was entered in July 1996. At the time of the divorce, the plaintiff-mother practiced in a small firm.

She is now the president of a family construction business and no longer practices law.

Defendant-father is a partner in a large statewide law firm.

The consent judgment of divorce incorporated a document the parties called the "contract," which provided, inter alia, for joint legal custody of the children, with plaintiff having physical custody, defendant having overnight custody about 164 days a year, and a paragraph as to the computation of child support including a provision requiring defendant to pay as child support 25 percent of any net bonus each year. The contract also contained a provision addressing future child support modification. Over the years, the computation of the amount of child support defendant was to pay was disputed by the parties.

Just before the 10-year anniversary of the divorce judgment, defendant moved for modification of his child support obligation.

The issue was mediated and the trial court issued an order modifying the support obligation (which resulted in a $45 increase in defendant's payments) and held an evidentiary hearing on the bonus percentage, and changed the bonus to 9.3 percent.

The trial court refused to enforce the bonus agreement the parties entered into voluntarily, despite the absence of any evidence its enforcement would create a hardship for the defendant, or otherwise qualify as unjust or inappropriate.

Plaintiff appealed.

The court held the trial court did not err in concluding a change of circumstances warranted modification of defendant's support obligation.

The Supreme Court requires trial courts use the MCSFM and established a procedure they must follow when deviating from the MCSFM including an explanation of how the order deviates from the formula.

The court noted the history the parties' child support dispute illustrated enforcing the bonus agreement served the purposes of the statutes governing child support, while preserving the court's ability to modify defendant's obligation if his or the children's financial circumstances changed.

The bonus provision in the divorce judgment was contractual, freely negotiated, and unambiguous. Thus, it must be enforced as written. Reversed and remanded.
December 4, 2008 9:05 a.m. v No. 276470 Kent Circuit Court
RICHARD E. HOLMES, JR., LC No. 96-003184-DM Defendant-Appellee.
Before: Bandstra, P.J., and Beckering and Gleicher, JJ. GLEICHER, J.
e-Journal Number: 41219

Posted Here By
Terry Bankert

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Presentation: We are creating social change right here right now!

Good Morning Flint!
12/05/08 , latest update
By Terry Bankert

From the moment we are born we are all trying to get our voice heard!
Use of the internet/blogosphere to get your opinion/ message out.

Slide Show of Workshop

I accepted the call to sit on a luncheon panel of media people to talk about how non profit organizations can use the media effectively.

My role is to represent the blosphere as a media to be used by non profits. I immediately asked friends on the internet for help.

This panel is part of a day-long Tell Your Stories mini conference--"Using New Media for Social Change" -- where they expect to work with about 50 nonprofit communicators (volunteeers and staff responsible for telling stories that advance their missions and strengthen their organizations).

The panel I am included on consists of John Foren from Flint Journal, Kevin Wilson from Channel 12, and invites not confirmed yet include Jennifer White from Michigan Television, someone from the Courier, and the moderator is former broadcaster and Flint native Michael J. Thorp.

With two hours for lunch , my having to leave for court early and the star quality panel my contribution will be to briefly describe my journey on the internet and answer a few question.

To learn from this I thought I would compose and post a longer article, this follows.

As indicated I began by posting a request for help to several internet sites.

Several responded and I am grateful. THANK YOU TO Kathy & Christine at Blogging for Michigan, ANDI03 at Flint Talk, Jeff at FaceBook.and tmmccullough at Flint Citizen for your contribution. This article is archived at .

I began my internet journey in 1999 by creating a yahoo e-group for parents caught up in child protective proceeding. Working with “Unity” and Karen Hamilton I tried to give support to parents caught up in these proceeding. The group still is in operation.

Several years ago the survival of the Flint Ombudsmans office was placed on the ballot during a special Feb. Election . I formed a group called Flint Citizen and advocated for the support of the office. The Office survived the election and the group continues to exist.

I stumbled upon Flint Talk .com becoming involved in a Flint School election. I created then, my vehicle called “ Good Morning Flint”.

Later I became involved in the Flint Mayoral race my candidate won, lost a few friends, stuff happens. It has been in existence 2 years in December and has over 107000 views.

In the spring of 2007 I opened a face book account and currently have over 1000 friends?

Summer of 2008 I was invited as a blogger to a policy conference there I met Christine and Kathy of Blogging for Michigan. They accept my posts regularly and have a state wide readership.

I am now photo blogging and have a flicker account linked to my face book. I have done a couple of other things I remember and many I do not... but..BIG DEAL.

This is a hobby for me.

You know looking back you can say I had this vision, plan, wanted to contribute, give back to the community, I want to mentor or save the next generation or god spoke to me ...but... that’s BUNK.

I like to travel a different path,see my name in print, I am making this up as I go along, just instinctively doing the next logical thing . I am having the time of my life.

Granted I have learned a few things and 25 % of my law practice comes from the internet. So here today with no pretentiousness I will present a few thing I have learned.

Here is a confession, I am a lousy writer and worse photographer but nobody seems to care, yet, Why because I am one of the first in and the waters fine. The big dogs are soon to follow.

At some point in the above time line I ran for Flint City Council and was trounced, fairly, coming in third. No regrets. One burning realization was how few opportunities I had to express my opinion.I did resolve to change that and have been expressing my opinion ad nauseam since then.

In the either of the blogosphere our minds speak to one another free of the Baggage of time distance, access ,age ,social status and physical presentation. Find me an under 30 yrs person who does not text constantly. Presidential elections set fund-raising records on the internet, bloggers are treated like kings or at least get to meet them. These times they are a changing.

My observations of the internet/blogosphere follow. What is the Blogosphere Blogosphere is a collective term encompassing all blogs and their interconnections. It is the perception that blogs exist together as a connected community (or as a collection of connected communities) or as a social network. Blogosphere (plural blogospheres) (Internet) The totality of blogs, especially the unique jargons, cultures and shared interests created by their interconnection.

What is a blog? It used to be a diary. My definition is a regularly posted comment by one individual in a location readily found in the same location or site.

I blog to sites I control and what I call cross posting to a number of other sites. Often I will post my blog in the comment section of a commercial publication that has covered the same topic. In short I aggressively market.

Observation 1- To be heard you should aggressively market on the internet.

Now this approach has its draw backs. A couple of years ago I attempted to create a series of what I call “alpha voices” on MLIVE. My objective was to be able to advocate policy questions state wide. I broke a couple of rules, multiple screen names [ I had 100 +] and had a few internet skirmishes with the MLIVE techies. End result my IP cannot log on to MLIVE forums. So be it. I will wear this red band, BANNED BY MLIVE forums. This is to explain why I cannot comment on their valuable contribution here.


*Google Blogs-free *Yahoo egroup-free *email addresses-free * boards and other vehicles created by others that you can ride on.- free

Observation 3

Web page address are the new phone numbers. The 30 and under crowd understand this. Soon you will not be able to market your product or service without one. I bought my web page from a pro. But GoDaddy has easy ones you can create yourself.

Observation 4 .

Email address are the new internet currency. Guard yours and seize theirs. It costs a buck to mail a letter. Email is marginally near free. I have 4500 address taken mostly when someone mails bulk to me without (BC) bling copy.

Observation 5

Internet discussion and or blogs are replacing highway billboards and your daily newspaper.

Observation 6

Blogospheric profits is measured by *hits*views*Comments to your stuff *accumulated friends (face book, my space)*people who show up to your internet advertised events *people who join your cause* the amount of money you raise. *people who contribute to your cause

Observation 7

Speed of distribution is a valued tool.*beat the commercial media with your message *supplement or correct the commercial media

Observation 8

Transparency is a good thing. It builds trust.

Observation 9

NOT EVERYONE IS ON LINE * Find the people online who talk to the people not online. *poor people who often are not on line can be reached through.
5.other human service agencies
7. blogger -

*The overall message, has to be used in conjunction with a plethora of other avenues.
1. in person
2.flyers with a webpage address
3.telephone other thoughts

-Keep it simple and the contacts should look individualized

Observation 10

Keep it lean or keep it simple. The recipient does NOT want to have a long list of people that are cc'd....ultimate turnoff. Write it just like a regular letter...only provide links to relevant information. Do not drone on and on.

Observation 11

email campaigns can be made to look individualized. Email to yourself and blind copy to the 1,000 other people you are communicating with.

Observation 12

Post to boards where area people congregate. Avoid personalized debates and do not interact with people there to start an argument.(trolls)

Observation 13

There are a number of easy ways to collect email address or social network recipients of your regularly newsletter/blog.

Observation 14.

I get most of my information on line I read multiple publications/ electronic newspapers on the same story. Google news

Observation 15.

I am a public figure and I use my name. You should consider using just your first name and never give out personal information. Those horses are out of the barn for me. If you are an agency your top people should use their full name

From a Friend Kathy

Suggestion A -INTRODUCE YOUR SELF TO THE COMMUNITY Have the communication director introduce the non-profit by posting diaries on various blogs in the targeted area (or state-wide blogs) and ask the blogs to share the information. The post should describe the organization and outline their goals. Write it up like a press release so people can copy it and reuse it on their personal blogs with very little effort.

Suggestion B -POST TO ALL THE BLOGS IN YOUR AREA Don't limit yourself to independent blogs either. Most newspapers have blogger too (Flint Journal, Lansing State Journal, etc.), so reach out to them through e-mail and encourage them to report on your efforts.

Suggestion C -BEG FOR SPACE Beg for free or reduced advertising space from blogs to get your name out there. I don't know if "fee" space is possible, but it can't hurt to ask!

Suggestion D -ASK PEOPLE TO SHARE THEIR INFORMATION Encourage people to share the information with their churches, community organizations, unions or other groups that you feel would help facilitate your goals. Finally, followup periodically with diaries that outline the organization's progress.


Suggestion F -FACE TO FACE COMMUNICATION NEEDED ALSO The issues are quite severe and will require some form of face to face communications as well as the technical phase.

Suggestion G -THE MOST IN NEED DO NOT HAVE COMPUTER ACCESS Many of those affected do not have knowledge or access to computers. Pleas keep this in mind. Somehow, the religious community needs to rally around this as well.

From another Friend Christine

1. The cbdc, bfm, and the shiawassee forums have had a real impact, and I'd like to deconstruct how that impact has come about, and figure out how to recreate it in other situations.

2. Some quick thoughts ... I 2nd Kathy's suggestions about the blogs, and I'd add that you should have your own blog. and Blogger are free services, so there is no cost here.

3. Be sure to include this URL on all communications, comments, etc. Forums such as
and are an excellent way to reach a lot of people.

4. I would also use social networking such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, and build an opt-in email list as soon as possible.

5. Either use your own email system, or sign up for a free Feedblitz (or similar) account, where you can mass mail your list.

6. Something like Feedblitz will also mail your RSS feed for your blog on a user-configurable basis. (daily, as updated, etc.)

7. Finally, I'd leverage services such as cafepress, where you can create t-shirts and bumper stickers at no cost, and then your most loyal supporters can purchase these items. This helps spread your message offline + can be used to raise some money.

8. In all of these steps I'd be focused on 2 things ...

(8.1) communicating who I am, so as to build up some recognition, credibility, trust, etc., and

(8.2) asking for a specific action from the reader.

Gordon Mayer the guy who recruited me

Vita of Terry Bankert

-internet vehicles I use Flint Talk com
This bulleting board allows my Thread " Good Morning Flint." with daily posts. Up for 2 years it has 107000 views. Monday post received two responses

- Blogging for Michigan Allows me to post daily" Good Morning Flint" # views unknown On occasion I make it to their front page.

- On My Space I post a " Good Morning Flint" daily to a blog , views unknown, and bulletin to 65 members. My

- On Face book post I "Good Morning Flint" daily. I have 1007 friends, blog posted to their profile page. When soliciting friends here is the message I use"I write a daily blog from Flint MI USA. You are invited." The Monday post attracted the spelling police. I need it.

- Through my website I link to Good Morning Flint 2 ways. 1.Flint Internet Advocacy which has 187 members. This group has been used for political action.

2."Good Morning Flint" blogspost 9927 views in the last year Community Blogs , posted to MLIVE ( Flint Journal)

–misc My first egroup was a support group for parents in child protective proceedings

There are 437 members. This began in 1999

- I have a weekly radio program Saturday Morning 9 am WFLT 1420 am radio. I present family law issues and discuss on occasion Flint Politics. I have guest speakers and invite organization to call in with information.

- I write a weekly Column for the CPS Courier a weekly paper distributed in Flint Churches - I have an internet live radio show Flint Talk Radio

- I am a twitter member and have subscribers from that. - Youtube I did 44 segments a year ago, here is one.

- Flickr Photos are included in articles of Good Morning Flint

- I am registered on about (20) local, state , international publication, television website to make comments. If a Good Morning Flint topic is carried I may post to these publications comment section.

- I created and maintain a Democratic National Convention Blog.

- For State Representative Lee Gonzales. I created a blog for him to comment on from the Democratic National Convention.

I have an alternative energy blog in development. Who knows?

Blogging for Michigan has awarded me their press credential and I have covered several events to include the Flint visit of the King of Sweden.

I guess my weekly views or audience events to be 10,000. These are not unique individuals.

My wife thinks I need to get a life.

Posted here by
Terry Bankert

Your thoughts?

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Can the bolgosphere cause social change

By Terry Bankert

I have been asked to do a small part of a panel discussion on the use of the blogosphere for social change. Oh boy.... maybe I need a little help.

It seems to be logical to ask you, the users of the blogosphere to help.

Our audience are the communicators of non profits offering needed human services in these hard economic times. So what do you think? How can you use the blogosphere for social change or to get a non profits message out?

Our collective presentation will “sort of “ represent the entire blogosphere.

I say we because I intend to present your comments.

The entire blogosphere is a big intimidating description. Lets rephrase that. With our collective knowledge just what should a non profit do to spread its message.

Mabey a hypothetical is in order.

If you worked for a brand new non profit with a service area of Genesee County and all the counties that touch it, Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Shiawassee and Saginaw County how would your get your message out on the internet.

Your product is 1 million dollars worth of canned food annually.

How can you get your food to individuals in these counties through internet , blogosphere, communication. You cannot hand this over to an existing organization.

Your communication budget is zero, you already own a lap top and an uplink. What do you do?

If you share thoughts on this please describe the steps you would take . For instance my first step was to ask the question I just asked you and hoped for a result.

This is a real project for a Friday Presentation.

I will report in full on Saturday and blog what I have Friday for the presentation.

Just how can we use this internet vehicle for social change or delivery of human servcies.

Terry Bankert the “sort of” representitive of the blogosphere.


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