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Only solution to Detroit’s crisis: CANCEL THE DEBT

first_imgDetroiters protest emergency manager cuts, June 10.WW photo: Cheryl LaBashDetroit — A new restructuring plan has been issued for Detroit with no real input by the people of the city. Kevyn Orr, the state-appointed emergency manager, held a closed meeting on June 14 with creditors and some labor leaders at the Westin Hotel in the main terminal at Wayne County’s Detroit Metropolitan Airport.Orr’s meeting was met with a demonstration organized by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions & Utility Shutoffs. The coalition brought a group of workers, retirees, community activists and youth to the airport to denounce the emergency manager system for its total disregard of the democratic will of the people of Detroit and Michigan. The protest also exposed the preferences given by the EM to the bankers and bondholders who are largely responsible for the destruction of the city’s infrastructure and the impoverishment of its people.The demonstration, which received national press coverage, was the culmination of a series of activities over the previous six weeks which attempted to mobilize people in the city to challenge the role of the banks in the proposed restructuring of Detroit. Detroiters have consistently opposed the EM appointment through mass demonstrations, rallies, civil disobedience, lawsuits, petition drives and a statewide ballot referendum.On June 10, Orr held a “public meeting” at Wayne State University Law School where he presented a dire review of the city’s finances. Despite Orr’s cancelling two meetings the previous week, hundreds showed up to hear what the emergency manager had to say. Orr was required by the EM law to hold a public forum within 30 days of his initial report, which was issued May 12. Moratorium NOW! had called for demonstrations at both of Orr’s cancelled appearances.Most people at the gathering were opposed to the appointment of Orr. Many sought entry into the meeting, but more than 200 people were declined admission due to limited space. As people lined up outside the Law School after finding out they would not be allowed in, many broke out chanting, “Let us in! Let us in!”Other groups joined Moratorium NOW! both inside and outside the Law School, holding signs and chanting slogans about making the banks pay for the crisis and denouncing the theft of the right to vote for officials who have some semblance of political authority. Emergency management has been implemented in many cities across Michigan, most of which have majority African-American populations.Signs calling for a moratorium on the payment of debt service to the banks and the preservation of municipal employees’ pensions were photographed by local and national press. The demonstration lasted for more than two hours while the meeting took place inside.Moratorium NOW! organizer Jerry Goldberg, who attended the meeting, was able to get the microphone and asked Orr why he was not going after the banks which have “stolen billions from the people of Detroit.”Orr said he did not want to look back on who was responsible for the crisis. However, as Goldberg pointed out, under the Emergency Manager Act, Orr is mandated to conduct an investigation of “criminal conduct” that contributed to the financial emergency.The Moratorium Now! Coalition has consistently noted that it was the criminal fraud perpetrated by the banks — which placed 70 percent of Detroiters in racist, subprime, predatory mortgage loans — that resulted in more than 100,000 home foreclosures from 2005 to 2010, with the resulting massive decline in the city’s population and financial base.As Goldberg stated, it is outrageous that these same banks now claim first lien on the city’s tax dollars. Orr publicly acknowledged that wrongdoing by banks is the basis for canceling the debt, as demonstrated recently in Jefferson County, Ala. There, JP Morgan Chase was forced to repudiate 70 percent of the debt owed to it by the county because of the bank’s criminal activity there.The coalition’s positions were met with attacks by the conservative daily Detroit News in two columns which attempted to claim that the banks were not responsible for the destruction of the city.Deep cuts for workers, residentsWhat Orr advanced in his June 14 report, “City of Detroit: Proposal for Creditors,” was essentially a doomsday scenario for the city and its people. The municipality is facing approximately $18 billion in long-term debt and the population is still declining, with fewer than 700,000 residents.What jumped out immediately from the report was the claim that “The City will not make the scheduled $39.7 million payment due on its pension-related Certificates of Participation on June 14.” COPs are financial instruments that derive revenue from lease transactions that are considered unsecured. Under interest rate swaps associated with COPs, Detroit is paying banks like UBS and Bank of America more than 6 percent interest on bonds whose actual interest rate is 0.57 percent.This $39.7 million due June 14 is the first substantial default on payments to creditors since a similar event in Cleveland in 1978. Orr also reported that $2.5 billion in other unsecured debts, those not based on revenue-generating assets, will not be paid in the short term.The financial community has expressed concern over calls for a moratorium on both debt service and principal payments to banks and bondholders. Moody’s, in a press release in May, objected to these proposals being floated now by Orr and his advisers as a short-term necessity to maintain the city’s operations.During the week of June 10, Detroit was hit by what Standard & Poor’s described as a “super-downgrade” on the value of its bonds. Later Moody’s also issued a downgrade. These rating declines will compound the city’s financial crisis by further destabilizing its so-called “creditworthiness.”What is glaringly absent from Orr’s report is the need for hundreds of thousands of jobs for people who live in the city in order to create an economic recovery. Massive joblessness in the city was acknowledged in the report, but no concrete plan for the creation of jobs was advanced.The problems associated with public lighting outages across the city were also cited, but no program for repairing the city-owned equipment was addressed.There is much in Orr’s report about a rise in crime in the city, but no recognition of the role the financial institutions played and continue to play in this situation, when they targeted the city’s population for racist, predatory lending in both housing and municipal finance.Another closed-door meeting is scheduled with city labor unions on June 20. Union leaders who were present at the June 14 meeting expressed opposition to the proposed cuts in health care and pension benefits.Although specific details have not yet been released, proposals were announced that would cut pension allotments and cancel health care benefits for retirees, forcing them into the Affordable Healthcare Program or Medicare. The Department of Water and Sewage, the Department of Public Works, Belle Isle Park and other public assets are being strongly considered initially for privatization of operations and possible sell-off down the line.What is needed to turn things aroundThe labor unions, municipal retirees, community organizations, youth and students, and workers in general must be organized to fight these proposed austerity measures. Orr, a bankruptcy attorney by profession, is positioning the state to enact even deeper cuts that will negatively impact workers and residents of Detroit. He cannot be relied upon to challenge the banks. In fact, under the Emergency Manager Act, Orr is mandated to guarantee payment of the banks’ debt service at the expense of city jobs, services and pensions.Over the last five years, workers have already experienced massive pay cuts, furlough days, hikes in benefit co-pays, layoffs and privatization of services that have destroyed jobs. More than 2,700 city positions have been eliminated since 2010, and job conditions for remaining workers have worsened considerably.Orr has threatened to take the city into bankruptcy if there is any push-back from workers, pension boards, retirees and other community organizations. This bankruptcy would be the largest in U.S. history involving a major municipality. Federal bankruptcy law would enter unchartered territory, which could lead to court-imposed cuts in pensions, which are guaranteed by state law, but which may be subjected to drastic changes through the bankruptcy procedure.Other municipalities facing similar problems, Stockton and San Bernardino, Calif., have been subjected to efforts by the banks and bond insurers to force the cities to pay their financial creditors as opposed to making pensions and health care a priority for workers and retirees.Moratorium NOW! Coalition and other mass organizations are committed to working with the labor unions and retirees to fight the imposition of Orr’s bank-engineered austerity program on the city of Detroit. The coalition is demanding that Detroit’s debt to the banks be canceled; that city workers’ wages and pensions and city services be retained and expanded; that the banks be forced to pay billions to the city as restitution for the destruction they have caused; and that these funds be utilized for a massive jobs program to put Detroit’s unemployed residents to work rebuilding this city into the working-class mecca it once was.Mass and direct action will be the determining factor in this struggle as it emerges in the period to come.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

“I had to apologise to my children”

first_imgPrint WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Facebook TAGSAdapt HouseDomestic abusefeaturedlimerick Twitter by Bernie [email protected] up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “When I left him, I had to apologise to my kids for bringing them up in a place where their mother lived in terror. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life”.Those are the words of Limerick City woman, Deirdre, who left and abusive marriage after 25 years of being at the mercy of her husband’s absolute control and violent mood swings.“I never thought I was in an abusive relationship because he never laid a finger on me, Yet now I know that’s exactly what it was.I lived in fear of how he would be when he came through the door for all those years”.Deirdre was sharing her experience of escaping abuse during the international 16 days of opposition to violence against women.When Deirdre married, she had no idea what was ahead.“The first time I saw him carry on the way he did for most of our marriage was after our second child was born. He was hammering at something on the landing. It was late at night and a neighbour came in and asked me to ask him to stop the noise.“When I did, he threw the hammer at me from the top of the stairs”.“He was depressed and he would stay in bed for most of the day. But I had to listen for his every move and have a cup of tea ready, at drinkable temperature, when he finally came down the stairs. If it wasn’t how he liked it, he would throw it at me”.Deirdre says she lost her friends as she could never predict whether her husband would be gracious or insulting to them if they called. “I had no social life. He wanted to know where I was every minute of every day. If I went anywhere, he would call my mobile constantly and it had better be switched on”.A combination of depression and drink added fuel to her husband’s fire and the final straw came when their teenage son walked out of the house in the middle of the night after being roused by “roaring and shouting. He demanded we go after him and when we found my son, he hit him. That was the end for me. I realised that this wasn’t normal.”.Deirdre planned to use money she had stashed to accommodate her husband’s drinking to get away. She initially went to another part of the country and then was put in touch with Adapt services in Limerick.“I stayed with them for a few months and I can’t say enough about the support they gave me. When I wanted to talk, they were there. When I couldn’t talk about it, they were there too”.Deirdre has since moved back into the marital home that her husband left and has found a job.“I want women to know that just because they don’t have physical bruises doesn’t mean that they are not suffering abuse. But there is support and there is escape”, she said. Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories WhatsApp Previous article€10 000 missing from Limerick PrisonNext articleOn Catching the Train Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. center_img News“I had to apologise to my children”By Bernie English – December 4, 2015 803 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Advertisement Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Email Linkedinlast_img read more

Utah Senate votes to decriminalize polygamy among consenting adults

first_imgThe Utah state Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday effectively to decriminalize polygamy among consenting adults, reducing penalties for a practice with deep religious roots in the predominantly Mormon state.The bill, which would treat the offense of plural marriage as a simple infraction on par with a parking ticket, now moves to the Utah House of Representatives, where it is likely to face greater resistance.The bill swiftly cleared the Republican-controlled Senate on a vote of 29-0 with little discussion. It also would make it easier for otherwise law-abiding polygamists to obtain access to critical services such as medical or mental health care, education or even employment without fear, she said.Opponents of decriminalization say the current law should not be changed because polygamy is inherently dangerous and harmful to women and children, particularly young girls, some of whom have been forced into marriages with older men. REMNANT OF PRE-STATEHOODPolygamy is a remnant of the early teachings of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members fled persecution over the practice to settle the Utah territory in 1847. The church disavowed polygamy in 1890 as a condition of Utah statehood, and today members of the faith found to be practicing plural marriage are excommunicated.Fundamentalist Mormons, said to number more than 30,000 across the western United States, believe they are adhering to the truest form of Mormon doctrine, which promises polygamists glorification in heaven.Utah’s history of felony punishment for polygamy has never halted its practice entirely but rather driven it to the fringes of society, creating a culture of fear that allows perpetrators to thrive, Henderson said.“The solution to the problem is increased societal integration, which can only come through decriminalizing otherwise law-abiding polygamists,” Henderson said during a preliminary debate on the bill last week.Critics, however, say the measure wrongly frames polygamy as a human rights issue.“Proponents of this bill attempt to piggyback on the success of the gay rights movement by promoting the narrative that this initiative is about consenting adults doing what they will,” the anti-polygamy group Sound Choices Coalition said in a statement. “This has nothing to do about consenting adults or gay rights. It’s all about weaponizing God.”In 2013, Kody Brown, patriarch of the polygamist family featured on the “Sister Wives” television reality show, challenged the law after being investigated for bigamy by Utah County prosecutors. No charges were filed.A federal judge struck down the anti-polygamy law as unconstitutional. But a federal appeals court reversed the ruling and the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case.Topics :center_img Under current law, polygamy – typically involving a man who cohabitates with and purports to marry more than one wife – is classified as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.If the Senate bill becomes law, punishments for plural marriage would be limited to fines of up to $750 and community service.However, fraudulent bigamy – in which an individual obtains licenses to marry more than one spouse without their knowledge, or seeks to wed someone underage without her consent – remains a felony.The chief sponsor of the measure, Senator Deirdre Henderson, said the intent of the bill is not to legalize polygamy but to lower the penalties so those from polygamous communities who are victims of crimes can come forward without fear of being prosecuted themselves.last_img read more

Local Kids Successful At Pitch, Hit, & Run At GABP

first_imgThe Pitch, Hit, & Run Regionals took place at Great American Ballpark on Saturday Morning (6-7).Each kid received a plaque the shape of home plate, very nice large plaque. 3 of the 5 kids from our Ohio Rod Sectional were winners!! All kids represented our area very well, and we are proud of all of them.Results-Ohio Rod Sectional Local kids:Trey Heidlege (Batesville) – 13/14 boys – 1st place – Got to walk on field in pregame ceremonies!! Great Job!!Katelynn Samples (Versailles) – 9/10 girls – 3rd place.Julia Rea (Versailles) – 13/14 girls – 4th place. Ohio Rod Sectional out of town kids:Chloe Ferris (Madison) – 11/12 girls – 1st place!! Got to walk on field in pregame ceremonies!! Great Job!!Keely Hubbard (Floyd’s Knobs) – 7/8 girls – 1st place!! Got to walk on field in pregame ceremonies!! Great Job!! All first place kids will now have their scores compared to all 30 MLB teams who hosted and the top 3 in each age group would get to advance to All-star game.  Details will follow soon.Courtesy of the Area Pitch, Hit, & Run Coordinator Brian Samples.last_img read more

Barca stumble to draw at Sociedad after penalty protests

first_imgSAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (Reuters) – Barcelona lashed out at the referee after their six-game winning streak in all competitions came to a halt yesterday with a 2-2 La Liga draw at Real Sociedad, in which they conceded a penalty and had an appeal for a spot-kick turned down in added time.The draw leaves Barca still leading with 35 points from 16 games but Real Madrid, on 34, can take over at the top with a win at Valencia today, perfectly setting up a mouth-watering midweek clash between the two giants at the Camp Nou.Sociedad are fourth in the table on 28 points, three points behind third-placed Sevilla who play today. The hosts went ahead in the 12th minute with a Mikel Oyarzabal penalty but goals from Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez either side of halftime put Barca in front, only for Alexander Isak to level shortly after the hour mark.Both sides went looking for a winner in a frantic finale and Barcelona had a strong penalty shout waved away in stoppage time when Gerard Pique was tugged by defender Diego Llorente. The incident appeared to provide a stronger case for a penalty than when Barca’s Sergio Busquets was punished for grabbing Diego Llorente’s shirt early in the game.An aggrieved Busquets questioned why referee Javier Alberola Rojas was not instructed by the video assistant referee (VAR) to review the late incident involving Pique on the screen.ADVERTISEMENT“If you set the bar so low as in the first penalty then you have to give a lot of penalties. The VAR should have intervened in the last play, it’s a clear penalty against Pique,” he said.“I think the referee saw it but he didn’t want to award it. I don’t know why the VAR didn’t intervene. I’d like to hear an explanation but there won’t be one.” NO CELEBRATIONSpain international Oyarzabal sent Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen the wrong way from the spot to give Sociedad the lead but Griezmann levelled in the 38th minute by scoring against the club where he began his career.The French forward, who entered Sociedad’s youth academy aged 13, opted against celebrating after nonchalantly scooping the ball over keeper Alex Remiro, to score, having been played in by Suarez in a sweeping counter-attack. Suarez put the Catalans ahead in the 49th minute, passing a lay-off from Lionel Messi into an empty net.But Sociedad levelled when Ter Stegen failed to properly punch away a cross from Nacho Monreal and Swedish youngster Isak pounced on the loose ball to smash it home from close range.“Both teams had their moments and their chances and either side could have scored a third goal,” said Griezmann. “It’s a shame we could only draw. We gave everything but now we have to learn, improve and focus on the Clasico. They made a very good start and we got our tactics wrong, but in the end we fixed it and we created chances to win the game.”last_img read more

Golf: Oboh Begins Quest for Women’s British Open Spot

first_imgfor one of the places available in the qualifying tournament.Oboh played a score of three over par 75 at the Pre-Qualifying tournament held at Sandy Lodge Golf Club on July 15 to book her place in the final qualifying competition.Oboh told THISDAY she is unfazed by the challenges she had faced so far since turning professional earlier this year, as she is following her dream of becoming the first female Nigerian to win a major title.The one-day tournament will decide those that will join the elite players that had already been listed by the organizers for the championship holding at Woburn Golf Club in Buckinghamshire, England.The teenage sensation has been undergoing her apprenticeship with the PGA of Nigeria (PGAN) under the tutelage of Mathew Lawrence of Ikoyi Club 1938.The venue of the British Open, Woburn Golf Club has a rich affiliation with the event and professional golf tournaments having first hosted the Women’s British Open in 1984 and ten times since then, most recently in 2016 when Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn prevailed by three strokes on the critically acclaimed Marquess’ course.As one of only two women majors played outside the US, the Women’s British Open is known to be the most international with 29 different nations represented in the 2018 line-up and 19 of the top 20 on the Rolex World Rankings headlining the field.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Olawale AjimotokanGeorgia Oboh will contend with 107 golfers all in the final qualifying tournament for the 44th edition of the Women’s British Open which tees off today at the Ashridge Golf Club, in Little Gaddesden, England.It is a career high for the young professional golfer who is aspiring to become the first Nigerian to feature in the coveted tournament by biddinglast_img read more

Henrietta Reheard: March 20, 1923 – March 29, 2015

first_imgHenrietta ReheardHenrietta R. Reheard, departed this life to be with her husband, March 29, 2015.Henrietta was born March 20, 1923.  She had been a Quality Control Inspector at Boeing for many years before retiring.Henrietta met Dwaine in grade school and they married August 1, 1942.  She was a devoted wife and mother who enjoyed crafting, doing her family tree, photography, and visiting with her family and friends.  She will be greatly missed.She is preceded in death by her husband, Dwaine M. Reheard; her parents, Royal H. and Etta Palmer; brothers, Raymond V. Palmer and Roy H. Palmer, Jr.; her sister, Roberta E. Palmer; one granddaughter; and one great grandson.She is survived by her daughters, Crystal Charles and Kimeron Sundry; two sisters, Viola Patterson and Violet (Mickey) Rowan; one grandson; three granddaughters; two great grandsons; and two great granddaughters.Graveside Services will be held at Prairie Lawn Cemetery on Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 2 p.m.  Mr. Paul Carr will officiate.Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 from 1 to 8 p.m.A memorial has been established with the Wellington Humane Society, P. O. Box 494, Wellington, KS 67152.  Contributions may be left at the funeral home.Frank Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements.To leave condolences or sign our guest book, please visit our website at www.frankfuneralhome.netlast_img read more