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Kevin Dedicatoria
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Kevin Dedicatoria

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The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) remains in the planning and public input process. The RTA, when in full effect through voter approval in the following counties, will be a body governing public transportation services between the main three counties of Metropolitan Detroit (i.e. Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland) and Washtenaw County (e.g. Ann Arbor where the main campus of the University of Michigan is located). The meetings are/were intended to boost support for the authority and planning the routes to help residents in all four counties travel within them. One of the oppositions against the RTA, like almost any project involving infrastructure (e.g. roads, rails), is paying for it like bus maintenance and repairs, compensation of bus drivers and mechanics, and so on. I remain wary, but not completely hopeless, the residents in all four counties would vote against any referendum creating the RTA and the ripple effect (e.g. hiring workers to operate bust routes, repair buses, create para-transit services for people with limited mobility). Considering the vast opposition against Proposal 1, the support for raising and/or placing new levies/taxes on housing in the counties to fund the RTA will also be a tough sell.

The current bus systems do not cover all four counties and remain inadequate as they are now. The recent example of the Detroit resident who had to walk a lot of miles to/from work because the Suburban Mobility Authority for Rapid Transit (SMART) and the Detroit Department of Transporation (DDOT) do not travel to Livonia where he works. This guy is one of many Detroiters, for example, going through similar hurdles for going from point A to point B like home and to/from work. The solution of "buying a car," as one mayor suggested over participating in SMART, for residents who use the bus is not practical due to not just making car payments, but the expenses for gasoline, car insurance, repairs, etc. would be far more expensive than having a bus pass that covers the City of Detroit, the suburbs in Metro Detroit, and Washtenaw County to/from work, stores, events, etc.

What do you think?
Each meeting runs from 1-7:30 p.m. Other meetings will be held this week in Macomb and Oakland counties
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I share this report for different reasons: the similarities and differences of Asian economies (particularly Japan) vs. the rest of "The West" (i.e. United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and rest of the European Union, New Zealand, Australia), my perception of racism as a factor of opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, ignorance (by choice or not) of East and Southeast Asian cultures and how that affects economies, and racism against Asians by the automotive industry and other reasons.

The Bank of Japan, like the Federal Reserve will stop in the near future, is lowering interest rates and buying the country's bonds to encourage Japanese consumers and companies to spend to purchase goods and services like food and manufacturing equipment to replace worn down ones and paying off loans and other debts. A consequence of the action is a lower value currency making their products like cars, televisions, etc. from Japanese companies cheaper to purchase worldwide and less expensive in business costs and higher profits. Once again, the Federal Reserve during their government bond buying and lower interest rates delivered the same outcome for American companies and made it cheaper to invest and hire workers in the United States versus Canada.

The European Central Bank is also participating in the identical actions the Bank of Japan and Federal Reserve are doing. The consequences would make both the Euro's value go down AND also make companies whose home country uses the Euro (e.g. Germany, France) at a better advantage to sell their products (e.g. cologne/perfumes, designer bags) because the Euro value is more closer to the U.S. Dollar. That leaves American goods at a much weaker advantage overseas and in the United States over European products. However, almost no backlash exists for the European Central Bank executing EXACTLY the same actions as the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan.

Japan relies a lot on temporary and part-time workers like France and other European Union countries for their economy but has a far lower unemployment rate than European Union countries. Japanese persons, like many in the United States, prefer to buy and use goods and services from their own companies and have great dislike for "foreign" products. Also, they prefer to have "one of their own" to train for and labour positions in workplaces including healthcare over "foreigners" much like the sentiment is among several in the United States........from progressives to conservatives. The dislike of people immigrating to their respective countries because they "take the jobs away from people in this country" is another thing Japan and the United States share in common.

What do you think?
Pit stop THE residents of Kotobuki live not far from the glitzy shops and upscale restaurants of Yokohama, Japan’s second-biggest city, adjoining Tokyo, the...
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Gas prices won't stay "low" for the long-term but will not likely return to the US$4/gallon (1 gallon = 3.78541 litres) it reached in Michigan during this past summer. The impact of the amounts of oil available for use being greater than what is desired by people and companies for fuel is a bittersweet thing: Fantastic for people who drive motor vehicles and airlines fueling airplanes to transport passengers and cargo but devastating for governments and economies of all levels relying on oil for tax revenues, jobs, economic growth in other fields (e.g. retail). Filling my car to/from Flint and Metro Detroit won't be as expensive for me compared to the summer ha ha ha.

The unfavorable outcomes are not unique to Canada, many Middle Eastern and North African countries (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya), etc. but includes U.S. states where shale oil is drilled onshore (e.g. Louisiana, Texas, North Dakota). Companies operating oil fields throughout Alberta Province in Canada, Texas, North Dakota, etc. will cut production to adopt to the low oil prices per barrel since the current oil prices per barrel are lower than the breakeven (the amount of money earned and spent for drilling, extracting, and shipping oil are the same amounts) US$60+/barrel minimum. Workers currently laboring at numerous oil fields to capture oil later to be used for electricity, fueling car and airplane motors, etc. will be laid off to adopt the need for oil in markets worldwide.

What do you think of the report and my commentary?
Lower oil prices bring relief to Canada’s wallets, with an estimated $12-billion in savings coming in 2015
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The last year the Canadian federal government had a balanced budget was 1998. Balancing national government budgets take years to accomplish and heavily rely on how strong each national economy is (e.g. employment, taxes on production and consumption of goods and services and income, value of currency). I share this article for many reasons. Canada relies a great deal on oil for economic prosperity more so than the United States, and the U.S. remains the top receiver of Canadian oil. Because of oil prices continue to decline for the supply of available and usable oil exceeds the demand, the value of the Canadian Dollar continues to shrink to the U.S. Dollar AND will impact budgets on all levels of Canadian governments.....especially Alberta (or the Texas of Canada). The benefit of lower gas prices comes at a hefty blow to countries dependent on oil royalties and other taxes to support their countries. On a brighter side for my fellow American gamblers living closer to the Canadian border, we receive more Canadian money for our dollar to gamble ha ha ha.
Survey of corporate leaders say Ottawa should focus on increasing productivity, GDP growth and boosting full-time employment
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Select hospitals in Toronto, Ontario, Canada provide voluntary (i.e. you can do it if you want) forms for patients requesting their race, religion, sexual orientation, annual income, and other personal demographic information. Hospitals in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and United States (U.S./U.S.A.) already engage in such actions. Supporters of the strategy would allow hospitals and other health care facilities to know the types of individuals receive their services and eliminate as many gaps to provide any and all help their patients need like language barriers (e.g. the understanding and communicating of English is not enough without needing a translator) and prioritizing testing and treatments for diseases highly affecting certain populations (e.g. human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome or HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men or MSM), People disagreeing with the patient demographic form outreach in hospitals feel patients' personal information would be less protected as any healthcare provider (e.g. doctors, nurses, social workers) signed to their facilities' medical record(s) data program(s) can access their data without the former group knowing about it and create a lower sense of security for them to address concerns to doctors, nurses, and so at hospital or outpatient centers/centres while having little to no privacy about their lives. There are also instances, including one mentioned in the report, where hospital and other healthcare facilities told patients the forms were required NOT optional.

I support the initiative for healthcare places to provide forms asking patients about their annual incomes, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. I think those facilities will have greater knowledge to the types of people they serve while requesting and/or getting additional services (e.g. translators), training (e.g. cultural and/or queer sensitivity), and resources to fully deliver the care needed while not wasting resources for patients their do not or rarely treat. The paperwork must always remain up to the patient or person writing the form to complete and not required by the hospital or patient care centres/centers. I remain concerned about if there are or not places regarding gender AND sex separately as well as allowing individuals to have an 'other' plus separate lines for gender, sex, and sexual orientation if their option(s) are not listed. Because those three demographics remain ever changing with labels and numbers of people don't follow the gay/straight/bisexual and/or male/female labels (especially in places with a significant queer population like Toronto), I think healthcare isn't sufficient to help those who do not identify as any of those five groups. Also, transgender healthcare needs remain insufficient to help the illnesses and medical problems of this very diverse community.

What do you think?
Proponents say personal data will be used to address inequities and language barriers, but some patients and physicians are raising concerns
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If you are a registered voter in California, the vote YES on the ballot measure allowing $7.5 billion for water projects throughout the state. The money will be appropriated towards contaminated water cleanup, creation of water storage locations, and other projects to preserve and effective apply water which continues to remain in vast shortages to the extent of rations for watering lawns. The water in California is not only used for residents and visitors to bathe, clean clothes and dishes, and drink but for the billion dollar agriculture industry which includes crops and feeding livestock for dairy and meat. I'm aware there are other uses for the state's water but highlighting two particular purposes.
I think the governments and people living in the states and Ontario, which are dependent on the Great Lakes for the lakes' purposes (e.g. drinking water, transporting people and goods, schools of fish for eating), must adapt more strict conservation practices in addition regular cleaning of the lakes and tributaries. We must be cautious and NOT USE excessive water for our daily lives such as bathing (e.g. showers vs. baths) and lawns and gardens. Also, replacing water heaters, washers and dryers, and plumbing fixtures (e.g. toilets, faucets) with more newer models can save not only water but money. More recent products require less energy and water to provide what we need to complete like bathing and cleaning dishes.
I also believe the talk about fixing our infrastructure (e.g. fix our roads) must include money to repair and upgrade our water and electricity lines which includes replacing older sewer system pipes with new pipes and technology to filter, clean, and return water for consumer and environmental purposes. Our water (and electricity) setups should be included in the discussion to maintaining our resources and infrastructure NOT ONLY our roads, bridges, and highways. Businesses and consumers use all the mentioned systems in their lives. The costs for roads, bridges, water lines, electricity grids, etc. may come back to bite us harder in the future with higher prices for usage if we don't continuously fund them via additional tax dollars to continuously support them from repairs to replacements.
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After months of political haggling, a ballot measure that will ask voters in November to approve $7.5 billion in borrowing for water projects sailed through the Legislature on Wednesday.
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Kevin Dedicatoria

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I applaud the United States (U.S.) Democratic Senators (except Senator Tom Carper of Delaware), plus Independent Senators Angus King and Bernie Sanders, for stopping the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) also known as "fast track." The TPA would allow Congress to pass trade agreements between the United States and other countries, either individually or as a group, quicker to be signed into law by the sitting President of the United States. I don't necessarily oppose ALL trade agreements but prefer to take each trade agreement with a grain of salt and review the deals individually.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) involves 11 countries from both Americas, Australia, and Asia with Japan being the top reason of opposition among Michigan Democrats and those with loyalties to the United Auto Workers (UAW). Japan's market is pretty closed to competition among goods and services, and Japanese consumer trends dislike foreign products as "shameful" like what Americans and American businesses (un)intentionally push in the United States for our goods and services and "foreign" ones with the "Buy American," "Support American Workers" (ironically), like-minded slogans and propaganda. Technically, you can support American workers by buying "foreign" brands and "foreign" workers through purchasing "American" brands based on where the materials and final goods are made. The profits, however, are not guaranteed to remain in the company's main headquarters and also go to executives and stockholders throughout the world. For your information, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has their headquarters in London, England NOT in the United States for those complaining about ASIAN car company profits going back to Japan or South Korea.

My main oppositions to the Trans Pacific Partnership are the negative effects of job losses in the United States from less tax revenues for local and state governments to businesses losing customers and/or shutting down due to manufacturing workers laid off without an income to spend there due to cheaper labour in Mexico, Vietnam, and Malaysia based on current foreign exchange rates and the substandard working conditions reported in lower paying countries.

I suspect the currency manipulation bill would mainly be considered because of Japan's "unfair process" to weaken their yen. In reality, the Bank of Japan is buying government bonds to lower interest rates to ease lending for business capital and consumer spending in the country. The process also improves profit margins for companies based in the country. Business capital, for example, includes repairing or replacing existing machinery for assembling automobiles or aircraft parts and computers to monitor supply chains of products to customers worldwide. The United States equivalent, the Federal Reserve, has been doing the exact type of program, also known as quantitative easing, for the past 7-8 years. The European Central Bank, or the European Union counterpart to both the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan for Eurozone countries like Germany, are in the process or right now doing the same thing for the same reasons. I do not believe Senate Democrats and/or free-trade opponents would push so fiercely for a currency manipulation bill for a European Union trade agreement. That would be why I think opposition to the TPP is also rooted in xenophobia and racism.

What do you think?
Even as President Obama 's bid for a sweeping Pacific trade deal was dealt a stinging blow by lawmakers in his own party, there is growing support from the American public for expanding global commerce, particularly among Latinos and blacks whose influence is rising in the Democratic Party .
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Kevin Dedicatoria

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The bills really grant licenses to discriminate against someone based on actual or assumed sexual orientation and gender identity or expression under the excuse of religion. When you have a public business, you're supposed to serve everyone. Businesses have bigger priorities of staying profitable and making sure the services and goods their customers purchase are fully paid. Unlike what Fox News and the like claim, the worst penalty for violating non-discrimination laws are fines not jail time as the Colorado baker who refused to bake a same-sex wedding cake. This contrasts with another baker recently refusing to decorate a cake with an anti-gay message because she regards the customer's desire as hateful but provided him with the necessary things to create it himself.

Also, the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution was intended to separate religion and faith from governments and policies as Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists. Clergy are already guaranteed to allow or deny performing marriage ceremonies without being punished under laws by the same amendment. Any existing laws going against the last sentence violate the U.S. Constitution.

Here is a link reporting attempts in Texas to put such "freedoms" under their state constitution: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article12402038.html

Here is the article where my commentary is sparked from: http://www.nytimes.com/…/us/ap-us-xgr-religious-freedom.html

I'm interested in the opinions especially of LGBT conservatives/homocons (Yes, I've seen that label used by a gay conservative/libertarian), classical liberal (capitalist) libertarians, and the like. I want to make clear I call out and condemn politicians and political figures, analysts, and opinions against LGBT+ regardless of party affiliation, ideology, and the like such as former Michigan State Senator Tupac Hunter attempted a religious freedom bill to exempt medical and mental health professionals from treating people based on "a sincerely held religious belief" against the individual. That conflicts with medical and mental health licensing boards and associations who provide the accreditation to allow individual to practice medicine, counseling, psychology, etc.

What do you think of the "religious freedom" bills?
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Where the baker messed up is specifying why he would not
Make the cake a business has the right to refuse customers on whatever reason but when the baker said that it was BC of they were gay was where the baker messed up all they had to say I reserve the right to serve you . they don't have to have a reason why keeping they're mouth shut and not explaining this wouldn't even be heard by a court
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American Airlines' flight attendants, including those from US Airways, are and will be represented by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA). They are an independent union and not aligned with the Association of Flight Attendants or do not belong to either the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) or UNiTE HERE. While I am grateful flight attendants of the soon-to-be combined American Airlines will receive pay raises, I remain concerned about how both American Airlines management and their unions will commit to competitive per-worker costs versus other airlines AND fully pay, if not keep that way, retirement and health insurance obligations. The concerns about labour and retirement expenses remain major perceptions against organized labour forming and overall. I certainly hope members of unions take action to address these AND to boot out any and all corruption remaining among their leadership and ranks.
Flight attendants remain quite underpaid in my opinion and perform their jobs under stressful conditions (e.g. rude passengers, cramped aisles, preparing for aircraft emergencies from gate to gate every flight) while missing holidays and significant time with families and friends. However, there are a minority of flight/cabin attendants who are bitchy for whatever reason which is inexcusable. The glamour days of this occupation have mostly fizzled but safety (e.g. treating nosebleeds, delivering babies inflight, self-defense techniques to protect themselves and others on board from terrorists or other threats) remains a bigger priority more than ever as well as providing courteous and professional service. Cabin/flight attendants have to accumulate more time off based on tenure with their air carrier.
Union members had rejected a tentative agreement by 16 votes, but convinced AA management to give them the $81 million they turned down.
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BRACE YOURSELVES! Any corrections and missing but relevant information and background from any of you all are much wanted and appreciated.

Actions speak louder than words. The choices both governments and private citizens do to cut down carbon dioxide emissions are more complex than one thinks. Any chances of taking action to reduce climate change as agreed upon by U.S. President Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are unlikely because of the multiple factors reducing their carbon dioxide and likely other greenhouse gas released in our atmosphere from oil and coal corporate executives, workers involved both industries (e.g. coal miners, oil rig operators), groups supporting both energy sectors, and governments and economies dependent on both industries for their well-beings. Oil prices, depending on your positions about oil from investment to prices to fill your gas tank, can be a bittersweet thing……even in the United States. Coal remains a prevalent source of energy in both countries from electricity to heating……..barbeques for example.

The sun’s radiation is responsible for a lot of the warmth for our planet. The radiation from that star scatters all over our atmosphere, reflects back into space, and absorbed by our planet. Our planet in return warms up and releases radiation into our atmosphere because of greenhouse gases and in space. While greenhouse gases are important and part of nature to make sure our planet is livable, since Earth would be frozen without the heat secured by greenhouse gases, excessive amounts warm our planet to the extent changes in climate, water levels, and livelihoods (e.g. agriculture). Climate change is predominantly caused by human actions primarily to satisfy demands for human goods and services such as burning of forests in Indonesia for palm oil used for cooking and cutting down of trees in the Amazon for grazing cows to be slaughtered for meat. Trees and other plants take in carbon dioxide which is needed for them to live, in addition to water and sunlight, and release oxygen for humans and other land animals to live. I applied these examples to highlight other instances of human activity causing higher amounts of greenhouse gases not only from energy production.

Certain locations where oil is extracted and eventually sold to markets worldwide have a pretty high breakeven total based on the value of oil per barrel such as $80/barrel like those in Mississippi and Louisiana. Breakeven total is where the cost to operate a business and the money coming in are the same. While gas prices are down and favoring those who spend money to fill our tanks to drive like us, the oil reserves in the U.S. may have difficulty turning in a profit. The amount of oil available for use & demand for that natural resource also play significant roles to determine the value of it as much as (supposedly) government regulations and policies do (if any).

Reasons for the Chinese government to step in and announce a climate change plan are not so much [if at all] about the polar bears and melting ice caps but to cut pollution in the country particularly major cities in the United States. The air pollution in major Chinese cities is ridiculous. The Chinese government regularly advises when children cannot play outside and athletes cannot train outdoors because of the high amounts of particles in the air that can damage a human’s respiratory system and body overall. Oil, natural gas, and coal companies in the People’s Republic of China (PRC)/China/Mainland China remain almost if not completely in control by the country’s government. This leads to fighting and any chance to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air from factories, car exhaust, etc. in the country being slim to none. The PRC government will experience greater backlash from Chinese citizens if no actions to reduce greenhouse gases are taken. The environmental damage like factory emissions, cutting down of forests, waste disposed in waterways where fishing happens are consequences for the output of goods and services like energy and metal components for machines. That ignites many protests by Chinese citizens and clashes between the Chinese government and them.

Any hopes of taking important steps to cut carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gasses) released into our atmosphere from power plants, automobiles, and so on are zero from all levels of the U.S. and Chinese governments from groups whose careers, economic fates, and ways of living are directly and indirectly dependent on oil and coal for energy.

What do you all think?
Reflecting the urgency and scale scientists have called for to cope with climate change, the U.S. and Chinese presidents laid out ambitious new targets Wednesday to cut pollution in a deal that negotiators hope will inspire similarly dramatic commitments from other countries.
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Kevin Dedicatoria

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The proposed new anti-gay bill Uganda wants to pass remains harmful to queer and ally Ugandans, and "Western" governments delivering aid to the country should NOT back down when this bill becomes law.
Human rights activists are correct many anti-sodomy laws in Africa, North America, and Asia were created and became law during colonial ruling of present-day countries in both continents (e.g. India, Singapore, Zimbabwe). However, even those laws vary by country with some criminalizing only male-male adult sexual relations or both male-male and female-female adult sex. The new bill increases penalties for "recruiting" and "promoting" other sexual orientations besides heterosexuality or "straight" Ugandan youth and the country respectively.
I think Ugandan youth and young adults who are queer/lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc. (LGBT+)/Gender and sexual minority or GSM/Gender and sexual diversity or GSD will experience a major disadvantage. Little to no resources for them, like support to accept their sexual orientation and/or gender identity or access to needed healthcare without fear of persecution based on their innate (or something(s) you are born with and cannot change), will be available in the country.
Currently, Uganda already penalizes sex between two (or more) individuals of the same-sex even before the "Kill the Gays" bill was considered.
What do you think?
‘He said he wants the law back in the house but now says if two consenting adults go into their room and decide to be stupid, let them be,’ Medard Bitekyerezo said
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I think conservatives and more moderate Republicans can approach support for same-sex marriage/marriage equality in two ways.

The most common reason for Republicans to endorse marriage equality is adults should have the choice to be in consenting, romantic relationships with other (unrelated) adults without government involvement and persecution. In other words, governments should stay out of deciding what relationships adult human beings choose to enter (I'm assuming strictly between adult human beings with no legal and/or blood relation and those who are capable of agreeing to such unions).

A second basis, as attorney Theodore "Ted" Olson (one of the two attorneys who successfully fought to strike down California's Proposition 8 of 2008) used, is same-sex couples want to embrace raising children together with morals and values that have withstood trends as time progresses. Communities are more stable because two parents do not face the hurdles single parents endure to provide for what children need (e.g. unconditional love, food, clothing, education) with both parents splitting bread winning and child raising. Children, in the process, later become adults and continue that cycle I described.
A group of Republican activists are traveling through Iowa this week encouraging their party to moderate on same-sex marriage. Young Conservatives
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