Apply now for the Central European University Summer Course on Drug Policy and Human Rights. Application deadline: 15 February, 2013
A panel reflects on the recent trial and conviction of former Guatemalan dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt—the first time in history that a domestic court has found a former head of state guilty of genocide.
Two panels reflect on the recent trial and conviction of former Guatemalan dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt—the first time in history that a domestic court has found a former head of state guilty of genocide.
Emma Genevieve Gillette, distinguished Michigan conservationist, was born in Lansing on May 19, 1898. She attended Michigan Agricultural College, now Michigan State University, and was the only woman graduate in the college’s first landscape architecture class in 1920.
During the early 1920s, she developed a close friendship with P.J. Hoffmaster, superintendent of state parks (1922-1934) and later director of the Department of Conservation (1934-1951), now Department of Natural Resources. Hoffmaster enlisted Gillette in scouting the state for areas of land having state park potential, an assignment which the nature lover took as her life’s work. Beginning in 1924, she helped locate and raise public support and funding for state parks at Ludington, Hartwick Pines, Wilderness, Porcupine Mountains, and what was to become the P.J. Hoffmaster State Park as well as Kensington Metropark and the national lakeshores at Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks.
To assist in garnering public support for her projects, she founded and was president of the Michigan Parks Association, a group that was instrumental in passing a $100-million state bond issue for parks and recreation in 1969. Gillette herself labored on the proposed bond issue for a period of 10 years. She was also mainly responsible for securing federal funding for the Michigan state parks system in the mid-sixties, arguing that substantial numbers of park users were from out of state and that these users should share in the cost of upkeep of the state system.
During this period, she was also appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee on Recreation and Natural Beauty, neither the first nor the last of many such assignments. As late as 1981, she also served on the Wilderness and Natural Areas Advisory Board of Michigan by appointment of the governor.
The Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park stands as a tribute to this woman whose determination helped to preserve the state’s natural heritage for future generations to enjoy. It might justly be said of Gillette: “If you seek her monument, look about you.”
For more information, see Miss E. Genevieve Gillette, landscape architect : a memorial volume, 1898-1986 / compiled by Miriam Easton Rutz, assisted by Gladys Beckwith ; contributions from Sandy McBeath & Earl Wolf ; illustrations by Gwen Frostic. Lansing?, Mich.] : Distributed by Michigan Women's Studies Association, 1986. 58pp.
"Genevieve Gillette, Lady of the Parks", Michigan History Magazine, September/October 2001.
Consider Genevieve Gillette, a woman who scouted land and park locations for her friend P.J. Hoffmaster. Gillette led the drive to create the Motor Vehicle Permit which provided needed funding for Michigan’s state park system. It took a woman of remarkable creativity to link together the great outdoors and vacation getaways with the auto industry that drove Michigan’s economy. Colleen Steinman, "Where are Michigan's leaders?", The Center for Michigan, November 16, 2007
On May 28, 1940, the phone rang in Bill Knudsen's office in the General Motors Building. Knudsen, a Danish immigrant who had made parts for Henry Ford's Model T in a bicycle factory in Buffalo before working his way up to become president of GM, heard a voice familiar from newsreels and radio broadcasts on the other end.
It was President Franklin Roosevelt. "Knudsen?" the voice said. "I want to see you in Washington."
France was collapsing under the Nazi blitzkrieg. Great Britain was slated to be next. Imperial Japan's sun was rising in the Pacific.
America had the eighteenth largest army in the world, not much bigger than Holland's, and no defense industry — it had been dismantled after World War I, "the war to end all wars."
What FDR needed from Bill Knudsen, one of the fathers of mass production, was to tell him how to convert America's economy from making cars, refrigerators, radios and farm machinery into making tanks, artillery shells, and even airplanes.
Source : Arthur Herman, "The Arsenal of Democracy : How Detroit turned industrial might into military power during World War II", Detroit News, January 3, 2013.
Arthur Herman is the Pulitzer Prize Finalist author of "Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II" (Random House)
On May 18, 1929, members of the notorious Jewish organized crime organization, the Purple Gang, were arrested for arms violations and protecting Detroit drug dealers.
Source : Detroit Historical Society Facebook page
Detroit's infamous Purple Gang / Paul R. Kavieff. Charleston, SC : Arcadia Publishing, c2008. Chronicles "the Purples from their days as a juvenile street gang through their rise to power and eventual self-destruction. Using rare police department mug shots and group photographs, the book transports readers through the dark side of Prohibition-era Detroit history. Detroit had a gold rush atmosphere and a thriving black market during the 1920's that attracted gangsters and unsavory characters from all over the country.
The Purple Gang : organized crime in Detroit, 1910-1945 / Paul R. Kavieff. Fort Lee, N.J. : Barricade Books, c2000. The Purple Gang was a loosely organized confederation of mobsters who dominated the Detroit underworld and whose tentacles reached across the country. Beginning in the Prohibition Era, the Purple Gang prevailed in distilling alcohol and running liquor from Canada, kidnapping, and labor racketeering. This is the hitherto untold story of the rise and fall of one of American's most notorious criminal groups. In an era resembling the Wild West when post World War I America groped for identity, chaos was the rule. And in Detroit's underworld, the Purple Gangsters were the rulers.
Still the worst case of school violence ever recorded. We live in an age where we think that schools shootings, bombings, and the like are only a modern phenomenon. It’s not the type of thing that we would have expected to happen in the 1920s. And in Bath, Michigan.
On May 18, 1927, 45 people, mostly children, were killed and 58 were injured when disgruntled and demented school board member Andrew Kehoe dynamited the new school building in Bath, Michigan out of revenge over his foreclosed farm due in part to the taxes required to pay for the new school.
Across the world, newspaper headlines announced the shocking tragedy in the village with the unlikely name of Bath. The story competed for page one space with the Charles Lindbergh flight and massive floods on the Mississippi River. The New York Times story of May 19 read "MANIAC BLOWS UP SCHOOL, KILLS 42, MOSTLY CHILDREN."
Bath School Disaster Sources:
Bath massacre : America's first school bombing / Arnie Bernstein. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2009.
My scrapbook on the Bath School bombing of May 18th, 1927 with many never before published photographs, stories & survivors' quotes / by Bath historian Gene H. Wilkins. Bath, MI : Timber Wolf LTD, 2002.
On this day, Governor Alpheus Felch signed a bill outlawing capital punishment, making Michigan the first government in the English-speaking world to do so. Furthermore, it was also banned in the state Constitution in 1964.
Michigan Every Day
Eugene G. Wanger, Michigan and Capital Punishment, Michigan Bar Journal, September 2002, pp.38-41.
Barton Deiters, "Why has Michigan opposed the death penalty for more than 150 years?", MLive, April 17, 2012.
Roxarsone, Inorganic Arsenic, and Other Arsenic Species in Chicken: A U.S.-Based Market Basket Sample
A Toxic Flood: Why We Need Stronger Regulations to Protect Public Health from Industrial Water Pollution
Newsmaker Friday: Dem Chair Johnson On First 83 Days
Michigan Democrats have seen some contentious primaries in the past 20 years for major statewide office, but appear on their way to avoiding them in 2014 in one of the first major signs of how new Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson operates.
Hune Calls On LARA To Fine Tainted Steroid Producers
Sen. Joe Hune has called on the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to fine the New England Compounding Center that distributed tainted steroid shots known to be the cause of the fungal meningitis outbreak in many states, including Michigan.
DEQ: Shelby Township Officials Not Barred From Cleanup Meeting On Ford Site
Officials in Shelby Township are calling on the Department of Environmental Quality to provide full transparency of its meetings with Ford Motor Company regarding a contaminated plant site, shut down for years, after township officials were allegedly barred from those meetings.
Robertson MMA Legislation To Face Fighter Scrutiny Tuesday
Sen. Dave Robertson recently introduced a series of bills involving emergency care, liability and sentencing guidelines regarding boxing and mixed martial arts fighting, but some involved with the sport are displeased with the legislation and plan to visit various senators about it on Tuesday.
Digital Media Industry Eyed For Growth, Michigan Film Office Says
While the Michigan Film Office is generally known for awarding project money to the traditional film or television-type shows, it is trying to expand its palette beyond that scope and into other revenue-generating projects in digital media, too, recently granting three incentives between two in-state companies.
Schuette Calls For Special Prosecutor In IRS Scandal
Charging that the recent revelations of the U.S. Internal Revenue System examination of conservative groups seeking tax-free status is a "chilling example of a federal government bent on silencing opposition voices", Attorney General Bill Schuette on Friday called on President Barack Obama to create a special prosecutor to investigate the situation.
Supreme Court Order Ends Pending Case
An order issued by the Supreme Court Friday, acknowledging a stipulation signed by the parties to end the appeal before the court, dismisses the case Cherryland Electric Cooperative v. Blair Township (SC docket No. 145340). The case had dealt with how personal property taxes were assessed for electric cooperatives considering contributions for construction. It had gone before the Supreme Court for oral arguments on March 7.
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #52, Report 98, May 17, 2013. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library.
Food Safety and Inspection Service - Inspection and Enforcement Activities At Swine Slaughter Plants
Expert: 48-Month Cap Puts All Medicaid Funding At Risk
Skepticism continues to mount this week about the House Republicans' proposed 48-month limit on Medicaid coverage -- with one legal expert saying Michigan puts its entire federal funding for the program at risk if it's implemented.
As the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee considers legislation to expand a reformed Medicaid to residents at 133 percent of the federal poverty level, the proposed 48-month cap on coverage for non-disabled adults has been dominating much of the conversation.
This week, Rick Murdock, executive director of the Michigan Association of Health Plans (MAHP), provided the committee with a legal opinion from the Washington, D.C., firm Covington & Burling LLP.
In the opinion, Charles Miller, who specializes in health care litigation for the firm, wrote that the state would not be able to implement the 48-month limit "without risking the loss of its federal Medicaid funds."
Covington and Burling LLP believes that the federal government would find that the cap violates the Social Security Act.
For the full article, see "Expert: 48-Month Cap Puts All Medicaid Funding At Risk", Inside MIRS Today, May 17, 2013.
Other topics covered include:
• Expert: 48-Month Cap Puts All Medicaid Funding At Risk
• Audit Finds $189M Not Spent On Leaking Underground Storage Tanks
• MDP Chair Puts 8th Congressional In Play
• Right To Life Makes Move To Sidestep Gov.
• Diversity, Politicking Keys In Floor Leader Race
• Gay Marriage Support Fueling '16 Petition Drive Talk
• Surplus Hurts Road Revenue Pitch
• Author Of State's Fireworks Law Has Never Used Them
• Schuette Wants Special Prosecutor For IRS Scandal
• Rogers' U.S Senate Decision Expected By June
• ACA Means Pared-Down Women's Health Package
• SFA: April Surprise Fueled By 85% Boom In Income Tax
• Autonomous Car Bill Revving Up For Passage
• Michigan Retains 9th Highest Unemployment Rate
Full access to MIRSNews.com is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.
Today, we’re happy to announce that we will be accepting Bitcoin donations through our website. You can use them to make one-time donations, set up monthly donations or get an EFF membership (which includes awesome membership swag like EFF hats and digital freedom t-shirts).
While we are accepting Bitcoin donations, EFF is not endorsing Bitcoin. EFF does not typically endorse products or services, and we certainly do not endorse any of the electronic payment methods that we currently accept (credit cards, PayPal, and now BitPay).
With respect to Bitcoin as a technology, there is clearly a lot more to be said. Currently it seems that Bitcoin, while innovative, has a number of limitations and weaknesses in its design, and might yet turn out to be just the first draft for future crypto-currencies.1 However, as an organization that supports cryptographic experimentation, we believe the best answer to Bitcoin's potential shortcomings is for others to come along and offer superior alternatives.
Along the way, we want to give our supporters as much flexibility as possible in making donations to EFF. You can click to make a donation to EFF by credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin, and, in the future, hopefully many other payment systems as well.
How We Got Here
Two years ago, EFF decided to stop taking Bitcoins for a number of reasons and returned the coins to the community via the Bitcoin faucet and promised to investigate further. Since then, we’ve been watching the public debate around Bitcoins, seeing the ecosystem develop around them, and conducting our own research on the possible legal issues.
Here were some of the factors we considered when making this decision:
Censorship by payment intermediaries is an ongoing problem for free speech online – so it makes sense to start diversifying the available options. EFF has long tried to identify and fortify the weakest links for speech online, and payment processors remain a significant problem. We’ve seen payment processors with policies that ban speech that would be strongly protected under the First Amendment, that arbitrarily enforce those policies, and that offer no process at all for reinstating closed accounts, much less the sort of due process that the government would have to engage in to shut down speech. We’ve seen payment providers cave to pressure from government officials to shut down accounts. We’ve seen payment intermediaries shut off accounts to censor First Amendment-protected online content. And we’ve seen legislators propose misguided censorship legislation that would have put payment providers in the position of actively shutting down the accounts of individuals accused of copyright infringement. Because of this, we’re generally interested in ways of diversifying the market around payment options, so that a handful of big market players won’t be able to exercise such a stranglehold over online speech.
You can now give Bitcoins to EFF in the same way that you can give stock. EFF has long had a policy that converts gifts of stock and items like cars into cash immediately on receipt. We try to convert your donations into action as soon as possible. Another factor in our decision to take Bitcoins is availability of services like BitPay, which accepts donations for EFF and automatically converts those into dollars which we receive and can immediately put to use. It is akin to the way Stripe processes credit card donations on eff.org, but also akin to the way you can donate a car to EFF.
This relieves EFF of the burden of managing the Bitcoin account. It also ensures that we’re never hanging on to a large quantity of Bitcoins, which was a problem two years ago—we had enough sitting in the account that we likely could have affected the market had we dumped it all at once. The BitPay service also means that our policy and processing are consistent across different types of donations. Most importantly, it allows us to focus on what we do—protect rights online—and ensures that we don’t have a financial stake in the outcome of a digital rights issue, such as whether a particular company does well or the value of Bitcoins grows or takes a dip.
Our research and FinCEN’s guidance removed a key risk to EFF. Both our internal research and the recent report by FinCEN2 have confirmed that, as a user of Bitcoin or any virtual currency, EFF itself is likely not subject to regulation. While some have raised concerns about the FinCEN ruling, and noted that it’s not binding, it did confirm our own analysis of risk to us as a user and reduced our concerns that by accepting Bitcoins EFF risked moving away from its role as a defender of innovators and into the role as a possible defendant.
Our members keep politely asking for it. Ultimately, EFF needs to make independent decisions to do what is technically and legally best for supporting liberty online. Sometimes that means taking on positions or defending views that are unpopular—including those that are unpopular with our members. But we're pleased to be able to provide our members with something they have asked for—repeatedly and passionately—when it’s possible for us.
We already accept lots of unusual forms of donations. Right now, you can donate a car to EFF (PDF), or airline miles, or proceeds from your book, or even stock from your company. We’re happy today to add one more way for digital rights enthusiasts to support our work.
EFF at Bitcoin 2013 Also, if you're planning on attending the Bitcoin 2013 conference in San Jose this weekened, please say hello. We (Rainey and Seth) will both be at the conference, and Rainey will be speaking about financial censorship on a panel on Saturday. Check the schedule on the website for details.
- 1. A full discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the Bitcoin design will have to wait for a future blog post, but we note here that Bitcoin is very often not anonymous in the ways users might believe or expect, because (for instance) the network doesn't actively conceal the IP addresses from which transactions were initiated; its expenditure of large amounts of computational resources may turn out to be unnecessary; and its monetary policy is controversial and arguably designed to incentivize adoption and holding of the currency, rather than maximizing valuable economic transactions. The fact that Bitcoin is subject to criticism should not be surprising; it would have been much more surprising if the first widely used cryptographic currency had been perfect, and very active research continues on ways of improving Bitcoin or creating new crypto-currencies with other properties.
- 2. Note that we are not endorsing FinCEN's guidance as a matter of law or policy.
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