It takes shooter two tries to be arrested for murder in Detroit!

A man suspected of fatally shooting two men and seriously wounding two others had to turn himself in twice before Detroit police would arrest him…

Detroit police said the 36-year-old man got into an argument at a party on Saturday, retrieved a gun and opened fire. Four people were shot, and two died. The man turned himself in at a fire station about two hours later, and fire officials called police, but no officers turned up.

Police said in a statement that “due to area patrol units being busy handling high priority runs, no units were dispatched to the location.”

The man eventually went to a police station, where he was arrested

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens told The Associated Press on Sunday that the department would examine what police units were doing at the time the suspect tried to surrender…

Detroit police have undergone serious personnel cuts under Mayor Dave Bing’s state-supervised effort to close a large budget deficit and avoid a state financial takeover. The city recently imposed a 10 percent pay cut and 12-hour work day for officers.

Stephens said the police department wouldn’t immediately comment on the adequacy of its staffing.

If you follow state politics around the USA since the 2010 elections and the silliness that has followed in the footsteps of the Kool Aid Party and the Republican rollover for beancounters — you ain’t going to be surprised by this tale.

Using a law passed by the conservative-run state legislature, Michigan is suffering under municipalities taken over and run by hacks appointed by the Republican governor. The Detroit mayor’s cost cutting – in an attempt to keep elected government in place – is understandable if not a Sisyphian task.

Still – even while trying to survive nutball government there needs to be someone inside the police department to establish common sense priorities.

How to manufacture a lightweight infinite pipeline

A University of Arizona professor has invented a theoretically infinite pipe that promises to bring down the costs of laying pipelines while reducing environmental damage. Developed by Mo Ehsani, Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at the University of Arizona, the new pipe, called InfinitiPipe, is of a lightweight plastic aerospace honeycomb under layers of resin-saturated carbon fiber fabric put together by a new fabricating process that allows pipes to be built in indefinite lengths on site.

Because they’re out of sight, we sometimes forget how much pipe lies buried under our feet. Spreading throughout and between towns and cities there are thousands, if not millions of miles of pipeline carrying fuel, water, sewage, cables and all manner of other things that make up the veins and arteries of modern civilization. The problem is that any large pipe intended to have any strength, such as those made out steel, concrete or heavy plastic, can only be made in very short lengths. This is partly due to the weight of some materials, but mainly because they’re transported on trucks.

This means that a pipeline, no matter how long, is made up of a series of short sections with hundreds or thousands of joints – each one a potential leak. It also means that the pipes often have to be manufactured at distant locations and then shipped and hauled to construction sites over great distances and at great cost…

Since the InfinitiPipe is made of lightweight materials, transportation costs are much cheaper than for concrete or steel. This makes on site manufacturing an economical proposition. Ehsani envisions a manufacturing unit installed inside of a truck where the pipe would be fabricated and the truck moving forward as the pipeline is fed out.

Ehsani’s design not only promise qualitative cost reduction in the industrialized world – it could enable locally-built projects throughout the world. Building materials need only be delivered periodically to portions of the pipeline route. Local tradesman can be trained to run the quipment and provide necessary labor along artery. Safety and soundness is better assured by the technology.

Former papal candidate: Catholic church is “200 years out of date”

The former archbishop of Milan and papal candidate Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini said the Catholic church was “200 years out of date” in his final interview before his death.

Martini, once favoured by Vatican progressives to succeed Pope John Paul II and a prominent voice in the church until his death on Friday at the age of 85, gave a scathing account of a pompous and bureaucratic organisation failing to move with the times.

“Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous,” Martini said in the interview published in Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

“The church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the pope and the bishops. The paedophilia scandals oblige us to take a journey of transformation,” he said in the interview, published on Saturday…

Martini, famous for saying that the use of condoms could be acceptable in some cases, told interviewers the church should open up to new kinds of families or risk losing its flock.

“A woman is abandoned by her husband and finds a new companion to look after her and her children. A second love succeeds. If this family is discriminated against, not just the mother will be cut off but also her children,” he said.

In this way “the church loses the future generation”, Martini said in the interview, carried out a fortnight before he died. The Vatican opposes divorce and forbids contraception in favour of fidelity within marriage and abstinence without…

Martini’s final message to Pope Benedict was to begin a shakeup of the Catholic church without delay. “The church is 200 years out of date. Why don’t we rouse ourselves? Are we afraid?

Thousands came to Milan to pay their respects on Saturday. I imagine the Rottweiler of Rome is glad to see him gone.

Republican platform is more important than you think, Mitt

A poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press included an unexpected result: Americans say they are more interested in the party platforms released during the conventions than the speeches…

That must be a letdown for the two campaigns…But it shows real wisdom on the part of the American people…

…The quadrennial party platform is a useful document, reflecting the compromises hammered out among relevant players: activists, interest groups and the presidential campaign. After spending weeks haggling over language, they emerge with a political vision that all can live, and govern, with.

That produces some oddities. The 2012 Republican platform warns against “our dependence on foreign imports of fertilizer,” for example, while demanding that “any value added tax or national sales tax must be tied to the simultaneous repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, which established the federal income tax.” It recommends the formation of a commission to study whether we should return to the gold standard, the last vestige of which was abandoned under President Richard Nixon.

Too often, discussion of party platforms begins and ends with such wacky bits. It shouldn’t. The Republican platform takes up a consequential 62 pages. The section on economic recovery, for example, is quite detailed about the party’s reigning philosophy of economic growth and how to achieve it. The main problem it cites is too much government; the solution is to cut spending, cut regulations and unleash the private sector to perform its wonders.

Let’s repeat the same foolishness that got us the Great Recession. GWB – THE SEQUEL.

The platform states: “Our vision of an opportunity society stands in stark contrast to the current Administration’s policies that expand entitlements and guarantees, create new public programs, and provide expensive government bailouts. That road has created a culture of dependency, bloated government, and massive debt.”

What’s notable about this is how unrelated it is to our current predicament…In fact, long-run projections for the size of government are not very different today than they were before Obama became president, and the economy began tanking well before the Republicans were out of power.

Republican economists differ somewhat on solutions. Most understand that the failure in ethics and oversight that confounded Greenspan made the housing bubble-and-crash possible. Republican politicians ascribe the guilt to programs started decades before – following current Republican ideology which premises no responsibility for anything. It’s what American conservatism has become.

Read the platform.

Fact-checking politics — Why we need open journalism more than ever

There’s been a lot of sound and fury over Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s speech at the party’s national convention on Wednesday, and how it was riddled with inaccuracies, or what some prefer to call “demonstrably misleading assertions.” Is it news that a politician on the campaign trail would shade the truth, or use underhanded rhetorical tactics? Probably not, but the Ryan speech touched off a powder keg of emotion around the role that the traditional press plays in such acts of political theater, and whether the mainstream media deliberately downplays those kinds of falsehoods. If nothing else, such incidents show that the process of fact-checking and claim-debunking has to be distributed as broadly as possible — particularly to non-traditional sources.

As Andrew Beaujon at Poynter describes in a post about the response to Ryan’s speech, the Republican VP’s comments about what President Obama did or didn’t do appear to have set a new high-water mark for political fabrication and there have been a series of prominent fact-checking pieces that have taken the speech apart piece by piece to demonstrate that — including one at Salon magazine, and even one at Fox News. A special news app the Washington Post built even allows readers to watch the video and go through the speech line-by-line, with fact-checks inserted.

The Washington Post also did a feature on the entire first night of the convention, awarding the Republican party “four Pinocchios” — complete with graphics of the long-nosed puppet — for their repeated distortions of a quote from President Obama. And of course there were reports from the traditional fact-checking outlets Politifact and, which also noted the vast discrepancies between Ryan’s comments and the truth. Tthe Huffington Post notes that many reporters were publicly calling out Ryan’s distortions and untruths on Twitter during the speech…

So if all of this has been happening — along with repeated fact-checking of Mitt Romney’s comments and ads by the campaign — can we be satisfied that traditional media outlets are doing the job, along with dedicated sites like Politifact and Not really. If anything, the fact that all of this checking is being noticed and publicly applauded reinforces the reality that it is still an unusual activity…

Why can’t we have the kind of fact-checking we’ve seen over the past few days all the time? Some newspapers are trying to build tools with which to do that, like the Washington Post‘s “Truth Teller” project, for which it got financing from the Knight Foundation. But more than anything, we need more sources that are willing to call a lie a lie.


600,000 single-service coffeemakers recalled for burn risk

More than 600,000 coffeemakers are being voluntarily recalled in the United States and Canada due to an apparent brewing malfunction that can release a gusher of steaming water and grounds. More than 61 injuries, including facial and hand burns, have been reported…

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a statement that a buildup of steam in certain Chinese-made Mr. Coffee Single Cup Brewing System models can force open the brewing chamber and spew the contents.

Importer Sunbeam Products…said it had received 164 reports of the malfunction and claims of 61 burn-related injuries.

The coffeemaker priced between $60 and $80 comes in black with silver, red or white trim. It is 11 inches tall and has a Brew Now/Off button and a removable drip tray.

The consumer agency said the water tank is on top of the unit toward the back. The model number is printed on the bottom of the brewer.

The coffeemaker was manufactured in China and sold from September 2010 through August 2012 nationwide at a number of stores including Bed Bath and Beyond, JC Penney, Kmart, Target and Walmart.

Consumers who have the brewer should stop using it and contact Jarden Consumer Solutions for instructions on obtaining a free replacement.

I have no need for a coffee maker that small. I can see the need in some households, some offices. I need my cuppa two at a time.

Click into the article for instructions on how to contact the distributor – and check model numbers. Don’t hurt yourself.