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The car that runs on fresh air
17/03 18:38 CET
video clip from Euronews – very nifty

http://www.euronews.net/2009/03/17/the-car-that-runs-on-fresh-air/

Engineers in the south of France are working on a car that they hope will radically change the way motorist fuel their vehicles.
It is powered by compressed air, emits zero pollution – from the exhaust-pipe at least – costs one euro per fill-up and boasts a top speed of 70 kilometres per hour.

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My note –

Around the world there are concept cars, hybrids, alternative fuel designs, and electric car options, but over the many years of these being designed and engineered, they never seem to come to the marketplace. Thirty years ago, air pollution and environmental concerns were known. Even then, the problem was massive. Some things have been done, but when it comes to transportation choices, it always seems to be hindered and nothing of real change occurs.

When NOX devices were required in the US, a trade-off was established. By reducing some emissions, others were enhanced. As a result, we now have exotic chemicals with names as long as two lines on a page, that hover throughout the air and in the landscape where we all must live. Around many roadways, freeways and surface streets, the air quality varies from barely breathable to smelling like standing in an enclosed garage behind exhausts from revving engines.

Depending on the lay of the land and the air currents, on any American thoroughfare where rush hour traffic sits twice a day, there are concentrated areas of exhaust fumes that sit socked in and stagnant for hours. It used to be that only large cities like Los Angeles had air quality alerts bad enough to require people to stay inside, not walk, not play outside, and not be involved in outside activities. Now that is true in counties, states and cities across the country with many varied  population numbers and concentrations of industry, traffic and business.

And, all this time, there have been designs to solve these problems. There have been cars that could be moved down the road without the same polluting constituents. Throughout this time, there have been ways for businesses and industries to cut down on pollutants going into the surrounding environment. They simply didn’t use them or sought to do as little as possible about it rather than being a conscientious participant in their communities and in our opportunities for quality of life as a whole.

It is very frustrating to consider that across the world, options exists that never are available to us. Not only are they not created in the US, they are not available in the US either. And, things created and engineered in the US that might solve these problems are not made available either. It always seems to be ten years away from availability, no matter how much it is needed and no matter how much money has already been made available to get the job done. How is that possible?

– cricketdiane, 04-13-09

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Municipal Money Mess puts Towns in Trouble
06/03 15:07 CET

http://www.euronews.net/2009/03/06/municipal-money-mess-puts-towns-in-trouble/

It is not just banks and business being hit by the world financial crisis. Towns and cities in Europe are seeing their budgets strangled as tax revenues tumble. Once one of the richest places, Wuppertal in Germany is now on its uppers, hoping to benefit from Berlin’s multi-billion-euro recession rescue package.

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My note –

I watched this video when I found it a couple of days ago and it has been on my mind. The county where I live in Georgia, the city of Atlanta nearby and cities, counties and states across the United States have the same problems as described in this video clip about Wuppertal in Germany.

And, in many ways, the money problems exist in our communities for the same reasons. This is true across the world apparently. Money has been borrowed, tax revenues have declined and the lion’s share of new moneys in loans and revenues are being used to pay interest payments rather than to provide for the needs of the communities.

That seems to be undermining the opportunities for cities and communities to thrive and hindering options for any appreciable future quality of life. It could be that some method for restructuring these debts needs to be created such that old loans can be paid down or paid off and newer ones made with lower interest rates or with access directly to the Central Banks’ loan windows with no interest rates whatsoever. It is absurd that something effective is not being done for anyone in any great measure, except the banks and financial institutions.

Banks and financial institutions are not a person and are not the community; do not constitute a continued value in the current structural forms by which they exist now; are not equal to the job that they must do (apparently); and they have been, and continue to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Their business profits are based on the use of resources that come from individuals, from communities and from our jointly created and jointly underwritten government resources.

The previous credit and leverage banking business and finance model doesn’t work at this point because it must fit with the greater needs of communities, people, businesses, and the activities of human lives and human accomplishments. And, it currently isn’t doing that. We need answers that work and they are needed right now.

– cricketdiane, 04-13-09

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Where women lead, productivity improves
27/02 08:14 CET

http://www.euronews.net/2009/02/27/where-women-lead-productivity-improves/

Gender equality in Europe is still a distant goal, but the pay-off is undeniable, in economic terms as well as human. Sweden and Spain are among the countries setting good examples.

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My note –

Gender equality

but not in the United States – “land of equality, freedom and opportunity.”

People have been rather horrified to have to live on the income of only their family’s female counterpart in the current economic difficulties when male breadwinners have lost their jobs. That is because, in the US pay for women is still significantly lower than that for men doing the same or a comparatively similar job. Pay averages for women are lower by two- thirds and more in some jobs, some states and some industries.

But then, in the US – our “right to work” States actually mean, “right to be fired without cause and without recourse.” So, what do we expect? In fact, there have been recent efforts across the US, to drop safe work environment standards, reduce requirements on businesses to allow employees time for lunch and for breaks, and to change regulations concerning overtime and benefits for workers, among other things. They don’t need people working for these businesses, they need to go out of business and let some user-friendly, worker-compassionate, community-conscientious businesses have their place in the market.

– cricketdiane

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Brewer looking to sell Rolling Rock
Published: April 13, 2009 at 1:32 PM

LEUVEN, Belgium, April 13 (UPI) — Belgian brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is considering selling its “small town” Pennsylvania brand Rolling Rock, sources said.

Anheuser-Busch bought Rolling Rock three years ago from InBev NV for $82 million, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Last fall, InBev turned around and bought Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion. It is now selling assets to help cover some of the debt incurred in the deal, the newspaper said.

[etc.]

In 2004, 11 million cases of Rolling Rock were sold. In 2008, only 7.4 million cases were consumed, Beverage Information Group said.

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2009/04/13/Brewer-looking-to-sell-Rolling-Rock/UPI-52781239643973/

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My note –

Same old story. Buy a large company using the “plays and games” of leverage and then sell anything not nailed down to raise the money needed to satisfy the leverage / credit used to buy the company. And round and round it goes.

It is a rigged game.

– cricketdiane

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