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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

Journal Archives

Toronto transit for sale: Private operators are accountable to shareholders, not riders


from NOW Toronto:





Toronto transit for sale
Private operators are accountable to shareholders, not riders

By Adam Giambrone


The announcement that Metrolinx would contract out operation of the Eglinton line when it opens in the early 2020s was news, but not really a surprise.

It’s another example of the province going back on its word. It had clearly stated that our LRTs would be run and maintained by the TTC.

But opening day on the Eglinton line is likely over 10 years away (no one in the industry expects the arbitrary 2020 deadline to be met), so we won’t find out for a long time what the consequences are of this decision.

History here and elsewhere shows what happens when contracts aren’t well structured — poor service and higher costs. Few know that the decision to create the TTC in 1921 was a direct result of the bad service offered by the private companies that had won the right to drive streetcars in the mid-19th century. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=188858



An ‘Impossible’ France?: Experiment Could Deliver Blow to One of Capitalism's Biggest Myths


from truthdig:


An ‘Impossible’ France?

Posted on Oct 2, 2012
By Alexander Reed Kelly


A bold experiment is under way in the world’s fifth-largest economy: As part of a recovery plan aimed at plugging a $48 billion hole in the French budget, leftist President Francois Hollande announced last week a 75 percent tax on the personal incomes of anyone earning more than $1.3 million a year, effective for two years beginning in 2013.

The decision has some of the country’s top earners, led in the media by cosmetics tycoon Jean-Paul Agon, suggesting that the new rules will make France inhospitable to commerce, and implying that the impending blow to their bank accounts may compel executives to take their moneymaking activities elsewhere.

“If there is such a new tax rule,” the L’Oreal CEO said in an interview before the figure was confirmed Friday, “it’s going to be very, very difficult to attract talent to work in France, almost impossible.”

Agon’s warning reflects an attitude among the rich that is older than capitalism itself. If you tax us too much, the thinking goes, then the cost of providing the goods and services society requires will become too high. We won’t be able to pay the wages our workers deserve, and our talents for enterprise will find more favorable conditions elsewhere. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/an_impossible_france_20121002/



Love That Bank Humor


from the Working Life blog:


Love That Bank Humor
Posted on 01 October 2012


Really, I can’t tell whether people who work at the major banks moonlight as comedy writers for The Daily Show, or they are so immune to public shame or punishment that they just don’t give a damn.

I’m really hoping that it’s the former option because you need to laugh sometimes. And this one fits the bill for laughter or loud swearing, or maybe both:

“We are canceling the remaining amount you owe Chase!” says a letter that JPMorgan Chase sent recently to thousands of home loan borrowers. “You are approved for a full principal forgiveness of your Home Equity Account,” says another, from Bank of America.

Jackie Esposito, of Guilford, Conn., got a letter like that. But she wasn’t elated — because she doesn’t owe the money anymore. She and her husband filed for bankruptcy three years ago. The roughly $64,000 they owed Chase has been legally wiped out.

What’s going on?


A good question.

Cast your mind back to February. Five of the nation’s big banks, including Chase and Bank of America, agreed to pay $25 billion to settle state and federal claims over questionable mortgage practices and promised to work harder to help borrowers who were in trouble. To prod the banks, the government said it would give them credits against the amounts they agreed to pay.

So, to the ire of customers who couldn’t get banks to work with them before, banks are now forgiving debts that no longer exist.

“When I got this letter that said they were going to relieve our debt, I just about fell over,” Ms. Esposito said last week. “You can’t forgive a debt that you’re legally unable to collect.”


In one sense, this is a direct outcome of a refusal to put bank executives in jail. When banks, or any institutions, pay fines to “settle” charges, that money essentially comes out of the pockets of shareholders. Not a single dime comes from the personal bank accounts of executives who continue to have jobs and reap huge pay and benefits. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.workinglife.org/2012/10/01/love-that-bank-humor/



Please shut off all electronic devices......OR ELSE MOFOS !!!!


(AP) PHILADELPHIA - Investigators say a flight attendant forgot to take a gun out of her purse before leaving for work and the gun fired at Philadelphia International Airport as a police officer was trying to remove the bullets.

Philadelphia police Lt. Ray Evers says Transportation Security Administration officers noticed the gun Sunday and alerted police. Evers says a police officer tried to make the weapon safe by removing the bullets, but instead accidentally fired it. No one was hurt.

Investigators say the flight attendant has a valid gun permit. She has been cited for passing the gun through a security checkpoint. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://news.yahoo.com/police-flight-attendants-gun-fired-philly-airport-officer-133640330.html



If sh*t could take a crap, there would be a pile of Ralph Reed in the toilet.


from Mother Jones:


Ralph Reed's Group: An Obama Victory Means "He Can Complete America's Destruction"
The nonprofit run by the ex-Christian Coalition leader blankets voters with grab-bag of right-wing Obama hatred.

—By Andy Kroll
| Tue Oct. 2, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

Last week, Mother Jones reported on a controversial mailer from the Faith and Freedom Coalition, an evangelical Christian group run by veteran political operative Ralph Reed. The flyer, which was sent to potential voters, asked recipients to compare President Barack Obama's policies to the threat of Nazi Germany and Japan circa World War II. It also accused Obama of having "Communist beliefs." Reed is no bit player: The former head of the Christian Coalition (who played a part in the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal), he's leading a massive, multi-million-dollar effort to turn out evangelical voters for Mitt Romney in November.

But wait—Reed's Obama flame-throwing doesn't end there. That Faith and Freedom Coalition mailer also included 10 more pages of inflammatory, debunked, and malicious rhetoric, a right-wing grab bag of Obama hatred. In this letter to potential voters, Reed claims that Obama wants an America where "government bureaucrats micromanage every aspect of your life," the taxman "seizes most of what you earn," and death panels—yes, those fictional death panels—determine whether you live or die. Reed insists that Obama will destroy capitalism and replace it with "Socialistic economic theories."

Here's the most inflammatory line: If Obama wins reelection, "he can complete America's destruction." This warning, naturally, is presented in bold print.

Does Reed truly believe Obama is bent on the ultimate destruction of the nation? An FFC spokeswoman declined to respond to requests for comment. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/ralph-reed-mailer-obama-capitalism-death-panels



Banksters Inc.


from the Working Life blog:


Love That Bank Humor
Posted on 01 October 2012


Really, I can’t tell whether people who work at the major banks moonlight as comedy writers for The Daily Show, or they are so immune to public shame or punishment that they just don’t give a damn.

I’m really hoping that it’s the former option because you need to laugh sometimes. And this one fits the bill for laughter or loud swearing, or maybe both:

“We are canceling the remaining amount you owe Chase!” says a letter that JPMorgan Chase sent recently to thousands of home loan borrowers. “You are approved for a full principal forgiveness of your Home Equity Account,” says another, from Bank of America.

Jackie Esposito, of Guilford, Conn., got a letter like that. But she wasn’t elated — because she doesn’t owe the money anymore. She and her husband filed for bankruptcy three years ago. The roughly $64,000 they owed Chase has been legally wiped out.

What’s going on?


A good question.

Cast your mind back to February. Five of the nation’s big banks, including Chase and Bank of America, agreed to pay $25 billion to settle state and federal claims over questionable mortgage practices and promised to work harder to help borrowers who were in trouble. To prod the banks, the government said it would give them credits against the amounts they agreed to pay.

So, to the ire of customers who couldn’t get banks to work with them before, banks are now forgiving debts that no longer exist.

“When I got this letter that said they were going to relieve our debt, I just about fell over,” Ms. Esposito said last week. “You can’t forgive a debt that you’re legally unable to collect.”


In one sense, this is a direct outcome of a refusal to put bank executives in jail. When banks, or any institutions, pay fines to “settle” charges, that money essentially comes out of the pockets of shareholders. Not a single dime comes from the personal bank accounts of executives who continue to have jobs and reap huge pay and benefits. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.workinglife.org/2012/10/01/love-that-bank-humor/



Jonathan Tasini: JP Morgan Execs MUST BE JAILED, No Deals


from the Working Life blog:



JP Morgan Execs MUST BE JAILED, No Deals
Posted on 02 October 2012.


It is great that JP Morgan Chase has been sued–and congrats to NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. But, we’ve seen this picture before: suits are filed and the executives who committed fraud or financial crimes or misconduct are NEVER–NEVER–held accountable. If we want real change–not phony, uplifting change–these people must go to jail. NO DEALS.

Here is the upshot of the news:

The federal mortgage task force that was formed in January by the Justice Department filed its first complaint against a big bank on Monday, citing a broad pattern of misconduct in the packaging and sale of mortgage securities during the housing boom.The civil suit against Bear Stearns & Company, now a unit of JPMorgan Chase, was brought in New York State Supreme Court by Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general who is also a co-chairman of the task force, known as the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group.


The problem is that this is not the news. The news is that bank executives still have their jobs and are still making huge pay AFTER they engaged, directly or through their subordinates, in illegal, criminal and improper misconduct.

Bank of America executives–who were central to deceiving investors–got a stay-out-of-jail card to the tune of a $2 billion settlement. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.workinglife.org/2012/10/02/jp-morgan-execs-must-be-jailed-no-deals/



The world's longest bus seats 256 people


http://www.tecca.com/news/2012/08/27/worlds-longest-bus/


from Tecca:


The world's longest bus seats 256 people
Germany is rolling out a mammoth 98-foot-long form of public transportation




The city of Dresden, Germany will soon be getting a monstrous addition to its public transportation system that can only be described as a train on wheels. Designed by Fraunhofer IVI and the Technical University Dresden, the three-section Autotram Extra Grand bus is 98 feet long and can carry 256 passengers, but doesn't require any special training for its driver.

Said to be as easily maneuverable as a commonly sized bus, the Autotram Extra Grand makes use of a computer system to aid its driver with turning. The system's primary purpose is to ensure that the rear section of the bus precisely follows the front and middle sections at all times. In addition to the sophisticated guidance system, the bus incorporates green technology in the form of a hybrid gas and electric engine that can travel five miles operating purely on battery power.

The Autoram Extra Grand will hit the streets of Dresden in October after completing safety testing outside of the city. Its makers say that they've already received inquiries from other cities around the world about getting their own versions of the bus, since it costs much less to put into operation and maintain than commuter rail systems, yet still carries a massive amount of passengers.


Top 1% Got 93% of Income Growth as Rich-Poor Gap Widened


(Bloomberg) Since 2009, Anita Reyes’ wages have been as frozen as Lake Minnetonka in January.

While the U.S. economy was recovering from the Great Recession, Reyes, 52, a casino dealer from Minneapolis, was dining on $1.67 cans of soup and searching for a way to keep her house, which was foreclosed on last October.

“I went backwards,” Reyes said. “Two years ago, three years ago, I didn’t know I’d be looking at being homeless.”

Stephen Hemsley’s salary has been frozen too. His income hasn’t. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-02/top-1-got-93-of-income-growth-as-rich-poor-gap-widened.html



JP Morgan Execs MUST BE JAILED, No Deals


from the Working Life blog:



JP Morgan Execs MUST BE JAILED, No Deals
Posted on 02 October 2012.


It is great that JP Morgan Chase has been sued–and congrats to NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. But, we’ve seen this picture before: suits are filed and the executives who committed fraud or financial crimes or misconduct are NEVER–NEVER–held accountable. If we want real change–not phony, uplifting change–these people must go to jail. NO DEALS.

Here is the upshot of the news:

The federal mortgage task force that was formed in January by the Justice Department filed its first complaint against a big bank on Monday, citing a broad pattern of misconduct in the packaging and sale of mortgage securities during the housing boom.The civil suit against Bear Stearns & Company, now a unit of JPMorgan Chase, was brought in New York State Supreme Court by Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general who is also a co-chairman of the task force, known as the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group.


The problem is that this is not the news. The news is that bank executives still have their jobs and are still making huge pay AFTER they engaged, directly or through their subordinates, in illegal, criminal and improper misconduct.

Bank of America executives–who were central to deceiving investors–got a stay-out-of-jail card to the tune of a $2 billion settlement. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.workinglife.org/2012/10/02/jp-morgan-execs-must-be-jailed-no-deals/



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