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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: 74,624

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Naomi Klein: Geoengineering: Testing the Waters


from the NYT:




By NAOMI KLEIN
Published: October 27, 2012


FOR almost 20 years, I’ve been spending time on a craggy stretch of British Columbia’s shoreline called the Sunshine Coast. This summer, I had an experience that reminded me why I love this place, and why I chose to have a child in this sparsely populated part of the world.

It was 5 a.m. and my husband and I were up with our 3-week-old son. Looking out at the ocean, we spotted two towering, black dorsal fins: orcas, or killer whales. Then two more. We had never seen an orca on the coast, and never heard of their coming so close to shore. In our sleep-deprived state, it felt like a miracle, as if the baby had wakened us to make sure we didn’t miss this rare visit.

The possibility that the sighting may have resulted from something less serendipitous did not occur to me until two weeks ago, when I read reports of a bizarre ocean experiment off the islands of Haida Gwaii, several hundred miles from where we spotted the orcas swimming.

There, an American entrepreneur named Russ George dumped 120 tons of iron dust off the hull of a rented fishing boat; the plan was to create an algae bloom that would sequester carbon and thereby combat climate change. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/opinion/sunday/geoengineering-testing-the-waters.html



At Alt Budget Hearing, Chicagoans Decry Privatization and Job Cuts


from In These Times:



CHICAGO–Labor leaders and workers fear that the proposed 2013 budget, which the City Council will vote on November 15, could mean many job cuts as the city moves to increase efficiency, cut services and possibly introduce more privatization in various departments.

Chicago union leaders say it is unclear exactly what the economic and job impacts of the proposed budget will be for public-sector workers and other residents, and there are not as many obvious job cuts as last year’s budget. In his budget address to the City Council on October 10, Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised no new taxes or fees in spite of the $298 million budget shortfall, and said 500 new police officers would be hired and 275 “unnecessary” administrative positions eliminated. But even union and community leaders who have parsed the recently released voluminous document say it is unclear what exactly it means for the city.

Meanwhile, residents feel they have been denied the chance to get more information and voice their opinions, especially since Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided not to hold a series of evening neighborhood public meetings as has been the norm since former Mayor Harold Washington started them three decades ago. In response, city councilmembers of the Progressive Caucus are holding three evening community meetings of their own, including one at a high school the evening of Oct. 24

There, numerous residents—many of them public-sector union members—voiced their concerns about privatization, job loss, discrimination and the overall priorities of the city administration. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/14097/at_alternative_budget_hearing_chicagoans_decry_privatization_and_job_cuts/



Sandy Strengthens as Hurricane Barrels Toward New Jersey



[font size="1"]Waters from Hurricane Sandy start to flood Beach Ave. on October 29, 2012 in Cape May, New Jersey. Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty Images[/font]


(Bloomberg) Hurricane Sandy, the Atlantic’s largest-ever tropical storm, will strike the East Coast today or early tomorrow with a life-threatening surge, emptying the streets of the nation’s largest cities and lashing a region of 60 million with gales, rain and even snow.

The storm, 900 miles across, shut the federal government and state administrations from Virginia to Massachusetts. It halted travel, prevented U.S. stock markets from opening and upended the presidential campaign. It may cause more than $6 billion in damage and knock out power to 10 million for a week.

“We have to take this seriously,” PresidentBarack Obama said of what he called “a serious and big storm.”

Sandy packed maximum sustained winds of 90 miles (145 kilometers) per hour, up from 75 mph earlier, the National Hurricane Center said at 11 a.m. New York time. The storm’s eye was about 260 miles south-southeast of New York. It is not expected to weaken before striking at Cape May, New Jersey, the center said. It may bring a surge of nearly 12 feet (3.7 meters) in Manhattan, said Howard Glaser, New York’s director of state operations. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-29/sandy-strengthens-as-hurricane-barrels-toward-new-jersey.html



Naomi Klein: Geoengineering: Testing the Waters


from the NYT:




By NAOMI KLEIN
Published: October 27, 2012


FOR almost 20 years, I’ve been spending time on a craggy stretch of British Columbia’s shoreline called the Sunshine Coast. This summer, I had an experience that reminded me why I love this place, and why I chose to have a child in this sparsely populated part of the world.

It was 5 a.m. and my husband and I were up with our 3-week-old son. Looking out at the ocean, we spotted two towering, black dorsal fins: orcas, or killer whales. Then two more. We had never seen an orca on the coast, and never heard of their coming so close to shore. In our sleep-deprived state, it felt like a miracle, as if the baby had wakened us to make sure we didn’t miss this rare visit.

The possibility that the sighting may have resulted from something less serendipitous did not occur to me until two weeks ago, when I read reports of a bizarre ocean experiment off the islands of Haida Gwaii, several hundred miles from where we spotted the orcas swimming.

There, an American entrepreneur named Russ George dumped 120 tons of iron dust off the hull of a rented fishing boat; the plan was to create an algae bloom that would sequester carbon and thereby combat climate change. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/opinion/sunday/geoengineering-testing-the-waters.html



Madonna booed after touting Obama at New Orleans concert


http://www.salon.com/2012/10/28/madonna_booed_after_touting_obama_in_la_concert_2/


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Madonna drew boos and triggered a walkout by several concertgoers after she touted President Barack Obama on her “MDNA Tour” in New Orleans.

The Material Girl asked during Saturday night’s performance: “Who’s registered to vote?” She added: “I don’t care who you vote for as long as you vote for Obama.” Drawing boos in touting Obama over Republican Mitt Romney, Madonna followed: “Seriously, I don’t care who you vote for … Do not take this privilege for granted. Go vote.”

Madonna is often outspoken. Some Colorado fans, mindful of a mass shooting there, complained she used a fake gun to shoot a masked gunman in a recent concert act in Denver. A Madonna concert in Paris in July drew ire when a video showed a swastika on a politician’s forehead.


The Romney presidency: The worst-case scenario


from Salon.com:


The Romney presidency: The worst-case scenario
War with Iran. An ultra-conservative Supreme Court. Death to Social Security. Romney could be an epic disaster

By Alex Pareene


A few moderates and liberals have lately taken to arguing that, you know, maybe a Romney presidency wouldn’t be too bad. He might turn out to be more moderate, or at least pragmatic, than he’s acted in the campaign so far. He might make a point of reaching out to Democrats in Congress. Republicans might regain their trust of Keynesian economics and actually do things to boost the economy out of naked political self-interest, instead of sabotaging the economy out of same.

I am not really convinced! Mitt Romney will be working with a Congress full of Republicans and his Cabinet and administration will be full of Republican political appointees, and that adds up to disaster, especially with the current, insane Republican Party.

As it’s the spooookiest time of the year, it seems appropriate to ask: What’s the Romney presidency worst-case scenario? If Mitt Romney turns out to be exactly the severe conservative he says he is, what can we expect?

War

Obviously we’re bombing Iran. They might be spinning some uranium around in a mountain, and we can’t let that continue. As Wired recently reported, bombing Iran isn’t actually as easy as it sounds. If we want to do it right, it’ll take a massive strike against Iran’s ability to launch a counterattack on Israel or Kuwait, followed by the much more massive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.salon.com/2012/10/29/the_romney_presidency_the_worst_case_scenario/



Iran War on the Ballot


from Consortium News:


Iran War on the Ballot
October 28, 2012

Exclusive: War or peace with Iran will be on the U.S. presidential ballot, with Barack Obama’s reelection likely to clear the way for direct talks on resolving the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program but with a victory by Mitt Romney putting neocons in a position to seek “regime change,” reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry


A deal to resolve the Iranian nuclear dispute, based on face-to-face negotiations between Iranian and U.S. officials, could follow quickly upon President Barack Obama’s reelection on Nov. 6, but those bilateral relations would likely veer toward confrontation if Mitt Romney wins and his neocon advisers retake control of U.S. foreign policy.

Sources familiar with the status of the talks say the potential settlement is much closer than is publicly understood, with a reelected President Obama prepared to relax the harsh economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for tight constraints on any Iranian nuclear program, assuring that it is for peaceful purposes only.

One person familiar with the status of talks said the post-election discussions also could lead to a broader rapprochement between Iran and the United States, two countries that have been at odds since 1979 when Iranian radicals overran the U.S. Embassy and took American diplomatic personnel hostage.

However, the prospects for peace could head off in a very different direction if Romney wins. His neocon advisers are considered likely to hijack the Iran sanctions and use them to force “regime change” in Tehran, rather than for their current narrow purpose of compelling Iran to negotiate seriously on limiting its nuclear program. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2012/10/28/iran-war-on-the-ballot/



The Surprise Behind Detroit's Emerging Comeback


from OnTheCommons.org:



The Surprise Behind Detroit's Emerging Comeback
Young people making a difference in the city are not all from somewhere else

| by Jay Walljasper


Stories of Detroit’s emerging comeback often highlight the city’s attraction to young hipsters. According to plentiful media reports, well-educated twenty-somethings are streaming into the Motor City to test out new ideas, explore art and music projects or launch D-I-Y revitalization initiatives.

You can spot a number of once-dormant corners of the city now pulsing with activity thanks to young entrepreneurs. Corktown now sports pubs and restaurants that would fit in Brooklyn or Portland. Midtown shows all the makings of a creative class hub, complete with hipsters hanging out at the Good Girls Go to Paris creperie, the Avalon International Breads bakery, and the N’Nmadi Center gallery, devoted to the rich tradition of African-American abstract art. Recent college grads can be seen all over town from the bountiful Eastern Market to bustling Campus Martius square to festive Mexicantown to the scenic Riverwalk to the yummy Good People Popcorn shop downtown, featuring flavors like cinnamon and chocolate drizzle.

This burst of youthful energy — even in the face of the city’s continuing economic and social woes — debunks widespread opinion that nothing can be done to jumpstart the Motor City. While a new, more positive narrative about Detroit is welcome, there are problems in focusing entirely on idealistic young adventurers swooping in to save the city — it reinforces the stereotype of native Detroiters as hapless, helpless and hopeless.

The truth is, locals have been working hard for years to uplift the common good in Detroit, which drew the interest of outsiders. And newcomers aren’t the only ones stirring up excitement around town. Good People Popcorn, for instance, was started by two sisters and a cousin, all of whom grew up here. Sarida Scott Montgomery, one of the founders who is also a lawyer and Executive Director of the Community Development Advocates of Detroit, says people are often surprised she grew up in the city. “Not in the suburbs,” she says, “but in Detroit itself.” ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://onthecommons.org/magazine/surprise-behind-detroits-emerging-comeback



Certain Problems Need Socialist Solutions


via Dissent magazine:


Certain Problems Need Socialist Solutions
By Maria Svart - October 3, 2012


The following is adapted from a talk delivered at the fiftieth anniversary celebration of Michael Harrington’s The Other America, held on September 10, 2012 at the CUNY Graduate Center.



I’m told that Michael Harrington once wistfully commented to colleagues that he had written sixteen books, and on the dust jacket of the sixteenth, the publisher had put, “By the author of The Other America.” It is entirely fitting that Mike should be best remembered for his first work. It influenced President Kennedy, and President Johnson sent Mike a pen from the signing of the Economic Opportunity Act, the War on Poverty. The book has sold well over a million copies.

We should remember, however, that Mike’s other fifteen books were about socialism. Unlike many on the left, Mike was not an impossibilist. He believed that through union organization and an expanded safety net, the lives of everyday people—both the poor and the middle class—could be vastly improved, even under capitalism. Indeed, Mike-the-Socialist was far more optimistic about this than many liberals are today.

Nonetheless, in a subsequent essay, “Poverty and the Eighties,” Mike concluded: “There was progress; there could be more progress; the poor need not always be with us. But it will take a political movement much more imaginative and militant than those in existence in 1980 to bring that progress about.”

What happened? Why, from 1962 to the present, has that movement not come about? Indeed, everything now seems to be moving in the wrong direction. Last July an Associated Press survey of economists predicted that the poverty rate in 2012 would rise to the same level it was in 1965, the year after President Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/24753



A nausea-inducing business story......





News Corporation Is Said to Bid for Penguin
By AMY CHOZICK


Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has entered what could become a bidding war for Pearson PLC’s Penguin book publishing division, according to a person briefed on the talks who could not discuss private negotiations publicly.

News Corporation’s interest comes just days after Pearson confirmed that German media giant Bertelsmann, the parent company of Random House, had approached the British company about acquiring its Penguin division.

News Corporation owns HarperCollins, one of the units of the media conglomerate that will soon be spun off into a separate publicly traded company consisting of other print assets like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post.

Penguin, which publishes authors like Juno Diaz and crime novelist Patricia Cornwell, would give HarperCollins greater scale as the book industry grapples with how to take on technology companies like Amazon, Google and Apple, whose cheap e-books have transformed the publishing landscape. ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/news-corporation-is-said-to-bid-for-penguin/?hp



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