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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: 74,647

Journal Archives

Asian Cities Dominate Ranking of World's Biggest and Busiest Metros





Asian cities dominate the ranking of the world’s biggest and busiest metro systems according to a new report from UITP, the International Association of Public Transport.

The report, ‘World Metro Figures,’ is a comprehensive study on the current state of the world’s metro networks and highlights potential future developments. The report shows that in 2014, 156 cities around the world had a metro system in operation, nearly two thirds of which were in Asia and Europe.

The world’s busiest metro network is the Tokyo metropolitan area, with almost 3.6bn passenger journeys per year, a 10% increase compared to 2012. Chinese metro systems have also enjoyed significant growth and Beijing (3.4bn, +39%) and Shanghai (2.8bn, +25%) are 2nd and 3rd respectively. Rounding out the top five are Seoul (2.6bn, +8%) and Moscow (2.4bn, -1%). Metros carry over 160m passengers per day (+7.9% compared to 2012), nearly half of which are in Asia.

Asian cities are also on top when it comes to the world’s longest metro networks, with the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Beijing boasting 548km and 527km of lines respectively, while London rounds out the top three with 436km. In 2014 alone, more than 500km of new lines were added in cities around the world. ...................(more)

http://www.masstransitmag.com/press_release/12135154/asian-cities-dominate-ranking-of-worlds-biggest-and-busiest-metros



Atlanta: MARTA to Privatize Paratransit Service


Nov. 06--MARTA patrons with disabilities and the MARTA drivers they depend on face an uncertain future after the transit agency board voted Thursday to privatize the operation and maintenance of its paratransit fleet.

Riders and MARTA Mobility vehicle drivers voiced their concerns at the packed meeting held at MARTA's headquarters at Lindbergh Center in Atlanta. More than 80 people attended, forcing the MARTA board to open an overflow room.

Drivers, who fear losing their jobs, are vehemently opposed to the privatization plan and sought to keep operations in-house.

The aim of outsourcing is to save money, increase efficiency and improve on-time performance rates, MARTA officials said. MARTA Mobility's on-time performance had dipped to 81 percent in fiscal year 2015, prompting numerous complaints from riders and putting the transit agency in jeopardy of violating a federal law that protects access to services for persons with disabilities. ...........(more)

http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/12135647/marta-to-privatize-paratransit-service



The Empire Files: The Distortion & Death Behind Israel/Palestine Coverage





‘Our Generation, Our Choice,’ Say Young People as They Ready for Mass Civil Disobedience


‘Our Generation, Our Choice,’ Say Young People as They Ready for Mass Civil Disobedience

Posted on Nov 8, 2015
By Sarah Lazare / Common Dreams


Buoyed by President Barack Obama’s fresh rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, thousands of young people from across the country are preparing to unleash on Monday what they say will be the “largest-ever civil disobedience for racial, climate, and immigrant justice.”

Under the banner of “Our Generation, Our Choice,” the mobilization will sweep Washington, D.C. one year ahead of the 2016 national elections “to demand REAL leadership and make candidates’ agendas work for our movements, and for our future,” according to a group statement.

But the real emphasis, say organizers, will be on grassroots movement-building.

“The choice is clear: politicians are failing to take our country to where it needs to go, so a movement of young people will lead us there,” wrote Yong Jung Cho of 350.org, Waleed Shahid of Working Families, Devontae Torriente of Million Hoodies, and Sara Blazevic of the Fossil Fuel Student Divestment Network in a recent statement.

“Politicians continue to throw away billions of dollars incarcerating people, deporting mothers and fathers, and polluting our people and our planet,” the organizers added. “They continue to saddle us with student debt. They aren’t helping create real jobs that can sustain us. They stand by as many of our friends live in daily fear of police and immigration enforcement. And they continue subsidizing polluting fossil fuel companies who destroy the land we live on and the air we breathe.”

“We take action to tell the American people: let’s get it done together,” the statement continued. ..............(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/our_generation_our_choice_say_youth_readying_for_mass_civil_20151108




Thom Hartmann: The Blockbuster Disaster of the TPP Now Revealed…




Published on Nov 6, 2015

The text of the TPP has finally been released to the public - and it's even worse than we thought it would. Here are the details - which you probably won't see on any corporate media...



Mike Papantonio with Thom Hartmann: Why the DLC & Third Way Are "Freaked Out" About Bernie






Chris Hedges: The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History


from truthdig:


The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History

Posted on Nov 6, 2015
By Chris Hedges


The release Thursday of the 5,544-page text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade and investment agreement involving 12 countries comprising nearly 40 percent of global output—confirms what even its most apocalyptic critics feared.

“The TPP, along with the WTO (World Trade Organization) and NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), is the most brazen corporate power grab in American history,” Ralph Nader told me when I reached him by phone in Washington, D.C. “It allows corporations to bypass our three branches of government to impose enforceable sanctions by secret tribunals. These tribunals can declare our labor, consumer and environmental protections (to be) unlawful, non-tariff barriers subject to fines for noncompliance. The TPP establishes a transnational, autocratic system of enforceable governance in defiance of our domestic laws.”

The TPP is part of a triad of trade agreements that includes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA, by calling for the privatization of all public services, is a mortal threat to the viability of the U.S. Postal Service, public education and other government-run enterprises and utilities; together these operations make up 80 percent of the U.S. economy. The TTIP and TiSA are still in the negotiation phase. They will follow on the heels of the TPP and are likely to go before Congress in 2017.

These three agreements solidify the creeping corporate coup d’état along with the final evisceration of national sovereignty. Citizens will be forced to give up control of their destiny and will be stripped of the ability to protect themselves from corporate predators, safeguard the ecosystem and find redress and justice in our now anemic and often dysfunctional democratic institutions. The agreements—filled with jargon, convoluted technical, trade and financial terms, legalese, fine print and obtuse phrasing—can be summed up in two words: corporate enslavement.

.....(snip).....

If there is no sustained popular uprising to prevent the passage of the TPP in Congress this spring we will be shackled by corporate power. Wages will decline. Working conditions will deteriorate. Unemployment will rise. Our few remaining rights will be revoked. The assault on the ecosystem will be accelerated. Banks and global speculation will be beyond oversight or control. Food safety standards and regulations will be jettisoned. Public services ranging from Medicare and Medicaid to the post office and public education will be abolished or dramatically slashed and taken over by for-profit corporations. Prices for basic commodities, including pharmaceuticals, will skyrocket. Social assistance programs will be drastically scaled back or terminated. And countries that have public health care systems, such as Canada and Australia, that are in the agreement will probably see their public health systems collapse under corporate assault. Corporations will be empowered to hold a wide variety of patents, including over plants and animals, turning basic necessities and the natural world into marketable products. And, just to make sure corporations extract every pound of flesh, any public law interpreted by corporations as impeding projected profit, even a law designed to protect the environment or consumers, will be subject to challenge in an entity called the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) section. The ISDS, bolstered and expanded under the TPP, will see corporations paid massive sums in compensation from offending governments for impeding their “right” to further swell their bank accounts. Corporate profit effectively will replace the common good. ................(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_most_brazen_corporate_power_grab_in_american_history_20151106




‘Drone Papers’ Revelations Are a Cry for Ending the Slaughter


from truthdig:


‘Drone Papers’ Revelations Are a Cry for Ending the Slaughter

Posted on Nov 5, 2015
By Marjorie Cohn

A new whistleblower has joined the ranks of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, John Kiriakou and other courageous individuals. The unnamed individual, who chose to remain anonymous because of the Obama administration’s vigorous prosecution of whistleblowers, is a member of the intelligence community.

In the belief that the American public has the right to know about the “fundamentally” and “morally” flawed U.S. drone program, this source provided The Intercept with a treasure trove of secret military documents and slides that shine a critical light on the country’s killer drone program. These files confirm that the Obama administration’s policy and practice of assassination using armed drones and other methods violate the law.

The documents reveal the “kill chain” that decides who will be targeted. As the source said, “This outrageous explosion of watchlisting—of monitoring people and racking and stacking them on lists, assigning them numbers, assigning them ‘baseball cards,’ assigning them death sentences, without notice, on a worldwide battlefield—it was, from the very first instance, wrong.”

These secret documents demonstrate that the administration kills innumerable civilians due to its reliance on “signals intelligence” in undeclared war zones, following cellphones or computers that may or may not be carried by suspected terrorists. The documents show that more than half the intelligence used to locate potential targets in Somalia and Yemen was based on this method. ..............................(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/drone_papers_revelations_are_a_cry_for_ending_the_slaughter_20151105




You know Jeb!'s campaign is in trouble when...........




Jeb Bush Hits New Low As Bobby Jindal Passes Him In Iowa
Published on Nov 3, 2015

Fresh new polls out. We have a new leader nationally: Ben Carson. Donald Trump is holding in second. The biggest surprise? Bobby Jindal just came out on top of Jeb Bush in Iowa. Ouch… Cenk Uygur, host of the The Young Turks, breaks it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

"Retired neurosurgeon Carson takes 29 percent support among GOP primary voters, while real estate magnate Trump receives 23 percent, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

The latest national survey finds Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in third place with 11 percent support, while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) stands at 10 percent.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush follows at 8 percent in the poll. In June, that figure stood at 22 percent. Bush has been trying to jump-start his campaign since last week's debate on Oct. 28 in Boulder, Colo. The survey was conducted over the three days before the debate and on the day after.”*

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/258906-carson-leads-trump-in-new-national-poll



EPA Used Monsanto's Research to give Roundup a pass


from the Intercept:



THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY concluded in June that there was “no convincing evidence” that glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the U.S. and the world, is an endocrine disruptor.

On the face of it, this was great news, given that some 300 million pounds of the chemical were used on U.S. crops in 2012, the most recent year measured, and endocrine disruption has been linked to a range of serious health effects, including cancer, infertility, and diabetes. Monsanto, which sells glyphosate under the name Roundup, certainly felt good about it. “I was happy to see that the safety profile of one of our products was upheld by an independent regulatory agency,” wrote Steve Levine on Monsanto’s blog.

But the EPA’s exoneration — which means that the agency will not require additional tests of the chemical’s effects on the hormonal system — is undercut by the fact that the decision was based almost entirely on pesticide industry studies. Only five independently funded studies were considered in the review of whether glyphosate interferes with the endocrine system. Twenty-seven out of 32 studies that looked at glyphosate’s effect on hormones and were cited in the June review — most of which are not publicly available and were obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act request — were either conducted or funded by industry. Most of the studies were sponsored by Monsanto or an industry group called the Joint Glyphosate Task Force. One study was by Syngenta, which sells its own glyphosate-containing herbicide, Touchdown.

Findings of Harm Were Dismissed

Who pays for studies matters, according to The Intercept’s review of the evidence used in the EPA’s decision. Of the small minority of independently funded studies that the agency considered in determining whether the chemical poses a danger to the endocrine system, three of five found that it did. One, for instance, found that exposure to glyphosate-Roundup “may induce significant adverse effects on the reproductive system of male Wistar rats at puberty and during adulthood.” Another concluded that “low and environmentally relevant concentrations of glyphosate possessed estrogenic activity.” And a review of the literature turns up many more peer-reviewed studies finding glyphosate can interfere with hormones, affecting such things as hormonal activity in human liver cells, functioning of rat sperm, and the sex ratio of exposed tadpoles. ................(more)

https://theintercept.com/2015/11/03/epa-used-monsanto-funded-research/




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