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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: 74,639

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Detroit: RTA to unveil regional mass transit planning effort on Tuesday




from Crain's Detroit:


Metro Detroit’s regional transit authority on Tuesday will unveil the initial process of developing a regional master plan to create a public mass transit system for Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties.

Details of the process have not been disclosed.

The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan will explain what it intends to do at a press conference scheduled for noon Tuesday at Campus Martius Park.

“The process will provide the region with the necessary detail to implement a truly regional public transportation system,” the RTA said in a brief statement.

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

The RTA has a stated goal of getting a dedicated tax issue on the 2016 ballot to fund what will be laid out in the master plan, which is expected to be a bus rapid transit system that still is in the study phase.

Under a bus rapid transit system, buses operate much like a rail line, with specialized train-like wheeled vehicles with dedicated lanes, priority traffic signaling, and higher speeds. They likely would run along Woodward, Gratiot and Michigan avenues. ..................(more)

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20150508/NEWS/150509858/rta-to-unveil-regional-mass-transit-planning-effort-on-tuesday




Tony Blair keeps flapping his lips and proving how completely removed from reality he is...........


from the Guardian UK:



Tony Blair has insisted that Labour can recover from its disastrous general election defeat only if it reoccupies the centre ground of British politics, proudly championing a pro-business agenda and bold new ideas to reform public services.

As the party attempts to come to terms with a devastating result that saw the Conservatives returned to office for five more years with an unexpected Commons majority, the former prime minister and three-times election winner said Labour has to be “for ambition and aspiration as well as compassion and care”.

While generous about Ed Miliband – praising him for showing “courage under savage attack” and campaigning brilliantly – Blair made clear in an article in the Observer that he believes Miliband’s left-of-centre agenda alienated the business community and failed to appeal to those wanting to get on in life. In an unashamed call for the party to return to the approach of New Labour which Miliband abandoned, Blair wrote: “The route to the summit lies through the centre ground.

“The Labour party has to be for ambition as well as compassion and care. Hard-working families don’t just want us celebrating their hard work; they want to know that by hard work and effort they can rise up, achieve. They want to be better off and they need to know we don’t just tolerate that, we support it.” ....................(more)

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/09/tony-blair-labour-return-centre-ground-general-election-defeat




How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world





How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world
In the 1960s, Dutch cities were increasingly in thrall to motorists, with the car seen as the transport of the future. It took the intolerable toll of child traffic deaths – and fierce activism – to turn Amsterdam into the cycling nirvana of today


(Guardian UK) Anyone who has ever tried to make their way through the centre of Amsterdam in a car knows it: the city is owned by cyclists. They hurry in swarms through the streets, unbothered by traffic rules, taking precedence whenever they want, rendering motorists powerless by their sheer numbers.

Cyclists rule in Amsterdam and great pains have been taken to accommodate them: the city is equipped with an elaborate network of cycle-paths and lanes, so safe and comfortable that even toddlers and elderly people use bikes as the easiest mode of transport. It’s not only Amsterdam which boasts a network of cycle-paths, of course; you’ll find them in all Dutch cities.

The Dutch take this for granted; they even tend to believe these cycle-paths have existed since the beginning of time. But that is certainly not the case. There was a time, in the 1950s and 60s, when cyclists were under severe threat of being expelled from Dutch cities by the growing number of cars. Only thanks to fierce activism and a number of decisive events would Amsterdam succeed in becoming what it is, unquestionably, now: the bicycle capital of the world.

At the start of the 20th century, bikes far outnumbered cars in Dutch cities and the bicycle was considered a respectable mode of transport for men and women. But when the Dutch economy began to boom in the post-war era, more and more people were able to afford cars, and urban policymakers came to view the car as the travel mode of the future. Entire Amsterdam neighbourhoods were destroyed to make way for motorised traffic. The use of bikes decreased by 6% every year, and the general idea was that bicycles would eventually disappear altogether. ......................(more)

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/may/05/amsterdam-bicycle-capital-world-transport-cycling-kindermoord




Lessons From Toronto: Density Transforms, Brings Challenges




from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via MassTransitMag:


May 08--TORONTO -- More than 130 cranes hover over this shimmering city and its suburbs along Lake Ontario. Scores of office towers and hundreds of thousands of condo and apartment units have been built over a couple of decades, transforming a downtown that was riddled with parking lots.

Strict land planning has forced developers -- even in the suburbs -- to build taller buildings to reduce sprawl, preserve green space and protect environmentally sensitive land. The region has built onto its transit network, but for those investments haven't kept pace with growth. Congestion costs Toronto about $2 billion a year in lost productivity, by one estimate.

More than 100 Atlanta civic, business and government leaders are in Canada's largest city to learn how Toronto handles regional issues.

The takeaway: to find fixes for thorny problems like congestion and public services, it takes long-term vision, regional planning and engagement from government, business, civic and academic leaders. ..................(more)

http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/11953462/lessons-from-toronto-density-transforms-brings-challenges




Chicago Teachers Union Rejects District’s Call for 7% Pay Cut, Files Unfair Labor Practice


(In These Times) The Chicago Teachers Union announced Wednesday evening it would be filing an unfair labor practice charge against the Chicago Board of Education, the latest development in tense negotiations to form a new contract before the current one expires on June 30th.

The suit alleges that the board has bargained in bad faith by refusing coming to agreement on anything but minor technical issues in the six months of both formal and informal meetings, and has put forward proposals the CTU considers extreme.

One particular board demand that angered the union was a proposal that union members pay the pension contributions currently paid by CPS, which the union says would amount to a 7 percent pay cut.

“We are insulted by the refusal to extend the contract with a 3 percent raise. We are beyond insulted by the board’s proposal to decrease our pay by 7 percent. And the board has rejected our education-based programs,” said CTU President Karen Lewis during a press conference. “We are organizing and we will show our displeasure. We feel that this is reactionary and retaliatory. CPS is broke on purpose.” ................(more)

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/17914/chicago_teachers_union_balks_at_demand_for_7_percent_pay_cut




Thom Hartmann: The Manhattan Doomsday Project





Published on May 8, 2015
Humans set a new global benchmark in March! Find out whats happening with the climate and what we have to do about it!




Is Baltimore’s Curfew a Dress Rehearsal for Martial Law?





Published on May 2, 2015

TRNN senior editor Paul Jay, civil rights attorney A. Dwight Pettit, and law professor Doug Colbert also discuss the legality of Freddie Gray’s arrest



Five More Years of Tory Government: What Fresh Hell Is This?


from truthdig:



By Roisin Davis


It’s been an astonishing election, one that stumped the betting markets, gave victory to the Tories and left almost everyone else reeling and wondering, in the words of Dorothy Parker, “What fresh hell is this?”

Amid the highest voter turnout since 1997, Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party trounced the opposition to return with a majority 331 seats (out of 650). Ed Miliband (Labour) and Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats) have now resigned as leaders of their parties. Unencumbered by the centrist Lib Dem coalition, the Tories will have free rein to advance their brutal politics of inequality.

Cameron, an almost Monty Python-esque upper-class caricature, will lead Britain further down the murky path of austerity, privatization, increased surveillance and jingoism. The Tory electoral victory has, for now, annihilated multiparty politics and emboldened British nationalism to a dangerous degree.

If this sounds extreme, let’s turn first to the Tories’ program of 30 billion pounds ($46 billion) in cuts. This program, what some have called a “secret plan,” contains 12 billion pounds ($18.5 billion) in cuts aimed at some of Britain’s most vulnerable. It includes increased taxes on benefits for the disabled and massive reductions in benefits to caregivers and struggling parents. ...........(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/five_more_years_of_tory_government_what_fresh_hell_is_this_20150508




The Clintons and Their Banker Friends: The Wall Street Connection (1992 to 2016)


from TomDispatch:


The Clintons and Their Banker Friends
The Wall Street Connection (1992 to 2016)

By Nomi Prins


(This piece has been adapted and updated by Nomi Prins from chapters 18 and 19 of her book All the Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power, just out in paperback (Nation Books).)


The past, especially the political past, doesn’t just provide clues to the present. In the realm of the presidency and Wall Street, it provides an ongoing pathway for political-financial relationships and policies that remain a threat to the American economy going forward.

When Hillary Clinton video-announced her bid for the Oval Office, she claimed she wanted to be a “champion” for the American people. Since then, she has attempted to recast herself as a populist and distance herself from some of the policies of her husband. But Bill Clinton did not become president without sharing the friendships, associations, and ideologies of the elite banking sect, nor will Hillary Clinton. Such relationships run too deep and are too longstanding.

To grasp the dangers that the Big Six banks (JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) presently pose to the financial stability of our nation and the world, you need to understand their history in Washington, starting with the Clinton years of the 1990s. Alliances established then (not exclusively with Democrats, since bankers are bipartisan by nature) enabled these firms to become as politically powerful as they are today and to exert that power over an unprecedented amount of capital. Rest assured of one thing: their past and present CEOs will prove as critical in backing a Hillary Clinton presidency as they were in enabling her husband’s years in office.

In return, today’s titans of finance and their hordes of lobbyists, more than half of whom held prior positions in the government, exact certain requirements from Washington. They need to know that a safety net or bailout will always be available in times of emergency and that the regulatory road will be open to whatever practices they deem most profitable.

Whatever her populist pitch may be in the 2016 campaign -- and she will have one -- note that, in all these years, Hillary Clinton has not publicly condemned Wall Street or any individual Wall Street leader. Though she may, in the heat of that campaign, raise the bad-apples or bad-situation explanation for Wall Street’s role in the financial crisis of 2007-2008, rest assured that she will not point fingers at her friends. She will not chastise the people that pay her hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop to speak or the ones that have long shared the social circles in which she and her husband move. She is an undeniable component of the Clinton political-financial legacy that came to national fruition more than 23 years ago, which is why looking back at the history of the first Clinton presidency is likely to tell you so much about the shape and character of the possible second one. .............(more)

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175993/tomgram%3A_nomi_prins%2C_hillary%2C_bill%2C_and_the_big_six_banks/




The Clintons and Their Banker Friends: The Wall Street Connection (1992 to 2016)


from TomDispatch:


The Clintons and Their Banker Friends
The Wall Street Connection (1992 to 2016)

By Nomi Prins


(This piece has been adapted and updated by Nomi Prins from chapters 18 and 19 of her book All the Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power, just out in paperback (Nation Books).)


The past, especially the political past, doesn’t just provide clues to the present. In the realm of the presidency and Wall Street, it provides an ongoing pathway for political-financial relationships and policies that remain a threat to the American economy going forward.

When Hillary Clinton video-announced her bid for the Oval Office, she claimed she wanted to be a “champion” for the American people. Since then, she has attempted to recast herself as a populist and distance herself from some of the policies of her husband. But Bill Clinton did not become president without sharing the friendships, associations, and ideologies of the elite banking sect, nor will Hillary Clinton. Such relationships run too deep and are too longstanding.

To grasp the dangers that the Big Six banks (JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) presently pose to the financial stability of our nation and the world, you need to understand their history in Washington, starting with the Clinton years of the 1990s. Alliances established then (not exclusively with Democrats, since bankers are bipartisan by nature) enabled these firms to become as politically powerful as they are today and to exert that power over an unprecedented amount of capital. Rest assured of one thing: their past and present CEOs will prove as critical in backing a Hillary Clinton presidency as they were in enabling her husband’s years in office.

In return, today’s titans of finance and their hordes of lobbyists, more than half of whom held prior positions in the government, exact certain requirements from Washington. They need to know that a safety net or bailout will always be available in times of emergency and that the regulatory road will be open to whatever practices they deem most profitable.

Whatever her populist pitch may be in the 2016 campaign -- and she will have one -- note that, in all these years, Hillary Clinton has not publicly condemned Wall Street or any individual Wall Street leader. Though she may, in the heat of that campaign, raise the bad-apples or bad-situation explanation for Wall Street’s role in the financial crisis of 2007-2008, rest assured that she will not point fingers at her friends. She will not chastise the people that pay her hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop to speak or the ones that have long shared the social circles in which she and her husband move. She is an undeniable component of the Clinton political-financial legacy that came to national fruition more than 23 years ago, which is why looking back at the history of the first Clinton presidency is likely to tell you so much about the shape and character of the possible second one. .............(more)

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175993/tomgram%3A_nomi_prins%2C_hillary%2C_bill%2C_and_the_big_six_banks/




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