HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » marmar » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Next »


Profile Information

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

Journal Archives

But they work hard for their money........

L.A.'s airport train that doesn't go to the airport

CA: Newest Train to LAX Will Still Come Up Short, at Least at First

Laura J. Nelson
Source: Los Angeles Times
Created: August 12, 2013

Wrapping up a Los Angeles vacation and an hourlong, two-train trek from downtown, Benjamin Levert and his slightly harried wife and daughters just wanted to check in for their flight back to France. Exiting the Metro Green Line at the Aviation/LAX station, they towed their four suitcases down a long escalator.

To a parking lot.

"Where is the terminal?" Levert asked his wife in French, looking around and raising his voice over the whoosh of overhead traffic on the 105 Freeway. "What kind of an airport is this?"

The Leverts had stumbled into what critics consider one of L.A.'s great planning failures: a $1-billion train that stops 2.5 miles from passenger terminals of the nation's third-busiest airport.

Now, a generation after the Green Line earned the nickname "the train to nowhere," planners in the midst of a multibillion-dollar rail boom are preparing to break ground on a second LAX-adjacent train that is facing similar issues -- and offering a new opportunity to complete a key missing link in the region's sprawling 87.7-mile commuter rail network. ............................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/11102130/newest-train-to-lax-will-still-come-up-short-at-least-at-first

NYC: More and More commuters working in the outerboroughs: Data

(AM New York) The 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday commuting pattern is on the wane and a new kind of commuter has been on the rise, according to data the Partnership for New York City released Tuesday.

As weekend ridership reaches post-World War II levels, commuters today are increasingly riding during off-peak times and working in the outerboroughs.

Over the past decade, Brooklyn has seen a 24% increase in the number of workers that both live and work there, while the Bronx saw a 28% jump in the number of people who work there. Meanwhile, there are 150,000 daily commuters between Queens and Brooklyn, half of whom drive to work. The city’s public transit users face an average 48-minute commute.


David Giles, the director of research at the Center for an Urban Future, said fast-growing sectors in the city are education, health care, and retail — fields evenly spread across the city. Meanwhile, Manhattan-centric jobs in finance and administration are on the wane. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/more-and-more-commuters-working-in-the-outerboroughs-data-1.5886707

Robert Reich: Why the Anger?

Why the Anger?
Monday, August 12, 2013

Why is the nation more bitterly divided today than it’s been in eighty years? Why is there more anger, vituperation, and political polarization now than even during Joe McCarthy’s anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s, the tempestuous struggle for civil rights in the 1960s, the divisive Vietnam war, or the Watergate scandal?

If anything, you’d think this would be an era of relative calm. The Soviet Union has disappeared and the Cold War is over. The Civil Rights struggle continues, but at least we now have a black middle class and even a black President. While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been controversial, the all-volunteer army means young Americans aren’t being dragged off to war against their will. And although politicians continue to generate scandals, the transgressions don’t threaten the integrity of our government as did Watergate.

And yet, by almost every measure, Americans are angrier today. They’re more contemptuous of almost every major institution — government, business, the media. They’re more convinced the nation is on the wrong track. And they are far more polarized.

Political scientists say the gap between the median Republican voter and the median Democrat is wider today on a whole host of issues than it’s been since the 1920s. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://robertreich.org/post/58082787864

When Schools Become Dead Zones of the Imagination: A Critical Pedagogy Manifesto

When Schools Become Dead Zones of the Imagination: A Critical Pedagogy Manifesto

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 09:15
By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout | Op-Ed

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

If the right-wing billionaires and apostles of corporate power have their way, public schools will become “dead zones of the imagination,” reduced to anti-public spaces that wage an assault on critical thinking, civic literacy and historical memory.1 Since the 1980s, schools have increasingly become testing hubs that de-skill teachers and disempower students. They have also been refigured as punishment centers where low-income and poor minority youth are harshly disciplined under zero tolerance policies in ways that often result in their being arrested and charged with crimes that, on the surface, are as trivial as the punishment is harsh. 2 Under casino capitalism’s push to privatize education, public schools have been closed in cities such as, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York to make way for charter schools. Teacher unions have been attacked, public employees denigrated and teachers reduced to technicians working under deplorable and mind-numbing conditions. 3

Corporate school reform is not simply obsessed with measurements that degrade any viable understanding of the connection between schooling and educating critically engaged citizens. The reform movement is also determined to underfund and disinvest resources for public schooling so that public education can be completely divorced from any democratic notion of governance, teaching and learning. In the eyes of billionaire un-reformers and titans of finance such as Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, the Walton family and Michael Bloomberg, public schools should be transformed, when not privatized, into adjuncts of shopping centers and prisons. 4

Like the dead space of the American mall, the school systems promoted by the un-reformers offer the empty ideological seduction of consumerism as the ultimate form of citizenship and learning. And, adopting the harsh warehousing mentality of prison wardens, the un-reformers endorse and create schools for poor students that punish rather than educate in order to channel disposable populations into the criminal justice system where they can fuel the profits of private prison corporations. The militarization of public schools that Secretary Arnie Duncan so admired and supported while he was the CEO of the Chicago School System was not only a ploy to instill authoritarian discipline practices against students disparagingly labeled as unruly, if not disposable. It was also an attempt to design schools that would break the capacity of students to think critically and render them willing and potential recruits to serve in senseless and deadly wars waged by the American empire. And, if such recruitment efforts failed, then students were quickly put on the conveyor belt of the school-to-prison pipeline. For many poor minority youth in the public schools, prison becomes part of their destiny, just as public schools reinforce their status as second-class citizens. As Michelle Alexander points out, “Instead of schools being a pipeline to opportunity, (they) are feeding our prisons.” ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/18133-when-schools-become-dead-zones-of-the-imagination-a-critical-pedagogy-manifesto

Death by Corporation: America's Corporate Deathstar

Death by Corporation: America's Corporate Deathstar

Monday, 12 August 2013 09:28
By Dr Brian Moench, Truthout | Op-Ed

Instead of protecting US citizens, the Obama administration is enabling the ultimate corporate "Deathstar." The TransPacific Partnership will allow corporations "virtually unchecked control of our food supply, our land, air, water, wallets and our future."

A few days ago I was contacted by someone in the EPA and told that I had been nominated to be a potential recipient of an award from the White House, a "Champion of Change" on the issue of the public health consequences of global warming. To find out if I had received one of the awards, which sounded like the Heisman Trophy of public health/environmental do-gooderism, I was asked to fly back to Washington - at my own expense, thank you "Sequester" - with other nominees to attend a ceremony/panel discussion on the issue. I bought my plane ticket, attended the conference, but did not receive the "Climate Heisman." In fact, ironically, because of extreme (global warming) weather disrupting plane flights throughout the Midwest, the whole experience degenerated into a travel nightmare.

The White House staffers who ran the conference seemed like sincere people, trying to work within the system to back us away from the cliff of a climate crisis. But key here is "within the system." It turns out the clean break that must be made from the dirty energy corporations, including those fracking for natural gas, won't happen in time, or perhaps ever, because "within the system" refers to a state where the profitability of those powerful corporations has supremacy over a livable climate and the survival of much of the human race.

In Parts I and II of Mankind: Death by Corporation, we looked briefly at what amounts to ruthless, psychopathic behavior of our largest corporations spanning most major industries. But aided and abetted by "sincere" government officials, corporations are working behind the scenes, rapidly assembling the corporate "Death Star" to be unleashed upon citizens throughout the world, allowing them virtually unchecked control of our food supply, our land, air, water, wallets and our future.

An in-house editorial in the New York Times on July 5, began, "For all its rabid partisanship, Congress has shown time and again that it is willing to come together to deregulate corporate America." This new corporate giveaway is a bill in the Senate sponsored by Democrats and Republicans that would, for all intents and purposes, end the "independence" of independent regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Labor Relations Board. These independent agencies were established to be accountable to Congress - not the White House - with the goal of insulating them from political arm-twisting. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/18115-mankind-death-by-corporation-part-iii-the-tpp-as-corporate-deathstar

Eugene Robinson: What NSA Reforms?

from truthdig:

What NSA Reforms?
Posted on Aug 13, 2013

By Eugene Robinson

President Obama’s message about the government’s massive electronic surveillance programs came through loud and clear: Get over it.

The president used more soothing words in his pre-vacation news conference Friday, but that was the gist. With perhaps the application of a fig leaf here and a sheen of legalistic mumbo jumbo there, the snooping will continue.

Unless, of course, we demand that it end.

The modest reforms Obama proposed do not begin to address the fundamental question of whether we want the National Security Agency to log all of our phone calls and read at least some of our emails, relying on secret judicial orders from a secret court for permission. The president indicated he is willing to discuss how all this is done—but not whether.

“It’s not enough for me, as president, to have confidence in these programs. The American people need to have confidence in them as well,” Obama said. But if this is truly what he believes, he should have kicked off this confidence-building debate years ago, long before former NSA analyst Edward Snowden blew the whistle. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/what_nsa_reforms_20130813/

Chris Hedges: America’s Disappeared

from truthdig:

America’s Disappeared

Posted on Aug 12, 2013
By Chris Hedges

Big Frankie, Little Frankie and Al, three black men who spent a lot of time in prison and have put their lives back together in the face of joblessness, crushing poverty and the violence of city streets, abruptly stopped appearing at the prison support group I help run at the Second Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, N.J. This happens in poor neighborhoods. You see people. You make plans to see them again. And then without explanation they vanish. They get arrested for something, often trivial, after the police randomly stop them, run a check and find they owe fines, missed a court date or a meeting with a probation officer, owe child support, violated probation or have a couple of ounces of pot. The big mechanical jaw of the legal system gulps them down. And since they are poor and cannot afford bail they stay locked up. And that appears to be what happened to Big Frankie, Little Frankie and Al.

The rumor on the street is that Little Frankie, whose name is Frank Clarke and who is of Hispanic descent, did not appear for a court date because he was afraid of being deported. But no one is sure, except about the being afraid part. The Union County Jail in Elizabeth says Big Frankie and Al were arrested for “possession of controlled dangerous substances.” But this does not mean they had drugs. They might have. But they might not have. Police plant drugs all the time. And if Big Frankie and Al did have drugs they did not have very much.

In America, when you are poor, you can instantly disappear like this into the subterranean rabbit holes of our vast jail and prison complex. You crawl out weeks, months or years later. You try to pick up where you left off. You avoid the cops. You look for work. There is no work. It is a constant cat-and-mouse game the state plays with the poor. The hunters. The hunted. The poor, no matter what they do, are always potential prey, minnows in a sea of sharks. It is not only the masses in the Middle East and the jihadists who despise us for our purported “values.” The vast, persecuted underclass, the human refuse callously cast aside by our corporate state, the legions of poor our bankrupt media have rendered invisible, the young, violent street toughs with no education, no jobs, no prospects also see through the empty rhetoric of the power elite when it speaks about our freedoms and democracy. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/americas_disappeared_20130812/

The Insider’s Economic Dictionary: B Is for Bailout

The Insider’s Economic Dictionary: B Is for Bailout
Posted on Aug 10, 2013

By Michael Hudson

Bailout: Reimbursement to speculators and savers of losses incurred by bad loans, investments or deposits in banks that fail. The effect of this moral hazard is to preserve financial control in the hands of the economy’s wealthiest 10 percent, “making them whole” by shifting the loss onto the bottom 90 percent of the population in order to benefit those at the top of the pyramid (see Rentier and Oligarchy).

Balance of payments: Every country has offsetting trade and financial movements. And as in any balance sheet, every country’s payments are in overall balance by definition. The balance of payments is an accounting statement of international credits or inflows such as export receipts, the run-up of debt, and payments to foreigners for imports or to buy foreign companies.

The formal term should be “balance of international transactions,” because many transactions do not involve payments. U.S. foreign aid is extended “in kind” (military hardware, food dumping, etc.) rather than involving dollar payments, while many exports are financed on credit. Retained earnings by foreign branches of U.S. companies are treated as if they flow into the economy and then flow out again, although no flows of payments actually are involved.

This being said, there are many sub-balances that can be struck, most notably the current account (trade, services, and transfer payments such as immigrants’ remittances) and “capital” account (loans and investments). The most typical (im)balance is the rise in foreign indebtedness and loss (or rise) of international reserves. For the United States the “balance” used to consist of gold sales, but today it is the run-up of Treasury debt to foreign central banks (but not to private holders) to settle the imbalances on trade and investment accounts. The difference between the United States and other countries is that it can settle these imbalances in its own fiat currency – U.S. dollars – whereas other countries must depend on the U.S. monopoly of dollar creation to finance their deficits. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_insiders_economic_dictionary_b_is_for_bailout_20130810/

If a Business Won't Pay a Living Wage, It Shouldn't Exist

If a Business Won't Pay a Living Wage, It Shouldn't Exist

Thursday, 08 August 2013 15:02
By The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program

Last week, thousands of fast food workers from across the country walked off their jobs to demand a living wage of $15 an hour. Ever since, the Republican talking point machine has been running on all cylinders.

According to pundits on the right, giving fast food workers or any other workers, for that matter, a $7 or $8 bump to their hourly wages would cut so much into the bottom lines of “job-creators” that business owners would have to either pass the cost of a living-wage onto consumers or simply stop hiring new workers altogether.

But lost among all the noise on the right is one very, very important point: getting tax preferences and limitations on liability to do business in the United States is a privilege, not a right. It’s a privilege that we as a society offer to budding entrepreneurs and big business alike in exchange for goods, services, and jobs.

Look at it this way: when someone opens up a business, they’re entitled to all sorts of special tax breaks that most people can’t get. They can write off fancy meals; they can write off nights stayed at five-star hotels; they can write off airfare to anywhere in the world they do business, or even might do business; and they can even write off any legal expenses they incur when they get busted for breaking the law. Drug dealers who push pot can’t write off their lawyer’s fees, but drug dealers at Big Pharma, even when they lie and break the law in ways that kill people, can - all because they’re incorporated. .......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/18065-if-a-business-wont-pay-a-living-wage-it-shouldnt-exist

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Next »