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marmar

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Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 69,904

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Mississauga (Ontario) Moves to Make Transit Competitive With the Car




(Toronto Star) Mississauga is moving its meandering MiWay buses out of the suburbs and onto a grid that will feed the city’s new transitway and, eventually, the Hurontario LRT.

It means some riders will have to walk farther to the nearest bus stop. But the payoff will be quicker, more reliable trips and longer service hours.

“Straightening” of the routes is part of a five-year plan, developed after research showed residents want shorter bus trips, more frequent service and more buses on the weekends and evenings.

The first phase of the transition begins with about half a dozen route changes on April 11. Ultimately, about 45 of MiWay’s 85 routes will be affected, said transit director Geoff Marinoff.

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

Like many of the communities surrounding Toronto, Mississauga was built for the car. But evolving commuting patterns, millennial lifestyles, technology and environmental concerns are forcing a rethink. .................(more)

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/transportation/2016/04/03/mississauga-moves-to-make-transit-competitive-with-the-car.html




Gas Pipeline Uses 160 Eminent Domain Suits To Get People’s Property In 3 States


Gas Pipeline Uses 160 Eminent Domain Suits To Get People’s Property In 3 States
by Irina Slav • April 2, 2016


There are those who believe that any opposition will be crushed.
By Irina Slav, Oilprice.com:

Eminent domain is a tough pill to swallow for Americans who take their property rights very seriously, and the aggressive moves by Sabal Trail to seize property for a natural gas pipeline running through three southern states is turning into a drama of immense proportions.

Sabal Trail, the joint venture planning to build a 500-mile natural gas pipeline through Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, has gone to court in order to secure the right of way through the land where the pipeline should pass.

So far, Sabal Trail has filed 160 eminent domain suits and more are expected, according to a report by the Orlando Sentinel. The company is desperately trying to get the right of way through 346 more properties, though it says it has already secured the agreement of 1,248 landowners in the area along the route.

But it’s doubtful that any of these will be allowed by the respective courts to reach the stage of contestation and litigation due to the stated regional importance of the pipeline project. ................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/04/02/gas-pipeline-uses-160-eminent-domain-suits-to-get-peoples-property-in-3-states/




The EU Has Bigger Trouble than Brexit alone


The EU Has Bigger Trouble than Brexit alone
by Pim Beaart • April 3, 2016


Trouble brewing in the Netherlands

By Pim Beaart, Netherlands, economics & politics editor at Veren Of Lood:


The referendum in the Netherlands on April 6th is going to cause a lot of trouble, possibly axing the strong Dutch commitment to the European project.

The plebiscite is about the Association Treaty between EU and Ukraine, into which the EU inserted some curious clauses about military cooperation and such. It is not a trading treaty per se, since those are the sole responsibility of the European Commission and would not require ratification by the member states.

Another fact that points toward bigger issues at stake is the last-minute involvement of the US government that recently urged Dutch voters to vote YES.

Although Parliament already ratified the Ukraine Treaty, it did so under the provision that under Dutch Law it might be open to a challenge by a plebiscite. The road to such a plebiscite is so difficult that it obviously was never meant to be possible. But the immensely popular Dutch anarcho-liberal blog Geen Stijl managed to gather 470,000 signatures, way more than the 350,000 required by law. A lot of signatures in a country with a total population of 17 million!

And it forced the government to organize the plebiscite. ................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/04/03/the-eu-has-bigger-political-trouble-than-brexit-alone/




The EU Has Bigger Trouble than Brexit alone



The EU Has Bigger Trouble than Brexit alone
by Pim Beaart • April 3, 2016


Trouble brewing in the Netherlands

By Pim Beaart, Netherlands, economics & politics editor at Veren Of Lood:


The referendum in the Netherlands on April 6th is going to cause a lot of trouble, possibly axing the strong Dutch commitment to the European project.

The plebiscite is about the Association Treaty between EU and Ukraine, into which the EU inserted some curious clauses about military cooperation and such. It is not a trading treaty per se, since those are the sole responsibility of the European Commission and would not require ratification by the member states.

Another fact that points toward bigger issues at stake is the last-minute involvement of the US government that recently urged Dutch voters to vote YES.

Although Parliament already ratified the Ukraine Treaty, it did so under the provision that under Dutch Law it might be open to a challenge by a plebiscite. The road to such a plebiscite is so difficult that it obviously was never meant to be possible. But the immensely popular Dutch anarcho-liberal blog Geen Stijl managed to gather 470,000 signatures, way more than the 350,000 required by law. A lot of signatures in a country with a total population of 17 million!

And it forced the government to organize the plebiscite. ................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/04/03/the-eu-has-bigger-political-trouble-than-brexit-alone/





Chris Hedges: The Lie of Patriotism

from truthdig:


The Lie of Patriotism

Posted on Apr 3, 2016
By Chris Hedges


BALTIMORE—When Rory Fanning, a burly veteran who served in the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion and was deployed in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2004, appeared at the Donald Trump rally in Chicago last month he was wearing the top half of his combat fatigues. As he moved through the crowd, dozens of Trump supporters shouted greetings such as “Welcome home, brother” and “Thank you for your service.” Then came the protest that shut down the rally. Fanning, one of the demonstrators, pulled out a flag that read “Vets Against Racism, War and Empire.”

“Immediately someone threw a drink on me,” he said when I interviewed him on my teleSUR show, “Days of Revolt.” “I got hit from behind in the head three or four times. It was quite the switch, quite the pivot on me. Questioning the narrative, questioning Donald Trump’s narrative, and I was suddenly out of their good graces.”

Nationalists do not venerate veterans. They venerate veterans who read from the approved patriotic script. America is the greatest and most powerful country on earth. Those we fight are depraved barbarians. Our enemies deserve death. God is on our side. Victory is assured. Our soldiers and Marines are heroes. Deviate from this cant, no matter how many military tours you may have served, and you become despicable. The vaunted patriotism of the right wing is about self-worship. It is a raw lust for violence. It is blind subservience to the state. And it works to censor the reality of war.

“A lot of soldiers who’ve come back from war see themselves as anything but a hero,” Fanning said. “To throw that term around loosely is dangerous. It’s a way to manipulate soldiers. It buys their silence.”

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

“We’re sold the idea of—we’re going to liberate people, we’re fighting terrorism. Then we realize we’re the ones terrorizing people,” Hanes said. “That torments you psychologically. I’ve lost a few friends to suicide.” .................(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_lie_of_patriotism_20160403






American Roads Are So Terrible Computer Software In Self-Driving Cars Can’t Even Find The Lanes





What does it take to make a CEO lose his cool? Just ask Volvo’s North American CEO, Lex Kerssemakers, who lost it while the automaker’s semi-autonomous prototype refused to drive itself during a press conference at an auto show in L.A.

As he and Mayor Eric Garcetti sat in the car, Kerssemakers exclaimed that “It can’t even find the lane markings!” and “You need to paint the bloody roads here!”

What’s this mean? Well, simply put, it means that years of neglect is finally paying its painful dividends, and serves as yet another reminder that we’re not the global power we think we are. After all, what kind of power can’t even afford to keep its own infrastructure up?

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

An estimated 65% of the United State roads are in poor condition, according to the United States Department of Transportation. The United States possesses a transportation infrastructure system that’s rated 12th in the World Economic Forum’s 2014-2015 global competitiveness report.

And much of the problem is partisanship, beginning with Tom Delay, who in 1995 declared that no Republican can support a bill that Democrats support. As it stands, the U.S. — to repair our crumbling surface roads — will need to spend a whopping $847 billion dollars. ..................(more)

http://winningdemocrats.com/american-roads-are-so-terrible-computer-software-in-self-driving-cars-cant-even-find-the-lanes/






Christian Universities Increasingly Apply for Exemptions From Anti-Discrimination Rules


Christian Universities Increasingly Apply for Exemptions From Anti-Discrimination Rules

Saturday, 02 April 2016 00:00
By Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout | News Analysis


Six months after the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, Dr. Randall O'Brien, president of Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, told the local CBS affiliate that "in a changing world, we want to reaffirm who we are, who we intend to be, and establish our identity as a religious school, a Christian school."

O'Brien was gleefully explaining that the 165-year-old college, established as Mossy Creek Missionary Baptist Seminary in 1851, had just been granted a US Department of Education (DOE) exemption from Title IX regulations, in effect allowing the university to continue to collect federal dollars for scholarships and sports programs despite banning unmarried, pregnant students; women who have had abortions; single mothers; and LGBTQ people from attending classes or working on campus.

This was not Carson-Newman's first foray into regulating the behavior of students, faculty or staff, or in imposing a set of religious restrictions on those connected to it. Far from it. Prior to obtaining the Title IX exemption last December, the campus code of conduct prohibited "lewd, obscene or vulgar language" or expression that is contrary to "Christian values and principle," and barred students and staff from engaging in or advocating engagement in "sexually immoral acts, including sexual relations outside of marriage."

But the Title IX exemption was different from these provisions because it involves money: federal dollars in the form of Pell grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity grants and subsidized student loans. It also allows Carson-Newman to continue to receive government funding for its athletic programs -- despite its overt intent to discriminate against the aforementioned groups of people in admissions, retention and hiring. .............(more)

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35447-christian-universities-increasingly-apply-for-exemptions-from-anti-discrimination-rules




It’s time to get rid of the Democrats' special class of entitled and unelected ‘superdelegates’

Michael Winship, Moyers & Company
01 Apr 2016 at 12:57 ET


Last week, our suggestion that Hillary Clinton call for the resignations of her pals Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz got a big response. But a few people misunderstood what we were saying.

Some thought Bill Moyers and I were calling for Clinton herself to step aside (we weren’t). Others thought we somehow believed Clinton actually had the power to fire Emanuel (of course she doesn’t). Wasserman Schultz is a different story; the demand for her resignation as DNC chair grows by the day and Clinton doubtless will have a voice as to whether she stays or goes (on top of which, for the first time since she entered the House of Representatives, Wasserman Schultz’s Florida congressional seat is being challenged in a Democratic primary by attorney and former Bernie Sanders advisor Tim Canova).

Using the rhetorical suggestion that she and Rahm take a hike – each of them a symbol of the current tone-deaf and corporate-enslaved state of the Democratic Party — was a way of easing into the idea that the party’s elite is as clueless about the disillusionment of the party’s traditional base as the GOP establishment has been about Donald Trump’s ascent. At their peril, the muckety-mucks of both parties ignore the anger and resist the demand for change that have fueled not only Trump but the Bernie Sanders phenomenon as well, albeit the Sanders movement is as progressive as Trump’s is brutish.

One of the more troubling aspects of the Democrats and their nomination process is something we touched upon in last week’s piece: the 712 or so “superdelegates,” about 15 percent of the total (and 30 percent of the majority needed to win the nomination) who will cast ballots at the July convention in Philadelphia. They include President Obama and Vice President Biden, 239 Democratic members of the House and Senate, 21 sitting governors, 437 Democratic National Committeemen and women, and a category referred to as “distinguished party leaders” – former presidents and veeps, ex-congressional leaders and erstwhile presidential nominees. ...........(more)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/04/its-time-to-get-rid-of-the-democrats-special-class-of-entitled-and-unelected-superdelegates/




The South Isn’t The Reason Schools Are Still Segregated, New York Is


(HuffPost) New York City didn’t experience school desegregation in the 1960s and ‘70s like other metropolitan areas. Unlike in Little Rock, Arkansas, the National Guard was never brought in to make sure black students could safely enter an all-white school. Unlike closer hubs, like Boston, resistance to school desegregation never escalated to a citywide crisis. New York never saw a large-scale integration program, and it was never ordered by courts to make its schools more racially balanced.

But the largest school system in the country still had a devastating impact on one of the most controversial causes of the civil rights movement.

In historian Matthew F. Delmont’s new book, Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation, he explains how New York City drove the rhetoric and resistance that allowed school desegregation to falter nationwide. In the late 1950s, years before any serious action was taken to desegregate most schools, New York City parents created the language that would lead opposition to racially mixed schools. This language — which emphasizes the importance of neighborhood schools and opposition to citywide busing — remains the weapon of choice for communities who fight integrated schools today.

The Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education made formal school segregation illegal in 1954. Schools in northern cities, like New York, weren’t segregated by law, but discriminatory housing patterns fostered racial divides all the same. It wasn’t until years after Brown that serious efforts were made to desegregate schools, and New York resisted these attempts early and often.

In 1959, for instance, a few hundred black and Puerto Rican students were getting bused to white areas in Queens to break up hubs of racial isolation. It was a small-scale, one-way busing program, but parents went on the offensive. Hordes of white mothers held protests and wielded signs reading “bussing creates fussing” and “neighborhood schools for all.” Parents emphasized the hardships their children would face if they had to get bused to schools outside their community and the importance of maintaining neighborhood schools as a way to foster community ties. Similar protests continued throughout the next several years.

Because these protests took place in the nation’s media capital, the demonstrators’ rhetoric spread far and wide. The demonstrations got legislators’ attention, too. In the 1960s, a New York legislator helped craft the language in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “that essentially blocked the federal government from having a role in pursuing school desegregation cases in the north,” Delmont said. ................(more)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-york-school-desegregation_us_56fc7cebe4b0a06d5804bdf0




The Racist Agenda Behind the Now-Dead ‘Friedrichs’ Supreme Court Case


(In These Times) The Supreme Court has voted 4-4 on Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, and thus the case is—for now, at least—dead. We should all breathe a sigh of relief: Friedrichs would have made it harder for public service workers—nurses, teachers, firefighters and more—to negotiate good wages and benefits. The two groups that will lose the most are women and African Americans.

If the case’s plaintiffs would have won, our economy, already tilted sharply in favor of the super-rich, would have become even more imbalanced. Public sector workers would have received all of the benefits of union membership without having to pay anything for the cost of representation that unions are required to provide by law. “Right to work” would have become the law of the land in the public sector.

Behind Rebecca Friedrichs, the teacher from California who was one of 10 plaintiffs in the case, is the Center for Individual Rights (CIR), which actively sought out potential plaintiffs to bring suit against the teachers union—just as it aggressively recruited white students on college campuses to bring anti-affirmative action lawsuits against their universities, most notably in Hopwood v. Texas and Gratz v. Bollinger. CIR is also on record in opposition to hate-crime legislation, voting rights and the Affordable Care Act—while championing the cause of payday lenders, which prey on poor communities and communities of color around the country.

CIR has received funding from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group that funds and studies eugenics, the racist “science” of breeding superior human beings. The foundation also supports anti-immigration groups that share its hate-group classification. ............(more)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18868/the-racist-agenda-behind-friedrichs




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