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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Home country: Citizen of the world whose address is in the U.S.
Current location: Detroit, Michigan
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 68,721

Journal Archives

Teacher Fired Over Anti-Bullying Video

Published on Nov 8, 2015

A middle school teacher in Kansas showed his students an anti-bullying video. The short film depicted a world where homosexuality was normal but heterosexuality was discriminated against. The community protested the video being shown and the teacher has been dismissed. Ana Kasparian (The Point) and John Iadarola (Think Tank) hosts of The Young Turks discuss.


Greenhouse Gases Reached Record Highs In 2014

GENEVA, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2014 as the relentless fueling of climate change makes the planet more dangerous for future generations, the World Meteorological Organization said on Monday.

"Every year we say that time is running out. We have to act NOW to slash greenhouse gasemissions if we are to have a chance to keep the increase in temperatures to manageable levels," WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement.

Graphs issued by the United Nations agency showed levels of carbon dioxide, the maingreenhouse gas, climbing steadily towards the 400 parts per million (ppm) level, having hit a new record every year since reliable records began in 1984.

Carbon dioxide levels averaged 397.7 ppm in 2014 but briefly breached the 400 ppm barrier in the northern hemisphere in early 2014, and again globally in early 2015.

Soon 400 ppm will be a permanent reality, Jarraud said. .......................(more)


"You Have to Speak Up": Viggo Mortensen Defends Quentin Tarantino's Criticism of Police Killings

Published on Nov 5, 2015

Award-winning film director Quentin Tarantino is refusing to back down from his criticism of police brutality, even as police unions have launched a campaign to boycott his films. Tarantino sparked controversy after he called fatal police shootings "murders" during the Rise Up October rally against police brutality in New York City on October 24. Tarantino’s comments have come under intense criticism, with several major police unions calling for a boycott of his films. " clearly saw what anybody with eyes on their head could see," says Academy Award-nominated actor Viggo Mortensen. "What’s troubling is the tacit condoning of these abuses of power by certain police officers by their bosses, by people who should know better." Mortensen also looks back on his own brush with a right-wing political backlash, after he famously wore a T-shirt on the PBS show Charlie Rose that said "No more blood for oil."

Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on 1,300+ TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9am ET: http://democracynow.org

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)


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)


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)


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.


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)


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