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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: 67,251

Journal Archives

Construction begins for Ottawa's new light-rail line

Officials from Ottawa, Canada, met June 12 to lay the first track for the O-Train Confederation Line light-rail project.

Construction of the $2.1 billion, 7.7-mile line is expected to continue into 2017, according to a press release from Ottawa's City Councillor Riley Brockington. (All figures in Canadian dollars.)

The Confederation Line will be built along the Transitway's existing bus route, and will have 13 stations, including three contructed underground. It also will feature a maintenance and storage facility at Belfast Yard.

"Today’s milestone is another sign of momentum toward completing this world-class project on time and on budget," said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson in a statement. ................(more)


Detroit Gentrification Means "Forced Relocation" of Black Seniors

Detroit Gentrification Means "Forced Relocation" of Black Seniors

Saturday, 13 June 2015 00:00
By Paul Kleyman, New America Media | Report

Many Detroit residents are celebrating a new era of revitalization, as the city’s thriving Midtown is now dotted with upscale shops, restaurants and new construction. But Motor City, blighted with 83,000 abandoned homes, is also seeing the forced relocation of low-income seniors, most of them African American.

“There’s a national trope about Detroit, the idea that it’s empty in a lot of ways,” said Tam E. Perry, a researcher at the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research and assistant professor at Wayne State University, where she heads The Relocation Lab.

Phrases like, “Detroit is on the move” have taken hold, she said, promoting the notion that anything can happen there, that you can start a new business, be an artist--see the city as a “blank slate” just waiting for you to make your mark on it.

“But when you think a community is a blank slate,” she said, “you’re also overlooking very vulnerable populations that have been part of the fabric of Detroit and want to remain part of that fabric. As development is occurring in various parts of the city, senior relocation—or I would say forced relocation--is an unintended consequence.”

Senior Advocates Form Coalition

Detroit, Perry noted, is a city of about 700,000 people, 82.7 percent of them black. More than one in 10 residents (11.5 percent) are 65 or older. As one recent Associated Press story declared, “Whites Moving to Detroit, City That Epitomized White Flight: Residents are taking advantage of cheaper housing.” ...................(more)


Pope Francis’s anticapitalist revolution launches on Thursday

by Paul B. Farrell

(MarketWatch) Mark your calendar: June 18. That’s launch day for Pope Francis’s historic anticapitalist revolution, a multitargeted global revolution against out-of-control free-market capitalism driven by consumerism, against destruction of the planet’s environment, climate and natural resources for personal profits and against the greediest science deniers.

Translated bluntly, stripped of all the euphemisms and his charm, that will be the loud-and-clear message of Pope Francis’ historic encyclical coming on June 18. Pope Francis has a grand mission here on Earth, and he gives no quarter, hammering home a very simple message with no wiggle room for compromise of his principles: ‘If we destroy God’s Creation, it will destroy us,” our human civilization here on Planet Earth.

Yes, he’s blunt, tough, he is a revolutionary. And on June 18 Pope Francis’s call-to-arms will be broadcast loud, clear and worldwide. Not just to 1.2 billion Catholics, but heard by seven billion humans all across the planet. And, yes, many will oppose him, be enraged to hear the message, because it is a call-to-arms, like Paul Revere’s ride, inspiring billions to join a people’s revolution.


1. Capitalism is threatening the survival of human civilization

A “threat to peace arises from the greedy exploitation of environmental resources. Monopolizing of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.” .......................(more)


U.S. manufacturing sector is in a technical recession

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. factory sector, ailing from the strong dollar, global weakness and lower oil prices, has slipped into a technical recession, new data released Monday show.

The Federal Reserve said Monday that industrial production dropped unexpectedly in May and hasn’t increased since November.

The six-month drop in output, adjusted for inflation, puts the sector in a technical recession, said Alan Tonelson, a former economist for a manufacturing trade group who now writes commentary on the sector. ...................(more)


Snowden, Putin, Greece: It’s All The Same Story

Snowden, Putin, Greece: It’s All The Same Story
Posted by Raúl Ilargi Meijer at 7:09 pm

Through the last decades, as we have been getting ever more occupied trying to be what society tells us is defined as successful, we all missed out on a lot of changes in our world. Or perhaps we should be gentle to ourselves and say we’re simply slow to catch up.

Which is somewhat curious since we’ve also been getting bombarded with fast increasing amounts of what we’re told is information, so you’d think it might have become easier to keep up. It was not.

While we were busy being busy we for instance were largely oblivious to the fact the US is no longer a beneficial force in the world, and that it doesn’t spread democracy or freedom. Now you may argue to what extent that has ever been true, and you should, but the perception was arguably much closer to the truth 70 years ago, at the end of WWII, then it is today.


The Sunday Times ran a story today -which the entire world press parroted quasi verbatim- that claimed MI6 had felt compelled to call back some of its operatives from the ‘field’ because Russia and China had allegedly hacked into the encrypted files Edward Snowden allegedly carried with him to Russia (something Snowden denied on multiple occasions). Glenn Greenwald’s take down of the whole thing is – for good reasons- far better than I could provide, and it’s blistering, it leaves not a single shred of the article. Problem is, the die’s been cast, and many more people read the Times and all the media who’ve reprinted its fiction, than do read Greenwald:


Please read Greenwald’s piece. It’s excellent. Turns out the Times made it all up. At the same time, it’s just one example of something much more expansive: the entire world view of the vast majority of Americans and Europeans, and that means you too, is weaved together from a smorgasbord of made-up stories, narratives concocted to make you see what someone else wants you to see.


In short, the propaganda we should be worried about is not Russia’s, it’s our own. And it comes from just about every news article we’re fed. We’re much less than six degrees removed from Orwell.



CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation

(Guardian UK) The Central Intelligence Agency had explicit guidelines for “human experimentation” before, during and after its post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees, the Guardian has learned, which raise new questions about the limits on internal oversight over the agency’s in-house and contracted medical research.

Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian on Monday, empower the agency’s director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research”. The leeway provides the director, who has never in the agency’s history been a medical doctor, with significant influence over limitations the US government sets to preserve safe, humane and ethical procedures on people.

CIA director George Tenet approved abusive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, designed by CIA contractor psychologists. He further instructed the agency’s health personnel to oversee the brutal interrogations – the beginning of years of controversy, still ongoing, about US torture as a violation of medical ethics.

But the revelation of the guidelines has prompted critics of CIA torture to question how the agency could have ever implemented what it calls “enhanced interrogation techniques” – despite apparently having rules against “research on human subjects” without their informed consent. ................(more)


U.S. industrial production unexpectedly falls in May


WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in May, the Federal Reserve said Monday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.2% increase. Production in the first three months of the year was revised up slightly but the data still show that output at the nation's factories, mines, and utilities hasn't increased since November. Output in April was revised down to a drop of 0.5% from the prior reading of a 0.2% decline. Beneath the headlines, manufacturing output was down 0.2% in May after a 0.1% gain in April. Excluding autos, manufacturing was down 0.3%. Mining output declined 0.3% last month, after declining more than 1% on average over the past four months. The slower rate of decrease was in part due to a reduce pace of decline in the index for oil and gas well drilling, the Fed said. Utility output rebounded a slight 0.2% gain after a steep 3.7% drop in the prior month. Capacity utilization dipped to 78.1% from 78.3% in April, indicating little cost pressure on goods prices.

Dense mayfly swarm causes crashes, closes Pennsylvania bridge

(BBC News) A dense swarm of mayflies caused motorcycle crashes and the overnight closure of a bridge in the US state of Pennsylvania.

The sheer volume of insects reduced visibility, and turned the road surface of the bridge over the Susquehanna River, in Lancaster County, into a treacherous, slippery mess.

Piles of mayflies up to 2ft (0.6m) deep were seen the morning after.

Immature mayflies live in water, before hatching as adults to mate in swarms.

The bridge was closed late on Saturday, reopening early on Sunday, police said. ...............(more)


Iraqi Forces (cartoon)


The Sunday Times Snowden story increasingly seems like a big steaming pile......


On Thursday, David Anderson, the government’s reviewer of terrorism legislation, condemned snooping laws as “undemocratic, unnecessary and – in the long run – intolerable”, and called for a comprehensive new law incorporating judicial warrants – something for which my organisation, Liberty, has campaigned for many years. This thoughtful intervention brought new hope to us and others, for the rebuilding of public trust in surveillance conducted with respect for privacy, democracy and the law. And it was only possible thanks to Edward Snowden. Rumblings from No 10 immediately betrayed they were less than happy with many of Anderson’s recommendations – particularly his call for judicial oversight. And three days later, the empire strikes back! An exclusive story in the Sunday Times saying that MI6 “is believed” to have pulled out spies because Russia and China decoded Snowden’s files. The NSA whistleblower is now a man with “blood on his hands” according to one anonymous “senior Home Office official”.

Low on facts, high on assertions, this flimsy but impeccably timed story gives us a clear idea of where government spin will go in the coming weeks. It uses scare tactics to steer the debate away from Anderson’s considered recommendations – and starts setting the stage for the home secretary’s new investigatory powers bill. In his report, Anderson clearly states no operational case had yet been made for the snooper’s charter. So it is easy to see why the government isn’t keen on people paying too close attention to it. ...............(more)


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