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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: 65,040

Journal Archives

R Train Service to Halt Between Brooklyn, Manhattan

There will be no R train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan for at least a year starting in August as the MTA shuts down a key tunnel to repair damage sustained during Sandy, officials say.

The closure of the Montague tube will likely last between 12 and 14 months, and affect about 65,000 daily riders.

In addition, the MTA will shut down all G train service between Brooklyn and Queens for 12 weekends beginning later this summer.

“Closing these two subway tubes is a difficult but necessary step to restore them to the condition they were in before Sandy struck,” said MTA Acting Chairman Fernando Ferrer in a statement.

“The temporary repairs that returned these tubes to operation after Sandy are not enough to provide reliable service. This is unfortunately the reality of recovery from Sandy: the damage is insidious and continuing, and repairing it will take billions of dollars over several years." ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/transportation-nation/2013/jun/05/no-r-train-year-starting-august/

We Need to Address the Profound Stupidity That Afflicts America

Reader Supported News / By William Boardman

We Need to Address the Profound Stupidity That Afflicts America
Crackdown on Florida high school science student is prime example of American idiocy.

May 31, 2013 |

It's not as though a bunch of people in central Florida have been consciously conspiring about the best way to trash a 16-year-old girl's life, but the effect of their collective personal and institutional stupidity may well produce the same effect. At first there was no sign that any of them much cared, but now there's a ray of hope for a just outcome. Read on.

This cultural stupidity in Florida isn't an all-American sort of thing that could happen anywhere—and probably has in a variety of forms similar to the recent mindlessness that led school officials to call the police who called the prosecutor who decided, over the phone, to have a 16-year-old girl arrested as an adult and charged with two felonies under state law because she did an outdoors experiment that blew up an 8 oz. water bottle with the force of a small firecracker, doing no damage and harming no one.

This is the case of 11th grader Kiera Wilmot, a Bartow High School honor student with straight A's and a perfect behavior record, according to school officials. Sometime around 7 a.m. on Monday, April 22, she tried an experiment with a friend watching: she mixed hydrochloric acid (in a toilet bowl cleaner) with a bit of aluminum foil inside a plastic water bottle—a trick known familiarly as a "Drano bomb" or "works bomb." As predicted (and shown in video), shortly after Kiera Wilmot mixed the ingredients and put the cap on the bottle, hydrogen gas was produced, with enough pressure to pop the top off the bottle with the sound of a small firecracker.

Arguably, that was a stupid thing to do, at least on school grounds.

So the Question Quickly Arises, Are There Any Grown-Ups Here?

Then the adults got involved and took the stupidity to higher levels, quickly producing a stupidity tsumani of an all too familiar American kind. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/education/florida-school-example-american-stupidity

Seven States Not to Get High In While Black

from Rolling Stone:

Seven States Not to Get High In While Black
ACLU report documents shockingly racist enforcement of marijuana laws

By Tim Dickinson
June 5, 2013 4:39 PM ET

The ACLU has published an astonishing report on the racist enforcement of our nation's marijuana laws. While pot is consumed at nearly equal rates by black and white Americans, blacks are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for possession – a ratio that can soar above 8:1 in individual states. Here are the seven states with the most outrageously racist patterns of enforcement, each with an arrest ratio of worse than 5:1.

How Much More Likely Black People Are To Be Arrested for Marijuana Possession Than White People, By State

1. Iowa: 8.34 times more likely

2. Washington, D.C.: 8.05 times more likely

3. Minnesota: 7.81 times more likely

4. Illinois: 7.56 times more likely

5. Wisconsin: 5.98 times more likely

6. Kentucky: 5.95 times more likely

7. Pennsylvania: 5.19 times more likely

(Source: 2010 FBI/Uniform Crime Reporting Program Data, ACLU)

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/seven-states-not-to-get-high-in-while-black-20130605#ixzz2VODvyrb2

TPP: A Corporate Coup D'état

Published on Jun 4, 2013

Abby Martin talks to Kevin Zeese, attorney and co-director of 'It's Our Economy', about the secrecy surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, regarded as the most secretive trade negotiations in history, the possibility of China joining the trade partnership, and what can be done to stop Obama from bypassing congress to push the TPP deal through.

Hookers and Hecklers........

.......... Sorry, this thread is about neither, but about banksters.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Faced with a rash of insider trading in the markets, federal prosecutors and securities regulators in recent years have stepped up efforts to crack down on violations.

But insider trading and market fraud persist, perhaps at epidemic levels. Even though the Securities and Exchange Commission has brought more insider-trading actions in the past three years than in any three-year period in the agency’s history, and even though the U.S. attorney in New York City has convicted 73 people in insider-trading cases since 2009, the crime remains all too common.

That’s what MarketWatch found in a series of interviews with people convicted of insider trading and fraud. These felons painted a picture of an unfair market driven by widespread cheating that favors those with privileged information and expensive technology. The cheating also hurts individual investors and retirement savers trying to follow the rules of the road and produces a deeply unfair market environment.

MarketWatch reporters conducted a series of in-depth interviews with ex–investment brokers and others who lost their trading licenses and are either in prison serving multiyear sentences or have done their time in the slammer and now advise others on what not to do. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/madoff-other-felons-say-markets-are-rigged-2013-06-05?dist=afterbell

Michael Moore: Here's How We Built a Movie Theater for the People -- and Why the MPAA Says It's #1..

Michael Moore
Oscar and Emmy-winning director

Here's How We Built a Movie Theater for the People -- and Why the MPAA Says It's #1 in the World

This past week, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the main federation of Hollywood's six major studios, posted on their web site a list of what they believe are some of the best movie theaters in the world.

And listed as #1 is the historic State Theatre of Traverse City, Michigan, an incredible movie palace which I restored and now run as a nonprofit theater -- along with a few hundred great volunteers!

This month, we will sell our one-millionth admission ticket since we opened five-and-a-half years ago. What makes this statistic even more remarkable is that Traverse City's year-round population here in remote northern Michigan is only 16,000 people. And mostly we show only "smaller" indie and foreign films that open nationwide on less than 200 screens.

Even with those limitations, in the 286 weeks we've been open, for 51 of those weeks, the State Theatre has been the #1 grossing theater in the country for the movie we happen to be showing. We've placed in the top 10 grossing cities for 120 of those weeks (the other cities on that list are usually New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, D.C., Dallas, Boston, etc.). ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-moore/heres-how-we-built-a-movi_b_3391123.html?utm_hp_ref=yahoo&ir=Yahoo

JPMorgan’s Alabama Debacle Set to Cost Bank $1.5 Billion

(Bloomberg) JPMorgan Chase & Co. may see as much as $1.6 billion go down an Alabama sewer.

The biggest U.S. bank by assets agreed to forgive $842 million of debt owed to it by Jefferson County, Alabama, where it took the lead in arranging risky securities deals that pushed the county into the largest U.S. municipal bankruptcy, in November 2011.

That agreement follows a $722 million settlement in 2009 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to the Jefferson County financing. JPMorgan’s total costs amount to a quarter of the $6.2 billion trading loss in 2012 from corporate-credit bets by a trader known as the London Whale.

Elizabeth C. Seymour, a bank spokeswoman, had no comment on the accord announced yesterday. If accepted by the court, it would cap almost a decade-long disaster in Alabama’s largest county, where JPMorgan initially reaped substantial fees arranging interest-rate swaps that subsequently proved tainted by municipal corruption and devastating to taxpayers during the 2008 credit crisis. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-05/jpmorgan-s-alabama-debacle-set-to-cost-bank-1-5-billion.html

Anti-EU Sentiment Increases as Britons Demand Exit, Poll Shows

(Bloomberg) Rising anti-European Union sentiment and the threat that Britain will quit the bloc may boost nationalist candidates in next year’s European Parliament elections, a poll showed.

Pluralities in six countries said things are going in the “wrong direction” in the EU, with a majority in the U.K. favoring a pullout from the bloc if a referendum were held now, Gallup Europe said.

EU Parliament balloting in May 2014 risks “the strong mobilization of voters in favor of radical nationalist and anti-EU parties, which could result in a drastic change in the landscape of European democracy,” Gallup Europe said in a statement in Brussels today.

Economic ills and a sense of “disconnect” between the people and EU politicians are likely to depress turnout, making it easier for well-organized anti-EU forces to make inroads in the election, the pollsters said. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-05/anti-eu-sentiment-increases-as-britons-demand-exit-poll-shows.html

Report Says T.S.A. Screening Is Not Objective

(NYT) The Transportation Security Administration has little evidence that an airport passenger screening program, which some employees believe is a magnet for racial profiling and has cost taxpayers nearly one billion dollars, screens passengers objectively, according to a report by the inspector general for the Homeland Security Department.

The T.S.A.’s “behavioral detection program” is supposed to rely on security officers who pull aside passengers who exhibit what are considered telltale signs of terrorists for additional screening and questioning. It is illegal to screen passengers because of their nationality, race, ethnicity or religion.

According to the report, the T.S.A. has not assessed the effectiveness of the program, which has 2,800 employees and does not have a comprehensive training program. The T.S.A. cannot “show that the program is cost-effective, or reasonably justify the program’s expansion,” the report said.

As a result of the T.S.A.’s ineffective oversight of the program, it “cannot ensure that passengers at U.S. airports are screened objectively,” the report said. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/us/report-says-tsa-screening-program-not-objective.html?_r=2&

Stubborn jackass Chris Christie: Lautenberg's Tunnel Project "A Dog That Deserved to Be Gone"

(WNYC) A day after Senator Frank Lautenberg passed away, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie didn't pull any punches over one of their most bitter disagreements: a transit tunnel under the Hudson River that Christie cancelled. The death of the so-called ARC tunnel, for "Access to the Region's Core," rankled Lautenberg to the end.

But Christie gave no quarter Tuesday. "That project was a flawed, failed project that was going to cost the people of New Jersey a fortune," he said, at a press conference announcing a special election to replace Lautenberg. "That project was a dog, and it's a dog that deserved to be gone."

Lautenberg had secured billions in federal funding for the project, which at the time of its death -- tunneling was already underway -- was the largest transit infrastructure project in the nation. But Christie, citing the potential for cost overruns, halted the project, sending billions back to the federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which was funding a third of the project. "You can't fit a size ten foot in a size seven shoe," Christie said at the time.

On Tuesday, he reprised his arguments. "I'm not going to have the taxpayers of New Jersey bearing the burden of any dollar of overrun on the project with the city of New York and the state of New York paying nothing, and have the tunnel end up underneath Macy's where there are no other transfer people to take." ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/transportation-nation/2013/jun/04/christie-pet-lautenberg-tunnel-project-dog-deserved-be-gone/

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