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marmar

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Gender: Male
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 70,152

Journal Archives

Chicago: CTA to double speed of some downtown buses that crawl at 3 mph





(Chicago Tribune) A long-awaited project designed to more than double the 3-mph average speed of CTA buses traveling across the middle of downtown will be called Loop Link, and construction of bus-only lanes and rapid transit-style boarding stations is set to begin in two weeks, city officials were set to announce Monday.

The roughly 2-mile bus rapid transit area will serve Washington, Madison, Clinton and Canal streets and will debut late this year, when the bulk of the $31.8 million construction project is completed, Chicago Department of Transportation officials said.



Work on the overall project, however, will stretch into next year and result in temporary lane reductions, according to CDOT. Those will start March 16, on portions of Madison and Clinton, followed by Washington and Canal and Jackson Boulevard in the spring, and on Randolph Street starting in late summer.

A parallel goal involves reorganizing downtown streets so that all users, whether on foot or bicycle or behind the wheel, have their own space, officials said. ....................(more)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/hilkevitch/ct-loop-bus-rapid-transit-getting-around-met-0302-20150302-column.html#page=1



Twin Cities: U.S. Bank Provides Funding for St. Paul Green Line Apartments




MN: U.S. Bank Provides Funding for St. Paul Green Line Apartments

NICK WOLTMAN ON MAR 3, 2015
SOURCE: PIONEER PRESS


U.S. Bancorp has agreed to invest $15.8 million in the Hamline Station housing complex, which is under construction near the Green Line stop of the same name. In exchange for investment, the complex's developer, Project for Pride in Living, will transfer $14.4 million in federal tax credits to the Minneapolis-based banking giant.

"PPL's mission is to provide affordable housing for low-income families and to help strengthen neighborhoods," PPL CEO Paul Williams said in a news release. "We are excited to have U.S. Bank as a partner to construct Hamline Station. This is a powerful opportunity to provide low-income families and individuals high-quality housing with a significant transit solution."

U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp., a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, funded the investment.

PPL is eligible for federal low-income housing tax credits on the $28.2 million project. The 108-unit apartment complex will house individuals and families with incomes between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/11864393/us-bank-provides-funding-for-st-paul-green-line-apartments



Bill Black: Scott Walker’s War on Workers and the Wall Street Journal’s Cleaned-Up Coverage

Walker’s War on Workers and the Wall Street Journal’s Cleaned-Up Coverage

By William K. Black
March 1, 2015


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has channeled his inner Mitt Romney and written off an immense swath of Americans as people he would not represent if he were elected President. Romney wrote off 47% of Americans and Walker wrote off America’s workers. Romney channeled his inner Ayn Rand and labeled 47% of American’s as worthless “takers.” Walker was more extreme. He labeled American workers, peacefully protesting, as analogous to ISIS terrorists. Romney’s dismissal of the 47% was made as part of a fund raising pitch to billionaire supporters who responded warmly. Walker’ war on workers was warmly received by his ultra-conservative base and his ultra-wealthy potential donors.

Romney’s dismissal of nearly half of America helped doom his campaign, but Walker is running for the nomination of the Republican Party, so demonstrating how much Walker hates a large portion of Americans made him the (early) leading candidate for his party’s nomination. (Consider the hypocrisy of this occurring while Rabid Rudi claims Obama does not love America and Walker responds that he doesn’t know whether Obama loves America. It appears that Republicans see nothing inconsistent between “loving America” and despising nearly half of all Americans. What is America if it is not Americans?)

The Wall Street Journal weighed in on Walker’s war on workers in a piece dated February 28, 2015 entitled “Scott Walker Confronts Doubts About His Grasp of Foreign Policy” by Patrick O’Connor with an opening picture of Walker addressing the “Club for Growth.” The Club is composed of ultra-wealthy and ultra-conservative Republican donors who seek to destroy any effort at effective regulation. This February 28 version of O’Connor’s article contained Walker’s slander of American workers.

“The exchange came two days after Mr. Walker raised eyebrows at the Conservative Political Action Conference when he compared Islamic State fighters to union members in Wisconsin who protested his decision to limit collective-bargaining rights for state workers, telling the crowd, ‘If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.’


In the March 1 (printed?) version of O’Conner’s piece, however, the photo stayed but the slanderous sentence that was so embarrassing and politically harmful to Walker disappeared from the WSJ coverage. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2015/03/walkers-war-on-workers-and-the-wall-street-journals-cleaned-up-coverage.html



Administration’s Dishonest Response to Elizabeth Warren’s Attack on Secret Investor Arbitration.....


from Naked Capitalism:


The Administration’s Dishonest Response to Elizabeth Warren’s Attack on Secret Investor Arbitration Panels in Trade Deals
Posted on March 2, 2015 by Yves Smith


Elizabeth Warren is clearly getting on the Administration’s nerves.

The Massachusetts senator has come out forcefully against the misleadingly named trade deals, the TransPacific Partnership and its ugly sister, the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Mind you, these treaties are not about trade. Trade is already substantially liberalized and in keeping, only five of the 29 chapters of the TransPacific Partnership deal with tariffs.

What these pacts are primarily intended to do is strengthen intellectual property laws to help US software and entertainment companies, along with Big Pharma, increase their hefty profits, and to aid multinational by permitting the greatly increased use of secret, conflict-ridden arbitration panels that allow foreign investors to sue governments over laws that they contend reduced potential future profits. I am not making that up.

Warren focused on the so-called investor-state dispute settlement process in a Washington Post op-ed last week. We’ve discussed these panels in gory detail in previous posts.

That article led the White House to issue a “lady doth protest too much” rebuttal that we’ll shred shortly. But let’s first review the state of play. ...................(more)

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/03/the-administrations-dishonest-response-to-elizabeth-warrens-attack-on-secret-investor-arbitration-panels-in-trade-deals.html



This would bring all-new meaning to "bunny hop"





Where would this country be if Peter Cottontail got cottonmouth?

Matt Fairbanks, an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration's "marijuana eradication" team in Utah, testified to a state Senate panel last week, and said rabbits could get addicted to pot, lose their natural instincts and sit around getting high all the time should a bill pass that would allow medical marijuana edibles in the state.

Fairbanks testified in opposition to the bill, and spent some of his testimony splitting hares, according to The Washington Post. He claimed that illegal pot farms could have bad environmental consequences, and said he saw rabbits addicted to weed at illegal grow sites. .......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/03/stoned-rabbits-dea_n_6789232.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news&ir=Weird%20News



Administration’s Dishonest Response to Elizabeth Warren’s Attack on Secret Investor Arbitration.....


from Naked Capitalism:


The Administration’s Dishonest Response to Elizabeth Warren’s Attack on Secret Investor Arbitration Panels in Trade Deals
Posted on March 2, 2015 by Yves Smith


Elizabeth Warren is clearly getting on the Administration’s nerves.

The Massachusetts senator has come out forcefully against the misleadingly named trade deals, the TransPacific Partnership and its ugly sister, the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Mind you, these treaties are not about trade. Trade is already substantially liberalized and in keeping, only five of the 29 chapters of the TransPacific Partnership deal with tariffs.

What these pacts are primarily intended to do is strengthen intellectual property laws to help US software and entertainment companies, along with Big Pharma, increase their hefty profits, and to aid multinational by permitting the greatly increased use of secret, conflict-ridden arbitration panels that allow foreign investors to sue governments over laws that they contend reduced potential future profits. I am not making that up.

Warren focused on the so-called investor-state dispute settlement process in a Washington Post op-ed last week. We’ve discussed these panels in gory detail in previous posts.

That article led the White House to issue a “lady doth protest too much” rebuttal that we’ll shred shortly. But let’s first review the state of play. ...................(more)

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/03/the-administrations-dishonest-response-to-elizabeth-warrens-attack-on-secret-investor-arbitration-panels-in-trade-deals.html



Administration’s Dishonest Response to Elizabeth Warren’s Attack on Secret Investor Arbitration.....


from Naked Capitalism:


The Administration’s Dishonest Response to Elizabeth Warren’s Attack on Secret Investor Arbitration Panels in Trade Deals
Posted on March 2, 2015 by Yves Smith


Elizabeth Warren is clearly getting on the Administration’s nerves.

The Massachusetts senator has come out forcefully against the misleadingly named trade deals, the TransPacific Partnership and its ugly sister, the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Mind you, these treaties are not about trade. Trade is already substantially liberalized and in keeping, only five of the 29 chapters of the TransPacific Partnership deal with tariffs.

What these pacts are primarily intended to do is strengthen intellectual property laws to help US software and entertainment companies, along with Big Pharma, increase their hefty profits, and to aid multinational by permitting the greatly increased use of secret, conflict-ridden arbitration panels that allow foreign investors to sue governments over laws that they contend reduced potential future profits. I am not making that up.

Warren focused on the so-called investor-state dispute settlement process in a Washington Post op-ed last week. We’ve discussed these panels in gory detail in previous posts.

That article led the White House to issue a “lady doth protest too much” rebuttal that we’ll shred shortly. But let’s first review the state of play. ...................(more)

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/03/the-administrations-dishonest-response-to-elizabeth-warrens-attack-on-secret-investor-arbitration-panels-in-trade-deals.html



Higher Education and the Promise of Insurgent Public Memory


Higher Education and the Promise of Insurgent Public Memory

Tuesday, 03 March 2015 00:00
By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout | News Analysis


"What happens to the memory of history when it ceases to be testimony?" - James Young


At a time when both political parties, anti-public intellectual pundits and mainstream news sources view the purpose of higher education almost exclusively as a workstation for training a global workforce, generating capital for the financial elite, and as a significant threat to the power of the military, corporate and financial elite, it becomes more difficult to reclaim a history in which the culture of business is not the culture of higher education. This is certainly not meant to suggest that higher education once existed in an ideal past in which it only functioned as a public good and provided a public service in the interest of developing a democratic polity.

Higher education has always been fraught with notable inequities and anti-democratic tendencies, but it also once functioned as a crucial reminder of both its own limitations and the potential role it might play in attacking social problems and deepening the promise of a democracy to come. As difficult as it may seem to believe, John Dewey's insistence that "democracy needs to be reborn in each generation, and education is its midwife" was once taken seriously by many academic leaders. Today, it is fair to see that Dewey's once vaunted claim has been willfully ignored, forgotten or made an object of scorn.

Throughout the 20th century, there have been flashpoints in which the struggle to shape the university in the interest of a more substantive democracy was highly visible. Those of us who lived through the 1960s remember a different image of the university. Rather than attempt to train MBAs, define education through the lens of mathematical utility, indoctrinate young people into the culture of capitalism, decimate the power of faculty and turn students into mindless consumers, the university presented itself as a site of struggle. That is, it served, in part, as a crucial public sphere that held power accountable, produced a vast array of critical intellectuals, joined hands with the antiwar and civil rights movements and robustly challenged what Mario Savio once called "the machine" - an operating structure infused by the rising strength of the financial elite that posed a threat to the principles of critique, dissent, critical exchange and a never-ending struggle for inclusivity. The once vibrant spirit of resistance that refused to turn the university over to corporate and military interests is captured in Savio's moving and impassioned speech on December 2, 1964, on the steps of Sproul Hall at the University of California, Berkeley:

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even tacitly take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears, upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free the machine will be prevented from working at all.


The 1960s may have been the high point of that period in US education in which the merging of politics, justice, civil rights and the search for truth made clear what it meant to consider higher education as a democratic public sphere. Not everyone was pleased or supported this explosion of dissent, resistance to the Vietnam War and struggle to make campuses across the United States more inclusive and emancipatory. Conservatives were deeply disturbed by the campus revolts and viewed them as a threat to their dream worlds of privatization, deregulation, militarization, capital accumulation and commodification. What soon emerged was an intense struggle for the soul of higher education. ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/29396-higher-education-and-the-promise-of-insurgent-public-memory



Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy


This is a couple of years old but I just stumbled across it. Excellent presentation by Robert McChesney.


https://

A lecture by Robert McChesney, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign






China Monthly Box Office Tops U.S. for First Time Ever


Chinese box-office revenue edged ahead of the United States in February for the first time ever as a record Lunar New Year bonanza brought in $650 million in the second-largest movie market, according to data from research firm Entgroup.

The North American box office for February came in at $710 million, but once Canada was stripped out, the figure was $640 million, making China the biggest box-office market in the world for the month, the firm said.

The Entgroup figures are lower than those for the month for Rentrak and the National Association of Theater Owners, but they highlight a trend that China is set to become the world's biggest film market sooner rather than later, especially as the number of screens increases dramatically every week. ...............(more)

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/china-box-office-tops-us-778499



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