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marmar

Profile Information

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: 66,339

Journal Archives

Taxing the Rich and Living to Tell the Tale (chart)




http://toomuchonline.org/



Next Starbucks discussion (cartoon)





http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/starbucks_talker_201503221


Chris Hedges: Journalism as Subversion


from truthdig



by Chris Hedges


The assault of global capitalism is not only an economic and political assault. It is a cultural and historical assault. Global capitalism seeks to erase our stories and our histories. Its systems of mass communication, which peddle a fake intimacy with manufactured celebrities and a false sense of belonging within a mercenary consumer culture, shut out our voices, hopes and dreams. Salacious gossip about the elites and entertainers, lurid tales of violence and inane trivia replace in national discourse the actual and the real. The goal is a vast historical amnesia.

The traditions, rituals and struggles of the poor and workingmen and workingwomen are replaced with the vapid homogenization of mass culture. Life’s complexities are reduced to simplistic stereotypes. Common experiences center around what we have been fed by television and mass media. We become atomized and alienated. Solidarity and empathy are crushed. The cult of the self becomes paramount. And once the cult of the self is supreme we are captives to the corporate monolith.

As the mass media, now uniformly in the hands of large corporations, turn news into the ridiculous chronicling of pseudo-events and pseudo-controversy we become ever more invisible as individuals. Any reporting of the truth—the truth about what the powerful are doing to us and how we are struggling to endure and retain our dignity and self-respect—would fracture and divide a global population that must be molded into compliant consumers and obedient corporate subjects. This has made journalism, real journalism, subversive. And it has made P. Sainath—who has spent more than two decades making his way from rural Indian village to rural Indian village to make sure the voices of the country’s poor are heard, recorded and honored—one of the most subversive journalists on the subcontinent. He doggedly documented the some 300,000 suicides of desperate Indian farmers—happening for the last 19 years at the rate of one every half hour—in his book “Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories From India’s Poorest Districts.” And in December, after leaving The Hindu newspaper, where he was the rural affairs editor, he created the People’s Archive of Rural India. He works for no pay. He relies on a small army of volunteers. He says his archive deals with “the everyday lives of everyday people.” And, because it is a platform for mixed media, encompassing print, still photographs, audio and film, as well as an online research library, it is a model for those who seek to tell the stories that global capitalism attempts to blot out. ..................(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/journalism_as_subversion_20150322




Chris Hedges: Journalism as Subversion


from truthdig



by Chris Hedges


The assault of global capitalism is not only an economic and political assault. It is a cultural and historical assault. Global capitalism seeks to erase our stories and our histories. Its systems of mass communication, which peddle a fake intimacy with manufactured celebrities and a false sense of belonging within a mercenary consumer culture, shut out our voices, hopes and dreams. Salacious gossip about the elites and entertainers, lurid tales of violence and inane trivia replace in national discourse the actual and the real. The goal is a vast historical amnesia.

The traditions, rituals and struggles of the poor and workingmen and workingwomen are replaced with the vapid homogenization of mass culture. Life’s complexities are reduced to simplistic stereotypes. Common experiences center around what we have been fed by television and mass media. We become atomized and alienated. Solidarity and empathy are crushed. The cult of the self becomes paramount. And once the cult of the self is supreme we are captives to the corporate monolith.

As the mass media, now uniformly in the hands of large corporations, turn news into the ridiculous chronicling of pseudo-events and pseudo-controversy we become ever more invisible as individuals. Any reporting of the truth—the truth about what the powerful are doing to us and how we are struggling to endure and retain our dignity and self-respect—would fracture and divide a global population that must be molded into compliant consumers and obedient corporate subjects. This has made journalism, real journalism, subversive. And it has made P. Sainath—who has spent more than two decades making his way from rural Indian village to rural Indian village to make sure the voices of the country’s poor are heard, recorded and honored—one of the most subversive journalists on the subcontinent. He doggedly documented the some 300,000 suicides of desperate Indian farmers—happening for the last 19 years at the rate of one every half hour—in his book “Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories From India’s Poorest Districts.” And in December, after leaving The Hindu newspaper, where he was the rural affairs editor, he created the People’s Archive of Rural India. He works for no pay. He relies on a small army of volunteers. He says his archive deals with “the everyday lives of everyday people.” And, because it is a platform for mixed media, encompassing print, still photographs, audio and film, as well as an online research library, it is a model for those who seek to tell the stories that global capitalism attempts to blot out. ..................(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/journalism_as_subversion_20150322




1% Elections, Privatization of the State, a Fourth Branch of Government and the Demobilization......


from tomdispatch:


The New American Order
1% Elections, The Privatization of the State, a Fourth Branch of Government, and the Demobilization of "We the People"

By Tom Engelhardt


Have you ever undertaken some task you felt less than qualified for, but knew that someone needed to do? Consider this piece my version of that, and let me put what I do understand about it in a nutshell: based on developments in our post-9/11 world, we could be watching the birth of a new American political system and way of governing for which, as yet, we have no name.

And here’s what I find strange: the evidence of this, however inchoate, is all around us and yet it’s as if we can’t bear to take it in or make sense of it or even say that it might be so.

Let me make my case, however minimally, based on five areas in which at least the faint outlines of that new system seem to be emerging: political campaigns and elections; the privatization of Washington through the marriage of the corporation and the state; the de-legitimization of our traditional system of governance; the empowerment of the national security state as an untouchable fourth branch of government; and the demobilization of "we the people."

Whatever this may add up to, it seems to be based, at least in part, on the increasing concentration of wealth and power in a new plutocratic class and in that ever-expanding national security state. Certainly, something out of the ordinary is underway, and yet its birth pangs, while widely reported, are generally categorized as aspects of an exceedingly familiar American system somewhat in disarray. ..............(more)

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175970/




Obama Seeks Advice on Dealing with Netanyahu (cartoon)




http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/netanyahu_wins_20150320


Georgia: $1 Billion for Roads, Not a Dime for Transit


Journal-Constitution, via MassTransitMag:



The state Senate is poised to vote today on a billion-dollar plan to solve Georgia's transportation troubles. But something is missing.

Funding for any form of mass transportation isn't anywhere to be found in HB 170, the transportation funding bill, which would devote those hundreds of millions of dollars to roads and bridges.

The lack of investment in transit by the state's politicians seems a puzzling disconnect from what metro Atlantans — who account for half the state's population and about two-thirds of its gross domestic product — say is the best way to clear the key arteries in the car-clogged heart of Georgia.

Traffic was seen as the biggest problem facing metro Atlanta, according to respondents to a 10-county regional survey last year — moreso than even the economy, public education and crime. Forty-two percent in the Atlanta Regional Commission poll said expanding public transit was the best way to fix traffic. By comparison, 30 percent thought improving roads and highways was a better solution. ...............(more)

http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/11889355/1-billion-for-roads-not-a-dime-for-transit




Record 10.8 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2014




from the APTA:


Record 10.8 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2014
The Highest Transit Ridership in 58 Years


Americans took 10.8 billion trips on public transportation in 2014, which is the highest annual public transit ridership number in 58 years, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

“In 2014, people took a record 10.8 billion trips on public transportation -- the highest annual ridership number in 58 years,” said Phillip Washington, APTA Chair and CEO & General Manager of the Regional Transportation District in Denver. “Some public transit systems experienced all-time record high ridership last year. This record ridership didn’t just happen in large cities. It also happened in small and medium size communities.”

Some of the public transit agencies reporting record ridership system-wide were located in the following cities: Albany, NY; Boston, MA; Canton, OH; Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; Indianapolis, IN; Madison, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Olympia, WA; Orlando, FL; St. Petersburg, FL; Riverside, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Spokane, WA; Tampa, FL; and Wenatchee, WA.

Noting that public transit ridership increased even when gas prices declined by 42.9 cents in the fourth quarter, APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy said, “Despite the steep decline in gas prices at the end of last year, public transit ridership increased. This shows that once people start riding public transit, they discover that there are additional benefits besides saving money.” .........................(more)

http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/pressreleases/2015/Pages/150309_Ridership.aspx




Georgia: $1 Billion for Roads, Not a Dime for Transit


Journal-Constitution, via MassTransitMag:



The state Senate is poised to vote today on a billion-dollar plan to solve Georgia's transportation troubles. But something is missing.

Funding for any form of mass transportation isn't anywhere to be found in HB 170, the transportation funding bill, which would devote those hundreds of millions of dollars to roads and bridges.

The lack of investment in transit by the state's politicians seems a puzzling disconnect from what metro Atlantans — who account for half the state's population and about two-thirds of its gross domestic product — say is the best way to clear the key arteries in the car-clogged heart of Georgia.

Traffic was seen as the biggest problem facing metro Atlanta, according to respondents to a 10-county regional survey last year — moreso than even the economy, public education and crime. Forty-two percent in the Atlanta Regional Commission poll said expanding public transit was the best way to fix traffic. By comparison, 30 percent thought improving roads and highways was a better solution. ...............(more)

http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/11889355/1-billion-for-roads-not-a-dime-for-transit




As Scathing SEIU Ad Hits Rahm Emanuel Where It Hurts, Chuy Garcia Endorses Financial Transaction Tax


from In These Times:



A new ad attacking Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s record hit airwaves on Friday, skewering the mayor’s policies on education, public safety, taxes and corporate cronyism. The ad comes on the same day Emanuel's progressive challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia announced for the first time his support of a national tax on financial transactions aimed at big banks.

The ad, funded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Illinois Council PAC, comes just over two weeks ahead of the historic mayoral runoff election between Emanuel and Garcia on April 7, in what is widely being viewed as a national referendum on neoliberal, corporate-centric governance—and the future of the Democratic Party.



Two different visions of Chicago are contrasted in the ad, one high above the gleaming skyscrapers of downtown and another in the city’s neighborhood streets, where, “under Rahm Emanuel, we’ve seen nearly 10,000 shootings, 50 neighborhood schools shut down, and a mayor who hits working people with higher taxes and fees while giving special tax breaks to his friends at the very top.”

Emanuel’s record on education and public safety is widely unpopular among Chicago residents, and this ad pulls no punches in going after the mayor where he is most vulnerable, while also linking him to sweetheart deals with corporate interests and wealthy campaign contributors. .....................(more)

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/17781/seiu_rahm_emanuel_chuy_garcia_financial_transaction_tax




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