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Gender: Male
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 71,051

Journal Archives

World Aids Day 2013: War on the epidemic is being won, but discrimination against sufferers is .....

(Independent UK) The battle against Aids is being won, with deaths down, record numbers of people being treated, and new cases among children down by more than half.

But ongoing discrimination against sufferers is the biggest obstacle to winning the war, according to the head of the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAIDS).

Speaking to The Independent on Sunday on the eve of World Aids Day, UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé said: "We are winning against this epidemic, we are seeing a decline in new infections, an increase in people treated... we have broken the conspiracy of silence."

For the first time, he said, authorities can see "an end to an epidemic that has wrought such staggering devastation around the world". .......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/world-aids-day-2013-the-war-on-the-epidemic-is-being-won-but-discrimination-against-sufferers-is-still-rife-8975117.html

When the holiday shopping stories have run their course, turn to holiday travel back home !!!!

I tuned into HLN hoping to see more about the Metro-North derailment, and that's what I saw. I can't take any more. I'm reminded of why I don't watch CNN or HLN anymore. ..... AlJazeera is doing a much better job.

"Is there any possibility that this could have been terrorist-related"

CNN just now on the MetroNorth derailment. I fucking hate CNN.

Detroit: Removal of I-375 could come as I-94 is widened

(Detroit Free Press) Perhaps the biggest irony in Detroit development now is the possibility that we may see I-375 removed for a surface street, restoring a neighborhood feel to downtown Detroit’s east side, even as road builders widen I-94, bulldozing more lanes of asphalt through the heart of the city’s rapidly developing Midtown district.

So far, the removal of I-375 is just a possibility. As reported last week in the Free Press, the Detroit Downtown Development Authority is likely to vote soon on hiring a consultant to manage a visioning process for the I-375 corridor. The visioning exercise will take several months. Possibilities range from rebuilding I-375 as is to filling in the trench-like freeway and recreating a surface street in any one of various ways.

Further north in the trendy Midtown district, the widening of I-94 by one lane in each direction plus new service drives is far more certain, although opponents still hope to block it. SEMCOG, the regional planning authority, earlier this year approved the widening of I-94 as part of its long-term transportation plan, a key step toward making the project happen in years to come.

Fierce opinions can be heard over both projects. Of the hundreds of comments offered on the Free Press’ I-375 story last week, many supported the idea of slowing down the traffic and restoring a more walkable urban environment. Others, many of them suburban commuters or sports fans, howled that they couldn’t lose their high-speed access to downtown destinations. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/article/20131201/BUSINESS06/312010066/I-375-I-94-MDOT-freeways-Detroit

NYT: Life on $7.25 an Hour

Life on $7.25 an Hour
Older Workers Are Increasingly Entering Fast-Food Industry

Published: November 28, 2013

(NYT) On a recent Friday evening, Eduardo Shoy left work at 6 p.m. Mr. Shoy, a deliveryman for KFC and Pizza Hut, was coming off an eight-hour shift of driving three-cheese pies and crispy chicken fingers, in an automotive blur, to private homes and businesses in central Queens.

Now it was the weekend and he was headed home. He parked his car in the little alley lot behind his house and, passing through the door, he kicked his shoes off, donned a pair of slippers and prepared a mug of tea. He sat down with his television set and ate the box of chicken he had brought back from the restaurant. Within an hour, remote control beside him, still dressed in his uniform, he had drifted off to sleep.

If Mr. Shoy were differently employed, he might have remained that way till morning. But as a fast-food worker paid the minimum wage — $7.25 an hour in New York — he didn’t have the luxury. At 10 p.m., he was up again and back in his car, this time driving to his second job, as a forklift operator at Kennedy International Airport, where he makes $13 an hour. Having worked all day, he was about to work all night: from 11 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. At 3 that afternoon, he would return to his deliveries at the restaurant. Then, at 11, he would once again drive to the airport.

Altogether, on the weekend before Thanksgiving, Mr. Shoy would sleep for 13 hours and work for 44. “Tired?” he asked, sounding puzzled by the question. “I’m too busy to be tired.” ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/01/nyregion/older-workers-are-increasingly-entering-fast-food-industry.html?hp&_r=0

Earthquakes shake Texas town on Thanksgiving, and fracking might be to blame

from Grist:

Residents of a rural northern Texas area were awoken early on Thanksgiving by not one but two earthquakes. Such quakes have become alarmingly normal during the past month, and fracking practices could be to blame.

From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth:

North Texas has been feeling a string of earthquakes — more than a dozen — over the past few weeks. Most have been centered around Azle, with the most recent [previous] one being on Tuesday morning. All of those quakes have registered between 2.0 and 3.6 in magnitude. Those who live in the small town have grown concerned.

Azle leaders have called on state officials to have geologists investigate the cause of these quakes. “The citizens are concerned,” said Azle Assistant City Manager Lawrence Bryant at a city council meeting. “They should be.”

“If it’s a man-made cause, it would be nice to know,” Bryant added.

By “man-made,” Bryant means fracking-industry-made. Frackers pump their polluted wastewater deep into the ground, a practice well known as a cause of temblors. A wastewater injection well was shut down near Youngstown, Ohio, in late 2011 after it triggered more than 100 earthquakes of growing intensity in just a year. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://grist.org/news/earthquakes-shake-texas-town-on-thanksgiving-and-fracking-might-be-to-blame/

The Institutions of the Left Did Little: How Occupy survived despite a lack of union support

from In These Times:

The Institutions of the Left Did Little
How Occupy survived despite a lack of union support.

BY Cole Stangler

Last April for In These Times, I wrote that the Occupy movement marked the maturation of the Obama generation—a collective realization that our generation’s problems have far more to do with a rotten political and economic system than they do with the individual in office or the party in power.

Occupy wasn’t just what Slavoj Zizek warned of—a kind of 21st century Human Be-In that we now get to reminisce about over beers and joints. While the revolt was short-lived and limited, we gained the sense of participating in a mass-movement expressing a basic level of class solidarity absent from American political life for generations—the kind of thing you can only learn if you’re there in the streets. And as OWS veterans continue their lives beyond the movement, many of us card-carrying members of the precariat, we retain the common experience of struggling together, fueled by the conviction that, organized together, we represent the interests of the majority of this country.

The movement itself was, of course, deeply flawed. And its fizzling out had as much to do with its own structural inadequacies as it did the deficiencies of the American political landscape.

Police repression should not be easily dismissed—reports have revealed that city police departments colluded with the Department of Homeland Security to monitor and shut down protests, and one can only shudder at the levels of surveillance we have yet to learn of. But successful movements have dealt with worse. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/article/15915/the_institutions_of_the_left_did_little/

Runaway Capitalism Murders Another Artist

from truthdig:

Runaway Capitalism Murders Another Artist
Posted on Nov 30, 2013

The resignation this month of Osmo Vanska from his decade-long role as director of the Minnesota Orchestra over salary disputes with the board spurred John Halle, director of studies in music theory and practice at Bard College, to argue at Jacobin that “the virtues of classical music are inherently hostile to (the) neoliberal mindset now dominant in all sectors of society.”

Hundreds of my own conversations with middle-class youths in classrooms, bars and cafes around the country—compared with conversations with members of elder generations—suggest that Americans are increasingly uncomfortable with distinctions of high and low forms of art, particularly with classical music. Halle points to a time when this was not so, and suggests that difference has to do with support ruling elites offered the arts in the past. In the 1930s, he writes, “while there was some competition from popular music … a clear division between high and low musical forms remained accepted across the board, with what was universally regarded as the precious legacy of concert music claimed and lavishly supported by both fascist and Soviet regimes alike.”

“What has emerged in recent years is the exact opposite,” he continues, and the abdication of economic control to mindless markets by states around the world, with the subsequent selfishness and inequality, is a primary cause. “On the one hand, government lavishes unprecedented economic and social privileges on its elites, taking an axe to programs benefitting those who fall behind. At the same time, the distinction between high and low artistic culture having been erased, the result has been a single standard for qualitative judgments derived from the commercial marketplace.”

It’s hard not to avoid making a connection, Halle writes. “The decline of musical literacy and the large-scale forms which they make possible, the increasing demand for immediately catchy tunes, striking sonorities and flamboyant stage presentations pairs with the impatience of the elites classes” in “the demand for investments to show an immediate short-turn return. Elites have long since jettisoned the expectation for steady growth embodied in the now retired Goldman-Sachs slogan, ‘long-term greedy,’ having come to accept and even embrace … ‘the erosion of the planning function, and any rationality beyond the most crudely instrumental.’ ” ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/runaway_capitalism_murders_another_artist_20131130

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