10/27/2013 archive

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Giant Circles Of Stone by EK Hornbeck

I’ll start with my usual non-disclosal- Not only am I not an economist, I have no professional accomplishments I care to share.

Other than I can write and have a certification in adult education, how grown up are you?

Because today we’re going to talk about money and that tends to bring out the worst features of people.

Rant of the Week: Bill Maher’s New Rules: Minimum Wage

Earn Notice

October 25, 2013 – Bill Maher ended his show Friday night going after Republican opposition to the minimum wage, calling them out for opposing something that would make people less dependent on government handouts. He targeted McDonalds in particular, saying “until Ronald McDonald starts paying his employees a living wage, he has to wipe that fucking smile off his face.”

When did the American Dream become the path to indentured servitude?

This is the question the right has to answer. Do you want smaller government with less handouts, or do you want a low minimum wage? Because you cannot have both.

On This Day In History October 27

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 65 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1904, the New York Subway opens.

While London boasts the world’s oldest underground train network (opened in 1863) and Boston built the first subway in the United States in 1897, the New York City subway soon became the largest American system. The first line, operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT), traveled 9.1 miles through 28 stations. Running from City Hall in lower Manhattan to Grand Central Terminal in midtown, and then heading west along 42nd Street to Times Square, the line finished by zipping north, all the way to 145th Street and Broadway in Harlem. On opening day, Mayor McClellan so enjoyed his stint as engineer that he stayed at the controls all the way from City Hall to 103rd Street.


A demonstration for an underground transit system in New York City was first built by Alfred Ely Beach in 1869. His Beach Pneumatic Transit only extended 312 feet (95 m) under Broadway in Lower Manhattan and exhibited his idea for a subway propelled by pneumatic tube technology. The tunnel was never extended for political and financial reasons, although extensions had been planned to take the tunnel southward to The Battery and northwards towards the Harlem River. The Beach subway was demolished when the BMT Broadway Line was built in the 1910s; thus, it was not integrated into the New York City Subway system.

The first underground line of the subway opened on October 27, 1904, almost 35 years after the opening of the first elevated line in New York City, which became the Ninth Avenue Line. The heavy 1888 snowstorm helped to demonstrate the benefits of an underground transportation system. The oldest structure still in use opened in 1885 as part of the BMT Lexington Avenue Line, and is now part of the BMT Jamaica Line in Brooklyn. The oldest right-of-way, that of the BMT West End Line, was in use in 1863 as a steam railroad called the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Rail Road. The Staten Island Railway, which opened in 1860, currently uses R44 subway cars, but it has no links to the rest of the system and is not usually considered part of the subway proper.

By the time the first subway opened, the lines had been consolidated into two privately owned systems, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT, later Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation, BMT) and the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT). The city was closely involved: all lines built for the IRT and most other lines built or improved for the BRT after 1913 were built by the city and leased to the companies. The first line of the city-owned and operated Independent Subway System (IND) opened in 1932; this system was intended to compete with the private systems and allow some of the elevated railways to be torn down, but was kept within the core of the City due to the low amount of startup capital provided to the municipal Board Of Transportation, the later MTA, by the state.[3] This required it to be run ‘at cost’, necessitating fares up to double the five cent fare popular at the time.

In 1940, the two private systems were bought by the city; some elevated lines closed immediately, and others closed soon after. Integration was slow, but several connections were built between the IND and BMT, and now operate as one division called the B Division. Since the IRT tunnel segments are too small and stations too narrow to accommodate  B Division cars, and contain curves too sharp for B Division cars, the IRT remains its own division, A Division.

The New York City Transit Authority, a public authority presided by New York City, was created in 1953 to take over subway, bus, and streetcar operations from the city, and was placed under control of the state-level Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 1968.

In 1934, transit workers of the BRT, IRT, and IND founded the Transport Workers Union of America, organized as Local 100. Local 100 remains the largest and most influential local of the labor union. Since the union’s founding, there have been three union strikes. In 1966, transit workers went on strike for 12 days, and again in 1980 for 11 days. On December 20, 2005, transit workers again went on strike over disputes with MTA regarding salary, pensions, retirement age, and health insurance costs. That strike lasted just under three days.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

Up with Steve Kornacki: The guests were not listed for this Sunday.

This Week with George Stephanopolis: Guests on this Sunday’s “This Week” are: former Vice President Dick Cheney; Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

The roundtable guests are Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile; co-host of CNN’s Crossfire S.E. Cupp; former Vermont governor and founder of Democracy for America Howard Dean; and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca); and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

His panel guests are The Wall Street Journal‘s Peggy Noonan; former Press Secretary to LBJ and former Publisher of the Dallas Times Herald, Tom Johnson; Bob Woodward of the Washington Post; and Phil Shenon, author of “A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination.”

Meet the Press with David Gregory: On this Sunday’s MTP the guests are governors John Kasich (R-OH) and Steve Beshear (D-KY);  NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell and former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Rep. Peter King (R-NY).

At the roundtable the guests are 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum; former Michigan Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm; President of the Center for American Progress Neera Tanden; and Republican strategist Alex Castellanos.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI);  Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a Health Policy Adviser to the Obama Administration from 2009-2011 and Congressman John Fleming, a Republican and one-time Louisiana Family Doctor of the Year.

Joining her for a panel discussion are CNN Political Commentators Ross Douthat and Cornell Belcher will join A.B. Stoddard from The Hill.

SIx In The Morning

On Sunday

UN: Refugee numbers at highest in 19 years

Escape routes in focus as thousands risk their lives to escape war, unrest and poverty and reach distant shores.

Last Modified: 27 Oct 2013 08:45

The UN says there are now more refugees than at any time since 1994. Thousands of asylum-seekers, mainly from Afghanistan and the Middle East, head to Indonesia each year to make the dangerous voyage across the Indian ocean to Australia.

They are seeking a new life, fleeing war, political unrest, and poverty.

The influx of asylum-seekers is a major political issue both in Indonesia and Australia, particularly as Indonesia has not signed up to the 1951 UN Refugee convention and does not have to accept refugees.

Australia, on the other hand, is a signatory.

The asylum-seekers pay thousands of dollars to people smugglers for a hazardous boat ride to Christmas Island.

EU member states make a distinction between asylum seekers and refugees, with asylum seekers defined as people submitting a request for refugee status.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Roma – the unwanted Europeans

DRC says it has M23 rebels on the run

Bahrain: We use tear gas on protesters ‘appropriately’

Argentina’s ailing president faces tough midterm congressional election

Egypt crackdown complaint against Nobel laureate tossed out by judge

Three Things On The Internet

The team of All In with Chris Hayes puts out a daily request on Twitter asking their followers to send them the things they find most interesting on the internet. These are their finds for October 22, 2013

(1): The other Chris Hayes;

(2) a Duggar flub;

(3) the one-legged skier, author and motivational speaker who has already won Halloween with his costume.

2013 Major League Baseball Championship Game 3: Red Sox @ Cardinals

So the Cards escaped from Beantown with a split which is the best you can expect realistically and now we await a squirrel attack.

Did I say I had retired that video?  No, I said I needed a Red Sox video that was shorter than No, No, Nannette.  It’s an entirely different thing altogether.

It’s an entirely different thing.

Thank you.  I’m here all week.  Have I mentioned I do weddings, bar mitzvas, and funerals?

Oh, how did we get here?

Top of the 4th in Fenway, Leadoff Triple then a line Out and an RBI Sacrifice.  Cards on the Board 1 – 0.  Bottom 6th 1 On (Walk) 1 Out.  Ortiz, Mighty Ortiz, hits a 2 RBI Shot, 2 – 1 Sox.  Next half 2 On 1 Out rare Double Steal, runners at 2nd and 3rd.  Walked full.  2 RBI Sacrifice/Error, RBI Single.  Cards 4 – 2, Series knotted at 1.

It was really much more exciting than that.

Tonight we have Jake Peavy (12 – 5, 4.17 ERA R) against Joe Kelly (10 – 5, 2.69 ERA R).  Peavy is a loser, 1 decision in 2 Games post-season, 8 runs off 10 hits in 8 and 2 3rds innings for an ERA of 8.31.  Kelly is also a loser, 1 decision in 3 Games post-season, 9 runs off 18 hits in 16 and a 3rd for an ERA of 4.41.

So I expect it will be an exciting game (meaning not a (yawn) pitching duel).