Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Complete The Harbor Ring

The Growing Political Muscle of the Campaign for a Verrazano Bike/Ped Path

Paco is absolutely right.  We're 60 years past due to add bike/pedestrian access to the Verrazano.  Will Governor Cuomo stand in the way, or correct a historic error?
"The Verrazano was intentionally built with enough space for walking and biking paths, which Moses then ruled out, purportedly to prevent suicides. The firm that designed the bridge, Amman and Whitney, produced a report for the city that pegged the cost of the pathways, adjusted to 2012 dollars, at $50 million. The expense would be a rounding error in the MTA's upcoming five-year capital program. The MTA has incorporated a feasibility study for the pathways into a larger project to reconstruct bridge ramps and approaches. The study is due in 2015, and at Saturday's rally, speakers urged the agency and its consultants, Parsons Brinckerhoff, to conduct the process transparently, so supporters of the path can weigh in before the results are set in stone. "Fifty years without a Verrazano pathway has been 50 years too long," said Harbor Ring Committee member Paco Abraham. "Fortunately, now is the right time for change. The bridge is currently undergoing a massive rehab and we know with certainty that our ask is feasible and the demand is unwavering.""

http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/10/22/the-growing-political-muscle-of-the-campaign-for-a-verrazano-bikeped-path/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Streetsblog+%28Streetsblog%29

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

More Foreign Skullduggery

State Department Contractor Breaks Russian Visa Law, Whines When Caught

We have no money for healthcare, education or infrastructure in this country, but we have a bottomless pit of cash to throw at destabilizing other countries. Our foreign policy is insane. 

There is no question, none, that the U.S. would expel Russians attempting to do this. What the hell is wrong with our national priorities?  And equally important, why is the US media so slavish in their reporting on this stuff?
"The State Department admits that much: Asked if the U.S. was concerned about what had happened to them, [State Department spokeswoman Jen] Psaki said: "They were there to do a training that we sponsored, so I think our preference would have been for them not to be detained, I think it's fair to say. The "tourists" or "journalists" broke Russian immigration laws and had been advised by the U.S. State Department to do just that. What did they expect the Russian immigration service to do? To also ignore Russian law because the U.S. State Department says so?"

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/10/state-department-contractor-breaks-russian-visa-law-whines-when-caught.html

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Brooklyn Spirits Book Launch

Via the Brooklyn Paper, friend of the blog Chris Wertz and partner Peter Fornatale have written the book on cocktails with locally made spirits:
A pair of cocktail connoisseurs have penned a tribute to locally-made liquors — and the drinks you can make with them. “Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World’s Hippest Borough” highlights borough booze-makers such as Greenhook Ginsmiths and Industry City Distilling, alongside about 70 cocktail recipes. And you don’t need to be an expert mixologist to make them. Most of the drinks require minimal preparation, because when it comes to mixing liquors, there is such a thing as too much alcohol, one of the authors said.
An excellent gift choice for your tippling friends or those out of town friends and relatives looking for something Brooklyn. Get a taste tonight:
The pair will launch their book at PowerHouse Arena in Dumbo on Oct. 17, chased up with a reading at the Central Library in Prospect Heights on Oct. 23.
“Brooklyn Sprits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World’s Hippest Borough” at the PowerHouse Arena [37 Main St. between Water and Front streets in Dumbo, (718) 666–3049, www.power‌house‌arena.com]. Oct. 17 at 7 pm. Free. 
And at Central Library [10 Grand Army Plaza, near Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 230-2100, brook‌lynsp‌irits.brown‌paper‌ticke‌ts.com]. Oct. 23 at 7 pm. Free.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

So Long, Cable!

Next Year You'll Be Able to Get HBO Online Without Cable

Netflix + HuluPlus + HBO + broadband connection = no reason for me to keep ridiculously overpriced cable. 
"In fantastic news for those of you living off your parents' HBO GO accounts, HBO's Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler promised the assembled crowd of suits at Time Warner Investor Day that HBO would be offering its streaming service à la carte starting next year. Plepler noted that 10 million homes are broadband-only, having declined the opportunity to bundle despite frequently and loudly advertised financial incentives of doing so. "There are 80 million homes that do not have HBO," Plepler noted, after spending whole years of watching Game of Thrones be the most downloaded television show of all time every week."

http://morningafter.gawker.com/next-year-youll-be-able-to-get-hbo-online-without-cable-1646623814/+laceydonohue?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gawker%2Ffull+%28Gawker%29

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Shut The Directorate of Operations

CIA Report: The CIA Is Fucking Useless

"Black Ops" are antithetical to any free society and the specifically the stated values of the United States.  We should not be in this business at all. 
"In fact, the most successful U.S. intervention of this nature that the report cites is our back of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 1980s—and those people went on to become Al Qaeda. "Helping to create Osama Bin Laden" is the the high-water mark of CIA foreign actions."

http://gawker.com/cia-report-the-cia-is-fucking-useless-1646582671?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gawker%2Ffull+%28Gawker%29

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United States: WMD Proliferator

Saddam's WMD: Technology Made In USA, Delivered by Rumsfeld

When are we going to have a conversation about the caustic effect of a our foreign policy adventures on the world … and ourselves?

The American public is routinely lied to, often with the aid of establishment media, about what our military-surveillance-cloak and dagger complex is doing in our name, at great expense. 
"Good old USA technology, conveniently exported to European firms that we helped to build factories in Iraq to produce chemical weapons to be used against Iran. That is what caused injury to US servicemen who were routinely denied care and quickly sent back into battle because they weren't missing limbs. Chivers talked to a number of those soldiers and their stories are so consistent they nearly blend together. Also consistent was the instant classification of the injuries, presumably because of the embarrassment to the Bush Administration they would cause should the press look into them too rigorously."

https://www.emptywheel.net/2014/10/15/saddams-wmd-technology-made-in-usa-delivered-by-rumsfeld/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=saddams-wmd-technology-made-in-usa-delivered-by-rumsfeld

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Crime of the Century

Former Treasury Department officials also questioned the need for the flights. Treasury had already sent $1.7 billion in cash from Iraqi government accounts in the United States to Baghdad in the first weeks after the invasion, and then had developed a new Iraqi currency that was introduced that October. They say the new currency ended the need for further cash infusions from the United States. "We did not know that Bremer was flying in all that cash," said Ged Smith, who was the head of the Treasury Department team that worked on Iraq's financial reconstruction after the invasion. "I can't see a reason for it." Mr. Bowen said that Brick Tracker, his office's most sensitive investigation, began in 2010 when Wael el-Zein, a Lebanese- American on his staff, received a tip about stolen money hidden in Lebanon. An informant told him about the bunker, which in addition to the cash, was believed to also have held approximately $200 million in gold belonging to the Iraqi government.

Aside from the horrific human toll of the illegal Iraq War, there was looting on an epic scale. The fact that no one in our government cares to investigate or recoup suggests complicity.  Of course, the CIA Directorate of Operations is essentially a state-sponsored criminal organization.  Who knows how many more we are funding, both on and off the books. The world would be a better place if we shut these things down. 

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Former Treasury Department officials also questioned the need for the flights. Treasury had already sent $1.7 billion in cash from Iraqi government accounts in the United States to Baghdad in the first weeks after the invasion, and then had developed a new Iraqi currency that was introduced that October. They say the new currency ended the need for further cash infusions from the United States. "We did not know that Bremer was flying in all that cash," said Ged Smith, who was the head of the Treasury Department team that worked on Iraq's financial reconstruction after the invasion. "I can't see a reason for it." Mr. Bowen said that Brick Tracker, his office's most sensitive investigation, began in 2010 when Wael el-Zein, a Lebanese- American on his staff, received a tip about stolen money hidden in Lebanon. An informant told him about the bunker, which in addition to the cash, was believed to also have held approximately $200 million in gold belonging to the Iraqi government.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/world/investigation-into-missing-iraqi-cash-ended-in-lebanon-bunker.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=HpSum&module=first-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0



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