Recent comments by azurite

More than 2.7 Billion Trips Taken on Public Transportation in 2014 Third Quarter

5 signs America is falling in love with public transit -

Not impressed w/the PDX streetcar system, too slow. Light rail ok, best when separated from other street traffic--but red line to airport very good, you get off and are almost in the airport.

Mike_PNW wrote:

Rockwell CEO back in the 90's ..lived in Newport Beach...worked In El Segundo...heli-commuted

In the 1970's, a few people (don't know who) made a deal w/the owner of a 4-5 acre field a few blocks from where my family lived in a town on the north shore of LI, so they could commute by helicopter into the city (Manhattan). Maybe they paid all of the then owner's property taxes. Most of the land was sold years ago, w/a nearby private school (Friends Academy) buying most of it to use for playing fields & building some faculty housing, but the helicopter's still landing/taking off morning & evening, now from a playing field. Town itself is/was working/middle class but some of the nearby "incorporated villages" have some wealthy residents.

Outsider wrote:

I would so lease out parking spots.

Great minds . . .

"There is an upside to these outrageous parking fees and that upside is for you homeowners with extra space in your driveway. That’s right, your extra parking space can help make you some extra cash. is the largest online parking community and it allows users a marketplace to rent out their available spaces. Started in the United Kingdom, it has branched out to include the United States and is especially popular in the city as you can imagine." How to Make Money Renting Out Your Driveway

yuan wrote:

Are you really innocent if you know someone who knows someone who knows a turrurist?

Are you really innocent if someone can get a bounty for capturing you and claiming you're a terrririsst? Fixed It For Ya

""A related problem with the initial detention was that predominantly US forces were not the ones who were taking the prisoners in the first place. Instead, we relied upon Afghans, such as General [Abdul Rashid] Dostums forces, and upon Pakistanis, to hand over prisoners whom they had apprehended, or who had been turned over to them for bounties, sometimes as much as $5,000 per head." Ex-Bush Official Willing to Testify Bush, Cheney Knew Gitmo Prisoners Innocent

Cinco-X wrote:

Crops can’t grow year round on much of the land in New York

You can grow more year around if you have unheated green houses or cold frames. Why is it that no one ever expects people to dry, can or freeze "crops" that do grow during that 4-5 months so that the food is available during the rest of the year?

Chickens, pigs, rabbits, for meat, they use less space then cattle, chickens are omnivores who will eat crop pests and leave fertilizer behind, in addition to producing eggs (so more useful then cattle). Pigs are also omnivores, which makes them easier to keep then cattle (used as garbage collectors in early NYC). Although I agree that there are parts of the US that are better for, say, grazing bison (why does it have to be cattle?) or antelope, elk or deer, rather then growing most crops. Although I remember reading that there were grapes growing on the prairies at one time along w/some other "forageable" foods. Some pioneer women used the yeast growing on the grapes to provide yeast for bread-making.

dilbert dogbert wrote:

Those tanks have been known to be a problem for decades.

There's been litigation re: cleanup/lack thereof, since at least the 1980's--yet so little has improved. The litigation I heard about at the time had to do w/groundwater contamination.

Years ago, I met a woman who'd lived downwind from Hanford when the US gov decided to experiment in WA w/radiation releases, "By February 1986, mounting citizen pressure forced the U.S. Department of Energy to release to the public 19,000 pages of previously unavailable historical documents about Hanford’s operations. These reports revealed there had been massive[clarification needed] releases of radioactive materials into the air and Columbia River. The reactors used large amounts of water from the river for cooling, which caused materials in the river water to become radioactive as they passed through the reactor. The water and the radioactive materials it contained were released into the river after passing through the reactors, thus contaminating the both groundwater systems and aquatic animals downstream as far West as the Washington and Oregon coasts.[9]" Downwinders - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The woman had already to deal w/breast cancer, although I don't remember now if there'd been any history of it in her family prior to exposure.

Oh well, plenty more humans in the world and much money to be made from developing ways of treating cancer then preventing it. Too bad if other species are affected or even become extinct.

energyecon wrote:

and in the end we will still be using liquid hydrocarbons for our primary transportation fuel, the deeper the price decline the less substitution and investment in efficiency will occur.

Excellent point.

Comrade Janošik wrote:

It will not go nearly as peacefully. The Czechs and Slovaks while wryly exchange insults do not hate each other by any means.

I wonder if it can happen at all. If it can, I'd hope it wouldn't be another Yugoslavia or Sudan but I guess that was part of the question. Now that the Russians, NATO & US are involved, doesn't seem like the Ukraineans will get that much of a real say.

vtcodger wrote:

But I do think that if the Russian version is basically correct and if NATO membership is offered to the Ukraine, the Russian reaction will be apocalyptic

What do you think of the possibility of the Ukraine breaking up as Czechoslovakia did?

Tom Stone wrote:


Best response.

vtcodger wrote:

Unfortunately the Czech Republic -- what with being 500km from the nearest ocean -- doesn't have a lot of park and Aegis cruiser in.

Details, details, besides in the US, the Navy's claimed it needs airspace from ocean to Idaho for its training exercises and see post above--wants to use wilderness and national forest land to train on detecting electromagnetic impulses.

Clearly doesn't matter if it's land or water, as long as the Navy can use its toys to create misery & kill (other species, but probably some humans too--at least one Navy submarine has killed fisherman in US coastal waters when the sub surfaced under the fishing boat)--why should things be different w/NATO in Europe/

Cinco-X wrote:

Who lost the Cold War?

Did it end? Korean war's still not over, and wasn't the Korean war part of the Cold War?

vtcodger wrote:

Where's the War Surplus from Iraq and Afghanistan?

Destroying national forests to "keep us safe" (and use up all those DoD funds)

"If the US Navy gets its way, it will begin flying Growler supersonic warplanes over Olympic National Forest and wilderness areas of the Western Olympic Peninsula next September in order to conduct electromagnetic warfare training exercises.

As Truthout previously reported, this would entail flying 36 jets down to 1,200 feet above ground in some areas, in 2,900 training exercises lasting up to 16 hours per day, 260 days per year, with the war-gaming going on indefinitely into the future. The Navy's plans also include having 15 mobile units on the ground with towers emitting electromagnetic radiation signals for the planes to locate as part of their exercises. Dahr Jamail | Documents Show Navy's Electromagnetic Warfare Training Would Harm Humans and Wildlife

If you can't clearcut it and then spray it w/herbicides, you gotta destroy it some other way that produces corporate profits.

yuan wrote:

commie/socialist canada

I'd like to. Tried to in the 90's--didn't have a skill Canada wanted.

sm_landlord wrote:

But yeah, it's ironic that the "Affordable" care act did little or nothing for affordability.

Following the lead of "No Child Left Behind" and "compassionate conservative" (who believes in torture).

dilbert dogbert wrote:

More proof that half of Muricans are moral idiots

Lacking in empathy and apparent inability to imagine (despite Vietnam and former POW Cain's relatively sane response to report) US civilians or military in similar position--it's ok for them to be tortured?

Sad Tired

josap wrote:

Would have made much more sense. Which is why it won't happen.

It's what Clinton suggested.

Antipodes wrote:

Healthcare will be so much better with Republicans in power! Snark

Yep, because BushII's project, Medicare D, hasn't added to budget costs at all! Snark

bearly wrote:

Much better if an honest bureaucrat decides how much things cost. Right ?

It's not an either-or situation.

Not sure why you responded as you did, aren't you a "believer" in the beneficial results of capitalism?

energyecon wrote:

4x if you wanted to leave the siege district...

seems like free market pricing to me. Demand whatever prices you believe the market will bear. Not sure why anyone would be shocked/surprised--it's how capitalism works.

edit to add: it works best if/when Uber is able to replicate the Rockefeller Standard Oil model--get rid of almost all of your competition, then you can really jack up prices.

"Baghdad - Iranian military commanders deployed in Iraq played a key role in recent victories against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters throughout the country, according to Iraqi security officials and Shia militia leaders.

Iran was the first country to respond to the Iraqi government's calls for international help in the battle against ISIL, which overran vast swaths of the country's north and west this summer and were advancing towards the capital.

Dozens of Iranian military commanders - including Qassim Sulaimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force - have joined Iraqi security forces in battlefields north and south of Baghdad. Iraqi troops, backed by Shia militias, Kurdish forces and Iranian military commanders, recently regained control of the towns of Jalawla and Saadia in Diyala province. "

""When they [Iranian advisers] were there in the field, no one stands in our face and magically everything was available, the ammunition, the [intelligence] information, the smooth coordination with the military units and other [Shia] factions and the air force backup," Abu Sajad al-Saadi, a commander of the Abu al-Fadhil al-Abbas Brigade who participated in the Jurf al-Sakhar Battle, told Al Jazeera.

"They were not fighting but organising our efforts," Saadi added. "Without them, every group [Shia militia] was working alone and none of them were responding to the Iraqi military commanders, but if they [the Iranian advisers] are there, all sides were responding without any problems or complaints."

Iran advisers boost anti-ISIL battles in Iraq - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

- NY Times

" Scientific data shows Greenland's continental shelf is connected to a ridge beneath the Arctic Ocean, giving Danes a claim to the North Pole and any potential energy resources beneath it, Denmark's foreign minister said.

Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said Denmark will deliver a claim on Monday to a United Nations panel in New York that will eventually decide control of the area, which Russia and Canada are also coveting.

edit to add: I forgot to include the important part: "The area is believed to hold an estimated 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its untapped gas."

The five Arctic countries — the United States, Russia, Norway, Canada and Denmark — all have areas surrounding the North Pole, but only Canada and Russia had indicated an interest in it before Denmark's claim."

Antipodes wrote:

Pinus radiata

I had no idea Monterey Pine was so widely grown. Pinus radiata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Probably mostly Doug fir (Pseudotsuga) from OR, not sure how much western cedar or Sitka spruce on private land (or state forests) there is to log.

Apparently Doug Fir is also grown in NZ and is considered to be kind of an invasive species. Douglas fir - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Or so wiki says, is that what you've heard?

Antipodes wrote:

New Zealand exports a rather large amount of raw logs to China.

What kind of wood? OR has exported a fair number of raw logs to China for the past 2-3 years. Some to Japan as well.

Biggest export markets still: China, Japan and the Republic of Korea? Trade at a Glance 2012 - Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2011 numbers).

Much ballyhooed (yet another: the good times are gonna roll again if we just subsidize/get fed/state subsidies for . . . ) export of raw logs from local harbor at newly reconstructed "international terminal" plus pulling strings to get Army Corps to dredge bay when it's not supposed to (environmental damage/fish, etc- it was the wrong time of year.) = business that's supposed to export logs isn't quite sure when (I think it's actually if) it's going to actually use the facility to ship out logs. Because China's demand for raw logs/Doug Fir has decreased.

Outsider wrote:

And the world keeps spinning.

The earth is likely to keep spinning on its axis if a nuclear war kills most life (and all humans) on earth so I'm kinda wondering what your point is. That the rules of physics operate independently of humans doing dumb stuff? I'll agree with that.

Outsider wrote:

he bus came and he said - this is it. No, this isn't the one, she said. Yes it is, come on, he said, as he got on the bus

There are going to be times when we can't wait for somebody. Now, you're either on the bus or off the bus. If you're on the bus, and you get left behind, then you'll find it again. If you're off the bus in the first place — then it won't make a damn.
As quoted by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968) Ken Kesey - Wikiquote

sm_landlord wrote:

or in cities that are build around the train.

That was true of many US cities at one time. Pacific Surfliner seems to work for some people, as does the Capitol Corridor, a friend has commuted on the CC for 10 years, more than that by now if she's still doing it. Another friend commuted from LI to midtown Manhattan or further downtown for years (now it's to NJ) always by rail/subway.

it's a chicken/egg problem, US urban planning (such as it is) changed to support personal motor vehicle use, not a surprise that it's not easy or cheap to construct bus/light rail/subway systems that works in such an environment. But auto commutes don't work particularly well either, at least, not in my experience and there are substantial pollution costs.

josap wrote:

my guess is they are far too expensive to build after all the underground infrastructure is in place.

Maybe more expensive but I don't think existing infrastructure is a barrier impossible to overcome--NYC has been working on another subway line for several years, as well as another water tunnel, despite having to deal w/ infrastructure, used/no longer used, dating back to the 1600's-1700's.

3rd water tunnel: New York City Water Tunnel No. 3 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia When that's completed and working (if ever), the city can shut down one of the existing tunnels and perform much needed repairs.

2nd avenue subway tunnel: New Photos Show Progress Of 2nd Ave Subway - Business Insider

Second Avenue Subway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

tg wrote:

I sure hope nuklar global destruction doesn't get in the way of MNF

The new DoD budget increases funding for nuclear weapons (Congressional choice).

When Rocket Ronnie was prez, I thought one of his/his administration's strategies was to spend the Soviet Union into collapse, via the "arms race". Now I think Congress & Exec branch will spend the US into infrastructure collapse via their arms race against guerilla warriors who did huge damage (physically and psychologically) w/IEDs.

Or maybe they'll just drop a few bombs on the US in error since at least the Navy sees it essential to "train" (jets, etc) over all of the US, and particularly over public lands and parks in the PNW. Including one of the places on the list of 'quietest" places in the US.

sm_landlord wrote:

People in LA and CA don't take trains seriously because they make no sense for most people. The only people who benefit are the developers.

maybe not in LA but some people in CA do: the Capitol Corridor and Surfliner (iirc) have the highest ridership in the US after the Acela. Capitol Corridor used to have OTP better than any of the airlines, over 90%. Capitol Corridor Monthly Report (April, 2014) | RailPAC

OTP has been as high as 96%

"SACRAMENTO – In a state noted for its freeways, Californians are riding trains in unprecedented numbers. In 2012-13, Amtrak California carried a record 3.9 million passengers on its thriving Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin rail lines. Over the past ten years, ridership on the Pacific Surfliner, the second-busiest rail corridor in the nation, and the San Joaquin, the fifth-busiest, increased by nearly one million passengers, and ticket revenues skyrocketed from
$44 million to $102 million. " Caltrans News Release :: CALTRANS AND AMTRAK CALIFORNIA SET RAIL RIDERSHIP RECORD

Surfliner ridership was down 0.1% this year (revenue was up) "Ridership on the Pacific Surfliner Route decreased 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter (1,009 passengers) compared to the results reported in same quarter in the prior year, partially due to the change in reporting methodology, and was below the performance goal by 2.2 percent. For the entire year, ridership was down 0.6 percent, but exceeded the performance goal by 1.2 percent"

I was in PDX week before last, for a two day training. I'm not a fan of light rail (I like subways better, don't have to deal w/surface issues/pedestrians, cars, weather, etc) but I was able to get from my friend's house to the training site, not sure just how far it was, maybe 20 miles, w/out needing to drive. The connections were ok, and I enjoyed watching people sitting in their motor vehicles, crawling along or stopped altogether, I think it was 205, where the light rail track paralleled the road. It was a fairly long commute but it was nice not to have to stay alert, etc., after a tiring day.

Do the names date from the Reconstruction?

You forgot: support & further BigPharma/BigMed looting & exploitation:

A.G. Schneiderman Files Groundbreaking Lawsuit To Block Pharmaceutical Manufacturer From Manipulating Alzheimer's Patients | Eric T. Schneiderman

"Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced an antitrust lawsuit seeking to prevent pharmaceutical manufacturer Actavis plc and its New-York based subsidiary Forest Laboratories from forcing Alzheimer’s patients to switch medications as part of an anti-competitive strategy designed to maintain high drug prices. This maneuver would needlessly disrupt patient treatment and restrict patient choice just to protect corporate profits.

Actavis has announced a plan to withdraw its Alzheimer’s drug Namenda from the market. Namenda is protected by a patent that will expire shortly and the company will thus face competition from generic drug makers. Instead of facing that competition, Actavis plans to force patients to switch unnecessarily to a very similar drug with a longer patent. Once patients switch to the new drug, Namenda XR, it’s likely that they will remain on that medication even after the Namenda generics hit the market due to the practical difficulties of switching back, thus allowing Actavis to insulate its profits from competition.

Wonder if the DOJ will file a brief arguing that NY is illegally restricting interstate commerce? Or that there's some fed statute that pre-empts a state's ability to act in this area. It'd fit well into the all for MNCs & their shareholders/owners, not much for anyone else philosophy of the past 20 years or so.

Congress continues to support, protect and promote the DoD's gross financial irresponsibility--so much for the GOP being more "financially responsible".

"The spending bill provides for a slight increase in Pentagon war funding, which would total $64 billion for this fiscal year. Some of the money is for combating Islamic State in Iraq and Syria."

But the GOP IS making sure that (1) the IRS is less and less able to find the resources to conduct audits of large corporations and (2) there will be more lead pollution, particularly of fish & waterfowl (and of course, anyone who eats either). "Internal Revenue Service spending would be cut and Republicans also inserted initiatives ranging from prohibiting funding for the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate lead content in ammunition and fishing tackle, " Senate passes spending bill, ends government shutdown threat
| Reuters

1 currency now -yogi wrote:

Just because the Pentagon gets away with murder doesn't mean the Fed should.

Agree. I posted the quote & link only because the DoD is another example of an agency/entity gone awol w/full knowledge & support from Congress and in the Pentagon's case, all or most of the executive branch. Not sure about judicial.

1 currency now -yogi wrote:

The rule is every public dollar has to be budgeted and accounted for publicly. It's right there in Article I.

""Despite the fact that the Pentagon is the largest and most expensive department in the federal government, it has never passed a financial audit," he says on his House website. "In fact, under current law, the Pentagon is exempt from a federal law that requires all federal agencies to complete annual audits."
"It’s important to note that auditing your books is a two-step process. First, as any business person knows, you have to have a system in place to track income and expenses and other parts of your budget. Meeting that goal makes you "auditable."

Once there, you can have an audit that provides a detailed thumbnail of your financial well-being.

The Pentagon hasn’t accomplished either one.

DeFazio sponsored an amendment to the defense bill last year that requires the Pentagon to organize its books so they can be audited. That step has yet to be satisfied and DeFazio’s measure was stripped during negotiations between the House and Senate.

Independent reports of the Pentagon’s problems monitoring its budgets continue to pile up."

As far back as 1995, the General Accountability Office, the independent investigative arm of Congress, deemed the Pentagon’s financial management to be "high risk."

In 2000, the GAO found that nearly one third of the accounting entries in the Pentagon's budget were untraceable.

In 2009, the GAO said its auditors "have continued to report significant weaknesses in the department’s ability to provide timely, reliable, consistent, and accurate information for management analysis, decision-making, and reporting."

The next year, the GAO found that half of the Pentagon's $366 billion in contract awards were never even completed.

And in yet another 2010 report, the GAO found that the Pentagon’s effort to install a system to make itself "auditable" were taking on the personality of a new weapons system - over budget and behind schedule. In this case, the GAO said that two-thirds of the systems the Department of Defense is putting in place to make its budget auditable have slipped years in implementation and doubled in cost -- to more than $13 billion.
PolitiFact Oregon | DeFazio says the Pentagon can’t track its budget; we audit the claim

sdtfs wrote:

Can't imagine needing four slips. Sounds like they're planning an invasion. Maybe an amphibious assault across the river.

Rent out the slips? Start a boat taxi business?

Bad Dawg Bobby wrote:

Republicans/ Democrats can't be trusted.

possibly Independents as well.

Bad Dawg Bobby wrote:

All Democrates , Aye ? Smile

Bloomberg, 3 or was it 4 time mayor of NYC was first GOP and then Independent. "One of the world's richest men, Bloomberg was a longtime Democrat who became a Republican in 2001 to get on the ballot, and later dropped his party affiliation.

He helped found and finance gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2006. The group merged last month with another group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America." Bloomberg donates $2.5 million to U.S. Senate Democrats - Reuters News 1/7/2014 2:28 PM

Former NYC mayor Giuliani: "Politically a Democrat and then an Independent in the 1970s, but a Republican since the 1980s Rudy Giuliani - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You were saying?

KidPsych wrote:

Pope Francis says dogs can go to heaven

Not horses and cats? Forget it. Not going if they can't come.

$ uber alles

"Rio and BHP need the land exchange, long opposed by environmental and native American groups, to develop the massive underground mine, where the companies have already spent more than $1 billion on drilling and digging a 1.3-mile (2 km) shaft" U.S. Congress approves land swap for Rio-BHP copper mine in Arizona
| Reuters

Bruce in Tennessee wrote:

"I spend most of my time watching ESPN in the morning," President Obama said. "I get so much politics I don't want to be inundated with a bunch of chatter about politics during the day."

...Well, that is certainly reassuring. Perhaps an anchor job awaits after another two years. I suppose it could be worse: "And I spend my afternoons playing golf."

How does that compare to how other presidents used their time in the White House? Rocket Ronnie, Bush I, Bush II, spend all their waking hours w/noses to the political grindstone? Never watchedTV for entertainment? Read something other then a gov't or political report? Listened to music? Just wondering, seems they must've if you feel it's worth criticising Obama for doing something unrelated to his job.

arthur_dent wrote:

I've seen that done recently where patients are required to mark the body part that needs work.

Possibly because the patients can be expected to remember which body part needs work. Unlike some medical professionals. Doctors Perform Surgery on the Wrong Body Part About 40 Times a Week - The Wire

AlleyCat wrote:

You've got to get outside and walk about to see the stars.

There's so much light pollution in some parts of the US and the world that you can't see stars or they are relatively dim/fewer. I am still impressed w/how many stars (and how bright the moon and some of the planets are) when I visit a friend who lives in a rural area. It's like there's a different sky over her valley.

Outsider wrote:

I'm thinking cataracts wouldn't be covered either. [the big: who knows?] [does Medicare cover that?]

Your Medicare coverage |

Medicare does. You could just check the official U.S. government site for Medicare see what's covered.

"Cataract surgery |
Medicare covers many medically necessary surgical procedures, like cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery |

Eyeglasses/contact lenses |
Generally, Medicare doesn't cover eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, following cataract surgery that implants an intraocular lens, Medicare Part B ( Medical ...
Eyeglasses/contact lenses |

dilbert dogbert wrote:

I really hate to spoil a perfectly good day of doom but this is good news for the women in our lives: Breast cancer prevention drug gives lasting protection, study finds - LA Times

FTA: " But the possibility remains that the medication has merely delayed the appearance of breast tumors, and that those will rear up and claim the lives of tamoxifen-treated women at rates similar to their peers who never took the medication.

That's a possibility hinted at in the IBIS-I findings. Among the 3,579 women who took tamoxifen, there were 31 breast cancer deaths, compared with 26 among the 3,575 taking placebo. Whether that slightly higher breast cancer death rate is a fluke or stems from treatment "needs to be addressed," Chlebowski wrote in his Lancet editorial."

And have you ever looked at the list of side effects, some fairly common and severe, of tamoxifen?

I'd like to see alot more research efforts directed at prevention--like, does exposure to TCDD (present in the breast milk of just about all women in the US), PCBs, organophosphates, chlorinated hydrocarbons, BPA, et al increase frequency of breast cancer? Do any/all of those compounds significantly increase the odds the women w/given genetic makeup will develop breast cancer?

Wonder if there's any funding available for research seeking answers to those questions?

One reason for "dip" of household net worth.
42.9 million Americans have unpaid medical bills -

Probably good for the banks/corporate health care providers, so no "real" worries, not for our crony congress anyway.

Wouldn't want to venture into the land of socialism and treat providing health care of reasonable quality & at reasonable cost as responsibility of gov rather then yet another profit-making enterprise protected by gov.