Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Matt Taibbi: "Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?" (Complete Interview)

Gov. Walker Informed That Bill Targeting Unions May Cost State $46 Million In Federal Funds


Music takes calming influence to the MAX

Bad morning knocks MAX service off track

Boring, TriMet find compromise difficult

Comments at US News and World Report seem to disagree with Portland as #1

How TriMet Bus Riders Want to Fight Back

Another person attending the OPAL rally was 16-year-old Cameron Johnson. The teen-ager started volunteering with OPAL last summer after he spoke at several TriMet meetings last year. Johnson says his father recently lost his job and that the family couldn't afford to keep their car. Now everyone in his family takes the bus to the grocery store, to movies and to school. With the shorter transfer times, he says, they can't get to all of the stops they need without buying two tickets. And if that wasn't bad enough, when they miss their connection they must walk home with their groceries. Johnson says he's already collected over 700 signatures from bus riders and is excited to keep spreading the word. 

Ah the light rail has been performing so well lately!

Investigation of bus driver?

San Francisco bus crashes into light pole

Interesting stuff

Teenager Joseph St Hilaire banned from Huddersfield Bus Station - Local West Yorkshire News - News - Huddersfield Examiner


Please show your support for civilian oversight and accountability

Getting the biggest bang for our transportation buck
5 C. Ore. transportation projects get $1.3M |




Authorities identify man killed by light-rail train |
Union decries planned transit cuts

No ordure-nary shift: TriMet driver at Sunset Transit Center says, 'I take crap all day, I'm not going to sit on it'


And even more LIGHT RAIL problems!

The beauty of light rail!

One person was taken to a hospital after an accident involving a MAX train in Hillsboro this morning.
TriMet officials say one person came into contact with the train. The person survived and was alert and talking when taken to a hospital, officials say.The incident happened near the Tuality Hospital and Southeast 8th Avenue Station.MAX blue line service was halted in the area to allow for an investigation. Shuttle buses carried riders between the Southeast 12th Avenue and the Hatfield Government Center stations.By 7 a.m., MAX blue line service resumed, but riders were told to expect delays as trains returned to regular schedules.

Woman injured by train 

Those Bad Unions

Those bad unions!

Published: Sunday, February 20, 2011, 8:33 PM Updated: Monday, February 21, 2011, 7:49 AM-in the Oregonian


I've read books (What's the Matter with Kansas?), articles, stories...trying to understand why people will vote for, and support, issues that work against their own self interest. Case in point. Public Employee Unions. Among them are Police, Firemen, and Teachers. You know, the people who protect us, fight our fires, save our lives, and we hold responsible for preparing our children to win the global intellectual wars to come.

Over the years, through collective bargaining, some have gained benefits richer than many in the private sector. That must be acknowledged by every thinking person. Equally fair, is to acknowledge that on average salaries for Public Employees are lower than their private sector counterparts. It is not uncommon for unions to negotiate wage concessions for benefit enhancements or ,when times are bad, just to maintain the benefits they had previously negotiated for.

The key word here being "negotiated." No one blackmailed anybody, held a gun to anyone's head. The wages and benefits and working conditions were NEGOTIATED. Both sides at the table. It is through negotiation that American workers today have sick leave, overtime laws, health insurance (the lucky ones), child labor laws, disability benefits, etc. In fact, you can thank the labor movement for just about anything having to do with improving the lot of the American worker. Not to mention growing the Middle Class.

But Republicans and the right-wing media would have us believe that we no longer need unions. That we have all the rules and regulations we will ever need. That businesses and corporations will always do the right thing. They will always pay fair salaries. They will always protect our jobs if we become sick, or need to care for a sick child or parent. They will always allow access to health insurance for us and our families, and they will always, always, put our safety above corporate profit.

Even more amazing than expecting us believe that bunch of malarkey, is the fact that...we are. Thanks to the right-wing media machine, a great number of us believe that Public Employee Union Members are greedy leeches sucking their tax dollars with free health care for them and their extended families including cousins and aunts and uncles, before enjoying cushy retirements in the Bahamas. Oh yeah, and Public Employees make 10 times more than their counterparts in the private sector. You know, all those rich policemen, firemen, and teachers. Lots of new BMWs and Mercedes in those employee parking lots, I'm sure.

But the head shaker is that people across this country, working people, believe unions are bad. That Public Employee Unions are particularly evil and a major cause of state budget deficits. Not the bankers who caused all the home foreclosures driving down property values and in turn state property tax revenue, or Wall St. that brought about a financial crisis that cost people their jobs and their retirement nest eggs. No, the problem is with Policemen, Firemen, Elementary School Teachers. People who protect the beauty of our national parks, and make sure our letters are delivered thousands of miles across the country, on time and to the right location, for 44 cents. Who says government doesn't do anything right.

Most of those who demonize unions have never experienced a union first hand. And for that they can thank Republicans. They have successfully demonized unions, made it harder for workers to unionize, so that now only about 8% of the private sector workforce is allowed to collectively bargain for wages, benefits, and working conditions. The other 92% has to shut up and take what they are handed.

Meanwhile, corporate bosses are making 300-400 times what their workers make. They are paying less taxes, sending jobs overseas, and doing quite well thank you. They can affording sending their children to the best private schools,giving them the best chance of success in a global market, while our public schools teach with outdated books in overcrowded classrooms. And school days have to be reduced just to make the budget.

What happened to the Eisenhower Republicans? Republicans that supported organized labor. That appreciated that unions helped grow the Middle Class. Helped to make workplaces safer, children not be abused, and workers not taken advantage of...not thrown under the bus of corporate greed.

And when might Republicans understanding that business needs customers. And customers need livable wages and good health. That in a world without unions, the American worker will be left depending upon their corporate bosses' benevolence.

Good luck with that.

© 2011 All rights reserved.

Union Busters


An open bus as Sunset Transit Center last night was raided by some teenagers who smeared dog feces all over the driver's seat!
Dispatch asked the driver to bring it back to the garage!
Obviously the driver objected!
A union rep had to be called in to negotiate the terms of bus retrieval!
Things are getting bad out here folks!
There are no buses, no replacement drivers, and conditions keep getting worse!


Rachel Maddow makes the connection between Governor Scott Walker and Wackenhut Security (TriMet's contracted security firm)