Just saw this pop up... never realized how really beeg the ridership was in NYC:
NYC to halt transit service as Sandy moves in
SNIPAs you already know this is a storm of historic proportions. The losses are now being estimated to grow into the many billions:
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered New York City's transit service to suspend bus, subway, and commuter rail service at7 p.m. Sunday. The city's mass transit system is the nation's largest -- the subway alone has a daily ridership of more than 5 million. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also has ordered evacuations for an estimated 370,000 people in some low lying areas.
Airlines were canceling flights, moving planes to safer ground, and offering refunds to stranded passengers in preparation for the storm. More than 3,200 flights had been canceled Sunday morning, according to the travel monitoring site, FlightAware.com.
Amtrak was canceling train service to parts of the East Coast, including between Washington, D.C., and New York.
President Obama was monitoring the storm and working with state and locals governments to make sure they get the resources needed to prepare, administration officials said.Governors from North Carolina, where heavy rain was began rolling in Sunday, to Connecticut declared states of emergency.
Dr. Jeff Master's Wunderblog
Sandy's storm surge a huge threatNow is not the time for our Dem leadership to be softening up the public for austerity and the lie of a Grand Bargain. In a country where we have been bailing out the 1% at record amounts and printing money to do same, its now time to rake in record revenues and take care of the 99%.
Last night's 9:30 pm EDT H*Wind analysis from NOAA's Hurricane Research Division put the destructive potential of Sandy's winds at a modest 2.6 on a scale of 0 to 6. However, the destructive potential of the storm surge was exceptionally high: 5.7 on a scale of 0 to 6. This is a higher destructive potential than any hurricane observed between 1969 - 2005, including Category 5 storms like Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Camille, and Andrew. The previous highest destructive potential for storm surge was 5.6 on a scale of 0 to 6, set during Hurricane Isabel of 2003. Sandy is now forecast to bring a near-record storm surge of 6 - 11 feet to Northern New Jersey and Long Island Sound, including the New York City Harbor. While Sandy's storm surge will be nowhere near as destructive as Katrina's, the storm surge does have the potential to cause many billions of dollars in damage if it hits near high tide at 9 pm EDT on Monday. The full moon is on Monday, which means astronomical high tide will be about 5% higher than the average high tide for the month. This will add another 2 - 3" to water levels. Fortunately, Sandy is now predicted to make a fairly rapid approach to the coast, meaning that the peak storm surge will not affect the coast for multiple high tide cycles. Sandy's storm surge will be capable of overtopping the flood walls in Manhattan, which are only five feet above mean sea level. On August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene brought a storm surge of 4.13' to Battery Park on the south side of Manhattan. The waters poured over the flood walls into Lower Manhattan, but came 8 - 12" shy of being able to flood the New York City subway system. According to the latest storm surge forecast for NYC from NHC, Sandy's storm surge is expected to be several feet higher than Irene's. If the peak surge arrives near Monday evening's high tide at 9 pm EDT, a portion of New York City's subway system could flood, resulting in billions of dollars in damage. I give a 50% chance that Sandy's storm surge will end up flooding a portion of the New York City subway system.
An excellent September 2012 article in the New York Times titled, "New York Is Lagging as Seas and Risks Rise, Critics Warn" quoted Dr. Klaus H. Jacob, a research scientist at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, on how lucky New York City got with Hurricane Irene. If the storm surge from Irene had been just one foot higher, "subway tunnels would have flooded, segments of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive and roads along the Hudson River would have turned into rivers, and sections of the commuter rail system would have been impassable or bereft of power," he said, and the subway tunnels under the Harlem and East Rivers would have been unusable for nearly a month, or longer, at an economic loss of about $55 billion. Dr. Jacob is an adviser to the city on climate change, and an author of the 2011 state study that laid out the flooding prospects. “We’ve been extremely lucky,” he said. “I’m disappointed that the political process hasn’t recognized that we’re playing Russian roulette.”
SnipThe buying out of our elected government by the 1% goes far past the record billions being spent on this election. The massive amounts spent on lobbying perception management in the last few decades has left the 99% with little power over our government, out lives.
Starting on January 3rd, the first $110 billion cut of the mandated $1.5 trillion deemed appropriate by Congress will go into effect. $55 billion will be cut from the Pentagon, while budgets for non-defense programs will be cut across the board by another $55 billion—8 percent for “discretionary” programs and 7.2 percent for “non-discretionary” programs. Under a similar $38 billion budget cut passed in Summer of 2011 to avert a government shutdown, nearly $1 billion was cut from clean drinking water funds, along with almost $1 billion from FEMA assistance for disaster victims,and hundreds of millions of dollars for nuclear waste cleanup and low-income heating assistance for poor families who don’t have enough to keep warm. The latest round of cuts coming in early 2013 will affect Medicare.
While our government is forcing poor people to go cold and older folks to go without health care, they’re doing absolutely nothing about the estimated $70-100 billion we lose every year to corporate tax dodging overseas, due to loopholes that have been successfully written into the tax code by corporate lobbyists. There still isn't any legislation on the table that would do something about the $32 trillion that's estimated to be stashed by the 0.001% in overseas, tax-free bank accounts. That money, by the way, is actually more than the combined national debt of both the European Union and the United States.
But by simply passing Sen. Carl Levin’s CUT (Cut Unjustified Tax) Loopholes Act, which would reap $13 billion in new tax revenue every year for a decade by simply closing some of the more egregious loopholes, these major corporations would actually have to pay above a 0% effective corporate tax rate. None of January’s budget cuts would be necessary. If you asked most Americans if they’d rather see their grandparents afford their health care or see Bank of America keep a few billion more in profits, I bet most Americans would go with grandma and grandpa.
Many-Sided Methods of Control
Frighteningly enough, however, even in the Citizens Defeated era, campaign finance is just one among many ways in which the aforementioned “unelected dictatorship” speaks. Other mechanisms of corporate and plutocratic rule abound. The many-sided methods and modes include:
The flooding of the nation’s capital and the 50 state capitals and an untold number of municipal and county governments with a gigantic army of corporate lobbyists.
Massive investment in public relations and propaganda to influence the beliefs and values of citizens, politicians, and other “opinion-shapers” on matters of interest to corporations.
Capture of key positions in government regulatory agencies by people who reasonably expect to work at increased levels of compensation in the regulated (and not-so-regulated) industries in the future.
“Cognitive” (ideological) capture of state officials, politicians, media personnel, educators, nonprofit managers so as to minimize public actions and sentiments that might harm business profits.
The use by businesses of the threat of disinvestment, capital flight, and capital strike – resulting in the loss of jobs and tax revenue – to get what they want (i.e., reduced wages, reduced taxes, reduced environmental regulations, increased public subsidies…the list goes on) from governments, unions, and communities.
The systematic destruction and undermining of organizations (i.e., labor unions) that might offer some countervailing power to that of big business in the political and policy realms.
The offer of jobs, corporate board memberships, internships, and other perks and payments to public officials and their families and to other “influentials” and their families.
Control of education and publishing (a) to filter out, repress, and marginalize “populist” and “radical” (democratic) critiques of the profits system, corporations, and capitalist culture and (b) to identify the public interest and the common good with the business bottom line.
Ownership, monitoring, and management of mass media (including “entertainment” as well as pubic affairs news and commentary) for the same purposes.
Sadly, Sandy's aftermath could surely push us further back into economic depression.
We need to redouble our efforts to get our country back on track to a functioning democracy for the 99% .
More Paul Street
Let us look forward to the passing of the current “election frenzy” (Zinn) and the hangover that always follows. Hope resides in a return to the more serious political action that matters most: popular movement-building for a democratic and participatory society in which elections among other things (including no less relevantly the organization of work and the broader shape of socioeconomic life) might seriously align with popular wishes and needs. That project requires hard and detailed organizing every day, not just once every 4 years.That work should be informed by an understanding that the nation’s de facto dictatorship of concentrated and organized money never sleeps in its relentless, many-sided assault on democracy (what’s left of it), justice, and a livable Earth.Suggestions for organizing:
Solidarity Against Austerity
Strike Debt. Resist Cuts. Empower Communities.>Robin Hood Tax
A small tax on Wall Street that could transform Main Street, and more.
This tax on the financial sector has the power to raise hundreds of billions every year to provide funding for jobs to kickstart the economy and get America back on its feet. It could help save the social safety net in the US and around the world.
Not complicated. Just brilliant.
It’s simple math: we can burn 565 more gigatons of carbon and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Fossil fuel corporations now have 2,795 gigatons in their reserves, five times the safe amount. And they’re planning to burn it all — unless we rise up to stop them.
This November, Bill McKibben and 350.org are hitting the road to build the movement that will change the terrifying math of the climate crisis. Join us.