I was a a pre-teen growing up in New York City in 1993, but for me the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) massacre was my first exposure to the targeting of innocent civilians in a mass shooting. From that point onward this incident helped to galvanize a nascent gun control movement in New York.
Carolyn McCarthy the wife of one of the victims of the LIRR shooting, became a fierce advocate for gun control and won election to the U.S. House in 1996.
During that era in the 90′s the fight was also taken up by then congressman Charles Schumer and later both Schumer and McCarthy would work together in Congress on the issue. I should also mention that there was also a federal ban on assault weapons that was passed in 1994 (Bush let it expire in 2004) and I’m sure an incident like the LIRR shooting influenced this legislation’s creation.
Every year the victims commemorate this horrible incident in Long Island:
In a poignant annual ritual, the women, who lost their husbands during the Long Island Rail Road mass shooting 20 years ago Saturday, hung the ornaments and bouquet of flowers on the sign on the station’s eastbound side.
“We want to remind people what happened here,” said McCarthy, who became a congresswoman after her husband, Dennis McCarthy, was killed and her son Kevin McCarthy was severely injured in the shooting.
We’re also closing in on the one year anniversary of the shooting in Newtown, CT which occurred on December 14th. This year we also commemorated shootings that happened in Tucson, AZ (2 year anniversary) and the one year anniversary of the Aurora, CO shooting. I guess what I’m getting at is the reality, that even after 20 years, fighting the gun lobby and its handmaiden the National Rifle Association remains an uphill battle.
Chris Hedges in an interview for The Real News, enlightens us on the pathology of the rich. First, he brings up the mentality of the “right to be served.”
It’s very distasteful to see, because, you know, I would go to the homes of friends of mine and watch–and let’s remember they’re children, 11, 12 years old, ordering around adults–their servants, their nannies.
Hedges goes on to say that if you are or become part of the elite, oftentimes other people start to become disposable things.
The rich are different, because when you have that much money, then human beings become disposable. Even friends and family become disposable and are replaced. And when the rich take absolute power, then the citizens become disposable, which is in essence what’s happened. There is a very callous indifference.
Lastly, there is the issue of living in a bubble and becoming out of touch when you are part of the 1 percent.
We have to seriously expedite everything that needs to be done to get us carbon-free.
From a group of scientists including former NASA scientist James Hansen.
“Fossil fuel emissions of one gigaton, sometimes associated with a 2C global warming target, would be expected to cause large climate change with disastrous consequences. The eventual warming from one gigaton fossil fuel emissions likely would reach well over 2C, for several reasons. With such emissions and temperature tendency, other trace greenhouse gases including methane and nitrous oxide would be expected to increase, adding to the effect of CO2,” the researchers said.
We’re on our way to fulfilling the story from Jared Diamond’s book Collapse, where we are set upon Easter Island to ponder what they could have done to stop its ultimate demise. The signs were there all along but they did not do enough to reverse course.
The thing that I’m wondering about in the midst of the terrible train derailment on the Hudson line, is why was the train taking a curve at such a high speed?
A Bronx councilman is essentially asking the same question.
Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, who represents the area and was at the scene, said the accident was “certainly the worst one on this line” and added that it occurred on a curve that is usually taken at low speed. “Trains generally slow to a crawl,” he said.
We’ve seen this type of accident happen before in Spain. When a high speed train derailed killing 80 people.
I was actually surprised to learn in reading this article that many manufacturers based in the U.S. do not have apprenticeship programs.
But experts in government and academia, along with those inside companies like BMW, which has its only American factory in South Carolina, say apprenticeships are a desperately needed option for younger workers who want decent-paying jobs, or increasingly, any job at all. And without more programs like the one at Tognum, they maintain, the nascent recovery in American manufacturing will run out of steam for lack of qualified workers.
It’s true that right now in this economy people are looking for all sorts of jobs. Why not give them good ones that would provide stability? I’d also like to see access to education factored in here to provide economic mobility too.
After the sad fact that the 2012 Summer Olympic team’s uniforms were made in China, for the Winter Olympics it will be a different story.
From the NY Times:
“Eric Schiffer, known as Ricky, and his business partner, Leonard Keff, last year opened Keff NYC, a knitting operation in New York’s garment district. Business has been good, with contracts from higher-price retailers like Abercrombie, Anthropologie and Ralph Lauren. One afternoon earlier this year, Mr. Schiffer watched as a table full of women knotted loose threads on Ralph Lauren gloves destined for the American team in the Winter Olympics next year in Sochi, Russia. (Ralph Lauren chose American manufacturing only under pressure from consumers and government officials up in arms after it supplied Olympics uniforms made in China for the 2012 Summer Games.)”
The rest of the Times article goes on to talk about the premium that one pays for clothing manufactured in the United States. The good news appears to be that Americans say they want to buy domestically. But it’s still an uphill battle as the cost is always factored in on purchases. For high-end goods people look to buy American but on the low-end it doesn’t seem to matter.