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It has been established, for example, that suburban streets all over America ought to be as wide as two-lane county highways, regardless of whether this promotes driving at excessive speeds where children play, or destroys the spatial relationship between the houses on the street.

Back in the 1950s, when these formulas were devised, the width of residential streets was tied closely to the idea of a probable nuclear war with the Russians. And in the aftermath of a war, it was believed, wide streets would make it easier to clean up the mess with heavy equipment.

Zoning codes devised by engineering firms have been “packaged” and sold to municipalities for decades, eliminating the need for local officials to think about local design issues. This is one reason why a subdivision in Moline, Illinois, has the same dreary look as a subdivision in Burlington, Vermont. All the design matters are supposedly settled, and there has been little intelligent debate about them for years.

America has now squandered its national wealth erecting a human habitat that, in all likelihood, will not be usable very much longer.

— JHK, The Geography of Nowhere (via stroadtoboulevard)
A bike is a ‘pay as you go’ form of transport.

You expend a little energy now and you don’t need to buy so many Middle Eastern wars later.

— commentor karenfink on “Why aren’t younger Americans driving anymore?” washpo wonkblog, 22.04.13.
the health-care-industrial complex spends more than three times what the military-industrial complex spends in Washington.
— Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us. time, 20.02.13.
» UCSD student "accidentally" abandoned in DEA cell for 5 days

“They never came back, ignored all my cries and I still don’t know what happened,” he said. “I’m not sure how they could forget me.”

“I had to do what I had to do to survive….I hallucinated by the third day,” Chong said. “I was completely insane.”

Daniel Chong and his lawyer spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the claim they will file with the federal court system on Wednesday.

“He was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said his lawyer Gene Iredale, who compared Chong’s experience to Abu Ghraib..

The fourth-year engineering student missed all his midterms and is unsure about returning to school in light of this life-altering experience and new mental conditions.

nbcsandiego, 01.05.12.
sd u-t, 01.05.12

how’s that war on drugs going


Dear _____, 

Tell Congress: No blank check for worldwide war.

Last week, despite an outcry from concerned citizens like you, the House Armed Services Committee moved one frightening step closer to passing a new law for a worldwide war without end

Outrageously, there have been no hearings on this new legislation, nor has its necessity been explained by Rep. Buck McKeon or anyone else in Congress. 

You and more than 25,000 ACLU supporters took action to oppose this dangerous stealth provision in the huge Defense authorization bill. The worldwide war legislation was drafted by President George Bush’s team back in 2008, but now is being jammed through Congress with no debate. 

The bill will move to the full House for a vote as early as next week. But right now, members of Congress are at home in their districts. 

That’s why we must ramp up the pressure, making sure they know we won’t tolerate Congress giving any president a blank check for declaring war. You wrote your representative. Now, take the next critical steps.

  1. Alert your FB friends.
  2. Write a letter to the editor.
  3. Call your representative’s district office.
    Rep. Barbara Lee (510) 763-0370 (California)

This worldwide war bill could end up being the single biggest ceding of unchecked war authority to the executive branch in modern American history. And they’re trying to sneak it through without a single hearing. 

That’s why we must swing into action while House members are in their home districts. You can help by alerting your friends about this issue, writing a letter to the editor, or calling your representative’s district office to express alarm about this dangerous measure sneaking through the House. 

It’s outrageous that, just as the majority of Americans eagerly await the ramping down of our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Congress is acting under the cover of darkness to pass a new law for a worldwide war. 

We’re going to have to keep working to make sure this stealth provision never becomes the law of the land. Please do as much as you can this week and remain alert in the days ahead. 


Laura W. Murphy
Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office

© ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004

1984, anyone?

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