Tag Archives: United States

Microchip your employees —why not? (United States)

Received from Rob Hamlin
Fri, 4 Aug 2017 at 9:27 am

Ugh!! …if it doesn’t scare you it should do.

### ODT Online Thu, 3 Aug 2017
US company microchips workers
A Wisconsin vending machine company is offering its employees a chance to have a microchip implanted in their hands that they could use to buy snacks, log in to computers or use the copy machine. About 50 employees at Three Square Market have agreed to the optional implant of the chips, which are the approximate size and shape of a grain of rice, said Tony Danna, vice president of international sales at the River Falls-based company. The company, which employs 85, said it was the first in the United States to offer staff the technology which is similar to that used by contactless credit cards and chips used to identify pets. The implants made by Sweden’s BioHax International are part of a long-term test aimed to see if the radio-frequency identification chips could have broader commercial applications, Danna said.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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@whatifdunedin tracks the International Space Station #ISS

Ignazio Magnani (@IgnazioMagnani), residing in Reggio Emilia, Italy, keeps his followers posted about the visibilty of the International Space Station and the composition of the crew aboard the spacecraft in orbit. His Twitter ID is a painting of Russian pioneer of space flight Yuri Gagarin, the first man to have done (12 April 1961) a space flight. Ignazio’s Twitter profile is a tribute to space exploration and the research to improve our quality of life.

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Dunedin-based astronomer and dark skies proponent Ian Griffin (@iangriffin) keeps an eagle eye out for happenings overhead, often with superb and astonishing camera results. To obtain these shots of the overhead pass Ian used a 9.25inch Celestron with a Sony A7S2 camera.

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Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) is NASA’s page for updates from the International Space Station, the world-class lab orbiting Earth 250 miles above. For the latest research, follow @ISS_Research.

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In other news….

Inmarsat-5 F4 Mission
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver Inmarsat-5 F4, a commercial communications satellite, to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). As the industry leader and pioneer of mobile satellite communications, Inmarsat has been powering global connectivity for more than three decades. SpaceX is targeting launch of Inmarsat-5 F4 from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The 49-minute launch window opens on Monday, May 15, at 7:21 p.m. EDT, or 23:21 UTC. A backup launch window opens on Tuesday, May 16, at 7:21 p.m. EDT, or 23:21 UTC.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Audit and Review, Deloitte

U N N E R V I N G ● N E W S

“If Deloitte was caught with one such brazenly egregious case, just what else is there that goes unreported, and undiscovered when it comes to corporate “books”, not only in Brazil but also in the US.”

### zerohedge.com Dec 5, 2016 9:43 PM
Auditor Deloitte Fined A Record $8 Million For Massive Fraud
By Tyler Durden
Remember when auditors were, by their very definition, supposed to be the embodiment of credibility, trustworthiness and moral fibre? The Brazilian arm of Big Four auditing giant, Deloitte, forgot these simple prerequisites and as a result the US auditing watchdog fined the firm a record $8 million for what amounts to massive fraud: falsifying audit reports, altering documents and providing false testimony during an investigation that unearthed what it described as its “most serious” finding of misconduct.
The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, also penalised or barred 12 former partners, including a national practice director, and auditors of the Brazil-based Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Auditores Independentes.
The Deloitte Brazil case is the first time the PCAOB has “charged a member of the Big Four auditing firms with fraud and for failing to co-operate with an investigation” according to the FT [Financial Times]. Worse, unlike banks which resolve similar cases without admitting or denying guilt, in settling, Deloitte Brazil admitted it had violated quality control standards and failed to co-operate with the auditing board’s inspection and subsequent investigation.
“This is the most serious misconduct we’ve uncovered. It’s cover-up after cover-up after cover-up,” Claudius Modesti, director of enforcement at the PCAOB, said. “As an investor you’re expecting that the audit was done properly and sufficiently and that wasn’t the case here.”
Not only was that not the case, but the details read like straight out of a fictional account of third-world crime.
Read more

deloitte-svg

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd, commonly referred to as Deloitte, is a UK-incorporated multinational professional services firm with operational headquarters in New York City in the United States.
Deloitte is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms and the largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals. Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services with more than 244,400 professionals globally. In FY 2016, the company earned a record $36.8 billion USD in revenues. As of 2016, Deloitte is the 6th-largest privately owned organisation in the United States.

The Big Four:
● PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), largest accounting firm in terms of revenue.
● Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Deloitte)
● Ernst & Young (E&Y)
● Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)

OTAGO RUGBY & RACING ASIDE

Remember the old chestnut…. The connection between TTCF (The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd; formerly, The Trusts Charitable Foundation Inc) —and Deloitte.

“TTCF engaged Deloitte when they desperately needed an ‘independent’ audit so as to put the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and Audit NZ off the scent. Unfortunately, even though Deloitte uncovered approximately $40k per month in mis-spent funds, TTCF ensured that was left out of the report because after all they were paying the Deloitte bill.”

Related Post and Comments:
2.6.15 Queen’s Birthday honours to rogues #TTCF #ORFU #PokieRorts
11.3.15 DIA —poor job as gambling regulator
2.2.15 Operation Chestnut: DIA, SFO fluffing round the edges #TTCF #ORFU
11.1.15 Southern complainants: IPCA won’t ensure upfront investigation…
14.12.14 DIA regulates what? Not white collar crime, not with govt looking on!
5.8.14 Gambling Commission shuts down racing’s Bluegrass pokie trust
3.2.14 DIA signed up Intralot amid concerns about bribery and corruption
31.12.13 Martin Legge: Operation Chestnut [DIA’s PR exercise]
30.12.13 DIA insights: Pokie rorts, money-go-rounds, names
11.10.13 New Zealand: Pokie trusts same everywhere #pokierorts
10.10.13 Whistleblowers’ message heard ??! #OtagoRacingClub #pokierorts
1.8.13 Politicians keeping DIA/SFO quiet on ORFU and TTCF #pokierorts
31.3.13 DIA and Office of the Auditor General stuff up bigtime #pokierorts
21.2.13 DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts
11.11.12 Department of Internal Affairs #pokierorts #coverup #TTCF
25.7.12 Martin Legge backgrounds TTCF (pokie trust) and Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts #DIA

█ For more, enter the terms *pokies*, *pokie rorts*, *ttcf*, *orfu* or *dia* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: Deloitte via Wikimedia Commons

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New media, participation

in-case-of-fire-please-leave-the-building-before-posting-it-on-social-media-cyberwarzone-com[cyberwarzone.com]

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Links received from Martin Legge

1/12/2016 12:11 p.m.

Cereal maker Kelloggs has announced that it will no longer advertise on Breitbart.com claiming that the conservative news site’s values are not the same as its own and it is not the only brand to pull its advertising.

### whaleoil.co.nz
Advertising is New Media’s Achilles heel
By SB on December 1, 2016 at 10:00am
Make no mistake New Media is going up against the establishment and it’s success with the public is tempered by its vulnerability to attacks on its advertising revenue. Breitbart News is the new News sheriff in town and is expanding rapidly but the establishment who preferred the old News sheriff still have a few bullets in their arsenal. If they can’t beat the new News by being better they will instead try to beat it by crippling it economically. It is a bit like the ageing Sheriff with arthritis trying to get rid of his rival not in a gun fight but by talking the local store into refusing to sell him any supplies for his ranch. He might be the better gunslinger but how long can he last without any supplies?
Advertising revenue is Whaleoil’s Achilles heel too, which is why we have introduced our new subscription model.
Read more

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24/11/2016 10:42 a.m.

Independent media are in the ascendance. Understand that. Recognise it. The impossible is happening. Fake news sites? Please. The major media are the biggest fakes the world has ever seen.

### activistpost.com [via zerohedge.com]
Major Media Crash: They Need a Scapegoat
By Jon Rappoport on November 20, 2016
They kept telling the American people Hillary Clinton was going to win the election; and in every way they could think of, they told the American people this was a good idea. Then, on election night, they, the media, crashed. The results came in. The media went into deep shock. As protests and riots then spread across America, the media neglected to mention a) they’d been bashing Trump because he said he might not accept the outcome of the vote, and b) here were large numbers of people on the Democrat side who weren’t accepting the outcome of the vote. A new campaign had to be launched. Suddenly, on cue, it was: Hillary Clinton lost because “fake news” about her had been spread around during the campaign. Fake news sites. That was the reason. These “fake sites” had to be punished. Somehow. They had to be defamed. Blocked. Censored. Here is an excerpt from a list of “fake news” sites suggested by one professor. The list is circulating widely on the Web: Project Veritas; Infowars; Breitbart; Coast To Coast AM; Natural News; Zero Hedge; The Daily Sheeple; Activist Post; 21st Century Wire. Free speech? Bill of Rights? Never heard of it.
Read more

█ The author of three explosive collections, The Matrix Revealed, Exit from the Matrix, and Power Outside the Matrix, Jon Rappoport was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.

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book-cover-disconnected-by-carrie-james-mit-press-mit-eduDisconnected [mitpress.mit.edu]

“Fresh from a party, a teen posts a photo on Facebook of a friend drinking a beer. A college student repurposes an article from Wikipedia for a paper. A group of players in a multiplayer online game routinely cheat new players by selling them worthless virtual accessories for high prices. In Disconnected, Carrie James examines how young people and the adults in their lives think about these sorts of online dilemmas, describing ethical blind spots and disconnects. Drawing on extensive interviews with young people between the ages of 10 and 25, James describes the nature of their thinking about privacy, property, and participation online.”

Carrie James is a sociologist and Principal Investigator at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was co-director (with Howard Gardner) of the Good Play Project, which collected the data that inform Disconnected.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Coldplay – Miracles

Friday afternoon spare time mulling….

Coldplay Official Published on Dec 22, 2014
Coldplay – Miracles (Official Lyric Video)
Download Miracles from iTunes at http://smarturl.it/CPmiracles. Taken from the Unbroken Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.

Unbroken is a 2014 American historical biographic war-sports drama film, produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, and based on the award-winning non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (2010). The film revolves around the life of USA Olympian and athlete Louis “Louie” Zamperini, portrayed by Jack O’Connell. Zamperini survived in a raft for 47 days after his bomber was downed in World War II, then spent more than two and a half years in three brutal Japanese prisoner-of-war camps.

Adapted by Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures. The Coen brothers, Richard LaGravenese, and William Nicholson wrote the screenplay. The film had its world premiere in Sydney on 17 November 2014, and received a wide release in the United States on 25 December 2014. The film grossed $115.6 million in North America, with a worldwide total of over $161 million.

Laura Hillenbrand also wrote the best-seller, Seabiscuit: An American Legend (2001).

[Source: Wikipedia]

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The former National Airways Corporation hangar at Taieri Airfield will be refurbished to the state it was during the mid-1940s, when the airfield was a training base during World War II.

### ODT Online Thu, 20 Aug 2015
‘Incredible’ donation secures hangar’s future
By Damian George on
An historic air base hangar built nearly 80 years ago is set to get a makeover, thanks to the charity of a local aviation enthusiast. Murray Barrington (71), a retired businessman turned trainee pilot and plane builder, gave $60,000 to the Otago Aero Club to restore its main hangar, which was built in 1936.
Read more

Otago Daily Times Published on Aug 19, 2015
Otago Aero Club hanger makeover

National Airways Hangar (former) logo, Dunedin [wikimedia.org]
█ The hangar is listed in the Dunedin City District Plan and recognised as a category two historic place by Heritage New Zealand | List No: 5243

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: wikimedia.org – ‘National Airways Hangar (former) logo, Dunedin’

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Kimbell Art Museum Expansion (Piano Pavilion)

Kimbell Art Museum [indiaartndesign.com]Kimbell Art Museum [indiaartndesign.com]

The Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Museum of international art with collections ranging from antiquities to 20th century contemporary art — 3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard, Fort Worth, TX 76107, United States

The Renzo Piano Pavilion at Kimbell’s was in production for six years — Piano accepted the commission in 2007, groundbreaking occurred in 2010, and the Grand Opening took place on November 27, 2013.

“Close enough for a conversation, not too close and not too far away,” remarked architect Renzo Piano, when describing the distance from the Kimbell’s new Renzo Piano Pavilion to the Louis Kahn Building. Piano’s structure, made of glass, concrete, and wood and surrounded by elms and red oaks, stands as an expression of simplicity and lightness some 65 yards to the west of Kahn’s vaulted, luminous museum landmark of 1972.

Kimbell - Kahn Pavilion 1 [texasmonthly.com]Louis Kahn Building [texasmonthly.com]

Kimbell Art Museum section - Renzo Piano Kendall Heaton Associates [archdaily.net]Renzo Piano Kendall Heaton Associates section [archdaily.com]

ArtandSeek Published on Sep 12, 2013
An Early Look At the Kimbell’s Piano Pavilion
Eric Lee, Director of the Kimbell Art Museum explains some of the design features of the new Piano Pavilion, and the excitement surrounding the building’s opening.

KimbellArt Published on Nov 26, 2013
Kahn : Piano – The Piano Pavilion at the Kimbell Art Museum

DESIGN
Piano’s low-slung, colonnaded pavilion with overhanging eaves graciously acknowledges Kahn’s museum building by way of its kindred height, emphasis on natural light, and use of concrete as a primary material. The positioning of the pavilion on the site focuses attention on the west facade of the Kahn Building, which Kahn considered to be the main entrance.
The pavilion is made up of two sections connected by a glass passageway. The front, or easternmost, section conveys an impression of weightlessness: a glass roof system seems to float high above wooden beams and concrete posts. Sleek, square concrete columns flank the central, recessed glass entrance and wrap around three sides of the building. The tripartite facade articulates the interior, with a spacious entrance lobby and large galleries to the north and south.
Tucked under a green roof, the Piano Pavilion’s western section contains a gallery for light-sensitive works of art, three education studios, a large library with reading areas, and an auditorium with superior acoustics for music. The latter, located below ground level, is a design centrepiece: its raked seating faces the stage and the dramatic backdrop of a light well animated by shifting patterns of natural light.
Read more at https://www.kimbellart.org/architecture/piano-pavilion

Kimbell - Piano Pavilion [hyperallergic.com]Kimbell - Piano Pavilion [i.ytimg.com youtube maxresdefault]Renzo Piano Pavilion [hyperallergic.com and maxresdefault at youtube.com]

These time-lapse construction videos are worth the effort — in most cases buildings under construction satisfy the aesthetic complexities of the brain and the body as witness, better than any finished object.

visualimmersion Published on Aug 8, 2012
Kimbell Art Museum Expansion (Piano Pavilion) Animation

KimbellArt Published on Nov 13, 2013
A Glimpse into the Renzo Piano Pavilion at the Kimbell Art Museum

KimbellArt Published on Oct 7, 2014
Completed time-lapse photography of the Renzo Piano Pavilion
Kimbell Art Museum July 2011–September 2013. EarthCam.
The green spaces and sustainable features of the new building construction site are emerging, including the placement of a sophisticated, layered roof-structure, the installation of geothermal wells, and the planting of trees and grass.

KimbellArt Published on Sep 10, 2013
Renzo Piano’s Walls for the Kimbell Art Museum

KimbellArt Published on Oct 19, 2013
Renzo Piano’s Beams for the Kimbell Art Museum HD

KimbellArt Published on Oct 25, 2013
Renzo Piano’s Columns for the Kimbell Art Museum HD

KimbellArt Published on Oct 25, 2013
Renzo Piano’s Glass Roof for the Kimbell Art Museum HD

KimbellArt Published on Oct 25, 2013
Renzo Piano’s Landscape Roof for the Kimbell Art Museum HD

KimbellArt Published on Oct 25, 2013
Landscape at the Renzo Piano Pavilion HD

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Ngai Tahu featured in Wall Street Journal (12.3.14)

### ODT Online Mon, 17 Mar 2014
Ngai Tahu’s financial acumen praised
By Hamish McNeilly
The economic foresight of Ngai Tahu has won the praise of the influential Wall St Journal. The article, published last week, noted the iwi had gone from being ”impoverished, virtually landless” to one of New Zealand’s wealthiest tribes with group assets totalling $1.03 billion. Following the $170 million treaty settlement the iwi took part in a series of ”astute investments”, enabling it to restore marae and support health and education programmes for its 50,000 members.
Read more

Source:
New Zealand Tribe’s Bet Transforms Its Fortunes: The Ngāi Tahu See Their Investments Pay Off
Original article published by The Wall Street Journal; March 12, 2014
online.wsj.com – this is a paysite. You can read the whole article by Lucy Cramer of WSJ for free at USNZcouncil.org

“If you look at 15 years since settlement, this entity has done really well,” said Trevor Burt, a former executive board member of German chemicals giant Linde Group who the tribe tapped four years ago to run its investment arm. Over the past four years, the fund’s average total annual return, based on comprehensive income, was 14 per cent, beating the average 12.9 per cent annual return by the benchmark share index. –Lucy Craymer, WSJ
New Zealand tribe’s bet transforms its fortunes – posted by david at the United States New Zealand Council blogsite
March 12, 2014 Link

While you squabble, Ngai Tahu is worth more than a billion dollars, is making hundreds of millions of dollars in well placed investments, and is even outperforming well known philanthropic funds like the ones owned by Yale and Harvard. –Cameron Slater, Whale Oil Beef Hooked
Wall Street Journal praises tribe: Are you watching up north?
March 13, 2014 at 5:30pm Link

Twitter accounts:
Ngai Tahu @NgaiTahu
Wall Street Journal @WSJ

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Corruption: US mirror to ministerial meddling in DIA business

● The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

Published on 13 Feb 2014. The800meters.

Bloomfield Police Chief Position is not for Sale
James Behre, Acting Police Chief in Bloomfield, New Jersey stands up to town council and Mayor regarding political interference. This video is an excerpt from the Town Council meeting on February 10, 2014.

Two days later Bloomfield councilman Carlos Bernard is placed on Administrative leave…

The wider story: Bloomfield councilman asking acting police chief to trade favours to secure appointment as top cop (via NJ.Com)

Close to Home
What would this United States police chief say about the least corrupt country in the world? A country where a Minister of Parliament, Peter Dunne, contacts the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) about a pokie trust (TTCF) with which he has had a long association, right at the time that DIA holds evidence sufficient for the head of that regulatory body to suggest the immediate proposal to cancel TTCF’s Gambling Operators Licence.

Would the police chief be concerned that Racing Clubs, the Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) and its intermediary, the Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport, have never been investigated which would result in criminal prosecution and the potential to seek the return of nearly $7 million dollars of community funds from illegal arrangements with TTCF.

Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts everyone whose life, livelihood or happiness depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.

For more information, enter *dia*, *dunne*, *ttcf*, *orfu*, or *pokies* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC: Jaunt to USA, explain

Dunedin at night [commons.wikimedia.org] 1Dunedin, March 2010. Benchill (Wikimedia Commons).

### ODT Online Fri, 3 Jan 2014
Streetlight ideas from US trip
By Debbie Porteous
Seeing the bright lights of some major American cities has given the man responsible for a street lighting revolution set for Dunedin some solid ideas. Dunedin city council roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring went to the United States last year to look at different technologies and visit cities that have started updating their street lighting.
Read more

Puzzled. The news story says Peter Standring went to USA.
But lower down, it says (our emphasis):

“Los Angeles was in many ways the world leader in the procurement, installation and development of LED technology, and the group was “very lucky” to have had one and a-half hours of Mr Ebrahimian’s time, Mr Standring said.”

What group? A DCC group? (or a USA group he tagged along with?) What have we paid for? A 2013 trip for one person to Los Angeles, Durham, Racine, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco —or a trip for a group of staff and their wives?
Clarification, please.

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[via Upstart Incubator (@UpstartDunedin) who tweeted at 9:29 AM on Tue, Dec 31, 2013]

### mckinsey.com September 2013
How to make a city great
By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. That could mean great things for economic growth — if the cities handle their expansion wisely. Here’s how.

What makes a great city? It is a pressing question because by 2030, 5 billion people — 60 percent of the world’s population — will live in cities, compared with 3.6 billion today, turbocharging the world’s economic growth. Leaders in developing nations must cope with urbanisation on an unprecedented scale, while those in developed ones wrestle with aging infrastructures and stretched budgets. All are fighting to secure or maintain the competitiveness of their cities and the livelihoods of the people who live in them. And all are aware of the environmental legacy they will leave if they fail to find more sustainable, resource-efficient ways of managing these cities.

Explore six diverse initiatives aimed at making cities great places to live and work.

To understand the core processes and benchmarks that can transform cities into superior places to live and work, McKinsey developed and analysed a comprehensive database of urban economic, social, and environmental performance indicators. The research included interviewing 30 mayors and other leaders in city governments on four continents and synthesizing the findings from more than 80 case studies that sought to understand what city leaders did to improve processes and services from urban planning to financial management and social housing.

The result is How to make a city great (PDF, 2.1MB), a new report arguing that leaders who make important strides in improving their cities do three things really well:

█ They achieve smart growth. Smart growth identifies and nurtures the very best opportunities for growth, plans ways to cope with its demands, integrates environmental thinking, and ensures that all citizens enjoy a city’s prosperity. Good city leaders also think about regional growth because as a metropolis expands, they will need the cooperation of surrounding municipalities and regional service providers. Integrating the environment into economic decision making is vital to smart growth: cities must invest in infrastructure that reduces emissions, waste production, and water use, as well as in building high-density communities.

█ They do more with less. Great cities secure all revenues due, explore investment partnerships, embrace technology, make organisational changes that eliminate overlapping roles, and manage expenses. Successful city leaders have also learned that, if designed and executed well, private–public partnerships can be an essential element of smart growth, delivering lower-cost, higher-quality infrastructure and services.

█ They win support for change. Change is not easy, and its momentum can even attract opposition. Successful city leaders build a high-performing team of civil servants, create a working environment where all employees are accountable for their actions, and take every opportunity to forge a stakeholder consensus with the local population and business community. They take steps to recruit and retain top talent, emphasise collaboration, and train civil servants in the use of technology.

Mayors are only too aware that their tenure will be limited. But if longer-term plans are articulated — and gain popular support because of short-term successes — leaders can start a virtuous cycle that sustains and encourages a great urban environment.
Link to source

McKinsey&Company The material on this page draws on the research and experience of McKinsey consultants and other sources. To learn more about their expertise, visit the Infrastructure Practice, Public Sector Practice, Sustainability & Resource Productivity Practice.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: commons.wikimedia.org – Central city view of Dunedin, New Zealand, at night from Signal Hill lookout. The dark horizontal band above the centre of the photo is the Town Belt. Some landmarks including First Church of Otago and the Dunedin Railway Station are visible near the centre. Photo by Benchill, 9 March 2010.

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Not just in America !!!

Link from Martin Legge.

### marketoracle.co.uk Oct 28, 2013 – 09:37 AM GMT
Politics / Social Issues
America’s Culture of Ignorance
By James Quinn

“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” –Thomas Edison

The kabuki theatre that passes for governance in Washington D.C. reveals the profound level of ignorance shrouding this Empire of Debt in its prolonged death throes. Ignorance of facts; ignorance of math; ignorance of history; ignorance of reality; and ignorance of how ignorant we’ve become as a nation, have set us up for an epic fall. It’s almost as if we relish wallowing in our ignorance like a fat lazy sow in a mud hole. The lords of the manor are able to retain their power, control and huge ill-gotten riches because the government educated serfs are too ignorant to recognize the self-evident contradictions in the propaganda they are inundated with by state controlled media on a daily basis.

“Any formal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession – their ignorance.” –Hendrik Willem van Loon

The levels of ignorance are multi-dimensional and diverse, crossing all educational, income, and professional ranks. The stench of ignorance has settled like Chinese toxic smog over our country, as various constituents have chosen comforting ignorance over disconcerting knowledge. The highly educated members, who constitute the ruling class in this country, purposefully ignore facts and truth because the retention and enhancement of their wealth and power are dependent upon them not understanding what they clearly have the knowledge to understand. The underclass wallow in their ignorance as their life choices, absence of concern for marriage or parenting, lack of interest in educating themselves, and hiding behind the cross of victimhood and blaming others for their own failings. Everyone is born ignorant and the path to awareness and knowledge is found in reading books. Rich and poor alike are free to read and educate themselves. The government, union teachers, and a village are not necessary to attain knowledge. It requires hard work and clinging to your willful ignorance to remain stupid.

The youth of the country consume themselves in techno-narcissistic triviality, barely looking up from their iGadgets long enough to make eye contact with other human beings. The toxic combination of government delivered public education, dumbed down socially engineered curriculum, taught by uninspired intellectually average union controlled teachers, to distracted, unmotivated, latchkey kids, has produced a generation of young people ignorant about history, basic mathematical concepts, and the ability or interest to read and write. They have been taught to feel rather than think critically. They have been programmed to believe rather than question and explore. Slogans and memes have replaced knowledge and understanding. They have been lured into inescapable student loan debt serfdom by the very same government that is handing them a $200 trillion entitlement bill and an economy built upon low paying service jobs that don’t require a college education, because the most highly educated members of society realized that outsourcing the higher paying production jobs to slave labour factories in Asia was great for the bottom line, their stock options and bonus pools.

Instead of being outraged and lashing out against this injustice, the medicated, daycare reared youth passively lose themselves in the inconsequentiality and shallowness of social media, reality TV, and the internet, while living in their parents’ basement. They have chosen the ignorance inflicted upon their brains by thousands of hours spent twittering, texting, facebooking, seeking out adorable cat videos on the internet, viewing racist rap singer imbeciles rent out sports stadiums to propose to vacuous big breasted sluts on reality cable TV shows, and sitting zombie-like for days with a controller in hand blowing up cities, killing whores, and murdering policemen using their new PS4 on their 65 inch HDTV, rather than gaining a true understanding of the world by reading Steinbeck, Huxley, and Orwell. Technology has reduced our ability to think and increased our ignorance.

“During my eighty-seven years, I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think.” –Bernard M. Baruch

The youth have one thing going for them. They are still young and can awaken from their self-imposed stupor of ignorance. There are over 80 million millenials between the ages of 8 and 30 years old who need to start questioning the paradigm they are inheriting and critically examining the mendacious actions of their elders. The future of the country is in their hands, so I hope they put down those iGadgets and open their eyes before it is too late. We need many more patriots like Edward Snowden and far fewer twerking sluts like Miley Cyrus if we are to overcome the smog of apathy and ignorance blanketing our once sentient nation.

The ignorance of youth can be chalked up to inexperience, lack of wisdom, and immaturity. There is no excuse for the epic level of ignorance displayed by older generations over the last thirty years. Boomers and Generation X have charted the course of this ship of state for decades. Ship of fools is a more fitting description, as they have stimulated the entitlement mentality that has overwhelmed the fiscal resources of the country. Our welfare/warfare empire, built upon a Himalayan mountain of debt, enabled by a central bank owned by Wall Street, and perpetuated by swarms of corrupt bought off spineless politicians, is the ultimate testament to the seemingly limitless level of ignorance engulfing our civilization. The entitlement mindset permeates our culture from the richest to the poorest. Mega-corporations use their undue influence (bribes disguised as campaign contributions) to elect pliable candidates to office, hire lobbyists to write the laws and tax regulations governing their industries, and collude with the bankers and other titans of industry to harvest maximum profits from the increasingly barren fields of a formerly thriving land of milk and honey. By unleashing a torrent of unbridled greed, ransacking the countryside, and burning down the villages, the ruling class has planted the seeds of their own destruction.
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● James Quinn is a senior director of strategic planning for a major university. James has held financial positions with a retailer, homebuilder and university in his 22-year career. Those positions included treasurer, controller, and head of strategic planning. He is married with three boys and is writing these articles because he cares about their future. He earned a BS in accounting from Drexel University and an MBA from Villanova University. He is a certified public accountant and a certified cash manager.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Why US Congress does not pass a budget

[supplied]

This may appear to be a problem just for the USA – it’s their government’s debt, right? However, if the US ‘implodes’ from that debt, the world’s financial markets will implode too, and then we’ll all be in deep, deep trouble!

WARNING: IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE REALITY AND WOULD RATHER NOT KNOW WHAT IS PREDICTED FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DO NOT WATCH THIS.

Not so complicated when it’s laid out in simple math. The pain that he’s talking about? Remember, government’s biggest source of income is ORDINARY Americans. Start getting ready for it as best you can.

Why Congress Does Not Pass a Budget

Published on Mar 14, 2012 by Hal Mason

See parallels to Dunedin City Council and its debt, and who will have to pay

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Shopping Malls – United States

Thanks to wirehunt for this link.

### theatlanticcities.com Jul 13, 2012
Urban Wonk
The Shopping Mall Turns 60 (and Prepares to Retire)
By Emily Badger
The enclosed suburban shopping mall has become so synonymous with the American landscape that it’s hard to imagine the original idea for it ever springing from some particular person’s imagination. Now the scheme seems obvious: of course Americans want to amble indoors in a million square feet of air-conditioned retail, of course we will need a food court because so much shopping can’t be done without meal breaks, and of course we will require 10,000 parking spaces ringing the whole thing to accommodate all our cars. The classic indoor mall, however, is widely credited with having an inventor. And when the Vienna-born architect Victor Gruen first outlined his vision for it in a 1952 article in the magazine Progressive Architecture, the plan was a shocker. Most Americans were still shopping downtown, and suburban “shopping centers”, to the extent they existed, were most definitely not enclosed in indoor mega-destinations.

At the mall’s peak popularity, in 1990, America opened 19 of them. But we haven’t cut the ribbon on a new one since 2006.

Gruen’s idea transformed American consumption patterns and much of the environment around us. At age 60, however, the enclosed regional shopping mall also appears to be an idea that has run its course (OK, maybe not in China, but among Gruen’s original clientele). He opened the first prototype in Edina, Minnesota, in 1956, and the concept spread from there (this also means the earliest examples of the archetypal American mall are now of age for historic designation, if anyone wants to make that argument).
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● Emily Badger is a contributing writer to The Atlantic Cities. She also writes for Pacific Standard, and her work has appeared in GOOD, The Christian Science Monitor, and The New York Times. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southdale_Center

Southdale (b.1956) two overlays – WAI Architecture Think Tank

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Stockton, ‘the largest US city to fail’ (via MikeStk)

Although a city of almost 300,000, Stockton is a place where many families have known one another for generations.

### latimes.com June 27, 2012 | 4:40 am
L.A.Now
By Diana Marcum
Stockton bankruptcy will make history; residents reeling
Officials said Tuesday that Stockton would become the nation’s largest city to seek protection under the U.S. bankruptcy code. The city stopped making bond payments, and City Manager Bob Deis said he expected to file bankruptcy papers immediately. Stockton has been in negotiations with its creditors since late March under AB 506, a new California law requiring mediation before a municipality can file for reorganization of debt. It was the first use of the law, and policy analysts who watched its torturous and tedious progress have titled their report on it “Death by a Thousand Meetings.” Mediations ended Monday at midnight.
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How Stockton found itself so mired in debt can be seen everywhere in the city’s core. There is a sparkling marina, high-rise hotel and promenade financed by credit in the mid-2000s, mere blocks from where mothers won’t let their children play in the yard because of violence.

RELATED:
Stockton will be largest city to fail
Stockton bankruptcy: ‘All that’s left is sadness’ for city
Stockton braces for possible bankruptcy as key vote looms

[MikeStk at ODT Online]

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“We all know that growth brings prosperity. Except, apparently, when it doesn’t.”

### citiwire.net For Release Sunday, January 30, 2011
Oops! Fast City Growth May = Lower Incomes
By Mary Newsom / Jan 28 2011
Optimists prefer to look forward, not back. But especially during a month named for the two-headed Roman god Janus — a month when state legislatures are convening only to face mammoth budget shortfalls — maybe we all need a clear-eyed look backward as well as ahead.
A look back at the past decade from an Oregon consulting company, Fodor & Associates, ought to get plenty of people thinking about whether some assumptions of the past need re-examining. The report looked at growth rates and prosperity in the 100 largest U.S. metro areas. Its findings may challenge a bedrock assumption for many local and state government leaders, that “growth” in and of itself automatically brings jobs and more wealth.
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-Mary Newsom is an associate editor and opinion writer at the Charlotte Observer.

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‘Big-box stores with big-city plans’

### npr.org December 21, 2010
Big-Box Retailers Move To Smaller Stores In Cities
By Franklyn Cater
Retailers have been following the growth of the suburbs for decades, setting up in shopping centers and big-box strip malls far outside the core of major American cities. Department stores that stayed in big-city downtowns have suffered. Others didn’t stay — they closed up altogether.

But a reversal of that trend is becoming apparent. Big-box retailers — companies that built their discount businesses out where land was cheap and space was plentiful — are now moving inward.

Both Wal-Mart and Target are prime examples of big-box stores with big-city plans. They’re aiming at the likes of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
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Wicked tales cont. “Monster Loser Stadiums”

So what’s new?

### http://www.nytimes.com September 7, 2010
Sports
As Stadiums Vanish, Their Debt Lives On
By Ken Belson
It’s the gift that keeps on taking. The old Giants Stadium, demolished to make way for New Meadowlands Stadium, still carries about $110 million in debt, or nearly $13 for every New Jersey resident, even though it is now a parking lot.
New Jerseyans are hardly alone in paying for stadiums that no longer exist. Residents of Seattle’s King County owe more than $80 million for the Kingdome, which was razed in 2000. The story has been similar in Indianapolis and Philadelphia. In Houston, Kansas City, Mo., Memphis and Pittsburgh, residents are paying for stadiums and arenas that were abandoned by the teams they were built for.

How municipalities acquire so much debt on buildings that have been torn down or are underused illustrates the excesses of publicly financed stadiums and the almost mystical sway professional sports teams have over politicians, voters and fans.

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-Jo Craven McGinty and Griff Palmer contributed reporting.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr
Thanks to Janet Gebbie on Facebook’s The DCC has lost the plot. for the reference to this article.

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‘Autopia: road to the future’

### http://www.wired.com March 19, 2010 at 12:48pm
Feds Deem Pedestrians, Cyclists and Motorists Equals
By Jason Kambitsis
At long last, the feds have said the needs of pedestrians and cyclists must be placed alongside, not behind, those of motorists. In what amounts to a sea change for the Department of Transportation, the automobile will no longer be the prime consideration in federal transportation planning. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the needs of pedestrians and cyclists will be considered along with those of motorists, and he makes it clear that walking and riding are “an important component for livable communities”.

“People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning,” LaHood wrote on his blog. “This is the end of favouring motorised transportation at the expense of non-motorised.”

When it comes to doling out federal transportation funds, projects that adhere to the new policy statement will be given a higher priority, so it is within the best interests of cities and states to adhere to it.

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High-speed rail network for United States

We like it that Mr President is pressing on with major infrastructure projects – using federal stimulus funding.

### fastcompany.com January 26, 2010
High-Speed Rail Coming to Florida
By Ariel Schwartz
Last Spring, President Obama announced an ultra-ambitious plan to bring an $8 billion high speed rail project to the U.S. At the time, Obama said that there were ten potential high-speed rail corridors in the works: California, Pacific Northwest, South Central, Gulf Coast, Chicago Hub Network, Florida, Southeast, Keystone, Empire and Northern New England. Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston, the only U.S. high-speed rail network already in existence, would also have the chance to compete for funds. Tonight, the president plans to make the plan official.

And it looks like Florida might be the lucky state to get the first piece of the network. Obama is scheduled to visit Florida on Thursday, and rumors are swirling that he will bring $2.6 billion in stimulus funds for the high-speed network in tow. The 85-mile Tampa-Orlando network will only be the first part of a larger network that will eventually reach Miami.
FastCompany Link with Vision Maps

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