Sunday, April 21, 2013

Why You Need to be Against CIPSA

Last week the U.S House of Representatives passed CIPSA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, for the second time (288-127) despite a veto threat from the president. You can read the whole list of those who voted for it here but it includes Luis Gutierrez and Mike Quigley, of the 4th and 5th districts in Illinois. Groups included in the coalition against CIPSA included the ACLU and the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF).

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Examined and the Unexamined

By all accounts it has been quite a week. Most of the national attention has been focused on Boston, the bombings, the manhunt, the capture, and the questions of how, why, and what happens next. As rapid as events moved from posting pictures of the suspects to identifying them, the media's speculations moved just as quickly.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Michelle Obama visits Chicago

 The purpose of the visit and the talk was a focus on youth violence, and both FLOTUS's visit and talk made clear the neoliberal agenda.  She gave a very emotional speech, she identified with the people she was talking to, she was genuine in a way that most politicians could never be. She emphasized the importance of "opportunity" and "community". But what was not said is just as important-not a word on the school closings which will impact the very same communities which have the highest levels of violence. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What did you vote for anyway?

People who consider themselves progressive, possibly "left" if they vote, will usually vote Democratic. There is an idea that the Democratic party is the party of the working people, of the safety net--the anti-war party. This is not an accurate description of the Democratic party but many people who vote for it do so because there is "no alternative".

So the president's budget came out today. Did you vote for the "Grand Bargin"--where the 1% give up a tiny bit so everybody else can suffer for generations?

Did you vote for "deficit" reduction instead of increasing employment?
Did you vote for escalation of the drug war?
Did you vote for killing people remotely, without trial or jury-oh but it's only the really bad people.

It's very carefully run--well no, actually to turns out we've killed a lot people by drones-at this point no way to every know for sure-and in fact Obama has lied about it.

Well, if you voted for Obama, you voted for all of this. Is this what you wanted? Because if it wasn't, you need to vote for somebody else.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The problem with pipelines

The most obvious is, that they break, and the next thing you know your street is overrun with oil, oh wait a minute that’s not oil it’s something called “diluted bitumen”. Of course it looks a lot like oil but because it isn't *actually* oil that means Exxon doesn't have legal obligations post-clean up. As NPR noted this morning more then half the nation's pipelines were built before 1970. In the piece Debbie Hersman, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board, stated that of the 20 pipeline accidents since 2000 "100 percent" were preventable.

Many details of the spill may never be known because since the initial video was taken the FAA was restricting flight access-guess whose in charge of that, yes, an Exxon employee. Well they did a respectable job with the Alaska spill right? Why would company like that need any oversight?
Time and time again there are awful consequences to our dependence on fossil fuels, time and time again it is presented as a necessary evil. It is not. We can choose a better future, at a minimum we can insist that the companies profit from altering our climate keep from killing us any more then they already are.
Although Arkansas and Canada seem far, the Enbridge company plans to have a pipeline running within 20 miles of Lake Michigan revamped to carry up to 700, 000 barrel a day.

Find more, and what you can do about it!

Enbridge 6B: Chicago's Keystone XL

WHERE: Lincoln Belmont Library 1659 W. Melrose
WHEN: Saturday April 6
TIME: 2:00p-3:30p
Sponsored by the Lincoln Square-North Center-Lakeview Green Party