Bill Maher on Global Climate Change: Video

Video: Republican voters and Casey Anthony jurors

University of Chicago neglects its neighbors

Chicago Industrial Polluters

Reading for my class and came across this:

Some of the costs of air pollution are shouldered by the industry that may be responsible, in the form of higher costs of production, for pollution control and poor public relations. Much of the cost of pollution control is passed through as higher prices for goods and services to offset costs. However, the cost of the effects of pollution are not accounted for and may be considerably greater. The public bears most of the costs of air pollution: human health problems, destruction of materials, plant and animal damage, poor visibility, loss of appeal for tourists, and reduced quality of life for residents. As many of these costs are not obvious, they are not charged back to the industry that may be responsible. This means that the community subsidizes, or indirectly pays for, the cost of the industry to do business.

p333, Basic Environmental Health, Yassi, et al.

Problem in Chicago is that the wealthy residents utilized their power to keep these industrial polluters out of their backyard. The poor didn’t have that power and so they’ve been forced to be the community that subsidizes industry. How many non-compliant coal plants are on the north side or north suburbs? How many diesel truck depots are on the south side? North side? Class warfare? At least the poor didn’t fire the first shot.

Support the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance! Call your Alderman and demand she/he support it! Follow progress on twitter #chicoal.

Women’s Rights in Indiana

You may have already heard the story of the woman in Indiana who tried to kill herself with rat poison. Bei Bei Shuai is now in jail for murder of her fetus.

Was it “wrong”? Sure.

Was it a crime/illegal? No.

In the great state of Indiana, attempted suicide does not land you in jail. She, as a sovereign person, attempted just that.

If a non-pregnant person attempted suicide – not a crime. If a pregnant person attempts suicide, then it is also not a crime. There cannot be a set of laws for pregnant people and a different set of laws for non-pregnant people. That is fundamentally unconstitutional.

“Indiana does not prosecute people for attempted suicide,” said Indiana University law professor, medical doctor, and former state representative David Orentlicher. “So now this prosecutor is saying, ‘If you’re suicidal, you better not get pregnant, because you might get thrown in jail.’ That to me is a very important constitutional problem.”

It is a sad story, but she is not a criminal. I’ll definitely be watching the outcome of this attempt to trample on my rights as a woman, yet again.

Sign the petition here. http://www.change.org/petitions/free-bei-bei-shuai

Read the ACLU’s brief on the case here. http://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/state-indiana-v-bei-bei-shuai-aclu-amicus-brief

PBS Tank Man

A great recent history of China and commentary on how it relates to China today. Watch the full program here.

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PBS Tank Man, posted with vodpod

A Time to Break Silence – Progressives United

I was at a meeting earlier today with amazing people doing amazing things locally and all over the world. There are a lot of progressive issues to be upset about these days. We need to change the status quo – we are living in a system that values money over people. Maybe the reason some people favor more government is because it is the only system within the status quo that claims to value people first. But even my government is so infused with money that it can no longer stand for the progressive American values it claims. Maybe it’s always been that way to some extent.

Martin Luther King Jr. was “radical.” Today his “radical” ideas aren’t often discussed as a part of his legacy. He’s a celebrated American hero. And when people become heroes, their stories become quite muddled. His has become simplified. Most people agree he was a great man but few look into why he was.

He was radical. Like the patriots that are being targeted and persecuted for their political action, MLK was repeatedly investigated by the FBI in his day. You can get a taste of it here. The speech that was read in the meeting today was his “A Time to Break Silence” speech given at Manhattan’s Riverside Church in 1967, about a year before he was assassinated. It talks about Vietnam. He didn’t only speak of civil rights. And at that meeting today, we talked about coalition building across the “issue silos” we sometimes find ourselves in. It’s all interconnected and hopefully the foundations we build now can lead to a more powerful progressive voice in the years to come.

Hit the jump for the full text of the “A Time to Break Silence” speech. I have made bold some exerpts I found particularly compelling. I hope that the reader doesn’t mistaken my emphasis of certain portions as my disregard of others. They would be mistaken. Thanks to commondreams.org for the text.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. When machines and computers, profit and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. – MLK

Read the rest of this entry

Oldie But a Goodie

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Critical Mass Vicious Attack: Video

*Update* The driver has been charged with attempted murder. Learn more here.

The last Friday of every month unites cyclists across the globe in a Critical Mass. This driver [Ricardo José Neis] in Brazil who accelerated through the mass of bicyclists needs to be brought to justice. Spread this video.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/02/28/134143818/driver-plows-through-critical-mass-ride-claims-self-defense

Chicago Budget Cut Protests Downtown

A coalition of community groups in Chicago protested the massive budget cuts that went through the House, including massive cuts to HUD. I think every child deserves a shot at the American dream. I am living mine because I grew up in a stable home with great, well funded schools, and I kept my grades up. I was able to go to a great college without wondering what would happen if I didn’t get a full scholarship. As I grew up, I saw that kids in certain parts of the US, like in low income neighborhoods in Chicago don’t get that opportunity. I realized that my own potential may very well have been drowned if I had been unlucky enough to have been born poor – if I had to grow up in those shoes.

So why get arrested today? Because all these cuts – not only the 21.2% to HUD. The 55% to EPA. The full defunding of Planned Parenthood. It’s a run on all the collective partnerships we have built as a nation, as a people. HUD helps keep families stable and kids with a sense of space. EPA tries to protect us from the tens of thousands of new chemicals being produced in the world today that weren’t around a few generations ago. Planned Parenthood? Women are empowered when they have control over their future and when they can choose when they are ready to be good mothers.

About 11 of us staged a civil disobedience and it went really well. Lots of press. A lot of the honking drivers were giving thumbs ups. One lady in front got out of her car and was talking pictures and cheering us on! We cooperated with police and they weren’t rough with us. Handcuffs weren’t too tight although others said theirs were very uncomfortable. The police driving us were nice enough. When we were brought to 18th and State, they asked a little bit about why we were there. Ran our names and within a few hours, we were out with tickets in hand. Not every civil disobedience goes that smoothly, but we had great partners in place and a good support system. A great day and great way to stand up for what we believed in.

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Protest 2.25.11, posted with vodpod