critical month for democracy: citizens united, net neutrality and scotland

It turns out that this month of September is going to be a critical month for democracy on many levels. The U.S. Senate will be voting on a constitutional amendement to overturning Citizens United most likely sometime this week.  For the first time, every U.S. Senator will have to go on record as to whether they believe money is actually speech (meaning that those with more money have more of a voice).  As can be seen from the graphic on the right, party affiliation has little bearing on the public’s stance on Citizens United–the public overwhelmingly disagrees with the Supreme Court’s ruling on the case. read more

joe strummer sang about this border crisis hypocrisy 30 years ago

The image of Americans protesting against busloads of refugee children represents a new low in American hatred of the “other.”  To them, it matters little that these children are refugees and desperately fleeing for their lives.  They are “illegals” that don’t belong here–regardless of their needs, regardless of what U.S. federal law saws, and regardless of the likelihood that U.S. policy towards Central American nations actually helped precipitate this crisis.  This border crisis hypocrisy has American fingerprints all over it. read more

your boss’s religious exemption and you

The US Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby has opened the floodgates for supposedly secular companies to claim a “religious exemption” from rights that employees and potential employees would otherwise enjoy. Suddenly, a new reality is emerging that when a company owner’s religious beliefs conflict with that of their employees, the company owner prevails. That’s bad news for you if you don’t own a company.
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new internet discovery: noosa, “walk on by”

A new internet discovery has given me a new favorite song. At some point while on YouTube, I stumbled across this video showing time-lapse scenes of life in Madison.  The time-lapse filming is incredible in and of itself but what blew me away was the song that accompanied it.  The closing credits of the video told me that the song was by Noosa and the title of the song was “Walk On By (Sound Remedy Remix).”  The video is below:
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lyft and uber: 20% tech, 80% talk, and 100% invasive species

How would you feel if a new company set up shop in your town and immediately proceeded to start breaking the city’s laws? And when threatened with enforcement of such laws declared that your laws were outdated and needed to be changed?  Now imagine a company whose very business plan involved deliberately breaking such laws in city after city. read more

a capitol transformed

The Capitol has been occupied by peaceful protestors 24/7 for a couple of weeks now.  I know many people who have chosen to sleep over at the Capitol as part of the occupation effort.  The Capitol has always been open to the public, and people routinely cut through the Capitol to get from one side of the Square to the other.  But I've never seen it look like this before... read more