Busy day on the South Side for Chicago Fire Fighters

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By Vince Wallace (@SouthChiRepublc)

At about 6:45 pm Chicago Fire Department responded to a fire at an abandoned house on 96th and Genoa Ave.  Though the house had no occupant, neighbors believed a homeless person may have been staying there as they reported seeing lights on at night recently.  No one was in the building at the time of the fire.  No word yet on exactly how it started.

Earlier today CFD rescued a 75 year old Chicagoan at another south side fire at 105th & Cottage Grove Ave.  That rescue wascaught on camera.

Just a little something to remember the next time your local battalion comes around asking for donations.

 

SJR42 to overturn Citizens United passes the Illinois Senate! (Video)

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By Vince Wallace (@SouthChiRepublc)

Just before 6pm during a marathon legislative session  SJR42 – a resolution calling for a convention of states to amend the US Constitution and restore free and fair elections – passed the IL State Senate by a vote of 37 – 15.  The resolution is now set to be introduced in the IL House soon after their spring recess.

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Illinois citizens and senators stand together for historic ethics reform bill

By Vince Wallace (@SouthChiRepublc)

The Illinois General Assembly took an important first step in standing against the widely unpopular fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision in Citzen’s United v. F.E.C.  SJR42 passed a committee vote riding the energy of leadership in the assembly, and the backing of a new citizen group.  This hearing was the Assembly’s introduction to Wolf-PAC Illinois.

Wolfmobile

Wolf-PAC volunteer Matt Cotten’s awesome Wolf-mobile comes to Springfield.

Last Thursday the forecast for Chicago was snow once again.  It’s late March and people who live in the city know the drill.  The sparkling white dusting we get in December soon turns to piles and puddles of frozen slush. We spend January and February shoveling walkways, salting the walk, day after day a pure contest of wills between the unwarranted fury of old man winter and a city determined to get where it’s going and do what needs to get done.  It’s tireless work, and by late February we’re looking at travel brochures.  A glimmer of hope appears in March.  Briefly things warm up, the slush thaws, we feel spring is on the way.  And then, more snow.

It’s about the same with Illinois politics.  The stories of the endless corruption beat voters down day after day.  Springfield doesn’t share Chicago’s dilemma with weather, but when it comes to the murky piles of money and influence peddling, we’re in the same boat.  And even when finally, we make some progress against it all – somehow we wind up right back where we started. Continue reading

Shifting perspectives on Syrian revolution: Let’s not ‘let Allah sort it out’

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By Vince Wallace (@SouthChiRepublc)

Disagreement on who’s who in the Syrian war is a persistent obstacle to building consensus on what should be done. Some is born of ignorance, some is politically motivated.  The tangle cannot be undone in a single article.  But a better conversation is already taking place toward the larger goal of formulating real answers.

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War in Syria is a Personal Struggle for Dedicated Chicagoans

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By Vince Wallace (@SouthChiRepublc)

From the beginning of the Syrian war until now local organizers have worked tirelessly to bring awareness of the crisis.  Amnesty International gathered at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration on January 26th for their Shine-A-Light on Syria event.  Activists, advocates and musicians from across the country, some from around the world were on hand to demonstrate why now is the time to make peace the priority.

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President Obama Is Throwing a HUGE Party for Corporations. Here’s Why You Should Be Invited

"Sorry, you're not on the guest list.  Bye-bye now."

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More smart (and funny) reaction to the Syrian weapons agreement

By Vince Wallace
(@SouthChiRepublc)

A friend sent me this comic on Facebook from DaveGrunland.com

Yesterday I wrote a post here on Third Coast|Third World stating the agreement forged to rid Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime of its chemical weapons capability was a good start to what could become a more dynamic Syrian peace process.  The gist of that piece was that Americans should get behind it even if they loathe many of the personalities involved.  There wasn’t much response, but that’s to be expected when you pretty much keep your blog a secret.
Anyway, today, more reactions from smart observers, officials, and policy experts only increase my belief that there are some real benefits and some extraordinary possibilities within this process.
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No losers in Syrian weapons deal. Just a lot of sore winners

On Sept 7, Vatican faithful answered Pope Francis' call to pray for peace in Syria.  Today have  their prayers been answered?  (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

On Sept 7, Vatican faithful answered Pope Francis’ call to pray for peace in Syria. Today have their prayers been answered? (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

The debates over America’s response to the Assad regime’s chemical attacks on Syrian civilians were rife with vanity and cynicism.  Now that the prospect of a military strike has been pushed back and real opportunities for international cooperation to end the killing in Syria present themselves are we too jaded to recognize them?

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In case you missed it there were a LOT of protests last weekend in Chicago

About 200 people in Lakeview out to protest fast-tracking the TPP

By Vince Wallace
(@SouthChiRepublc)

It was a pretty bangin’ weekend for the first amendment in Chi-town.  There were actions by IVAW for peace with Iran, an energetic March against TPP in Lakeview, and a demonstration supporting besieged Syrians in the West Loop, among others.
If you didn’t see any of this on the evening news, Congratulations!  Now you know why I write this blog thing.

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Naismith would applaud Commissioner Stern but I doubt he’d watch the Super Bowl

By Vince Wallace
(@SouthChiRepublc)

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and the NBA had a changing of the guard yesterday.  I don’t do much sports coverage around here but it’s nice when I get the chance.

Me, Dr. James Naismith inventor of the game of basketball and the football helmet.  Aren't I a dapper chap?

Dr. James Naismith. Inventor of the game of basketball and of the football helmet. Aren’t I a dapper chap?

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Another blow to republican racism denial

Another blow to republican racism denial

ThinkProgress reports that this flowchat – supposedly meant to help people figure out if someone is a racist – was posted on the Iowa GOP Facebook page recently. Pretty boneheaded, but that’s not why I’m posting about it.

Look at the response by facebook user, Alex Patch in the comments. If you’re having trouble reading it in the screenshot he writes:

“Who manages this page? This is an incredibly stupid and counterproductive post — how does this advance the conservative cause or the gop platform? It doesn’t. Instead it makes people of color feel unwelcome in our party and…”

Good on Alex for standing up to this nonsense. But how much longer will Republican voters who aren’t racists put up with this before they just up and leave already? If you’re a Republican and you’re not a racist, congratulations. But recognize your leaders are. Isn’t it time to support (or better yet, to form) a political organization that doesn’t make you ashamed to be associated with them?

Chicago events build aid momentum for war-torn Syria

By Vince Wallace
(@SouthChiRepublc)

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As representatives of the Assad government and the opposition Syrian National Coalition meet with the international community in Switzerland this week the humanitarian crisis grows worse.  Chicago activists are determined to make sure Syrian civilians – displaced, sick & dying of starvation – take top priority in these crucial discussions

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Many people are just waking up to the humanitarian catastrophe of the war in Syria.  Learn more about what’s going on at a series of events around Chicago to bring attention to those in need.

Amnesty International Shines a Light on Syria
Sunday January 26th 6pm
Logan Center for the Arts at The University of Chicago – 915 E. 60th St.

Amnesty International’s Chicago Local Group 113 have put together a panel discussion to “Shine-a-Light” on the Syrian war.  Join them to gain an understanding of the crisis, how it began, why it continues and how we can hopefully bring it to a swift conclusion.

Protest to End Starvation in Syria
Saturday, February 1st 3pm
Chicago Red Cross – 2200 W. Harrison

The International Red Cross (ICRC) and its counterpart the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have both petitioned the various parties involved in the Syrian war to be allowed access to populations that have been under siege that are in desperate need of supplies.  Though the Assad government did finally allow some 7000 boxes of supplies to enter the Yarmouk refugee camp outside Damascus as a concession leading up to this week’s talks in Geneva much more needs to be done.

Please come out and join us to support the Red Cross’s effort and gain media attention for Syrian refugees as well as the millions of displaced men, women and children still inside Syria.

The Syria Dilemma – Book Reading & Discussion
Friday, February 7th 7pm
The Book Cellar – 4736 N Lincoln Ave

Come welcome University of Denver lecturer and author Danny Postel back to Chicago (no matter how far you wander, we always come back) as he reads from his most recent book The Syria Dilemma and shares his considerable insight on the greatest humanitarian crisis of our day.

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War is the enemy of poor people everywhere

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