Tag Archives: politics

newly occupied media

12 Dec

Newspapers for 99%, such as the Occupied Chicago Tribune, are sprouting up all over the country

Miles Kampf-Lassin tells the story of the Occupied Chicago Tribune:

“This week, the Occupied Chicago Tribune officially came to life. The first issue, printed Wednesday evening, will be distributed throughout the city—far beyond the Loop’s financial district, where Occupy protests have been held since late September—in the coming days. It includes a feature on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget cuts and their effects on Chicago’s poor, an interview with two seniors arrested protesting social service cuts, a timeline of the global Occupy movement, a look into why hundreds of thousands of people are moving their money out of predatory banks, commentary on the Occupy movement from Naomi Klein and Chris Hedges and more.

“As winter sets in and more Occupations transform their tactics while being evicted from their encampments, the role of independent media sources … will be increasingly important.”

Similar publications to the Occupied Chicago Tribune are springing up across the country, including the Boston OccupierOccupied Washington Times, and the soon-to-be-published Occupied Providence Journal.

As winter sets in and more Occupations transform their tactics while being evicted from their encampments, the role of independent media sources dedicated to honestly reporting on and informing the Occupy movement will be increasingly important. We are extremely excited for the part this newspaper can play in helping to advance the goals of the Occupation: Now is the time for a new kind of politics that puts the priorities of ordinary people above those of big business.”

Hopefully folks like Cornel West and Barbara Kingsolver will take a break from writing for Wall St.’s paper and lend their voices to our own struggling protests.

toast to the 9-9-9

9 Nov

I subscribed to GOOD’s Food Hub immediately. As an alternative media outlet, it promised to ignore conventional boundaries regularly. “We believe food is too important a topic to restrict the conversation to the usual suspects,” Nicola Twilley wrote when the online hub launched. “You’ll be as likely to meet a commodity trader, a synthetic biologist, or an industrial archaeologist as a chef or food activist … because both a neuroscientist and dishwasher have something interesting to tell us about what food is—and what it could be.”

But at some point I lost interest in what it was doing. The stories were becoming predictable (“New Farmers Markets Provide Health, Jobs Boost”) or sensational (“Child Slaves Made Your Halloween Candy. Stop Buying It.”) or just stupid (“The 10 Greatest Scanwiches Ever Scanned”). And yet, I didn’t delete it from my Reader. I kept checking in, browsing the headlines before clicking “Mark all as read.” Then today—snared no doubt by the name of a certain Republican candidate—I clicked “The 9-9-9: A Cocktail Inspired By Herman Cain.” Here’s what I discovered:  Continue reading

The Lottery

22 Jul

a scene

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The Americans aren’t the first to adopt the lottery system, but they do make the biggest spectacle of it. The borrowed idea becomes an infallible coup de grace once it emerges from the lips of the country’s 46th president, and a year later—as if its widening cracks haven’t already been revealed by several filmmakers and its imminent failure predicted by at least several influential academic unions—as far as the media is concerned, the lottery is the Lord Jesus Christ, come back to Earth.

It applies to everyone. Parcel size ranges from 5-25 acres. Uninhabitable land is auctioned off to nonprofits and charities. Once each state is rendered as a complex, curivlinear grid by engineers and planners working under the guidance of federal officials, power is handed back to state governments to run the lotteries. The brochures—The U.S. Land Lottery and What It Means for You—are mailed out with the same unappetizing regularity with which the National Guard rounds up and deports Latinos and Arabs. There is something about the language of the Americans: it is too efficient. Everything is thought of, as if it were engineered by a supercomputer after running 2,000 simulations.

Waves of homeless men, women, and children besiege the major cities every few weeks, stocking up for the circuitous migrations to which they are doomed; most shelters and homes had been dissolved in the idealistic fervor of the lottery roll-out. Aside from this, the largest geographical change is the dispersion of the urban populous. Fourth generation Chicagoans find themselves on a 7-acre plot in central Illinois, hundreds of miles from where their aunts and cousins are building small timber-frame homes, up in Grayslake and down in East St. Louis, their family now something of a scatter plot.

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inspired by Alexander Trevi

Emerson on War

24 Feb


Friends, Readers:

I’ve never been to war, but the condition of where I now live is very war-like in ways. Here we have a demonized enemy and a great force that continually presses against it. There is great evidence of the hatred which fuels war and man’s ability to take another man’s life. So, in light of it, I want to share some of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s thoughts on the subject. The excerpt that follows was published in 1838.

“War,” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is really a thought that built this portentous war establishment, and a thought shall also melt it away. Every nation and every man instantly surround themselves with a material apparatus which exactly corresponds to their moral state, or their state of thought.

“Observe how every truth and every error, each a thought of some man’s mind, clothes itself with societies, houses, cities, language, ceremonies, newspapers. Observe the ideas of the present day–orthodoxy, anti-masonry, antislavery; see how each of these abstractions has embodied itself in an imposing apparatus in the community; and how timber, brick, lime and stone have flown into convenient shape, obedient to the master idea reigning in the minds of many persons.

“You shall hear, someday, of a wild fancy which some man has in his brain, or the mischief of secret oaths. Come again one or two years afterwards, and you shall see it has built great houses of solid wood and brick and mortar. You shall see a hundred presses printing a million sheets; you shall see men and horses and wheels made to walk, run and roll for it: this great body of matter thus executing that one man’s wild thought.”

Emerson dares us to dream and to make those wishes vocal. Tell others the world you dream of and perhaps you will ignite in them a similar passion.

With many across the globe realizing that a connection, deeper than we’d originally realized or intended, exists, and that interdependence is now inevitable and, in fact, a global occurrence now, as we speak, we may multiply our dream.

Let us dream in loud voices. And let us come back a few years later to find our dreams fulfilled.

Grace & Peace,
Timothy A Schuler

Certainly the Kingdoms Collide

4 Nov

What Happens When They Do? | assembled thoughts on the day

It’s November 4th, 2008, and there are billions of people in the world who know exactly what that means.

Presidential election, U.S.A.

Woo hoo.

That woo hoo is both real and sarcastic, because while I agree with a majority of Obama’s takes on current issues in the U.S., I also recognize a required disconnect from a worldly political system. My faith is not in a man who calls himself president of any nation.

Some stop there and use faith as an excuse to abstain from real, political issues — those things that are strangling some Americans, and unjustly feeding others.

So how do we engage a political system in which we place no sustaining hope? A position of authority to which we don’t really bow? A country to which we don’t necessarily pledge our allegiance?

What’s a servant to do when his two kingdoms collide?

These questions appear all over the global village, in the form of blogs (like this one), message boards, books, discussion groups, political forums, classrooms, and church services. Greg Boyd’s Myth of a Christian Nation has some great ideas, as does Shane Claiborne’s Jesus For President.

But in reality, when we take our eyes off the page and look at our broken world, what we read and what we see don’t match up.

This says this, but what I see is that.
A sentence doesn’t always help us make sense out of a situation.
A chapter can’t always take away confusion, the overwhelming sense of “What now?”

We need practical advice. What does serving God and serving the people of America look like?

Recently, I heard it described this way:

“No matter who wins, the church has work to do.”

This implies a resolute faith, one that understand political systems and gives them credit for their ability to further peace, justice, and hope, but reserves its true hope for what we, the church, can do. We need to pick up the pieces of the broken system, glue the puzzle back together, and see a picture bigger than a 2-dimensional photo of a prosperous nation.

We need to see a world embodying Shalom.

In practical terms: if McCain wins, we’ll need to fight hard against war-mongering, racism, consumerism, and a free-trade ideology that perpetuates under-developing nations, as well as loudly call for better environmental practices and regulations. If Obama we need to fight against universalist ideology that says “anything goes,” humanism and atheism, and we need to keep him accountable to the promises he’s made to the poor, to the uncared-for, to those without health care.

Most of the things we’ll need to fight for and against are the same things Christians have fought for and against for centuries. Because in the course of a day the world will change.

But it won’t change much.
Greed won’t be replaced with love.
War won’t be replaced by peace.

We can’t be foolish enough to think either candidate is the Messiah or the anti-Christ.

Too easily we “do our duty” on November 4th, and the next day campaign promises are forgotten and news about the president and his policies begins to retreat from the public sphere.

Tonight, we can celebrate, or we can mourn.

But we better not become resigned.

It’s we who can change things. Make a difference in the lives of the poor. Give care to the uncared-for. Make a commitment to peace. Live sustainable lifestyles.

It’s that truth that I’m banking on.

Four years of committed Christian living — peacemaking, loving, and neighboring — I’d vote for that.

(note: i borrowed unashamedly from numerous authors I’ve read in recent years, as well as conversations with my brother, some of my former professors, my wife, and my Mission Year team to write this piece. thanks to all that continue to challenge and inspire me)


3 Nov

Things are heating up in the Windy City with the election only days away. There’s been a record turnout at the polls already, and lines are expected to be overwhelmingly long on Tuesday.
This has already been a campaign season for the history books, but tonight, tomorrow and Tuesday Chicago will be transformed into a madhouse, a city swimming in tangible anticipation. That the Democratic candidate is in town, his old stomping ground, only adds to the chaos.
We’ll be attending a pre-election day rally at our church Monday night, where our very own Reverend Dr. Marshall Elijah Hatch will no doubt shake the stained glass windows from their casings with an impassioned address to the congregation.
Then on Tuesday, after we vote, we’ll anxiously await the time to swarm Michigan Avenue with the hope we’ve held since Obama announced his campaign slogan. The city will roil as thousands come like tsunami on the shores of Lake Michigan to the official after-party of the race for the position of Leader of the Free World.
Do we place any real hope or faith in the man from Chicago’s south side? Not really. The president is as chained as the men in Guantanamo Bay; he can’t change as much as he and we would like. America is heading into a new era, and Barack Obama can’t set us on a new course. He may be able to steer us in to quieter waters for a time, but where we sail is a mystery to the politicians, professors, painters, and prophets of our time.
It’s not a day for faith in politics. But we believe enough to vote, and when Chicago turns into a city-wide block party, we’ll be there.

Mr. Greenspan Apologizes

23 Oct

He’s a man with a plan, this Alan Greenspan, no time for honey, gotta make some money, handle the candle cuz there’s wax on your sandal, right the wrong, sing-song’s the scandal, too late to skate away on this date, partner’s able and across the table, so what happened to the assumption that a bank man’s gumption won’t poison the presumption that all will function, and why did it take so long for the gong to sound on the ping-pong match bewteen Cheech and Chong, you heartless worm, don’t squirm and say sorry, stay sorry, you failed, impaled on the system you trusted, it’s busted, everybody knows, it shows, three blows and you’re out and you can pout in front of congress but progress is made in your wallowing grave, so be brave and don’t act like you know, it’ll slow you down and you’ll eventually drown in your need to know to what’s going on around town. Mr. Greenspan, sir, thank’s for telling us all what we already knew. The system doesn’t work. Glad you finally see it. Lower those eyes and do more than apologize.