These all came up in my twitter stream in the last hour or so. Thank you tweeps!
Several hot issues have been debated and discussed in the Utah Legislature session that began Monday. The issues have ranged from finding solutions to the poor air quality to raising the speed limit on several Utah roads.
Voting Recount Amendment
Solution for Poor Air Quality
A Senate committee gave a preliminary thumbs-up Thursday to a measure that would create an Internet clearing house for research on air pollution, particularly its impacts to health.
The bill by Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, directs the University of Utah’s Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health to establish the website with $50,000 that would come from a legislative appropriation.
The Salt Lake/Davis metro area has just emerged from a month of inversions that state air quality regulators said have been the worst in nearly a decade.
Increasing Speed Limit
Lawmakers hope to get the allocation of funds handled by the end of the week, having passed base budget bills from one body to the other Thursday.
Change for the Compensation Model for Legislators
Currently, Utah lawmakers are paid $117 each day they are in session or attend official meetings. They also receive $95 for lodging and $61 for meals, though few legislators from the Wasatch Front incur those costs.
Limit on Anonymous Campaign Contributions
The Utah House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a limit on anonymous political campaign donations.
Moreover, while the great bulk of documents released by WikiLeaks were American, releases came from a number of other countries-everything from Syria, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, and more. Any of these countries might have conducted their own counterintelligence investigations, and even the Syrian documents might have been liberated by people who have since defected to the US or UK.
Then there’s the ongoing drama involving Sweden and the UK regarding Julian Assange, which explicitly involves an MLAT. Though I assume Ecuador is not sharing any intelligence about their long-term dinner guest.
I’m most interested, however, in the Icelandic case. Before WikiLeaks started releasing the bulk of US documents, its role in exposing efforts to prop up Iceland’s banks was one of WikiLeak’s most important contributions. And while the government itself has moved away from implementing the Washington Consensus, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were people cooperating with the US investigation, which would be particularly alarming given Jónsdóttir’s role in Parliament.
I think someone else tweeted this, I do follow @emptywheel
One of the most promising of the young Negro poets said to me once, “I want to be a poet–not a Negro poet,” meaning, I believe, “I want to write like a white poet”; meaning subconsciously, “I would like to be a white poet”; meaning behind that, “I would like to be white.” And I was sorry the young man said that, for no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself. And I doubted then that, with his desire to run away spiritually from his race, this boy would ever be a great poet. But this is the mountain standing in the way of any true Negro art in America–this urge within the race toward whiteness, the desire to pour racial individuality into the mold of American standardization, and to be as little Negro and as much American as possible.
But let us look at the immediate background of this young poet. His family is of what I suppose one would call the Negro middle class: people who are by no means rich yet never uncomfortable nor hungry–smug, contented, respectable folk, members of the Baptist church. The father goes to work every morning. He is the chief steward at a large white club. The mother sometimes does fancy sewing or supervises parties for the rich families of the town. The children go to a mixed school. In the home they read white papers and magazines. And the mother often says, “Don’t be like niggers” when the children are bad. A frequent phrase from the father is, “Look how well a white man does things.” And so the word white comes to be unconsciously a symbol of all the virtues. It holds for the children beauty, morality, and money. The whisper of “I want to be white” runs silently through their minds. This young poet’s home is, I believe, a fairly typical home of the colored middle class. One sees immediately how difficult it would be for an artist born in such a home to interest himself in interpreting the beauty of his own people. He is never taught to see that beauty. He is taught rather not to see it, or if he does, to be ashamed of it when it is not according to Caucasian patterns.
From The Nation’s archives (and The Nation’s twitter account, I think)
Editors note: This semester we want to invite you to come with the Cooper Project to Professor Harris-Perry’s class “The Politics of Environmental Justice.” First, download the course syllabus to read along with the class. Then, every Wednesday, our Head Research Fellow Morgan Franklin will bring our class to you, sharing parts of the week’s lecture, readings, and discussion. You can join the conversation about environmental justice each week in the comments below, or on twitter with the hashtag #EJ or #EnvironmentalJustice.
Week One: What is the Meaning of Environmental Justice?
This week in class, our first discussion in Professor Harris-Perry’s spring course, The Politics of Environmental Justice, centered around the actual definition of the term “environmental justice.” We were first posed with the questions “What does the word environmentalism mean to you?” and “What exactly constitutes the environment?” While my fourth-grade Earth Science textbook made these seem like easy digestible definitions, the reality of these questions and the implications of how they are answered is much more complex.
[What is Environmental Justice]
We began class with a discussion of the definition of ‘the environment’ and an examination of which communities are active in environmentalism
Sure, I did the school projects on the environment involving bean sprouts and faucets leaking into Dixie Cups, but has there ever been a time when I was asked to think about the impacts of environmental disparity between varying socioeconomic levels? Environmentalism is a subject that, in schools and everyday life, is presented in a relatively one-dimensional way. Yes, we should recycle and conserve water because it will save the earth, but these initiatives also fit into a larger framework of questions concerning justice. Why save the earth? Should we treat the earth’s resources as market items to efficiently allocate them, or is the tragedy of the commons a too pervasive problem to forgo governmental regulation? Why does the refrain of environmentalism’s rhetoric tend to center around our progeny and not our neighbors who presently suffer from environmental disparity?
Thanks @melissaharrisperry ??
This month’s launch of the Illinois Open Technology Challenge marks another positive development in Chicago and Illinois’ growing tech focus. According to an October 20 press release, the initiative, which launches as a pilot program in Belleville, Champaign, Rockford and Chicago’s South Suburbs, “will promote the availability of public data and encourage the use of technology to address government challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship.”
By releasing municipal data to the public through Data.Illinois.Gov, the state hopes to reap rewards in both the public and private sectors. App developers are challenged to utilize wide-ranging data, on topics including state resources and infrastructure, to spur app creation. These applications will serve civic needs while also creating jobs and economic growth.
At last night’s party honoring Jason Wu’s inaugural gown, hosted by Glamour’s Cindi Leive, guests were already taking precautions against potential flu-spreading. Wu himself forced everyone in his office to get vaccinated this year. “I made them, and no one has gotten sick! Knock on wood,” he said. Meanwhile, Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo says she’s forgoing cheek kisses this season. “It’s like, what am I double-kissing you for? I don’t know you! And on that note, good night!” she said, waving and walking away sans embrace. Meanwhile, Chanel Iman recalled her epic hug from Michelle Obama, IMG Models’ Ivan Bart discussed his hunt for the male Kate Upton, and Stephanie Seymour (Wu’s spring 2013 face) discussed her sons’ Twitter feeds. Read more in our slideshow.
Thanks to @StylishM (i think)
A week after women were cleared to serve in combat, Defense Intelligence Agency employees got a different message. “Makeup makes you more attractive.” “Don’t be a plain Jane.” “A sweater with a skirt is better than a sweater with slacks.” “No flats.” “Paint your nails.” “Don’t be afraid of color.” And, “brunettes have more leeway with vibrant colors than blondes or redheads.”
Men and women at DIA were given fashion advice in a presentation prepared by an employee at the agency this week. Susan Strednansky, public affairs officer at DIA, offered the agency’s regrets about the briefing, which raised eyebrows among some employees, saying, “I’m not going to deny that it exists, and it was bad. It was inappropriate for sure.” She added, “Neither the agency nor the leadership has condoned anything that was in that briefing.”