Chicago Brings The Solidarity


Chicago’s streets were a sea of union red last Friday for a day of action to protest the austerity policies of Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Rauner.

I’m proud to have joined twenty thousand souls at the Thompson Center that day. What struck me, once again, was the broad support and solidarity in this movement. It wasn’t just teachers, or students, or parents, or union folks. We were joined by activists from Fight for 15, Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ community, immigrant rights groups, neighborhood and community organizations and so many more. It’s always an inspiration to see.

Here are some great photos of the day from Bob Simpson.

You can also read this report from Gala M. Pierce: Striking for the city we deserve |

Chicago March for Bernie – February 2016

Photo by Bob Simpson

Our family was proud to be a part of the March for Bernie on Saturday, February 27th. It was a beautiful day in Chicago, and great to be among comrades. I offered to hold the banner for the Chicago DSA, not realizing that I was volunteering to help carry it along the route as well.

My pal Bob Simpson has a photo album up on Flickr that captures the spirit of the day.

Chicago March for Bernie Sanders: February 27 2016

I put a few shots of family and friends in a Flickr album too. The set is in reverse chronological order, starting with our ride home on the Metra.

Chicago March for Bernie 27 February 2016

Also, there’s this short video from the march.

This was our daughter Caroline’s first experience with a political event. She had a lovely time.


Talkin’ Socialism

Talkin SocialismThe Chicago DSA’s Talkin’ Socialism podcast was one of the first that I found when I was looking for an education in the matter. These are recorded each month in conjunction with the regular meeting of the chapter, and have covered a wide range of topics from socialist history and theory to current events here in Illinois.

Recently, the program has undergone something of a reboot. Producer Robert Roman has moved the show site to, and the feed has been resubmitted to the iTunes directory.

Highly recommended. Here are some links.

Talkin’ Socialism Website

iTunes Podcast Listing

Podcast RSS Feed

Chicago DSA Website

Chicago DSA on Facebook

Chicago DSA on Twitter

News and Commentary

From Around the Web – 18 February 2016

Turkey v Islamic State v the Kurds: What’s going on? – BBC News – Although military affiliates of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) have been some of the most stalwart and effective opponents of Daesh (the Islamic State), Turkey has chosen to focus their efforts on destroying the Kurdish freedom movement. The United States’ support of these efforts is unconscionable. This article from BBC News from a few months ago gives a decent overview of the situation.

Thomas Piketty on the rise of Bernie Sanders: the US enters a new political era | The Guardian – French Economist Thomas Piketty writes that the Vermont senator’s success so far demonstrates the end of the politico-ideological cycle opened by the victory of Ronald Reagan at the 1980 elections.

Bernie Sanders’ Phantom Movement – Chris Hedges – Truthdig – Hedges argues that no movement or political revolution will ever be built within the confines of the Democratic Party. And the repeated failure of the American left to grasp the duplicitous game being played by the political elites has effectively neutered it as a political force.

China’s currency reserves plunged in January – BBC News – China still has the world’s biggest reserve of foreign currency holdings. But that has declined by $420 billion over six months and stands at the lowest level in nearly four years. This is the most underreported and significant economic news of 2016, thus far.

Can the U.S. escape the slump? | – Lee Sustar looks at the prospects for the U.S. economy amid global instability.

Greatest Threat to Free Speech in the West: Criminalizing Activism Against Israeli Occupation | The Intercept – Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman report that there is a coordinated and well-financed campaign led by Israel and its supporters to criminalize political activism against Israeli occupation, based on the fear that the worldwide campaign of Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment is succeeding.

The end of capitalism has begun | Books | The Guardian – Paul Mason posits that Capitalism will not be abolished by forced-march techniques, but by creating something more dynamic that exists, at first, almost unseen within the old system, but which will break through, reshaping the economy around new values and behaviors.

More money for Wall Street, more problems for Chicago’s schools | Chicago Reader – From Ben Joravsky: “It seems the mayor and his council allies remain defiantly determined to waste money, raise taxes, and plunge Chicago Public Schools into bankruptcy.”

EFF to Support Apple in Encryption Battle | Electronic Frontier Foundation – “For the first time, the government is requesting Apple write brand new code that eliminates key features of iPhone security—security features that protect us all. Essentially, the government is asking Apple to create a master key so that it can open a single phone. And once that master key is created, we’re certain that our government will ask for it again and again, for other phones, and turn this power against any software or device that has the audacity to offer strong security.”

Unless It Changes, Capitalism Will Starve Humanity By 2050 – Forbes – Drew Hansen, writing for that hotbed of Socialist thought, Forbes, says that corporate capitalism is committed to the relentless pursuit of growth, even if it ravages the planet and threatens human health.

Going Broke on Purpose

Eric Ruder breaks down how Chicago officials are using a budget “crisis” to help out their banker friends and advance their strategy of restructuring public education.

Now the underhanded logic of Rahm’s re-election campaign should be plain to see. When he said that he was the only one with the necessary experience to get Chicago out of its looming budget crisis, he meant that he had experienced friends in the banking sector who would benefit from revolving the city’s debt and continuing massive borrowing at high interest rates–and he had enemies in the public sector to punish by making cuts in school budgets and teachers’ compensation.

Read the Article: How Chicago schools went broke on purpose |