Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

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Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Quotation
Consider this, though: Using printed maps requires travelers to work together. You become a team. Driver and navigator. Your ability to get along and solve problems is tested in valuable, revealing ways. GPS removes that entire interpersonal dynamic. It encourages a passive form of journeying: sit back and drift, because the vaguely Australian-sounding computer lady will tell you to turn left in a quarter mile.
— Steven Kurutz: Real adventurers use maps (The New York Times)

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Quotation
We have proof that the terrorist attack was planned and carried out with the involvement of representatives of the Russian Federation… We know that Russia is trying to hide its terrorist activity and their direct involvement.
— Vitaly Nayda, the head of counterintelligence for the Ukrainian State Security Service, expressing his government’s conclusion that Russia was directly involved in the attack that brought down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

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Saturday, July 19th, 2014

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Aside

Follow the groups that are working to stop evictions and turn on the water in Detroit

As many of our readers may be aware, several months ago, the government of Detroit (which is under an emergency management regime) unconscionably decided to start shutting off tap water to low income residents who were behind on their water bills. Since we’ve begun our live coverage of Netroots Nation 2014 in Detroit, many NPI supporters have written to us to ask to report back on the water shutoffs that are affecting thousands of families throughout the city.

Netroots Nation and NPI have joined with the people of Detroit to protest this human rights violation and demand that the City of Detroit end the shutoffs. We participated in a protest yesterday to turn on the water and tax Wall Street, and we heard from a panel of people who are on the front lines this morning.

In a couple of days, after the convention concludes our board and staff members will be returning to the great Pacific Northwest, but the important work of fighting these shutoffs will go on, and we will continue to support the efforts of activists in the Motor City who are trying to end this manufactured crisis.

Here is a list of groups working to turn on the water in Detroit, as well as stop evictions, complete with links (to websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds):

All of these organizations were represented at Netroots Nation, either in the exhibition hall, on the Saturday morning panel that addressed the crisis.

We urge all NPI supporters to follow these organizations online and consider donating to help them help the people of Detroit.

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Quotation
Your shutoff program has created a lot of anger in the city and a lot of hardship and bad publicity the city does not need.

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Friday, July 18th, 2014

Quotation
I know people have seen fires before. This is a different beast. This is a fire storm.
— Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, speaking at a news conference and urging Washingtonians to obey fire evacuation orders. (The sheriff in Okanogan County says up to 100 homes lost in wildfire).

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Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Quotation
Mr. Putin and those who support him seem incapable of accepting that their model of government, with all its cronyism, corruption and bullying, is not the one many former Soviet subjects want.
— The New York Times, editorializing on the destruction of MH 17: Downing of Malaysia jet is a call for Russia to act to end the conflict in Ukraine.

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Quotation
This is truly a grave situation… Nearly three hundred souls have been lost. The families need consolation and our prayers, and many questions need to be answered. And we’ll get those answers, and we’ll take action accordingly.
— Vice President Joe Biden, speaking to Netroots Nation 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Biden’s comments were incorporated into a New York Times story about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

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Quotation
The repeal of the carbon price, whilst a sad day for Australia’s history books, provides an opportunity for the people of Australia to stand up and take back the power to determine the future of our country.
— 350.org’s Blair Palese: A dark day for Australia is our rallying call

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Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Quotation
With Chrome, you give up a lot of control over your own security.
— Blogger Chris Travers, who works on the LedgerSMB project, explaining that it’s problematic to trust Google (or any other large company) as the “middle man” in the flawed secure certificate system. (From is Is Firefox in a fix?)

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Monday, July 14th, 2014