F.L.Y. and The Campaign for a South Side Trauma Center – Revolution And Beer Archive: Feb. 23rd, 2013

On this show, we were joined by Veronica Morris-Moore from Fearless Leading by The Youth (FLY). We discussed the campaign to get a Trauma Center on the south side of Chicago.

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TV Series Launch Party: June 6th

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On June 6th we’ll be previewing our upcoming series on CAN TV. This was a BIGGG project for us, and definitely pushed us outside of our comfort zones again. It has consumed most of our efforts for the last 2 months. We filmed a full season in about a month, and had an absolutely amazing roster of guests. Exhausting? yes. Worth it? HELL YES! So let’s celebrate.

Come join us for local craft beer, food, and conversation; because it’s not about the problem, it’s about the solution…and the beer. Please come be a part of our community and have a say in it.

The party takes place at the lovely Leadway Bar and Grill, located at 5233 N. Damen Ave. Chicago, IL 60625.

Time: 7pm-10pm

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Revolution and Beer…of the week: Brunehaut Gluten Free Belgian Amber Ale and Blonde Ale.

bruneContinuing with the theme in which all things in the Universe seem to intersect at that beautiful moment in which activism and beer meet. It is what we do at Revolution and Beer. Activism isn’t about over-turning cars, loud chants or Occupying public places. Activism, true activism covers a broad spectrum depending fully upon the injustice or cause being championed. Boiled down into a common denominator, it is about lessening the burden, or sharing the burden from neighbors and those struggling against burden. May is Celiac’s Awareness Month. Brian and I love food and beer, and since there is no cure for Celiac’s currently, what could prove a better mission? The only treatment for Celiac’s is dietary maintenance.

Earlier in the month, we talked about a line of gluten-free beers from New Planet. The regular beer drinker will note the difference in brewing gluten-free beers with sorghum syrup rather than malts. In a pinch, these beers would pass most tastes. For those with Celiac’s or other’s with wheat sensitivities, they are an anchor to a more normal-feeling diet. One of the three from New Planet was very enjoyable. Check out the piece for which beer I’m talking about.

But alas, the Belgians have weighed in with two strong offerings in the Gluten-free arena. Brewed by Brasserie De Brunehaut in Brunehaut, in southwestern Belgium, Brian and I sampled the Amber Ale and Blonde Ale, both touting a respectable 6.5ABV. Following a 1000 tradition, these beers reflect that value and artistry of that legacy. We could not tell, as with other gluten-free beers, that they were indeed gluten-free. Immediately we started talking food. Because of the health dimension to the topic, we reached out to our friend, and author of Simply Healthy Gourmet, Carole Cooper, living an enviable existence in the wilderness overlooking the Lake Superior shore.

A warning, if you have an issue with delicious food, please leave the room now. We’ll wait a moment for those folks to leave. A little more. Some folks seem to be moving a little sl…Okay, their gone. Let’s talk food.

It’s grilling season, so I quickly inquired about a hearty meet dish that would highlight both of these beers simultaneously. The Amber Ale, has these really pleasing toasted hops flavor. The Blonde was full-bodied and a bit sweeter, pouring to a great clean golden hue, with a strong white head. Carole instantly referred me to a roasted lamb dish on page 75, that I thought was the perfect choice, the herbal earthiness of the lamb was a natural for these beers. But her side dish in the book was made with Orzo pasta, a bit of a no-no for the gluten in the pasta. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a gluten-free Orzo.

“How about a Basmati rice?” she offered as a substitute for the Orzo. Add to the basmati, chopped asparagus, juicy, sweet red grape tomatoes with a drizzle of Olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon, and you’ve got a tasty and satisfying side dish. But here’s the kicker, not all rice is gluten-free. Commercial or restaurant rice can have ingredients and additives that add gluten. Make it fresh yourself with a teaspoon of cumin for that smoky taste, or about a half teaspoon of mint to the cup of rice, pinch of salt and 13/4 cups of water for a different twist; Gluten-free and delicious.

We truly enjoyed these beers, and were tossing around possibilities for both gluten and gluten-free dishes. And we are really interested in readers sharing their gluten-free recipe pairings that can be shared with our gluten-sensitive neighbors. In the meantime, kick back with an Amber or Blonde Ale from Brasserie De Brunehaut. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. See, who said that activism couldn’t be fun, and delicious!

Here’s how to find Carole’s cookbook, Simply Healthy Gourmet, and catch her online recipes: http://www.simplynaturalgourmet.com/carole

Catch 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray only at Revolutionand Beer.com. Watch for the show coming in June to CAN TV in Chicago

Like us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer.

If you have a cause to champion, please let us know as we work to support and nurture the grassroots network for Chicago activists and community organizers.

Catch the beer of the week review with 900poundgorilla and check out the weekly food pairings for our featured beers with innovative and original dishes by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper at revolutionandbeer.com.

And find all of the great beers we review each week at Louis Glunz Beer Inc.

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Revolution and Beer Reactionaries of the Week: The Right and The IRS


If you could choose your form of retaliation from the state, which would you choose?

If you could see the thumb and forefingers of my left hand right now, they would be rubbing together in a slow circular motion. Know what that is? That’s me, playing the world’s smallest violin as I weep for Tea Party groups that may have been audited, or were simply looked askance at by the IRS. That’s right, I said askance, because I like that word and rarely get to use it in conversation.

So here’s the deal, over the weekend the story broke that the IRS had targeted rightwing groups and Tea Party groups before the election. While I’m not prepared to let Obama off the hook for anything, let’s take a look at this with a bit less of a conspiratorial eye. And don’t give me “where there is smoke, there is fire,” blather. If that was true, then we can say that the IRS maybe didn’t look close enough at some of these so-called grassroots Tea Party groups, you know the ones who liked to call Citizens United free speech. Well, it still remains to be seen whether all that these groups got from parents, Dick Armey and Karl Rove, were rightwing talking points.

Please don’t dwell on the imagery of Dick and Karl actually conceiving the Tea Party. I did by accident, and now I can’t get it out of my head. Oh God, make it stop!

The cries of “foul” by the right fall hollow pretty quickly. Particularly thin is their offense at being profiled by the IRS, especially since the Right has defended the use of profiling with regards to Muslim men, Blacks and Hispanics (and let’s not forget the left as a whole). By that same standard, all of the sudden “patriot” this and “heartland” that, all the slack-jawed spawn of FreedomWorks, American Crossroads or even MoveOn.org, the Heritage foundation and other rightwing pseudo-corporations should surely have thrown up potential red flags to tax auditors. Going into an election, with the scam-artist money changing scheme that in reality is Citizens United, how could anyone not be at least suspicious of shenanigans?

Photo from truthout.org

Photo from truthout.org: “On January 21, 2011, activists in Washington, DC, rally for a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. (Photo: Public Citizen)”

After Citizens United, these sham 501c3 TAX EXEMPT groups covered the national political lanscape thicker than fat flies on manure, like stink on a monkey or pimples on a gamer’s butt cheeks. We started a 501c3 on Chicago’s south side called HelpHouseChicagoHomelessPeople that actually helped people, rather than serve as a payday loan alternative to millionaire politicians pandering to your affinity for Nascar. These front groups for the exchange of political fortunes hide behind veneers of “freedom” or “liberty,” or some other crap. The socially, ethically, and politically lazy reactionaries adorn themselves with flags and lapel pins (and the forever-redundant race-baiting picket-signs) and do nothing positive to improve the nation, its dialogue, or its future.

And you have likely heard the leftwing and so-called Progressives chattering about many of these points. They don’t get off that easy. They were also playing this political spit-swap game, but not nearly to the extent of the Tea Party groups–perhaps because they just aren’t as good at it. There is, however, one glaring difference between the Tea Party and Occupy with regard to all this. You’ll only find it here, and it is this: so the Tea Party was audited, perhaps profiled, more frequently than left-leaning groups. Now you have an idea of what it is like to be Black in America. I guess you could say that some TEA Party organizations got an audit for supporting austerity, and going so far as to condemn the very existence of “Government.”  You could also throw-in spewing rhetorical myths of our favorite “free-market” ideologues–which provides some astroturf cover for the banks and institutions that are robbing us blind. Occupy was beaten, censored, subjected to false arrests and trumped up charges and had their civil rights trampled for accusing the banks, challenging government/corporate incest and for defending the poor. I weep for your butt-hurt, reactionaries. Must be tough, huh?

But this point makes it abundantly obvious that the Tea Party, the Right and Republicans…and I’ll throw some Lefties in there as well…are not really about up-holding the Constitution for all without it being tipped in their favor. They are not about defending civil rights, only their individual rights and privilege. They aren’t really for Americans, but for themselves. The irony is, the people who were fighting for those things got hammered by the Democrats, the media, and the right. They were mocked and ridiculed and harassed, but no one made a sound about that. They still haven’t, because for too many in this nation it is still about selfish interests and not about their neighbors.

Suck this one up TEA Partiers. The dis-proportionality of “persecution” here is pretty obvious. You got played. Now, time to figure out who you should actually be pissed at. Maybe you’ll actually start looking at candidates on both sides of the isle and beyond for who they really are, and not for the slogans they shout, or the feel good barf they feed you. Time to realize that getting involved in your government goes beyond blindly waving a flag at a WWF match, smashing a Keystone Beer can against your forehead while waving a gun and snarling in some tribal grunt, “Don’t mess wit America!”

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Chicago author Organizes Counter-Protest against Gunmen marching on Washington DC July 4th

Reasonable, responsible and rational discourse has been hijacked by extremists

On July 4th Chicago author and activist WC Turck will lead a counter-protest in opposition to a planned march on Washington DC by armed gunmen with loaded weapons led by radio talk host Adam Kokesh. Turck vows a peaceful counter-protest, which he describes as a “Gandhi moment,” with activists blocking the gunmen’s access to Washington with arms linked. The counter-protesters will not provoke, incite or insult, nor will they yield. “We will not resist, nor will we be moved,” said Turck
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This is not about gun banning, a fear of guns or an infringement on the Second Amendment, which very clearly describes a “well regulated militia.” The “regulated” word is critical to mature, rational and moral discussions about the place and importance of guns in contemporary American civil society. That discussion is important in stemming the bloodshed on America’s streets, but also important to people who wish to protect their families. However, the NRA and “gun pornographers,” as Turck describes them, have chosen to raise the rhetoric to a level of hysteria and paranoia. Rather than treating weapons as a tool, the NRA has promulgated them to a near religious fervor, and is forcing gun proliferation upon Americans everywhere in civil society.

This counter-protest, dubbed “Target July 4th”is not about Mr. Kokesh or Turck, but about returning the discourse to a rational, reasonable and responsible level. Kokesh has promised to lead a march of armed protesters across the Memorial Bridge at noon on July 4th. Currently Kokesh claims that 3,000 armed supporters will join him. Turck vows to meet him at the center of the bridge with fellow activists and peacefully prevent the group from entering Washington, but Turck dismisses the idea of potential violence, saying that he believes that this instead should be viewed as an opportunity for substantive dialogue.

Turck welcomes the opportunity for a dialogue with Mr. Kokesh, but adds, “If Mr. Kokesh leads a march across that bridge I will be there to peacefully and respectfully prevent him from entering Washington DC with weapons. I will not prevent his freedom of speech, but this is a threat, and threats are not protected speech. If he arrives without a weapon, I shall stand beside him and not against him as fellow Americans.”

Contact: WC Turck, cell 773-341-8919 wcturck@revolutionandbeer.com, or www.revolutionandbeer.com or www.facebook.com/revolutionandbeer

About WC Turck
W.C. Turck is a Chicago playwright and the author of four widely acclaimed books. His latest is “The Last Man,” a prophetic novel of a world ruled by a single corporation. His first novel, “Broken: One Soldier’s Unexpected Journey Home,” was recommended by the National Association of Mental Health Institutes. His 2009 Memoir, “Everything for Love” chronicled the genocide in Bosnia and the siege of Sarajevo. His third book “Burn Down the Sky,” about the war on terror, is published exclusively on Amazon Kindle. He is currently finishing a new book titled “Tomfoolery is not a guy from Texas: Riffs and Rants in Post-Republican America” with co-
It was in Sarajevo at the height of the siege where he met and married his wife, writer and Artist Ana Turck. FOX NEWS, ABC, CBS News, the Chicago Tribune and The Joliet Herald covered their reunion after the war. He helped organized relief into Rwanda during the 1994 genocide and publically supported pro-Democracy protesters in China.
Turck hosted the popular segment “Revolution and Beer,” devoted to grassroots activism and craft beer with cohost and partner B.L. Murray on WCPT, Chicago’s Progressive Talk. In June they move the show to television. The podcasts can be found at www.revolutionandbeer.com.
Turck has been a guest on WMAQ-TV, WLS in Chicago, WCPT, WBBM radio, National Public Radio, Best of the Left and the Thom Hartmann show. He has spoken frequently on Human Rights, Genocide and Nationalism. In 2011, his play in support of the Occupy Movement, “Occupy My Heart-a revolutionary Christmas Carol” received national media attention and filled theaters to capacity across Chicago. He remains an activist to the cause of human rights and international peace.

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Revolution and Beer…of the week, Shmaltz brewing Co.’s Coney Island Lager, and this damned blog is whatever I say it is! No offense.

IMG_1820All right, maybe that’s a little on the aggressive side, and I don’t mean to necessarily be that way, but we are talking New York beer, so I suppose a bit of attitude is appropriate. See, I could have gone any number of directions with this piece. I could rightly have talked up or down or anywhere else about Shmaltz Brewing Co.’s Coney Island Lager. But you and me, we’re tight as ticks, ain’t we? Ain’t we? I said, ain’t we! That’s better.

See, this afternoon, and this is just between you and me, but I was feeling all philosophical and what not. I could have been using all these big collge-boy words, talking about 5.5%ABV, airy-cream-colored heads and this full bodied lacing. Maybe I was gonna tell you about Marris Otter and Red Wheat and light Munich 6L among the 8 Malts in this beer, or Warrior, Amarillo and Cascade hops. But we’re gumbahs, and you and me we don’t go for all that. Do we? Huh? That’s right. Speak up when I ask a question. Don’t be shy.

I know. I know. You like the complex layering of Shmaltz beers. th ey just feel substantial with each taste, am I right? For the Coney Island lager, you liked that caramel fruitiness, that rich and full sweetness from that deep amber color that finished so nicely with a hoppy tickle at the back of the throat. You like that sweet aroma. don’t you? Go ahead, don’t mind me. Breathe it right in before you take a sip. I’m not judging you. Who am I to judge, right? Don’t answer that. I mean it. Seriously, don’t answer that.

Here’s the thing, between you and me, and I don’t care who knows it, but just between us, I’m proud you had the guts to pick this one up. Shows some Chutzpah. You’re gonna need that to hang around mopes like me. By the w ay, never call me a mope, capiche?

Yep, I’ll take a bit more of that. Just two fingers of that Shmaltz Brewing Co.’s Coney Island Lager- vertical not horizontal fingers. There it is! There’s that smile I like.

And what’s that? What about the blog? Don’t take this the wrong way, but this damned blog is whatever I say it is! Now get going. No offense taken. You and me, were still like two peas, we’re like Velcro you and me, like dandruff and a black coat-inseparable. I’m getting all choked up here. Now beat it, and god love ya!

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Reactionary of the Week: Be Afraid, be very…but of whom exactly?

ROW_050913_wayneHere’s a fact you won’t here in the mainstream press; NRA members were responsible for killing more Americans in 2013 here at home than radical Jihadists! So far, radical Jihadists have killed 3 Americans in the United States, all of them in Boston on the same day. Suicides, murders, abetting murders through straw purchases and accidents have already killed thousands since the beginning of the year, a number of them by NRA members.

Talk-for-hire radio host Steve Cochran in Chicago today, while on his tired Obama-attack-rant said that the threat of being killed by terrorists is real, but that the crime in Cleveland regarding the three captive women is an illusion. The truth is, you are far likelier to be murdered by White anti-government militias or Neo-Nazis in America than by some wild-eyed Muslim terrorist. Within the past two months, white supremacists murdered a warden in Colorado, a public official and his wife in Texas, and injured at least on policeman. And the truth is, women in this country are endangered far more by their white boyfriends, fathers and spouses than they would ever be by Al Qaida, or even his brother Joe.

Get it? Al Qaida and Joe Qaida, the Qaida brothers? Okay, bad joke.

Don’t believe me. Believe the approximately 3 million women abused annually, according to the US Justice Department. How about the 12-1300 women murdered by a MALE partner annually? If you could care less about the women, how about $5.8 billion annually in medical costs and lost productivity? Come on capitalists, that one has to tug at the old heartstring, eh?

This week’s arrest of a white militia member reportedly about to inflict a mass casualty attack in Minnesota went largely unnoticed. It was hardly mentioned and disappeared within 24 hours. We can only imagine how the rightwing and mainstream media would have erupted with around the clock coverage if it had been a Muslim. Most of you will never have heard that story, and there is a reason for that. It is the same reason that street crime on the south side of Chicago is called an epidemic of violence, but institutionalized fraud by banks resulting in millions losing their homes seems almost genteel by comparison. Which is the greater crime? Okay, which is the lesser crime?

The point is, and these are just a small sample of stories conveniently lost to our national discourse, but the point is that the media in this country is not accidentally missing important stories that provide us proper and true perspectives on issues. Even if it could be explained away as a mistake, when mistakes happen this often they are habit at best, and worst, tantamount to dangerous incompetence. But I maintain it is not by accident, but strategies to make you afraid. And then they can sell you anything.

Personally, given the evidence, we ought to be really afraid of white people, and in particular white men. Virtually all of the genocides in history were committed by white men. Nearly all oil company and carbon-emitting corporations are run by white men. Almost all serial killers are white men. Virtually every bank is owned or run by white men. We are told to profile young Muslim men, because they fit the “terrorist” profile, because, we are told over and over, that Muslim men are responsible for most terrorism. Of course-recalling a woman on the north side of Chicago who is about to have her home foreclosed on due to a “computer glitch” even though she never missed a payment-terrorist is a relative term. All neo-Nazi and KKK members are white men. Should we also profile all young white males?

Listen, I don’t fear all white men. Truthfully, I fear no man. What we should be concerned-never fearful-of- is a media out of the control of the citizenry. Not that it can be whipped by the populace wind of the moment, but that it serves humanity with truth and useable knowledge, and which uncovers real injustice BIG injustice, SYSTEMIC injustice, and helps to feed a wiser, progressive healthy community.

Author’s note: Neither Al or Joe Qaida had any hand in contributing to this story…

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In answer to our friend Kim on 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore and participatory Voting


It should come as no surprise to readers to this blog that we have taken significant issue with Chicago 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore. He is a registered democrat, which for a Progressive means the highest sort of scrutiny. We all know the hypocrisy and pandering of the Republicans. We will not tolerate reactionary and exclusionary, or corporately influenced policy from democrats. That does create something of a conundrum for democrat voters. Demonization of democrats by democrats feels like something akin to Hari-kari. And all too often our elected officials throw us scraps, which we grasp desperately at. A recent post from a friend on Facebook illustrated that point. We thought it important to say a bit about Mr. Moore’s record.

Here is the key difference; republicans attack other republicans when they deviate from the lock-step ideology. As concerned, engaged citizens, we reject the idea of sacrosanct party politics. We are not beholden to a political party, but to human rights, human dignity and community.

As far as Moore’s participatory voting is concerned, it is a slight of hand, and merely a token effort. He stands solidly with the administration on school closings, and wholeheartedly champions opening charter schools. His participatory voting place is IN a charter school, as a means of legitimizing them to the community. As for the voting, people are voting for park benches not policy—sidewalks; not safety.

Though the constituency of the 49th ward is very diverse, the voting record so far has been 70% white, educated property owners. That could be a lack of interest in the community, or it could more likely be a failure of outreach by Moore’s office. The rallys and meetings I have been to around the ward are far more diverse than the current voting block would imply. The good alderman might engage that diversity by getting out into those communities and confirming their agency and investment.

Moore has not appeared nor have I seen public endorsement for peace initiatives in Rogers Park. He refused to address thousands of constituents back in March, hundreds of whom, including Revolution and Beer, ultimately marched on his home. The blight of East Howard Street is disgraceful. Storefronts remain empty. Current anchor businesses that remain there and which prevent a complete economic collapse of the neighborhood would be prime candidates for TIF funds. Invest in the community. Invest in small business, not in chain stores that draw business away from whole swaths of the community.

Chris Patterson of the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI), Rogers Park Violence Prevention Coalition and the PeaceAngels told Revolution and beer that “Rogers Park is slated to receive substantial funds in the near future and no community organizations nor business I’ve talked to know anything about it. I believe Joe owes it to the people to receive input from them as to how they would like funds to be spent in their communities.” Not on water fountains, I would add, but on a future.

The protests saturday made an impression. Friend and activist Kelly Hayes said that, “several people who met us at our morning action said that they were glad we made sure that our concerns were heard. A number of them said that they learned a lot about what they didn’t want to see happen to PB in their own communities. They recognized that this is not what a system that was intended to empower the marginalized looks like. Some of them had already had doubts upon noticing certain things about PB49 while visiting, including the fact that every sign about PB is labelled with the words, “Joe Moore’s Participatory Budgeting Initiative.” As one advocate told me, “If participatory budgeting doesn’t belong to the people, it isn’t real, and very few people are going to feel inspired by it.”

Instead, the emphasis currently is on the Loyola corridor, which includes the expulsion of low income, fixed income, elderly and disabled residents by private firms-under the alderman’s nose. And in the neighborhood around the 49th ward offices reside an oasis of small theaters and bars catering primarily to his participatory voting constituency.

Members of Occupy Rogers Park Chicago, who has taken a strong lead and stance on this issue, feel very strongly about participatory democracy, and any politicized manifestation of the concept that cheapens what should be a valuable tool of empowerment.

Local activist and organizer Babur Balos is adamant: “We love the idea of participatory democracy, but with PB49, we have an alderman shutting down the efforts of people who are willing to invest their time and money to make the process more inclusive. Moore controls the process, right down to the flyers that are distributed, with his name stamped on everything connected to the project. It’s hard for people to get excited about joining a committee where they won’t be allowed to make real change happen.”

He has dodged people and organizations within the community. Somehow he is always out of town or away on business. Hmm? Mr. Moore is a public official, his salary paid for with our tax dollars. And while face to face he is a nice enough bloke, who throws “great” costume parties, it is our responsibility to hold him accountable, and that we shall.

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Theater with a Purpose: Stone Soup Theatre Project

tamerI was privilaged last night to have one of the most purposeful and moving theater experiences yet in Chicago. Ana and I go to quite alot of local theater. We prefer the intimacy and energy of small theaters and companies that produce art for art’s sake. There tends to be a rawness to the pieces, an honest, untempered and untapered energy, unlike many larger venues or by more commercial companies. Stone Soup Theatre Project is one of those rare companies that makes their effort seem so much larger than the small core group of dedicated members and actors. Last night’s show, Tamer of Horses, was a sublime case in point.

The play, sadly, ends its run today, though Stone Soup is already looking forward to their next project this summer. We had members of the company on the television show last month. It will air in july, amid their next run. Keep an eye out though, when Tamer of Horses, a beautifully and brilliantly rendered story, comes to your town it should be at the top of your must see list. If those actors are half as talented as the trio of characters from last night’s play it will be a memorable experience.

Tamer of Horses is a contemporary tale of a runaway street kid named Hector, played here exquisitely by Chris Vizurraga, who takes shelter one cold winter night in a horse barn and is discovered by a couple struggling with their own issues. The couple, Ty and Georgiane, are played by local standouts, Meghan Powe and Steven Royce Stinson. They take the troubled boy in, pulling all three along a tumultuous and emotionally charged road fraught with tension, fear, misgivings and self doubt. Like life, those hardships are punctuated by illuminous moments of joy, love, comedy and enlightenment. The boy dreams of being a hip hop superstar, a dream that takes shape in moments of fantasy driven my a beautifully crafted original score by local artist AO, Animate Objects.

There is no poetic Disney-esque ending here. The ending is smart and real and poignant. It is as hopeful as it is difficult, but it reflects the dramas and choices, the perspectives and even lack of perspectives that drive dynamics, change lives and cost them on the inner city streets of this nation. At the heart of Tamer of Horses is the urgency and complexity of unraveling violence from the lives and hearts of too many young people. But it is also a challenge that the task is a worthy but arduous one. “Thus,” goes the ending of Homer’s the Illiad, which adds a surprising and powerful subtext to the play, “then, did they celebrate the funeral of Hector, tamer of horses.”

chris pattersonWe’ll bring to you much more in the coming months from Stone Soup. This summer they are adapting the autobiography of friend, author and anti-gang activist Chris Patterson, “21-The Epitome of Perseverance.” Chris’ story is powerful, but more powerful is the man behind the story. More on that to come. Until then, make Stone Soup Theatre Project a favorite and keep your calender open for their upcoming season http://stonesouptheatreproject.org/.

Catch 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray only at Revolutionand Beer.com. Watch for the show coming in June to CAN TV in Chicago

Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer and at revolutionandbeer.com. And if you have a cause to champion, please let us know as we work to become the grassroots support network for Chicago Activists and community organizers.

Catch the beer of the week review with 900poundgorilla’s and check out the weekly food pairings for our featured beers with innovative and original dishes by Chef AJ Francisco. Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer. And find all of the great beers we review each week at Louis Glunz Beer Inc., www.glunzbeers.com

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Illinois Lawmakers, Investigate Not Regulate Fracking — press release from The Illinois Coalition For A Moratorium on Fracking

rnb_logo copy

May 3, 2013

From: The Illinois Coalition For A Moratorium on Fracking http://www.dontfractureillinois.net


Press Contact:
Dr. Lora Chamberlain
773 486 7660

ICMF spokesperson Dr. Lora Chamberlain today called the April 30th, Republican press conference on fracking led by Minority Leader Tom Cross “absolutely misguided”, and urged lawmakers to continue to block legislative maneuvers in the IL House, such as the one on May 1st by Rep. Mike Bost attempting to move the fracking regulatory bill, HB2615, out of the House Rules committee.

“HB 2615 is insufficient and unenforceable, and will not protect our land, air, and water” she said. “It would give a green light for dangerous fracking in Illinois before legislators have a chance to review important new studies now underway, including the EPA report on water contamination nationwide and the $1million Geisinger study of the effects of fracking on public health in Pennsylvania, due out later this year. We call for Springfield to move on HB3086 instead, the moratorium on fracking with an independent science-based investigative task force,” Dr. Chamberlain said.

ICMF asks legislators to slow down and study the science that is coming out, regarding the health, pollution, climate warming and earthquake risks of fracking.

HB 3086, the moratorium on fracking in the House, carried by Rep. Deborah Mell, is currently stalled in the House Rules committee. ICMF calls on Speaker Mike Madigan to bring it to the floor. ICMF also calls on Senate President John Cullerton to allow similar moratorium legislation to move forward in the Senate, so that the risks of fracking can be discussed in depth by our state legislature.

“This is one of the most important issues facing our state, “ say ICMF member Bev Walters of CAPOW, (Citizens Act To Protect Our Water), “yet discussions have been held behind closed doors. It is a disgrace. The legislators and the public need to be fully included in a discussion of something that will affect the state for decades and generations. We need protection now. Once water is contaminated or a person dies of cancer, it will be too late.”

ICMF members will be going back to Springfield on May 8 to call for action on the moratorium bills. On March 12, over 100 citizens lobbyists from ICMF and Illinois People’s Action participated in an all day lobbying event to push for a moratorium on fracking. Yesterday, May 2nd, there was a very successful Food and Water Watch campaign calling for concerned Illinois residents to call the Gov, AG, Speaker Madigan and Senate Pres. Cullerton asking them to “kill the regulatory bill and slow down with a moratorium and investigations of fracking.” At the same time, there were many environmentalists in Springfield advocating for the moratorium on fracking.

“Members of both houses have been provided with ample evidence of the dangers of fracking and of the failure of the industry to produce the promised job numbers and prosperity. They have been given evidence and it is their responsibility to make decisions for the welfare of the citizens of the state and not for the benefit of out-of-state companies,” charges Dr. Chamberlain. “In addition, we consider that it is unethical, and it should be illegal, for members of the legislature to vote for legislation that will financially benefit them directly. In other states when legislators vote for their own personal financial benefit it is called “corruption”. We ask the Illinois lawmakers who have signed leases with the Oil and Natural Gas companies or who have trucking companies that will have contracts for the fracking companies or those with other financial ties to fracking industry to stand down and recuse themselves from the votes on either regulations or a moratorium. The health and well-being of their constituents should be pre-eminent in their minds but we think that some IL leglisators have been blinded by what seems to be personal gain.”

The legacy of the 98th General Assembly could very well hinge on how it deals, or fails to deal, with the issue of fracking. Spills, poisoned wells, pollution of aquifers and rivers, infrastructure damage, earthquakes, cases of cancer, neurological diseases or death have occurred in the states where fracking has taken place – to think that would not happen in Illinois would be magical thinking.

Critics of HB2615 maintain that it is a sham regulatory bill, which gives only a fig-leaf of protection. Among its many inadequacies cited, the bill fails to limit the amount of water that companies can withdraw and provides for setbacks of only 500 feet from schools, hospitals, and senior centers. As currently practiced, fracking will consume hundreds of billions of gallons of fresh water in Illinois, and return it as toxic and radioactive waste. The State of Illinois has no viable plan for disposing of this toxic waste. Once contaminated, the water will be unavailable for drinking, agriculture, or tourism. The track record of the industry is one of frequent accidents and spills, with resulting contamination of local water supplies. ProPublica reported over 1000 such incidents nationwide in 2011 alone.

The oil and gas industry has acquired leases in central Illinois, near the Mahomet aquifer, putting at risk the drinking water for 850,000 people. The industry, in talks with Madigan’s office, has balked at regulations to require a certified water well driller at each frack site. ICMF maintains that this reticence on the part of the industry to hire certified Illinois water well drillers gives clear evidence that the industry lacks the “good neighbor commitment” to protecting the water and environment of the local residents.

In spite of industry promises of up to 125 jobs per well, employment and income figures in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Texas show that fracking has not created jobs or prosperity. The jobs that fracking creates – few as they will be – are temporary and toxic. Critics of fracking fear that it will create a boom and bust economy as has happened in other states. “The industry projects from 1000 to 47,000 jobs, this is a pseudo-statistic with such a wide range as to make it meaningless,” charges S.A.F.E. member Rich Fedder.

Frack gas (gas obtained by high pressure, horizontal, hydraulic fracturing) has been touted as a bridge fuel. However, the 5-9% of methane released from leaking wells, according to a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report, means that fracking will accelerate global warming far beyond the traditional impact of burning coal since methane is a potent greenhouse gas 25 times more potent that carbon dioxide.

HB2615 fails to provide for workers’ protection. Without protections, critics claim, we can expect accidents and worker health problems. From a recent PennEnvironment press release, it was revealed that over 100,000 Pennslyvanians had signed a petition for a moratorium to Gov. Tom Corbett. One signatory, Rick “Mac” Sawyer said, “My life has been devastated by working in the gas fields. Without proper training, tools or protection, I was routinely sent out to handle toxic fracking fluid in unsafe ways,” said Rick “Mac” Sawyer. “Now, a year later, I’m sick, with no health insurance. The gas companies don’t care about the health and safety of their employees, or any Pennsylvanians for that matter.” Bev Walters of ICMF asks, “if fracking is so wonderful, why do 100,000 residents in PA want it to stop?”

HB2615 makes no mention of earthquakes though the injection of fluids deep underground has been shown to cause earthquakes along dormant fault lines in Oklahoma and Ohio. ICMF is very concerned that fracking along the active New Madrid and Wabash fault lines in Southern Illinois may induce a major earthquake.

The legislative session is drawing rapidly to a conclusion and there is still no bill on the floor for discussion or vote. ICMF members say, “When the first spill poisons a well, or the first earthquake is stimulated, or the first case of cancer is reported, the victims should hold the Illinois legislators and leadership personally responsible, because they have all been alerted of the many dangers of fracking and they seem to be turning a blind eye to the hard evidence.”

“Fracking is an accident-prone, carcinogen-dependent, climate-destroying enterprise which uses our land as its factory floor and turns rural communities into industrial zones. Instead of subsidizing fossil fuels and nuclear energy to the tune of billions of dollars, we should be investing in long-term, green energy industries, such as solar and wind. “Yes, we want more jobs, but they should be safe, long term jobs. Fracking jobs have been called the most dangerous in the nation,” says ICMF member Rich Fedder.

ICMF is a growing coalition of community and environmental groups which are working together to support a Moratorium on Fracking, the Illinois Coalition for a Moratorium on Fracking includes, Stop the Frack Attack on Illinois, SAFE (Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment), Citizens Act to Protect Our Water, Rainforest Action Network Chicago, MoveOn.org Illinois, PDA Illinois, Southeast Environmental Task Force, Chicago Area Peace Action, Rising Tide, the Chicago Chapter of World Can’t Wait and Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water. The Coalition works with other partners who support the moratorium as well such as Illinois People’s Action, Environment Illinois, Food & Water Watch and Sierra Club Illinois.

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