ICE Raided Day Labor Corner – Press Conference Thursday at 11am at Pulaski/Foster

w339I’m writing to share a sad updated that the Albany Park day labor corner was raided Wednesday. ICE agents wearing jackets marked “police” arrived at the corner midday. They detained a group of workers, asking them for their identification, took into custody Israel Lopez Bautista (A#094924950) and transferred him to a detention center in Dodge County, Wisconsin within a few hours.

Please join us for an emergency press conference Thursday at 11am at the Foster/Pulaski street corner where we’ll stand with Israel’s brother Enrique who was temporarily stopped by the ICE agents, Israel’s son, and members of the family’s church to call on ICE to release him before this father’s day weekend.

Israel is a day laborer who has lived in the U.S. for 6 years. He has no criminal history, has three children, and is a dedicated volunteer and member of his church, Restoración Elin. We’ll be citing the raid in November that happened at this same corner and led to the deportation of 6 workers and calling on ICE to end the practice of random arrests at the street corner.
thCAR32DBAThank you so much for your solidarity and support! We hope to see you tomorrow as we stand with Israel’s family to get him home, demand an end to deportations, and defend day laborers’ right to work and provide for their families.
cell: 214.794.6796
Elisa Ringholm

Original press release.

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

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TODAY: Response to Immigration Raid in Chicago

Please pass along if you can:

#Chicago #daylaborers #Albanypark #immigration #ICE

Eric Rodriguez, Latino Union of Chicago, 773.484.7589,

Elisa Ringholm, Latino Unionf of Chicago, 214.794.6796
ICE Raids Albany Park Day Laborer Corner, Takes Away Churchgoing Father of 3.

Family, Latino Union Demand His Release Before Father’s Day
What: Press Conference with family of Israel Lopez Bautista to denounce ICE action on Chicago’s Northwest side and demand release of detained day laborer.

When: 11:30am, Thursday, June 13, 2013
Where: Foster & Pulaski, oldest day laborer corner in Chicago, and where ICE operation took place.

Who: Brother and sons of Israel Lopez Bautista, Albany Park day laborers, Latino Union of Chicago

At the same time that Chicago Congressional Representatives Gutierrez and Schakowsky held a press conference in Washington, DC calling for a suspension of deportations ICE agents wearing jackets marked “police” arrived at the oldest day laborer street corner. They detained a group of workers, asking them for their identification, took into custody Israel Lopez Bautista (A#094924950) and quickly transferred him to a detention center in Dodge County, Wisconsin.

Israel’s brother Enrique, one of the workers temporarily stopped by the ICE agents, and Israel’s son will be joined by the Latino Union of Chicago and members of the family’s church to call on ICE to release him before this father’s day weekend. Israel is a day laborer who has lived in the U.S. for 6 years. He has no criminal history, has three children, and is a dedicated volunteer and member of his church, Restoración Elin. Family and supporters will also be citing a similar raid in November in their call to end the ICE practice of random arrests at the street corner.
National Day Laborers Organizing Network

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Revolution and Beer Reactionary of the week: The Ultimate Enemies List…

j_edgar_obama…or the slippery slope to becoming an ideological whore.

I gave a speech some years ago at Western Illinois University on genocide. At the end of the speech a teacher from Iowa, sitting with several of her students, stood up and asked, “but what can one person do?”

I’ll give you my answer in a few moments, but first a more nuanced perspective on the “revelations” about the systemic data gathering by the United States of all forms of electronic communication.

I won’t condescend by proclaiming this issue complex, and I will simplify it for you. Everything is complex. Water is complex. So, that argument doesn’t serve anyone well. Scaring you with the time-consuming threat of “complexity” is a popular tactic of ideologues attempting to steer you in one direction or another.

What I was bothered by were the Lefties who were so adamantly against the Patriot Act under Bush, but were defending Obama over this moral abuse of power. Sit down Righties, I’ll get to you in a moment. But pro- democrat party pundits like Stephanie Miller kept making the case for the legality of NSA data mining on all of us, which is factually correct. She referred to meta data in an effort to make it seem more benign, when Snowden had already told us that the NSA can access and can archive everything from phone calls to emails to your Facebook chat buddies, even the contents on your hard drive. What Obama did is absolutely sanctioned by law under provisions of the Patriot Act. That is not in question. He is not sanctioned under morality and conscience. Obama himself all but acknowledged that fact, but then hid behind the legality defense.

Personally, I vote for principles and character in a president. I voted Green Party last election because I felt strongly that Obama was struggling to find a proper moral accounting, and I was impressed with the principled positions of Jill Scott. Obama’s capitulation and conciliation to Republican ideologues was so flimsy that I am sure it was part of a ruse to placate or distract the American people, a bit of Vaudeville theatrics while the real backdoor schemes and deals irrespective of party continued unchecked in the shadows and backrooms of politics.

A man of character, integrity and principle will not overstep morality as a means to an end, but will stand on principle. What Obama has shown us is that he is a pragmatist and an opportunist. Neither is healthy in a national leader. Defending that behavior in a fellow partisan when you lauded it in an opponent makes you, well you know what it makes you.

Obama did not have to strengthen the Patriot Act, but he did. He did have to pursue spying and monitoring to this level, but he did. Nor did he have to accelerate the program while intimidating critics and bullying whistleblowers. He was supposed to be better than that, and so far he is not.

“You can’t have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience,” said President Obama about the snooping revelations(?).

In the now famous interview in a Hong Kong hotel with Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian, the whistleblower, Ed Snowden was asked, “Why should people care about surveillance?”

“Because,” Snowden told Greenwald, “even if you’re not doing anything wrong you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody even by a wrong call. And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.”

And that is the key paragraph. This is less about uncovering terrorists as it is about the greatest political enemies list ever created. What Snowden described above was not about dealing with a violent terrorist plot, it is about going after critics and dissent. This isn’t new, of course. Nixon had his well known enemies list. I am certain Clinton had one, and we saw the beginning of the current war on whistleblowers get its kick-off during the Bush administration. Hell, abuse of the Patriot Act to go after critics and political adversaries seems to have become the favorite pastime of over zealous and intimidated high-level public figures since it was passed. Of course, all politicians already openly assail adversaries. That’s called an election. What is different here is that this carries the crushing power of the state by illustrating how far this can go when done in secret.

More and more will come the din of discrediting and impugning Snowden. That has already begun. First came the claims from US director of national intelligence James Clapper called the leak “extremely damaging.” The establishment Left is abandoning him as a traitor, or as Jeffrey Toobin, CNN legal analyst and pasta warehouse, remarked to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Snowden is a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison. Toobin told Cooper that “Our system does not allow a 29 year old person who is an expert in precisely nothing to decide on his own that a project, its not illegal, but he doesn’t like it, and so he’s is going to undermine the work of thousands of people and billions of dollars in taxpayer money and give away these secrets…”

Wow, Jeffrey, does that apply to atrocities committed during war? He is absent on calling just as adamantly for anti-Bush whistleblowers, such as those who helped expose Abu Ghraib to be drawn and quartered. Recall that white’s only bathrooms, the Japanese internment during the Second World War, child labor, slavery and the genocide against Native Americans were all also legal. On the Right the same dolts who sold us on the hysterical urgency of the first Patriot Act under Bush, are now outraged under Obama: Beck, Limbaugh, FOX, MSNBC, GE, CNN…

Worse even still, are those who simply don’t hold any position, such as the post-pubescent man-child Dennis Miller, whose entire contribution to the world derives from riding the legacy of his 7 minute Weekend Update on ancient Saturday Night Live reruns straight into the creative hell of banality.

“I don’t want to know,” he said on his June 10th radio show, with a smug chuckle. “I bet it’s crazy what they know about you. Why know?”

Without a doubt, this kind of whistle-blowing and release of secret information is extremely costly. We all know of Bradley Manning’s harsh treatment. Our friend Jeremy Hammond was sitting in New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center for over 400 days without a trial: spending many stints in solitary confinement for no apparent conduct-based reason.

Unless he’s able to pull some sort of Julian Assange asylum coup, Snowden will face prosecution and retribution for what many believe is a very gutsy, historic, and important thing to do. We’ll add his name to long list of brave individuals who expect this nation to live up to its promise. He is realistic about that future, but is clear about the stakes. He has opened up a window into the intentions and momentum of the government. Time will tell if his sacrifice meant something, or if it will be lost to the din of an America’s Got Talent (no offense sid) or the next big sale at Shoe Barn. To clarify, we say “long list” because we have a positive view of

“The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change…And the months ahead, the years ahead it’s only going to get worse until eventually there will be a time where policies will change because the only thing that restricts the activities of the surveillance state are policy…a new leader will be elected, they’ll find the switch, say that ‘Because of the crisis, because of the dangers we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power.’ And there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it…”

And as promised, by reaction to the teacher from Iowa who wanted to know what can one person do? Gandhi, Jesus, Mandela, Mother Theresa, Rosa Parks were all one person. Edward Snowden is one person. The man who stood before a line of Chinese tanks in 1989 was one person. If you want a better world, be one person. It will inspire others in ways often not predicted.

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at

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The End of History

DHS has issued an all points bulletin for Johannes Gutenberg for causing history to happen. Authorities say that Gutenberg, a German national, who turned 613 years old this year, remains an unindicted co-conspirator for the proliferation of a technology that led to history taking place. Authorities recently have begun the process of reversing the damage done to the wealthy and powerful, which for centuries has become increasingly abused, led to new and revolutionary technologies, and began encroaching upon the narrative hegemony once enjoyed by industrialists, kings, royalty and wealthy white land owners. DHS officials warn that Gutenberg should be considered clever, informed and therefore extremely dangerous to the status quo.

The dilemma of true history is that is that the immensely complex, the vast avalanche of human experience, success and toil is simplified to a shadow of its true self for the digestion of our limited intellects. It is much akin to a movie, a great book or a digital photograph, behind which whole worlds exist, though we only acknowledge the merest impression of those worlds. But here is the key, remove any part of that background, no matter how miniscule, and the image becomes less true.

The anthropological and archaeological records before written history make minor distinctions for royalty and wealth. The narrative on the advent of farming-which gave humanity beer-is on the farmer, not his or her sovereign. Neolithic villages are described by their social structure and construction. That changed with the advent of writing. When we ponder the flowering of Egyptian culture it is the dynasties, the royalty that comes to mind first. Only recently have we learned details about the daily lives of those laborers and artisans that built the temples and pyramids of Egypt.

Religion-organized, state promoted and enforced religion- it can be argued was a tactic for control of the population, and a vehicle for extending power through warfare. Knowledge and information previously were enjoyed as the privilege of royalty and aristocrats. But technology is too often not shared, shall we say, liberally and freely. It is a failure of our species that new and critically empowering technologies are reluctant to be shared at all levels of society. Their proliferation is slowed by local politics, stuttered by commercialization, and preempted by completion between nations, races and religions.

The lack of voice and its accompanying agency might well be the key to many ills afflicting the planet, from the war to terrorism, racial and religious antagonism and poverty. But those voices are imperative to an accurate accounting of mankind. Imagine the battle of the Bulge told only by Eisenhower, Hitler or Montgomery none of whom were anywhere near the battle. Lost would be the toils and tears of the Great depression, the words of Anne Frank, the horrors of September 11th, the trial and triumph of the handicapped or the lesson of the addict. But it is all those voices which joins the palette to paint the most accurate mural of history.

History is not written by the victor, it is written by the empowered. History is the subject of the bold, the oppressed and the impassioned.

The assault by corporations and governments is not by accident. It is not a naïve reaction to real or vague security threats. There is a duality to the effort. On one hand there is an effort to stem or anticipate terror threats. On the other hand is an insidious effort to control and disrupt public, constitutionally guaranteed dissent and protest. The infiltration, monitoring and technologies applied by government against, not terrorists, but disquieted and concerned citizens of all political stripes is sinister. It is about control. It is a separation of the government from its people in favor of a Kafka-like self preservation of hegemony and power. It illustrates that the government has become its own separate nation, and all of us are perceived by that new nation as interlopers and a threat.

This year, lost among the impressive and historic protests in Turkey, another protest took place in Sarajevo. At one point, 250 foreign bankers and more than 100 others found themselves trapped and surrounded by thousands of angry and outraged Bosnian citizens. It took the better part of 14 hours for the police to reopen the building and allow those inside the Bosnian parliament building to leave. At one point mothers blockaded a street with strollers. The bankers were attending a conference on investment in Bosnia, plagued by massive unemployment, crumbling infrastructure and rampant corruption following the civil war during the 1990s.

The cause of the outrage was over the expiration of laws in February of 2013 that had previously assigned identity numbers to citizens at birth, akin to a Social S954840_10201130282290214_947914457_necurity number in the United States. The result was that since the expiration of the law no new-born children have been able to get ID numbers, depriving them of a long list of benefits, such as passports, medical care and more. In reality, it makes these children non-entities, or non persons in their own country. The spark for the outrage came after a 3 month old child was unable to travel to Germany for a stem cell transplant. Attention compelled the Bosnian government to issue travel documents for the child, but the fate of thousands of other children remains in limbo.

Bosnia has long had a history of political squabbling and backstabbing. The cobbled-together parliament is separated by parties representing ethnic Serbs, Muslims and Croats, who were at war with one another until a NATO intervention in 1996 compelled the so-called Dayton Peace accords. The parties have been antagonistic towards one another since the formation of that unified Bosnian parliament. In the current flap, the Serbs are demanding that that identity numbers show what part of the country someone comes from, in effect ethnic identifiers, while the majority Bosnian Muslims, Independents and Croats want those numbers assigned to children randomly.

But behind those lines is something far more dangerous. After two decades travelling and studying the Balkans, nothing is ever quite what it seems on the surface. The Balkans have long been the testing and proving grounds for all sorts of nefarious schemes by internationalists and governments. For example, while not a direct cause, part of the catalyst for the war was a manufactured crisis against the Yugoslav Dinar. The war helped Germany move through reunification easier, and protected the Deutsch Mark, which preceded the Euro and was the Dollar’s anchor currency in Europe.

Not that Yugoslavia did not suffer significant stumbling blocks of its own making, but as Germany reunified and a new Europe, post Cold War, grew on the horizon, Yugoslavia was poised to become a significant player on the European and world stage. Its geopolitical position was enviable, with prime overland access for oil from Central Asia and into the heart of Europe, and with some of the largest, untouched mineral deposits in the region. Before the smoke had cleared during the 1999 NATO war in Kosovo Halliburton had already secured contracts for an overland oil pipeline from the Black sea across the war torn and impoverished region.

That story is important to understand the duplicitous nature of what happens in the Balkans, and how it resonates, even informs strategy and agendas around the planet. Standing on the frontline during the siege of Sarajevo, I had a sense of past and future history colliding, and in the balance stood humanity at a crossroads. There were echoes of the Ottoman invasions of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth centuries, of Austro-Hungarian hubris, the blood lusts of the Second World War and the short-sighted angst of the old Communist order. Poised opposite that past was the crumbling chaos of the old Cold War order, the world dividing and sub-dividing itself among arbitrary tribal assemblages. There would be strife and greed and a disregard for the true challenges awaiting the planet. Amid the destruction and despair of that tragic city that was all crystal clear. Bosnia was a lesson. The world refused to hear that lesson.

So now there is a new lesson, or perhaps a new scheme. Time will bear both out. But here is the alarming part, the disturbing conclusions that can be drawn from this is fairly obvious. The evidence is found plainly in our past and in our present. It is key to the erasure of history. Here’s what I mean.
At the start of the industrial age, the rich and powerful pitted working class people organizing into Unions against the poor, immigrants or disavowed racial minorities, such as poor blacks in the united States as a bulwark against labor organizing. These groups were often camped by company and factory owners at the gates as a warning to would-be organizers. When that failed outright violence was all too ready an option, often with the support of the government, the Columbine Colorado Mine Massacre in 1927 in which police fired into a crowd of mine workers killing six and wounding dozens is but one example.

There are ample examples of state backed anti-union violence, too numerous to list here. Those poor and disaffected minorities were tools, they were essentially non persons for the manipulation of the powerful.
Scrutiny has been growing upon the abuse of third world labor. More than a thousand were killed and nearly 3000 injured in April of 2013 in a Bangladesh factory collapse supplying Western European and American retail outlets with garments. But third world labor has become a mainstay for companies fixated fully on bottom-line profitability. That successive catastrophes has not compelled a moratorium or an outlawing of such labor practices, and has not driven a real conversation on an international minimum wage and a convention on global labor practices only underscores the hypocrisy of American fictions on freedom and morality.

There is a new necessity by the modern industrialists to secure the labor paradigm they are accustomed to. The Bosnian experiment is a signpost of things to come globally. We shall see more of this, as populations are erased from citizenry and relegated to non-person status. In such a world they will have no rights, no agency and no voice. And when the common person loses their voice only the wealthy and powerful will remain to paint the mosaic of humanity. It will be incomplete, and that will mark the end of history.

Catch 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray only at Revolutionand Watch for the show on CAN TV in Chicago

Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer and at 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 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 Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer. And find all of the great beers we review each week at Louis Glunz Beer Inc.,

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My wife gave them props just for the effort., god bless her heart. Beer Advocate was just as polite. They rated Rogue’s single batch Voodoo Doughnut bacon Maple Ale 69 out of 100. I would have gone with the 69 as well, but out of ten thousand. So is this really the worst beer in the world? Let’s break it down a bit.IMG_2334

First, Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale is one of my favorite beers. I have a six-pack in the fridge. And Rogue puts out a long portfolio of some amazing beers. I also understand that every recipe requires a certain amount of experimentation. What I can’t understand is how such a great brewer could allow this Franken-brew to escape into the world. Now it’s up to us villagers to chase the creature back to the castle and seal it up where it can never terrorize our taste buds again!

In full disclosure, I bought a bottle, ubiquitously large and flamingo-pink at a party store in Northern Michigan for the hefty price of seventeen bucks. The clerk, a burly and appropriately hairy Yooper actually pinched his nose and I think physically shuddered when I asked for a quick review. Now I am wondering what brought this beer to market; supreme marketing, sublime trickery or the guy on the loading dock, instead of dumping and flushing, accidentally shipped it to stores.

But I was curious of the name. I am partial to good Rauchbiers, and Brian and I reviewed the Bavarian Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier in February. Voodoo Doughnut is made with a couple of smoked malts and Applewood-smoked bacon, as well as pure maple flavoring. Around the Holidays we chatted with Hinterland Brewing’s Bill Tressler about his Maple Bock, with real maple syrup made over a woodsy fire. I was coming to Voodoo Doughnut with an open mind. Sometimes my mind needs to mind its own damn business!

But “worst” is a weighty title, so let me try and describe the flavor. Imagine taking an exceedingly average beer and then adding a glass of tepid water, just to be sure the carbonation fled as quickly as possible. Now pour in some light commercially made maple syrup, and stir with a piece of bacon. Wait, I’m not finished yet. Now eat something with a lot of cumin in it. Take a drink and burp up the cumin all at once and there you go. It poured to a rusty brown, evoking images of ancient plumbing, and water from an old Hungarian tap. On top of all that, the beer comes in at 5.6%ABV. At least make a beer like this strong enough to help us forget the taste!

Anticipating flavors, the wife and I whipped up several homemade gourmet pizzas on corn crusts with a mild red sauce, crispy bacon, caramelized onions and fresh mozzarella. Rogue recommends Doughnuts and pork, which sort of seems like the diet of a serial flasher. Just sayin…

Catch 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray only at Watch for the show on CAN TV in Chicago

Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer and at 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 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 Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer. And find all of the great beers we review each week at Louis Glunz Beer Inc.,

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Revolution and Beer Reactionary of the Week: Monsanto as criminal enterprise?

ROW Monsanto

“As commissioner of the USDA, Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack. Vilsack had set up a national group, the Governors’ Biotechnology Partnership, and had been given a Governor of the Year Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto.”

So here’s the big, big question, and this one is fundamental to the lives of nearly every man woman and child in this country, and much of the world as well. Should we begin referring to Monsanto as a criminal enterprise? We are talking about Genetically Modified Organisms, i.e., food direct to your table that has been altered in a lab; so called Frankenseeds.” Of course Monsanto hasn’t been convicted of criminal activity, but mark these words carefully, I believe that a day is coming in which Monsanto and their enablers will be viewed by history as harshly as we now judge genocidal regimes. Too much?

For a nation that pretends to inform modern secular society with the moral pelvic grind of the Ten Commandments, this should be a fairly simple exercise. Sadly, lost and confused among slick advertising and the sugar-coated playful puppies and rainbows of modern public relations is a strong moral imperative regarding the GMO issue. Governmental complicity lends credibility to the masses, and warnings of future potential cancers and diseases are obliterated in a culture of immediate consumption and gratification. But, there are substantial arguments for describing what Monsanto does as a crime against humanity. That journey is not nearly as far as many might believe.

Let’s come to it this way, all of the righties so passionately outspoken about Eric Holder’s investigating himself over “Pressgate” are curiously silent over the Monsanto GMO issue. But let’s say a company created something that is demonstrably and troublingly harmful to people or disruptive to the environment, such as the recent revelation that genetically modified crops were creating new generations of pesticide resistant super bugs. Who might have imagined the bugs would adapt? Oh, I know, any 7th grader with a Junior High School biology book!

This isn’t a Left or Right issue. Liberal icons George Soros and Bill Gates purchased massive investments in Monsanto. Obama supreme Court appointee Elena Kagan once argued for Monsanto before, you guessed it, the Supreme Court! Even Al Gore was a vehement champion of Monsanto, and part of the effort to pressure France into accepting Monsanto products. Let’s say that Monsanto was a massive pimple on the ass of humanity, there would be a smelly mix of bipartisan puss oozing out all over the place. So there is ample guilt to go around here. And yes, if we are drawing up a theoretical future perp list…Put ‘em on!

The Academy of Environmental Medicine recommended a moratorium on GM foods, citing several studies indicating fertility, immune issues, accelerated aging and much more that showed a causal link, but then the studies were done by scientists, and as we all know they read books and use big words—damned elitists!

Now let’s say this hypothetical company, whose name does not begin with “M” or and in “onsanto” had for decaded interfered with and manipulated legislation, used government to obscure oversight and hide the potential dangers. And this fictitious company would operate something of a revolving door with the Government, which might help it force a defacto monopoly on national and international food supplies. And now what if they flooded the public airwaves and media with messages designed quite purposefully to conceal these dangers? And, after all that, they hired paramilitaries, who, just spit-balling here, might have been implicated in a massacre in a place that rhymes with N-iraq, and these mercenaries gathered intelligence on anyone who dared to criticize the company. And let’s those paramilitaries came from a company that might or might not have the words “Black” and “water” somewhere in its name. That would be bad wouldn’t it?

But that probably would be as serious as, oh, I don’t know, a pretend crisis over IRS officials taking closer looks at so-called charities that were, in obvious and blatant violation to the charters and contracts they signed, very definitely political in nature. Can you say Tea Party?

Still not convinced? Let me try this one more way. If it was really all about capitalism and free markets for the government and these companies that proliferate GMOs pimped by politicians, and that, as we are told by the media, we should all live and die by that holy and perfect free market, why is Monsanto against GM labeling on foods? At the very least labeling would allow consumers-the marketplace-to make their own decision. Let Monsanto and DuPont and the rest float or sink by the market. Let them succeed based upon honest competition supported or eschewed by an informed market place. If not, then there is no marketplace, and no capitalism, only economic oligarchies.

As I see it there are two roads here. The first is capitulation to that economic oligarchy, in which case your freedom and economic assumptions are fantasies for masturbating. In that one your illusions of this nation is merely the pig swill we’ll all swim in, while the incest marriage between government and corporations fatten us all for the slaughter. The second is that people take a sustained and overwhelming agency in their government and make it work again for people. In which case companies like Monsanto may very quickly be called to account for their orgy of sanctimony and find themselves pariahs and criminals. Just spit-balling…

Catch 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray on the Revolution and Beer TV Show, throughout the month of June, on Chicago cable channel 19.

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Revolution and Beer…of the week: battle of the Great Lakes Monsters!

IMG_2308The Ojibwa called Superior Gitchee Gumee. They told of a terrible serpent called Mishi Ginabeg who lurked in the dark depths and submerged caverns. It was said that when the spirit of the south wind, Showondesi, came laughing Mishi Ginabeg awoke from slumber for vengeance against all who had not made sacrifice. The crew of the Fitzgerald had grown old hearing those tales, but paid them little mind. This was the Twentieth Century, and surely there were no monsters skulking beneath Superior. The laughing Showondesi had long been replaced by the measurable science of meteorology. On that cold November night impassionate science abandoned the good crew, and not a soul could completely dismiss those ancient legends…A terrible moan arose from the ship…the storm was now at a murderous tempo. A new wave slammed the ship sideways nearly tearing her in two. O’Brien felt the wheel go dead in his hands and knew they were at the mercy of the lake. He turned, just as the bow slid into a deep trough. For a moment the ship’s great rudders spun free in the air…a giant wave built over the bow. McCarthy saw it first and crossed himself as the bow plowed under…”Those with a bit of history about the Great Lakes will quickly recall the fate of the Edmund Fitzgerald, here retold in my first novel, Broken: One soldier’s unexpected journey home, W.C. Turck.

I left earlier this week on a trip to Michigan’s Lake Superior shore. On the way up from Chicago I stopped off for a good beer to enjoy on the beach that evening. Something interesting to ponder and decipher a bit, and take the edge off the long trip. When I spotted a couple 4 packs of Great Lakes brewing Company’s Lake Erie Monster, a seasonal offering by a consistently strong brewer my choices narrowed considerably.

This handcrafted Imperial Pale Ale pours to a summer sunset deep golden hue. The head is pale white. After a long day on the road, take the edge off the long trip, it melted it away. Half way through the bottle, the 9.1ABV didn’t hurt either. There were just the caramel malt, hint of citrus and a comfortable hoppy finish that, from the first taste, didn’t two questions remaining; what food would this work well with, and which of the Great Lakes monsters would win in a fight?

This one is a no-brainer. The sightings of the so-called Lake Erie Monster, though no doubt encouraged by copious amounts of some cheaper swill, leave much to be desired. One, eh-hem, witnessed described the “South-Bay-Bessie” as cigar-shaped. Yet another described it as having a “long neck and an eye was visible on the side of the head with a grin going up one side The creature appeared to be playing in the water…” Sorry, but Frolicking serpents don’t evoke awe, at least not to this reporter. The grainy videos and photos hardly prove more than sightings of a prize-winning sturgeon, a wayward beaver or the existence of the Ohio mafia. Mishi Ginabeg has never, nor would ever allow itself to be photographed, nor would it ever, ever, ever frolic. But then Mishi Ginabeg doesn’t have its own beer, at least for now.

I was staying with our old friends the Coopers for the week. Carole, who authored the Simply Healthy Gourmet, had supper waiting She’d prepared roasted Rosemary Chicken, with roasted potatoes and onions. The warm sweetness of the onions nicely complimented the citrus in the beer. A few days later, meeting up with a buddy, the sculptor Ritch Branstrom for a Lake Erie Monster in his studio, I tricked things up with a sliced roast beef, a slice of fresh mango and some local melted medium cheddar on croissant with some homemade cilantro mayonnaise for a perfect match with the beer.

So, I guess when it’s all said and done it’s a draw between the two great lakes monsters. And though I’m hardly convinced of the actual creature, I’m fully convinced of Great Lakes’ Lake Erie Monster

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at

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The Revolution and Beer TV Show – Turn On, Tune In, Drink Up!

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Feminism and Beer – Part 2

On episode 5, Feminism and Beer part 2, We continue with our intelligent, creative, and very classy guests, Paula Kamen, Regina Buccola (@TheLittleProf), and Linda Bubon. Please join us as we continue to explore this topic in a very nuanced matter…with good beer in-hand.

Feminism and Beer – Part 1

On episode 4, Feminism and Beer part 1, we explore an issue that might be considered an odd pick for some straight working-class fellas…but only if you’re afraid of working and organizing alongside. I won’t speak for Turck because it’s not my jurisdiction (I know damn well whose it is;), but as for me; regardless of the nature or breadth of the interaction, I can’t get enough of that spirit.

This may be one of the few informative, and non-awkward (ok, so it’s a little awkward) conversations that you’ll ever witness in a bar on the topic. It can actually can be done, and not likely what you expect.

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Tuesday, June 18 at 7:30 P.M.
On Saturday March 30th, we gathered with a much larger and very boisterous crowd at Leadway Bar and Grill, 5233 N. Damen. Joining us for the taping of our 3rd TV show were David Hatch from the People’s Lobby, Kristi Sanford from a Just harvest, Toby Chow from Fair economy Illinois and Michaela Lovegood from IIRON. We had an awesome time discussing corporate tax cheats and the politicians you love them in Illinois–over beer of course.

Special thanks again to Sandra J Alvillar .AGAIN for the beautiful photography. Extra special thanks to Frank, Bianca, and Valentina for the incredible hospitality at Leadway Bar & Grill.

Repeat on Wednesday June 19 at 2:30 P.M.

Tuesday, June 25 at 7:30 P.M.
Episode four: Exploration of Contemporary Feminism, With Real Feminists part 1
Taped at Leadway Bar 4/6/13)
Repeat on Wednesday June 26 at 2:30 P.M.

All shows will be cable-casted on CAN TV network cable channel 19. Includes Comcast and RCN subscribers.

A special thanks to Ben Houston, our producer. Also, to AJ Francisco, our amazing chef. We owe both of them a case.

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Sue Crabtree on Alleged #Antisec Hacker Jeremy Hammond & The Stratfor Hack

The Stratfor hack was a hack executed under the Antisec flag. Antisec was infiltrated by the FBI specifically for this hack.

Update: Recent post on that outlines what’s next as his sentencing hearing draws near.

A little over a week ago Jeremy Hammond, a young Chicago native who has been held in jail for over 400 days without trial, put out an emergency call for support across the Free Anons support network for a hearing that is probably almost over at this moment. The request that came across the network was not detailed in the nature of this short-notice hearing:

“It is imperative that we pack the courtroom for Jeremy Hammond on May 28 at 10am. This is an extremely important and Jeremy has contacted FreeAnons and asked for as much court support as possible. On this hearing date we must fill the courtroom. Your attendance is requested and needed. The hearing will be at the Federal Courthouse in New York at 10:00am. Please, if you have never been able to get to any other hearing, come to this one. The courtroom is 12A. We will gather at Foley Square directly across the street from the courthouse. The Jeremy Hammond Solidarity Network will hold a press conference following this hearing.”

Jeremy has been accused of being a key player in the hack of Stratfor Inc., which took place in December of 2011. As the support network gathered and tuned in at New York city’s Foley Square, from across the country and elsewhere, the purpose was revealed in Jeremy’s own words:

“Today I pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This was a very difficult decision. I hope this statement will explain my reasoning. I believe in the power of the truth. In keeping with that, I do not want to hide what I did or to shy away from my actions. This non-cooperating plea agreement frees me to tell the world what I did and why, without exposing any tactics or information to the government and without jeopardizing the lives and well-being of other activists on and offline.”

Here’s the full statement:

Other links:

There are some very inappropriate projections as to Jeremy’s “ideology” in this piece that are a bit absurd, but it gives a decent overview:

Support Jeremy:

Mail to Jail program

Donate to Jeremy’s defense fund.

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