Happy Thanksgiving. I like Meat: A confession.

Turkey. It’s kind of been done to death from a cooking point of view, hasn’t it? Let’s face it, the reason we eat Turkey on Thanksgiving, despite the relative culinary atrocities done to it by Aunt May, or that haggard and over-stressed family member frantically cooking a Norman Rockwell painting before he/she has to leave right after dinner to be back at work at the retail store open Thanksgiving, is the marketing and the chemically mutated Turkey Frankenstein-ed to feed 18.

But if that’s your focal point for fending off the anti-family forces of FOX, the right, out-of-control capitalists and fruit cake purveyors, then enjoy. Fight for that bit of family. Who am I to tell you that American’s consume almost 10 times the amount of meat they consumed in 1980, and that the over-consumption is the likely cause of a myriad of diseases and ailments burying more Americans in a week than Ebola does annually around the globe. Trust me, the wife is always admonishing me that I don’t have to have meat every day and with every meal. I like it. In fact, I love it, but yes I’m trying to cut back.

The wife and I don’t buy into any strict regimen or dietary obligation. I understand tradition, and to me the ultimate tradition is spending time with family and friends, or simply just taking a step back, something wholly separate and apart from money, commerce and consumerism. Thanksgiving should be about something real; a rebirth to family. Hell, have a couple of frozen pizzas, a giant plate of Irish Nachos or a huge unbelievable salad instead of the obligation stress of manufacturing the perfect Turkey dinner. Have a soul food Christmas and use all of the other parts of the animal. In the Balkans, where the wife hails from, they have a communal meal called a Mezza, of cut up fresh veggies, fresh cheeses and dips, hearty breads, a bit of sliced cured meats and enough liquor to float a sailing ship. Everyone just picks and drinks and conversates. meze2

Does anyone remember conversation? See if you can talk with someone for 1 hour without referencing a meme on Facebook or a video on Youtube or checking an email or text on your phone. Don’t Google. Don’t even Yahoo.

But just one note. Not long ago I had a chat with a vegan friend of mine who said that the vegans are coming for all the meat eaters. ONE DAY VEGANS WILL RULE THE WORLD! That friend certainly did not represent all of the vegans I know, and have cooked for quite a few. I just want us all to agree that belligerent meat eaters are just as annoying as belligerent vegans, and sadly those fringe idiots are the ones we hear from. And as for Vegans ruling the world sometime in the distant future? Maybe, but we only know that will be right before the robots eat them!

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Michael Brown: Analyzing the Witness testimony.

The rightwing media pulled no punches in dancing on Michael Brown’s grave and spitting in the face of his family. We are led to believe from evidence most of us never will see that the case is closed based solely upon the word of an irresponsible prosecutor who seemed to be acting as Darren Wilson’s defense attorney. More than that, he seemed, by the theatrics and teasing of the release, animated towards provoking emotions in the community. St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s announcement regarding the Grand Jury’s decision seemed more like a campaign speech for political advancement than a public announcement.

Key to the case are the witness statements, in which Wilson also plays apart. Here it is also important to recognize several key aspects of the witness testimony. First, the more immediate the recollection by witnesses the better. That is, we can prioritize witness testimony taken the day of the shooting, August 9, 2014. Here is break down based on an analysis created from witness testimony by PBS Newshour. Excluding Officer Wilson, 21 witnesses were interviewed, 7 of those multiple times.

First, Officer Darren Wilson did not give testimony for a full 10 days following the shooting. That testimony is dated August 19th. That is critical to understanding the validity, veracity and accuracy of his statement.

of the 21 witnesses interviewed, 7 were interviewed more than once. In each case key aspects of their testimony changed. None of them could agree on the number of shots fired, ranging widely from between 3 and 11. Witness #44, interviewed on 8/16 and again on 9/25, a month and a half after the shooting, appears to have changed testimony in favor of Wilson. Initially the witness did not know if Brown reached into the car, but then changed testimony to indicate he had. Witness #48 initially indicated Brown had his hands up, but then recanted that

Excluding Wilson, whose testimony must be considered biased, the key issue is the alleged altercation at the vehicle. We are led to believe by the prosecutor that witnesses agreed fully that there was a battle in the vehicle, with Brown assaulting Wilson, supposedly in going for the gun, which subsequently went off injuring Brown and leaving residue on his hand. The facts show something quite different. While 8 witnesses recalled an altercation of some sort at the vehicle, 3 disagreed. 2 of the 8 changed their testimony on whether or not there was an altercation, both times in favor of the prosecution. While no allegations of witness intimidation have come to light, it must, until verified, remain a possibility.table-finalfinalup

While the prosecutor and the right wing media seem fixated on the alleged altercation at the vehicle, that is only part of the incident. Equally, if not more important, is whether Michael Brown had his hands up and was surrendering. Only 2 witness said that Brown did not have his hands up. Their testimony was taken days after the incident. 12 witnesses reported that his hands were up when shot. Likewise, only 3 witnesses said Brown was NOT running away when shot. Nearly every witness testified unanimously that he was running away when fired upon.

5 witnesses reported that Brown charged Wilson. 5 disagreed. That alone should have been enough to warrant a trial.

Finally, only 6 witnesses were interviewed the day of the shooting. That is curious, given the nature of the incident. Many of the rest were not interviewed for more than a week, several after a month or more and one on the 11th of November, more than three months after the shooting. Of those interviewed the day of the shooting, all were unanimous that Brown did not charge Wilson, or that they gave no answer

Clearly this is a simple analysis of the witness testimony. Not included here, but critical to any assessment is the distance and visibility of each witness to the shooting. Also critical is at what point in the incident each witness arrived. That is, did they witness fully, unencumbered by trees, angle, distance or lighting (1.e., glare) the incident from the moment Brown approached the vehicle until his death, or did the witness only the incident in part.

Still, based even upon a simple analysis we are left with an inescapable conclusion; it is not as airtight and simple a case as the prosecutor and media would lead us to believe. On that basis alone, in an uncorrupted system there should have been more than enough cause to hold Wilson for trial. And for those who would place too much faith in the infallibility of the judicial system, one only has to look to the civil rights era to realize that the courts have long maintained a bias towards the status quo rather than to minorities.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/newly-released-witness-testimony-tell-us-michael-brown-shooting/

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/critics-question-timing-of-ferguson-announcement/ar-BBfPlWbimagesTE

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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A Protest without the promise of violence, should the state act against the people is a parade, and parades are for children and clowns, not the apparatus for justice and change.

Thomas Paine:
As a long and violent abuse of power is generally the means of calling the right of it in question, (and in matters too which might never have been thought of, had not the sufferers been aggravated into the inquiry,) and as the king of England hath undertaken in his own right, to support the parliament in what he calls theirs, and as the good people of this country are grievously oppressed by the combination, they have an undoubted privilege to inquire into the pretensions of both, and equally to reject the usurpations of either…
The cause of America is, in a great measure, the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all lovers of mankind are affected, and in the event of which, their affections are interested. The laying a country desolate with fire and sword, declaring war against the natural rights of all mankind, and extirpating the defenders thereof from the face of the earth, is the concern of every man to whom nature hath given the power of feeling; of which class, regardless of party censure, is
THE AUTHOR. Philadelphia, Feb. 14, 1776.

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100) Chicago to hold a Press Conference in Response to the Grand Jury Decision on Officer Darren Wilson

Press Conference & Teach-In
Tuesday, November 25th, 9 AM
City Hall, 121 N LaSalle, 5th floor

CHICAGO, IL, 11/24 – A Black person is killed by a police officer, security officer or self-appointed vigilante every 28 hours in America (Malcolm X Grassroots Movement). Following an indictment Grand Jury decision in the case of Officer Darren Wilson, the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100) Chicago Chapter will engage in a press conference at 9:00 AM at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, 5thFloor, Chicago, IL, 60602 on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014. The press conference is in response to the lack of accountability for police violence in the City of Chicago and all over the nation.

In coordination with the Don’t Shoot Coalition and activists across the nation, BYP 100 Chicago members are calling for immediate demilitarization of law enforcement agencies nationwide. The group also joins Hands Up United in calling for Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to appoint a special prosecutor to oversee the case of Officer Darren Wilson.

Following the press conference, the group of young Black activists will lead healing circles and political education teach-ins on the BYP 100 Agenda to Keep Us Safe (The Agenda) which is a policy agenda that proposes strategies and policies to end the criminalization of Black youth in America. The Agenda is one step in a long-term fight to end the criminalization of Black youth and to end the violence against the Black people by law enforcement officers.

For more information about the press conference, please contact Camesha Jones at (240) 533-2876.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/299710183557970/

Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100) is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, non-violent direct action organizing, advocacy and education using a Black queer feminist lens. We are an organization affiliated with the Black Youth Project.

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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On Love

I’m collecting perspectives. That’s all any of us can do in coming to an understanding of what love is, which is fundamentally what the issue of Gay marriage come down to; Love and the hierarchy of love. That is, which love is valid, and which is not.
So, if in a truly Christian society, particularly one in which the Bible is not only contradictory, what does it mean when even the most pious of men are ultimately judicious in what they will adhere to, and what they will not. If we are told to use this holy book as the moral compass in our lives, and adhere to the interpretations of men who disagree fundamentally from one another, what is left for us? So it becomes a mandate for each person to collect perspectives on the world, and to weigh things not just in the balance, but upon a broader, deeper understanding of love.
I suppose that’s the way I come to some better comprehension of the word, as it is as elusive as defining a day without explaining the rotation of the earth, the waxing and waning of shadows, of morning dew, the urgency of fulfilling each final moment before sunset, or donning a sweater against an evening chill.
How does one comprehend the wind from a single pale word? In it there is limited comprehension for the gentlest of breezes against a humid morning, the rage of a tornado, a howling blizzard wind or the gust that stands out a flag to its fullest glory. There is only a hint of consideration in the word “wind” for the clap of a full sail unfurling, of the thundering surf rushed towards a pristine shoreline, the rattles of trash through an alley, the frosty whistle through a gap in the window. A simple, single definition of love fails us just as surely.
Words fail us, and the heart fails us more. Not in the wish for love, but in the arrogance of ego that we truly comprehend its scope. Young lovers exalt in its electric rush, sweeping them headlong towards the uncertainty of love; to be swept over into the abyss where they are lost, or to settle into something that lasts a lifetime. There is the love in a child’s needing eyes, love in the betrayal and sorrow of a broken heart and an argument, and love in the adoring gaze of a pet.
There is love among friends, between lovers and among enemies. The desperate, dying and downtrodden find love in the rescuing eyes of those who would comfort and save them. Some find love in a glass of wine, or in a wonderful meal, others in the whisper of a sunrise or the majesty of a moment. We love our work and the passion of a cherished painter, or the brilliance of a favorite writer, or in diversity of all things. Many find it in the grace and goodness of god, but who’s god? What form god takes is entirely one’s own definition.
Defining love might be the fool’s way out. No, better to come to it as a science of sorts, in which there will never be a proper or simple definition, but rather a deeper knowledge and understanding.
Love, for me, is changing every day. It is not at all what it was when I first asked my wife to marry me. Indeed, then I would never have imagined it might also serve to highlight my deepest flaws or greatest possibilities, or demand my greatest sacrifices. And love as I understand it now will not be the same as the love my parents know as they celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. But I am hoping, and I am hoping I will understand it a bit better each new day.
It is easy to define marriage in the narrowly focused prism of Right Wing talk radio and television as some sort of Hallmark card defense of that supposed monolithic religious sacrament. The problem with any argument on the Right is that you must either be ignorant of history and the meaning of words- a zealot- or complacently buy their acutely framed definitions.
They will constantly press the definition of marriage as religious, as long as no one asks what religion is exactly on the table, or they attempt to define the tenants of that religion, its associated culture, gender politics, and interpersonal and social power dynamics. As long as one assumes that “religion” refers to a “Father Knows Best” episode, circa 1955 white, upper-middle class, American, suburbia, then everything is fine.
Locked into that Hollywood crafted ideal is the illusion that religion, marriage and sex have been static and unchanged from the dawn of Humanity until women burned their bras and Coloreds took a seat at formerly whites-only lunch counters. After that, all hell broke loose, with everyone thinking that they could just be free, and free to marry whom they chose. Who do they think they are, Americans?
But the history of religion is hardly about which one is best. We’ve seen that the pushiest and most violent often claim that mantle. Rather, the history of religion is really about questioning, about the assertions of the human heart and the ascension of human rights. The Constitution and Declaration of Independence invoked the religious beliefs of the day to assert Secular Humanism. A contradiction, but then so are people. Right?

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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AMP’s 7th annual Conference for Palestine in the US: Gaza Teaches Life! begins Thanksgiving Day

Record crowd expected at Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, IL for three-day event

(CHICAGO 11/21/2014) — The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a national education and advocacy organization based in Palos Hills, IL, will kick off its 7th annual conference at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 with its inaugural session featuring local, national and international Muslim leaders, including Ambassador Ufuk Gokcen, of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to the United Nations.

Featured speakers include Dr. Mads Gilbert, the Norwegian physician permanently banned by Israel from Gaza; Dr. Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Knesset who serves at the Deputy Speaker; Al Jazeera anchorwoman Ghada Oueiss; Israeli American Miko Peled, son of the architect of the 1967 Six Day War and author of the book, “The General’s Son”; and Syrian hip-hop artist Omar Offendum. See full speaker list.

With a large increase in registration over last year, organizers are expecting a record turnout of more than 3,000 people. AMP’s annual conference historically has been the largest gathering for Palestine in the United States. In addition to lectures, the conference offers activism workshops, a Campus Activism Track, programs for young adults and youth, movie screenings, author book signings, a bazaar and entertainment.

Members of the media are welcome to attend. Registration fees will be waived for media, but pre-registration and credentials are required.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the American Muslim for Palestine’s 7th annual Conference for Palestine in the US: Rising from the Ashes: Gaza Teaches Life! However, to ensure the comfort of our guests and speakers, all media must be pre-registered and credentialed. All photograpny and filming is prohibited. AMP will make exceptions for media requests made prior to the conference. Interviews for speakers must be requested prior to the event and will take place in the designated media room.

Kristin Szremski
Director of media and communications
American Muslims for Palestine
10101 S. Roberts Road
Palos Hills, IL 60465
708.717.4180 cell
708.598.4267, ext. 22 office

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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MH-17: Reconstruction of a Disaster

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming investigation into the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine. This reconstruction is based upon credible and verifiable news sources from around the planet…

Inside the cabin, the stewards and flight attendants were busy with meal service. The passengers were contented with in-flight entertainment. The flight so far has been routine, even mundane. There were still more than 8 hours remaining to Kuala Lumpur. The passengers were thinking of their final destination, making connections, seeing loved ones, business meetings and sleeping in their own beds again.

Far below, others are animated for war. Ten miles to the south of quiet little Hrabove a convoy of military vehicles rumbled through the town of Snizhne, one of them was recognized as a SA-11 surface to air BUK missile launcher. A June 29th post by the rebels bragged about being in possession of at least one captured BUK missile system after overrunning an airbase.

Local reports put the convoy in the town around lunchtime. Atop the tracked vehicle four missiles, each18 feet long, were unmistakable for a group of Associated Press journalists covering the war. A man in fatigues cautioned the journalists against filming before the convoy rumble west out of town. Dressed in desert camouflage, unlike the rebel soldiers green uniforms, he spoke with a distinctive Russian accent.

Movements of the missile launcher that day are confirmed in eyewitness statements, video and photographs. In November 2014 the Bellingcat Group of investigative journalists published a detailed inquiry of the vehicle and its movements. That report can be found at www.bellingcat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Origin-of-the-Separatists-Buk-A-Bellingcat-Investigation1.pdf

The missile launcher and its crew, now near the town of Torez, as well as their command and control support were expectant of an enemy incursion. They were blinded by that perspective, which betrays a complete and criminal negligence at every level in the chain of command. If Russia, in fact, supplied the vehicle then the responsible authorities share substantial culpability for allowing trigger happy, irresponsible and ill-trained rebels such a dangerously sophisticated weapon.

Initially the crew filed a flight plan which would have taken them farther to the south at an altitude of 35,000 feet. Instead they were diverted north, ostensibly for thunder storms brewing to the south, and ordered to 33,000 feet for traffic. Slowing to 490 knots, MH-17 descended 2,000 feet.

In June, despite safety assurances, both British Airlines and Lufthansa decided against risking East Ukrainian airspace. Emirates suspended flights to Ukraine altogether, according to Reuters. As pointed out in a previous chapter the routine of war balanced against marketing and business concerns, it had become normal business practice for International airlines to fly over war zones simply to save money on fuel.

Ukraine was no different. Commercial airlines regularly flew over Iraq and Afghanistan during the wars there, comfortable that insurgent forces lacked the capability to threaten them. When the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull (pronounced: Ai-ya-fyatla-yoy-katl) erupted in 2010 disrupting air travel between North America and Europe and ground more than 100,000 flights, the cost to airlines and more than 6 million stranded passengers was in the tens of millions of Dollars. The costs to the bottom line are powerful drivers in the equation when left to airlines alone.

While indications are abundant and clear that the rebels assumed the incoming aircraft was a Ukrainian military transport there seems to have been a blatant disregard for protocols which would have allowed them to identify the plan as civilian. Visually it may have proved difficult, even with binoculars, to make a proper identification but the BUK system hardly relies on antiquated technology for identification. But while NATO member countries rely on the International Friend or Foe, IFF, the BUK radar has its own IFF system. According to HIS Jane’s Missiles and Rockets editor Doug Richardson:

“Although it has it own Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, this is only able to establish whether the target being tracked is a friendly aircraft. It is the electronic equivalent of a sentry calling out “Who goes there?” If there is no reply, all you know is that it is not one of your own side’s combat aircraft. It would not give you a warning that you were tracking an airliner.”

The BUK’s acquisition radar, deployed some thirty miles to the southwest in the village of Styla, allowed the rebel fighters to identify, track and target the aircraft. Whether they believed they were once again targeting a Ukrainian transport, or simply took advantage of a ready target remains unclear. Protocols, IFF, known civilian over flights, flight path, altitude, command structure and time on target removes the specter of the accidental and indicates at the very least negligence if not intention.

Once launched the fate of MH-17 was sealed. The system is highly accurate. According to Army-Technology.com, in association with Defense and Security Systems International the BUK Air Defense Missile System maintains a high kill rate at target:

A single missile can destroy tactical aircraft and helicopters with a probability between 0.9 and 0.95, while the kill probability against tactical ballistic missiles ranges between 0.6 and 0.7. The missile can operate continuously for one day with refueling and has a tear-down time of five minutes. The missile can destroy tactical ballistic missile within the range of 20km and can kill cruise missiles at 100m altitude and within the range of 20km. It has maximum target g-load of 10g and can destroy aerodynamic targets with a maximum speed of 830m/s flying at an altitude between 0.015km and 25km, and within 3km to 45km range. The missile system can operate in temperatures up to ± 50°C and wind speeds up to 30m/s. Its maximum operating altitude above sea level is 3,000m.

“A bird is flying to you,” a spotter told a rebel commander for pro-Russian separatists in Horlivka 15 miles west of the crash sight. He is identified as Igor Bezlor, a mercurial man and a typical character to be found in any conflict who is all too ready to rationalize any moral and ethical transgression to war. In temperament and stature Bezlor reminds one of the late Serbian thug and warlord Zeljko “Arkan” Raznatovic. His features are pallid and severe, an obligatory cigarette ever present and a black cap that seems costume-like.

“Reconnaissance plane or a big one?” asks Bezlor, from his regional headquarters in nearby Gorlovka.

There is no indication from the rebels that they were firing at anything other than a single target. They are very clearly heard discussing the size of the aircraft. If, in fact, there was a shadowing aircraft below or near the 777 the Buk radar would have indicated, and the battery would have had the capability of hitting both. The rebel leaders in those recordings have never officially acknowledged nor denied their authenticity.

On the ground at around 1:20 that afternoon residents of Torez recalled hearing loud explosions. Rostislav Grishin, a 21-year-old prison guard remembered hearing “two powerful blasts in a row.” The time must be viewed as subjective, though with a forward velocity and possibly one working engine, at least for a time, the descent would have been rapid; certainly faster than a simple freefall.

“First there was one, but then after a minute, a minute and a half, there was another discharge. I raised my head and within a minute I could see a plane falling through the clouds.” The two powerful blasts Grishin heard were undoubtedly the nearby launch of the missile followed by the detonation as the missile found its intended target.

The launch would have been powerful and thundering, followed by the long tearing crrrraaacckkk as the missile streaked skyward. Smoke and dust from the launch would have consumed briefly the massive vehicle. The roar of the launch, as recalled by a number of witnesses, carried for several miles in the rolling hills around Torez and Snizhne.

The 9M317 missile required a radar lock to steer it to the target. It is an awesome weapon when launched, a solid fuel rocket with a total burn time of about 15 seconds that finds it target at speeds of up to Mach 3 four times faster than MH-17 was travelling. A rebel Operator steered the missile in flight until the missiles own onboard system locked onto the airliner. For the crew on MH-17 and the passengers there would have been no warning as the missile streaked skywards at better than 2000 feet per second.

“Malaysian one seven,” instructs the ATC controller, “due traffic proceed direct Romeo November Delta.”

“Romeo November Delta, Malaysian one seven,” Mh-17 replied. The UTC time was 13:16:56. It was the last transmission from the aircraft.

The missile is designed to detonate within 65 feet of its target. From video and photos of the wreckage it is likely that the missile did not strike the aircraft directly. A direct impact wouldn’t have been necessary. With a 154 pound high explosive fragmentation warhead an explosion anywhere near the aircraft would have been devastating. What is certain is that the explosion was instantly catastrophic to the 777.

The missile raced up at the aircraft, passing underneath MH-17’s flight path from right to left at three times the speed of sound. Just below and behind where Captain Wan Amran sat the missile exploded with a blinding flash, probably within 20 to 40 feet of the aircraft and likely above the farm fields between the villages of Tymofiivka and Orlovo-Ivanivka. At the controls, opposite Wan Amran, Eugene Choo Jin Leong would have had no warning and no opportunity to react.

One hour and fifty-six minutes after takeoff Malaysian Airlines flight 17 disappeared from radar screens. It was 9:20am in Washington D.C.

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Poverty American Style.

Now that the national poverty rate has topped the 15% mark. And since we are going after both sides here, is it an indication that Obama is indeed inept as a President, and that Democratic social policies have failed, or if the current Administration inherited a historic, and perhaps purposeful economic disaster by the Bush administration? As with all things political, the answer is really somewhere in the middle.

When we discuss poverty in America, who exactly are we talking about? Nicholas Cage declared bankruptcy and had to sell homes and assets worth millions at a loss. Can we consider Nicholas Cage impoverished? In order to have a constructive view of the issue it is critical to be speaking to the same definition of American poverty, which is fundamentally different from poverty elsewhere around the planet. It is in coming to a proper definition that allows for constructive dialogue among rational and intelligent people from both parties. Ambiguity is the fertile ground for manipulators like the Becks and Limbaughs and Savages to create propaganda that only solidifies division in this nation and costs lives.

The problem is that they have no interest in a better nation, only a better nation for them and their greedy co-conspirators. They desire a tiered nation of the haves and have-nots, and a nation in which poor kids will aspire to shine their shoes, clean their toilets and serve their food, while their children are indemnified with power, money and privilege. These so-called men blather on and on about natural law. But natural law is the guideline for the selfish. It is and becomes an excuse to hide behind. It is the cornerstone to every argument on the Right. They are all selfish in nature. My house, my money, my gun. I got mine, you get yours. The vague idea of community in reality becomes an extension of that self-directed attitude. The world must look like what they wish it to be, not what is actually is.

We’ve all heard the propaganda. America’s poor are so much better off than the poor in Bangladesh or Somalia, as if those are the standards America’s poor should be measured against. They cite obesity, owning a television or having cable TV as evidence that the poor in this country have nothing to complain about. Again, are they demanding that our poor should be shivering in an empty apartment, bloated and covered with flies before we pay attention?

The Health and Human services Administration sets the poverty level for a single adult at $11,ooo per year in income. For a family of 4 that number is $22,350, or roughly an additional $3000 annually for each additional person in the household. That’s roughly 9 dollars per day for food, school clothing, shoes, coats, medical costs, etc. Working a minimum wage job full-time with no vacation brings a pre-tax amount of $17,680 in income yearly, or $340 a week. Federal income tax, state tax and SSI reduce those amounts to roughly $12,000 annual or about$240 weekly. Quickly run through a basic list of costs, bus or train or driving costs(which brings upkeep, fuel and insurance costs) rent, food, electricity, gas and basic incidentals and that income is quickly used up.

Some of that might-might- come back in a tax return, but not much. Perhaps a thousand bucks. Consider that a break job for a car costs$4-600 bucks, and a monthly bus pass in Chicago is $90, or almost a thousand per year. What about healthcare? Minimum wage jobs don’t come with healthcare. The wife and I, through our well-paying jobs still pay 500 per month into our premiums. Basic car insurance in a decent neighborhood…$4-800 annually.

But we can narrow the argument to a greater degree of reality. Are we discussing Relative Poverty , Episodic poverty or Absolute poverty?

Relative poverty is what the Propagandists most commonly use. That is poverty in relation to the median income in a given location. The median income in rural Idaho who likely be far lower than the median income of , say, Manhattan where there are far more at the top end of the income scale pulling the income average higher. The cost of basic existence in either place would be dramatically different. It is a ruse.

Episodic poverty would refer to those, for example, seasonally unemployed. Both Episodic and Relative poverty are argumentative and open to all sorts of manipulation. Absolute poverty, however, is not.

Absolute poverty refers to specific criteria needed for basic survival. It sets standards for a basic healthy diet needed to sustain a basic body mass index, access to safe water, a toilet in or near the home, basic medical accessibility for serious illness and pregnancy, minimal shelter with less than four living to a room and a floor made of something other than dirt or mud. It prescribes access to basic education and the ability to read, access to basic information and emergency information such as a television, and for a telephone. Finally, it requires access to simple legal, social and financial services.

That said, this is how poverty in America breaks down. 15.3% of Americans live below the Absolute poverty line. Which means that, 37 million Americans, or nearly a million in every state of the Union cannot rely on basic housing, services, food, healthcare, sanitation, education or clean water. According to the USDA 15% of Americans cannot rely on having enough nutritious food to sustain adequate health, which seems a crime in the wealthiest nation on the planet.

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Obama’s Immigration Speech: the Audacity of a Muslim Marxist Dictator

Thought that I would help out the Right with talking points and a proper dissection of of the President’s speech on Immigration. Amazingly I found it very easy to slip into right wing talking mode. It is almost as if those who normally proselytize to the nation on a daily basis, overwhelming the public airwaves with a singular political refrain are less zealots than salesmen; but that’s just my interpretation.

From the very first words uttered Obama, he lied. “My fellow Americans…”? Ha! We never resolved the birth certificate issue, at least not to Michelle Bachmann’s satisfaction. Besides, even if he wasn’t born in Kenya, as the paragon of knowledge and integrity, Donald Trump, who just took an architectural dump on the Chicago skyline by plastering his name in giant letters on a highrise, asserts, Hawaii isn’t really a state either. There are way too many dark people outnumbering the light people. So, no matter where he was born Obama is a foreigner.

“For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations.” But the truth of it is, Mr. President, this nation has never accepted immigrants, not since the Mayflower, anyway. Oops, I stand corrected, this country welcomed slaves eagerly, sold and traded them regularly for nearly two hundred years. It was just the Irish, Italians, Muslims, Jews, Mexicans, Slavs, Chinese, Japanese and others who were segregated, spit upon, discriminated against, and in at least one case interned in prison camps. Wow, Jews and Muslims do have something in common; being treated like trash by the dominant culture.

What the right needs to figure out is what these filthy Mexicans, carrying ISIS terrorists with Ebola on their backs across the dirty Rio Grande are going to do here. The deposed representative Joe Walsh on his screed of radio program is concerned these immigrants will take American jobs and go on welfare. Which is it? Are they going on welfare or taking jobs? It can’t be both.

And then there are the anchor babies. Oh, don’t get me started on the anchor babies. That should be stricken from the constitution. Just one problem; that was written into the constitution at a time when most people’s parents had come over from Europe, so if we get rid of that, wouldn’t the rule also apply to anchor grandbabies, and great grandbabies, and great-great grandbabies? I know a few Lakota and Ojibway friends would be damned excited should that law go into effect. Great news though, it would also solve the issue of Obama’s citizenship as well. Of course there is also the issue of black folks with a slave heritage. Since it is, and technically was illegal to sell another human being…well, it gets tricky don’t it.

The fact of the matter is, bringing immigrants-I prefer economic refugees- out of the shadows is just bad for business. Dammit! Now all those people will be covered under federal minimum wage laws, workman’s comp laws and OSHA regulations. They might even have the audacity to sign up for insurance and expect safe working conditions. We might have to pay a few more pennies, a nickel or quarter for services, fast food and lawncare. See, it isn’t the guy making 30, 60 or even 90 grand a year picking up a dozen day laborers to work a construction site, or work in his restaurant, or work his estate.

In fairness, Mr. Obama did say that we are “a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws…” Indeed they did. Facing crime, poverty, unsafe working conditions in American owned factories, pollutions from those same factories, rape and murder by thugs working for those companies, interference with their government at every level and US partnership in massive bribery and corruption of their government those criminals might feel that we are a nation of laws, but those laws end at the border. At least, nominally, within those borders there are laws and human rights, so why not go there, huh?

“… millions of immigrants in every state, of every race and nationality still live here illegally…let’s be honest, tracking down, rounding up and deporting millions of people isn’t realistic. Anyone who suggests otherwise isn’t being straight with you. It’s also not who we are as Americans.” And I couldn’t agree more. It would be impractical to deport them all. It is far more practical to spy on all of them and collect meta-data on everyone here for future use. We already have that capability. It’s called the NSA and law enforcement.

In all seriousness, despite the bluster of the Right and the ass-kissing of the DNC the deal the president so resolutely laid out is nothing. It said nothing and was spectacular in its vagary. There was no compromise or solution, and nothing of benefit to either the so-called illegals or anyone else. Instead it sounded like a slimy used car salesman doing his damndest to pawn a lemon off on a rube. What it sounds like is a repeal of slavery which says at the end of the repeal that if you are convicted of something that slavery is them acceptable. But you judge for yourself:

“…we’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve with been in America more than five years. If you have children who are American citizens or illegal residents. If you register, pass a criminal background check and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That’s what this deal is…This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently. It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive”

His words not mine.

The full transcript: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-obamas-immigration-speech/2014/11/20/14ba8042-7117-11e4-893f-86bd390a3340_story.html


CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Community Leaders Condemn Efforts to Block Chicago From Raising Minimum Wage

Voters Protest Outside of Office of Illinois Restaurant Association

Chicago, Illinois – On November 19th, 2014 community leaders in the Raise Chicago coalition held a press conference and protest outside of the offices of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) in response to the news that IRA and other business lobbyists are pressuring state legislators in Springfield to preempt Chicago’s home rule for raising the minimum wage. Preemption of home rule would prevent Chicago from setting its own minimum wage separate from the state and effectively silence the voices of 86% of Chicagoans who voted to raise the Chicago minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Illinois voters expressed strong support for increasing the state minimum wage to $10, voting in favor of the minimum wage advisory referendum by a 2 to 1 margin. In Chicago, a March 2014 city referendum for a $15 minimum wage garnered 86.3% support from voters. Urged on by IRA and other lobbyists, House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and others are considering including preemption of Chicago home rule in state minimum wage legislation, making it impossible for city legislators to carry out the will of voters to enact a higher city minimum wage.

“The Illinois General Assembly must take action on the issues that working families care about, instead of just paying them lip service to get re-elected. Holding the state minimum wage increase hostage until officials approve the elimination of home rule is not just wrong, it is undemocratic,” said Katelyn Johnson, Executive Director of Action Now, member of the Raise Chicago Coalition.

The Illinois state minimum wage is currently a floor, not a ceiling. It is necessary for expensive cities like Chicago to have the freedom to set their own minimum wage higher to keep residents out of poverty. According to the National Employment Law Project, housing costs are over 30% higher in Chicago than in downstate Illinois.

Across the country, high-cost cities in states such as Maryland, California, New Mexico and Washington State have been successfully using higher local minimum wages to address differing local living costs. According to USA Today, “Interviews with San Jose workers, businesses, and industry officials show it has improved the lives of affected employees while imposing minimal costs on employers.” (USA Today, June 14, 2014)

“It’s outrageous that elected officials, who are supposed to be representing the interests of working families, are moving to lock hundreds of thousands of Chicago working families into poverty wages,” Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative, said. “We insist that Chicago maintain its home rule status, so that we can decide for ourselves what our minimum wage should be.”

The push to ban higher local minimum wages is being driven by the corporate-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which counts the National Restaurant Association among its members and has long pushed bills like the “Living Wage Preemption Act.” ALEC, funded by right-wing billionaire Koch brothers, see it as a strategy for blocking the gains that low-wage workers are making in cities like Chicago. According to the Center on Media and Democracy, “a top agenda item at ALEC’s December meeting is aimed at thwarting [local] efforts to raise the wage.”

“Our elected officials and big business are, once again, trying to do another back room deal sabotaging the voices and the will of the people.” stated Nataki Rhodes, a tipped working and member of Restaurant Opportunities Center Chicago. “We need Cullerton and Madigan to stand with the people, not corporate lobbyists like the Illinois Restaurant Association.”

Since Republican Governor-elect Rauner is likely not to be supportive of raising Illinois’ minimum wage regularly, it is even more crucial that Illinois cities retain the option of enacting higher local minimum wages as a safety valve to provide other means for protecting low-wage workers over the next four years.

GRASSROOTS COLLABORATIVE

637 S. DEARBORN, THIRD FLOOR CHICAGO, IL 60605

www. t h e g r a s s r o o t s c o l l a b o r a t i v e . o r g

November 19th, 2014

Contact: Nathan Ryan, nathan@grassrootscollaborative.org, 920-445-3920


CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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