Tomorrow, ENOUGH white guys pontificating about Sandra Bland. On a very special Revolution and Beer show we hand the show over to women of color, with a panel of the strongest women’s voices we know, including former Southside trauma nurse, Toni Scott, and the unstoppable and unapologetic and always amazing Araceli Vargas. 11-1pm in Chicago, only on the true voice of the people, www.que4.org. Que4Radio, AM1680


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. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is 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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Why Cecil the Lion Matters

This week a storm of outrage erupted from social media after news spread that suburban Minneapolis dentist Walter Palmer shot and killed Cecil the lion July 1st. Despite the 1% spin machine of corporate media, providing cover for wealthy white American men, and repeated denials from Palmer, he knew exactly what he was doing. Palmer claimed that he had all the appropriate permits for big game hunting in Zimbabwe. In truth they purposely lured the lion out of the protected Hwange National Park, baiting the lion with a dead carcass. Palmer wounded the animal with a bow and arrow and made sport of stalking the distinctive black-mane lion for 40 agonizing and torturous hours-for the lion. Romney_Cecil_The_Hill

Palmer hunted Cecil for a trophy, not for food or survival. After killing the animal he cut off the head and skinned it, ostensibly to be used as a rug or display piece; proof of Palmer’s heroism and masculine virility. It should be a crime. The US Fish and Wildlife Service lists African lions as endangered. The African Wildlife Foundation calls them “vulnerable.” National Geographic noted an estimated 200,000 existed at the start of the 20th Century. There are fewer than 30,000 today, and those numbers are dropping. Beware of the spin here, as conservation efforts in several countries, including Zimbabwe have helped a few prides grow in numbers. Overall, across the continent however, lions are reaching a tipping point to no return.

Why the killing of Cecil the lion matters is because humanity is and must be undergoing a transition. As we come to terms with realities of our changing environment, we are learning just how dramatic is our footprint and impact on the planet. The killing of this lion and so many of these creatures, killed for sport predominantly by the wealthy or for the wealthy illustrates the hubris and waste of our species. Clinging to that piggish, self-serving, hedonistic ignorance will prove our own undoing and predict our own destruction.

Palmer, who not surprisingly contributed $5000 to Mitt Romney’s crash and burn campaign in 2012, represents that cruel and ignorant past. He represents the people who gun their engines on earth day, who carry combat rifles into Walmarts, who see racial differences as a threat to hegemony and power as opposed to an opportunity to better define justice. Palmer represents the global warming deniers, the hedge fund traders, the bankers, ISIS, the Taliban, the Western militarists, AIG and Goldman Sachs, the Iranian Mullahs, the Israeli nationalists, Fracking and oil companies, weapons manufacturers and anyone else who keeps us mired in our primitive and ignorant past.

What are we doing as a species? Are we forever to be trapped in the unchanging, stagnate or regressive self-infatuation of consumption and materialism, of rampant and celebratory ignorance masked by the twisted hierarchy o spiritual and religious pretense? Do we wake up day after day after day after day embittered in resisting the change inherent in the universe around us?

That is why the loss of Cecil the lion, and every other lion, giraffes, elephants, spotted owls, sea turtles, whales, hippos, Rhinos and more that are destroyed for profit or for ego. It is a waste without purpose. There was no sustenance for a hungry village from Cecil’s remains. He wasn’t a rogue monster terrorizing a populace; there wasn’t even the culling rationale for the greater good of the pride. It was a waste by a member of a species that is coming to be defined not by its progress and wisdom but by its waste. Enough already! Let Cecil, as tragic and pointless as it is, by a guidepost to a past we must extricate ourselves from and hopefully leave behind.


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. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is 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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Why Cecil the Lion Matters

This week a storm of outrage erupted from social media after news spread that suburban Minneapolis dentist Walter Palmer shot and killed Cecil the lion July 1st. Despite the 1% spin machine of corporate media, providing cover for wealthy white American men, and repeated denials from Palmer, he knew exactly what he was doing. Palmer claimed that he had all the appropriate permits for big game hunting in Zimbabwe. In truth they purposely lured the lion out of the protected Hwange National Park, baiting the lion with a dead carcass. Palmer wounded the animal with a bow and arrow and made sport of stalking the distinctive black-mane lion for 40 agonizing and torturous hours-for the lion. Romney_Cecil_The_Hill

Palmer hunted Cecil for a trophy, not for food or survival. After killing the animal he cut off the head and skinned it, ostensibly to be used as a rug or display piece; proof of Palmer’s heroism and masculine virility. It should be a crime. The US Fish and Wildlife Service lists African lions as endangered. The African Wildlife Foundation calls them “vulnerable.” National Geographic noted an estimated 200,000 existed at the start of the 20th Century. There are fewer than 30,000 today, and those numbers are dropping. Beware of the spin here, as conservation efforts in several countries, including Zimbabwe have helped a few prides grow in numbers. Overall, across the continent however, lions are reaching a tipping point to no return.

Why the killing of Cecil the lion matters is because humanity is and must be undergoing a transition. As we come to terms with realities of our changing environment, we are learning just how dramatic is our footprint and impact on the planet. The killing of this lion and so many of these creatures, killed for sport predominantly by the wealthy or for the wealthy illustrates the hubris and waste of our species. Clinging to that piggish, self-serving, hedonistic ignorance will prove our own undoing and predict our own destruction.

Palmer, who not surprisingly contributed $5000 to Mitt Romney’s crash and burn campaign in 2012, represents that cruel and ignorant past. He represents the people who gun their engines on earth day, who carry combat rifles into Walmarts, who see racial differences as a threat to hegemony and power as opposed to an opportunity to better define justice. Palmer represents the global warming deniers, the hedge fund traders, the bankers, ISIS, the Taliban, the Western militarists, AIG and Goldman Sachs, the Iranian Mullahs, the Israeli nationalists, Fracking and oil companies, weapons manufacturers and anyone else who keeps us mired in our primitive and ignorant past.

What are we doing as a species? Are we forever to be trapped in the unchanging, stagnate or regressive self-infatuation of consumption and materialism, of rampant and celebratory ignorance masked by the twisted hierarchy o spiritual and religious pretense? Do we wake up day after day after day after day embittered in resisting the change inherent in the universe around us?

That is why the loss of Cecil the lion, and every other lion, giraffes, elephants, spotted owls, sea turtles, whales, hippos, Rhinos and more that are destroyed for profit or for ego. It is a waste without purpose. There was no sustenance for a hungry village from Cecil’s remains. He wasn’t a rogue monster terrorizing a populace; there wasn’t even the culling rationale for the greater good of the pride. It was a waste by a member of a species that is coming to be defined not by its progress and wisdom but by its waste. Enough already! Let Cecil, as tragic and pointless as it is, by a guidepost to a past we must extricate ourselves from and hopefully leave behind.


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. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is 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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Action for Sandra Bland

Jul 27 at 3:21 PM

MEDIA ALERT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Tuesday, June 28 – Protest for Sandra Bland

8:30PM ~ Michigan Ave Bridge

The Chicago River

Contact: Kelly Hayes, 773-499-0172, kellyhayes81@gmail.com

Tues 7/28: Say Her Name: A Light Action for Sandra Bland

Chicago 7/28 — Tuesday night, Project NIA, The Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls & Young Women and The Chicago Light Brigade will answer a national call for light actions to lift up the name of Sandra Bland. Sandra’s death in a Texas jail cell, three days after she was unjustly and violently arrested during a bogus traffic stop, has moved communities around the country to demand answers. Since Sandra was from the Chicago area, local organizers feel it is especially important to show their love and solidarity during this difficult time.

“We have to to lift up Sandra Brand’s name, and Rekia Boyd’s name,” says organizer Kelly Hayes, “and we have to remind people that these tragedies are all part of the same fatal illness. It’s a social sickness that’s killing people every day. It is racism. It is police impunity. Sandra Bland should never have been pulled from her car. She should never have been in that cell. She was brutalized. Her life was threatened. And now she’s gone. We need a national wake-up call, because Black women and girls will continue to be crushed and killed by this system so long as we allow it.”

Protestors will gather on the north side of the Michigan Avenue Bridge over the Chicago River, in front of the Wrigley Building at 8:30pm. After a speak out, attendees will create imagery that will honor Sandra Bland’s memory and call others to action.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1648108365403625/

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Stop & Frisk Introduced by Ald. Moreno to Chicago

We Charge Genocide | wechargegenocide.org/stop.act
#ChiStops | @ChiCopWatch | @ChiStopsWGC

MEDIA ALERT / FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Eric Tenza, 734-355-6331, ejtenza@gmail.com
Rachael Perrotta, 773-653-5073, plusssone@gmail.com

PRESS CONFERENCE
Wednesday, July 29th, 9:30AM
Chicago City Hall, 2nd Floor

Wed 7/29: Press Conference for Introduction of
STOP Act before City Council
#ChiStops: Empowering young people through popular education and leadership training to resist racial profiling and other biased policing.

CHICAGO 7/28 – On July 29th, Aldermen Moreno will introduce the Stop, Transparency, Oversight and Protection (STOP) Act before City Council. The ordinance would increase data transparency for policing in Chicago, making it possible to better assess the effectiveness and fairness of Chicago policing generally, and stop and frisk tactics specifically. A press conference will be held before the City Council meeting on July 29th, at 9:30am, on the second floor of City Hall.

The ordinance would require the Chicago Police Department to collect and share data for all stops that it performs, including demographic information of those stopped, the badge numbers of officers involved, as well as the location, reason, and result of the stop. The Chicago Police Department would also be required to give receipts to those stopped, as well as to collect and share the data on a quarterly basis, so that various programs can be evaluated for effectiveness and fairness.

The STOP Act would help Chicago to catch up with New York City, in terms of data transparency and police accountability. New York City collects and analyzes its stop data, and shares it in an accessible format. Using this data, the police have reduced the number of unnecessary stops and frisks performed, and continue to reform their policies as new data comes out.

Speaking to the number and effect of stop-and-frisks, Gillian Giles, a youth organizer with #ChiStops, said that “overpolicing is a problem. Being stopped by the police is terrifying. Being stopped and frisked by the police is at best degrading. Being stopped and frisk by police when you’ve done nothing wrong is unnecessary, and last year 250,000 Chicagoans were stopped without committing a crime.”

A recent report put out by the ACLU of Illinois stresses how the CPD’s insufficient and incomplete data collection methods make real accountability and oversight all but impossible. In addition to addressing this, the STOP Act would also require the police to give those stopped a receipt detailing the transaction, which supporters say would further help strengthen trust in law enforcement.

In addition to ChiStops, over 30 other community groups have signed on in support of the STOP Act, including the ACLU of Illinois, Black Youth Project 100, Chicago Votes, Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration, and Black Lives Matter – Chicago.

Speakers at the press conference will include: Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno, 1st Ward; Page May from We Charge Genocide; Gillian Giles from ChiStops; and Caleb Porter from Chicago Votes.

For more information about the STOP Act, see: wechargegenocide.org/stop.act

We Charge Genocide is volunteer-run by Chicago residents concerned that the epidemic of police violence continues uninterrupted in Chicago and who seek to equip individuals across the city with tools to more proactively hold police accountable. The name We Charge Genocide comes from a petition filed to the United Nations in 1951, which documented 153 racial killings and other human rights abuses, mostly by the police.
– END –

Stop and Frisk in the News:

Chicago Police Use Stop-And-Frisk Excessively: ACLU Report
5/23/2015, New York Times

Chicago sued over Police Department’s alleged stop-and-frisk practices
4/21/2015, Chicago Tribune

New York has essentially eliminated stop-and-frisk – and crime is still down
12/3/2014, Washington Post

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DARK HORSE: Bernie Sanders 2016-A Tree Falls in the Woods

“I’m not dismissive,” Sanders told Meet the Press in late July. A week earlier “Black Lives Matter” activists interrupted a town hall forum featuring Sanders and fellow presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley. “I’ve been involved in the civil rights movement all of my life, and I believe that we have to deal with this issue of institutional racism.”

Sanders’ is struggling to reach Black and Latino voters. His somewhat terse response to protesters at the Netroots Nation gathering in Phoenix didn’t help win many converts. Hillary Clinton, anxiously eyeing Sanders looming in her rear view mirror quickly seized the initiative before an audience of 400 at the Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia, South Carolina that the US needs to confront a history of systemic racism.

“I think we first have to acknowledge and believe that black lives matter. This is not just a slogan, this should be a guiding principle,” she told the crowd(http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/23/politics/hillary-clinton-black-lives-matter/index.html).

The incident illustrates how the campaign, at least on the Left has evolved into predominantly domestic social and economic issues. With a world more integrated than any other time in history, and amid a slew of growing international issues, keeping the election about domestic issues alone seems unlikely. That is the reality every sitting president faces on a day to day basis, a full menu of domestic and international issues.

The Right is weak on domestic issues. Perennial meddling in social welfare programs, failure to hold banks accountable, the loss of manufacturing jobs and so-called trickle-down economics have all help reverse gains made against poverty. While those issues are paramount to the nation the insinuation of international affairs into national politics cannot be over-stated. The nation and the Bush administration discovered that painfully on September 11, 2001, in which focus on domestic issues blinded officials to looming threats overseas.

At the top of that list are a number of critical events. Earlier that summer the Chinese economy, was rocked as the stock market appeared to be in freefall, driven in part by a steep slide in commodity prices, a negative for an export economy. That has a ripple effect around the world. It also predicts all manner of internal ramifications for China, who has little or no experience in dealing with this sort of free market calamity. A one day loss in the Chinese market cost US investors an estimated $60 billion. Then there are global climate concerns, Iran post nuclear deal, Russia and Ukraine, the war in Yemen and the widening conflict with ISIS. The ISIS issue took an ominous turn at the end of July.

Looking back it seemed inevitable that Turkey would be drawn into the fight against ISIS in neighboring Syria. NATO member Turkey, who has struggled with the Kurdish PKK for decades stood by in as ISIS besieged the predominantly Kurdish Syrian border town of Kobani. The US, banned from undertaking airstrikes from Turkish bases, attacked ISIS in support of the Kurds. Reports persisted that Turkey was playing a duplicitous game attempting to appease the ISIS threat on its borders. Turkey was earlier accused of purchasing black market oil from ISIS and in paying ransoms for kidnapped Turks. ISIS drew a large share of its wealth from such schemes. On July 20th all of that changed.

That day an ISIS linked suicide bomber killed 32 and wounded 104 during a press conference in the Turkish border town of Suruc (pronounced Shur-ooch). Turkey responded quickly with large scale counter-terrorism operations against ISIS. Seizing an opportunity Turkey also attacked Kurdish targets and arrested a large number of Kurds.

The event is significant since the necessity of Kurds in the region as the primary bulwark against ISIS has given Kurdish dreams of a homeland greater legitimacy. The Kurds ostensibly would drawn their greater Kurdistan across regions of Northern Iraq, Syria and Eastern Turkey. Complicating the issue, Turkey struck at ISIS targets in Syria and Kurdish forces battling ISIS in northern Iraq. NATO was quick to support Turkey, condemning terrorism in Turkey and cautioning on a proportional response by Turkey against Kurdish separatists. That sets up a potentially dangerous and unpredictable situation on the ground in the war against ISIS, which the US and coalition partners have struggled to contain in the region. It is likely the next president will step into office dealing with a conflict more chaotic and problematic than ever.

Meanwhile, on the campaign trail Bernie Sanders drew 4500 enthusiastic supporters in Kenner Louisiana, near New Orleans, eclipsing the 1000 Republican governor Bobby Jindal drew in his home state. Mitt Romney took Louisiana in 2012 with 58% to Obama’s 40%, although Obama took 80% of the vote in New Orleans. That speech was very much about domestic issues, which is what many on the Left are demanding to hear, but at some point it will prove necessary to understand how Clinton and Sanders stand on key international issues.

The key is whether or not anyone will hear Sander’s positions, given the lack of Press coverage. It begs the question that if tens of thousands of trees cheer in the forest and CNN and FOX refuse to cover them, do they actually make a sound? That remains to be seen.


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. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is 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

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Dark Horse- Bernie Sanders 2016: The “S” Word

A caller to the Thom Hartmann program called to ask how to define for friends and family what a democratic Socialist was. Thom struggled with a somewhat long-winded response, indicative of the difference between nuanced characterizations of issues on the Left and the bumper-sticker simplicity of the Right. Given that the Right has worked hard to turn the word socialism, let alone, any concept or interpretation in a pejorative, it would seem that it is not a simple argument. Those words mean more to people over 40 who still recall the Cold War and the constant, generation’s long drumbeat about communism.

There are a couple of deep and unassailable truths here. The first is that neither China nor the Soviet Union were ever actually Communist, let alone socialist. They were dictatorships, more closely aligned to fascism than communism. The second ultimate truth is that we are all socialist by nature, and that even the most strident capitalist is, well, socialist.

The root of socialism is of course “social,” that intangible mix of family, community, culture and survival that we all are born to. To be social is to be part of society, and no matter how much Ayn Rand cultists infect neo-Libertarian or Tea Party ideology, we all rely and depend upon society to degrees few of us realize. The Bible, Koran, Torah, the parliamentary system, the constitution when realized fully are all socialist institutions and documents: We the People!

Communism and Socialism are not synonymous terms, except for the intentionally ignorant. Like capitalism and true democracy none have ever been honestly attempted on a grand scale, and so, all systems of economy and government on the planet are at worst corruptions and at best hybrids of one another. Bernie sanders has long described himself as a social-democrat, and through no small part of his life was active in the socialist party in Vermont. Sanders is running now as a democrat. That doesn’t make a great deal of allies on either the right or the far left.

Despite criticism from so-called purists in the socialist party, it is astounding that his message has found such resonance among voters and supporters. Just one or two elections ago mainstream candidates were all but running from being described or even associated with socialists. While on the ever aging Right socialism is still ubiquitous with communism, progressives and liberals, and many unaffiliated younger voters are far less alarmed by the word. In truth, many of his positions, consistent with socialist ideals, have become mainstream. A new generation, informed in politics, justice and social issues by the Occupy movement and the blatantly corrupt marriage of money and politics, embraces solutions and issues championed by Sanders, ideas once held as far left utopianism.

Still criticism by the left against Sanders persists. According to the website socialistworker.org:
“We do support many of Sanders’ proposals for reform, like free higher education, the breakup of the mega-banks, a green jobs program to promote alternative energy and stop climate change, and measures to challenge corporate domination of the political system. We also disagree with Sanders’ support for apartheid Israel and his failure to consistently challenge U.S. imperialism, his weak position on the issue of racist police violence, and his support for restrictions on immigrant rights.”

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, particularly for a malleable campaign which must react swiftly to a veritable hail storm of issues from terrorism, the Iran nuclear deal, the death of Sandra Bland and gun violence. For a candidate who fashions himself as a true reformer, Sanders has shown an ability to react quickly while actually listening to constituents rather than promoting focus group and special interest positions.

But for many on the Left, particularly in the socialist party, an often splintered group known for bitter internal battles, the problem is party affiliation. Ashley Smith and Alan Maass, writing for the Socialist Worker, believe Sanders’ “biggest problem is Sanders’ relationship to the Democratic Party. It poses as the “party of the people,” but it is, in fact, a capitalist party, funded and controlled by Corporate America and the political elite. The party establishment tolerates liberals and even radicals in their midst, so long as they don’t represent a significant threat. (http://socialistworker.org/2015/05/27/an-faq-on-sanders-and-the-left)”

But elections are won in the middle, and Sanders has built an amazing base, drawing record crowds around the nation, including in red states such as Texas. Those audiences are comfortable and encouraged that he does not shy away from being identified as a socialist.

The issue in the campaign is not that Bernie Sanders is running as a democrat or identifies as a socialist. The greatest threat to sanders’ campaign currently are the Press, factionalism on the Left and the Corporate Oligarchy, which holds inordinate sway over both parties, particularly when it comes to elections. But socialism is dangerous, right?

The Press and corporate oligarchy could be viewed as one in the same. Since the Reagan administration it has emerged as the information wing for that oligarchy. There remains a synergy between corporate media coverage of select corporately sympathetic candidates and the amount of money, especially following the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, flowing to candidates (http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2015/07/for-gop-senators-running-for-white-house-campaign-cash-correlates-with-export-import-bank-position/ ).

Even more, the number of Americans donating to elections and candidates, primarily via Super-PACs is dangerously skewed to a very elite minority, all of them wealthy and expecting a return on investment. That idea of return on investment is the structural strategy behind the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, a pipeline for corporate-crafted legislation placed in the hands of legislators. That fundamentally threatens the democratic process of voting, in the same way it would be undemocratic and unfair had a law passed allowing corporate CEOs to dictate all their employees vote for a specific candidate or face retribution or termination.

Just as alarming is the skewe3d coverage by the media in favor of select candidates while ignoring others. The coverage by networks and outlets favors candidates like Donald Trump with near constant coverage and validation despite a lack of substance in a campaign which is very clearly more about entertainment and Trump’s ego. There is nothing in any of his positions and comments beneficial to the pressing issues of the nation. More substantive candidates, attempting to have rational, real conversations have been kept out of regular media, those messages relying almost entirely upon social media. Social vs traditional media will be covered in a later post.

Factionalism within the Left remains a looming question. In the 2014 mid-terms low turnout on the left enabled key victories on the right. Particularly on the Left, dominated by younger voters there is both apathy and discontent. Both were reasons many young people refused to vote in 2014. Sanders has inspired many, even if coverage of his meteoric popularity has been ignored by the mainstream press. The factionalism on the Left may be a greater issue for Hillary Clinton than for Sanders. That remains to be seen. At the end of July she still led nationally in polls, but that lead was shrinking steadily. Still, the corporately co-opted DNC, like their GOP counterparts is pressing ahead with their choice: Hillary Clinton.

Getting out the vote is the key. Too many young people and progressives no longer have faith in that process. Numbers of votes are still the key. Someone is going to cast those votes. The right is counting on the elderly and actively working to polarize the nation along racial and economic lines. At the end of the day the candidates you get into office are the ones who drive the policies, make the laws and impose them on the rest of us. Voting is the only way to offset the corruption in the system.

Expecting any candidate to be 100% ideologically pure 100% of the time in a complex and diverse nation of 380 million is unrealistic and foolish.

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URGENT SOLIDARITY NEEDED – FELLOW IWW WORKERS INCARCERATED: LEMAR & SABRINA

URGENT SOLIDARITY NEEDED – FELLOW WORKERS LEMAR & SABRINA,  IWW INCARCERATED WORKERS’ ORGANIZERS, ARRESTED IN ALLENTOWN, PA

Hybachi_Sabina

Hybachi and Sabina were arrested in Allentown, PA in July 2015

Please show some solidarity and donate to their legal fund <https://fundly.com/free-sabrina-and-lemar>, attend their court date, or participate in the phone Zap supporting them – updated details on the situation provided by Lehigh Valley IWWs bellow:

“Hybachi Lemar, who has recently done a lot of work in Chicago but has roots in the LV, was arrested while back in Allentown. He did work with IWOC (Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee of the IWW) toward organizing prisoners and fought the evictions of working class people in Chicago and elsewhere.

Hybachi was arrested and charged with weapons possession — as an ex-felon he is facing steep charges. He and his partner Sabrina (who was arrested with him) are undoubtedly victims of systemic oppression. There are many private details of Lemar’s initial felony charge in the 90’s and the most recent charges against both him and Sabrina that illustrate the inequality within our system. Lemar is being subjected to “Strip Cell” segregation conditions which amount to torture, and he was frequently subjected to segregation when attempting to organize prisoners when previously incarcerated.

What can we do now to help Sabrina and Lemar? We’re working on getting people to turn out for support for his hearing on Tuesday, 7/21 at 2PM. There’s also a Fundly fundraising campaign and call for a phone zap to the warden of Lehigh County Prison.

1) The Hearing:
The hearing will be held at Lehigh County Courthouse (455 Hamilton St, Allentown, PA) on Tuesday, 7/21 at 2PM in the courtroom of Judge Michael Faulkner. You do have to go through a metal detector to get into the building and the line can get long, so it’s recommended to arrive by 1:30PM and to not bring a lot of things into the courthouse. It’s apparently being held in courtroom 1C, but it would be a good idea to meet in the foyer just beyond the metal detector (in front of the elevator) and enter as a group. It would also be pretty great to wear wobbly attire and/or the color black in solidarity.

2) The Fundly Account:
We’re trying to raise a retainer so that Lemar and Sabrina have access to competent legal counsel — please donate if possible or share widely – https://fundly.com/free-sabrina-and-lemar/

3) Phone Zap:
Call Lehigh County Jail Warden Janine Donate in Allentown, PA, at (610)782-3175. Tell her or whomever you speak to that Bondi DeBooth (Lemar’s “legal” name), prisoner #54971, is a respected community activist, is not suicidal, should be immediately be removed from “suicide watch” and placed in the jail’s general population.”

PERMANENT LINK TO STORY:
http://tinyurl.com/HELPLEMAR

-​- For the One Big Union –

       Alison Olhava
x373679
(847) 707-5181
alisonmarie2214@gmail.com

 

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Meaning of Life and Sandra Bland-Warning: Appropriately Offensive Language

Sorry, I will tell you the meaning of life and how it relates to Sandra Bland’s case, but first a few things that have been on my mind.

This is not an argument for or against the case of murder vs. suicide in the death of Sandra Bland, the 28 year old woman who died in police custody following her arrest for changing lanes in front of a small town Barney Fife who drove up on her in an attempt to intimidate her into some sort of infraction. Likely she was profiled, Black, young, out of state license plates, part of a highway drug interdiction program called Operation Pipeline (http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/multi-agency-probe-deals-death-blow-billion-dollar-drug-ring).

The Fourth amendment, that one about being secure in your person and possessions against unreasonable search and seizure, the one the gun types see as minor right to their major one, should have protected Bland. The Supreme Court, however, allows for police to use traffic stops as a pretext for eradicating a person’s 4th amendment rights(https://www.aclu.org/report/driving-while-black-racial-profiling-our-nations-highways).

One problem, the majority of drug traffickers are white, while the majority of people stopped in highway interdictions are not. In Missouri, 66% of traffic stops are against minority drivers, despite that, according to the 2014 census, of 6 million residents 84% were white, 11.7% were Black and less than 4% w ere latino or Hispanic (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/29000.html). 66% *http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/local/2014/05/30/missouri-police-stopping-blacks-more-than-whites/9778047/). For Texas the numbers line up much the same, with 80% white and 12% Black. Historically, for many decades after the civil war, as much as half of Texas’ prison population was Black. Remember the amendment ending slavery also made slavery legal if you are incarcerated. Many states used and still use prison labor, a backdoor form of slavery. Currently that figure is 33%, predominantly 18 to 29 year olds, most on minor drug possession charges: A generation erased.

the most galling aspect of all this, and I am about to give you one of the fundamental rules of life, are the people who cower behind the phrase that no matter what a cop tells you, you must obey. Recall who pays their salaries, these union government workers. They are public servants not public shepherds, and we are adults not sheep. Again and again the officer in the Bland case acted outside the law, and arguably in violation of the law. Throughout all of what befell her the next few days, as she languished in prison because of a directional blinker, Sandra remained defiant of a system honed to eliminate mercy and justice, ct-video-released-from-jail-in-sandra-bland-case-20150721particularly for minorities,

And here is the fundamental law of life, and whether or not you are an American, or a human being fighting and standing to true equality and justice for every person, or whether you wave the flag to show how loyal you are to your would-be jailers.

Just a warning, if you are faint of heart and sensitivities stop reading now.

THE SECRET TO LIFE IS THIS: How much dick are you willing to suck? If for you it is all about compliance or any order barked at you, you are willing to really go to town on that dick. You’ll have to face trading in your dignity and sovereignty for the adult version of your grade school milk monitor. That might not happen right away, but it will happen. Don’t worry, though, the rest of us all ready know.


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. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is 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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DARK HORSE Bernie Sander 2016- Rand Paul’s Used Car

Would you buy a used car from this man? How about a row boat in the desert or ketchup for your sushi? That’s exactly what Sen. Rand Paul and corporate messaging Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore are trying to sell the American people with a new flat tax plan. The Heritage Foundation, billed as a “think tank,” is behind many of the GOP talking points that inform and guide rightwing and corporate media sources. Even conservatives “lamented to the New Republic that Heritage had become a political action group “with a research division,” according to a 2013 piece at talkingpointsmemo.com.

Their lead spokesman is a pseudo-economist, who has spent his efforts in various republican institutes like Heritage or the Cato Institute attempting to convince the poor and middle class that greed is good, profits matter most and Leftists and democrats are the enemy of economic progress. Moore advocates reducing or eliminating corporate taxes, taxes on the wealthy, while raising them on the poor, whom he calls the job creators and innovators, slashing social programs and privatizing social security. A true economist would take a cautiously analytical approach, understanding the dichotomy and contradiction of modern economic theory and practice. He would communicate the reality of an economic spectrum from the very poor to the very wealthy. Instead Moore is simply a propagandist for the wealthy.

Ultimately the economy is an engine, with the necessity for long term health in regular maintenance and evaluation to promote the greatest possible efficiency for that engine. The lubricant for that engine is trust. The fuel is currency, and as with all engines there is also an element, or byproduct of waste. In capitalism that byproduct of waste is debt. And while it may seem strange, a bit of debt is a good thing for an economy. How else would a working class family with a household income of $50 thousand annually afford a $200,000 Dollar home? How would a business grow without unduly leveraging its own viability? The problem is that debt has become the fuel for the engine, sort of like pulling exhaust from your tailpipe back into the engine. Cash has become power and is being horded by a smaller and smaller pool of people. Could your vehicle run efficiently for long if 80% of every gallon was automatically siphoned into the glove compartment? This is exactly what Stephen More and Rand Paul are advocating in their new tax plan.

The details of their new tax plan constitute a direct assault on American national sovereignty in favor of corporate interests. It is also a direct assault in the ongoing effort to do away with the middle class with its unpredictable political centralism and its expectation in the so-called American dream. Both of those desires by average Americans are antithetical corporate desires for control of the economy. That cannot happen in a free thinking society. This week Moore took he and Paul’s scheme, dressed in a matter-of-fact, common-sense costume to a complicit media in hopes of tricking the American people into further surrendering more of their country and agency.

“If you make 10 times more than I do you pay 10 times more tax. It gets rid of a lot of the special interest provisions and loopholes in the code,” Moore Newsmax TV.

Sounds amazing, but would you buy a used car from Moore or Paul? With this new plan Paul and Moore are waving the visor in your face to keep you from looking under the hood at the failing engine. This morning on Salem Radio affiliate in Chicago Moore found willing accomplices to his fraudulent sale, particularly with Dan Proft, who extolled Moore and Paul’s plan, saying that it would put an extra $2000 a month in the pockets of working families. In the plan there would be a 14% across the board flat tax, with no deductions, except, as Moore pointed out, the charitable deductions that Paul insisted remain in the plan. There would be zero payroll deductions. Corporate taxes would be slashed by almost 60%.

Currently the US corporate top marginal tax rate stands at 40%(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_rates). While that is the highest in the world, corporations don’t pay that, after deductions, looses, charitable donations, state and national policies on corporate subsidies and tax forgiveness and in that many companies simply do not pay . in 2012 The Economist reported that:

“Between 2005-2009, according to Gus Lubin’s post, 115 of the S&P 500 paid just 20% in corporate taxes, and 37 received higher tax credits than they paid in taxes, which includes AIG and Citi and 16 of the S&P 500 paid less than 5% in taxes, which includes Boeing. “

Gus Lubin is the Executive Editor at Business Insider.

The troubling thing is that Stephen Moore is taken seriously, particularly by a media that Moore and others on the right routinely pretend at Liberal. The reality behind the number paints an even more troubling picture of absolute disdain and disrespect for the American people. We have seen that corporations do not pay the top marginal rate, paying well below any modern industrial nation. The deficit that creates is felt directly on the backs and in the bellies of the poor, disabled and elderly. Paul’s demand that all deductions, home, school, etc., be eliminated, except for charitable contributions means the wealthy can continue to offset their income and continue to grow their power to the detriment of the poor and middle class. The Heritage Foundation “is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and charitable contributions are tax-deductible for income, gift and estate taxes.” According to their website.

So Rand Paul, with his net worth of $2.5 million, making nearly $200,000 just from his job as senator is reported to have about another $300 thousand in income. Under his plan he would pay $70 thousand, and be forced to live on a paltry $430 thousand. However, he could offset that tax by writing a large check to Stephen Moore at the Heritage Foundation, an investment in promoting policies that would help Paul and Moore become very, very rich. By contrast, the median income in Brooklyn Iowa, population 1446 is $43,516, about $9,000 below the state and national median would sink their income $6090, no deductions, no offsets, to $37,426 which would cripple the average family.

The top 20% of the US population controls 85% of its wealth. Moore and Paul have concocted a scheme that appears to be the answer to everyone’s dreams; it is instead an answer to theirs alone. They are slashing taxes on the wealthy and corporations and slamming it onto the backs of the poor, working class and elderly. Sean Hannity rails on that supposed unfairness all the time, calling the bottom 80% of income workers deadbeats and asking how it is fair that so much of the burden falls on the minority of rich people? And Stephen Moore calls Bernie Sanders a “lunatic.”

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