DARK HORSE: Bernie Sanders 2016- Death of a Soldier

22.

The number of veterans who commit suicide daily in the US, according to the Veterans Administration is 22.

In November 2013 CNN reported that the figure might be low. The VA figure was based upon data from 21 states and did not take into account deaths from three of the five largest states, Illinois, California and Texas. Considering the VA figures take into account only 40% of the nation, the reality indicates a daily suicide number in excess of 50 veterans daily, or an annual figure of an astounding 18,ooo annually. By comparison there were 14.748 homicides of all types in the US in 2010, and yet the tragedy of suicides among the nation’s veterans has gone largely ignored.

In April 2007 Afghan veteran Levi Derby, haunted, according to his mother, by seeing an Afghan child blown apart by a landmine as he handed her a bottle of water hanged himself. According to CNN, Illinois does not send data on suicides, like Derby, to the VA. In September 2014, Iraq and Afghan Veterans Against the War, #IVAW activist, who had served three combat tours in Afghanistan Jacob David George committed suicide, the ultimate therapy for sufferers of the aftermath of combat, violence and trauma. George, who struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD was critical of treatment by the VA, saying in an speech that the VA, “isn’t designed to address the depths of the wounds we have. They don’t really look at the soul and how the soul has been injured in war.”

The irony is that in a society which was relatively untouched by the war, and in which reporting on the war was filtered and sanitized, American veterans may be more susceptible to suicide than countries where warfare has occurred. A study titled, “Suicide in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the city of Sarajevo” found no significant increase in the number of suicides pre and post war (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24197489). Bosnia was involved in a bloody civil war, with its capital Sarajevo besieged, from April 1992 until April 1995. Bosnia’s overall official suicide is moderately low, according to worldlifeexpectancy.com. who takes its data from the World Health Organization, UNESCO and other databases (http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/suicide/by-country/). While the numbers coming from Bosnia are suspect, the author’s experience in more than 20 years in the Balkans indicates a cultural ‘understanding” that indicates shared trauma on a community-wide scale. They all suffered through the war and now commiserate in its aftermath, even after more than 20 years. There is no such understanding on a national level in the US. As with Vietnam and Korea, veterans return to a nation with little or no understanding of the traumas and moral transgressions of war veterans must confront.

It was only in the last several years that tens of thousands of veterans, dishonorably discharged for PTSD related behavior could apply to upgrade their discharge in order to receive VA benefits. The Pentagon did not formally recognize PTSD until 1980. Indeed, the culture of the military still is far behind in understanding, let alone dealing with PTSD. In 2012 Blue Star Families, an advocacy group for military family members, in a report s aid that inadequacies in treatment were to blame for the high number of suicides among veterans. They also pointed to the military culture as well, and a system of soft retribution for soldiers admitting to PTSD.

Congress has been painfully slow in action regarding the PTSD crisis. While there has been legislation regarding mental health care and quality of life issues for veterans facing lifelong disabilities, it has continued to ignore the unique characteristics of PTSD (http://mic.com/articles/3400/despite-combat-ptsd-act-congress-is-falling-short-in-providing-for-veterans-with-ptsd). For veterans the primary issue is one of trust in the therapy and the therapist. PTSD is unlike other mental illnesses, in that there are multiple dimensions to the disorder from a myriad of causes and is highly individual in its nature. Compounding the disorder is the social nature of PTSD as family, friends and coworkers feed and become part of the disorder for a returning veteran. PTSD becomes community. True lasting an substantive therapy should combine individual psychological and physical therapy with family therapy as well. America must become part of its war making process and be a full agent in its aftermath. Currently it is not. Uncertainty, such as Joblessness and the economy factor greatly in the long term recovery of soldiers and civilians suffering PTSD. Insolated, isolated from warfare and its horrors, propagandized by a burgeoning and greed-centered defense industry and harboring jingoistic notions of war and violence, the nation has created a climate encouraging suicide rather than minimizing it.

Donald Trump did indeed call attention to veterans’ issues, though not in the way he believes. Trump, in assaulting and insulting the not just McCain, but all former American Prisoners of War, as well as veterans overall. What he did was to underscore the ultimate ignorance of the American government, the Pentagon, lawmakers and the American people regarding the plight of veterans, who are all but forgotten once they return home from war.

Trump is all but out of the race. Since his candidacy was far more about his ego than about the country, and based upon defiant comments to critics, and a refusal to back down at all over the McCain comments, Trump won’t leave quietly. Supporters flooded phone lines equally redoubling support for Trump as well as supporting his attacks on McCain’s service. Within that narrative is a glimpse into the direction the Tea Party and hardliners are taking the GOP. To observers it is no secret that support for veteran’s issues is a populist ploy to further corporate and power interests. To be accurate, the DNC has pandered here as well, both parties using the military as a gateway into the heartland while promoting policies that ultimately are anti-vet, anti-minority and anti-poor.

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DARK HORSE: Bernie Sanders 2016- Trump on a Dime

PART ONE
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said flippantly of Arizona Senator, former prisoner of war and fellow republican John McCain. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

He was speaking before a crowd of about 3000 supporters on Saturday January 18th in Ames Iowa. Condemnation by fellow republican candidates was swift and predictable. Unlike the immigration issue, and Trump’s comments that Mexican immigrants were mostly “murderers” and “rapists”, saying that “some, I assume, and good people” the republican field quickly split with Trump. Rick Perry called him unfit to serve as president. He was alone in condemnation of Trump the candidate. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker couched his criticism, simply saying that Trump should apologize.

The following morning, on FOX News, an unrepentant Donald Trump pretended he was the victim, and that he alone was responsible for reigniting first the immigration debate and second the plight of veterans in the US. Perhaps Trump missed, at least the past 5 years of near constant debate and political blustering over both issues. Recall during the 2014 midterms both the VA scandal regarding medical treatment for veterans and the immigration issue, particularly with the so-called flood of young immigrants to the border, figured prominently. The media was oversaturated with those stories to the detriment of other economic, international and social issues, specifically the Ukrainian crisis, Greece and growing discontent over the general mismanagement of the economy at home in the US. FOX News was cordial and served functionally as the spin machine for rightwing causes.

This week Donald Trump emerged as the frontrunner in public opinion polls of republicans. That was based more on his media fame than by donor support. Jeb Bush was drawing strong financial support, well north $120 million, mostly through wealthy industrialists and foreign interests, like Saudi Arabia funneling money through Super PACs. Scott Walker also has stronger financial backing from the Koch Brothers than the financially leveraged Trump, who raised less than $100.000 Dollars while loaning his campaign at least $1.4 million.

Apart from Perry, who remains so marginal in polls that he has nothing to lose by assailing Trump was the only candidate universally condemning him. The rest have afforded enough wiggle room for maximum political advantage, knowing full well that Trump’s supposedly unguarded statements enliven the base. It may prove however a mixed blessing, as this rhetorical Godzilla may well begin to believe he actually has a chance of getting the republican nomination. Like big business discovered with the evangelically stained Tea Party, the monster you make may not be the monster you keep.

Trump, born to wealth and privilege did not serve in the military. Eligible for the draft during the Vietnam War, he avoided serving through a series of deferments. Like the immigration issue, Trump believes his attack on McCain’s service will enliven the veteran’s issue, doubtlessly attempting to capitalize on the recent shooting by the apparent Islamic extremist in Chattanooga Tennessee. Nowhere in that discussion, however, there has not been any substantive discussion on the policies and hypocrisy leading to many of the issues faced by veterans, and by many millions of other Americans as well.

On Sunday July 19th, The Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ptsd-report-20140621-story.html) cited a new Congressional report on the Pentagon and VA’s ineffective treatment of PTSD, the report calling it “ad hoc, incremental and crisis driven”. There have been no recriminations on getting into future wars that would place extraordinary burdens on the US economy, both through the execution of the war and through the long term hidden costs of medical treatment for disorders like PTSD as well as physical disabilities from combat. The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars cost the nation and estimated $2 trillion. Afghanistan alone was costing the US taxpayer an estimated $6.7 billion monthly, (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/military/2010-05-12-afghan_N.htm) with as much as another $4-6 trillion in medical costs and effects on the economy and US foreign policy over the coming decades.

Paul Solman, explored the emerging cost in 2007 on NewsHour on PBS:

PAUL SOLMAN, NewsHour Economics Correspondent: The cost of the Iraq war, it’s a far cry from the original estimates.
DONALD RUMSFELD, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense: The Office of Management and Budget estimated it would be something under $50 billion.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, Host, “This Week”: Outside estimates say up to $300 billion.
DONALD RUMSFELD: Baloney.
PAUL SOLMAN: The $50 billion estimate turns out to be a modest fraction of what the war has actually cost thus far, the out-of-pocket, mainly military costs.
GREG SPEETER, National Priorities Project: We’re averaging, over the period of the war, about $275 million a day.
PAUL SOLMAN: Greg Speeter runs the National Priorities Project and its costofwar.com Web site, which tracks the spending per second. At this point, says Speeter, the total is close to $450 billion.
GREG SPEETER: That gives you some indication of just how expensive this war is.
PAUL SOLMAN: But, no, it really doesn’t, according to those who’ve looked at the numbers more broadly. As economist Linda Bilmes explains…
LINDA BILMES, Harvard University: Even if we withdrew all of our troops from Iraq tomorrow, the war would still keep costing us money for many, many years to come, because there are several long-term costs which are not included in the running costs of the war.

Even at those conservative numbers, back in 2007, that still puts the cost to over $1.7 trillion. The United States government, primarily the Bush administration, borrowed hundreds of billions to finance the war. That has an impact, a dramatic impact on a struggling economy. Veterans, like working poor families and many minority and poor white communities, communities from which many of our nation’s military are drawn, are the first and hardest hit in difficult economic periods.

On December 14th 2014 the national debt grew beyond $18 trillion. While that historically immense number is fodder for media pundits and partisan candidates on both sides, who routinely draw comparisons to Greece, mostly to assail social welfare programs the comparison falls rat her flat. While it is the US has the highest debt in the world it also has the largest economy and the greatest nominal GDP. While US debt is around 106% of GDP, that number is still lower than the UK at 405% of GDP, Switzerland at 229%, Germany with 145%, to name a few. To battle that rising debt, however the US has essentially created a shell game.

The US, banks, corporations and the wealthy profit off the creation of national debt. But in reality that profit is a sort of theft. Since the US owns ¾ of its debt (China and foreign investors the other 1/3), payment and interest on that debt is akin to taking $7 from the left pocket to pay the right pocket, then loaning $5 Dollars back to the left pocket again. One factor deciding that rate of repayment are interest rates, which have been kept historically low in an effort to drive economic growth, like small businesses and consumers who, it is expected, will spend enough to help refill the Left pocket. Raising interest rates while consumer spending and the overall economy is slow runs the risk of draining the left pocket (http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2014/01/08/Rising-interest-rates-will-slam-Federal-Budget).corporate-profit-margins

Consumer confidence was at an all time low since the CCI began measuring data in June of 1997 at the end of 2008 before Barack Obama was elected and for a year following taking office, which most economists would agree was due to the impact of the global financial crisis. While consumer confidence has rebounded substantially, reaching and exceeding the CCI for much of the Bush administration, consumer confidence is much lower than the peak years during the Clinton administration from 1997 to 2000 (http://future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/998?grid=true).

Those peak years were the years in which deregulation and trade agreements like NAFTA began draining manufacturing jobs from the US. Wages have been driven down by US corporations who use the media and elected officials to propagandize to the American people a policy of driving down wages to compete with foreign workers. This comes as corporate profits are at historic highs, particularly relative to collapsing middle and working class wages (http://www.businessinsider.com/profits-versus-wages).

The loss of manufacturing jobs to countries like China cannot be overstated. According to Bloomberg, China’s wages rose between 10-15% in 2014, while average hourly wages for US workers grew by less than 2%, a full percentage point behind annual average inflation. That describes, in fact, negative wage growth for US workers. Meanwhile, corporate profits have skyrocketed (https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?id=CP).wages-to-gdp

The mismanagement and abuse of the American economy is clear. For Hillary Clinton, posturing judiciously to stave off Bernie Sanders’ substantial challenge, her rhetoric often does not match her policies. While courting corporate and financial/banking donors, the very same donors her husband championed to the detriment of workers under NAFTA, for example, she appears to pander to the progressive/liberal base. But there is more that impacts veterans and tens of millions of other Americans struggling at the margins. We will explore that in the next post.


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 Sanders 2016- Murder and the Media

It was murder pure and simple.

At about 10:45 a gunman, identified as 24 year old Mohammod Youssuf Abdul-Aziz, began a shooting spree in Chattanooga Tennessee, targeting military personnel. Four Marines were killed. A Marine and sailor, and at least one policeman were wounded. Authorities were quick to describe the attacks as domestic terrorism. It took days before that same term was applied to the Charleston Church Massacre in which 9 were killed by Dylann Roof, a self-described white supremacist. Lost to the histrionics of the rightwing and cable news media were critical questions regarding both attacks.

On a local Salem radio affiliate several callers called this an act of war. Former republican tea party representative Joe Walsh was adamant that America is at war with Islam. He was quick to dismiss Dylann Roof as a loner, evil and insane. For Walsh, yesterday on his program, Abdul-Aziz, an American citizen born in Kuwait, was confirmation of the antipathy all Muslims hold for America. Walsh quoted a wholly unsubstantiated number of hundreds of millions of Muslims aligned with ISIS or openly calling for the destruction of the West. That number is derived from a false estimate proliferated in the media of “10% of Muslims around the planet hating America. Bigots like Walsh, sowing and promoting hatred and discord for political purposes, simply have accepted and added to that fictitious figure.

While the media was very quick to connect Abdul-Aziz with ISIS, capitalizing that ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, there was almost no investigation into Roof’s connections to white supremacist groups. ISIS, to be accurate, has called on Muslims in America to attack military targets. White supremacists have called for a new American revolution, quoting Jefferson’s “blood of tyrants and patriots.“ Michael savage, along with virtually every rightwing pundit has called Barack Obama a “tyrant.”

There are critical questions not being addressed in the national narrative. They are, instead, being narrated and spun for political party expediency. On July 4th, The New York Times reported that Roof had indeed been in contact with local white supremacists groups. While there is no evidence they directly encouraged the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, they certainly inspired a malleable young mind. The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., reported that officials had widened their investigation to others who may have helped Roof in some way. The same seems true for Abdul-Aziz, who lived in a comfortable upper middle class home and was described by friends and family as a likable, easy going person. At some point, like Roof, he became radicalized and driven to an act of terrorism.

Attention for the shooting shifted in the media, pushed by the NRA, doubtlessly to protect market interests and profits, to the gun free zone sign on the door. The easy answer as to why soldiers, as many, including Walsh, were demanding, do not carry guns just as off duty police officers may within limits, is that America is not a military junta. The Posse Comitatus Act was signed into law on June 18, 1878 by President Rutherford B. Hayes. The purpose of the act, supporting the Insurrection Act of 1807 was to limit the powers of the federal government in using soldiers to act as domestic law enforcement personnel. The Act of 1807, incidentally, was signed into law by then President Thomas Jefferson.

Reports and shell casings outside the door where the Marines were killed indicate an ambush. Being armed would have made no difference in this case. The Marines were killed at their desks as Abdul-Aziz, who was later killed by police, fired multiple rounds through the windows. While notable and shocking, the attack also comes at a time on falling crime rates nationally. The assertion by pro-gun activists and the NRA to openly carry guns into public buildings, private businesses, restaurants and shopping centers has led to growing complaints by many who feel intimidated by the weapons as they wait in line for coffee or shop. The intimidation aspect is a clear feature of the activism, a factor that carries the threat of violence.

A clear majority of people, oppose open carry, while supporting reasonable second amendment rights. A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll found that 68% of Texans were opposed open carry(http://www.newsmax.com/US/open-carry-guns-texas-poll/2015/02/24/id/626526/). Those numbers are consistent nationally.

There is also a greater concern, and that is that we have fallen prey to politicized and corporatized media on both sides of the political spectrum that is unwilling or incapable of adequately informing the American people. News was never intended to be a commodity that is bought and sold, and which is subject to the whims of the powerful and wealthy to control the populace. News was intended to inform the public on issues critical to responsibly maintaining a healthy, functioning democracy. The Public airwaves changed from the late 1980’s as corporate consolidation gobbled up local and national programming. 94% of all media in the country is controlled by just 3 corporations. Those corporations also pour billions into swaying government opinion. The media outlets they own and control as less news organizations and more company messaging wings.

There is a critical lack of confidence in once trusted institutions. The rightwing decries the liberal media, while the left decries the corporate and rightwing media. Those who commiserate with the suffering of innocent Palestinians and Israelis become outraged as the media and politicians unfairly favor one side over another. Network news refuses still to adequately discuss climate change, and allows deniers unchallenged on programs. That media impugns and denounces, or ignores altogether the fight for fair wages and the Occupy movement, but is sympathetic to a far smaller Tea Party movement of belligerents. There is no confidence any longer in leadership. That is dangerous.

Young people and the disillusioned have fled from that media towards the so-called alternative media of the Internet. The internet, through Facebook and other venues can radicalize the susceptible and gullible. It is quite possible and easy to settle into a cul-de-sac online of information and views that insulate some from any other information, but that which validates and strengthens skewed perspectives on the world and their community. Facebook in 2014 was excoriated for an experiment in which they focused certain types of stories as a means of manipulating users. In the cases of Charleston and Chattanooga, it would seem that was a lesson ISIS in reaching Abdul-Aziz and white supremacists and anti-government types taught to Dylann Roof.


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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Fetus for Sale, anyone? (Warning: Drunken Rant…)

I’m a little drunk, so nothing I say here can be used against me in a court of law. That said, I have been listening to the manufactured outrage of the manipulation media on the right. If you think for one moment that Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity give a damn about anything that doesn’t come with cash wrapped in talking points, then Donald Trump is your dream candidate. That said, given the last polls in our idiocracy I’m likely to end up in a Trump re-education camp for that last comment!

Incidentally, driving up South Wabash towards Chicago’s Loop, the “Trump” on Trump towers looks like a monogram on a condom. Oh, I am so screwed when Donald suspends the constitution; because we all know if we are running the nation like a corporation, there is no constitution of bill of Rights.

Today’s breaking news about Planned Parenthood and a video which, after heavy editing, and obtuse opinionation by rightwing pundits purports to portray the women’s health service as some sort of ghoulish enterprise. A host to a morning program in Chicago likened the affair to Josef Mengele, the Nazi Doctor who experimented on inmates during the Second World War. A Caller to the Limbaugh program called it Nazi-esque. Limbaugh could not have agreed less. And so it was all across the righting media today, because it is the season for faux outrage.

The Christian right and anti-choice zealots will rejoice at such a choice piece of meat. T’is the season. That is, if you recall the last several voting cycles, about this time, roughly a year to a year and a half out from a big election, something shocking always this way comes. Last time around it was the ACORN video. The timing isn’t by accident. There is a timing factor here.

The Right presents the illusion to evangelicals, the Tea Party and the far right base that it has some say in party politics. In truth, there is a status quo Republican hierarchy which requires the control aspect of religion to rally its constituency. They, however, are a liability in general elections. They are the base, but they don’t win elections. Elections are won in the middle.

Like ACORN, the Planned Parenthood story is meant to excite the base. In the end, at the general election, the Planned Parenthood story won’t matter. It will be all about the cult of personality to which ever media crafted candidate is chosen…by the republican, democratic and media hierarchy. Ha! You still think this is a democracy? We’ll all be bombarded with incessant barrages of “middle class,” Muslims bad, Israel and Christians good, let’s keep America strong, jobs, jobs, jobs!

“At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does — with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards,” Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero told the Associated Press.

Limbaugh blustered that the patient is the aborted fetus rather than the mother. That is, it is the fetus incapable of speech who should have rights above and beyond the mother who can speak, and whom the fetus is still a part of her body. Could it be, due to the diligent effort to negate science in favor of marketing and control paraded as arrogant idiocy and vaulted into law to extinguish the freedom of women that advocates of women’s health and personal sovereignty are driven into the shadows or chasing loopholes.

The truth is this story is as real as flimsy as the bad video and audio it was uploaded on. The anti-choice zealots, and the children they inflict with their Taliban ideology will wallow in the filth of their own ignorance over this one. Bottom line, if you believe in this, you are being played. Like manmade global warming, or the fact that cherry flavored Kool Aid changes the water to red in a chemical reaction rather a miracle from God, the republican base will cling to this like a fat man to a chicken leg.

Ah, there’s the beer talking again.


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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Tax Revolt!

Last night on his radio program, former republican representative Joe Walsh announced that he was going to stop paying income tax, and encouraged others to also stop paying income tax to the Federal government and IRS. He repeated the call again and again through the show, calling for rebel cities, in which “patriots” withheld taxes and openly defied gun laws

Revolution and Beer has heard anonymously from at least one listener to Walsh who says she will also refuse to pay her taxes, and will join Walsh in publically revolting against the US tax code. Revolution and Beer does not advocate Walsh’s refusal to pay taxes, but we applaud the bravery and sacrifice of Walsh and any of his listeners now defying the law.

On Saturday we have set aside time on our program for Mr. Walsh and any of his fellow revolutionaries. We have always considered Walsh a man of his word, and that he would not simply say he was going to revolt while encouraging others simply to leave them holding the bag. On Saturday we will ask for confirmation from Mr. Walsh that he has indeed stopped paying taxes.

Walsh would seem to scoff at the risk yesterday on his program. According to one legal site:

Tax evaders often face large criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment, as well as civil penalties. Take for example the case of the public accountant in Michigan sentences to five months in prison and five months of house arrest for failing to file tax returns for four, yes, four years. He also had to pay $140 thousand dollars worth of back taxes and $50 thousand in penalties and interest.
Filing taxes isn’t voluntary, despite what tax evaders argue. If you make over a certain amount each year you are required to pay a tax on that income. In fact, this requirement is clearly set forth in section 1 of the Internal Revenue Code, which imposes a tax on the taxable income of individuals, estates and trusts.

It would appear that Walsh has a strategy for avoiding those penalties. It would be unthinkable that he would reserve that privilege for himself. As a courtesy therefore, anyone wishing more information on how Walsh will avoid penalties in his tax revolt, and how he will also help fellow revolutionaries, contact:

AM 560
25 NW Point Blvd. Suite 400
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
(847) 437-5200

For specific questions about our Privacy Policy or Terms of use, or to submit a claim of infringing content, please send an email to: webmanager@salem.cc. Or contact the following:

Jeff Reisman
General Manager

Marcus Brown
Program Director

Michael Mann
General Sales Manager

Bryan Biggs
Joe Walsh Show Executive Producer

More on this story as it develops.


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 Sanders 2016- Nickel and Dime Season

Last week senator Rand Paul, republican presidential candidate decried $25,000 in overspending by some government agency. On the rightwing Salem network station in Chicago, dismissed former Northwestern rightwing agitator, failed candidate and smarm purveyor Dan Proft blustered to a rapidly fossilizing audience about several government funded scientific studies, each costing several million dollars, or less than a hundredth of a penny per person annually combined. Co-host Amy Jacobsen bellowed that we are $17 trillion dollars in debt and can’t afford this stuff! They are silent over Governor Bruce Rauner’s wife who has now become a lobbyist for a group she leads, spending $130,000 in hopes of getting state contracts worth millions. They were silent when, after defense industry company Raytheon posted a nearly $2 billion profit in 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal, republican Indian governor gifted the company $4.8 million in state funds for improvements and expansion. Better these profitable companies spend your money than their own…the proverbial rainy day fund that you no longer have for your family. (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/mike-pence-announces-4.8-million-subsidy-for-defense-giant-raytheon/article/2561262) proposed-dicretionary-fy2013-np

The drumbeat against benefits for the poor and elderly continues. as the presidential election heats up we are certain to see more an more of the nickel and dime slight of hand and distraction to the American voter. The latest presidential candidate, Republican Scott Walker called the minimum wage lame, teasing a regular refrain from the right that the market, not government should decide what is fair pay for workers that could be next to nothing or…

“The left claims they’re for American workers, and they’ve got lame ideas, things like minimum wage,” said Walker yesterday in announcing that god had chosen him to be president.

The American people are perennially bombarded by such bombast, such as posting the salaries of teachers, city garbage collectors and clerks. Unions, they claim, are the reason that states and municipalities are overburdened with debt. Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka blamed the state’s much touted pension problems on “years of game-playing with the pension accounts and short-sighted decisions to raid the funds, take “pension holidays” and delay payments.”

40,000 of the state’s 50,000 workers are union. 5000 are law enforcement officers, like State Police. Another 10,000 are employed by the department of corrections to oversee an astounding 47 prisons in Illinois. Teachers, the focus of much ire on the right, a manufactured target, incidentally, by charter school lobbyists hoping to divert their share of the pie to corporate schools. Teachers, by the way are a small share of the state’s workforce, as most teachers are paid by local districts. Then there are state fire fighters, state park employees, workers who maintain roads and highways and those IDOT trucks, which anyone who has broken down on the state’s highways appreciate deeply. Zero percent of them are wealthy, by any standard. They are solidly middle class, which makes them the enemy of the right, though they will never say it aloud.

Much of the debt incurred by states are not borne from “greedy” do nothing union thugs like state cops, teachers, firefighters and those insidious state park employees. Most state debt come in paying out dividends and interest to bond holders; wealthy patrons, the friends of politicians in both houses, who loan money to state for projects that should be paid for by or held until there is appropriate money in state coffers. Hint: it isn’t about the projects; it’s about law enforced and state protected secure investments for the wealthy. Under the terms of those investments those already wealthy and well-connected investors are paid first and foremost.

Bond payments to the 1% cost states like Illinois billions of dollars annually. That number pales in comparison to the true burden on states. In Illinois alone, on a state and local level, tax forgiveness, tax breaks and subsidies to corporations and companies in Illinois cost the state conservatively, $4.5 billion annually. It isn’t a matter of holding onto companies who might go elsewhere. Illinois is a road, rail and air hub, uniquely positioned to reach international destinations, as well as the nation. The state is far more populated, with better opportunities to a broadly educated worker, client, support and customer base than any other Midwestern state, by far. The giveaways have nothing to do with keeping jobs and everything to do with access by those companies to the political elite.

Even the ultra-rightwing Illinois Policy Institute could not escape that reality. IPI’s Scott Reader, writing at QCOnline noted that democrat governor Pat Quinn was giving away hundreds of millions in corporate subsidies alone while raising income taxes on working families by 67%. (http://www.qconline.com/editorials/high-cost-of-corporate-welfare-in-illinois/article_17950983-3a6f-52e5-9bbb-dcd404eba084.html) The current republican governor, Bruce Rauner, promising to end business as usual in Illinois has seen the number of corporate lobbyists in the state capital quadruple. Wisconsin, under Scott walker has seen a decline in wages, jobs and standards of living, while violent crime has spiked since he came into office (http://www.cityrating.com/crime-statistics/wisconsin/)By contrast, neighboring Minnesota, under democtar mark Dayton, after raising the state’s minimum wage and taxes on companies, has seen a boom in growth, revenues and wages, and a decline in violent crime.

The corporate revenue drain on the US government as a whole is equally troubling. While republicans pretend hysterical about 69.8 billion in annual food stamp expenditures, most of which goes to predominantly so-called red states (http://www.statisticbrain.com/food-stamp-statistics/), with their finger planted firmly in the dike they conveniently ignore the ocean rushing in around them. Wisconsin is 24 in food stamp participation rate, more than Illinois despite Illinois being nearly 3 times larger, and far more than 45th ranked Minnesota, with a participation rate of 9.4%. Minnesota and Wisconsin are nearly equal in population at about 5.5 million.

Military spending, officially given at $711 billion costs every American, young and old $2031 annually, compared with feeding the poor at $200 annually. Compare that to oil subsidies, which republicans are silent on, to already profitable companies is projected in the US to be $333 billion, or almost $1000 annually for every American (Okay, $951.42 for the sticklers out there.). Subsidies are only part of the story. Tax forgiveness and offsets from the Federal government annually comprise more $1.5 trillion dollars, according to conservative estimates, costing every American an astounding $4286 dollars annually, but $200 hundred to the poor, or a $100 to expand the frontiers of human knowledge is our national priority for cuts? Every 6 months or so the right will attack the National Endowment for the Arts budget. At $146 million, the cost for supporting culture in a broad variety of arts, from grants, to public works, programs for children, music and education is $146 million annually, or about 41 cents per capita, less than the tax on an average lunch at McDonalds or Taco Bell.

The reason for this gross disparity is that the American people have not demanded the insulation between corporate interests and government officials. There are no laws prohibiting any congressperson from going to work for any company the federal government has business with for at least 5 years. There is no law regarding access by powerful money interests to candidates and politicians. There are no laws against the amount of money candidates can amass from powerful donors. There are reports that the Koch Brothers are prepared to spend as much as $800 billion to install Scott Walker as President, a man who has already proven he will promote pre-written legislation by the Koch Brother’s lobbying and action wing, ALEC, the American legislative Exchange Council. Jeb Bush announced this week he has amassed $114 million, a notable portion of which reportedly comes from Saudi interests. sandersalaska

By contrast, Bernie sanders has collected, as of may 1015, $19.5 million, none of which came from corporate funders and nearly all of it came from small donations by individual citizens, and yet, according to the right, Sanders is the candidate who isn’t good for America.


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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Sending the Hitman to the Funeral

In March 1994 I was on a bus just a few miles from Srebrenica, scene of a long and brutal siege by Bosnian Serb forces. The bus passed through a narrow corridor, embattled as Bosnian Muslims trapped in the town fought to reach the larger island of Bosnian territory. We passed solemn and silent through bombed out villages like Novo Selo. A bus on that same road earlier had been ambushed. The passengers killed. A few months later I would befriend a French Doctor working in the so-called Srebrenica enclave. After the war in Sarajevo I spoke with a man who claimed to be a survivor of one of the mass executions that claimed more than 7000 victims, or almost 10% of the 105,000 people generally agreed to have died in 3.5 years of war, excluding between 15 and 30,000 people still listed as missing. Many thousands more never made either list. I’ve studied Balkan politics, culture, history and literature for more than 20 years, and I’ve seen the people there at their best and worst. Writing those words immediately recalls a mock execution I witnessed of a terrified young Bosnian Serb POW on a mountain above Sarajevo.

I have an informed perspective on the conflict. I also understand the continuum in history, a perspective modern media seems incapable of respecting. Their perspective on events are instead episodic; stand alone moments in time, in which the process of history and the interconnectedness of moments, events and happenstance feed the present and inform the past. We are fed the tribalistic one-dimensionality of good vs. evil, good guys and bad guys, my side vs. your side. The incident Saturday with Serbian Prime Minister Alexsandar Vucic, pronounced Vuchich, is a perfect illustration. It also illustrates the inhumanity of international relations and the arrogance and hubris of leaders and diplomats.

On Saturday, amid an emotional ceremony recalling the weeklong orgy of mass murder and violence as Serb forces led directly by general Ratko Mladic, former Serbian paramilitary and a cheerleader for the murder at Srebrenica chose to attend. Survivors, many still carrying wounds, some the only survivors of whole families who were bound and executed by the hundreds at a time, were understandable offended at the sight of a man who days after Srebrenica chided Bosnia’s Muslims before the Serbian National Assembly on 20 July 1995, “If you kill one Serb, we will kill 100 Muslims!” Angered by his appearance, as he laid a wreath at the memorial, Vucic was pelted with stones and insults and forced to flee, shielded by security guards.

It was ill conceived on the twentieth anniversary of the massacre, to say the least. That auspicious anniversary was preceded by a number of emotional stories in Bosnia from survivors, including the story of one man who having lost his wife and child in the massacre committed suicide prior to this weekend’s ceremony. Vucic, for his part remains unrepentant for his wartime rhetoric and actions as a paramilitary, connected to indicted war criminal Vojislav Seselj, commander of the notorious White Eagles. In recent years Vucic has postured at having a change of heart, though it is far likely he is courting Western and EU investment, and inclusion in the EU for a Serbia decimated economically and socially by inward looking nationalism. Diplomatically, had Serbian officials truly sought to offer an olive branch towards the long road to Balkan peace a wreath placed quietly and away from the memorial itself might have proved a softer less offensive gesture.
By coming to the ceremony Vucic assumed the role of the hitman coming to his victim’s funeral. That is not as hyperbolic a statement as it may appear. It was Vucic throughout the 1990s, with his boss and close friend Seselj who proliferated the fiction of “international conspiracy against Serbia,” undertaken they said by Germany, the Vatican, and the CIA. Vucic served as minister of information in Serbia from 1998 to 2000 through the Kosovo War with NATO.

Former President Bill Clinton, who also attended the ceremony, lauded Vucic’s bravery for attending the ceremony and called the violent reaction unfortunate. Good that Mr. Clinton can so easily forgive an adversary in a war, not to mention Bosnia, in which he did relatively little. Clinton’s laissez faire attitude towards Bosnia, for many observers gave tacit approval to the attack on Srebrenica. Even the deaths of thousands of civilians was not enough to compel a stalwart response. Not until September, following another horrible mortar attack market in central Sarajevo which killed 43 and wounded 75 before television cameras would NATO be compelled to act.

Perhaps Mr. Clinton forgot that Vucic sheltered and hid a Serbian intelligence official, Goran Radosavljević, believed responsible for the kidnapping and execution of three American citizens, the Bytyqi brothers, reportedly in Kosovo to help A Roma family escape. The bothers were picked up for violating a law regarding the movement and residence of foreigners. Despite repeated appeals by the US directly to Vucic, whose connections to war criminals, paramilitaries and organized crime are well documented, no one was held accountable for the murders of the brothers.

Was it regrettable that a few Bosnian mourners reacted as they did? What would the reaction have been to Hitler’s secretary, or former Nazi Party members taking a prominent role in a ceremony commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz?


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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A History of Us: New Horizons/Pluto-revised

Okay, I’m a geek, but in slightly more than a day from now a small probe will sale past Pluto. The probe has been on the road, so to speak, since January 2006, racing at the solar system’s farthest known planet at an astounding 56,000mph, covering the distance between Chicago and Austin Texas every minute. It takes sunlight 5.5 hours to reach Pluto. When Pluto was last at this point in its orbit, George Washington was fighting in the French and Indian War. The probe, New Horizons, is streaming pictures, and scientific data, tracking its cameras on a ruddy planetoid and 5 mysterious moons. This is a testament to what mankind may achieve. These are still the first furtive steps of a tottering and curious species.nh-pluto-7-11-15

Humanity is still in its infancy, just learning to walk, grasping at the oddities of its surrounding universe. Everything is dangerous. Everything is amazing. Everything at once demands to be respected and to be explored. These are the fingers of the child reach up and beyond itself. Every new gesture and breath is always a fatal mixture of exploration and disaster. The two go hand in hand.

Scientists will likely discover a previously undreamed of world. The pale orange color doubtless a mix of frozen methane, nitrogen and water ice. The complex features seem to betray an active geology, driven by extraordinary tidal forces upon a body essentially comprised as a slush ball. There we will discover volcanoes and ice flows and a surface as dynamic and changing as Jupiter’s moon, Io, or Titan at Saturn. The moons, like Charon do not seem to mirror the composition of Pluto. They are rocky, their surfaces more stable. As our species approaches this distant world, little more than a smudge of light in even the strongest telescopes, Pluto and its moons, it would seem are a virtual junk yard of our solar system. In that simple realization it makes New Horizons’ Pluto mission even more important. It is a snapshot of humanity’s origins.

More than any of those monumental discoveries, New Horizons is less an American achievement at a Human one. From those first wonderings of the heavens from our murky beginnings to the charting of the star and planets, the Pole who should revealed to us that we are not the center of the universe, the invention of the telescope by an Italian, a German who pioneered the laws of planetary motion, the Muslim who crafted the Algebra, meticulous star catalogs of the Chinese, the Dutchman who confirmed them with meticulous calculations, the Italian who gave us radio that we might transmit those images back to the home planet. Look at the faces of the men and women the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at NASA, as well as listening posts around this planet. They are a patchwork of a species that is astounding when it aspires and self destructing at its worst moment.

The media will obsess briefly over Pluto, gushing over strange and odd images from an unfathomable world at an unfathomable distance. It will return to the tribalism of party politics, of war, of unrest on our streets. It will return to the tantrums and failings of the child. That child has a chance, as New Horizons begs to teach us. It holds in its own hands the power for self determination or self destruction. Within its ever expanding consciousness lays the opportunity to ascend to the stars and beyond as it discovers its ultimate destiny; one anchored in hope, defined in peace and at once enthralled in its own innate human fallibility. The other is the child that refuses to learn as it stumbles and falls, that its future footsteps become more confident, wise and strident


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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San Fran shooting a racist attack on White People

The shooting death of Kathryn Steinle, 32, last week in San Francisco is, not was, a racist attack against White people. I say is, rather than was, because the actual crime does not appear to have been intention. The AP today “that the San Francisco woman’s death appeared accidental.”

Certainly, given the suspected shooter’s long criminal history shows the confused and convoluted nature of the criminal justice system in the US, which is overburdened with minor drug cases and pressed upon by a for profit prison quotas, as well as “free passes” for law enforcement officials engaged in or accused of criminal behavior. San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was embroiled in an ugly domestic violence case in which his wife was injured at the time that Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez was released from jail, according to rightwing Breitbart.com.

The case is indeed tragic on a number of levels. On FOX and rightwing and corporate media outlets the shooting death of Steinle has received more attention than the Charleston Church massacre by avowed White Supremacist Dylann Roof. Sanchez, the alleged shooter of Ms. Steinle, who was deported 5 times is hardly the criminal mastermind portrayed by the media. What emerges instead is something of a lost drug addicted middle-aged man with emotional difficulties. All of his arrests were for possession or use of narcotics, or for entering the US illegally. The incident was conveniently placed to bolster comments by Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants being rapists and murders. Trump however is merely tool in a much larger game going into the 2016 elections, especially as Hillary Clinton and Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders dominate the field far ahead of their republican counterparts.

Trump, supported and defended by the rightwing media as well as the failure of republican candidates to repudiate Trump’s caustic, unfair and bigoted statements about Mexican immigrants has all but cost the right the Hispanic vote. Defense of the Confederate flag and comments about the shooting being “an accident” by JEB Bush, or Rand Paul’s unwillingness to call it a racially motivated attack, despite the shooters own statements, virtually guarantees the overwhelming bulk of the African-American vote will fall to the Dems. Those two blocks were monumentally important in re-electing Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012. The Romney campaign pointed to their inability to engage the Hispanic vote as a primary reason for Romney’s loss.

What’s left?

This terrible story elevates the immigration issue to absurd proportions. After the shooting the right and Trump doubled down against immigrants. They used an eternal lie parroted throughout history about immigrants spreading disease. Apparently they never heard of epidemics of chlamydia and herpes following championship wins at mostly Caucasian US universities. Indeed, the disease myth was used to immigrants in the early part of the 20th Century, following World War 2, Haitian boat people, Vietnamese immigrants and now Mexican immigrants. In every case there was a political subtext based upon White fear. Recently a rightwing Talk host referred to fictional stories that refugees from Europe after World War 1 or even Chinese immigrants were responsible. After nearly a century of study, according to the CDC, the cause, origin and spread of the disease will and likely will always remain a mystery. One article even attributed the pandemic to a passing comet.

The right has painted itself into a corner, at first the champion of corporate America, they now take a back seat to corporatism to the Obama administration, as evidenced by former Attorney General Eric Holder returning to a law firm for a multi-million Dollar salary that represents big banks and corporations. The Republican party is now the party of bigots and extremists, which corporate America is abandoning more and more. The right’s, twisted by the Tea Party and an extremist arm of evangelical Christianity, only hope is to create a climate of fear in hopes of pressuring whites to vote to those fears, all of which are anchored in racism.

In truth, the Right is targeting Whites simply to convince them they are better off protecting the White power structure of the nation because people of color are dangerous criminals, rapists and murderers, except, as Trump puts it, some are okay, he guesses…

The bigger question not yet explored is why a Federal agent’s weapon was wrapped in a shirt and left for Sanchez to find? Why was it reported missing after the shooting? Those questions have been lost to the Trump distraction. Stay tuned.


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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Streaking Rahm: Of Course She did it for the Money

Streaking_RahmOf course Jackie S. streaked Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for the $250k–but what for? She’s not the kind of thrill-seeking attention hound that we often expect when we someone pull a prank of this nature. Listen to a bold, intelligent, and committed young woman who decided to pay Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel an awkward surprise visit.

Listen on archive.org.

Thanks to Natalie Wahlberg for helping connect the dots.

Watch the clip below to see the awkward encounter:

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