Exclusive: Anita Alvarez on Que4 Radio

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez will hold a very exclusive press conference on Que4 Radio’s Revolution and Beer program Saturday at 11am. Alvarez, embattled over her handling of the Laquan McDonald case, which took more than a year before charges were filed in that case, reports that her office will file charges in a case her office reports will be groundbreaking, shocking and historic. We don’t know many details and have been asked not to report or speculate ahead of the announcement Saturday at 11am. What we do know is that the murder investigation spanned several continents and involved tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of investigators. Reports are that the victim was killed by a knife or knives, but details remain very sketchy right now. One unconfirmed report from Que4 Radio indicates a possible connection that includes the Cooking Channel. That is all we know. Ms. Alvarez and her office is keeping a very tight lid on this, and is deflecting inquiries with “No comment at this time,” or complete denial.

A photo from the crime scene leaked to Que4:
bloody_knife_by_uchihavenger1_xlarge


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray with Jack Hammond 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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Milwaukee Sheriff calls #BlackLivesMatter Terrorists

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said on Twitter Tuesday that Before long, “Black Lies Matter will join forces with ISIS to b(r)ing down our legal constituted republic. You heard it first here.” It was an open comparison with a foreign terrorist group. Speaking this morning on a rightwing radio show in Chicago Clarke, now the darling o the rightwing media also linked ISIS with Iran, although the two are enemies. Iran currently is a was with ISIs.

He spoke on AM560 in Chicago, known for it attacks Clarke’s conspiracy paranoia would just be the confused ramblings of a fool if his NRA backed elected official did not have the power of life and death over people. This from Salon earlier this year:

“Of course, deflection is an effective tactic. A real organization doing a good deal of terrorizing is Clarke’s own Milwaukee police department, which according to Salon has been sued for dozens of illegal strip searches and has seen multiple officer-involved killings of unarmed black citizens during Clarke’s tenure, including Dontre Hamilton in 2014 and Derek Williams in 2011. What do black citizens of Milwaukee have to fear from terrorists overseas when the threat of death hangs over them from their own police everyday?”

Cark’s framing of #BLM as a terror organization, claiming also that ISIS is infiltrating SEIU and other labor organizations brings up disturbing questions about the safety and civil rights of civilians in Milwaukee County. Will or are his officers harassing or targeting anyone displaying #BlackLivesMatter signs? Even more, Clarke believes and said this morning that America can and should arrest its way out of the current social and economic turmoil plaguing the inner cities and poor.

Yet Clarke is silent on economic development, the banks and Wall Street in creating the foreclosure crisis which has crippled Black, minority and poor communities, and has called for open armed rebellion against any reasonable gun legislation. Most guns used in crimes in Milwaukee, like neighboring Chicago come from guns bought legally which are then given r sold to criminals; so-called straw purchases. Badger Guns in Milwaukee was found liable this month in a straw purchased linked to the shooting of two police officers. Ironically, Clarke’s own department could see a financial windfall from lawsuit against Badger and other gun outlets accused of straw purchases.

Meanwhile, the voters must realize that the true threat of terror faced n Milwaukee County comes from ulra-authoritarians, media hounds and protectors of the culture of greed, racism and corruption that have driven inner cities and the poor into corners of desperation in a society which then blames the symptoms but ignores the disease.

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What we bought today

…uniquely American extremism is a toxic mix of selective doctrine, latent violence, racial melancholia and rabid consumer excess…

The sun glinted off the wing of the United 737 parked at Gate C30 at O’Hare’s International airport. The sky was a near perfect blue. Just across the taxiway a larger than normal group of aircraft idled, watched over by a police vehicle. I weighed the heavy iron wrench in my hand. I’d grabbed it from a mechanic’s tool box in the ready room. After watching the second plane crash into the World Trade Center live in New York there could be no question America was under attack. Word came down that at least a dozen aircraft were still unaccounted for after the FAA had ordered an unprecedented ground stop nationwide and ordered all planes out of the air immediately. A coworker believed his wife was a flight attendant on one of the hijacked flights out of Boston. Someone else heard a Lufthansa jet was headed for the terminal, still another was aiming for the Sears Tower. Downtown Chicago was evacuating. A supervisor instructed us to “clear” every aircraft in the zone, roughly 10 gates, and pulled the jetbridges off the aircraft. The biggest mouths, the bullies in the zone, refused the order, saying they weren’t paid to perform security. I went alone, dubious of my chances against unknown terrorists prepared to commit suicide runs.

Two black guys named Chuck and Bernie, just after the first tower collapsed shook their heads over a comment that just seemed to fall from my mouth about how we were now at war. Chuck tense and distant at all that was happening, replied that America would just use this as a reason to go after “colored” people. I kept a daily diary back then. I wrote his words down not realizing at the time how cryptic they were. I have never forgotten Chuck’s words. Every September 11th I look back at more and more evidence accumulating that proves those words.

History is a process, not a series of standalone episodes. Recently, researching an ancestor I have been deep in researching the Renaissance and Reformation. Like Pearl Harbor, the French Revolution, the First World War or the Roman Republic, each of those grew as a wave, building and crashing with such impact and tumult that they became pivotal or etched eternally into our collective memory. The Renaissance did not begin on a Tuesday at 2pm 1500 AD. The much touted Christian Reformation ran concurrent with monumental abuses by the Vatican, the inquisition and a defacto religious fascism with regards to thought and speech and censorship across Europe. Pearl Harbor was not the surprise attack by evil Anglo-hating Japs, but a breaking point in long running economic animosities between the US and Japan. World War One did not begin in Sarajevo with the murder of an Austrian Archduke. It began in a German fear of pan-Slavism and Russia’s growing industrialization. It began in the pig farms of Serbia whose plum sweetened pigs out-competed the lesser quality Austrian pigs for market share.

The attacks of September 11 were not the product of an evil terrorist alone, but a long process extending back to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Since September 11th the United States has only attacked smaller weaker countries of “colored” people. In every case the specter of oil has been part of the equation. In all those places the so-called remedy of global warfare and security against what was a very small and dwindling number of actual Islamic extremists has spurned a rise of fundamentalists, extremists and ever more terrorists than those early numbers could have imagined. The deaths of more than a million people, also victims of the September attacks, grows those ranks for generations to come. Big oil implored President Bush to leave Iraqi oil in the ground to drive up prices. ISIS is a willing dupe in that continued effort. In that time, while the oil purchased media mocked climate change, renewable energy, emissions controls, EPA standards and electric cars oil has more than quadrupled in price to the delight of big oil. OPEC countered the fracking boom by dragging down oil prices at a time when the West sought to punish Russian aggression by tanking prices.

We suffer religious extremism in this country as well. Unleashed by the corporate media as the easiest legal form of control to manipulate. This uniquely American extremism is a toxic mix of selective doctrine, latent violence, racial melancholia and rabid consumer excess. They are growing to a dangerous force affecting everything from race relations, the economy and political structure. Learning has been replaced by expediency via the internet as we all now work harder and harder for less and less to a smaller and smaller number of neo-oligarchs and robber barons. At least one of them is now running for president as a would-be dictator. Our children’s education is the battlefield in this country as it is collapsed in a death by a thousand cuts in favor of corporate owned schools and religio-politically filtered and reconstituted curriculum.

This country changed on September 11th. The explosion of media consolidation and politically slanted talk radio began in far greater earnest that day. I lost my retirement that day and a quarter of my pay, not because of the attacks but in the robber baron chaos that allowed corporations, like the one I worked for, to steal from their employees. Freedoms were vacated, and in the case of the Patriot Act, abandoned. More than 3000 people died that day. 600,000 died in Iraq, 60,000 in Afghanistan, thousands in Yemen. More than 5,000 young American men and women were told they were sacrificing their lives for our freedom in America, while those who sent them profited from actually stealing our freedoms. Sometimes history changes in a moment, but that moment comes at the end of a long and often overlooked history. Bush, Cheney, Clinton, arguably even Obama all ought to be in jail for their part in the destruction of this country. Trump, Hillary, Jindal, Paul and Jeb Bush rightly should be laughed out of any public consideration.

I long ago stopped lamenting the tragedy of September 11th. The vultures that descended on us were our own countrymen. It’s just that we’d gotten so fat that they are still feasting. Only now is it becoming evident that they are eating us alive.


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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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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Hating on the Police

You know something about all of this doesn’t seem quite right. There’s a war on cops. The police are under attack. That’s the refrain from the media, but you keep grasping at something that makes better sense of it all. You know the protesters aren’t the Clockwork Orange hoodlums they’re cartoonized as, and that your uncle, brother, sister or neighbor who has been a policeman all those years isn’t a closet racist carving notches on their gun barrel for all the Black youth they’ve taken down.

After dozens and dozens of conversations with friends, relatives, listeners and others, one narrative seems to predominate; there’s something wrong, but I’m not sure exactly what it is. You are not ready to paint ALL cops as racist would-be executioners, but then explaining why of the estimated 1000 Americans killed by police in 2014(Legitimate and disputed combined) 238 were Black, accounting for almost 24% of police shootings despite that Blacks represent, according to the 2013 census, just 13.2% of the US population isn’t easy. Crime has gone down precipitously over the past decade. While still tragically high, the murder rate in Chicago will likely top out this year lower than last year’s 410, according to the medical examiner’s office. That is less than half of where it was a decade ago.

A bit of perspective helps bring those nagging questions into focus. First, the people decrying the war on police, all of whom belong to public sector unions, are the same people attempting to dismantle public sector unions. They pander to police, because the police become their enforcement mechanism, while attempting to undercut them in the board room. Hard to concentrate on the guy picking your pocket when you feel someone else is spitting in your face. These are the same people invading every classroom to monitor or attack anything and everything teachers say and teach. They are the same people “outing” the salaries of every public sector worker- teachers, clerks, secretaries, those prestigious toll booth workers- but telling us that criticism of police is absolutely out of bounds. You must be on the side of the criminal if you criticize police, right? They are the only ones standing between us and a Mad Max world.

Take this from another angle. There were investigations and congressional hearings over 7 deaths caused by automobile airbags. Honda and Toyota recalled millions of cars. Ford and GM were forced to pay out more than half a billion dollars in claims after an inquiry revealed they knew of more than 80 deaths and 148 injuries linked to faulty ignition switches. No one bellowed that there was a war on the car industry. Tens of millions safely traverse the nation’s roadways daily. Of nearly 18,000 crashes each day almost 100 people will lose their lives. That is a far lower percentage than the number of Blacks killed by police in recent years, but we focus on the problems, because the problems are what need fixing and correction.

Something happened in this country from the late 1970s that began a space shuttle like increase in crime and incarceration of Blacks. For one, that period began in earnest the trickle to a flood of manufacturing and garment industries fleeing overseas in search of cheaper and cheaper labor amid a revolution in consumerism that became orgiastic in nature. Gun availability and proliferation increased sharply as the industry changed its pro-profit character from manufacturing to politics. In the early and mid 80s Crack cocaine invaded the Black community, a cheaper form of a drug previously mostly affordable by wealthy whites. Over the last 3 decades Blacks routinely receive greater sentences that their white counterparts for the same crimes. All of these fell upon impoverished and neglected communities like a plague. Racism has always been an invisible fence in America.

Sure the majority of police are valuable and respectable people. They rush into burning buildings, stop truly bad people, pet puppies and help old ladies across the street. But something changed in the last decade. Count the number of times you saw the police pull weapons, let alone fire one in those old television dramas ADAM 12 or Dragnet or even the more recent NYPD Blue. Now it is common, even predominant to see police dressed in combat style gear, with assault weapons and tanks ceded to them by the defense department. Townsend Wisconsin recently acquired, according to a FOX affiliate, with only 2 officers, nearly a million dollars worth of military equipment, including Humvees and semi trucks. It is unconstitutional to use the military against American civilians, but there is nothing saying that the police can’t be militarized as an end around. In 2010 a Florida SWAT team, with guns drawn raided barbershops for “Barbering without a license.” adam12

Clearly there is an issue. Something changed. We pay the police with our tax dollars as we do teachers and bus drivers and congress people. None of them should be above criticism and oversight. They are public servants, not shepherds to seething masses who cannot adhere to civilization without the punch of an abusive parent. This isn’t something new. Black folks have complained about a growing heavy-handedness for decades. No one had a camera then. We all do now. So you are not wrong that something isn’t quite right here. There is a breakdown. It needs to be fixed and addressed. That’s not a war on police, that’s what happens in a FUNCTIONAL society.


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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LIGHTS, CAMERA, REVOLUTION! From Prague to Baltimore

On Saturday’s roundtable (11am-1pm, on Que4 Radio AM1680, www.que4.org) we presented the following question about Freddy Grey, the Baltimore man killed two weeks ago in police custody:

“The University of Florida suspended a fraternity after member of Zeta Beta Tau, which incidentally was a character from the first start trek, shouted insults and spit on disabled veterans and urinated on the American flag. In another story, Rand Paul’s son was stopped for DUI and released, despite being described as visibly intoxicated. Meanwhile Linda Cope, founder of the warrior group “They were urinating off of balconies, vomiting off of balconies. They could see the men and women below were there with the retreat.” she described students spitting on veterans, throwing beer bottles over a balcony and ripping flags off their cars. Local police did respond, but no criminal charges were filed. the fraternity has hired its own independent investigator to find out what happened. Cope said the fraternity has so far been helpful in its response, and that she believes fraternity leaders are doing all they can to help make things right, including making a cash donation to her small, grassroots charity. Meanwhile, two more black men died this week at the hands of police, including Freddie gray, whose spinal cord was nearly severed. Can we believe that the proliferation of video is suddenly cause police to be more aggressive with blacks and minorities, or is this finally proof of what blacks and minorities have been experiencing for many decades?”

An autopsy and the family indicate his spinal cord was 80% severed. When that happened has yet to be precisely determined. Video shows Mr. Grey struggling for control of his lags as police pulled him off the sidewalk after several officers tackled him to the ground. If at this point you are asking WHY he was arrested, then you might also find yourself asking what rape victims did to get raped. Stop it. Focus. It is what is needed here.

The interesting and alarming thing with all the black folks at the station that day was their reaction, or lack of one. From our good friend Michael Donnelly, who was in for the roundtable, to Toni Scott, RN and Yoga therapist, and host of “Creating a Healthier Self” (Saturday’s 6-7pm on Que4 Radio, AM1680 in Chicago), or her two guests, a trauma nurse on Chicago’s south side and a 3rd year resident, they were largely uniform in that reaction. This has been going on for decades.

What it exposes is a level of ambivalence and indifference to human rights abuses long prevalent in the black community. The systemic neglect, and the tiered standards applied to black communities is well established here. But something else is interesting here. I believe that it has even come as a bit of a shock to the black community as well. At the fulcrum of that shock is the revolution in digital technology, and especially the revolutionary availability of cameras now so ubiquitous in society.

From all of those I have spoken to in recent days, the sudden wave of video and images showing police heavy-handed and aggressive, and often fatal, behavior towards minorities, often for minor, manufactured and sometimes invented offenses has validated and confirmed for Blacks what they knew but could never prove. The idea that cameras and police violence erupted simultaneously is absurd. That’s sort of like saying that sex was invented with stag films. This has been a hidden form of terrorism and oppression long decried by the Black community and long ignored by the rest of America.

In 1993, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall I was in Prague, just as they were shaking off their Communist past. On a wall in a working class neighborhood, hastily written in English were deeply prophetic words:

“LIGHTS, CAMERA, REVOLUTION!”

Those words are as true here and now as they were on that wall in 1993. The meaning behind them resonating through to this moment and to the embattled Baltimore streets; The past always finds us.


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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Accidental Shooting’s Skyrocket

A survey of gun incidents by Revolution and Beer has found an alarming trend. Following a wave of conceal carry and gun proliferation legislation across the country, accidental shootings and road rage incidents have skyrocketed, eclipsing any potential benefit from civilian gun proliferation across the country. the survey was tallied from local and national news reports from all 50 states of road rage/accidental shootings as well as stories showing guns in a favorable light. The survey also took into account data and reports from so-called pro-gun advocate sites and publications. That survey found that for every story showing guns favorably there were 14 which underscored the negative effects of gun proliferation in civil society.

Violent crime and gun crime has continued to decline year over year for more than a decade. Conceal carry laws and proliferation efforts and propaganda by the gun industry and the NRA, ostensibly to boost sales, has had little to no effect on crime. The trend was well under way before laws came into effect. Florida, which introduced conceal carry laws in 1987 actually saw an increase in violent crime, robbery and murder. those numbers declined slightly between 1990 and 2013 but still remain far above the national average, despite that gun advocates continually hold up Florida’s pro-gun legislation as a template for the rest of the nation. Homicide and crime rates in Texas have remained constant since 1990 despite well publicized and aggressive proliferation there.

By contrast, Illinois, which had some of the toughest gun restrictions in the nation saw sharp drops in nearly every crime category. Robbery declined by nearly 40%, while aggravated battery declined in Chicago by almost half. Between 1990 and 1994 murders in Illinois peaked at an average of 1300 annually, driven primarily by gang crime in Chicago. In 2013, Illinois’ murder rate overall had declined to 706 for a population of just under 13 million people. Despite sensationalistic coverage of Chicago’s murder rate, driven by pro-gun interests crime rates in Chicago continued to decline overall. Social and neighborhood programs, innovative policing with state and local gun laws helped drive down violent crime rates in the city. Since 2000, from a peak in murders of 665 in 2001, 2014 closed with 425, still a tragically high number.

Recently in Wasilla AK, a 4 year old boy was shot in the leg when his mother dropped a weapon and it discharged. A Las Vegas woman was killed during a shoot out between an acquaintance and her son in their front yard in an incident attributed to road rage. A Michigan gun advocate, Christina Bond was killed in a fatal gunshot to the eye while adjusting her bra holster New Years Day. A Baltimore man was arrested February 16th after the shotgun he was cleaning discharged, seriously wounding his son. Those stories represent a small number of reported incidents.

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 “Shoot Down: 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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Run Chris Run, A bold new play from Stone Soup Theatre Project

I’m close to this story in any number of ways. I lived only a few blocks from the streets Chris Patterson was fighting over as a member of notorious street gang, near enough to hear the gunshots at night. Chris lives only a few blocks away from me now. We are friends. His book, 21: The Epitome of Perseverance, Authorhouse 2009, read to me like a street history of the Chicago I knew. The book is honest, painful in places and intimate as it follows Chris’ personal journey of self redemption and recrimination. The task of adapting properly to the stage required overcoming a number of daunting obstacles.

The book takes place over much of Patterson’s life. The narrative, like the rendering of any life, is a complex journey. Patterson’s is perhaps more complex given the moralistic tangent of the book; a lesson and a rebuttal for anyone who asserts that a person cannot change. Here is the reply to that narrow perspective. But much of the book takes place in prison after Chris succumbed to a pivotal choice to rob a bank, one in a series of crossroads which to younger eyes might seem a predetermined path. The challenge to playwright Katie Abascal is how to render those moments and choices on stage, tell the story accurately and maintain a voice that is true not only the book but the street as well.

Brought to the Stage by Stone Soup Theatre Project, the audience is less a passive theatre patron as a invitee to the intimate conversations and memories within Chris Patterson. The honesty of the book comes forth readily in a powerful and quietly lyrical script from Abascal which helps to create a cultural narrative without becoming distracting or burdensome. The center stage becomes the focal point for the 90 minute composition and serves as the prison cell for the older Chris, now struggling with recriminations and regrets.

That Chris is played by a moody and regretful Ian Deanes, desperately appealing to his younger self, fending off memories and temptations. The younger Chris matures through an arc ably rendered by actor Aaron Mitchell Reese. There is energy and a natural synchronicity to the talented and passionate cast. Directed by Alexandra Keels and Whitney Kraus Jones, Stone Soup succeeds in muddling the Fourth Wall, the so-called barrier between actors and audience as mere spectators. The production swirls around and behind the audience, building to a crescendo, helping to sweep the audience into that intimate and dramatic conversation taking place within Chris. It is a story which transcends the life of one man, and instead serves as a guidepost for each of us, and to the troubled times and street violence that still plagues us.

Aided by donations the play is a steal at $5 per ticket, and would be a bargain for a piece of this caliber at $15 or $20 per ticket. Performed at the new Wilson Abbey theatre, 935 West Wilson, Run Chris Run is part of an ongoing anti-violence campaign. Don’t be fooled by the café out front. The theatre is located within Everybody’s Coffee. Seats are limited. The play runs until November 8th Fridays at 8pm and Saturdays at 4pm. Doors open at 7:30 and 3:30 respectfully. Everybody’s Coffee is open daily from 6:30am weekdays and 7am weekends. For tickets to Run Chris Run, show times and more about Stone Soup Theatre Project, visit Artful.ly/StoneSoupTheatreProject and http://www.stonesouptheatrechicago.com. Chris Patterson’s book, 21: The epitome of Perseverance, is available at Amazon.com.


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

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A Breath of Freedom: The Tragedy and Triumph of Herman Wallace

I can’t stop the tears right now. I am not sure if they are tears of joy or something else, some cemented emotion-f105c1793a0879d0 that mixes rage and sorrow and elation all at once. Sitting on the couch with a bit of breakfast, the patio door is open to the courtyard and the world beyond. Away from the partisan bickering of ideologues who, like so many of us, take the autonomy to come and go for granted, who never question the freedom imbued in every breath, Herman Wallace never knew those luxuries.

On Tuesday, Brian A. Jackson, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana ordered a dying Wallace released immediately from Louisiana’s notorious Angola prison, overturning his conviction for the murder of a prison guard in 1972. Wallace was placed in solitary confinement where he remained for 41 years. Wallace, now 71, is dying of liver cancer.

The circumstances of the guard’s murder were immediately in question. State witnesses against Wallace and two other men, dubbed the “Angola Three” were later discredited, and the physical evidence against the 3 may have been fabricated by authorities in retribution for efforts by the three to bring reforms and better living conditions to the prison. Judge Jackson granted Wallace’s petition over violations during the 1972 trial of his constitutional rights. It is notable that even the guard’s wife maintains that Wallace is innocent of the murder.

Wallace is now only hours from death in a New Orleans hospital. Still, the authorities in Louisiana at first defied the order by Jackson, who then threatened contempt charges if Wallace was not released immediately. That defiance underscores the malicious nature of the state authorities, a disturbing legacy played out more and more, and with greater and greater ambivalence to human dignity and constitutional rights across the nation.131001-herman-wallace-hmed-930p_380;380;7;70;0

But this piece is about the breath of freedom, which for Herman Wallace are only too few. And I know a little of what it means to lose freedom. Perhaps that is why this resonates so strongly, but I don’t know what it is like to face the retributive atrocity Wallace endured, borne from nothing more than vengeful authorities directly confronted with their own inhumanity.

And so I am watching this morning on “Democracy Now” the images of Mr. Wallace, all but hidden on the ambulance gurney. An oxygen mask covers his face, but his eyes are bright and filled with the light of freedom, if only realized a moment. But what struck and touched me most was that Wallace never conceded. He never gave up his dream, the right stolen from him, to be free. That it was realized for only a short time is both n injustice and an inspiration.herman-23

And the lesson learned from Wallace is that freedom is not a given, and is most imperiled by the state. It is our duty to humanity, our burden and our cause to champion freedom. Not a knee-jerk spasm that trades short term gain swathed in long term hypocrisy. Not the freedom that secures privilege and blessing for a few, but for the dignity of each person, on all colors, genders and religions. Let Herman Wallace be the face of that struggle, if you wish. He is but one of many millions around the planet and in this country. But stand for one just as you would stand for all.
Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

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

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

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Revolution and Beer…of the week: Spiteful Brewing’s Double ESB and the meaning of reward

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The sound of a heavy sigh, and me draped over the back of a chair. Before me the nearly smoking hot keys of the keyboard, and those magic words that every writer alternately prays for and dreads-“The End.”

It is the end of this road. The cats and laundry have been neglected. Dishes have piled up in the sink, and the wife kind of, sort of recalls the last time we actually had a substantive conversation. For the last several weeks the predominance of our communication consisted almost entirely of a befuddling series of gestures and waves. But it is done, and after all of that, the late nights and up-before-dawn writing binges, I can rejoice-albeit alone.

No, no, it isn’t like that. The wife didn’t leave me for someone who communicates verbally. She was at work when I finished the Play, “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden,” a humorous swipe at the security state. So I fed the cats, which, as excited as they were for food, gave the place a party atmosphere. As for me, I was saving something special for this moment.

I’d been coveting a bottle of Spiteful’s P.A.C. Forever, Double ESB. I grabbed a couple of stout tulip glasses to focus the aroma a bit and headed over to Brian’s for a taste. We’d both had a tough year, and beer really has made the difference in keeping us both from falling to deeply into those challenges. Beer, good beer, and the community we brought to it, carried perspective. I caught him at home alone, waiting for the family to return. The house was quite, golden late afternoon sunlight bleeding through the blinds in the front room of his red-brick Chicago bungalow.20130803_181337

The beer poured to a cloudy copper color with a bit of an ochre hue. The light cream head was full and airy, settling gently, and lingering upon the glass in an intricate lacing. The aroma was light and nutty with a slight fruity character with notes of grapefruit and cherry. Brian and I raised our glasses together. Radio, TV, nearly a hundred protests this year, a new book and a play, on top of all that has happened this year-so far- and the first taste of Spiteful’s P.A.C. Forever charged through us like a shot of joyously cold electricity. The 7.6% ABV didn’t hurt either!

The nutty character of lightly toasted malts hinted at in the aroma carried over richly in that first taste. It was laced with fruitiness underlying that bordered on the tart side without being disagreeable. Extra Special Bitters, or ESBs are a bit of a misnomer. They are, in fact, characterized by balance. The double ESB, I surmise, referred to an enjoyable hoppy bitterness at the end.

It had come up cool that evening, the sun nearly set behind the two flats across the street. Brian and I finished the last of our beer. The family was just getting home, so I made my departure. The fever and rush of the last several months seemed paused for a moment, the memory of Spiteful’s P.A.C. Forever Double ESB and the peace of the evening returning perspectives to their rightful place. I took a cleansing breath and started down the shadowed block. Sometimes even revolutions need a moment…

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.
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ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

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

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