DARK HORSE Bernie Sander 2016- Rand Paul’s Used Car

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gus Lubin is the Executive Editor at Business Insider.

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

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

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

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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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Community Leaders Condemn Efforts to Block Chicago From Raising Minimum Wage

Voters Protest Outside of Office of Illinois Restaurant Association

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRASSROOTS COLLABORATIVE

637 S. DEARBORN, THIRD FLOOR CHICAGO, IL 60605

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

November 19th, 2014

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


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


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

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Ukraine War, MH-17 and XL Keystone pipeline

Throughout the winter and spring of 2014 that so-called anti-Obama Press resounded with base and insulting comparisons and contrasts about the two leaders. Charles Krauthammer called Putin and Obama mismatched in favor of President Putin. The level of commentary from sources such as FOX News and others descended quickly from there. Broadcasters gleefully talked about Putin’s manliness in contrast to Obama in the most obtuse and latently homo-erotic manner. Talk host Sean Hannity, with KT McFarland gushed Vladimir Putin’s “rock-hard abs.”

Another site put it this way:

On one hand you have the former KGB agent, Putin, who is seen as an uber masculine machine and a picture of physical strength and stamina. Photos have surfaced on the internet with him (shirtless) riding on the back of a horse and a photo shopped grizzly bear in the wild; an image that would suggest he’s a real manly man. He is a proud Russian with a large ego and is precise about what he says and means and does what he says he will do. On the other hand, you have Obama, the former community organizer who is seen as a mom-jeans-wearing “Steve Urkel” type. Instead of horses and bears, he prefers a Daisy 3 speed bike and a safety helmet as his means of transportation…http://clashdaily.com/2014/03/putinobama-phenomenon-james-bond-vs-steve-urkel/

Former Republican Presidential candidate Allen West even went so far as to demean the first lady Michelle Obama’s appearance in comparison to Putin’s wife: “Putin married this soft-spoken beauty…Obama…..well….”

But it may all have been a ruse, or at least a broader effort to delude or confuse the public about what was really at play over Ukraine. At the very least criticism of the Obama administration seemed designed to make broader arguments in support of the Keystone XL pipeline debate in the United States and to shift European dependence on Russian gas with dependence on American gas, or at the very least Ukrainian gas which was more and more under nominal, if not direct, US control. In early March Fox contributor and big-energy advocate KT McFarland offered Obama advice on dealing with Putin and the Russians.

“We can do what we did in the 1980s,” she said, “push down the price of oil, in this case by fracking and use our abundance of natural gas resources that we’ve had just in the last few years and start selling them to Europe. What would that do for Putin? If he can’t have high oil prices and high gas prices to Europe, he can’t meet payroll. If the cost per barrel goes below a hundred dollars per barrel Putin is in trouble…”

McFarland was referring to manipulations in the market and a collapse of quotas under OPEC in 1985 that had a devastating impact on the Russian economy, which was emerging as the world’s biggest oil and gas producer at the time. For McFarland, who regularly blusters about the so-called “free market” unburdened by government interference and regulations, the statements seemed a glaring contradiction.

It was already obvious, as the world reacted to Russia’s annexation efforts of Crimea, in early 2014 that the Russian Ruble was Putin’s Achilles heel. It was too closely dependent on oil, of which the total Russian economy was dependent. That would have been obvious to the Obama administration as well. Just three days after McFarland’s remarks Businessweek published an article connecting Ukraine and the viability of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Soon after Senator Mary Landrieu, democrat and chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, began making the case that the pipeline would offer a solution to Europe’s gas worries.

On March 27th, in the wake of Washington’s first round of sanctions on prominent Russian individuals, many connected directly to Russia’s energy concerns, Landrieu released a statement following passage of a bill authorizing $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine:

“Today’s vote to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to help stabilize Ukraine’s economy is a good first step toward helping the millions of Ukrainians and Eastern Europeans affected by the tyrannical ambitions of Vladimir Putin. I am committed to bolstering this effort. As Chair of the Senate Energy Committee, I will continue my work to increase domestic energy production and make the US a global leader in energy exports. America can and should be an energy superpower that helps our allies across the globe. One of Putin’s greatest weapons is the gas that Russia produces and sells to countries like the Ukraine and Lithuania. By entering the market and giving these nations someplace else to buy gas, we will break the stranglehold of despots like Putin, who use their energy stockpiles to crush the freedoms of neighboring nations. The last thing President Putin and his cronies wants is competition from the United States of America in the energy race, and I look forward to playing a leading role to bring energy security and independence to America and its democratic allies around the world to advance the cause of freedom. ”

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 98-2. A strong case can be made that the Ukrainian people were not the primary reason for the vote.

That spring, on nervousness regarding Russian troop concentrations on the Ukraine border, the Crimea and disruptions in oil helped drive the price of oil to around an average of$105 per barrel. The price dropped, unseasonably, and with additional concerns over Islamic State successes in Iraq and Syria to under $95 a barrel; odd given the inherent emotional uncertainty in investors who generally reacted on far less than the market was facing during the summer of 2014. Regardless, the weakness in the oil market was great news for the US public and helped to spur consumer spending. It also benefitted Halliburton, already actively engaged in Ukraine, making its stocks more attractive and accessible to investors.


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


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

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The Price of Gas: Bigger than you think

James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma is now the new chair of the Senate Environmental Committee. That’s sort of like making Adolph Eichmann manager of a Kosher food company. What does that have to do with the price of gas? I’m getting to that.

First, before you think the current low price of gas is a good thing, you should know why. There are a lot of forces right now struggling over the price of a barrel of crude oil. A collapse in the price of oil is dangerous to global piece, and the world is precariously at the brink of just that. For example, in a previous article Brian and I discussed the superpower struggle over Crimean and Ukrainian gas and oil reserves, and how that contributed to the shootdown by pro-Russian rebels of Malaysian Air Flight 17, killing all 298 aboard. Russia’s still fairly rudimentary economy is almost exclusively based on oil. To keep his nation running comfortably Russian President Putin needs the cost per barrel to be just around $110. You may have read about massive Russian air incursions over Europe. Putin is attempting to sway the crude oil market and drive the price up by maintaining tensions. That’s a dangerous game. So is the potential collapse of the Russian economy, or massive unrest. One of the Obama administration’s strategies has been to manipulate the market and drive the cost of oil down to punish Russia for its actions in Ukraine. And you thought that it was all about the dictates of the marketplace guiding the cost of oil and gas. Bless your heart.

But wait, there’s more! The Saudis have been glutting the market with oil to drop the price as well. Why? Two reasons. ISIS is selling so much cheap oil on the blackmarket that legitimate markets are feeling the sting. One of the biggest buyers of ISIS illegal oil is our friends, and NATO and European Union member, Turkey. In my opinion for that and their pro-ISIS belligerence with the Kurds, Turkey should be expelled by the EU and NATO and face punishing sanctions. The other pressure on the Saudis is Fracking in the US and Canada of that filthy, polluting tar sands crude. The Saudi’s goal by lowering the price of oil is to make it far too expansive for Frackers and tar sands producers.

The benefit, it might appear is for consumers. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of the US economy. When the price of gas drops, the ability to spend by consumers goes up, although it appeared that the debt burdened US consumer, with stagnate wages might have exceeded its debt to income ratio, as spending dropped .2% in September. The concentration of wealth system strangling the economy currently creates a false market. It creates consumer puppets who are merely cash machines to government coffers and ever more wealthy corporations. They do not want you to have any control over the marketplace or economy, but only to remain manipulated for their profit. In that system the consumer has no control.

The good news is that the working class needs time to adjust to lower energy prices, and that might become evident in the October figures, although the price of gas was inching up going into November. If they rebound to August and early September levels any consumer gain would be lost. The slow bleeding of high transportation costs would continue apace for working class and poor families.

The first important thing to realize about the US economy, indeed the world economy, is that it is not structured around any particular economic theory, and no universal marketplace ideal. The economy of the world is a mad patchwork of cobbled together ideas, emotions and trust levels, all broadly bound by a complex set of assumptions. But at the end of all that one thing is universal, and that is the basic notion that if consumers have more money, they will generally buy more stuff. If fuel costs are low enough then the money consumers might otherwise spend on energy needs is diverted and spread throughout the economy.

The more of that income that is discretionary, that is not going directly to survival needs, the more power resides with the consumer. That is the reason behind the wealth disparity in America. It is by design. With less money moving freely in the engine of the economy, debt is increased and those who control the assets control the consumer. But because we know that when prices are lower, spending goes up, and when gas prices are lower that the economy improves, why not extend that argument, and take it to the logical conclusion. The key lies in energy, and the American consumer has power to drive down the costs of energy. That would also directly assail the economic hegemony of the 1%. Here’s how.

Despite dramatic improvements in solar and wind power, 85% of America’s energy consumption comes from fossil fuel. Agricultural production eats up most of that, through wasteful manufacture of artificial fertilizers and pesticides, and in canning. Simply eating fresh vegetables, locally sourcing as little as a 1/3 of your vegetables and cutting meat consumption by 10%, or about 18 pounds of meat per year, would lower your medical costs, help the environment, spur local economic growth and force greater efficiency in the market. Nationally, savings in health care from a cleaner economy are estimated at almost $100 billion annually. An enormous amount of energy is wasted in packaging, processing and storing food.

James Inhofe has openly expressed his disdain for hybrid and electric cars. But Inhofe is bought and paid for by major corporate donors, including big oil. He works for the 1%-ers who want you to be a faceless, manipulated consumer. By switching to or supporting hybrid and electric cars the gas and oil royalty of the country and the world would finally be deposed, and once again we would have some say in the marketplace instead of mere victims, or fish swimming against an ever increasing current of manipulation, control and corruption. Just a thought…


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


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

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Corporations Win!

In a stunning win for corporations and the Koch Brothers the constitution, environment, your drinking water, the middle class and the poor were soundly trounced by voter apathy and threats of Ebola-ridden Mexican children who love ISIS. As expected younger voters stayed home in record numbers, with an estimated 25% turnout, although turn out for this demographic was nearly 100% as they responded to funny memes on Twitter and to a great sale on sweaters at the gap-also and then there was that killer DJ at that club. Thankfully turn out by their grandparents and middle class voters passionately voting against their interests realized that 1 person with Ebola and immigrant kids on the border 2000 miles away were the leading issues. The environment, now bracing for an assault by the XL Keystone pipeline and fracking wells on every block could not be reached for comment. The constitution is said to have fled to Europe, remarking at the border that, corporations are people? “And you just voted for people to give them a huge tax break on top of the subsidies and tax loopholes they also get? No, you abandoned me.” R.I.P. middleclass, your fear vote is the same as suicide..

For more information on where the election takes us, read: The Last Man, a warning about the future.http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-last-man-wc-turck-and-the-99/1108897866?ean=9781469771939
9781469771939_p0_v1_s260x420


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


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

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The Case Against an Oil-based Economy

Sean Hannity in his propaganda screed the other day was unequivocal. He has, in the past few months been involved in “getting America back to work,” on his radio show and FOX News network. In reality it has been a commercial for tar sands and fracking. Revolution and Beer in a series of shows with environmental activist Dr Lora Chamberlain, and in an earlier blog showed that the promise of high paying jobs in North Dakota’s Bakken Oil fields was a dangerous illusion.

We brought to you the voices of people currently working there on the lack of housing, and what was available was going for confiscatory prices. Hannity’s Shangri-oil in North Dakota had made life dangerous for women, bred crime, caused significant pollution and left many stranded and destitute in the winter-harsh climes of the North West. Still Hannity and others claimed there was a near endless supply of jobs in excess of $100 thousand per year salaries. On his show this week, despite his industry guests saying that most jobs started at $30-40,000, he kept quoting jobs at $90,000 or more, in a pitch that would make a school-yard crack dealer blush. Then he said something even more obscene, but true: That the US is an oil-driven economy.

I couldn’t argue, because, sadly it is true, and that is not a good thing. In fact for our economy, for stability and for our future it is more than just potentially disastrous, it is disaster in which the clock is already ticking. The economics are simple, and there are glaring and recent examples that prove that eventuality.

Recently the Dutch Safety Board released preliminary findings on the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine in July. The report fell far short, and left more questions than answers. It also did not provide a backdrop to the disaster and the significant geopolitical and economic issues that contributed to the shooting down of a commercial airliner and the loss of all 298 on board. But those factors are significant and involve a superpower land grab for oil and gas concerns in eastern Ukraine-site of the bitterest fighting- and the Crimea. In a previous piece Revolution and Beer detailed much of that oil and gas rush, and named names. See “Obama’s missteps as tension mounts between NATO and Moscow. An excerpt from the upcoming book, “A TRAGIC FATE: Politics, Oil, the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17and the Looming Threats to Civil Aviation” by Revolution and Beer’s WC Turck.”

The Russian economy is almost solely based on oil and gas, by most estimates around 70%, which is an astounding and frightening number. Their budget depends on a barrel price of around $114. The current price, as of this writing for a barrel of Brent Crude is about $97/barrel. A tactic of the Obama administration’s sanctions against Russia- targeting primarily oil and gas concerns, has been to force down the cost of oil in order to strangle the Russian economy. Putin has replied by stoking military action as the one card he has to play in order to shock the market, maintain a modicum of insecurity and keep the prices as high as possible. In the short term the big oil and gas concerns in the West will suffer, but in the long term they will reap untold rewards. Russian firms and banks, and the whole of the Russian economy is on a long slow slide to insolvency because of the state of its infrastructure, a lack of technical capability and reliance on oil and gas.

But to a lesser extent the US economy is far too dependent on oil and gas as well. That dependency, as reserves and supplies mature, peak and decline will drag the US economy down as well. It also leaves us vulnerable to manipulation from foreign threats. No rational industry analyst believes that the US could ever supply its entire domestic and oil needs at current usage. Everyone agrees that oil and gas are finite resources that eventually will run out, or at the very least become cost prohibitive as research and extraction costs far outpace profits. It is also true that, at current technology, green energy alone could not support the US energy and transportation needs fully. Of course the argument to that is that in 1987 current technology could not support modern cellphone technology.

Green tech, most especially electric vehicles, and solar and wind power could currently offset a significant portion of the country’s needs at current technology. The effort must be, for all of those who believe that the country faces significant threats from abroad, must acknowledge that a preeminent reliance on oil is a virtual gun to the head of the nation. Reliance on renewable sources of energy, and in research to expand the availability and reliability of renewable is the only thing that will ultimately protect us from being blackmailed, or having our economy collapsed. The benefits resonate far beyond the growing threats to the nation, and include a boom in green jobs and a benefit to our environment. One is a short-sighted view by those simply interested in profits and those looking for long term viable solutions.

It is all rather like the squirrel in autumn who collects nuts without building an adequate nest through the winter, and the squirrel who collects enough nuts while also building an adequate nest that will protect it and its offspring from a harsh winter. It is really a rather simple lesson

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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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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Detroit bankruptcy: Beyond the Headline or how Capitalism crippled a great American City and the Right will kill it!

You will not find the details, the real story on the Detroit bankruptcy filing unless you are really looking for it amid a great deal of spin. What you will get is the cartoon version, the fluff that really furthers a greater misconception that really shows the Rightwing bias of the media. That is, as we have maintained all along, the Right, as the propaganda front for greedy commercial interests wants to get their hands on the public till, which will dwarf the 2008 financial “crisis” as the biggest crime against the United States in history.

Largest among those misconceptions is a diabolical spin, most particularly today by Limbaugh guest ogre and ardent racist Mark Steyn. He cited that $9billion of Detroit’s outstanding $11billion debt was owed to public workers. Steyn then described the crisis as being their fault. This Canadian-born facilitator to the looting of the nation could hardly be more wrong. There is no causal link here, except in the fraudulent mind of a 1% shill.

What the figures show is that Detroit, a dichotomy of areas of opulently concentrated wealth and near warzone-like poverty, has chronically defaulted on responsibilities and debts to working class people. They have been sacrificed, pushed aside, promised and now betrayed. As with so many companies filing for bankruptcy, the workers suffer most, while the owners and lawyers leave handsomely compensated. This debt represents pay checks, retirement, braces for kids teeth, medical procedures under existing healthcare benefits-true necessities of life.

In March Michigan governor Rick Snyder appointed lawyer Kevyn Orr, a former partner with the Washington-based law firm of Jones Day as emergency manager of Detroit, despite the overwhelming objections of the voters. This from a group who proclaim a dozen Tea Partiers in a mall as “the will of the people!” While at the firm Orr represented Chrysler in their 2009 bankruptcy, billing the company $700 an hour. Chrysler received $4.5 billion in debtor-in-possession financing from the federal government under George Bush. So, who did Kevyn Orr bill exactly at $700 bucks and hour? Chrysler or the US taxpayer? I have a guess? Do you? On Thursday Orr asked a judge for permission to place the city under Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. Who is going to get paid for this one? What will their connection to Mr. Orr be?

Aside from the fact that the largest municipality in the nation, a once great American city, filed for bankruptcy under a Republican, there are far greater issues here that spell real danger for our nation. While the Occupy Movement has all but faded away into disparate and ineffectual small grounds and the Tea Party tools are being jettisoned now that their usefulness to their corporate and ideological inventors are through with them, this marks a giant leap forward in the planned privatization of public sector finances and assets, moving all of those things into private control, and with it your tax dollars.

This is a looting of the economy. The withering here began with international trade agreements allowing corporations to abandon American workers, and through full support and approval of the government, relocate to undercut American workers. There are no mechanisms by all of these “very smart” people to hold companies accountable, taxing them for jettisoning domestic factories for slave foreign labor. This is the outcome of that planet-sized loophole.

Greedy, unrestrained capitalism brought Detroit to its knees and crippled it, just as it is doing around the nation It was not the unions. So now they have appointed a robber baron to oversee the process and kill it off once and for good. Who will represent Detroit in that, some old friend of Orr’s, Jones Day, and what will they charge the taxpayers? Just asking a question. Rest assured, and I saw it first hand during the United Airlines bankruptcy in 2002, people will get paid a great deal of money from this, and the workers; the cops, firemen, street cleaners and teachers will get nothing by screwed.

This is not an isolated issue about a struggling city. This was engineered and will lead to privatization of public works, business and assets. the strategy to accomplish that is in degrading the government to a point in which it inevitably fails and then sell it off. Always the endgame, like with the banks and Wall Street in 2008 was to get to the purse strings of America’s tax base-the American worker. It feeds their greed and strengthens their control over the government and favorable legislation.

And the blinding messaging from the Right’s media monopoly continues apace. the anti-union FOX News is but one example, coming out in loud and fully support of former Jones Day partner Kevin Orr’s actions greed czar of Detroit. Interesting that FOX pundit Megyn Kelly once worked at Jones Day, but I’m sure that is just a coincidence.
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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Revolution and Beer…of the Week Vive la French Aramis IPA de New Belgium Brewing!

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So, Saturday is Bastille Day, and this past week has felt very Revolutionary for us here at Revolution and Beer. A protest against a tax dodging company, a trip to Washington DC just for starters. We’re working hard on two books and gearing up for the second season of our television show here in Chicago. It seems altogether fitting that it should culminate with Bastille Day. It brought to mind my first, unpublished, novel, with a character who believes that all human history and future can be described or predicted using the French Revolution as a template. I thought of beer.20130711_183915

Just out this month is a beer by the always consistently good New Belgium Brewery out of Fort Collins Colorado, one of my favorite small towns. I have some keen memories camping in the Rockies along the Poudre River, but back to the beer, revolution and Bastille Day.

6.7%Alcohol By Volume, ABV, this modestly priced India Pale Ale is really anything other than modest. It poured into a pint glass with a hearty ½ inch snow white head with a beautiful opaque Baltic amber color. Quickly I discovered a rich floral aroma with just a hint of spice and warmed hops. I let that settle in the glass a moment, awaiting my perfect food pairing choice to arrive, which I will get to in a moment.

Interesting that with all that occurred this past week that it should come to be punctuated so perfectly by Bastille Day. The single thread running through all of the events the past week were the power of peaceful protest, which brought to mind some brilliantly appropriate quotes by Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre, or more simply, Robespierre. He opposed the fates that ultimately were bestowed upon the necks of the royal family, opposed an unnecessary war against Austria and believed that violence was not the way to spread the values and ideals of the revolution.

Tout institution qui ne suppose pas le peuple bon et le magistrat corruptible est vicieuse!” Which translates to “Any institution that does not suppose the people good, and the magistrate corruptible, is evil!”

a favorite image of Robespierre

a favorite image of Robespierre

So it was this that I was thinking of as I took the first sip of French Aramis IPA, the summer offering from New Belgium. That first malty impression was rounded out with a subtle orange sweetness, It followed nicely by a lingering hoppiness, which, after sampling several fruit-infused beers this week was a welcome return to tradition.

I really wanted to showcase this beer with something befitting the day as well as the beer. It must be obvious at this point that the perfect food to pair with an IPA with a that hint of orange, on the eve of the anniversary of the French Revolution would absolutely be Thai food! What else? French food? Zut Alors!
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The place we preferred was a little family place in the neighborhood, called Cilantro, http://cilantrothaikitchen.com/, with simple and understated dishes. I chose a basil dish with duck and a light chili sauce with a medium spice. Stir fried with garlic, green beans and red peppers until the basil leaves held the slightest crispiness and the garlic had cooked into the sauce with juices from the duck. The herbalness of the basil, softened by the garlic nicely complimented the hops. The spice of the sauce was balanced sublimely by the sweetness of that hint of orange. Vive la revolution! La vous allez! Bonne fête de la Bastille!
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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