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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A History of Us: New Horizons/Pluto-revised

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

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

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

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

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


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


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

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ISIS? Government’s Grammys?

Does ISIS really exist? I’ll get to that in a moment.

First, Brian Williams has taken a leave of absence in the wake is apparent embellishments on stories that really in the grand scheme of things mean nothing. If you’re unaware of what Williams said that got him in so much “trouble,” you’ve been under a rock. I’m not wasting precious pixels explaining it all over again. This is for the rest of us with a pulse that extends above the neck.

I don’t so much care about Williams. I live in a modern city with internet, books and libraries and not a town in Idaho or Alabama or even downstate Illinois in which dinosaur, corporatized, filtered and manufactured network news is really the only source for tens of millions of Americans. I am, instead concerned about anyone who was shocked by Williams’ personal lies. He and everyone on ABC, CBS, FOX, MSNBC and CNN lie to us everyday.

Those groups are as much about journalism and truth as the Grammys are about real music. Because we know that Beyonce or any of the other media marketing creations are producing the very best music out there today. Seriously? I can name a hundred artists in 2014 with more real talent, creativity and heart than the uber-manufactured and ultra-marketed Beyoncé. This really isn’t about Beyoncé, who I’m sure is a nice…well, never mind.

Williams is just the poster boy for a media and government that routinely parades the most audacious lies to us. Think weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What about a media and government that still pretends there is a controversy over man-made climate change, or a media that never talks about TPP? How about teaching children in school that we are the greatest nation in the world, and then in a whispering alternative media they discover that America has political prisoners; 85 year old Catholic Nun Megan Rice, John Kiriakou, Jeremy Hammond, Chelsea Manning and many more imprisoned using statutes to stop the exposure of real crimes while the HSBC bank officials that hid $100 billion in a Swiss bank and funneled money to Al Qaeda received the financial equivalent of a parking ticket. Maybe, it’s a government and media telling us the stockmarket shows the economy is great, until you try to find a job, pay your bills, visit a doctor or sell your one bedroom condo.

This is the era of distrust of the media and government, especially on the Right. Or is it? Why is it everything that the government says is a lie, a manipulation, an act of propaganda, except when it comes to those crazy and evil Muslim terrorists? It is as if we can pride ourselves on our distrust of media and government lies, except when it comes to Islam. But there is proof, right? All those terrible videos. The beheadings and burnings, the gun camera videos on Youtube, with tags that read “30mm cannon makes mince meat out of terrorists.” ISIS is coming to a mall near you! The people who claim climate change is a hoax, and measles vaccines, virtually unchanged in 60 years and given to hundreds of millions since then, caused their kid to be autistic, despite irrefutable science, buy the marketing of the ISIS boogieman without question.

Does ISIS really exist, or exist the way it has been marketed through a partnership between a corporatized media messaging for mega-corps with tighter and tighter hegemony over the government? It makes for the ultimate reality television show, erasing the so-called theatrical 4th wall erasing the presumable barrier between audience and story. At least you might be considering the question now?

Maybe ISIS really is the evil scum of the earth bastards we must eradicate. If so, don’t tell me it may take decades and more than a trillion dollars to defeat this militia-sized rabble in the desert, when we fought 3 axis armies on 4 continents and across two vast oceans of more than 30 million fighters with modern technology in World War Two’s 5 years. Tell me that and I start to believe I’m being played. Maybe ISIS is real, and everything the corporate media tells us is the truth. And maybe the Grammys really are about Music and not marketing.


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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#JeSuisCharlie I Love Terrorists!

Today the Paris editors of Charlie Hebdo, the target of a brutal massacre last week by terrorists hiding behind the veil of Islam, will publish 3 million copies of the magazine. The cover will depict a cartoon image of the Prophet Muhammad. The day of the attack Revolution and Beer published their cartoon of Muhammad as a statement of support for the freedom of expression. In the face of that crime we felt it critical to editorially oppose the forces of censorship. We are and have been and will continue to be as critical of any person, organization, religion, ideology and system that assails or undermines the imperative necessity of fully and honestly critiquing anything that impedes human progress or contributes to the lack there of.

We also respect our Muslim friends and neighbors and feel it is regressive to add anything more that attempts to make any of this about religion. The Charlie Hebdo cartoon is, in that regard, unproductive in bringing people together so that the species may progress together, rather than in pockets. There is a subversive attempt to pit religions and peoples against one another, not for the benefit of those religions, but for the control of resources, power and control. The media is the selling point, rather like the slick used car salesman that sells you a lemon. We have chronicled that cynical and all too successful assault on civil liberties and the greater aggrandizement of the perversely wealthy.

Here is the image we wish would resonate for today and beyond:

heart2

One way to begin is to begin to understand each other’s humanity. Who starts that? My father always taught me about being the bigger person. He also taught me not to be a jerk. I’m trying. We also need to understand the media manipulation that makes one life more important than another. There was virtually no media coverage of the funerals of Tamir Rice, Michael Brown or Eric Garner, but hour by hour coverage of two slain NYPD officers. There were regular funeral updates and the names of the 4 Jewish victims of the Paris Kosher market but virtually nothing of 50 Muslim civilians killed over the weekend in a US airstrike. The message in all of those is clear; some lives are more important than others. That message never leads to peace, or to progress, but more of the same misery.

Who benefits and profits from that? Who capitalizes on the constant drumbeat of supposed Islamic extremism, of the rising Russian bear, of the hysterical panic to have more guns everywhere despite plummeting crime statistics long before gun proliferation laws took effect? Is it the poor, who cannot find decent jobs, or who must collect food stamps to supplement their low paying service and Chinese-junk choked Walmart job? Is it the middle class, still struggling, and failing as healthcare costs have been shifted more fully to them to the benefit of ever more profitable and predatory corporations? When do we begin to realize that Satan may have come in the form of those smiling and polished salesmen in the media, millionaires stoking our darker fears and those bigotries we once eschewed within ourselves. They seduce the society into surrendering their freedoms and soverienty for the rich and powerful. Are you better for it? Are we better for it as a nation? As a planet? When…?

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


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

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Allahahu Babar! #JeSuisCharlie

Detective Ahmadovich sighed and settled back into his well worn brown leather chair. Outside his little glass-enclosed office, among the sea of desks in the small precinct in central Frankfurt, the fury of the day’s truly historic events swirled in a storm of feverish activity. Ahmadovich’s young brow was irretrievably broken. He ran fingers through his thick black hair. Nothing of this was making any sense, and now, more than 7 hours later it had taken a serious turn for the absurd.

It was a horrible attack, despite the weather. The Press described it as a massacre, the attack, not the weather. Something of all this left both police and survivors thoroughly perplexed. It was that curious expression that made them ubiquitous among the grim-faced first responders and throngs of reporters as they were led from the scene, the survivors not the reporters.

To many investigators and much of the media the case seemed simple enough. Certainly, they’d all concluded, the carnage was the result of reaction to those blasphemous and decidedly provocative cartoons. The editors of the weekly rag, “Frankfurter mit Mustard” had crafted a career of such provocation. Terror groups and so-called lone wolves had levied the obligatory threats, but self-respecting cartoonists were also vocal about the shoddiness and amateurish nature of the cartoons. The International League cartoonists Francais, or ILK French, headquartered in Euro-Disney, had protested vociferously enough to force a rapproachment between Germany and France not seen since the Lager versus Pilsner impasse of the early Nineties.

Lauren LaBlanc was one of those survivors. She’d been closest to the terrorists when they stormed into the conference room of “Frankfurter mit Mustard” during their weakly Frustuck, or breakfast meeting; the cartoonists, that is, not the terrorists.

Lovely and young, with long straight blond hair and piercing blue eyes, Lauren sat in an uncomfortable chair beside Ahamdovich’s desk lamenting how a coworker’s blood stains clashed with the pattern of her skirt. After hours sitting in the police station those stains would definitely set in, she told herself, and would definitely leave a stain. But it was the words she spoke next, seeming to bubble up from her soul that drew the most curious look from Ahmadovich.

“Allahahu Babar,” she said almost mechanically, as if not realizing the words had come from her.

The detective seized upon it instantly. “You mean, Allahahu Ahkbar, God is great, isn’t that right?”

“No. No!” she repeated, as if shaken from a trance, meeting his eyes instantly, “I’m certain. Allahahu Babar,” Ahmadovich sighed. After all she’d been through, the trauma of the attack, the ruin of her skirt…his heart went out to her. So pretty, so innocent and so vulnerable, all of which he figured would make her so much easier to shag. He wouldn’t of course. His wife had a very strict policy.

He could keep her. She’d done nothing wrong. Well, those shoes were all wrong for the outfit and the hair reminded him of Chrissie from that American sitcom, “Three’s Company,” but none of that was illegal. Besides, it was a pleasure to watch her walk away. In fact, he called her back several times just to watch her leave again and again.

“Allahahu Babar,” he said aloud.

At first it made no sense, but then all at once it struck him like a bolt. Slamming a hand on his cluttered desk, Ahmadovich rushed across the squad room and stormed breathlessly into the commander’s office. The commander was a tall slender Algerian, with white hair and West African features. Ahmadovich startled him so that he spilled a cup of tepid coffee into his lap; his own not the detectives. It wasn’t as unpleasant as he might have imagined.

“Chief,” the detective exclaimed breathless with excitement. “We’re going after the wrong group. We’ve got to go to Disneyland!”

“Are you insane, man?” replied the commander. “Although I would love to go with you sometime, and I’ve secretly wished all these years that you might ask, this is hardly the time!”

“No,” replied Ahmadovich, “And we’ll discuss that last remark later, but the witnesses all describe the terrorists saying exactly the same thing: Allahahu Babar!”

“It’s nonsense!”

“No, they weren’t who we think. I accuse The International League cartoonists Francais, or ILicK French! God is Babar!” Ahmadovich, leaned on the desk close to the commander. Histoire de Babar, le petit elephant.”

The commander was incredulous. “You mean the story of a young elephant you following the death of his mother by a hunter escapes to the city after being chased by the hunter, returns to the jungle when the king dies from eating bad mushrooms and Babar, with his white man’s civilization and education is appointed king, marries his cousin then teaches their children valuable lessons about everything except incest? That loveable children’s story?”

“It’s the French! It was always those damned French cartoonists, snooty and elitist, striking a blow for competent and good cartoonists everywhere.”

The commander considered the words carefully. He could see the diplomatic clashes, the protests, the closing of embassies, the European Union imperiled, perhaps even war. He looked up at the young detective and shook his head,; his own not the detectives.

“We’re closing the file on this. Continue the investigation for the usual suspects. This is bigger than us, bigger than poorly drawn cartoons which are way more important now than they were before the attack, where they might simply have been forgotten like the drawings by my 9 year old nephew on the wall of my flat with permanent marker. Permanent! Now bring me another cup of coffee, just a bit warmer than room temperature”

The young detective straightened, thoroughly disillusioned. He nodded dutifully and knew this was just the beginning. Let artists and cartoonists have a little freedom and they’ll take over the whole world with their elitists points of view and their outrageous takes on comedy, politics and life. No, Ahmadovich knew, this wasn’t over, not by a long shot.

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


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

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#JeSuisCharlie: The Paris Attack

mohYou will hear a great deal of spin, propaganda and lies, particularly from the gun pornographers in the NRA. They will tell you French police do not carry weapons and that gun ownership in France is banned. The responding police to the Charlie Hedbo attack were not the Gendarmerie Nationale, but civilian Police nationale, or Surete (Sur-ay-tay), like our civilian police here in the US. All Surete are issued and carry a Swiss SIG Saurer Pro-series semi-automatic pistol 9mm pistol, and many carry rifles and/or shotguns in their vehicles like US domestic police.

By domestic standards, crime is violent rare in Paris and France as a whole. Terrorism and extremist attacks are rare as well. The Surete has excellent SWAT, anti-terrorism and rapid response units. Communication and coordination between Surete and the Gendarmerie is excellent as well. The first police responded in Paris within 3 minutes. Video from today’s attack show that the police were surprised while responding, facing combat hardened gunmen with assault weapons and possibly body armor before they could even draw their weapons.

Two officers were killed. One was hit in a hail of bullets and wounded. The attackers then finished the officer off moments later. Will FOX News televise their funeral hour by hour as well, or will they forget this story when Michelle Obama makes a remark about bacon or vegetables or school lunches in a few days? imagesYOXYKALI

Gun ownership in France is permitted, but is licensed. Stock piling bullets for pistols is not permitted. Owners of small arms may keep 20 rounds at any one time. Hunters, sportsmen and rifle owners are permitted to maintain 1000 rounds. Guns can be owned legally with appropriate and reasonable permits. Ownership of guns in France is common and easier than in many other European countries. However, with the EU, there are no border customs control. Buying guns legally or illegally in Eastern and Southern Europe, or Turkey and transporting them throughout Europe is as simple as buying guns at an Indian gun fair and driving them to the south side of Chicago.

As for reaction by Muslims to the attack, apparently for Charlie Hedbo’s cartoon depictions of the prophet Muhammad, The Arab league in Cairo and Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s most prestigious, organizations, Canadian Muslim leaders, Saudi Arabia and British Muslim leaders immediately and strongly condemned the attack. It is the same for ISIS as well, with many Muslim leaders and nations condemning the group.imagesSIRRUYDA

Finally, a leading Muslim cleric in Britain remarked on the BBC that “Journalists are free to produce those cartoons in a free society, and we as Muslims are free to peacefully oppose them…We Jews, Muslims and Christians must come together and unify against this threat.” The journalist responsible for the cartoon is Stephanie Charbonnier. He was killed in the attack.

While respect and sensitivity to diverse perspectives in the community, freedom of expression must be paramount throughout society. Charlie Hebdo clearly carried that to an extreme, but in their defense the magazine was an equal opportunity offender. That is why we have published a cross-section of those offending covers, with apologies to all of our friends who might take offense. The freedom of expression and of journalism, however is much larger that individual sensitivities. We will likely never post them again, but out of duty in defense of expression and freedom, and to honor the memories of the dead, not only in Paris, but for those oppressed by any censorship, including American corporatist censorship and self-censorship, Revolution and Beer will not waver from its responsibility. Charia-Hebdo-couverture-Charlie-Hebdo

Rest in peace truth warriors. Rest assured that others shall carry that torch against all extremism, fascism and forces of control who would oppress, conceal or attack the real truths in this world.

http://www.expat-blog.com/en/guide/europe/france/5056-gun-ownership–shooting-in-france.html

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


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

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The Messaging Game

We like to complain about the corporate media, but too few of us support independent media. Across the internet, low power AM and FM stations, cable access and in publishing a great many have risen to take up the challenge first heralded more than 40 years ago by Gil Scott Herron’s “The Revolution will not be televised,” and reinvigorated by the Occupy Movement.

There are reasons for that. The high profile so-called Progressive media sources, like Al Gore, NPR, MSNBC and others on an all too short list have either betrayed true progressives and liberals, or attempted to co-opt them altogether for nakedly partisan purposes. Discontent among young voters who flocked to groups like Occupy, or environmental groups, or the I can’t breathe justice rights issue was abandoned or mocked by the democrats, revealing pure political motivations while abandoning the real base of the Progressive and Political movements.

Commentator Thom Hartmann has brought a pale indignation, and who can sit through another ill-prepared debate he holds with a right winger who reveals Hartmann’s willingness to go to great links in bending to the illusion of “gentlemanly” dialogue. Leslie Marshall couldn’t suck up to right wing propagandist Sean Hannity more in her desire for face time on FOX. Ed Schultz, who during the Madison protests in 2010-11, emerged as possibly challenging the media hegemony of the right is now all but…no, he’s forgotten. Stephanie Miller’s cogent arguments, when she attempts to make one at all largely amounts to her saying “Duh!” MSNBC simply is moving the nation to the right more slowly and under the costume of progressivism. The nominally progressive WCPT recently lost the only environmental show in Chicago, hosted by Mike Nowak, creating a monumental void in an already underrepresented segment of the market. NPR and the local Chicago community channel WTTW have all swung decidely to the right, wishing not to confront or run afoul of the right wing, corporate coup in washington DC.

Nowhere in this so-called liberal media are substantive discussions on climate change, race and immigrant justice, XL keystone, Enbridge, net neutrality or the TPP. the abandonment of those issues by the dems, I believe, has driven many from the party.

Hopeless? Not so much. Messaging however requires the involvement of citizens on several fronts. The first is in fighting to protect internet neutrality. It is the last true media still available for the unfettered, unfiltered voice of the people. Second, is to support and engage local, non-corporate and alternative media. Tune in. It is easier than you can imagine now. Access to Q4 radio can be done now from virtually any device. I listen daily in the car from my smart phone. There are others in Chicago as well, creating some of the most interesting, best informed and innovative programming on the air. Or you could listen to the same old boring crap on Chicago radio; all of it careful scripted and crafted to follow editorial dictates by media magnates in bed with one of the two political parties dominating power and money and messaging in America.

Finally, the Left muust learn to message like the right. Here is where we win. Here is the perfect opportunity to be a smart ass, because behind our sarcasm are deep truths and realities. Behind their flimsy bumper sticker lines are veiled ideals of greed and privilage, and a fundamental inhumanity that leaves the poor, the minorities, the elderly and the handicapped depserate, forgotten and abandoned.

They like phrases like Reagan’s smug retort, as he and his administration laid the groundwork for the slow and careful corporate take over of our nation and the theft of its wealth-from the mouths and pockets of the people. “The scriest words in the English language, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Hmm, you mean like FEMA, the CDC, Social Security, the FAA, paved roads and safe food?

maybe if we shot back with equal disdain and smarminess, like: “I’m from the government and I’ve been sold to the highest bidder!”

How about, I’m from the corporation and I’m selling you what you once got for your tax dollars.”

Perhaps this, I’m from the corporation and I get paid twice, once in subsidies and also from you!”

Or there’s this: I’m from the mega-church and I’m here to help; please surrender your soul.”

And my favorite: “I’m from the media and I’m the millionaire who speaks for the middle class.”

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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FOX News Political commentator Juan Williams on AM560 in Chicago today compared whites supporting Ferguson protests to Jihadists supporting terrorist groups in the Middle East. Call FOX and demand Williams recant, apologize and resign, 1-212-301-3000


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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Ferguson, the FBI and the Media’s Dangerous turn towards Violence

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fbi-warns-ferguson-decision-lead-violence-extremist-protesters/story?id=26980624

The media, ahead of the verdict of whether or not to indict Officer Darrel Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown has taken a dangerous turn. That turn, in the view of many concerned Americans risks a perversion of the First Amendment by nakedly enflaming tensions, creating terror among civilians and seeking to directly affect events rather than report on or reflect them. Worse, there is growing evidence that the government, in particular the FBI and law enforcement are acting in collusion, or sympathy with the corporate Press; the endgame, a Boston-bombing style assault on civil liberties.

Rightwing hosts and so-called journalists (re: propagandists) like Breitbart and others purposely skewed and obtusely reframed dissent by activists and residents nationwide as looming violence. Their reporting, which largely targets white demographics seemed specifically intended to accomplish three fundamental points: Encourage gun sales, drive a stronger rightwing agenda and to undermine voices on the Left, particularly at a time when key issues like the XL Keystone pipeline, Net Neutrality and Trans Pacific Partnership are being decided. Republicans, while losing the pipeline vote in the Senate yesterday by a single vote, while reintroduce the bill in January when their chances are better for a victory in both houses.

Statements by activists regarding efforts to protest and rally, pursuant to their fundamental constitutional right were repeatedly skewed and reframed by the media as violent and threatening. There was no effort for balance, no counterpoint and no effort at correction. The strategy was clear, frighten the American people. But that has been the tactic of the rightwing media, except that the Left also made no effort to counter message with the truth, or by bringing activist and protest voices to the airwaves. That media message worked in tandem with deliberately inflammatory and irresponsible statements by the FBI. An FBI bulletin to law enforcement, and distributed widely by the media read in part:

“The announcement of the grand jury’s decision … will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure…This also poses a threat to those civilians engaged in lawful or otherwise constitutionally protected activities…Those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed…The FBI assesses those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed with bladed weapons or firearms, equipped with tactical gear/gas masks, or bulletproof vests to mitigate law enforcement measures.”

There have long been allegations that law enforcement agent provocateurs have infiltrated peaceful protests around the country to undermine protected public dissent for political and economic purposes. Those economic reasons always protect specific corporate interests outside the law and the wishes of the vast majority of Americans.

In the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombing, and the subsequent manhunt for a single suspect constitutional rights at all levels were brazenly violated in martial-law style house to house searches, with residents ordered from homes at gunpoint, and an entire American city locked down. There was virtually no reaction and no civil right inquiries following Boston. It is alleged that Boston was a convenient experiment for mass public control by law enforcement. Spying and data collection on a mass scale against activists and civilians alike continued and expanded greatly in the time since Boston. The media was a key partner in that effort.

Ferguson is the next major step in a broader effort to roll back civil liberties and exercise greater control over dissent and citizen activism. With Boston the media had to play catch-up to the government. Here they are, or seem to be working in a dangerous partnership. In the next article I will tell you the endgame for this effort, who is behind it and why it is structured this way…


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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