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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Protest and Release of Report on CPD Torture + Police Brutality Protest #ChiCopWatch

Oct 22: ‘We Charge Genocide’ Presents Report on Chicago Police Violence and Hosts Silent Protest on National Day of Action Against Police Brutality
Chicago organizers release report they will present to the UN, exposing
ongoing, pervasive Chicago Police violations of the Convention Against Torture, as well as
call for a protest at the 11th District Police Station, formerly run by disgraced Commander Glenn Evans.

CHICAGO 10/20– On October 22, a national day of action against police brutality, local organizers with We Charge Genocide (WCG) will present a report to the public detailing Chicago Police violence in marginalized communities and against youth of color. The report shows that CPD actions violate the United Nations (UN) Conventions Against Torture. The presentation will take place at 9 am at
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 800 S Halsted St, Chicago.

The full report, We Charge Genocide: Police Violence Against Chicago’s Youth of Color, will be available for download on 10/22 at wechargegenocide.org.

9 AM Presentation Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/393181967499789/

Later that day, at 5:30 pm, WCG organizers who will travel to the UN to present the report will be available for interviews before a 6:00 pm silent protest at the 11th District Police Station, at 3151 W Harrison. The 11th District is a hotbed of police brutality. Recently, the Commander of the station, Glenn Evans, was accused of putting his gun into a suspect’s mouth. Brutality lawsuits against Evans alone have cost taxpayers nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

6 PM Protest Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1487848628144241/

In November WCG, will send eight organizers to present a report on Chicago Police violence to the United Nations Committee Against Torture at their 53rd Session in Geneva, Switzerland, during which the U.S. will be under review. With widespread community support, the group raised over $17,500 in less than a month via online fundraiser and a series of fundraising dinners. Because of the generosity of people in Chicago and around the country, WCG has added two additional organizers to the Geneva delegation.

Press Kit with bios, FAQ sheet and images for media use. Please credit We Charge Genocide: http://bit.ly/1okIZQI

We Charge Genocide: Police Violence Against Chicago’s Youth of Color contains data and personal narratives collected by WGC at events, using their online submission form, the #ChiCopWatch hashtag, as well as publicly available resources. The report also includes an infographic, Chicago Police Violence By The Numbers. Key finding include:

• From 2009 to 2013, although Black people comprised only 32.3% of Chicago’s overall population, 75% of police shooting victims were Black. Additionally, in the first six months of 2014, 23 of 27 people shot by the CPD were Black.
• Between 2009 and 2011, 92% of Taser uses involved a Black or Latino target, including 49 youth under the age of 16 (with some as young as 8 years old).
• Black youth accounted for 77% of the arrests of youth in 2011 and 79% in 2012. Latino youth accounted for most of the other arrests, i.e., 18% of these arrests in 2011 and 17% in 2012.
• A brutality complaint is 94% less likely to be sustained in Chicago than in the nation as a whole: Only 0.48% of brutality complaints against the CPD are sustained (as opposed to 8% nationally).
• Between 2002 and 2004, Chicago residents filed 10,149 complaints of excessive force, illegal searches, racial abuse, and false arrests against the CPD. Only 124 of these 10,149 complaints were sustained (1.2%), and a mere 19 cases (0.18%) resulted in any meaningful penalty (a suspension of a week or more).
We Charge Genocide is volunteer-run by Chicago residents concerned that the epidemic of police violence continues uninterrupted in Chicago and who seek to equip individuals across the city with tools to more proactively hold police accountable. The name We Charge Genocide comes from a petition filed to the United Nations in 1951, which documented 153 racial killings and other human rights abuses, mostly by the police.

Contact: Page May, 802-324-7751, wechargegenocide@gmail.com
Monica Trinidad, 312-771-6269, mtrini2@gmail.com

October 22 – National Day of Action Against Police Brutality
9AM – Presentation of Report on CPD Violence, 800 S Halsted
5:30 PM – Press Availability with WCG Organizers, 3151 W Harrison
6:00 PM – Silent Protest Against Police Brutality, 3151 W Harrison

Previous press releases:

9/23: We Charge Genocide Raises Over $10,000 in a Week to Present Report on Chicago Police Violence to United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva

9/15: We Charge Genocide To Present Report on Chicago Police to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva


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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Take a cue from the Hong Kong protesters on fair elections…and third parties.

Wonder why they are protesting in Hong Kong? If you listen to the US media you may or may not get the full story, or any of the story for that matter. See, protests about freedom and free elections are potentially dangerous to the status quo in this country. The media is the arbiter of the status quo. The media here is framing it as students, but like Occupy and the environmental movement, every generation is represented.

The protest is over their right in Hong Kong to choose their own candidates, rather than have some oligarchical politburo narrow the choices while guaranteeing the “right” person remains in charge. Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens have rejected that manipulation and perversion of democracy and demand the basic and fundamental right to decide whom represents them best. Think the United States is somehow better? Guess again.

The truth is, the democratic-communist hybrid system in China, for all its corruption and old guard hegemony, is absolutely more transparent and honest than ours. We talk democracy but hardly practice it at all. When was the last time you had a real hand in choosing a presidential, or even a congressional candidate? the media, corporations and government apparatchiks maintain a well-crafted illusion of a democratic process. Talk radio makes you feel like your voice is valuable. The only nominal wild card in the party A or party B, manufactured, marketed and paid for candidates is which of the two banal cookie cutter figureheads will prevail the day after the election. But as we have seen with media attempts to brazenly manipulate turn out, and with republican efforts to disenfranchise millions of American voters, there are evolving efforts to help eliminate even that variable.

But choice, real choice? That has been stolen from you to such an extent that most Americans simply play the two party game without even realizing an alternative. This country must move to a multi-party system or risk sliding into something our founding fathers feared openly. They eschewed national political parties, and feared a two party system would pervert and subvert the constitution, and with that our basic rights and freedoms. But alternative third, fourth, fifth…parties are routinely marginalized, ignored, barred from debates, refused coverage by the media and kept off ballots. If you think we’ve seen too many Bush’ or Clintons already, if you are a free market person then you must admit the lack of competition is stagnating and corrupting the current system.

You wouldn’t tolerate only being able to choose Coke or Pepsi at the market, especially if you knew there were hundreds of other choices out there, but the store refused to let them in the door, and went to far as preventing all other stores from selling them. Why tolerate that purposeful narrowing of choice in something as eternal, historic and life and death as an election? That’s what Occupy was clambering for and that’s why they are in the streets facing a Chinese army and government with a bloody history of reprisals against those who challenge the status quo.

Next time you cheer the authorities here for beating and pepper-spraying protesters, think of China. Those aren’t mindless communist robot soldiers, they are usually kids taken from the poorest regions in the country and thrown into a position in which they have to choose between assailing fellow citizens or losing the only paying job keeping their family alive back home. The US system has done that with police, placing them in the unfair and untenable position of being the blunt force weapon of the oligarchs. We should take a cue from the protesters in Hong Kong who are focused fully on the long term of being an agent in their own futures and fates, rather than simply being the production pool for corporations, and the reactionary tool for government.

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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Second Annual Non-violent Direct Action Workshop for Students and Youth, Saturday, July 12th.

On my summer vacation I changed tomorrow!

Please join Occupy Roger’s Park, now the Chicago Light Brigade for the second annual non-violent direct action workshop for students and youth Saturday July 12th. It’s free and travel assistance is available for those who might have difficulty attending. Lunch will be provided.
chicago
Weather permitting the workshop will be held outside. Location details to be announced, so stay tuned, but slated to be in a public park in or near Roger’s Park. A crowd-sourced campaign to fund the training passed its goal, so they will have lots of materials to work with as well as the above mentioned option of travel assistance.

If you know any youth that might be interested, please pass the message along! Also feel free to forward it to anyone you think would know interested youth.

Check out a video of pictures from last year’s awesome event: http://vimeo.com/95148126
Please RSVP if they would like to attend, and contact David Orlikoff, or Kelly Hayes (https://www.facebook.com/hayeskelly?fref=nf)

Or the Chicago Light Brigade (https://www.facebook.com/chicagolightbrigade)

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Burn it Down!

Burn it all down. It is the fundamental question to any revolution. When do we burn it all down? If there is a cause or issue you care about, ask yourself where that line is. I don’t care what political or religious or philosophical ideology you subscribe to, ask yourself where is the line beyond which all bets are off and it is time to burn it all down.t1largxagain_gi

I don’t give a damn about convention or the status quo. I am tired of hearing people bitch about injustice. I finished with various factions on the Left squabbling among one another while the right and corporatists keep pushing forward. What I want is justice, and my definition of justice is a simple one; I demand the greatest realization of human rights, equality and justice possible for the broadest possible spectrum of humanity. I reject the idea of class and privilege. I believe that opulent wealth is not benefit of success but a flaw in an inefficient economic notion, and I believe we have abandoned our government to corporate control and that it may require sacrifice unlike anything seen in this nation since the civil war to restore power back to the people.

If it all sounds rather ominous, I am as serious as a heart attack. This nation is in real trouble. And while I am not advocating violence, at least not now, what I am saying is that, well, I better explain.

Look, Americans have been fed this prescription for pacification and control. Everything about this society has become about pacification and control. Make no mistake, the consolidation of 94% our once public media into ownership by 5 major corporations is not an accident. These companies are the messaging body for the corporations assuming more and more control over our nation.

Take, for example, the eternally peaceful and humble little Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian Independence Movement. Most Americans simple assume that Gandhi was the leader of the movement and that the nasty British colonialists beat Gandhi’s ever persistent ranks of peaceniks until they were so exhausted and frustrated that they climbed back onto their sailing vessels with their pith helmets and tea sets and retreated to foggy old England, but the movement to throw off the Brits was almost 60 years old before Gandhi migrated from South Africa.

In fairness to the good Mr Gandhi, the character of the movement became decidedly, but not exclusively nonviolent after his arrival. Most Indians accepted, and the effort gain considerable momentum and credibility adopting his philosophy of nonviolent action and protest. In that shadows and on the fringes, and seething in the ghettos and impoverished villages across India remained those who saw a necessity for violence if pushed or threatened or if nonviolence failed.
The threat and potential for violence had been there from the beginning. Even Gandhi held revolutionaries like Bagha Jatin, a founder of the armed revolutionary organization, Anushilan Samiti, in high regard, calling him a “divine ma.” Anushilan Samiti engaged in political assassinations, terrorist acts and plotting violent revolution against British rule, well into the 1920s and beyond. Yet, all we in the West known of Indian Independence was that it was all because of a quiet little bald guy played in a movie by Ben Kingsley.

The truth is, that there are no peaceful movements for justice. As Fredrick Douglas said, power concedes nothing without demand. I’ll take that a step further, that power takes nothing serious without the threat of violence. In the face of oppression backed by the power of the state, what is left to the oppressed by the specter of violence if the state refuses to concede or abandon its injustice and oppression? Abolition had John Brown.

Among the greatest of these control myths promulgated by the media and state is the characterization of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While King was decidedly nonviolent, there is growing evidence that King and Malcolm X were growing closer in their views and strategies. But more importantly is how Malcom X and the Black Panthers contribution and necessity to Civil Rights and Black identity has been negated or ignored. In truth Dr king could not have existed in a world without Malcolm X. King’s call for concession by the state over civil rights was bolstered by Malcolm’s demand. While King stood peacefully with his back to the line, Malcolm X defended that line, making it clear that if the state crossed that line it would be met with resistance.

“Kill that dog!” Malcolm X asserted. “If a man uses a dog to keep you from what is rightly yours, kill that dog!”

In his book, “Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s.” author David Howard-Pitney recounts a brief meeting between the two men. Pitney describes a mutual respect often overlooked in historical accounts about the two civil rights leaders and how their positions moderated towards one another’s towards the end of their lives. “In the last years of their lives, they were starting to move toward one another,” he says.”While Malcolm is moderating from his earlier position, King is becoming more militant.”

The lesson here is not simply to burn it all down, but that it is important for the activist to know when to burn it down. The activist must draw that line, and the authorities must know that the line exists, or there is no demand to encourage concession. There has to be a trip wire in every protest in which the cars will overturn, the windows will shatter and mayhem will break out. Otherwise it isn’t a protest with a demand for justice, reform and change. It is merely a parade, and parades are for children and clowns.

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Global Uprisings Conference

This is some documentation of the recent Global Uprisings conference that is well worth a view. The documentary that starts at about 10:19 is a great snap shot of the last several years of global people’s resistance. It’s inspiring to see the Arab Spring, Greece Anti Repression and Austerity mobilizations, and the stunning displays of direct action and protest in Brazil and Spain all plotted on a timeline this way. When you step back and take a look at the current level of activity, you might notice a decrease in the mass of attendance, but you will also notice that the frequency is consistent; and the campaigns more specifically focused. This conference and documentary places us at a point in time of global solidarity around core human and communal concepts of justice. However loosely defined the “demands” might seem at this point, they have already proven to be incompatible with most of the governments in the world, including those who promote inclusion and democracy.

#GlobalUprisings Day 1 – Part 1 with film – Global Uprisings Conference from De Balie on Vimeo.

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The Living Constitution and the Amendment that dare not speak its name!

WARNING: After this you may never view the constitution the same ever again.

It is a matter of perspective, it would seem, dividing the Left and the Right on which constitutional amendments are the most important. To the paranoid, frightened or dangerously immature, the second amendment would pretend to be the most important. Fear not, however, this is not just another gun-grabbing Liberal dirge I actually see value in responsible gun ownership, with reasonable oversight. And if I may for a moment, the perverse every man, woman and child packin’ 24/7 culture is the mark of idiots not patriots. By that measure child porn should be legal, or screaming the N-word in church should carry no repercussions because they are the ultimate fulfillment of the First Amendment.

Too much? The NRA has fought even the most “liberal” gun restraints, advocating for guns to be carried everywhere, and that people should own machineguns, and that there should be no restrictions at gun shows- shown as the primary source of guns that end up on the killing streets of this nation. Rep. Joe Walsh on his nightly gun porn-propaganda program argues for guns everywhere and screamed his paid for outrage by advocating a boycott of Starbucks simply because the CEO requested-requested-requested that patrons not bring weapons into their coffee shops.

The promise of the constitution has always been hard-fought and won through non-violent action. Photo courtesy of Jerry Boyle and Occupy Chicago

The promise of the constitution has always been hard-fought and won through non-violent action. Photo courtesy of Jerry Boyle and Occupy Chicago

Walsh, the NRA, Beck and other gun pornographers attest that the right to bear arms at church, while shopping, during sex is a God-given right. Simply because someone writes the words down as a God-given right doesn’t…does anyone believe that god appeared to the so-called founding fathers to proclaim that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”? Seriously?

True to the letter of the law, I should be able to keep a bazooka in the car, or own a rocket launcher or be able to lay landmines around my property. They are all “arms” after all. But we don’t allow such arm-aments of warfare in civil society in America, do we? Reasonable people understand that Thomas Jefferson likely did not anticipate a Predator drone or even the Thompson submachine gun, which was responsible for unprecedented carnage, even by today’s standards, on the streets of this nation before being banned during the 1920s and 30s.

On the other hand are primarily Progressives, Liberals and centrists who believe that the First and the Fourth amendments are the most sacrosanct. And there is a substantial case to be made that no other freedoms are possible without the right of free speech or the prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure remaining strong. Many would argue that the current masturbatory-schoolyard impassion over guns points to a notion that the constitution is a historic document in need of constant scrutiny, oversight and evolution. That argument is supported by the fact that women and blacks can vote, and that prohibition went into effect banning liquor, and then was repealed by reasoned souls.

In defense, a bit, of the gun-pervs, no change should ever be made lightly, and must always be viewed in context of the past, present and most especially the potential for future abuse. But the constitution is very definitely a living document. The all but forgotten 3rd amendment that protects all of us from soldiers quartering in our homes is a shining example. It is an example that neither the Left nor the Right seem to refer to much. The Left simply ignores it as a relic of the past, while the Right just hopes that it remains safely in the shadows where it won’t be used again their flimsy as toilet paper arguments for gun proliferation. The 3rd amendment truly is the amendment that dare not speak its name

Many will find this shocking, some a heresy and others outrageous, but despite pretense, the constitution and these United States is a deeply flawed document, only curtailed from being a document of oppression by the diligence and sacrifice of citizen activists. Every defense-every defense and expansion of civil rights for the truly common citizen has been hard fought, not by gun slinging Tea Party types, and definitely not the cottage-cheese assed playground bravado of talk radio hosts, but by the stalwart, unflinching activism and organizing of citizens compelling change through non-violence. That the state and status quo media have always tacitly and often explicitly encouraged or supported violence against those activists underscores the oppressive tendency a static or unchanging constitution would protect.

Need more evidence? Everything is, as we have seen, in the perspective, and perspectives by their nature inform interpretation. The very first line of the constitution may be interpreted to completely negate all of the amendments to the constitution. Through that interpretation every American may be stripped of their “God-given” rights: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

It is this that becomes the most dangerous threat to the freedom of Americans, “… insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare…” First of all, they spelled “defense” wrong, at least by contemporary standards-part of that living document thing. But “insure domestic tranquility?” That is a dangerously broad and interpretive phrase. What becomes the bulwark against its abuse is the weight of the citizenry, not with guns. That has never worked, but with true pressure by an active and engaged citizenry…

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

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

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

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

20130803_181536

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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21st Century American Militarism

21st Century American Militarism

Friday, August 2nd, 7:00pm @ The Chicago Temple, 77 West Washington, Chicago, IL

Our friends the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) sent along an invitation to attend this extremely timely and critical panel on US militarism in the 21st Century.

On Friday, August 2nd, a panel will discuss the context and consequences of our growing military presence and ongoing war theaters; along with how we can organize together to resist this violent and expensive trend. Panelists and attendees will consist of people who have experienced the chaos of it from all sides. Joining the panel will be:

  • Christian Parenti, writer of Tropic of Chaos
  • Historian and writer Nick Turse – author of “Kill Anything That Moves”
  • Michael Rakowitz
  • Suraia Suhar

Be a part of this dynamic discussion regarding the past decade and the future of militarism. Please share this invitation on. Full details below.

21st Century American Militarism: Occupation Abroad and Resistance at Home
Friday, August 2nd, 7:00pm
@ The Chicago Temple, 77 West Washington

Featuring speakers: Nick Turse, Christian Parenti, Michael Rakowitz, Suraia Suhar

$10 Suggested Donation, no one turned away
Visit the Facebook event page here.

Visit the IVAW Event page here.

Event Endorsed By:

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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.
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