The Paris Judgment

Paris was a turning point on Friday. Certainly this will affect the economic debate in the US presidential election. As I wrote back in May and June, election predictions too far out are dangerous, as they can turn on a dime. The West and the US will edge a bit closer to fascism paraded as security. Europe’s ultra-right wing will be invigorated, and while the West, particularly NATO and the US will appear to take a more aggressive stance against ISIS and its affiliates, like yesterday’s airstrike by US warplanes in Libya, that is merely a matter of competition now between the US and Russia over oil and gas in the Mideast. The US is simply attempting to keep pace and compete with Russia.

Following the French terrorist incident Friday in which at least 129 were killed France found resolve with Russia, paving a new boost in prestige for Russia. Russia, smarting from an attack on an airliner two weeks ago in Egypt is benefitting from a resurgence of nationalism. It is likely, even predictable that a new more powerful rightwing, anti-immigrant and aggressively violent, will grow to prominence across Europe and Russia. This comes at a time when Europe is struggling to cope with hundreds of thousands of predominantly Syrian refugees. The timing of these attacks is hardly coincidental.

The attacks in Paris by ISIS is a rebuke of a renewed assault, now including Russia, but they are also a calculated political move. Europe is already polarizing in the wake of the attacks. That means two forces are attempting to radicalize immigrants and Muslims in Europe as a resurgent rightwing drives division through hate and opportunism. The refugees lay squarely in the middle of that equation. The attacks will also slow or stop progress in addressing the refugee crisis just as winter begins. That will mean a rise in desperation that will drive more violence potentially.

In this country whatever initiative Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton may have had will evaporate quickly as fears rise, valid or not, of possible terror attacks within the US going into the holiday season. The narrative will be on security and guns, not economy. The attacks immediately undercut the so-called million student march on pressing economic issues here. Rightwing commentators have already begun describing the #BlackLivesMatter effort as terrorism. This weekend would be dictator Donald Trump capitalized ghoulishly by criticizing the French for gun control laws. He is just the first of what will be a gleeful orgy on the right concerning guns. they will point to France as an example against any sort of reasonable gun legislation.

In fact, French citizens are allowed to own guns. In this country there has been a call for screenings based upon mental illness. French law requires competency exams by a doctor annually, along with a regular check up. The weapons used in this weeks attacks are smuggled into the country illegally. French gangs receive many combat style weapons from the former Yugoslavia where in the aftermath of war unregistered guns still proliferate. It is the same issue facing Chicago’s violence with straw purchases from gun stores ringing the south and west borders of Chicago. One of Friday’s gunmen, Omar Ismail Mostefai, born in France, was a petty criminal with access to illegal weapons before becoming radicalized. The suddenness of attacks and the nature of those attacks would have neutralized any would-be pistol packing party-goer in a dark crowded, loud and confused environment. Furthermore, the attackers were already resolved to die.

The truth is, gun laws in France work. There were just 665 murders in 2012 in France, with a per capita rate of 1 compared with 15,000 and a per capita rate of 5 for the US. The United States has FAA rules and licensing for aircraft, but that did not prevent 9-11, so by the gun lobby’s logic we should close the FAA. To drive a car Americans must have a valid license, which doesn’t stop car thieves.

ISIS is calculating and the West is still reacting blindly. More security undermines democracy and civil liberties. They are shrewdly sowing discord in target countries. Attacks and threats of violence driven by FOX and the right in this country from these attacks will increase pressure on American Muslim and immigrant communities, exactly what ISIS hopes to achieve. They want unrest and division in Europe by enlivening radical rightwing groups and politicians and by polarizing normally reasonable communities. In the US, the Paris attacks fit perfectly to the Republican effort to polarize whites by sowing fear from immigrants and Muslims, since they have all but lost Hispanic, and Black voters.

It remains to be seen how this will turn out. Given the level of narrative and its tolerance by the American people, that does not bode well for civil liberties, the election, civility and democracy in America, in Europe and beyond. Put this one in the win column for ISIS. This was an attack on social and community fault lines, which just became wider and more dangerous. Just like Osama bin Laden and September 11, 2001, the attack was on the crumbling vestiges of democracy and civil society.

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God’s Tomatoes

I’m on this substance kick lately, subscribing fully to the line by the late comic Bill Hicks that marketing people should kill themselves. He was referring, obviously, to the anti-intellectualism infecting our society. For example, I have heard talk show hosts like Michael Savage reading almost word for word on some obscure concept which they parade as evidence to their audience as merely another awesome dimension of their voluminous intellect. Nick Cave said it best in his 20xx album “Dig, Lazerus, Dig.”

Who is this great burdensome slavering dog-thing that mediocres my every thought?
I feel like a vacuum cleaner, a complete sucker, it’s fucked up and he is a fucker
But what an enormous and encyclopaedic brain

It occurred to me this morning, still thinking about an interview between Bill Maher and Rick Santorum. Santorum dug his heels in regarding demonstrably false information on Climate Change. Somehow Santorum believes that solar panels and electric cars directly assaults his Christian faith. Either that or among his biggest contributors are coal companies that he uses to hide behind the very workers his policies will ultimately rob of benefits and living wages.

I was watering my tomatoes. Here at the end of September the Midwest is getting a shot of record warm days. Chicago is about to match in the first week of September the same number of 90 degree days it experienced over the entire summer. That said, I didn’t get out to water the tomatoes yesterday and the leaves were looking a bit droopy. I gave the soil a good soaking and realized that I was in kind of awe of the transfer system that carries water from the roots up to the leaves and the tomatoes themselves. Then it occurred to me that since I didn’t understand that process fully, God must be intervening. Maybe angels, with buckets of water, relieved that I had finally brought the hose over, were carrying little buckets of water up and down the stems, because somewhere in God’s plan is the need for that one plant to survive. I could only wonder if god was waiting for me to fulfill his plan with the hose, or if he would condemn me to hell if I somehow disrupted his universal plan hinging fully upon that tomato plant.

The point is. And Trump and the Republican party of today, and to a nearly equal extent the DNC, through their media partners play upon our ignorance by proliferating ignorance. They are marketing to our shortcomings and tripping us intellectually every time we attempt to inform ourselves and our children. In schools they are cutting right to the chase, having entertained the rest of us away from learning and books, in favor of the information of convenience or of self validation to attack our children through home schooling, vouchers and tax cuts that assail public education by sucking away resources.

Elitists and intellectuals are degraded in favor of Joe the Plumber and Donald Trump, or George Bush. The destination is paramount to the journey. We are encouraged to know what we know, not to seek knowledge and under standing. It is as if we are standing on the end of the Titanic as it rises vertical before sliding beneath the waves and the person beside you says, “How could we be sinking, we are 200 feet in the air?!”

Anyway, that’s what I was, oh, God’s calling, Rick Santorum wants me to water the Geraniums…

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

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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