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
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

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


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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the blinding messaging from the Right’s media monopoly continues apace. the anti-union FOX News is but one example, coming out in loud and fully support of former Jones Day partner Kevin Orr’s actions greed czar of Detroit. Interesting that FOX pundit Megyn Kelly once worked at Jones Day, but I’m sure that is just a coincidence.
Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at 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

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Revolution and Beer…Reactionary of the Week: “Progressive Talk” Radio

wcptThe reaction by the shop clerk in that little second hand shop was astounding. When I said I had a show on a local commercial Progressive station, you might have thought I’d come it to announce that I was molesting pigeons in the street.

“I listen to National Public Radio, “he replied, wielding the words like some soulful shield.

“Right now,” I replied, “we’re being told that we can pretty much say and do anything legal as we try to cover the grassroots and activism scene, you know all those real stories that never seem to get covered in the mainstream media.” (I was proud and eager, BABY!)

“Right now,” he shot back, punching the wind from my sails. “Look, I don’t have a lot of faith in commercial radio. No offense. Like I said, I get my information from NPR or the internet.”

I nodded respectfully and shook his hand, asking him to at least give us a chance. This whole episode might have been brushed away if it hadn’t happened time and again though.

When we were invited to contribute to WCPT, Brian and I were new to this radio thing. We believed we could do something positive. Our goal was to un-cluster some of this grand fervor over larger-than-life national political spectacles, and wrestle a few issues to the ground so that people could deal with them. We’ve always said that there’s no need to go outside of Chicago to find national news. It seemed all too intuitive for a Chicago-based Progressive radio station (or any current events station) to want people passionate and engaged in such work on the air. I mean, why wouldn’t they? However, no matter how sincere we are about dealing with real issues, we constantly kept running up against the lousy reputation of talk and commercial radio.

Air America Radio, Helllllooooooooo out there…

Let’s now take a step back and recall the days of Air America Radio (AAR). The concept was to serve as a balance against the wild proliferation of Right-wing and corporate media. From the start, AAR was plagued with problems; both internal and external. For one, the mainstream media and it’s reactionary offspring never had to explain who and what it was to its very targeted base. It disingenuously positioned itself as “fair and balanced,” for example. When all you have to do is be sensational enough to draw-in advertisers, you can get away with a lot. Being able to quickly stir-up your core constituency, by simply throwing some red meat at them at a steady clip, is a HUGE example of the benefit. Gaming working class conservatives, by pandering to their fears without addressing the root causes of their problems, seems to be a lethal and effective mix of hyperbole and entertainment that really sells ads and attracts leveraged investors. But to do it the other way…well, that would be radical.

Right-wing media positioned itself as the voice and champion of traditional (W.A.S.P.) America. With 80% of the market owned by conglomerates that shat out right-wing stations across the nation faster than an Amish elder after his first trip to White Castle, this was an uphill struggle from the start.

AAR had to fight for every inch of the market, arguing against “patriotic” stations carrying Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and other nationalist demagogues (quite the statists, I might add, before the skin color of the head honcho went darker). This truly regressive coalition of right-wing behemoths was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Large corporate clients avoided the new hip, media savvy progressives, perversely arguing for a citizen-centered nation. Right-wing entities organized campaigns to bully potential advertisers to AAR stations, which severed key ad revenue. Then there was the crop of mobilized, enraged working-class whites, fundamentalist Christians, and newly assimilated “middle class” Latinos, who were roped-in by W and Rove’s rodeo machismo. This flag-waving monsoon of hysterical straight-talkin, bargain-huntin real patriots, clung to cheap Walmart appliances—the same Walmart decimating small town economies across the nation—with pride in a redefined era of “Murcan Exceptionalism.” Opposing viewpoints were “fightin words,” and with the newly-crowned Muslim enemy to the world, Sadam Hussein; this mob was ready for war against the Liberal enemy within our sacred borders. Unfortunately, we’re now witnessing the destructive power and impact of this hysterical vacuum chamber.

Oh, you’re not off the hook either

But there was something even more fundamental to the decline and illegitimacy of so-called Progressive Radio, and that was the people who ran those stations. From the start they were rocked by scandal and infighting, poor business models, not enough experience, and perhaps a fundamental misunderstanding of what real Progressives believe in and fight for. But for many Progressives, particularly those in the hinterlands, so to speak; any Progressive voice is like a rescuing embrace in an otherwise hostile forest of Right-wing stations choking the national discourse. And while most true Progressives, and other real lefties, eschew dogmatic party loyalty; Progressive radio seemed better than nuttin’.

The Establishment of Chicago’s Premiere Progressive Talk Station

In Chicago, on Monday, May 5, 2005, WCPT AM 850 became the city’s premiere Progressive talk station, with hosts like Marc Maron, Jerry Springer, Randi Rhodes and Al Franken. Two and a half years later WCPT moved to AM 820, which gave it a stronger daytime signal, but as with 850, it powered down so severely between dusk and dawn that during those hours it sounded as if the station was broadcasting from the Republic of North Korea. Meanwhile, better than five conservative, Right-wing, or fundamentalist evangelical stations in the Chicago market churned-out content 24 hours a day. During the winter months, WCPT is still lucky to get in 9-10 hours of listenable programming per day.

So there is the background, and as I said, real Progressives and Lefties hate the party flag-waving and lock-step ideology. Sadly, that is what so-called “Progressive Media” has become. The stark evidence for that was illustrated plainly when national hosts like Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, and Ed Schultz either ignored or decried the Occupy movement once it proved it could not be co-opted into a ready-made Obama zombie army. Despite this, WCPT never hesitated to run its snarky, self-made scolding of what the “99% movement is all about.”

I confess, we have not been in talk radio for very long, but I have been a careful observer of the media for some time. With several dozen media interviews, apart from that year in radio and television broadcasting, over the last 20 years I have garnered some insights. Paramount among them is that there still is no consideration for the audience. There’s also the over-emphasis on national spectacle to the degree of distracting people form engaging issues in their own locality.

Don’t get us wrong, we love some “Smiley & West”

In Chicago, WCPT simply seems to assume that calling itself Progressive and Liberal is enough to attract listeners. Proof that the model has failed utterly is that a “Progressive” station like WCPT, in a predominantly minority and Democrat city, is barely 42nd in the market. You can ask Obama’s Super PAC, it ain’t due to a lack of capitol in the hands of its ownership. It could and should be in the top three, and without a great deal of effort in such a marketplace.

Recently the station abandoned its Arbitron rating subscription, dooming local programing, and telling the audience quite literally that the station could care less who and how many are listening. Their model now seems to only be interested in syndicated and brokered programs—those in which people pay to get on the air. Shows that set out to engage and activate grassroots and activist movements across the city were abandoned, and the tone of the station, with the addition of a convicted corrupt politician, Jim Laski, a grudgingly; barely-Left-leaning legal show; and the Stephanie Miller ass-clown show—a three hour entertainment and DNC commercial. By contrast, the right pounds and pounds issues to death.

WCPT and other Progressive show-boaters could become true powerhouses for the working-class, but aside from having the trust of many Progressives and Liberals, they’re squandering it; and perhaps far more than that of their adversaries on the right. At times, it’s just so damn boring.

We’d venture so far as to say tolerance is much more a Leftie attribute than a Right-wing attribute. This is a center-Left nation right now, largely due to the open-mindedness of the majority of American people around issues that do matter—although that’s in jeopardy. Tolerance of a great many things, as part of the socially progressive tendencies of the “middle class,” (Brian prefers “working-class”) has helped maintain some ground. The key is integrity and adherence to a greater cause. Willingness to fight injustice and social regression. Amid the halls of WCPT the talk is that the station is largely a tax write-off for its wealthy and Democrat party supporting owner, and that it is a vehicle to help get a Gay Marriage amendment passed in Illinois. There is ample concern that once the amendment is achieved there will no longer be any use for WCPT’s Progressive format. One indication of such a thing is their lack of support for most of the local programming that has existed on the station. Only the strongest of the local crew have survived in the flash flood of Nationally syndicated, and quite predictable, commentators. But I look at sell-out stations like WLS, which boasted legendary and historic legacies. The damage done to Progressivism and to the nation by squandering the potential for what a station like WCPT might attain seems to me, well, rather regressive!

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at 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

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Revolution and Beer…of the Week Vive la French Aramis IPA de New Belgium Brewing!


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

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

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

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

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

a favorite image of Robespierre

a favorite image of Robespierre

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

I really wanted to showcase this beer with something befitting the day as well as the beer. It must be obvious at this point that the perfect food to pair with an IPA with a that hint of orange, on the eve of the anniversary of the French Revolution would absolutely be Thai food! What else? French food? Zut Alors!

The place we preferred was a little family place in the neighborhood, called Cilantro,, with simple and understated dishes. I chose a basil dish with duck and a light chili sauce with a medium spice. Stir fried with garlic, green beans and red peppers until the basil leaves held the slightest crispiness and the garlic had cooked into the sauce with juices from the duck. The herbalness of the basil, softened by the garlic nicely complimented the hops. The spice of the sauce was balanced sublimely by the sweetness of that hint of orange. Vive la revolution! La vous allez! Bonne fête de la Bastille!
Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at 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

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Siding with the opposition? The arrest of Adam Kokesh and the government’s extreme overreach(Caution Explicit Language)

I’ll start with reports of what happened the night before last in Herndon, Virginia. With light military-style vehicles, helicopters and dozens of police and Federal SWAT-team members, the home of Adam Kokesh, 31, was raided. The door was forcibly opened and flash-bang grenades were used to frighten and subdue a number of young men, including Kokesh who live in the house. The items of a safe, weapons, media, cellphones and other personal items were seized. After 4-5 hours, in which those in the house described as volatile with overly aggressive authorities, Kokesh was arrested. The others were released. Kokesh, and others who live at the residence, it should be said, operate a broadcast studio in the house.

Police raid Kokesh's house and studio

Police raid Kokesh’s house and studio

Kokesh, who refused to leave his cell for the initial arraignment was brought into a second arraignment in a wheelchair Thursday. Kokesh, according to court documents was arrested for allegedly possessing hallucinogenic mushrooms, however, the police were actually searching for a shotgun used by Kokesh in a July 4th video appearing to have been shot on the national mall in downtown Washington DC. Guns are illegal in the city.

Okay, so that is the background, and the posts on Kokesh’s site reflect shock and dismay by the so-called brutality of the police. They invoke the words storm troopers and more. We have no argument with those descriptions. Revolution and Beer is very much on record against the militarism of contemporary civilian police. The armored vehicles proliferating across America for police were not something that was warranted but rather invented in the fear and paranoia employed from the patriot act supported by too many Americans after the September 11th attacks. More and more acts of brutality are documented and lead to an alarming conclusion that police are now becoming more tools for the protection of privilege and perpetuation of power to which government officials are perversely beholden.

The police have proved themselves on the side of statutes and edicts which stand in absolute and clear contrast and violation to the constitution. Last week on the memorial bridge in Washington, a Kokesh supporter, Matt Biechler protested a security search at a police CHECKPOINT, citing the 4th amendment. The officer’s simple refrain was that it was for security reasons In that case a general concern was enough for authorities to justify the erasure of a constitutional right. The amendment, in part, reads:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, SHALL NOT BE VIOLATED…”

So, despite all of those givens, what did Kokesh think would happen when he loaded that weapon in Washington while calling for the end of the government by openly describing himself as leader of a violent uprising?

Likely they view him as a militia leader of some sort, and a seasoned combat veteran with weapons in his home. I’m guessing it was a bit too much to expect a couple a polite plain clothes types would knock and ask Adam for a polite chat on the porch, or perhaps over a beer down at the corner tap. Seriously? These guys were going to come in prepared for war, and to my criticism of Mr. Kokesh’s strategy, he’s not cutting a very sympathetic character in the mainstream media, or even with the average citizen. He can’t compete with the predictable government propaganda that justifies hardcore tactics when he wields a weapon. Want to beat the government and media at their game, and have the whole planet on your side, organize A MILLION KITTEN OR PUPPY MARCH, and when some cop stomps, kicks or Tasers a fluffy white kitten or bleary-eyed pup, they’re finished.

kokesh-youtube-1Revolution and Beer believes that the police were far too aggressive and overreaching to storm the house and arrest Kokesh. He should not have been arrested. Believe it or not there is a fair amount of agreement between us and Kokesh, we differ only in tactics and rhetoric.

We have long maintained that his 23 second video taken before dawn on an empty street on a holiday was little more than a college drinking prank rather than a protest But I can tell you, waiting vainly that morning with a number of Kokesh supporters, including Mr. Biechler for Kokesh to arrive, they had that bridge buttoned up tighter than the boarder crossing into North Korea. These people now have to justify their expenditures, just like the Chicago Police for NATO, the FBI with the Cleveland activists, and the federal authorities with Barrett Brown, Bradley Manning and Jeremy Hammond. Adam just handed them that justification on a beautiful plate with his video.

There is a Free Adam cite, that interested parties can find here There is also a Facebook page for the event as well

IMG_0493Kokesh has drawn the vengefulness of a very powerful government, one that has become separate from the people, and one which we must take control of. We need to extinguish the cancerous influence of money to control our public officials. We need uncorrupted people who will begin to dismantle the military-police state that has arisen, and return our police forces to restrained but supported fellow citizens that do indeed “Serve and Protect.”

Rather than dismantle the federal government, as Kokesh advocates, dis-elect every single politician, and elect true representatives of the people, rather than the corpora-war pimps we currently have. But make no mistake, this goes all the way down to the state and local level as well. THE SHIT DOESN’T RESIDE AT THE TOP, IT COVERS EVERYTHING at this point. In the interim, peacefully but resolutely shame these people, at their church, grocery storm, gas station. Let them know your discord with their anti-Americanism. If you really want to help Adam, the nation and the world that is the place to start.

And lastly, let me know when and where on that MILLION PUPPY/KITTEN MARCH, and I’m there!

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at 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

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Revolution and Beer Expose': Rightwing radio attempting to provoke race riot over Zimmerman trial


Revolution and beer has been monitoring a number of Rightwing talk shows and media, from FOX to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, local Chicago programming and more. Google “Zimmerman Trial Riots” and pages of Rightwing blogs, the proving grounds for mainstream Rightwing talk radio and FOX news’ polished and populist messaging, and you’ll find pages filled with racially charged, concocted alarmist rhetoric.

This was from one site, which will go unnamed, but sets the groundwork for the racist subtext pervading the nation from the Right since President Obama was elected:

“Well before the verdict is announced, agitators and provocateurs are already using social-media services to broadcast their intentions to unleash chaos and death. One Facebook page being investigated by authorities, for example, was entitled “RIOT for Trayvon.” In its description, the page read: “They don’t think we will tear this mutha —– [expletive deleted] up! LIKE IF YOU READY TO RIDE! LETS FLEX OUR MUSCLE! WHAT, YOU SCARED?” Other pages brazenly call for murder.”

This is a carefully crafted strategy, with the Right cloaking their intentions by pointing the finger at the innocent, like good mafia lawyers would. They accuse champions and advocates of racial inequality that still is very much alive in the nation of being “race baiters”, or “Race Hustlers.” Sean Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, Ingraham and others denounce Obama as sowing division in American politics simply for discussing continuing racial inequity in society.

This is the sort of trash parading as humor in the absence of actual thought, and their deficit of humanity and morality

This is the sort of trash parading as humor in the absence of actual thought, and their deficit of humanity and morality

On Wednesday, while I was in Washington DC, Limbaugh said this on his program: “I really thought that one of the reasons that we elected and then reelected Barack Obama was so that there wouldn’t be any more race riots. I thought the election of the first black president would end racial strife, and so did millions of Americans who voted for Obama on that basis. Now we actually have media people agitating for race riots in regard to the George Zimmerman trial because the prosecution in this trial is imploding. We have a media that is totally invested in Zimmerman being found guilty and handing and then electrocuted and then drowned and then shot and then cremated for whatever happened to Trayvon Martin.”

Which is it, Rush, who contradicts himself in just two short sentences, which must be something of a record? Sort of like talking out of one’s ass. So is the media agitating for race riots for a in a Zimmerman acquittal while pressing for a conviction at the same time?

Beck was hysterical today, and not in the tickle and squeeze sort of way. he accused the “media” of setting “the Arab world on fire, and they set this country on fire,” during a formless and, in my informed opinion, racially targeted rant on his radio show.

“This is what will happen,” he said, if he’s (Zimmerman) is acquitted. they will either kill him in the streets or try him for civil rights violations.”

One local rightwing I-just-tell-it-like-it-is racist with a talk show in Chicago suggested that listeners invest in a window replacement company in the Florida town where the trial is taking place. Hilarious!

But at Revolution and Beer we are also always asking the question, what is the end game? There is one very obvious in provoking violence and that is the continued perpetuation of Black stereotypes, as well as the legitimacy of an overbearing and out of control status quo media. Secondary would be to split the African American community within itself, an attempt to sow distrust or fear from outside organizations helping challenged communities and to strengthen white voting constituencies into the 2016 election.

Too conspiratorial for you? As better data has emerged regarding the unprecedented numbers of enfranchised voters in the black community in the 2012 election was one of several factors leading to Obama’s re-election, those revelations have sent shockwaves through the post-Republican party. the right has struggled within itself over courting the Hispanic vote, which went almost entirely to Obama. Both of those turnouts, coupled with a disastrously low white turnout sank the right’s run for the White House. Now, with the party split and no one but possibly Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry eyeing the adult’s chair, the post-Republicans are getting desperate. But they’ve been desperate, or have you forgotten Obama’s Kenyan past, Half-rican jokes and the birther psychos already?

In the end, it is really about what happened to this young man…trayvons-body-shown1

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at 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

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Talking Trash With Mike Nowak

How To Fight Your Way Out of A Wet Plastic Sack

On June 26th, we sat down with Mike Nowak, president of the Chicago Recycling Coalition and host of the Mike Nowak show. We sampled Revolution Brewing’s Rosa Hibiscus ale, and discussed the campaign to stop the use of plastic bags in the city of Chicago.

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Reactionary of The Week: Ed Schultz and Edward Snowden’s Media Lynch Mob

edMy grandfather was a gruff old city laborer in a small town in Northwest Iowa. I recall John Turck sitting at the end of the old Oak dining room table beneath a Depression Era portrait of Jesus on the wall above his head, usually half obscured in wispy-gray clouds of cigar smoke. He’d remained married to my grandmother better than 50 years, until she passed away in 1978. Together they raised 17 children, most born during or just after the Great Depression, all of them jostling and finding their own place in that tiny two bedroom farm house. I recall doing something rather clumsy or dumb once in front of him. Nothing altogether destructive, mind you, just one of those dopey things kids do as a matter of course. Never one to mince words, he shifted the wet end of the well-nursed cigar from one side of his mouth to the other, and retorted with a notable grin, “ain’t no cure for stupid.”

There was a lesson in that remark, dispensed with all of the brevity and efficiency and exhaustion of a man who’d raised all those kids. I never forgot those words. John Turck was a bear of a man, taking life like a cowhand might wrestle a stubborn calf to the ground; with a combination of reverence and determination. I’ll leave it there for a moment, but we’ll get back to that universal wisdom.

I tell you that to tell you this. Today the media torches and pitchforks came out, universally condemning NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden. Nearly everyone echoed the same knee jerk, status quo, sheepish refrain, that Snowden is a coward and a traitor.

Wow, no trial, no debate, no equivocation or second guessing. From FOX news to so-called Progressive hosts like Ed Schultz, Snowden was roundly condemned. Glenn Beck, the purveyor of rightwing political pornography, who had initially supported Snowden was aghast that he would take to flight via “anti-American” countries like China, Russia, Cuba, and the vehemently anti-American pariah-state Ecuador? Geez, that didn’t take long.

The news and talking heads were replete with Snowden’s travel itinerary, missed flights, his ex-blond girlfriend in Hawaii, the worry of his parents and theories about where in the world was Eddy? There was no shortage of acerbic adjectives to describe Edward Snowden, and plenty of unsubstantiated remarks about how he in fact is an agent for the imminent destruction of the American way of life, and that soon, because of Ed Snowden we’ll all shortly be speaking Russia or Chinese, or, heavens forbid…Ecuadoran! The media mob has even taken to assailing Glenn Greenwald, the reporter that broke the story. But take note, there is one thing glaringly absent from this media lynch mob.

What was missing from all media illuminati was, first, why Edward Snowden released the information and ,second, why he took to flight as he did. Ed Schultz, the Progressive talk show host, who generally I like, came out of the blocks on his show today to describe Snowden as a “coward and a traitor.” There was no true discussion of what compelled Snowden to whistle blow or to run. Several callers tried, but Mr. Schultz retreated to that fake talk show line, when they have closed themselves to the core issue in order to promulgate that status quo, pro-authoritarian agenda, “We’ll have to agree to disagree,” he told one caller with several particularly cogent points.

The caller was reminding all of us what this is actually about, and that we must keep our eye on the ball, despite all the rhetorical dust the media attempts to throw in our eyes. I’ll give you a hint, this really isn’t at all about Edward Snowden. This isn’t about the law either. This is about the ultimate enemies list by this or some future president, and what one or all of them might do with that information. We’ve talked in previous pieces that facts are not truth, and that facts can be arranged at the purview of the wicked. The calls, emails, associations you make can be skewed to create the impression of guilt for all sorts of manufactured indiscretions by a corruptible government. Dissent and patriotism are interchangeable. Your support for one administration becomes dissent to the next.

It should also be obvious to anyone who has paid even a small amount of attention to what this nation does to whistle blowers. Jeremy Hammond, whose exposure of the corporate firm STRATFOR helped set the stage for Snowden’s revelations about the extent of the government’s spying on us. Hammond spent more than a year in jail without a trial, and was refused a new judge despite that the presiding Judge’s husband was a client of STRATFOR. She went so far as to liken him to a pedophile, before trial began in some third world kangaroo court pre-trial bias. Exhausted, and perhaps understanding he was hopelessly persecuted, Hammond plead guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Bradley Manning exposed atrocities and duplicity by the government, and was tortured in prison, again before going to trial. Little wonder these men-and women must bounce around the globe for safe harbor.

As autonomous and free persons, each of us is entitled to privacy. We are entitled not to feel burdened by spiritual, ideological and intellectual censorship or worse, self-censorship. Bear in mind that the information is being stored-stored-stored and archived. If it is about stopping a terrorist attack, that happens in the present. Why the need to store emails, phone records and other e-data imperpetuity (That means forever to the Tea Party readers). And what of the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of government employees and private contractors with access to all of your personal data? True enough we blindly relinquish that to all manner of private companies, from banks to data back up companies and more, but there is at least an opportunity of redress if that data is compromised or misused. There is no such opportunity with Patriot Act-protected government data farming on the average citizen. We’ll have to defer the geo-political, diplomatic and economic impacts of intruding globally upon other nations for now.

But Ed Schultz and the rest in the media are not having those difficult and long reaching conversations. They prefer the lazy soap opera. But here is the key, argument, spirited debate, and the debate lost is the surest marker of where your-or my ignorance lays, and where the argument falls short. The antithesis, when a member of the media eschews the argument they might lose points to an agenda, laziness or something far more fundamental. As my grandfather would say, there ain’t no cure for stupid…No cigar, Ed, but I am grinning!

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at 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

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