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Archive for November, 2009

State Dinner Party Crashers Should Not Get a Free Pass

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On November - 30 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

By Juanita Bratcher

Enough already! Uninvited Party Crashers should be punished

Michaele and Tareq Salahi should be punished in some form or fashion for crashing and invading a party they were not invited to, and should not reap any monetary benefits from the media to appear on their various programs. No one should be rewarded for wrong doings and that includes the Salahis.

The uninvited Salahis sashayed around taking pictures with the president, vice president and other celebrities at President Barack Obama’s first state dinner. Their behavior should never be looked upon as one of those laughable “aha” moments. Neither should it have been a playful game of “gottcha”.

No. This was serious business, a serious matter, and one that should never have happened. The Secret Service was negligent in its duty to protect the president and his guests. And Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, while expressing concern, admitted that it was an embarrassment. And it should be!

Reportedly, the agency’s officers failed to check the guest list to see were the Salahis’ names listed before permitting them onto White House grounds. That was the beginning of a security breach. Never mind that all attending guests had gone through magnetometers, what if they had something on them that would never show up on magnetometers?

Since taking office, President Obama, as well as other presidential occupants of the White House, has received death threats. This is serious business, and by all means the president should be protected from those who would want to harm him.

While their lawyer, Paul Gardner, said his clients were cleared by the White House to attend the dinner, he has not shown any evidence to back that up.

According to news reports, there are several lawsuits pending against the Salahis, and reportedly Michael Salahis has ambitions of being on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of D.C.” reality TV show.

By no means should the Salahis get a free pass for what they did. And certainly, they should not reap any monetary benefits for their behavioral actions.

It remains to be seen just what punishment should be leveled against the Salahis. Obviously, they should be punished in some form or fashion. And with all the different laws on the books, I’m sure law enforcement can come up with something.


Posted by Juanita Bratcher On November - 13 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Mothers: Our Heroes Eternal

Copyright 1994, by Juanita Bratcher


The extent of a mother’s love

Can never be measured by pound

It is unconditional love

Like steel and so profound


She’s protective of her children

To the point of denying herself

She is a woman of distinction

In a class all by herself


She is a mystery woman to some

And a passing stranger to others

But to me and all my siblings

She is our own beloving mother


Her strengths are so unlimited

Her convictions as bold as the night

She is a principled person with fortitude

Armed with courage, grace and foresight


She is a God-fearing woman

Who makes mountains of sacrifices too

She’s there when no one else is

Nurturing her children to see them through


She’s inspiring and uplifting

And her morals always forthright

She keeps the family together

Even when things don’t seem so right


She fights many a battle for her family

Sometimes painful and overbearing

But she handles them with eloquence

Trusting, devotion and insurmountable caring


Her healing powers are oh, so gentle

She can soothe away your tears and fears

There’re no limitations for mothers

They hold the key to their children’s cheers


She places them in protective custody

Helps them push their future dreams

She knows how to make them feel “real special”

And motivates them, it always seems


She’s spiritual, uplifting, and diplomatic too

She’s endurable like iron, co-leader of the crew

She’s positive and honest, forgiving of you

She gives moral support from a mother’s view


She’s exhausted, steering her children from obstacles in life

Making sure that they don’t perish

In a world filled with strife

She’s ready to catch them, hold them up when they fall

She feels her powerful love can conquer all


She’s a teacher, psychiatrist, anything you want her to be

She can motivate, encourage, redirect you to see

She’s prepared to take on the rough road ahead

She’s a companion and caretaker, when all’s done and said


There’re fond memories of moms

And the many moments shared

Her children know who they are

Simply because “mommy” cared

This poem was created and dedicated to my mother, Tommie Sean Forte, in 1994, and appeared in my book, “I Cry for a People: In Their Struggle for Justice & Equality.”


Live and Love Life
Copyright © 2006, by Juanita Bratcher

If you live it, why not enjoy it?
Live and enjoy life to the living end
Enjoy the beauty, taste the flavor
Inhale the fresh air coming within
Take in the silken skies, hovering over the ocean blue
Dance in concert with the moon and stars
Uncover the mysteries of life anew
Have a passion for life
Ignite positive energy abound
Carry the torch of goodwill and charity
Try to turn some negatives around
Life without living is like a cast away ball
Void of air and easy to fall
If you live it, why not claim it?
Know that living belongs to all

I Cry For A People

Copyright © 1994, by Juanita Bratcher

I cry for a people

For generations to come

There are superficial obstacles

You must overcome

There are challenges ahead of you

You must tackle them head-on

So stand tall for your convictions

And keep your mind strong

Your struggles are many

Your burdens are too

But brave them with gusto

And rise up anew

I cry for a people

For generations to come

They’re tears of joy

Because victory will come

There’s a reservoir of resources

That need to be tapped

But watch out for roadblocks

Lest ye be forever trapped

Use your time very wisely

Try to conquer all

And no matter the consequence

Always stand tall

Keep climbing the mountains

Anchor your own dreams of hope

Never abandon the struggle

And know how to cope

Perseverance can remove doubt

As you pursue your dreams

Avoid the perils of destruction

And work together as a team

Wrap your arms around your children

For they’re a precious lot

Teach them love and respect

What to do, and what not

Stand tall for what you believe in

No matter how tired or worn

And cherish your beginnings

Lest they be twisted and torn

Keep up the protest spirit

If that will bring gains

Don’t listen to pessimists

Who stall progress and restrain

You must have the foresight

And wisdom to see

That change will not come

If you don’t shake the tree

You’re warriors and survivors

You have the tools to effect change

But you must use those tools skillfully

And not use them in vain

I cry for a people

For generations to come

They are tears of joy

Because victory will come _____________________________________________


Life Is A Jigsaw Puzzle

Copyright (c) 2003, by Juanita Bratcher


Life is a jigsaw puzzle

It’s not always fun and games

Life is full of surprises

And nothing ever remains the same


Life can test your courage

It can test your inner strength to endure

It can test your mental psyche

Life is a challenge for sure


Life is an exciting adventure

It can be a bumpy and rocky ride

But life is what you make of it

You don’t need a “how to” guide


Life has many dimensions

Too enormous to even count

But life should always have purpose

Void of any amount


Life can be enlightening

Indeed it can be challenging, too

It can be a roaring opportunity

But that depends on you


But never throw in the towel

Because things don’t go your way

Just ride the tides of patience

And keep focused on your dreams each and every day


Love Poems


The Newness Of Your Love

By Juanita Bratcher

Copyright © November 25, 2002


The newness of your love gives me a renewed spirit to love again

To passionately hold someone again, for the first time in a long time

The newness of you in my mind, my spirit, my soul

Has found a meaningful place in my heart

One that’s enlightening and precious to me for a reason now that I don’t quite understand

Yet, it’s there, and quite compelling

The newness of this love, so distant, yet gradually coming together in many ways

Like a rose garden in bloom or new growth from seeds planted

One that has not been tested or tried; yet will not be denied

Through this newness, we’re given a chance at love, with hope eternal that it will evolve into something that’s wonderfully joyous for both of us

For that newness between us is like a fluorescent light flickering away in the night, longing for maturity and stability

That newness speaks loud without voice, and it roars without the presence of strong winds

It exists in a vacuum of uncertainty, as it searches for its mere existence

So silent, so sound, so profound

That even the quietness of day, of night, can feel its presence

Budding love, so wonderfully challenging

In an attempt to learn each other, to know each other better

To sort out the essence of this happenstance upon us, which has already survived our precarious evaluations

And now that we have each other’s attention, what will we do to keep it?

There’s that haunting instinct that this new love we’re weaving together shall remain

No doubt, it will remain in our hearts until we see fit to cast it aside or relinquish it

When I Say I Love You

By Juanita Bratcher

Copyright 2001

When I say I love you

I’m putting my heart and soul in your hands

Because I trust you, and I believe in you

And I feel that you understand my needs and desires, too


When I say I love you

It means that I want to share my innermost thoughts and dreams with you

My feelings, my passions so mired

That you will nurture my dreams and my hopes along with me

And that I can nurture yours along with you, too

That you’ll be a willing partner to share in my tomorrows

That you’ll be my trusted friend, lover and caretaker


When I say I love you

When I say I love you from the bottom of my heart, and from the depths of my soul

It confirms that I care about you and want to be with you…forever

That I want you to trust me, and believe in me

For there is no greater love than my love for you

And hopefully, that strong bond between us, and that strong belief we have in each other

Will be that first step in finding that inner peace between us


When I say I love you

The power of those words overwhelms me

Because I’m asking you to be there for me, emotionally and spiritually

To share in my good times as well as my bad times

To know me – my successes, my failures, my likes and dislikes

To know my strengths, my weaknesses, my outlook on life, and your role in it


When I say I love you

I want you by my side in my most private times and share intimate moments with me

And know that I truly love you, need you and want you

When I say I love you

It seems as if the heavens open up and wish us well

And for that, I’m truly grateful









Happiness Is A Personal Thing

Copyright (c) 2004, by Juanita Bratcher

I’m responsible for my own happiness

I’m responsible for my daily care

I’m the one who calls the shots for me

No other human being would ever dare

My life is filled with inspiring anecdotes

I make note of them each day

Anything that ensures my happiness

Brings a ray of sunshine and hope my way

Nevertheless, I am a realist

I know that the sun won’t shine every day

So, I allow for the rain that will fall

Realizing that eternal happiness is not a sure thing, in any way

I’ll make my own happiness

I’ll stir up the joy in my life

And when I’m feeling down

I’ll never solve my problems with a frown

I want to enjoy the people I love

Do the things that I love to do

I want to appreciate the small things in life

Those that sometime comes out of the blue

But I’ll never give up on that smile

That’s one of the things that make my day

It paints a picture of happiness

And energizes my life in a positive way

I Am What You See

By Juanita Bratcher



I am what you see

I am the true me

No artificial moves or putting on airs here

No misconceptions near

I am me

No need to be anyone else

That’s the way I’ll always be

No add-ons

No make believe

Won’t deceive

‘Cause I’m true to what I believe

I am me

The cover is off for all to see

No disguise here, I’m very wise

No hidden agenda

No suspicious ties

No fakes here

No secrets blowin’ in the wind

Just plain old straight talk

And an attitude in tuned to win

I don’t talk trash

Got no time to bash

And when all’s said and done

Life for me is a bowl of fun

I am what I am

What I want to be

And that’s to be me

No artificial body language here

No misconceptions near

I am me

And that’s the way it will always be

No add-ons

No make believes

Don’t deceive

And true to what I believe

The Joys of Friendship

By Juanita Bratcher

Copyright ©October 2003


Day by day I’m drawn closer to you in friendship

A bonding friendship; one of giving, one of fair play

Not one that diminishes or takes away

But a friendship that grows day by day

One that generates feelings of ease, of comfort

Yet, calls into play one’s most gullible shortcomings as human beings

A friendship that’s speckled in confidence, faith and support

Providing balance to imbalance

Soaked in comforting spirits of understanding

A friendship, not without faults

Yet, ignites and lights up life with exuberance and joy

A friendship of sheer natural instinct and intellect

Spiced with a delightful sense of humor

A friendship that takes on new meaning as life unfolds

Always providing a barrel of laughter, a bucket of smiles

Buried within that extraordinary, unwavering sense of humor

Bringing tons of unforgettable advice and solace

That friendship has strengthened and enabled me to take on the obstacles in life

Fully confident of back up, should I fall

The joys of friendship, that warm smile on your face, when needed

A helping hand to work things out when things go wrong

Knowing that you’re here for me

That friendship you give carries me along


This poem appeared in an anthology, “The Best Poems & Poets of 2003”, and in “Sound of Poetry”, a three-CD album collection of 33 favorite poems by the International Library of Poetry.

Silent Love Hurts

By Juanita Bratcher

Copyright (c)

There’s that silent love wandering inside of me
Waiting for its presence to be known
It’s been lingering there for the longest of time
And over a period of time it has grown

It’s that silent love, buried beneath layers of false pride
Lurking behind thicken walls, begging to be justified
Silent love, with no outlet in sight to flow through
So I sit around and daydream, imagine things out of the blue

Silent love, treading the shadows of uncertainty
Hampering my desire to love
My heart is filled with emptiness
And only one person can give it a shove

Silent love, locked up inside of me, where others will never see
Ferociously screaming, demanding to be set free
Silent love, rushing through the depths of my soul
Tapping at my heart, under control, yet so daringly bold

Silent love, in bondage, makes me daydream every day
True love, these unnerving desires just won’t go away
Silent love, so faint my heart keeps skipping beats
But it’ll all come together when our minds and souls shall meet

Freedom Is Everyone’s Right

By Juanita Bratcher

Copyright 12/15/03

No matter how hard the struggle

No matter how long the fight

Never give up on efforts

To make sure freedom is everyone’s right

Sometimes the battle may seem quite laden

And at times may seem off-cue

But hold on to determination and perseverance

Those are the things that will see you through

Cherishing the Memories

By Juanita Bratcher

Copyright 2009

There’re memories I dare to depart from

There’re habits I’ve learned to resist

There’re proud moments I’ll cherish forever

My passion for life is never at risk

There are dreams I’ve fully accomplished

Those results are clearly defined

I have no intentions of resting on my laurels

Because life continues on without rewinds


Copyright © 2009-2010 Copyline Magazine and Books Bratcher McMillan Publications. All rights reserved.      

Alderman Preckwinkle Favors Senate’s Health Care Plan

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On November - 9 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Cook County Board President candidate calls on the Illinois congressional delegation to support the President.

 Alderman Toni Preckwinkle would have preferred to support a single-payer option, stating that it would have “brought the most comprehensive coverage and ensured costs were kept under control.”

However, as the fight for health care has developed, that option no long seems attainable and she stands in support of the public option to best serve the public’s health care needs.

“It’s important, now that we have had thorough debate, that we pass a bill that helps the American people get better access to health care. The Senate’s plan offers a compromise that addresses the most immediate concerns and will be a great benefit to Cook County,” stated Preckwinkle. “This bill presents a breakthrough in expanding access to quality health care and I urge other elected officials to stand in support of this much-needed legislation.”

“This is a critical first step to ensuring that Cook County meets its fundamental responsibility to ensure that all its residents have quality health care. For residents, it will give them more choices in health care providers. For the County, it will reduce the number of uninsured and underinsured, through both the Exchange and through expansion of Medicaid. It has the potential to significantly reduce the strain on the County Health System.”

House Passing of Health Reform legislation “A historic step forward”

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On November - 9 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Statement by Jim Duffett

Executive Director, Campaign for Better Health Care


This evening in Washington DC, a majority of Congress did what they were sent to Washington to do – to solve problems for the common good of the people they represent in the United States of America.

The American people fully understand that health care is the key to economic security and opportunity.  Today, the House of Representatives took a historic step towards ensuring that economic security and opportunity remain fundamental building blocks for America.

The reform package passed by the House of Representatives moves our country in the right direction by providing peace of mind for Americans, eliminating the immoral practices of the insurance industry, making insurance more affordable, and beginning to put the brakes on cost increases.

In defending the status quo, the opponents of health care reform continue to advocate in favor of insurance industry interests over those of the American people.  They are embracing and voting for the same policies of deregulation in health insurance as they did for the financial sector, which has resulted in the worst economic recession in the United States since the Great Depression. 

The GOP’s proposed alternative to health reform would make the current untenable situation even worse for the majority of those it affects.  Under their proposal, the number of uninsured Americans would balloon to 54 million.  Instead of creating a solution for the common good, their health care plan would have even more Americans beholden to the insurance industry than ever before.  In whose interests are they really working?

We urge those members of Congress who voted on the side of the American people to make sure the House proposal that they have just supported is not weakened.  A public option with an opt out is unacceptable.  We are one country and no American’s health care should be dictated by the whims of the politicians in their state.

Editor’s Note: The measure passed 220-215, with one lone Republican voting with Democrats – Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (Louisiana).

About the Campaign for Better Health Care

We believe that accessible, affordable, quality health care is a basic human right for all people.  The Campaign for Better Health Care is the state’s largest coalition representing over 300 diverse organizations, organizing to help create and advocate for an accessible, quality health care system for all.  For more information, visit www.cbhconline.org.

Joe Wilson’s outburst goes below the pale of civility and respect

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On November - 2 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Joe, you can’t have it both ways! 

By Juanita Bratcher 

For crying out loud! A 62-year-old heckler in a Joint Session of Congress?

U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson’s (South Carolina) outburst “You lie!” during President Barack Obama’s speech in a Joint Session of Congress defied logic and tradition. It was certainly out of order…and certainly below the pale. Frankly, it was disrespectful to the President and to the Office of the Presidency.

Wilson’s outburst was heard around the nation…around the world, via news media. Why didn’t someone tell Wilson that hecklers and heckling have no place in a Joint Session of Congress? Well, I’m sure he was fully aware of this when he did it; he just didn’t see fit to hold back his outburst. No doubt, his actions were premeditated. And they fit right in with the mood of recent Tea Party demonstrators, gun-toters at Town Hall meetings and Birthers who feel comfortable in verbally spewing out “mean-spirited” words or displaying venomous poster signs to try and embarrass the president.

Wilson crossed the line of civility; but aside from that, his actions were a total breach of decorum and protocol. Rebellion? Racism? Or angry over the Obama Administration’s policies? Probably all of the above.

The next day Wilson apologized for his rude behavior. It was certainly not by his own volition, but a jack-up order by Republican leadership. He said as much himself in his half-laden apology the next day: “I heard from the (Republican) leadership today. They wanted me to contact the White House and state that my statements were inappropriate. I did.”

Did that sound like a personal apology? Or did it sound like the Republican leadership insisted that he apologize? His apology was made to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. It was accepted by President Barack Obama.

In accepting his apology, President Obama said he is a ”big believer that we all make mistakes. He apologized quickly and without equivocation. And I’m appreciative of that.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it was ”stunning to hear such a statement made on the floor of the House when the President of the United States is speaking,” and Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner, a staunch Obama critic, deemed Wilson’s behavior “inappropriate.”

Lonny Randolph, President of the South Carolina State NAACP, said Wilson “embarrassed the state” and they’re “outraged and disappointed” over his comments.

Shortly after his apology, Wilson came back before TV cameras and said he would not be “muzzled.” Some Democrats demanded that he go to the House floor and make an apology or they would formally introduce a “Resolution of Disapproval” against him. Wilson refused, stating that he would offer no more apologies. The Resolution (Disapproval) was introduced and passed.

While some saw his actions as “racist”, there were others who did not. But the teetering question was: Would he have acted in such a manner had it been a white president speaking? You can bet your last dollar, he wouldn’t have.

Wilson has a right to speak his mind, his views, his feelings and concerns as any other American citizen. But there’s a time and place for everything. Why didn’t he wait until after the Joint Session and call a press conference to espouse his point of view? Maybe  it was done during Obama’s speech to get more bump from his actions. Timing means everything, you know. And in his case it worked. The next day there was more media coverage on his outburst than what the President had said in his efforts to set the record straight on misconceptions and lies that are making the rounds about healthcare reform.

There are some who are deliberately and intentionally trying to confuse the American people about healthcare reform in hopes of derailing it.

There’ve been several politicians from the state of South Carolina that have instilled themselves in rude behavior through racist words. Racism is a nurturing art to them.

Take for instance the words of South Carolina U.S. Senator James Henry Hammond, a wealthy plantation owner who also owned slaves, addressing the U.S. Senate on March 4, 1858: “…Our slaves do not vote. We give them no political power. Yours (northern plantation owners) do vote, and, being the majority, they are the depositories of all your political power. If they knew the tremendous secret, that the ballot box is stronger than ‘an army with banners,’ and could combine, where would you be?”

Wilson’s career officially began when he worked as an aide to the late Senator Strom Thurmond and U.S. Congressman Floyd Spence. When Spence died in office in 2001, Wilson ran for Spence seat after serving as a South Carolina state senator from 1972 to 2001. He won.

As a state senator, Wilson voted against a bill to remove the Confederate Flag from atop the South Carolina Statehouse and move it to a monument on the capitol grounds.

Thurmond was a known segregationist. Both Thurmond and Spence switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party – Spence in 1962 and Thurmond in 1964. Thurmond then supported Republican Barry Goldwater for President against Democrat Lyndon Johnson.

Thurmond left the U.S. Senate in January 2003 and died in June 2003. Six months after his death, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, 78-years-old, revealed she was Thurmond’s secret (black) daughter. Washington-Williams was also the daughter of Carrie Butler (1909-1947), who worked as a maid in Thurmond’s Home in Edgefield, South Carolina.

Washington-Williams didn’t know her black birth mother until she was 13-years-old. And Strom wanted to keep his paternity a secret for social and political reasons.

When Obama won the presidency, I warned in an editorial, “Don’t declare racism dead: that tough cookie will survive.” But never in my wildest analysis in the editorial did I ever think that racism would come out in full view as to what has happened since he took the oath of office. It seems that the hatemongers are going full circle at rapid speed to spread their venom through devisive tactics. Call it what you want; but it is what it is!

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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