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Raoul: “It’s unconscionable that Jon Burge is receiving a pension” New law helps block those who ...
Attorney General charges nine for illegally collecting more than $200,000 in Unemployment Benefits CHICAGO, ...
CHICAGO, IL - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and various advocates for the Crime ...
President Barack Obama: U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision a victory for people all over this country   U.S. ...
Her Senate Campaign Off To Uncomfortable Start Letters to Editors From the Chicago Republican Party CHICAGO, ...
Settlement Concludes Action by Madigan, FTC & States Against Charities that Bilked More Than $75 ...
CHICAGO, IL – A coalition of University of Chicago student library workers filed a petition ...
Third Annual African Unity Gala and Awards supports African Immigrants and Refugees in Illinois   CHICAGO, ...
Candidates asked to sign “No Hate in the Debate” Pledge   CHICAGO, IL – Leaders of Illinois’ ...

Archive for January 3rd, 2012

Come on, Republican Presidential Contenders, Obama has more leadership skills than you can ever match up to

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On January - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

By Juanita Bratcher

At times, all seven Republican presidential contenders sound like a broken record, specifically when they pitch the same words about President Barack Obama’s lack of leadership – and sometimes to the point where it sounds like they were handed a script advising them to condemn the president’s leadership, especially when you hear the same definitive statement coming from all of them while on the campaign trail. They’ve (all of them on one stage together) even made these allegations during their many Republican Presidential Debates.

They make remarks such as “Not a leader”, “Haven’t been a leader”, and “Anyone would be better than the one we have” – meaning President Obama.

Words come cheap! And sometimes not necessarily with truth. Some politicians and their operatives are known culprits when it comes to stretching the truth. And many political ads can be quite deceiving just to get an edge on their opponents.

But regardless of political jockeying by politicians, the American people are smarter than that. Many of them know how to separate truth from fiction and fantasy, and lies, misinformation and innuendoes. What’s more, Congress needs to clean up its act and do the job that American voters sent them there to do, quit jockeying around playing unnecessary politics, and get this country moving in the right direction again. While recent polls show that likely U.S. voters give Congress a low rating, obviously, there are some members of Congress who are trying to do the right thing. The problem is a handful of obstructionists in the House of Representatives who would rather play hardball politics to the detriment of America (lagging economy and creation of jobs) and the American people.

A national telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters, conducted by Rasmussen Reports (November 28-29, 2011), found that just six percent (6%) of likely U.S. Voters rate the job Congress is doing as good or excellent.  Sixty-eight percent (68%) viewed Congress’ job performance as poor.

In another poll, it noted that Congress’ job approval rating at 13 percent was the worst rating in Gallup history.

In job approval polling data by major media, including CNN, CBS News/New York Times, Associated Press and others, Congress’ approval rating was between 11 to 16 percent.

Obama is a “Leader”. In his quest for the presidency in 2008, he talked about change, and a majority of the American people encouraged that change by voting for him. But he’s had a tough row to hoe – House Republicans in Washington have been obstructionists and have stood in the way of the Obama Administration changes in their effort to try and make him a one-term president.

Juanita Bratcher is the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com, the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 35 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other subject matters.

Father Pfleger: “It’s Harvest Time”

Posted by Admin On January - 3 - 2012 1 COMMENT

‘Mission Possible…but you can’t live like a junkyard dog”

 

by Chinta Strausberg

 

In his first sermon of the New Year, Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday told his congregation “It’s harvest time”, a year to produce the best fruit ever and a time to “put up or shut up.” But he also warmed them if you know you are “willed and planted” by God, then you cannot live “like a junkyard dog.”

For critics who say given the economic bad times how could anyone produce a good harvest, Pfleger pointed to one of two vertical banners hanging on both sides of the choir area that says, “Mission Possible. When Challenge Becomes Opportunities.”

Explaining, Pfleger said the challenges of one’s situation “are just opportunities for this year, for God to make his greatest display yet. It’s harvest time.”

Referring to Luke 13:6, Pfleger talked about the man with the fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He asked the congregation to place their hands on their bodies and repeat after him, “The tree is me.”

He reminded them that the verse specifically says that the tree was planted. “If you plant something, it’s because you have something in mind for the tree. You don’t just plant to plant. You plant with a purpose…. You have something in mind for what you plant.”

“The same is true with you and me,” said Pfleger. “You and I are planted because God had a purpose…a destiny…a divine for you and me to be here.  God had something in mind. That’s why you are alive in 2012. That’s why you’re crossing over to a new year. God has something in mind for you this year,” he bellowed.

“Before you get to the new stuff, you have to break up the old stuff because we’re going forward,” explained Pfleger. “I’m tired of you looking backwards.” He asked them to repeat, “God has something in mind for me, my life, my family, this church in 2012. The reason I made it over is because God has something in mind for me the coming year.”

“When you plant something, a place has to first be prepared,” Pfleger explained. “God prepared the ground for your planting for this year. God cleaned a space and put you there…..” He asked the church to repeat: “I’ve been planted. There’s a place that was cleared and prepared for me to be planted.”

Pfleger wanted the church to know that the family they were born into was not by accident. “You were planted into that family. The place where you were born…you were planted to be born in that place. That was no accident. That was no coincidence. The time you are living now, God planted you for this time. The time that you were born is the time God planted you to be born.

“The gifts you have, the talents, the abilities you have the uniqueness you have that God put up in you is because he planted you for this time…,” Pfleger said making it clear that their presence is neither an accident nor coincidence but rather by purpose having been planted there by God.

“God has plans for your life” in 2012, he said. “You are not just walking into a New Year. You’re walking in what God has already carved out, what God has already made a way for, what God has already prepared. He has set a condition. He’s made a way. He’s standing at the end of 2012 saying, ‘Here I am. You don’t have to figure it out. You just have to walk it out. I’ve planned this year for you.’” “God has plans for your life.”

“The reason you crossed over is because God willed you to be here,” said Pfleger. He asked the church to recite, “He willed me. I’m alive by the intention of a mighty God.”

“When you understand that you’re alive today by the intention of God, nobody can make you feel less than who you are. Nobody can put you down. Nobody can make you have low self-esteem. Nobody can make you think you’re worthless or unimportant. You were willed by God…to enter this year,” he said telling them they are valuable.

Pfleger told them if they grasp that they are here by the intention of God, they don’t need anybody to affirm them.  “You don’t need nobody to say that you are all right. You don’t need nobody to co-sign on your destiny, on your purpose, on your future, on your miracle. I don’t care if nobody agrees with you, God said, I’ll agree with you….”

He urged them to like and celebrate themselves more and to acknowledge their planting and if they do that “you can start the party if don’t nobody shows up. You can have your own party…celebrate your destiny all by your own self, have your New Year’s Party right now…” and said they can have their own Hallelujah praise right now.

With trumpets and drums melodiously playing in the background, Pfleger bellowed: “destiny, purpose, plan, miracle, anointing, healing, prosperity, way out of no way, promotions….”

Excited by his congregation crossing over into the New Year, Pfleger told asked the church to say, “I’ve been planted.” Citing from Jeremiah, he said, “Before the foundations of the world, he knew me, called my name, anointed me, set a purpose for me.”

Pfleger asked the church to turn to each other, shake their hands and say, “Do you know how important you are? Do you know how valuable you are?”

“He cleared a place for my arrival. He willed me into existence. God willed me into 2012.” Pfleger told them that God chose them. He asked how many could look back over their lives and say it’s a miracle they survived their many storms.

“The reason it is a miracle that you came through with what you came through is because you’ve been chosen and planted. That is why no devil in hell and no two-legged devil on earth have been able to destroy you. The reason why you came through some hell and high water, faced situations that should have taken you out, (is because) the reason you made it is because you’re were willed by God to sustain.”

He asked the church to say, “I’ve been chosen not to quit.  I’ve been chosen not to fail. I’ve been chosen not to be taken out. I’ve been chosen not to be destroyed. I’ve been chose to succeed. I’ve been chosen to be fruitful. I’ve been chosen for greatness….”

“Because I’ve been chosen, even if I fall, I’ve been chosen to get back up again. Do you hear me? That’s why I’m still here,” he asked the church asking them to repeat this phrase, “I’ve been planted. Because God planted me, no matter what is coming against me. No matter what wickedness, demons and witches have set out for me this year, God has sustained me. God has upheld me because he willed me, chose me and planted me.”

Pfleger said, “When you know you’ve been planted and purposed, people cannot easily manipulate you and make something out of you that you are not. When you really understand that you’ve been planted and chosen, you do not allow crazy people to pull you into their madness.” He asked them to raise their hands and declare, “In the name of Jesus, I declare in 2012 because I know that I am planted and purposed people cannot and will not pull me into their madness.”

Giving several examples, Pfleger said eagles know who they are and don’t go to a chicken coop and oranges don’t try to hang around apples. “When a winner knows a winner, they don’t accept losing.” He asked them to repeat: “I declare right now in 2012, I refuse to lose.”

But for some, Pfleger said they are bogged down with being put down by others resulting in their spirits being low. “Some of you have had such a number done on you it’s hard for you to declare where you’re going because you’ve been so stuck on where you’ve been.” He asked them to repeat, “I refuse to lose. I refuse to be a victim.”

“I bind up and send to the ground” those who believe they are victims. “We are victorious, not victims. I am a victor, not a victim.” “When you know you’ve been planted, you also understand that you have value because you don’t plant what you don’t want.

“If you go to the trouble of planting something, it’s because you want it. If God went through the trouble of planting you, then you ought to understand that he wanted you. God planted me because he needed me. He wanted me. He called me into existence.”

Pfleger said at times people allow the conditions surrounding them to influence them, which cause them to lose their sense of value. “When I talk to young people in the street who no longer recognize they are valuable and their genius, they begin to succumb to the day life and to what ever that life of that day can pull them into.” He said the adults do the same thing. They begin to be pulled into stuff.

“When you see poor schools, when you see unemployment, poverty rampant, and you see boarded up houses all around you and all of this nonsense…, it does not happen by accident. You think it is an accident that some communities have poor schools while a Whitney Young, and a Walter Peyton and a King Prep and Urban Prep…” are excelled institutions? “We know (how) to do it. We chose where to do it and where we don’t….”

Pfleger talked about this nation having a string of wars at a time when there was no draft. “If you cut opportunities, education, jobs and possibilities for young people, how many know young people who said they went to the Army or the Navy or the Marines because that looked like the best choice they had”? Pfleger said there are conditions that steer youth to make the decision to go to war.

“You create bad economics and bad education and bad environment, you don’t have to have a draft because people will run to the Army because it’s a way out of a hell which you offered them,” said Pfleger who pledges his allegiance to Christ rather than a flag.

“If you know you have value, no matter what the conditions are around me, my value does not come from what’s around me” but rather what is in them. And that is why he said you can walk out of a project with your head high with dignity “because the value is within me not where I slept last night. I can look like a million dollar man and don’t even have a job if I have value inside of me. I walk with dignity. Value comes from the instead.”

Pfleger gave an example of the Prodigal son.  “He was in a pigs pen, but he never lost the value on the inside; so in the pigs pen, he said I’m better than this. He came to his senses. When you have value on the inside, you will come to your senses no matter what your conditions are,” he said asking the church to shout, “I got value.”

Pfleger said when they learn they have been willed by the intention of God into existence “you don’t get easily offended. Easily offended people jump from friend-to-friend, from group-to-group, from ministry-to-ministry, from church-to-church….”

He spoke of his first suspension and how priests wrote him letters saying, “You need to leave the Catholic Church. You’re an embarrassment. You’re too radical.” Pfleger said he wrote them back saying, “I’ve been planted here. You leave,” he wrote the priests getting a round of applause from the congregation. “When you know you’ve been planted, you can’t make me leave on where God put me. Deal with me.”

He asked them to repeat, “If my praise bothered you in 2011, you better move in 2012.” “When you understand you’ve been planted, no matter what is going on in your marriage, your block, in your finances, if you know you’re where God planted you, if you chose to transplant yourself, good luck, but if you’re where God planted you, then like a tree planted by the water, I shall not, I cannot, I will not be moved.”

He asked the church to repeat: “I am not easily offended because I’ve been planted and because I’ve been planted, I am not that fragile.”

“When the devil comes to attack you, your finances, your health, your family, your children, your marriage, you have to look at the devil and say, “I ain’t that fragile.’” He said they must say, “I’ve been planted.”

“As we walk into the possibilities of 2012, I am looking for some members who know they’ve been planted by divine intention and by divine design for such a time as this,” said Pfleger. “I’m looking for people in this church that in 2012, they are going to manifest greatness in their lives and us in this church.” He challenged them to leave mediocrity and walk to the greatness in 2012.

“If you understand that you’ve been planted, if you know you’ve been planted…and here because of the will and intention of God, then you cannot live like a junkyard dog,” Pfleger told the congregation.

“You can’t live any old way. You can’t act any old way. You can’t go to any old place. You can’t do any old thing,” he bellowed. “You can’t reach for high life while you’re living a low life. There is a standard; there is a bar to which you must live if you understand you’re here by the intention of God. If you understand you’ve been planted, there are some folk you can’t be around. Not only do you have to cut off some, you may be someone else cuts on. You with your holy, sanctified, speaking in tongue ‘self,’ you might be cut off.

“There are just some folk you can’t be around. When snakes try to bite you the best thing you can do is to climb a tree because snakes can’t go to high places,” he explained. “If there are a lot of snakes attacking you, it’s because you’re at a snake level.” He asked them to repeat: “If you go higher, the snakes can’t get to you.”

“You can’t live like a junkyard dog and if you know you’ve been planted, people can’t treat you like a junkyard dog. You have to demand respect. You have to demand that people treat you right, and when you start to hold standards around you, some people will say, ‘you’re acting arrogant,’ but you have to say call it what you want, but I’ve made a decision. I’m going to a higher place on the ladder and either you can come with me or stay down there and talk about me, but I’m still going to go.

“If I understand that I’ve been planted, then I have to understand that if God planted me with a purpose, destiny and a plan if I’ve been willed by the intention of God to be here to cross over into 2012, then I must also understand that the reason why God planted me is because God had an expectation of me,” said Pfleger. “God expects of us. He brought you over to a new year because he expects some stuff from us. He expects us to grow. He expects us to be fruitful. The seed he planted he expects to grow and to produce fruit.

“God does not expect anybody to just exist,” said Pfleger. “I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ, My Lord and my Savior to refuse to exist in 2012, refuse to just survive in 2012….” He told them he expects them to grow, to flourish, to produce and to be fruitful.

He asked the church to repeat: “God has so much more for you and God has so much more in you he expects to grow in 2012. Don’t disappoint him.”

“God has an expectation from us, and he has a requirement that we bear fruit,” said Pfleger. “Leaves and branches are no longer enough. Just sitting in the vineyard of the earth of the U.S. of America, of Chicago, of Saint Sabina…is not enough. In 2012, God said leaves and branches are not enough. I expect fruit. There is accountability. There is a responsibility to bear fruit. It’s time to produce. It’s harvest time.”

To those who may say but we’re in the middle of winter and how can you harvest a crop, Pfleger explained. “My God is the kind of God that does not need ripe conditions to produce fruits…..”

But, Pfleger said there is a problem with some people who no longer have expectations any more including the government. “We have a government that is dysfunctional,” he said referring to both political parties. “Nothing happens in D.C. because ego is more important than the people who put them there. I get so angry when I hear people say that the government should not be creating jobs. Pfleger has an answer for them.

“To all of those congressmen and senators saying that, the government created you a job, sucker.  “You wouldn’t have a job” had it not been for the government. He said some of them could not work in the private sector “because you are so unproductive. The government made a job for you. Well, you need to make some for somebody else…make some for everybody.”

Saying there is no expectation today, Pfleger said, “That is why I love the Occupy Movements. We should all be occupying the streets all over this country because there is not enough expectation any more of government, of community. Code of silence, shut up. A policeman gets shot. A child gets shot and nobody says nothing,” said Pfleger.

“There is not enough expectation in our homes. There is not an expectation of our children,” he bellowed. “That is why some children have any old friends. That’s why some children have any old grades. That is why some children have any old attitudes. Your mama is not your OG. That’s your mother, and if you have a mother like my mother who told you ‘I brought you in this world and I’ll take you out of this world if I got to.’

“There is no expectation of the way we dress ourselves. We don’t respect right decisions. We don’t even expect kids to go to school, let alone excel. The reason we do not have an expectation of our children is because we have a bunch of trifling any old way adults because in my house ‘D’s were not even a possibility. You got a ‘D,’ you better hit the door….” God expects fruits from us gathering here,” said Pfleger.  “God doesn’t care that you came to church, but it is going to be some fruit here, be any fruit because you came by here this morning,

“The fig tree broke a spiritual law,” said Pfleger. “It received, but it didn’t produce.” He explained about the Third Day Church and how the number three is a number of completion of the New Testament. “We are in the third day because a day is like a 1,000 years. We’ve gone through the first and second thousand’s years. We are entering into the third day, the day of completion.

“I believe without any question or doubt that we are in the time when Christ is on his way back and perhaps Christ is saying ‘For three-years I’ve been coming back and looking and seeing no fruit.’”

Explaining, Pfleger said, “ I mean year after year, person-after-person, superintendent after superintendant, Republicans and Democrats, education is still a disaster.  No fruit. Poverty worse now than when Dr. Martin Luther King was killed in 1968. No fruit. Voting rights laws that were fought for and lynched for are now being challenged” across the nation. “No fruit,” said Pfleger.

“Forty-four percent increase in murder in Englewood last year. No fruit. Fifty-six people killed in Englewood last year. Thirteen people were murdered in Englewood from December 23, 2011 to December 29, 2011 in one week. That’s more than was killed in Afghanistan. That’s more than was killed in Iraq and Afghanistan together. Where’s the real war? Is it in Afghanistan or is it on our streets all across this nation where children are dying,” said Pfleger.

He asked the church to repeat: “We’ve got to get it together.” “I believe we are stretching the patience of God,” said Pfleger. When you continue to stretch the patience sooner or later it will snap and that is when Farrakhan, Jeremiah or Mike Pfleger have said:  “be prepared for the wrath of God. It’s biblical. God loses his wrath when you stretch the mercy and grace of God. We’re stretching God’s patience and we’re playing with God’s wrath.”

Pfleger added, “As we cross over to the new year of opportunity…of greatness, we must confront the bareness of the church. We must confront of the bareness of those who claim to be the followers of Jesus Christ. For three-years, he’s come back and saw no fruit. I believe as we cross over and step into this new year of 2012 and we remember all that God has done for us, we got to ask ourselves the question…all that God has done for us, what are we doing for God”?

Referring to Luke 13:6, Pfleger said, “The scripture said to the Master because of its bareness, cut it down. It says cut it down. Why should it use up the soil? God is saying some of us who call ourselves as followers are taking up space. We’re using up the soil of the garden he planted us in.”

“I believe that must be the theme as we walk across this threshold into 2012 that we each must fall on the mercy of God and the grace of God and ask God for a year of grace. I believe that we who sit here this morning are being called by God to say, ‘God, give me a year of grace…a year to produce where I have fallen short…to realize the greatness within us.’

“The man says to God, if you give us just a year of grace, I’ll dig around it and I’ll fertilize it,” said Pfleger referring to the scripture. “If we seek God to give us a year of grace and mercy, it demands our willingness to allow God to dig  (to break up) in my life.

“Will we allow God to break up your lack of commitment? Will we allow God to break up our casualness? Will we allow God to beak up your lack of mediocrity?  Will we allow God to break up our anger, our grudges…and our habits…our bitterness…our prejudices…the cycles that we find ourselves in that it’s time to break? Will we allow God to break up our pacificity and our apathy and our acceptance of things that we should not accept in this world?

“Will we allow God to break up our shallowness or our numbness? Will we allow God to break up of our acceptance of less? Will we allow God to break up stuff that we know we need to let go but we tolerate it in our lives”?

He said it’s time for the congregation to stretch themselves. “It’s time to dig into who we are so we can be where God needs us to be.”

When the congregation filed by and left their offerings, each received an acorn. Explaining, Pfleger said, “The acorn has a cap, but as you study the acorn, it says as it matures, it sheds the old cap. If you’re not willing to shed old stuff, the acorn can’t become the new stuff. This little acorn has the potential of becoming a mighty tree if it’s planted. If it’s not planted, it remains an acorn.

“Will you realize your potential or remain an acorn,” said Pfleger. “If we are going to reach the greatness that God beckons us into 2012, we can’t play church no more. We can’t play religion no more. We must fertilize our life with the word and with prayer, praise or worship. You can’t say you don’t have time to prayer. You can’t afford not to pray. With the hell we are facing, we need God to face it with.

“We must fertilize our lives with right relationships,” he said. “We must fertilize our lives with right integrity because some of our integrity has been perverted.”

Pfleger told of running across a former gang leader who was with his wife and son. He asked Pfleger if he remembered one of the members. “Pfleger said, “I remember when they got killed at 83rd and Ashland. I remember when his son got killed in Foster Park two-years ago, and I remember all the times when I and others tried to talk to him and say, don’t follow your dad’s footsteps, become what your dad chose not to become.”

But Pfleger said the man turned to him and calmly said, “Father Mike what you don’t understand is that we live in a condition right now where you don’t join a gang. Your zip code declares which gang you’re in….” Pfleger added:  “A child should not have to join a gang because he lives on a particular street.”

Referring to the scripture, Pfleger added, “If it bears fruit next year, fine. If not, cut it down. I believe we are not just entering the year of grace. I believe that God is calling us to rise and produce the greatness in us and bear the greatest fruits of our lives, but I give you this warning. In this year of grace and greatness, either we will bear the fruit within us or prepare for the sickle of the Master who is going to cut down people, cut down churches, and cut down institutions.

“God will not be mocked and the patience of God will reach a limit and either we will bear fruit or we will see the sickle of Christ come to cut down what we have allowed in our lives to take up soil,” warned Pfleger.

“This is the year of greatness, of harvest and production. This is the year when the greatest fruit and the greatest harvest are before you in your individual life and before us in our church life. We stand in the threshold of opportunity to become our best, and I believe what God told me the best of you and I are before us right now. God has been waiting in expectation. God says now is the time for harvest. Now is the time to produce.”

Pfleger called every child in eighth grade and under to the altar. As he held a little boy, Pfleger said, “You deserve our fruit. You deserve our struggle. You deserve our sacrifice. You deserve what ever we have to go through because you didn’t call yourself to be born into this world.

“We brought you into this world and now you deserve for us to give you the kind of world you can reach all your age, grace and wisdom and reach your destiny, and your purpose and your destiny and your plan. You deserve it,” he told the children.

“You have been planted for this season. You are the future presidents and congressmen, and senators, and CEO’s and pastors, and musicians and preachers and teachers. You are the future,” Pfleger said.

To the church, he said, “If you don’t love yourself enough to bear fruit, I beg you, for God sake, love these enough to produce the greatest fruit of your life. 2012 is our year for harvest and to produce. This is our year to give God what he have you.”

He asked them to pray for the children saying, “Children we will create a harvest that you will reap from. We will struggle, sacrifice, do all we have to do to give you the kind of world you deserve.”

Source of sermon: Luke 13:6

Then he told this parable. A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard and he went to look for a fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard for three-years now I’ve been coming to look for a fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. So cut it down. Why should it use up the soil? Sorry, the man replied. Leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it and if it bears fruit next year, fine and if not, cut it down.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Activists to demand permits to protest NATO/G8

Posted by Admin On January - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Protesters to Emanuel: Keep your promise to protect civil liberties — grant G8/NATO protest permit applications and end threats to demonstrators.
 

 
Chicago, IL – The first day that they are legally allowed — activists will file applications for permits for a demonstration against the G8 and NATO summits, scheduled for Chicago from May 19-21, 2012. Organizers are planning for a Saturday, May 19th rally at Daley Plaza, followed by a march to the McCormack Place site of the summits. Activists will file the permit requests and convene their Tuesday press conference on the 9th floor of City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street, at the Transportation Department Office where parade permit applications are filed, at 10 a.m.
 
Members of the permit delegation will include political consultant and columnist Don Rose, anti-war and gay rights activist Andy Thayer, feminist and peace activist Pat Hunt, Puerto Rican community activist Alejandro Molina of National Boriqua Human Rights Network, and other members of CANG8 — the Coalition Against the NATO and G8 War & Poverty Agenda.
 
After a confrontation at a meeting of the Public Building Commission meeting last month, Emanuel reversed a decision to close Daley Plaza to all protests during the summits. The City must do more to guarantee civil liberties, say activists, who point to authorities’ long history of harassing peaceful protests, including two recent mass arrests of non-violent Occupy Wall Street protesters at Congress Parkway and Michigan Ave.
 
In recent months, Emanuel top cop Garry McCarthy has threatened mass arrests of protesters at the same time that the City has moved to thwart efforts to garner permits to protest during the G8/NATO meetings. McCarthy was a senior officer in the NYPD during the 2004 protests at the Republican National Convention, where police suppression of peaceful protests was widely decried by civil liberties advocates. When he was later police chief in Newark, New Jersey, McCarthy’s force drew intense criticism for a longstanding pattern of racial profiling and abuse of people of color.
 
Activists have also decried Emanuel’s proposals to create harsh requirements for downtown demonstrations, requirements activists describe as ridiculously burdensome — including potentially for even small pickets. Those new requirements, if passed, would include $1 million insurance requirements, a twenty-fold increase in fines for new ‘violations’ the proposed ordinance would create, and potential 10-day jail sentences for those new ‘violations.’ The proposed ordinance also orders “a description of any recording equipment, sound amplification equipment, banners, signs, or other attention-getting devices to be used in connection with the parade” — a requirement activists charge is an onerous assault on free speech and constitutional rights.
Other requirements state that as a condition of getting a permit, organizers would have to “agree to reimburse the city for any damage to the public way or to city property arising out of or caused by the parade” — a requirement protesters charge is so sweeping and subject to City interpretation they could be arbitrarily saddled with police costs that civilians already pay with their tax dollars. Protesters would also be required to submit “a line of march, which shall list all parade units in numerical order, with a description and an estimate of the size or length of each unit” — a requirement protesters also say is impossible for open marches and yet another clear effort to gravely restrict freedom of speech.
The City would have the authority to deny permit requests they deem do not sufficiently meet these requirements.

The City Council is scheduled to consider the new ordinance for passage on January 18.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Groundbreaking book cites thousands of inventions by people of color

Posted by Admin On January - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Brooklyn, NY (BlackNews.com) — Black Inventors, Crafting Over 200 Years of Success, highlights the work of Black inventors from over seventy countries. The author, Keith C. Holmes, has spent more than twenty years researching Black inventors from countries that include Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Cuba, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, St. Vincent, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the United States. Without inventions, innovations, financial resources, materials, muscle and labor saving devices, civilizations cannot exist and flourish.

This book documents a number of inventions, patents and labor saving devices conceived by Black inventors. Among many other inventions, pre-enslaved Africans, developed agricultural tools, building materials, medicinal herbs, cloth and weapons. Although historical documents emphasize that millions of Black people arrived in Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America and the United States under slavery’s yoke, it is relatively unknown that thousands of Africans and their descendants developed numerous labor-saving devices and inventions that spawned companies which generated money and jobs, worldwide. While most authors focus primarily on American and European inventors, Keith Holmes introduces inventions, both past and present, that Black people, developed and patented globally and multiculturally.

Black Inventors, Crafting Over 200 Years of Success, also features early Black inventors from virtually every state in the US. It includes details about the first Black inventor who obtained a patent in both the Caribbean and the United States. To date, seventeen African American men have been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Two inventors, Jan E, Matzeliger, (Suriname) and Elijah McCoy, (Colchester, Canada) were not born in this country.

Recently, Dr. Patricia Bath, an African American woman, was nominated but not inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Providing a comprehensive view of their ground-breaking achievements, Mr. Holmes documents the creativity of Black women inventors from the African diaspora.

The material available in this book, one of the first to address the diversity of black inventors and their inventions from a global perspective, effectively gives the reader, researcher, librarian, student, and teacher the materials they need to understand that the Black inventor is not only a national phenomenon, but also a global giant.

ISBN-13: 978-0-9799573-0-7, ISBN-10: 097-9957303, Description:179p; Maps:21 cm Retail price: $15.00 USD.

Keith Holmes’ research has now identified over fifteen thousand inventions and trademarks attributed to inventors of color, spanning a period from 1769 – 2011. His first publication Black Inventors, Crafting Over 200 Years of Success can be purchased directly online at www.globalblackinventor.com or from a number of book distributors and bookstores. Mr. Holmes is available for book signings and speaking engagements.

Photo Caption: Book Cover

Six districts selected for School Technology Revolving Loan Program

Posted by Admin On January - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 ISBE names local districts to benefit from low-interest loans to boost technology in schools

 

Springfield, IL — The Illinois State Board of Education selected six school districts from across Illinois to receive a combined $618,000 from the School Technology Revolving Loan Program (STRLP). The low-interest loans allow schools to use technology for classroom instruction and staff development.

“It’s essential students keep up with technological advances so they can succeed in a high-tech tomorrow,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “These low interest loans provide another option for cash strapped districts so that they can provide the resources necessary to prepare students to succeed in college and careers.”

The districts receiving the loans and the amounts, which total $618,000, are:

·         Lexington Community Unit School District 7, $74,950

·         Irvington Community Consolidated School District 11, $15,000

·         New Berlin Community Unit School District 16, $110,050

·         Elmwood Community Unit School District 322, $91,300

·         Wolf Branch School District 113, $105,000

·         Community Unit School District 300, $221,700

The School Technology Revolving Loan Program is a 3-year loan with a 2 percent interest rate. Districts repay the loan in six payments (due on June 1 and Dec. 1 of each year). Districts that meet criteria set in law are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. A formula dictates the maximum amount districts can receive based on enrollment. Some districts request less.

This year’s loan applicants listed plans such as purchasing projectors, interactive white boards, laptops; creating iPad labs; training staff for using technology in the classroom; upgrades to computer networks and wireless coverage; and more.

The loans can be used for a variety of technology investments, including:

·         Equipment and wiring for installing and upgrading local- and wide-area networks and for network hardware.

·         Supplies and labor costs for electrical work directly related to technology.

·         Computer hardware used for classroom instruction and/or staff development.

·         Other technology hardware investments that directly relate to staff development and classroom instruction.

·         Staff development directly related to the integration of technology into the learning environment.

·         Computer furniture (not to exceed 10 percent of the loan).

Since the inception of the program in fiscal year 1999, more than $75 million has been loaned to qualified school districts. A total of 530 loans have gone to districts so far, not including FY12. Loan applications are received from June 1 to Dec. 1 every year.

In FY 2011 districts, charter schools, lab schools, area vocational centers and recognized nonpublic high schools were eligible to apply. In FY 2012, the loan was extended to qualifying districts serving grades K-8. The loan will continue to cycle in that manner.

For more information, visit http://www.isbe.net/curriculum/elearning/html/revolving_loan.htm.

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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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