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Archive for February 22nd, 2012

Illinois Republican Party: Quinn Budget Address, what will we hear today?

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

(From the Illinois Republican Party) 

 

Today, Governor Quinn will tell the people of Illinois that despite a record 66% income tax increase that has caused Illinois’ unemployment rate to skyrocket while our neighbors’ fall, Springfield still cannot live within its means.

Below is a list of six questions the Illinois Republican Party hopes will be answered by Governor Quinn’s budget address.

1.)  Will Governor Quinn deal with the projected $500 million deficit by making actual cuts or will he propose more borrowing and/or budget gimmicks?  How will he put Illinois on a sustainable path so we do not face even larger deficits in the future? 

·      The non-partisan Civic Federation projects the state’s annual deficit to hit $3.7 billion by FY2016.[1] 

·      Illinois has the worst credit rating of all 50 states.[2]

2.)  Will Governor Quinn call for the repeal of the job-killing 66% tax hike, or at least a commit to allow it to expire on schedule?

 ·      Today, nearly 1 in 10 are out of work in Illinois (9.8%).[3]

·      Illinois was one of only four states to see its unemployment rate rise between January, 2011 and December, 2011.  Every neighboring state saw its unemployment rate decrease.[4]

State                    2011 unemployment rate change

Missouri                                    -1.5%

Kentucky                                   -1.3%

Iowa                                           -.5%

Wisconsin                                  -.3%

Indiana                                      -.1%

Illinois                                        +.8%

·      Doug Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar, one of Illinois’ largest employers, recently stressed that allowing the tax increase to expire as scheduled is important to making Illinois more business friendly.

3.)  Will Governor Quinn call out President Obama for worsening Illinois’ Medicaid budget problems?

·      The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services expects Medicaid costs to rise by more than 40% in the next five years, to $12.1 billion in FY2017.[5]

·      Due to Obamacare, starting in 2014, new Medicaid enrollees will add an estimated $136.2 million to $224.7 million a year to Illinois’ Medicaid costs.[6]

·      The Obama administration has blocked reforms to require potential Medicaid enrollees to prove their residency and income for over a year.[7]

4.)  Will Governor Quinn present a credible plan to pay down Illinois’ massive backlog of unpaid bills that doesn’t involve raising taxes or piling on more debt?

·      According to the Comptroller’s office, Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills has grown to approximately $8.5 billion.[8]

·      The non-partisan Civic Federation estimates the backlog will grow to $34.8 billion by FY2017.[9]

5.)  Will Governor Quinn push for pension reform that does not simply shift the burden to local governments and property taxpayers?  Will he stand up to his union backers and support a plan to reduce state pension contributions, increase employee contributions, or both?

·      Illinois state pensions are only 43.3% funded, with a total unfunded liability of $83.1 billion.[10]

·      According to the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget budgetary projections, in FY2013 public pensions will cost Illinois taxpayers $6.8 billion, with $1.5 billion simply for servicing old debt.[11]

6.)  Will Governor Quinn commit to hold the line on union pay and benefit increases in the new contract?

·      Illinois’ current contract largest union representing state employees, Council 31 of AFSCME, expires at the end of FY2012.

·      AFSCME contributed $450,000 to Governor Quinn’s re-election campaign in 2010.[12]


[1] State of Illinois FY2013 Budget Roadmap, Civic Federation, January 30, 2011, page 38

[2] Illinois has nation’s worst credit rating, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 10, 2012

[4] Wrong Way, Illinois, Illinois Policy Institute, January 26, 2012

[5] State of Illinois FY2013 Budget Roadmap, Civic Federation, January 30, 2011, page 18

[6] State of Illinois FY2013 Budget Roadmap, Civic Federation, January 30, 2011, page 21

[8] BACKLOG PERSISTS DESPITE NEW REVENUE, Illinois State Comptroller’s Quarterly, January 2012

[9] State of Illinois FY2013 Budget Roadmap, Civic Federation, January 30, 2011, page 39

[10] State of Illinois FY2013 Budget Roadmap, Civic Federation, January 30, 2011, page 22

[11]State of Illinois FY2013 Budget Roadmap, Civic Federation, January 30, 2011, page 22

[12] Illinois Board of Elections

Quinn announces closures – Tamms critics close ranks

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 Letters to Editor

 

Controversial and notorious Supermax also inefficient and wasteful
 

CHICAGO, IL – The Quinn administration added suspense to what is shaping up to be the budget address of the century. In addition to announcing cuts in Medicaid payments, pension reform, and an overall budget reduction of nine per cent, Governor Quinn has indicated that he will propose the closing of Tamms supermax. Multiple sources have confirmed that the controversial prison – arguably the most expensive in the state and long the subject of scathing reports by human rights monitors – may soon be shuttered. 
 
At a yearly cost of approximately $36 million, and a per capita cost of approximately $90,000 (as determined in a 2009 exposé by the Belleville News Democrat), Tamms supermax is easily the most expensive adult prison per capita in Illinois. It is easy to see why. With a prisoner to guard ratio of 1.4 to 1, (compared to 4.7 to 1 at the maximum security prison Menard), and a mental health worker to prisoner ratio of 1 to 35 (compared to 1 to 1,765 at Menard), the prisoners at Tamms would appear to be the most pampered in the state. But in fact, as reform advocates, human right monitors, investigative reporters and a federal judge have revealed, the supermax subjects prisoners to sensory deprivation, and induces mental illness.
 
Men at Tamms are held in solitary confinement 24 hours per day for years at a stretch, and sometimes a decade or more. They receive at most an hour a day of isolated exercise in a small, concrete yard. Cell doors are made of solid steel, perforated with small holes, making communication difficult if not impossible. The cells are designed so that each faces a bare concrete wall, and all meals are delivered through a hole in the door.
 
The consequences of this regime of isolation are predictable and well documented: extreme stress, often leading to serious mental illness. Men at Tamms are known to attempt suicide, cut themselves, scream endlessly, smear feces on cell walls, and enter into deep and prolonged depressions. Prisoners released from Tamms – often without any transition services – have a difficult time adapting to life in their communities and are at an increased risk of recidivism.
 
News of the planned closure was welcomed by the grassroots coalition Tamms Year Ten, which has been advocating reform since 2008, the tenth anniversary of the opening of the prison.
 
“From the day it opened, Tamms was a financial boondoggle and a human rights catastrophe,” said Laurie Jo Reynolds, lead organizer of the coalition. “The practice of long-term solitary confinement was shunned until the 1980s. Then Illinois fell for a foolish national trend and built a vengeful and wasteful prison we didn’t need.”
 
“It is unbearable for the men and unbearable for their families. Our sons live in concrete tombs. They can’t even have contact visits. That is the hardest part.” said Grace Warren, whose son is in Tamms and was sentenced to life without parole as a 17 year-old. “This prison represents about 3000 years of combined suffering and enough is enough.”
 
Attorney Jean Snyder, who settled the lawsuit in 2002 that brought better mental health treatment to certain prisoners at Tamms, stated, “This is clearly the most logical place to make cuts. Tamms houses less than 200 men, and they can all be safely, more cheaply, and more humanely housed in regular, maximum security facilities.”
 
Opened in 1998, Tamms supermax was dogged by problems from the start. Built on swampy terrain, the foundation shifted, and the project went over-budget opening years late. But correctional failings quickly exceeded any construction flaws. Though the executive task force that recommended building the prison warned that “the supermax facility be required by statute to conform to… humanitarian safeguards” and not become a warehouse, prisoners have been held in cold storage for as long as 14 years. For this reason, human rights monitors, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have condemned the prison and requested official visits.
 
And problems at Tamms continued to mount. Though the task force also insisted upon clear standards for transfer to and from the supermax, IDOC officials instead relied upon vague criteria. A lawsuit initiated in 2000 was finally concluded in 2009 with a ruling that men at Tamms were entitled to, and had not received, due process in their transfers to Tamms. Required by a court settlement to start a mental health facility at the prison, Tamms staff rotated mentally ill prisoners in and out of the Special Treatment Unit, undercutting therapeutic progress. Even the IDOC’s own carefully constructed 10-Point Plan for reform, announced with fanfare in 2009, remains unimplemented.
 
One question is what downstaters will do without this economic boost at the tip of Southern Illinois. Reynolds said, “Downstaters need sustainable economic development, but the state doesn’t need Tamms.”

"Obama, Abortion and the Conscious"

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
Conscience- The ultimate prize 
 
By Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress, Jr.

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The call which came from President Barack Obama to Bishop Timothy Nolan, on or near the eve of Roe Vs Wade, expresses the relentless efforts of his administration to diminish and destroy the Constitution and rid of us on any dependence on faith and religion. Though used as a ploy to calm the fears of Obama Care, and the obvious mandate from the abortion industry to implement legislation which will provide taxpayer-paid abortions for all, it appears the ruse is over and the dragon has raised its ugly head. Of conscience the Webster’s Dictionary says:

“The sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good. The awareness of a moral or ethical aspect to one’s conduct together with the urge to prefer right over wrong.”

The Obama mandate requiring contraceptives and abortion services is offered by all agencies even religious organizations who oppose the practice is just an incremental step towards the real target. Physicians who have refused to do abortions!

Though once having promised there would be a conscience clause exemption, Barack Obama has now declared there will be no conscience exemption for anyone. Soon, doctors who claim their faith and religious beliefs do not permit them to dismember and kill babies in the womb, this policy is saying essentially, “if you are going to practice medicine, you are going to kill babies, or else.” Mr. Obama has demanded violation of the core element of the soul guiding our perception of right and wrong, an element of the soul which is the gift of God Himself, and if adhered to, keeps us in fellowship with the Creator… Conscience. Conscience is the first rule of law, and without robbing us of it, the president cannot alter and transform this nation into the socialistic society his ideology requires.

The Rev. Martin Luther King called for a people of conscience to rise up and address the social ills of his day. In his last Sunday sermon Dr. King said:

“Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right?”

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe… nor politic… nor popular… but one must take it because conscience tells him… it is right. Dr. King saw the necessity of conscience, that those who exercised it would rid the world of injustice and understood conscience is the cornerstone of the interpretation of moral goodness and what is ethical. Yet Obama demands this cornerstone be removed proclaiming the state will decide your morals; the state will tell you what is right, and the state will tell you what’s wrong, even if it means mutilating babies while still in their mother’s womb… You will obey the state!

Well, America, as you can now clearly see, this is his idea of “a more perfect union”. A union where your conscience is regulated by government and you are reduced to willing pawns in the hands of demagogues with no regard for you or the God we pray to, sing to in our anthems – the God we continually invoke to bless us.

Ironically, in a speech Obama recently gave, he mentions the struggle against slavery stating:

“And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part – through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk – to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.”

What the president omitted mentioning was these changes weren’t concocted by the state, weren’t enacted by Congress, and weren’t sorted out by the Supreme Court. In fact, the status quo politics of the time were always late to the game. It was men and women of conscience who demanded the wrongs be righted, that slavery be abolished, that the self-evident truths be held forth for the whole world to see. They were deeply religious men and women whose ethics were molded and sharpened by the Chief Cornerstone of Truth, the Word of God, and their faith in Christ. There was Harriet Tubman and her Underground Railroad; Sarah Parker Remond, Physician, Lecturer and Abolitionist; Sojourner Truth, Abolitionist and advocate for Women’s Rights a century before NOW who said, “The Spirit calls me, and I must go.” There was John Brown, who sought to free and arm slaves via a failed insurrection and was hung for it; Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave who was self-educated, an orator, author, and statesman; and in England, William Wilberforce, who in the later quarter of the 18th century waged a parliamentary campaign against the slave trade for 26 years until is was passed into law in 1807. And let us not forget in our own time, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who worked tirelessly to end segregation and whose life was ended with an assassin’s bullet. Each were people of faith. Each were people of conscience, which demanded of them, they risk their very lives to bring about social justice, thus effecting change in their generations.

If there was any question before, it now appears the line is being drawn in the sand for many of our clergy who are waking up and finding out they have been supporting a regime which is in direct opposition to their values and call to ministry to preach the Gospel. It’s high time we arise from our drunken stupor and defend the truth that set us free from our own iniquity – abolished slavery and segregation – and continues to be our only hope for social justice. Its time to stand up, Christian… it’s time to stand up.

I end with this quote from Albert Einstein who said, “Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it!”

Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress, Jr. is the founder of www.BlackGenocide.org – a website designed to reach the Afro-American community with the truth about abortion.

 

Cook County State’s Attorney to hold Art Exhibit during Victim’s Rights Week

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office is inviting local art school students and local artists to submit works of art for an exhibit during Victims’ Rights Week, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Works of art must be original and must embody this year’s Victims’ Right Week theme, “Extending the Vision – Reaching Every Victim.”  A panel of experts and community members will view submissions for appropriateness for public display and interpretation of theme.  Selected submissions will be on display in the lobby of the Richard J. Daley Center in downtown Chicago and also at the State’s Attorney’s four Community Justice Centers during normal business hours during Victims’ Rights Week, which is April 22-28.

A photo of the original art piece, along with a completed application, should be submitted no later than March 26, 2012.  It is preferable that photos and applications be sent via email to saogrants@cookcountyil.gov or dropped off at one of the four Community Justice Centers.

For the addresses of the State’s Attorney’s Community Justice Centers, an application and more information on the art display, please visit the Cook County State’s Attorney’s website, www.statesattorney.org and click on the Victims’ Rights Week art display logo.

Father Pfleger warns about goats and sheep in the church

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

Reveals he monitors members’ Facebook

 

By Chinta Strausberg

 

Asking his members to turn to Psalms 23rd and to repeat “I got a shepherd,” Father Michael L. Pfleger said one of the great “blessed assurances” of being a child of God is to know what ever “hell is going on in your life, God takes care of his babies” regardless of the storms in your life but he also warned of goats and sheep that are in the church.

“You have a covering over you,” he said. “God’s covering unlike man’s or woman’s covering is unwavering. I’m glad that God doesn’t have mood changes…. God takes care of his children.” God, he said, “once again” will take care of you and that He is so faithful. There is so much invested in us by God.

“When God created us, he put all of this talent, and his gift and potential inside of us and then when we were reborn again, we became a walking, living, breathing tabernacle. We became an ark of the covenant because God’s presence lives inside of us and because God has so much invested in us, he refuses to let the enemies plots, plans or schemes take me out,” he said.

“You got to know no matter what the devil tries, no matter how hard he tries, no matter or high he comes at you, he cannot take you out because there is a covering around you,” said Pfleger. He had the church to repeat, “I am in a protective custody and the devil can’t take me out. He’s keeping me.”

Referring to Psalms 23rd and how David was running for his life because Saul is trying to kill him, Pfleger said, “Jealousy makes people do crazy stuff,” said Pfleger. “Don’t try to play yourself small. Nelson Mandela said one of the worse things you can do is to play ourselves small or insignificant. God made you like this.”

“When you are running in situations and circumstances in your life, one of the things you have to hold on to get you through the hell and the high waters of your life is the understanding while you are I the midst of a trial, in the midst of a situation, people may be trying to kill me, destroy me, the devil may be trying to take me out, but you got to understand that you are still in a relationship” with God. “God is my shepherd and I am His sheep….”

Pfleger cites the beginning of Psalms 23rd where it says, “I’m the Lord.” “He’s the Lord and if you understand that you are in a relationship with the Lord, He will take care of you.” “I know you may have Allstate but he’s the real good hands because God takes care of his sheep.”

“When you begin to understand that I am the beneficiary of the Lord, when you begin to understand that you are under the care and relationship with the Lord, that will make you shout all by yourself. You can wake up in the morning and something say ‘the Lord’ and get happy all by yourself in your room,” he stated.

“As you grow and mature in life, you go through enough stuff. As a child, you hear about the Lord” from different family members but when you grow up and have your own personal experiences, you thank those who taught you about God and he becomes personal.

“The Lord is now my shepherd, my strength, my joy, my hope. It’s very personal with me.” “The Lord is my shepherd.” “He’s everything I need.” “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not. I do not. I will not want. I’ve got everything I need.” “You can take everything else away from me, but you cannot take my relationship away…and as long as the Lord is my shepherd if the shepherd is the one who gave it to me the first time, if you take it, he can give it back better than the first time….

“When everything is intact in your life, that’s easy to say, but I’m talking about when you’re in foreclosure. I’m talking about when the doctor says you are sick. I’m talking about when you lose your car and you are standing on a bus stop when you can then in the middle of the night scream out ‘the Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.

“That is when you loosen the faith and let God say ‘now show yourself strong. Show the good shepherd you are, show what you can do. I’m declaring it when everything is falling apart. He is still my shepherd.”

Sheep are different from goats,” said Pfleger. “Goats will eat whatever…any old thing. Sheep like to graze on green pastures.

“There are two kinds of people in church. There are sheep and there are goats. Goats have an appetite for anything; in fact, goats have an appetite for mess. They go looking for mess. Don’t blow your cover. Look straight ahead,” he told the church.

“A gossiper can join the church and within five-weeks find another gossiper to hook up with.” He said the same thing is true for liar. “They have an appetite for mess.

“Goats hang around trash, eat trash, talk trash, love trash,” said Pfleger.  To the youth, he said, “You can go to somebody’s Facebook page and find out if they are a goat or a sheep. Adults, you can go to somebody’s Facebook page” and do he same.

Pfleger said every week he looks at three or four of his members Facebook page. “Boy, have I seen some stuff. I said oh, no, that couldn’t be my member. They’re in YAM’s (The Youth Ministry). They are in Future Leaders. They are in the choir. They are in the Spirit of David’s…. Don’t blow your cover. Look straight ahead,” Pfleger said to the church moaning and singing “Lord, I love the Lord. He heard my cry.”

“I found that in Facebook you can really find out what people are up to,” Pfleger said. There are two kinds of people in church, goats and sheep, which are…,” he said stopping short of asking which one are you.

“I’m here because I’m looking for some green pastures. God has a strategy for our success. That’s why it doesn’t make sense for you to try and figure out your own life. You’re jacked up enough…. God says, “I know that if my sheep don’t eat the right stuff and if they don’t lie down and digest it, they won’t be able to produce the wool that makes them valuable.

“This is the year about the fig tree and producing fruit. It’s time for the church to become productive. It’s time for the church to stop being parasites in the world and start being productive. We’ve got to produce and God knows what we eat and the digestion of it allows us to produce the best of ourselves.

“Our production is in direct relationship to what we eat and how much we digest and meditate on it day and night,: said Pfleger. You have to be careful what you eat.

“Stop eating negativity. Stop eating doubt. Stop eating people around you who are saying stuff you are eating and digesting and planting seeds in you. Watch what you eat. Then when you eat, you have to meditate on the word…. God says you have to sit down and chill out sometimes….

“Sometimes you need to chill out, sit down, shut up and listen. Sit down and mediate on it so it gets in you instead of just coming out like the seed is planted on the shallow ground. I need to get this seed planted and rooted so it will produce something inside of you.”

“Sometimes in your life, God will sit you down,” said Pfleger. “You may not want to, but he knows how to sit you down. Sometimes God will sit you down to let you get to the maturity of understanding. He really knows what he is doing. Sometimes we start to second-guess and question God but God likes to pull us aside and say, ‘Hold on. I’ve been God for a long time. I’ve been God longer than you’re crazy and I’m good at this thing.’

“God says he is being good at being God. Sometimes God will sit you down to let you know that I am God and I’m good at it. I know what I’m doing. God has a strategy for your life and for your success. Just chill out and get the strategy….”

Referring to Psalms 23rd when it says “He leads me by still waters.” Pfleger said, “God knows that Sheep won’t drink from running water because sheep are afraid of water. Sheep have a fear of water because they recognize they have not been design to swim. Sheep have short legs and a whole lot of wool and if that wool gets wet, the sheep can flip upside down and drown. Sheep were not made to swim; so they are afraid of running water and running streams; so he said I’ll make you by still waters.”

Pfleger made it clear. “God knows the limitations and liabilities of his sheep. God knows what you can handle and what you cannot handle. God know what will make you and what will break you. You have to understand that God knows you. Stop being afraid. He’s allowed you to go through something so come out of there. God knows you…your limitations and what you can handle. Trust him,” bellowed Pfleger. “God’s got you. Chill out. God’s got you.”

Going back to Psalms 23rd, Pfleger said, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” “It gets rough here. We don’t like that. Nobody shouts about a valley and I get that…. Is there another way around it”? “Sometimes God will say there is not another way around this. You got to go through the valley because sometimes the valley is necessary for your destiny…to get you to the place of your destiny.”

Pfleger said at times the valley is difficult, painful and full of enemies but “there is a reason to get you to the valley.” He said the best grass and the purest water is located in the valley. “God says I got get you to go through the pure water and I got to get you to the best grass because around the corner there is something else waiting on you. I got to get the kind of stuff into you that will strengthen and fortify you and make you strong so when the thing ahead of you comes at you, you won’t be afraid because you got what you needed in the valley in order to handle what’s ahead of you,” he said.

Pfleger said for those who say they don’t know how to pray, “when you’re down and out and laying out on the ground, you will learn how to pray, how to lift your hands. You will say, ‘Oh, Jesus, help me please.’ Some of us here learned how to pray in the valley” rather than in the church, he said.

“There are a lot of people in church I call saucer people. The saucer is what catches the overflow from the cup. They don’t want to set an atmosphere for worship. They just want to sit there and get the overflow of the person next to them. So, you go on and pray. I’ll just be your saucer and catch your overflow….” “You better not be a saucer. You better learn how to be your own cup.”

Pfleger said he wants them to be built up strong. “The world in which we live in today ain’t no joke. The devil ain’t playing around with you. The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy. The devil has never been more aggressive. The devil has never been more strong. The devil has never had a bigger army out here. The devil has been recruiting and has a huge army out there. He sends his army around you at your jobs, in your home…. We can’t play right now.

“We have to have the kind of fight that can walk up in hell and say, ‘I’m not afraid of you.’ I’ve been built up by the grass. I’ve been eating the right Word… He’s quenched my thirst. I’m not playing with you. Understand, I’ve got something in me so strong that you can’t touch me. You can’t hold me. You can’t find me. You can’t control me,” he bellowed.

“The army we’re in right now has no time for weak links,” Pfleger warned.

To every ministry in his church, Pfleger said, “There is no time for weak links. The devil has set up folk in stuff to destroy stuff, and if you are not connected….” He said you have to be strong and say, “Get behind me devil. We’re too strong. Ministries, you ought to be praying a covering over your ministry…that somebody can’t come in planted by the enemy.” He said they must pray to prevent the devil from infiltrating the ministries. He reminded them that they “are the body of Christ.”

 Like the police who have new helmets in preparation for the G8 meeting, Pfleger said, “It’s time for the church to get a new helmet of salvation. It’s time for the church to tighten the belt of truth. Just like they’re told that they are going to tear up the city, they’re going to attack the church because if they” need to be covered by the spiritual covering of the word…. It’s time for the church to start eating the right grass, drinking the right water.

“I’m going to be built up so strong that I don’t have to be afraid anywhere, anyplace, anytime. I build myself up. I’m ready for this fight. You got to be so prayed up and strengthen up you have to be ready for this fight.

“I don’t mind going through the valley,” Pfleger said saying the valley teaches you. Going back to Psalms 23rd where it says “I will take you through the shadow of death, “Pfleger said, “A shadow of a dog has never bitten nobody. A shadow of a snake has never stung nobody….

“A shadow ain’t nothing but a shadow. The devil wants to make you think things are real that ain’t real…and you get scared, intimidate by a shadow. You have to learn how to stand up on the boardroom of your life and say, ‘this ain’t nothing but a shadow…” and to tell the devil “he’s a loser.’ “Stop being afraid of shadows,” he bellowed.

Referring to Psalms 23rd when it says “I ain’t afraid because he’s with me with his rod and his staff.  A rod is both for the sheep and for the wolves because sometimes you may know some sheep that get a little bit beside themselves…some say start to smell themselves…. You know some sheep you say, ‘I’m good. I’m smart. I’m degreed. I got a job. They start to get a little beside themselves.

“Anybody ever been some sheep who got beside themselves”?

Pfleger called Rickey Harris and used him as an example. Pfleger nudged him with his rod. He asked if they received the word “and got spanked by the word. Has the word ever convicted you, made you repent…. The rod is for the sheep when they get a little off track, a little nudge. The rod is also for the devil and the wolves.”

“When the enemies come to close,” Pfleger said the rod is used to protect the sheep. He also has a staff with a hook. “Sometimes sheep just lose their minds and go off. When the sheep go off and do crazy stuff…getting high…getting so drunk they don’t now who they are. I’m talking about sheep out there with friends with benefits. You want me to go closer? I can call names. I’m talking about when you’re tipping and dipping and sipping and tripping….”

Pfleger said, “The shepherd would put oil on the head of the sheep so as to identify them as being from that sheep foul…. The sheep would understand I can’t buck heads with you. We’re in the same sheepfold. Oil was for identification and irritation.

The Sheep were tremendously bothered by flies forcing them to leave the house at times. Pfleger said, “That is why you have to stay walking in your anointing. Don’t step out because as long as you are in your purposes, as long as you are in your destiny…in your anointing, the flies can come around you but they can’t get at you because you’re protected by the oil.”

“Some of us are tired out from dealing with flies. You have no energy left for your destiny because you’re worn out by he flies.”

Going back to Psalms 23rd, it says ‘surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” Pfleger said, “Goodness is running after you.” He knows that because he had good things happened to him that didn’t make sense. “It was goodness running after me…keep on blessing me.”

“Mercy stepped in and covered you…running after you when you were running crazy.” He asked them to repeat: “I’m here only because of mercy….

The reason the devil can’t take you out, take me out is because I have two stalkers. One is called goodness and the other is mercy. No matter where I go, they’re following me….. Thank you God for my stalkers.

“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for the rest of my days,” Pfleger read from Psalm 23rd.

Pfleger said he recently went to a funeral of John Travis’ father who was 92 years old. “My dad was 96. Whitney Houston was 48. My son was 17. It makes no difference if you’re 92 or if you are 48. It makes no difference if you are world-known like Whitney or an unknown like my dad. It makes no difference what you achieve or what you claim in your life.

“At the end of our days, we will all stand before the Almighty God…before the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, that is why it was so good that they went to he church yesterday to remind us no matter what you have done in the world, sooner or later you’ve got to come back to Jesus and stand before Jesus,” he bellowed. “Because he is my shepherd, one day I will walk the streets of gold…. One day I will sit at the table prepared for me before the beginning of time.

“My daddy can’t come back to me, but one day I can go back to him and be with my daddy, my mother, my sister and my son. One day I will be with the 24 elders bowing down and taking their crowns and sitting them down. One day, I will join with the angels who are singing holy, holy…. One day because he’s my shepherd. We shall behold him…. He is my shepherd, one day I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever and ever.”

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.

Dyslexia Association looking for proposals for its 2012 Annual Fall Conference

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
The Illinois Branch of The International Dyslexia Association is asking for proposals for sessions at its 2012 conference. This year’s conference will be held October 11 & 12, 2012 at the Midwest Conference Center in Northlake, Illinois.

The form is available on their website, www.readibida.org for download or click here to be taken directly to the form. Topics submitted should be on the subject of dyslexia and related disorders that are either theoretical or applied (practical). Issues from educational, psychosocial and medical areas are welcome. The conference committee reviewers reserve the right to group some of the presentations for panel presentations. Deadline for submissions is March 25, 2012.

“Dyslexia: Challenge & Promise”, 2012 Annual Fall Conference, will be held October 11 & 12, 2012, at the Midwest Conference Center, Northlake, Illinois.

 

Defend the Vote to testify about election security in Illinois

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2012 1 COMMENT
 

 (A Message from Defend the Vote)

 

What is the security of your vote?
How does the Illinois State Board of Elections regard election security?
Election Security matters in Illinois!

The Illinois State Board of Elections invites Defend the Vote to speak
Defend The Vote invites you to join us to speak, question and listen!
Come learn more about election security in Illinois!

Defend the Vote will be meeting at the Illinois State Board of Elections in Chicago and in Springfield to discuss election reform in Illinois.

Event Date: Today, Wednesday, February 22, 2012 11am – 5pm
Location: Illinois State Board of Elections meetings are conducted in Chicago and Springfield at the same time. The Board uses video broadcasting to connect the two locations.
Event Date: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 11am – 5pm
Chicago Office
100 W. Randolph,9th floor ROOM 040
Chicago, IL 60601 312-814-6440
Springfield Office
2329 S. MacArthur Blvd.
Springfield, IL 62704 Phone: 217-782-4141
Does the Illinois State Board of Elections take ballot security seriously? Defend the Vote is sending out this call to voters across Illinois to join them on Wednesday to listen, to ask questions, and to speak about election integrity in Illinois.

  • Ask about ballot security in Chicago
  • Ask about the status of our voter registration rolls
  • Ask about Voter ID
  • Ask about Election Day security
  • Ask about the high cost and high risk of early voting
  • Ask about early voting protocols
  • Absentee voting in Illinois – What are the security protocols?
  • Ask what the Illinois State Board of Elections will do about the problems in Chicago elections

Tell the Board your election stories!

This is a Board meeting, plan to spend a couple of hours.  We will get together afterwards, too.

Do you have questions about election reform? Sign in to speak during the public session. We will record your statements to the Board!

Agenda: Illinois State Board of Elections Agenda 02-22-12 Agenda

 

 

 

 

MWRD on financial reporting award streak

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is on a winning streak for financial reporting excellence from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada.
The MWRD recently received four more awards from the GFOA for 2010 and 2011.
• For 27 consecutive years, the MWRD has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award;
• For 36 consecutive years, the MWRD has received the Certificate of Achievement of Excellent in Financial Reporting award–MWRD is in the top two percent of governments receiving a consecutive award in this category;
• The MWRD Retirement Fund received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 18 consecutive years.
• The MWRD Retiree Health Care Trust received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for four consecutive years.
In a letter from the GFOA Technical Services Center, Director Stephen J. Gauthier states that “The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.
Judging is conducted by an impartial panel and bestows honors based on an organization’s ability to clearly communicate its financial story while motivating potential users to read organizational financial reports.
“The MWRD strives to be a good steward of taxpayer funds while fully disclosing how our funds are spent,” said MWRD Executive Director David St. Pierre. “We are continually reviewing our processes to ensure that we maximize tax dollars, and we are proud to maintain our AAA Bond rating which leads to lower interest costs for the District. We are honored that our work is recognized internationally.”
The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, IL and Washington, D.C. Additional information about the award can be found at www.gfoa.org.
 

Sec'y of State Jesse White to host Celebration for African-American Heritage Month

Posted by Admin On February - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Grammy-Award Winning Artists Lupe Fiasco and Michelle Williams, Five Original Tuskegee Airmen, as well as Chicago Radio Legend Herb Kent, to be honored

 

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White will celebrate African-American Heritage Month February 23, 2012, at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph, Concourse Level, from Noon to 1 p.m.

The event will honor and celebrate the many contributions made by African-Americans in the city of Chicago and state of Illinois in recognition of African-American Heritage Month.

White will honor Hip Hop emcee Lupe Fiasco, Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, original Tuskegee Airmen from Chicago, radio legend Herb Kent, Chuck Colbert of The American Breed and jazz vocalist Dee Alexander during a celebration of African-American Heritage Month.

The event will feature musical performances by the Verzatile Band, violinist Lee England, Jr. and the Jesse White Drum Corps.

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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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