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Archive for October 22nd, 2012

I still believe in President Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change” for America and his agenda for moving “Forward” in a second term as President

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On October - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

By Juanita Bratcher

Editor & Publisher, CopyLine Magazine


In a 2008 interview, I was asked by one of three Caucasians conducting the interview who I thought would be the best choice for President of the United States in the upcoming Presidential Election. My response was Barack Obama then U.S. Senator from Illinois.

“Why Barack Obama?” I was asked.

“Because he’s a breath of fresh air; he brings a refreshing change on the issues, his overall agenda…unlike the other candidates who are all veteran politicians hashing out the same old rhetoric and agendas,” I responded.

At the time, Obama hadn’t been on the national scene for that long and wasn’t that well-known in Illinois politics before his tenure in the U.S. Senate. However, he made a positive splash as a speaker during the Democratic National Convention in 2004 which was heard by millions around the globe and thereby, gave him a standing presence on the national stage.

From my perspective, there was just something different about Barack Obama. He was not your regular run-of-the-mill politician – he had excellence in oratory and in expressing himself; and though a newcomer, he had an enlightening view on the issues with a strong message of change.

During the time of my aforementioned interview in 2008, I had been an Investigative News Reporter, Author & Publisher for 32 years, covering politics as well as a wide-range of other subjects for various newspapers, my radio and cable TV shows and my own CopyLine Magazine. I was a seasoned, veteran Journalist, you can say, who paid close attention to the most intricate of things. My mind had been trained for that…by me of course. I always wanted to be on top of things so I could factually pass on valid and factual information to the best of my ability to others so they could have enough information to form their own opinions about things.

In 2008, CopyLine Magazine endorsed Barack Obama for President. It was the first and only political endorsement the magazine had ever made. Nonetheless, CopyLine will make several endorsements in the upcoming November 6, 2012 General Election, not only for candidates running in Illinois but in some key races around the country.

As a connoisseur of politics and one that keeps a proverbial eye on happenings and is very attentive to the political arena, I have watched Obama and his administration policies on a daily basis as with happenings in Congress. I, like many other political junkies, have a general idea of what is taking place politically in this country. And it would be hard-pressed for the wool to be pulled over our eyes in the way of deceit, lies and distortions by some who prey on the uninformed – those who are not interested in politics or don’t steadfastly keep up with what is happening in the political arena news wise.

Some have nitpicked and said very disparaging things about the President – there are the Birthers – Businessman Donald Trump at the head of the list – and word usage in describing the President as a socialist, un-American and a bunch of other crap…simply lies. When the 2012 presidential campaign got underway, I knew from the get go that Obama’s campaign had better prepare itself for a barrage of nasty attacks and mudslinging in the 2012 General Election. I also knew that the “spin doctors” would be “free and loose” with the truth. But I also hoped that voters would see it for what it really is and not be fooled by their lying shenanigans.

After observing a salvo of nasty ads and campaign rhetoric thrown at his Republican opposition in the Republican primary campaign – negative talk and negative ads – it was apparent that Mitt Romney would try the same tactics on the Obama Campaign in the General Election and that the campaign had better be prepared for a dirtier barrage of campaign rhetoric and a lot more mudslinging.

One could almost get a clear picture of what the Romney Campaign would set out to do to the Obama Campaign if they had followed the primary campaign Romney embarked on with his Republican opponents, most notably Newt Gingrich and Ron Santorum.

The negative salvos Mitt Romney’s campaign launched against fellow Republican presidential opponents Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were mild-mannered in comparison to their waging attack campaign against President Barack Obama.

The nasty slurs began quickly and, certainly the rhetoric is expected to get even far more blatant in the winding down days of the 2012 Presidential campaign now just 17 days away. In Obama’s 2008 run for the White House, Right Wing Conservatives tried to tie Barack Obama at the hip with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and former Weatherman William “Bill” Ayers. But in 2012 they have all but thrown everything at Obama, including the kitchen sink.

Talk Show Host Glenn Beck on his show accused the President of having a “deep-seated hatred for White people”, and Hank Williams, Jr., in an appearance on Fox & Friends, compared the President to Hitler – both are absolute lies. Obviously, it is a tactic to divide and conquer.

Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal asked his GOP colleagues in the House to pray for Obama’s death. There have been several mean-spirited words about the President. In the very near future, I will outline many of those remarks in an article – just keeping it real.

In an October 4, 2011 article in CopyLine Magazine, the Rev. Harold Bailey, President and Founder of Probation Challenge and Probation Challenge Newsmagazine, shared an interview he had with an author who asked for anonymity in regards to his feelings about Obama’s presidency. A reprint of the article was posted on www.copylinemagazine.com website.

“I’m quite old,” the author stated. ”I’ve seen so many presidents. Some were feared, some were hated, some were adored, some popular and some not. But all of them, without exception, were treated with the highest respect deserving the Office of the President of the United States. That is, until a black man won the right to occupy this office.

“For half of this country, he was ‘that one’. No matter how big and clear his victory was. No matter how smart he is. No matter how decent he is. No matter what a true patriot he is. No matter how optimistic and positive his vision for America was. All that didn’t matter; because at the end of the day, he was still Black.” 

He talked about the “ugliness” that took place after Obama was sworn-in to office.

“I expected that his winning the Presidency would bring out some ugliness, but it’s been far worse than I imagined. The racism coming from the Right is obviously clear and shameless…”

He ended his article with a profound declaration: “Sometimes, they make me feel ashamed to be a white man!!”

In a new book, “I Hope He Fails”, by Robert J. Walker, he theorizes that the election of Barack Obama as the first African American President of the United States of America has served as a catharsis for the resurgence of racism and hate groups in America and that these two entities are being fueled by the rightwing media – as he courageously takes on the biggest names in conservative talk radio and TV – going where even politicians and the mainstream media dare not go.

According to the press release by BlackNews.com, a Public Relations firm, the author wrote the book after seeing paraphernalia being sold on the Internet using the slogan, “I Hope He Fails,” referring to Rush Limbaugh’s statement made shortly after Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential Election to become the first African American elected President of the United States.

When asked what inspired him to write the book, the press release pointed out, Walker, who considers himself a working class educator stated: “I am not a politician or a media pundit. I am an educator, a working class teacher. I was not in the country during the 2008 election. I was in Ethiopia, Africa training teachers. I voted in the 2008 election by absentee ballot. When I returned to America, I was surprised and hurt by all the anger and false accusations hurled at the President by the conservative right. That is what inspired me to write this book. I wrote I Hope He Fails as a play on Rush Limbaugh’s words – to defuse his statement and as a trumpet call to awaken people of faith and goodwill who have fallen asleep after the 2008 election. If those of us who went to the polls in 2008 to elect President Obama, especially those of us in a minority group; whether religion, race, gender, or sexual preference, if we want to continue to have a voice in this government, we must recharge the zeal we had during the 2008 campaign. We must rally around the President and push back against those on the radical far right and Tea Party movement who want to take the country back to the 1950s when everything in America was, ‘for whites only.’ “

Those who are distorting, making negative and misstatements about the Obama Administration were at it before his win to the presidency and continue to do so.

In a previous article, I noted that almost on a daily basis, a pack of lies, innuendoes and half-truths are being told and circulated by various individuals about the Obama Administration’s policies on energy, foreign policy, health care, the economy and anything else they can put a slant on. These lies are being told with devious intent – to downright confuse and misinform some in the general public that don’t know or understand the truth and facts about what is really going on pertaining to the Obama Administration’s policies.

“These manufactured lies, half-truths and innuendoes about the Obama Administration’s policies make their round daily through the news media, cable TV and the Internet. The bottom line is that these devious messengers/villains deliberately manufacture lies and half-truths – knowing full-well what they’re doing, void of enough monitoring by the press (the mainstream media) to challenge, expose and take these lies on.

Many of these incendiary voices appeal to people’s frustration and hatred.

“These incendiary voices would lead people to believe that President Barack Obama is responsible for high gas prices at the pump when in reality gas prices are set by the price of crude oil. Further, crude oil is a worldwide commodity. It would probably be the same if a president other than Obama was sitting in the White House making decisions.

“Name calling and relentless criticism are not cures for the economy or anything else, and neither will get the job done.

“But it’s amazing how these incendiary voices relentlessly badger President Barack Obama and at the same time try to kill-off his agenda to bring stability to the economy.

Idiotic and insensitive words usually come from the mouths of mean-spirited and insensitive people. Who gives a crap about evil and mean-spirited people? There will always be mean-spirited and idiotic people in this world. That’s something they will have to deal with within themselves unless they say or do something that brings them in opposition with the confines of the law.

Early on in President Barack Obama’s Administration, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said that “the single most important thing (he) wants to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term President.”

McConnell was not alone in his effort to make Obama a one-term president, certainly there were many other Republicans in leadership positions that had the same idea – to try and browbeat President Obama out of office.

South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint said the Republican Party would make President Obama’s health care legislation “his waterloo.”

As stated in a previous CopyLine article: “Making Obama a one-term president is certainly their prerogative, no one is questioning that, but there are so many other priority issues that are being left on the back burner. Certainly, that energy can be used elsewhere like dealing with many of the pressing problems that are facing this country and in special need of attention – a lagging economy, a debt crisis years-down-the-road-long, an outcry for jobs, housing foreclosures. Those are issues that need to be dealt with – along with goals to move this country forward – creating jobs to put people back to work, and not of wrecking the country and running it in a ditch just to make Obama a one-term president.”

It’s better to move forward with President Barack Obama and his agenda for a second term rather than gamble on an etch-a-sketch candidate and flip-flopper trying to replace him that has had more etch-a-sketch moments than any presidential contender in American history; and has yet to release years of his income tax returns publicly.

Obama has shown great strength, resilience, character and intellect throughout the campaign. He has kept a cool head in spite of campaign attacks and false accusations by right wingers, Tea Partiers who not only disrespect him but also disrespect the Office of the Presidency.

 My prediction: Regardless of what the polls state,  Obama will win this election  on the basis of his consistent messages, his policies and agenda for America than an etch-a-sketch candidate who is out of touch with the American people and thinks that 47% of the American people are freeloaders.

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

New Report confirms dangerous conditions persist in Meat and Poultry Plants

Posted by Admin On October - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
Chicago and Minneapolis – A new report from a coalition of more than 50 Midwest human rights organizations confirms that dangerous conditions persist for food and worker safety in meat and poultry processing plants. The report summarizes in-depth interviews with meat and poultry workers in 6 focus groups in 5 sites across 2 states, Iowa and Minnesota.

“The title of the report, which comes directly from a worker’s comments, says it all. Modern meat and poultry processing simply goes beyond the capacity of human beings’ bodies,” said Barb Frey, Co-Convener of the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights (Midwest Coalition or Coalition). “It’s not good for food safety or worker safety, and it violates the basic human rights of workers.”

“Always Working Beyond the Capacity of Our Bodies: Meat and Poultry Processing Work Conditions and Human Rights in the Midwest” is a report based on in-depth focus group interviews with workers in rural Minnesota and Iowa communities. It documents a number of significant concerns about safety and other work conditions in meatpacking and poultry plants. Most notably, workers linked serious injuries to the rapid speed of the production line. Workers also described being exposed on a regular basis to dangerous chemicals on the factory floor. Finally workers reported facing discrimination and abuse from supervisors.

“Over the past decade and more, numerous reports have documented serious safety concerns in meat and poultry processing,” said Omaid Zabih of Nebraska Appleseed, a member organization of the Midwest Coalition. “This report – based on in-depth conversations with workers from 6 focus groups in 5 sites across 2 states – confirms that serious safety issues continue to be a problem for people who work in this industry.”

In its policy recommendations, the report notes that a current proposal by the USDA seeks to further increase line speed in poultry processing, threatening food and worker safety. The new rule would give inspectors only ⅓ of a second to inspect each bird for fecal contamination, bile, diseases, tumors, feathers, and other defects. The Coalition encourages community members to ask their members of Congress to stop the new USDA poultry rule (go to http://neappleseed.org/workers). 

See also this short summary of the report highlighting workers’ comments and descriptions.

The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights is a network of 56 organizations dedicated to promoting a strong regional voice on domestic and international human rights issues.

The National Black Church Initiative denounce Gallaudet University and the Washington Blade as “racist and religious bigots”

Posted by Admin On October - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

The Black Church stands with Christian Sister Angela McCaskill 


Washington, D.C.-The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a coalition of 34,000 African American churches spanning 15 denominations and representing 15.7 million African Americans denounce Gallaudet University and the Washington Blade for punishing Ms. Angela McCaskill who is African American for expressing her constitutional right on Question 6 whether to accept same sex marriage or not in the State of Maryland. Ms. McCaskill says that it conflicts with her Christian faith so she signed a petition to put it on the ballot which is her constitutional right as an American to do so. She also exercised her right as a Christian to oppose gay marriage and her employer Gallaudet University placed her on administrative leave. These actions that were taken against her are not only unconstitutional, but amounts to a witch hunt against those of us who dare to stand up for our faith. This is a form of religious McCarthyism – Nazism being applied especially to African Americans who are Christians as an intimidation tactic.

Rev. Anthony Evans, President of NBCI says, “I am ashamed, appalled and outraged that we have reached this level in society where you can no longer practice your religious beliefs because a small immoral community (gays) has successfully persuaded a vocal minority that opposing gay marriage is un-American. This type of witch hunt amounts to McCarthyism. I am happy to note however, that some, not all in the gay community have denounced Gallaudet University unconstitutional actions against Angela McCaskill. I want this Christian sister to know that the Black Church will stand up for her and we will get her job back and we will defeat gay marriage in Maryland. I am calling on the ACLU and the NAACP to file a human rights and a discrimination complaint against Gallaudet University. NBCI will launch demonstrations in front of the Washington Blade and Gallaudet University over the course of the next two weeks. Just for the record, the black church supported and marched with our hearing -impaired brothers and sisters during their self-determination demonstrations some fifteen years ago. Now they are persecuted us”

Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz announced Angela McCaskill’s was placed on leave in a statement Wednesday. Hurwitz says McCaskill for “participating in a legislative initiative that some feel is inappropriate” for someone in her position. Gallaudet is the nation’s leading university for the deaf and hard of hearing. McCaskill lives in Maryland, where voters will decide in November whether to approve a state law legalizing gay marriage. The referendum was placed on the ballot by opponents of same-sex unions. McCaskill’s signature on the petition was disclosed in July by the Washington Blade.

About NBCI

NBCI is a coalition of 34,000 African American churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI’s mission is to provide critical wellness information to all of its members, congregants, churches and the public. The National Black Church Initiative’s methodology is utilizing faith and sound health science. The National Black Church Initiative’s purpose is to partner with major organizations and officials whose main mission is to reduce racial disparities in the variety of areas cited above. NBCI offers faith-based, out-of-the-box and cutting edge solutions to stubborn economic and social issues. NBCI’s programs are governed by credible statistical analysis, science based strategies and techniques, and methods that work.

Lt. Gov. Simon to SIUE students: Affordability matters

Posted by Admin On October - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Lt. Governor calls for reforms to stabilize college costs 

EDWARDSVILLE, IL – While speaking about college affordability, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon said she vehemently disagrees with a nationwide survey sponsored and released this week by TIME Magazine and the Carnegie Foundation that shows 80 percent of adults believe higher education is not worth the cost.

Simon made her remarks while working alongside Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students in the dining hall. Her visit was part of a College Affordability Summit at SIUE Simon hosted to call on federal, state and higher education leaders to work together to make college more affordable for Illinois students.

“We cannot lose sight of our students who must work and borrow to bridge the gap between financial aid and rising college costs,” Simon said. “To keep our state competitive in the national and global economy, we need more students to complete college than ever before. The only way we can achieve that goal is if college is affordable. We must work together to rein in costs.”

Illinois ranks at the bottom of states when measuring the ability of low-income families to afford the net cost of an education at a public four-year institution in Illinois, and 46th in the net cost as a percent of income for middle-income families, according to the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

Data expected to be released by the College Board next week confirms that the cost of college has outpaced other goods and services for the past 30 years, even as family incomes have declined in the past decade. To pay the bills, students racked up an average of $26,682 in student loans in 2010, up 14.3 percent from three years earlier and more than double what they owed in 1995, according to a Pew Research Center report released in early October.

Teagan Smith, a sophomore studying communications, is one of many students at SIU Edwardsville and across the state who is patching together work study and scholarships to pay for tuition and school expenses. The third of ten children, Smith said her family relies on financial aid so higher education is affordable for her and her siblings.

“I would not be in college if it weren’t for work study and scholarships,” Smith said. “Scholarships help me pay for tuition and work study covers other expenses, so together college can be affordable.”

Simon is visiting all 12 public universities in Illinois this fall to hold College Affordability Summits with students and emphasize that higher education funding must be a higher priority for state, federal and school leaders. During her visit she outlined three ways stakeholders could work together to keep college affordable:

·       Consumer protections: Simon supports House Bill 5248, which would require all degree-granting institutions that operate in Illinois to publish online College Choice Reports. The reports would contain information such as net costs, average debt and completion rates in an easy-to-read and easy-to-find format. Unlike the federally proposed “shopping sheet” which provides cost information after a student applies to a school, the College Choice Report would be available to students online before they apply, to help them find a college or university that fits their needs and their budget.

·       Targeted assistance: To better use state resources, Simon wants to strengthen the Monetary Award Program and insure MAP grants promote college attendance and completion and reduce the achievement gap between low-income and higher-income students. MAP grants are currently awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students based on financial need, but state funding reaches only about half of eligible students. Simon currently serves on a MAP Eligibility Task Force that is evaluating ways to improve distributional equity and encourage timely degree completion. A report to the General Assembly is due January 1, 2013.

·       Tax credits for tuition payments: More than 9 million students and families are taking advantage of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, saving them up to $10,000 over four years of college. Simon supports making this federal tax credit permanent and preventing it from expiring at the end of this year.

“Cutting investments directly related to economic growth doesn’t make sense. We should work together on policies that prioritize education and employment, not shortchange Illinois students and quality employers,” Simon said.”Together we could stabilize the cost for public universities and community colleges, following tuition and fee increases that have outpaced inflation, family incomes and available aid over the past 20 years.” 

Eric Zarnikow, executive director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, cited recent MAP award activity as evidence that affordability should be a key issue for Illinois leaders. For every eligible student who received a MAP grant this school year, another was denied due to lack of state funds.

“MAP is one of the largest needs-based financial aid programs in the country. While approximately 150,000 students will receive an award this year, just as many will be left on the sidelines as a result of limited funding,” Zarnikow said.

“The higher education community looks forward to working with Lt. Governor Simon and state leaders to maintain and restore funding and support policies that will help more students graduate with a quality college education in a timely and cost-effective manner,” said George Reid, executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

SIU Edwardsville was the fifth of Simon’s affordability summits. She will visit the University of Illinois Springfield on Tuesday, October 23.



Protect your Mobile Device against new Malware

Posted by Admin On October - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 (A Message from the Better Business Bureau)



Chicago, IL – Consumers are familiar with malware that attacks their computers and understand the measures necessary to protect against it, but there is new malware that targets smartphones with Android operating systems. The Better Business Bureau is warning the owners of these devices about the need to take precautions.


Initial reports of these malware complaints came from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). There are two versions of the malware that hit the Android systems in different ways. Loozfon is similar to phishing emails that lure users with offers of prizes or fast cash. By opening the email, the link pushes the malware onto the device and enables it to steal the address book and its contents. The second FinFisher uses text messages or links to load the malware onto the phone. Once installed, FinFisher is able to control and monitor the mobile device, regardless of its location.  


“It is important to understand the different ways that malware can infiltrate a mobile device,” said Steve J. Bernas, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “By understanding how it works, consumers can better protect their phones and their sensitive information.”


The BBB advises that mobile device users follow these steps:

  • Understand how malware works. Be aware of the different ways that the malware passes into the Android operating system. Do not open emails or text messages that look questionable.
  • Do not open messages from unknown senders. Do not click on any links or reply to messages that are from a network or email that is not secure or trustworthy. Make sure to completely delete the message from your inbox.
  • Update your software. It is important to make sure that the applications are up to date so that they can better protect the phone. Run a full virus scan immediately on your phone if you click on any questionable links.
  • Be cautious with unknown servers. Be wary about connecting to unknown wireless servers. These could pass malware onto your device.

For more consumer tips, visit www.bbb.org


Early voting starts today!

Posted by Admin On October - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

(A Message from the ILGOP)


There are many close election races in Illinois this year so let’s make sure we get all of our supporters to vote!

Early Voting starts today (October 22, 2012) and ends Saturday, November 3.

Click HERE to find the Early Voting locations and hours of operation in your County – or City Election Commission, if you live in the City of Bloomington, Chicago, Danville, East St. Louis, Galesburg, Peoria, Rockford, or the parts of the City of Aurora that are NOT in DuPage County).

Bring a Photo ID. State law requires Early Voters to display valid photo identification to an election official before receiving a ballot to vote early. Valid forms of ID include: a current driver’s license, state-issued ID card, university/college ID or another government-issued ID with a photograph.

You can also Vote by Mail. Formerly known as Absentee Balloting, voting by mail is a convenient way to cast your ballot if you are unable to get to your polling place on Election Day or get to an Early Voting location. Under Illinois law, it is no longer necessary to provide a reason to request a Vote By Mail ballot, such as being out of town or being physically unable to go to the polls. Click HERE to download a Vote By Mail application. The last day to apply for a Vote By Mail ballot is Thursday, November 1, 2012.

Help Get Out The Vote!

Wondering why my cousin, Milton Lee Olive, III, chose to pay the ultimate price 47-years-ago today

Posted by Admin On October - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

By Chinta Strausberg 


It was 47-years ago today that my cousin, Milton Lee Olive III spotted a live grenade during a search and destroy mission in Vietnam and without hesitation placed it on his stomach allowing it to explode saving the lives of four of his comrades who were behind him.

For his act of bravery, Skipper, as my family called him, was the first African American to received the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. He was just an 18-year-old kid from Englewood raised by my paternal grandparents after Clara, his mother, died giving birth to him. Skipper was a breech baby.

To this day, no one in my family or any of the remaining survivors know why Skipper chose to pay the ultimate price, but what we do know is that Skipper had a love affair with America. He loved being a soldier and had already received a Purple Heart as a paratrooper.

Upon his death, President Lyndon B. Johnson posthumously awarded him with a Congressional Medal of Honor and a second Purple Heart.

Earlier this year, one of the survivors, retired Army Captain Jimmy Stanford e-mailed me a statement on honoring Skipper.  “As I approach my golden years, as some would say the twilight years, I sometimes wonder what and why I have been given the opportunity of growing old, of seeing my son and daughter grow up and prosper in life,” wrote Stanford.

“Seeing my grandchildren grow up, marry and provide me with great-grandchildren, seeing them grow. I say today as I say most every day, thanks, Skipper for giving me this opportunity.” Captain Stanford is the father of two children, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

But, then all four survivors were able to have children and grandchildren thanks to Skipper’s act of bravery. Lionell Hubbard from Texas City Texas, now deceased, had children, as did the late John Foster who lived in Florida. Sgt. Vince Yrineo had children, but I have not talked to him in a while. The last I heard he was in a nursing home. I met him in 2006. Skipper took his job and pledge to protect this nation seriously.

Skipper paid the ultimate price, his life, but in doing so he saved the lives of four of his comrades who were behind him. Of the four, only two are alive with one being in a nursing home in Washington State. Retired Captain Jimmy Stanford is alive and well and resides in Texas. We e-mail and call each other often and sometimes each other. Stanford candidly admits to once being a racist that is until Skipper saved his life.

As he once explained, hating blacks was the norm if you were white and grew up in Texas. It was part of his culture, but all that changed on October 22, 1965 when Skipper chose to save his life.

In a taped interview on May 30, 2010, Stanford said back in 1965 he was assigned to Skipper’s U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade in Phu Cuong, Republic of Vietnam.

“I had a young black soldier assigned” to his unit “by the name of Milton Olive. I did not know Milton Olive. I had only been there a few days. I had learned who the platoon sergeant was…and who the people were that caused a lot of problems, but the people in between I did not get to know them too well before we started our operations,” Stanford recalled.

Referring to that fateful day, Stanford said, “We were assigned a mission of clearing this area…. On that day, we had been operating in conjunction with the other platoons in the company.

“We were moving through the jungles and we had been ambushed for the third time that day, and this time Milton was about a foot and a half to my left…. We were lying on the ground. The grenade fell between Milton Olive and me. I was scared. I left. I was very scared probably more so than my rank called for me to be, but I’m lying there and I’m looking at the yellow writing on this grenade and Milton grabbed this grenade and put it under him….

“The last thing I remember hearing him say was, ‘Look out, lieutenant, grenade and the next thing I knew was the grenade was going off and he died in the blast saving my life,” said Stanford. “A lot of times people have asked me why did he do this. What type of person does this? But, these are questions I can’t answer. There are a lot of what ifs…. What would have happened if he had picked it up and tossed it aside of me?

“A lot of times I go sleepless at night,” said Stanford. “I think about this and it’s been on my mind for many years. I’m beginning to be an old man and I’m still thinking about this, and I still don’t have the answers for this.”

Referring to Memorial Day, Stanford said, “this is the day that we need to think about things such as this and the sacrifices made not only by Milton Olive but by many soldiers like him.

“We can have our barbecues and our picnics and things like that, but we still need to think about these people. Our freedom is not free. People like Milton Olive have given their life to ensure that we have a life of freedom and prosperity,” he stated.

Asked how did Skipper’s saving his life change him, Stanford said, “It has changed my life tremendously. You might say I was a pretty redneck up until this time. It caused me to stop and think. He gave me another chance of life to do something with it, and I think I’ve done the best that I can. I’ve enjoyed it, but I think about this daily. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about this young man.”

“I was very much a racist,” he admitted. “I guess it was the atmosphere in which I was raised in. This changed my life. It wasn’t an over night, complete 380-degrees, no. It was not that, but it began as an acceptance and from there it evolved to 480 degrees. It took many years to undue what I had been taught as a youngster,” Stanford admitted.

Today, Stanford says he thanks God every day he wakes up but admits he doesn’t know why Skipper sacrificed his life for his friends.

Well, my family doesn’t understand why Skipper did what he did either, but as a teenager who was born in Chicago, we are proud of this Englewood war hero who was born on November 7, 1946 to Milton B. and Clara Olive. My dad’s parents, Jacob Augustus and Zylphia Wareagle Spencer, raised Skipper at 6012 S. Loomis, a building Skipper’s dad purchased for the family.

Skipper went to several schools in Englewood including Copernicus where I once planned Thanksgiving turkey giveaways for the children and their parents. I wanted to go there to see if I could feel some sort of connection with Skipper.

Dr. Barbara Penelton, my cousin who grew up with Skipper, described him as being 5’6” and never weighing more than 140-pounds.

Penelton said Skipper “was often in the process of trying to prove that he could do what the ‘big guys’ could do” and that he was proud to be a paratrooper. It is with deep pride and respect that we recognize and appreciate his courage and his bravery because he truly did demonstrate that he could do what few others, big or small, could do. He could save the lives of others knowing that it would be at the expense of his own.”

Penelton admits she often tried to discourage Skipper from going to the service but he would write her back. “His letters often included descriptions of events that verified that he could be a soldier with the best of them,” she said. “He was proud of his uniform.

“I remember a time when he and my brother were both on leave. My brother hurried up and changed from his uniform so that he could go to the clubs to party. Skipper was too young to go to the clubs so he kept his uniform on and watched television with my grandparents,” Penelton recalled. Skipper, she said, “felt great pride at being a service man and we feel great pride in his heroism.”

 remember and cherish the many conversations I had with his father, Uncle Milton, especially his asking me over and over again to always let the world know what his son did for his country.

So, once again, Uncle Milton, I am keeping my promise to you and I miss our long talks. I miss seeing how your face and eyes would light up when you talked about your son, but if you were here today, I would tell you that your son’s blood that spilled in Vietnam is still having a healing effect today.

I would tell you how it has changed the life of Captain Stanford who is no longer a racist and like the others Skipper saved, Platoon Sergeant Vince Yrineo who is in a nursing home, Lionel Hubbard, a private from Texas who like John Foster, boxer from Pittsburgh are no longer alive, all have children and grandchildren because of the love and respect Skipper had for his comrades and his country.

Skipper’s life could have been quite different for he dropped out of high school because he was not challenged and went to Lexington, Mississippi to be with his paternal grandparents. When his father found out where his son was he was afraid that the KKK would kill Skipper so he gave him three choices: go back to school, get a job or join the military. The rest is history.

Thank you, Skipper, for paying the ultimate price for our nation. Thank you for being a good role model for your peers in Chicago and in the foxholes of Vietnam for your comrades told me how you would read the bible while they would go drinking. They told me how you did not swear. Thank you for adhering to my grandmother’s social standards but more than anything, Skipper, thank you for taking a stand on October 22, 2012—47-years-ago today. The blood you spilled in Vietnam is still healing the lives of others, but we all are still wondering why did you chose to pay the ultimate price that day.

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.


Historic new book features private letters written by President Barack Obama

Posted by Admin On October - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Amber Communications Group, Inc.’s imprint, the award winning Amber Books, has published Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons – A Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders by Gregory Reed, Esq., CEO and founder of Keeper of the Word Foundation, with a foreword and epilogue by William Alexander Haley, CEO, Alex Haley Foundation.

President Barack Obama achieved a landslide victory in 2008, and has touched the lives of young people more so than any previous president. During his presidency, he sought to continue that inspiration by maintaining an engaged relationship with the nation’s youth.

This outstanding and historic collection of students’ letters accompanied with President Obama’s responses, speeches, public statements, and quotations during his campaign, tenure as President-Elect, and his presidency is the most comprehensive collection of letters and responses ever assembled as a book in the history of our nation for a sitting president. This collection of letters featuring the voices of today’s young leaders and their mission to be heard is a rarity.

Author Gregory Reed comments, “From these letters, we learn that these young citizens are committed to their country and the world. From President Obama we learn to respect the importance of listening to one another, and of perseverance. We learn in desperate times, we must have faith and know that we are empowered to change the circumstances and conditions of our lives and the destiny of America for the better.”

The students letters in Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons – A Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders reveal they have a concern for peace, healthcare, freedom, education, poverty, religious tolerance, love, materialism, and equality in America. Their letters address our nation’s unattended concerns and issues of immigration, crime, poverty, global climate change, economic, racism, war, religion, same-sex marriage, discrimination, and many more. They recognize that President Obama shares their creativity and concerns, and supports their mission with his words and actions. Their letters are priceless, timeless, inspiring and powerful.

It is recommended that every home, organization, library, university, bookstore and college have this powerful and important book for the many upcoming generations of young leaders to read and remember the words of this historic 44th President of the United States of America.

Chapters in Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons – A Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders include: “Message to Young People”; “The Letters: What I Want for You and Every Child”; “Obama Talks Back On: Education/Digital Currency, Courage and Hope, War-Crime-Non-Violence & Justice, The Economy, Social Concern-Activism-Family-Parenting”; “Obama Talks to American Students”; “Spiritual Journal to the White House”; “President Obama’s Most Notable Speeches”.

Here’s what readers are saying:

“This book is an eye opener and an essential piece of reading for both America’s families and America’s leaders. It connects us to where we are in terms of values and lessons in the 21st century.” — Cass Technical High School, Detroit, MI

“The book provides a rare glimpse into the private letters sent to the President and his accompanied remarks to our young people.” — Carmel Middle School, Charlotte, NC.

Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons – A Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders
By Gregory Reed
ISBN # 978-1-937269-38-8
298 pages / Trade Paperback – $19.95
Ebook ISBN # 9781-937269-39-5
Ebook – $9.00

Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons – A Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders was compiled and written by Gregory J. Reed, Esq and the Keeper of the Word Foundation. Mr. Reed is the award winning author of sixteen books. The foreword and epilogue are written by William Alexander Haley, Phd, the son of the late Alex Haley, Pulitzer Prize author for Roots and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. He is also the CEO of the Alex Haley Foundation.

For organizations and bulk sale discounts, contact Tony Rose at 602-743-7211, amberbk@aol.com, or visit www.amberbooks.com

Photo Caption: Bookcover 

Madigan: Crime Victim Notification System adds texting capability

Posted by Admin On October - 22 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Automated Victim Notification System Provides 24-Hour Access to Information on Offenders’ Custody and Case Status 


CHICAGO, IL ─ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that the state’s Automated Victim Notification (AVN) system now offers text-message alerts for registered users.

The Illinois AVN system provides automated notices that allow registered users to track an offender’s custody and court case status, including alerts when an offender is released, transferred or appears in court. Confidential notifications are offered in English and Spanish and can be delivered via phone or email and now text messages to crime victims, witnesses, family members, law enforcement officers, probation officers and concerned community members.

The system, which transfers information to a centralized communication center to generate individual alerts, provides updates about offenders in 101 Illinois counties. Cook County maintains its own notification system.

“For crime victims and their families, information provides peace of mind,” said Attorney General Madigan. “Adding text alerts to the Automated Victim Notification system gives families one more way to ensure they stay informed.”

Victims and the public can access AVN by calling 1-866-5-NOTIFY (1-866-566-8439) or visiting www.vinelink.com.

A federal Statewide Victim Information and Notification grant allowed the state to implement the new texting option. Users will be charged whatever rate they have with their mobile providers.

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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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