March , 2018

CHICAGO, IL - December 30, 2014- Every year the number one resolution made ...
Carbondale, IL  - On the third day of their Illinois Jobs Tour, U.S. Senate nominee ...
Tenants at 1140 W. 18th St. say the building has fallen into disrepair since Metrobank ...
Are we in better shape 60-years later? By Chinta Strausberg In just a year, America will ...
WASHINGTON, DC (BlackNews.com) -- The Links, Incorporated and The Links Foundation, Incorporated announced the induction ...
The Craft Syndicate by Dutch Masters program is hosting their 2nd annual competition. searching for ...
NAACP statement regarding the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme ...
CHICAGO, IL –  Lt. Governor Sheila Simon issued the following statement regarding Governor Pat Quinn’s signing ...
Memphis, TN (BlackNews.com) -- The Church of God in Christ 105th Holy Convocation will convene ...
Submit a public comment to the Internal Revenue Service: Scrap the proposed “Exception From Passive ...

Archive for July 2nd, 2013

Chicago Jazz Community shows its love for the de Haases whose love for each other kept the music alive on the South Side

Posted by Admin On July - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
Their relationship is a love story, not only for each other, but also for the music that brought Geraldine and Eddie de Haas together and consumed their lives.  For more than a half century, the two have been inseparable–from each other and from jazz.  Eddie de Haas, who in his lifetime played bass with some of the jazz greats, and Geraldine who started as part of Andy and the Bey Sisters, and was a great vocalist in her own right. 
Tonight, Chicago’s jazz community shows its love for them in “A Moving Benefit” as the de Haases prepare to relocate to New Jersey, Geraldine’s home state.  In a rare tribute, many of the City’s gifted jazz artists are donating their time for what will be a “jam session” reminiscent of a bygone era at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct., Chicago, Illinois, from 5:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Hosting tonight’s farewell party are Joe Segal of the Jazz Showcase, renowned pianist Willie Pickens and the organization responsible for bringing Geraldine’s jazz festival to the South Shore Cultural Center for 31 years—Jazz Unites Inc. 
“Eddie and Geraldine have been so important and vital to the City’s jazz community,” explains Pickens.  “She’s done so much that I thought it was appropriate for us to show our appreciation for her.”
Segal, who was Geraldine’s first stage manager when she began the jazz festival at the South Shore Cultural Center 32 years ago, says he cannot believe it has been that long.
“Americans take jazz for granted.  It’s appreciated more in Asian and Europe,” says Segal, who started the Jazz Showcase in 1947.  “So, they will be missed a great deal for what they continued to do despite the difficulty.”
Pickens says his hat goes off to Eddie for his tireless support of Geraldine.
“When her sight began failing, he became her shadow.  Eddie did everything for her,” observes Pickens.  “It’s very difficult for spouses to work together—being musicians.  You have to walk a fine line when you have two jazz artists who are married,” he chuckled.
The hosts of tonight’s event say they hope it is a successful fundraiser for the couple.  Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at jazzshowcase.com or at the door.

“The State of Equality and Justice in America”: There is Strong Statistical Evidence that Politics is Re-segregating

Posted by Admin On July - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
By David A. Bositis, Ph.D.
“The State of Equality and Justice in America”, the 20th of a 20-Part Series

There are demographic changes occurring in the United States that will change politics and public policy and make this country a more humane and equitable place. In another 20 to 30 years the U.S. will be a majority-minority country and White supremacy will be a discredited idea of the past. But we are not living in that future time. And for African-Americans, more than half of whom live in the southern states, the facts do not speak to a just or equitable society.

Black unemployment is twice that of Whites. The average Black income is much less. Black family financial assets are one-twentieth that of Whites. There are large racial disparities in health and access to health care and much higher high school drop-out rates for African-Americans; and of course much higher incarceration rates.

The gains that African-Americans have seen since the Civil Rights movement were substantially built on Black votes and civic participation. But despite the hardship and struggles that many African-Americans face, there are many who would oppose the progress and promise the future holds. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder opened the door to widespread efforts in the South to diminish minority voting rights.

By invalidating Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the court has effectively eliminated Section 5 federal oversight. The current U.S. House of Representatives will almost certainly NOT provide a new definition for Section 4 coverage, and so Section 5 is out for the foreseeable future.

By next year’s midterm elections, there will likely be photo identification laws operative in all the southern states, and Blacks and Hispanics are much more likely than Whites to lack government issued photo ids. The changes will not only involve photo identification laws.

There will be a headlong rush to change election laws across Section 5 jurisdictions in order to discourage minority voters. This will involve not only state governments but local ones as well.

Section 2 is still in effect, but with no preclearance provisions. What this means is that all sorts of election changes will be put into effect to diminish minority votes – moving and locating polling places, changing hours, the mechanics of voting – not to mention extralegal intimidation – without federal intervention.

Even when these changes are challenged and the civil rights community ‘wins’ the legal case, the minority community’s preferred candidate may still lose, and then the Section 2 cases result in consent decrees where the opposing side agrees not to do the same thing (actions to discourage minority voters) again – at least until the next election. The results of elections – even unfair elections – are rarely undone.

Following the election of President Barack Obama, some political observers – mostly conservative ones – suggested that the United States was now a post-racial society. At the present time, five years later, in the region of the country where a majority of African- Americans live, the South, there is strong statistical evidence that politics is resegregating with African-Americans once again excluded from power and representation.

Black voters and elected officials have less influence now than at any time since the Civil Rights Movement. Less than a handful of the 320 Black state legislators in the South serve in the majority in their legislative chambers. And southern state constitutions invest in the state legislatures’ power over all aspects of government in those states, including local government.

Conservative Whites control all of the political power there, and they are enacting legislation and adopting policies both neglectful of the needs of minorities – in health care, education, employment – as well as some that are downright hostile to the rights of African-Americans , e.g., the assault on voting rights through photo identification laws and other means.

Last month, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies published a report based on a survey of the five Deep South states (the states with the proportionally largest black populations – Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina) on attitudes toward Medicaid expansion. Majorities of the populations in all five states, and large majorities of African-Americans in those states, favored expansion. The state legislatures in those five states oppose expansion, and the disproportionally uninsured Black populations of those states will suffer the consequences.

Has the United States become a more just and equitable society? Almost 50 years ago – around the time that the Lawyers’ Committee was founded, Robert F. Kennedy gave a speech at the 1964 Democratic National Convention where he quoted from one of his brother’s favorite poets: “but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.”

David A. Bositis, Ph.D., a senior research associate for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, is a foremost expert on voting and Black political participation in America. This article – the twentieth of a 20-part series – is written in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, of which Congressman Lewis is grand marshal. The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity – work that continues to be vital today. For more information, please visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

Editor’s Note: “The State of Equality and Justice in America” is a 20-part series of columns written by an all star list of contributors to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  

The contributors include: U. S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) LCCRUL 50th Anniversary Grand Marshal; Ms. Barbara Arnwine, President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL); Mr. Charles Ogletree, Professor, Harvard University Law School/Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice; the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., President/CEO, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; the Rev. Joseph Lowery, Co-founder, Southern Christian Leadership Conference; U. S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.); and 14 additional thought leaders and national advocates for equal justice.


Topinka: State ends Fiscal Year $6.1 billion in red

Posted by Admin On July - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Backlog expected to grow to $7.5 billion within weeks


CHICAGO. IL – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on Monday announced that the State ended Fiscal Year 2013 with $6.1 billion in unaddressed financial obligations, and warned that the deficit will grow by more than $1 billion in the coming weeks.

The state’s Chief Fiscal Officer noted that Illinois collected $1.3 billion more in tax revenue than expected this Spring, allowing it to end the fiscal year $6.1 billion in the red, compared to $7.5 billion down at the end of last year. But she warned the one-time revenue spike does not impact the state’s fiscal challenges in the long-term.

In fact, Topinka predicted the state’s bill backlog will grow to approximately $7.5 billion by August, and swell further in subsequent months.

“Make no mistake, the ‘April surprise’ is history,” said Topinka, referring to unexpected tax revenue collected by the State. “That windfall allowed us to aggressively pay down bills and provide some relief to vendors, but it did nothing to address the state’s systemic budget problems.”

Specifically, Topinka said the Comptroller’s Office ended the fiscal year with 73,184 unpaid bills totaling $3.3 billion and dating back to June 3, 2013. When estimates of bills still at state agencies are included, the state’s total backlog reaches $6.1 billion.

But Topinka added that the backlog can be expected to grow in the coming months. Based on historical trends, the Comptroller estimated the state will have around $7.5 billion in unpaid bills in August, $8.1 billion in September, $8.7 billion in October – and near $9 billion in November and December. She stressed that those totals may change depending on when bills are submitted to the state.

Regardless of the specific totals, the trend is clear, Topinka said.

“Despite years of hand-wringing about state finances, nothing has changed,” she said. “We continue to force businesses, hospitals, schools and service agencies to wait months on end for promised payment from the state. It is unconscionable and further highlights the importance of keeping spending flat and restoring our fiscal integrity.”

Auditorium Theatre’s Hands Together, Heart to Art” Summer Camp begins July 8

Posted by Admin On July - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Children Coping with the Loss of a Parent Participate in the Ninth Annual, Award-Winning Program Using the Creative Arts to Encourage Emotional Healing  

CHICAGO, IL – Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University embarks on the ninth annual, award-winning summer camp “Hands Together, Heart to Art” (HTHTA). Children ages 7 – 14 who have experienced the loss of one or both parents are invited to this one-of-a-kind camp that uses the performing arts to encourage communication, foster emotional growth and provide young people with the consolation of friendship and compassion from their peers and instructors. Camp is divided into two, two-week sessions; July 8 – 19 (ages 7 – 10) and July 22 – August 2 (ages 11 – 14). For more information on “HTHTA,” visit AuditoriumTheatre.org.
“As a child who lost a parent at a very early age myself, I understand the importance of finding different mechanisms to cope with that loss and surround oneself with others who can understand what you are going through,” said Auditorium Theatre Executive Director Brett Batterson, who unexpectedly lost his father at the age of seven. “To be able to help a child get through one of the most traumatic life experiences and assure them that there is still a bright future to look forward to, is one of the most rewarding feelings. To see those students come back to camp years later and in turn work with other kids to teach them the same thing, is remarkable.” 
“HTHTA” celebrates the healing power of creative play, allowing campers the ability to share their stories through various skills including acting, music and various forms of movement. Through participation in drama, music and dance classes campers are able to find alternative methods of expressing their emotions while building their confidence and self esteem. “Sharing time,” where campers are divided into small groups facilitated by professional healing counselors, offers campers a comfortable, safe time and space to express and share their feelings with peers as well as on a one-on-one basis allowing them to realize that they are not the only ones going through this tragedy. Campers hear from arts professionals, grief specialists and adults from all walks of life who have experienced the loss of a parent showing them that there is hope for the future and that they too will be able to move forward and achieve great things. A full-time counselor is on hand throughout the entire duration of camp to give campers one-on-one counseling as needed. Using their own stories and the stories of others, campers work together to create, stage, rehearse and execute a performance culminating in a final showcase at the end of each session.
Led by Auditorium Theatre Director of Creative Engagement, Christina Bourné, the ninth edition of “HTHTA” centers around the theme “Time: The Legacy Continues.” Campers are encouraged to focus on the lasting memories of their parent while realizing how they are able to carry on their legacy for future generations. Campers will build time capsules to capture the essence of their loved ones as well as their time spent at camp. Campers will also have the unique opportunity to work with a member of the Chicago Cabaret Professionals in order to use the songwriting process as a means of healing. The song, written by students, will be performed during one of camp’s final performances.
“Hands Together, Heart to Art” Sponsors
“HTHTA” is sponsored by Leo S. Guthman Fund, Variety – The Children’s Charity of Illinois, Illinois Arts Council, Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Chicago Cabaret Professionals and A.R.T. League, Inc.
About the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, located at 50 E Congress Pkwy, is an Illinois, not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community and educational programming to Chicago, and to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark Auditorium Theatre. The Auditorium Theatre is generously supported by the Illinois Arts Council, CityArts and the Palmer House Hilton.  For more information about programming, volunteer and donor opportunities or theater tours, call (312) 341-2310 or visit AuditoriumTheatre.org.

Dark days unfolding: Black and white boys’ bodies at Dozier Reform School in Florida soon to be exhumed

Posted by Admin On July - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS


Marianna, FL (BlackNews.com) — Behind the clear blue skies, white sandy beaches and hundreds of themes parks in the sunshine state of Florida that attract millions of people throughout the year, there is a dark ghostly shadow in Marianna, Florida. Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, also known as the Florida Industrial School for Boys, was a residential school for both black and white boys from 1900 until 2011. The infamous reform school has made headline news for the inhumane treatment of both black and white boys who were confined there.While some children scream with excitement of the rides – and all the other amusement that can be found in a beautiful theme park; Richard Huntly, John Bonner, Johnny Gaddy and Arthur Huntley whom are a part of an organization called ” Black Boys At Dozier Reform School”, as children they screamed with pain and agony from the beatings and abuse they received from the employers at Dozier. “I worked as a field crew, and my job was to take the garbage to the pit and I seen what appeared to be human fingers and bones that didn’t look like a cow or animal bones, one of the boys said you better shut up if you want to live,” said Gaddy.

Richard Huntly fought back tears as he stood on the black side of the campus recalling those horrible and evil days at Dozier for the first time in over fifty years. One of the memories he recalled is having part of his toe cut off as a young boy working in the sugarcane fields. “I remember distinctly the beatings I got – and the beatings still haunts me to this day, Bonner says,” I get choked up inside just thinking about the – beatings.” Huntley face sadden as he recall getting beat because he couldn’t remember the face and name of one of the milk cows and which milk stall the cow should go into.

The Documentation of the Boot Hill Cemetery (8JA1860), At the Former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, Marianna, Florida., Interim Report (Division of Historical Resources Permit No. (1112.032) provided a summary of archaeological and historical investigation into the creation and initial identification of graves at the Boot Hill Cemetery in Marianna for Boys. As a result of their investigation, a record of 98 deaths was found in historical documents, including boys ages 6-18 years and two adult staff members. The deaths occurred between 1914-1973.

“Reports of children being brutally whipped and chained to the walls in irons as well as peonage cases was reported. After spending countless of hours researching peonage cases in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., I found many cases of peonage in Florida that were reported to the Department of Justice by Mary Grace Quackenbos, special assistant U.S. attorney.” The state of Florida held men and children against their will to work in turpentine and lumber camps. Huntly, Bonner, Gaddy and Huntley said they worked like slaves in the fields, cutting and dragging logs, planted vegetables and raising animals.

On July 23, 1963, sixteen blacks, seven of which were teenagers, was arrested for a sit in at a local lunch counter. Four of the juveniles, Samuel White, Audrey Nell Edwards, Joe Ann Anderson and Willie Carl Singleton were arrested. The four teens who became known as the “The St. Augustine Four” spent a month in the county jail five months in a reform school in Marianna and Ocala for having attempted to be served a hamburger at the lunch counter.

Photo Caption: Right to Left: Arthur Huntley, Kelsey Peck of WMBB-TV-Panama City, Florida, and Richard Huntly; Back Row: Johnny Gaddy and John Bonner

We Must Build Our Greatest Strength: Diversity

Posted by Admin On July - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Benjamin Todd Jealous

President/CEO of the NAACP  


“For a country regarded as the paramount leader in a multicultural world, the United States has yet to embrace its own diversity; continuing failure to do so will have profound consequences for governance.”

That quote came from a 1996 report by Allan E. Goodman, former executive dean at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. For decades, American leaders in business, education and economics have lamented the wide racial and ethnic gaps in our education system. Last week’s Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action reminded us that we have a long way to go.

In the case of Fisher v. Texas, the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of the University of Texas’ admissions policy. The university currently allows admissions officers to consider an applicant’s race among a number of other qualifying factors. The Court voted to send the case back to a lower court of appeals. In doing so, they reaffirmed the use of race in admissions, and the importance of educational diversity in the 21st century.

The decision in Fisher upheld an important precedent set in the 2003 case of Gruttinger v. Bollinger. In that case, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor refuted the idea that our society had advanced beyond affirmative action. She argued that the need for “cross-racial understanding” was still necessary to break down racial stereotypes, and that “student body diversity is a compelling state interest.”

Justice O’Connor’s argument was based on sound social research. In her words, “major American businesses have made clear that the skills needed in today’s increasingly global marketplace can only be developed through exposure to widely diverse people, cultures, ideas, and viewpoints.” Like Allan Goodman, Justice O’Connor also saw diversity as a national interest.

This is even truer today. When Goodman wrote about the multicultural world in 1996, only one out of every thirteen Americans had access to the Internet. Google, Twitter and Facebook were still rough ideas scribbled in students’ sketchpads. Seventeen years later, technological advances in communications, travel and trade have given rise to a new era of globalization. Leaders in business and government need to know how to work with people of vastly different races, cultures and perspectives.

We will be stronger as a nation if we embrace our growing diversity and ensure that the pathways to leadership remain wide open. Numerous studies reveal that mere interaction is the best way to avoid intergroup conflict. Sociologists have even found that diversity increases opportunities for creativity.

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision, America’s educational institutions should recommit to fair and thoughtful ways to foster diversity. In the coming months, the NAACP will work with universities, policymakers, and the business community to see that qualified students from a diversity of backgrounds get a close look and a fair shot at admission to top schools.

Justice O’Connor wrote that “effective participation by members of all racial and ethnic groups in the civic life of our Nation is essential if the dream of one Nation, indivisible, is to be realized.” Our country’s pledge is to be one nation, and our country’s challenge is to lead a global economy that is increasingly flat. If America is to maintain its role as a moral and economic leader in the 21st century, we must build on our greatest strength: diversity.

Ben Jealous is president/CEO of the NAACP. 

Contact:  Ben Wrobel 917-846-0658 bwrobel@naacpnet.org @NAACPPress

Privacy Is Lost, And We Are All To Blame

Posted by Admin On July - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Privacy Is Lost, And We Are All To Blame

New America Media

By Andrew Lam

When full-body scanners were introduced at American airports three years ago, there was a brief public outcry. But just as quickly, it died down. Travelers interviewed shrugged off the loss of privacy in the name of safety, using terms like “trade-off” and “compromise.”  One frequent traveler seemed to sum up the general attitude when he said he’d grown “immune to the procedures.”

In other words, Americans don’t want to be groped or scanned, don’t want our personal spaces invaded, but we’re willing to endure both in the name of security. Such is the contract between the people and the state in the new, post-9/11 America.

At airports, it is understood that you’re not allowed to exercise your rights — the Second Amendment explicitly and the First implicitly. It’s common sense that you don’t ever carry a gun on a plane. And since 9/11, don’t even think of saying the word “bomb” to a TSA agent, even if it’s a joke. Travelers have been routinely detained for doing just that. Passengers have even been kicked off planes for wearing t-shirts that were deemed offensive. One passenger was removed for wearing a shirt with an Arabic inscription that said, ironically, “We Will Not Be Silent.” He later sue Jet Blue and the two TSA screeners and won.

How you dress and what you say can be used against you at airports, where scanners and cameras and security guards are aplenty, and where you are constantly being monitored.

But what if, in the name of security, you were willing to give up more rights, not just at the airport, but everywhere else? What if the whole country were to slowly become a kind of mega-airport, a place where you had to watch your language and restrict your communication activities, all under the watchful, electronic eye of Uncle Sam?

That is increasingly becoming the scenario in America today, as the story of Edward Snowden versus the National Security Agency unfolds.

Snowden blew the whistle on PRISM, a government program that collects enormous amounts of data from the phone and Internet records of Americans, as well as others living outside of the U.S. Though PRISM’s existence has been known about for years, the sheer amount of data being mined is revelatory– 3 billion pieces of intelligence were culled from the computer networks of U.S. residents in March of 2013 alone.

Snowden is now on the run from authorities in the U.S., who want him tried for treason.

But even as Americans worry that their personal communication records are being monitored without their consent, many say that the spying works as a deterrent for terrorism attacks, according to a recent USA Today/Pew Research poll. Americans surveyed were more or less split (48 to 47 percent) on whether they approve or disapprove of such programs as part of the nation’s anti-terrorism effort. Yet, more than half (53 percent) of those surveyed also said government spying programs help prevent terrorist attacks. And a slight majority (54 percent) felt that Snowden should be criminally prosecuted.

Overall, instead of outrage there’s a feeling of resignation in the air, as the story of Snowden versus the NSA unfolds. On twitter, the resignation often manifests as humor:

#NSACalledToTellMe What Happens in Vegas, stays in our Utah data center.

#NSACalledToTellMe that next time a politician says “I am listening to YOU” they really mean it.

We can hear you now. ‪#NSACalledToTellMe‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Part of the problem is that privacy isn’t what it once was. Diaries once kept locked in one’s drawer have become blogs for all to see. The domestic doings of private citizens are often captured in the raw on Youtube and Vimeo, as if their lives are reality TV shows. If Americans are wary that we are being constantly monitored, we, too, are guilty of divulging our secrets — we make spying on us an easy task. Between our urge to tweet opinions, our impulse to photograph meals on Instagram, our need to share every sorrow and update our every move on Facebook, we have more or less become an open book. In essence, we volunteer information about ourselves as habit. And the way technology is going, with social media increasingly becoming an integral part of our daily communication, #privacy is not to be had, #imsorrytosay.

Spying, too, is no longer the business of government agencies. Increasingly, tracking is done not by various companies and organizations but by individuals. Shopping malls monitor your shopping patterns by tracking your cell phone. Advertisers target individuals based on their interests, a seemingly personal touch accomplished by sophisticated, impersonal software. Self-tracking, too, is increasing. There are wireless devices that can track people’s physical activities, while other devices can measure brainwave activity at night to chart people’s sleep patterns online. And as drones are becoming smaller and smaller, it is only a matter of time before feuding neighbors or distrusting spouses can spy on one another using this technology, a kind of Mr. and Mrs. Smith writ large.

Privacy issues aside, in the post 9/11 era Americans live with a new set of norms. Mass deportation of undocumented immigrants who toil on our land has become the new norm, and despite talks of reform, those without proper papers continue to get swept up in wide sweeping government dragnets. The new norm allows careful surveillance of Muslim communities and many don’t mention certain words like “jihad” or “bomb” on the phone, out of fear it might trigger investigation. Since they are being heavily monitored, some Arab Americans have invented roundabout ways to refer to their own children or relatives who have common names like Osama or Saddam.

Abroad, this new norm allows the U.S. to wage war overseas in perpetuity, in the name of national security, and with the right to preemptive strikes. We have accepted torture in the form of waterboarding, and the practice of kidnapping foreign citizens for interrogation (we call it extraordinary rendition), all while our drones in the sky routinely assassinate potential enemies and innocent victims who just happened to end up in our target range (we call them “collateral damage.”) 

The new norm also keeps our so-called “enemy combatants” in an offshore prison named Guantanamo and refuses their human rights and due process. In essence, they are serving life sentences without trials. When they go on hunger strikes, they are force-fed. 

So is Snowden a hero or a traitor? On the one hand, by taking classified information that could harm the U.S. and then fleeing abroad – to Hong Kong, then Russia– he seems less heroic than self-preserving, especially for someone who says they want to bring about social change. (By contrast, whistle blower Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame stuck around and dealt with the consequences.) On the other hand, Snowden made Americans look at something from which we had learned to look away – internal government procedures to which we feel immune, until those procedures are spelled out in stark and dreadful terms, and we don’t like what we see.

Every generation needs to grapple with and find the balance between national security and civil liberties, now more than ever. Democracy, after all, cannot possibly survive when the citizenry continues to cow behind draconian policies that override civil liberties in the name of  the war on terror.

That Snowden pulled back the curtain and showed us the inner workings of the spy machinery should be a wake up call. But for now, that doesn’t seem to be the case. In Dante’s divine comedy there is a phrase that inscribed above the gate of hell that says, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” If you replace the word “hope” with “rights” it could be hung above the entrances of American airports. What’s worrisome is that as more and more Americans weigh in on the side of safety over civil liberties, that phrase might end up hanging above the Exit signs.

Andrew Lam is the author of “Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora,” “East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres,” and his latest, “Birds of Paradise Lost,” a collection of stories about Vietnamese refugees struggling to rebuild their lives in the West Coast.

Free Wi-Fi – An Open Door to I.D. Theft, Warns Better Business Bureau

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On July - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – On a summer vacation, you should be able to sit back and relax, not worry about your identity being stolen. Unfortunately, there have been more and more reports of scammers trying to collect personal information by creating unsecured Wi-Fi zones near hotels that guests can connect to for free.

“Checking personal and work email, as well as updating social media posts while on vacation are common,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Scammers know that because many hotels charge for Wi-Fi, a free connection looks appealing. However, by connecting to an unknown and unsecure Wi-Fi connection, you are letting the owner of the connection see all your Internet activity,” Bernas stated. “This could include your personal information, banking information and other Internet browsing activity.”

The BBB chief explained that when something claims to be free, it should always be a red flag to be cautious. “If you must connect to the Internet, paying the hotel fee may be worth it rather than having your personal information wind up in the hands of criminals,” he noted.

The BBB offers the following advice for vacationers looking to connect to Wi-Fi zones:

  • Use extreme caution when connecting to Wi-Fi on vacation. Connecting to free Wi-Fi zones can endanger you because of the transparency between your device and the owner of the connection. If you must connect to the internet, use the hotel’s Wi-Fi, as it is less likely to be hacked.
  • Avoid Wi-Fi connections near conferences or large events. If there is a big event going on near your location, be wary of Wi-Fi connections, since criminals look at these events as opportunities to gather personal information of individuals.
  • Make sure your computer is not set up to automatically connect to networks. If you are set up to connect to networks, you could be connecting to an unknown, unsecured network without knowing it.
  • Make sure your firewall is enabled. A firewall helps protect your computer from unauthorized users gaining access by way of the internet or a connection. This can help decrease the likelihood of criminals installing viruses on your device.
  • Do important online work, such as banking, at home if possible. If you will end up needing to connect to Wi-Fi, avoid using it for tasks such as banking. Financial activity is one of the key activities hackers are looking for. Save that for home or on your mobile device.

For more advice on protecting your identity, visit www.bbb.org 

Recent Comments

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

Recent Posts