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Archive for August 28th, 2013

‘We have come so far; still so much has stayed the same’

Posted by Admin On August - 28 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
By Benjamin Todd Jealous

President/CEO of the NAACP

This past weekend I joined over 150,000 people at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. It was a powerful moment that showed us how Dr. King’s dream is still alive, yet reminded us how far we still have to go to see it fulfilled.

The simple backdrop of Saturday’s event reminded us how much has changed in 50 years.

We gathered half a mile from the White House, where an Africa-American president and African- American attorney general have held office for five years. The media who attended Saturday represented the diverse races and ethnicities of the crowd, compared with the all-White media whose open bigotry toward Dr. King was on full display in the 1963 Meet the Press interview rebroadcast this week. Finally, the crowd on Saturday marched past the regal statue of Dr. King, prominently positioned beside DC’s Tidal Basin. We have indeed come far.

Still, so much has stayed the same.

Fifty years ago we were motivated by the killing of a young Black man, Medgar Evers, and we came to the National Mall to mourn his death and ensure that he would not die in vain. This year we are motivated by the tragedy of Trayvon Martin, which has pushed many of us to rededicate ourselves to end racial profiling.

Fifty years ago we were fighting for everyone to have an equal right to vote. This year we are faced with a Supreme Court that has gutted the Voting Rights Act, and we are fighting suppressive voter ID laws, cuts to voter registration and early voting.

Fifty years ago we were inspired by the idea of a fair minimum wage and economic justice. This year we have the same inspiration.

Below, you will find my full remarks from Saturday’s March on Washington. Let us celebrate our victories, and rededicate ourselves to the fight.

When they say No You Can’t, we say Yes We Can!

When they say, No You Can’t pass a real racial profiling ban with teeth, we say Yes We Can! Because yes we did, two days ago in New York City.

When they say, No You Can’t pass the DREAM Act, No You Can’t pass marriage equality, No You Can’t abolish the death penalty, No You Can’t expand voting rights in any state south of the Mason-Dixon Line, we say Yes We Can! Because yes, we did, just five miles from here in Maryland last year.

When they say, No You Can’t restore the full force of the Voting Rights Act, No You Can’t raise the minimum wage, not with this Congress, we say, Yes We Can, because, yes, we have, again and again.

So let us claim some victories right now.

Let us say, Yes, we will pass Trayvon’s law from coast to coast.

Let us say, Yes, we will protect the right to vote with all our might until we win the fight finally once and for all.

And let us say, Yes, we will raise the minimum wage because you cannot survive on $7.25!

Yes, we will! Yes, we will! Yes, we will! God bless you and God Bless the NAACP!!

Ben Jealous is president/CEO of the NAACP.

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

The March on Washington and the March on City Hall August 28th

Posted by Admin On August - 28 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

(Press Statement of the Organizing Committee to Stop Police Crimes)

The march will kick off from Federal Plaza at Dearborn and Adams at 11:00 A.M.

This weekend 200,000 marchers converged on Washington, D.C. commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington led by  Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, A. Phillip Randolph. From all reports from those who attended it was a great event and a tremendous opportunity to honor our legacy of struggle for civil and human rights, to dip our banners for Trayvon Martin and the thousands of fallen victims of racist violence in these United States, and also raising new banners of struggle for justice, jobs, peace and freedom. It was an opportunity that attracted many of the various strands of the people’s movement who are fighting for racial and economic justice and political empowerment.

Chicago was well represented in this event marking the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March.  The Coalition of Black Trade Unionist, PUSH Rainbow Coalition, the Chicago Teachers Union, and many other groups and organizations from Chicago were present. There was even a featured front page story in the Sunday edition of the Sun Times on Chicago’s participation in the March.

PUSH Rainbow Coalition, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist and many of the organizations that marched in Washington, D.C. on August 24, 2013 have also endorsed the march on City Hall to Stop Police Crimes called for this Wednesday, August 28, 2013 by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and almost 200 other individuals and organizations.  It will be marking the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington by demanding that the Mayor and the City Council endorse legislation that will create an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) similar but not identical to the one just created by the New York City Council. This past Friday, August 23, 2013 the New York City Council overrode the veto of Mayor Bloomberg and passed legislation that creates two layers of oversight of the New York City Police (NYPD) designed to protect the civil liberties of New Yorkers the NYPD is sworn to protect.

What the peoples’ movement has achieved in New York has given us new hope here in Chicago to get our City Council to step up to the plate and pass our proposed legislation to create an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council. In Chicago police crimes have cost the tax payers about $70 million this year alone. Enough is enough! We need to empower the people to hold the police accountable and that is why we need CPAC enacted now.

The march will kick off from Federal Plaza at Dearborn and Adams at 11:00 A.M. and then to march to City Hall and rally for justice and an end to the violence. See you there!

Frank Chapman

On behalf of the CAARPR Organizing Committee to Stop Police Crimes and 200 endorsers.

For more information, contact Frank Chapman, 312-513-3795, or Greg Malandrucco, 312-637-0950.

Once a driver for Dr. King, Leak said blacks have been a ‘train wreck’

Posted by Admin On August - 28 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

‘King would hang his head in shame’

By Chinta Strausberg

Proud to have been the chauffeur for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who 50 years ago today led a march on Washington, Spencer Leak, Sr., said if King were alive today he would wonder was his life and death in vain given the “social engineering of our people which has been a train wreck.”

African Americans, Leak said, have regressed. Of Chicago’s last year’s 506 homicides, Leak, who is president/CEO of the Leak and Sons Funeral Homes, said he performed 105 of them and that if Dr. King were alive today he would be hanging his head in shame over the black-on-black crime when he put his life literally on the line to fight for their equality and freedom.

Leak, who is also a trustee at the Chicago State University, first met Dr. King during his first trip to the North. It was called the “Northern Strategy” at the time, Leak said, where King had chosen Chicago as the first city in the North but later described by King  “as the most segregated city in the nation including Atlanta and Montgomery.

Leak remembers Dr. King mentioning civil rights leader Medgar Evers who was his next door neighbor, and how King, had labeled Chicago one of the most segregated city’s he had ever seen especially when it comes to housing and jobs.

At the time, King’s presence in Chicago was during the time Edwin “Bill” Barry was chairman of the Chicago Urban League at 45th and Michigan. “My funeral home was at 45th and State,” recalled Leak.

“My dad and Edwin were good friends along with Al Raby and a group of ministers extended an invitation to Dr. King to come to Chicago. That was the beginning of the Northern trek via Chicago by Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) which was a new organization Dr. King had established.”

When Civil Rights activist Bill Berry asked him if his family could provide a limousine for Dr. King, Leak said he begged his father for permission to not only provide the limo for King but also to be his chauffeur as well. “That was the greatest thrill of my life,” Leak recalled.

In driving Dr. King throughout Chicago, Leak said, “I found him to be a very warm and hospitable man. While he was very articulate, he could be one of the regular guys always joking and who had a very hearty laugh. Dr. King, Leak said, “was a guy’s guy someone who could tell jokes.

“He was very gracious to me and once commended me on how good a driver I was,” reflected Leak. Many times when he was chauffeuring Dr. King, Leak said the entourage would be preceded by a police car front and back complete with sirens. “It was a very exciting period of time, and I was grateful to be a part of it.”

On Dr. King, Leak said, “I remember his hearty laugh. He would like to tell and hear jokes. He was a guy’s guy. He was a man’s man, and he was very gracious to me as a young man commending me on how I was a good driver. We had a police escort back and in the front with sirens going off,” said Leak.

He said it was the late Mayor Richard J. Daley who assigned some African American police officers to guard King like Officer Leo Hagen and Officer William Frisco, who later became Rev. Frisco. “They rode shotgun on the passenger side and I was their driver,” said Leak.

“I took Dr. King to the two Soldier Field protests which were the largest of all” of his rallies. “I took him to Stone Temple B.C. at 3600 W. Douglas and Tabernacle Baptist Church at 41st and Indiana. Where he spoke to a standing room only crowd,” he recalled.

“In addition to my job of being Dr. King’s chauffeur, I was also his gofer. I was to sell Dr. King’s book, Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story.” “Whenever he needed a new shirt or got his shoes shined that was my job,” said Leak. “I was very proud that I had been allowed to do this because at that time we knew the greatness in the future he would exemplify,” Leak said referring to prior to King’s march on Washington and his subsequent iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

While Leak was not in Washington, D.C. for the historic August 28, 1963 March on Washington, he said his father, a minister, went along with several clergy.

When asked his opinion on today’s 50thanniversary,” Leak said, “ It is right to commemorate the 50thanniversary; however, when I look back to what was happening back in Chicagoand America 50 years ago, I have not seen any progress emanating from the march on Washington other than the legislation that came as a result of the march which was the Voter Rights bill and the public accommodation’s bill.

“As far of the social engineering of our people, it has been a train wreck,” charged Leak. “We as a people have regressed since the summer of 1963.

“If you look at the stats, we had more children born to two member families than in 1963 than we have now,” he said. “The unemployment rate for blacks in America was around 6.3. It is now 12 whatever for black teenagers and 30 percent dropout rate in our schools.” Leak said the dropout rate in our schools was far less then than it is today.

“In 1963, the bible could be read in the CPS and the public schools in the nation prior to Madalyn O’Hare’s successful attempt to take the bible and prayer out of the schools.

“I am looking at 50 years that I am going back and I’m asking the question that comes out of Dr. King’s most favorite song he often quoted the lyrics, ‘If I can Help Somebody,’ as I pass along, then my living will not be in vain.

“I am wondering if Dr. King were alive, when asked the question at the 50th anniversary of the march, has my living been invain, has what I found and died become inconsequential or irrevelant,”said Leak.

He gave as an example the Voting Rights bill of 1964 when Dr. King was surrounded by President Lyndon Johnson who signed the historic document.  Leak recalled that moment in history and flashed back to the times of violent scenes when blacks wee attacked by police, dogs and water hoses.

“We thought it was very optimistic that the black man would finally be able to vote as any other citizen of this nation; however, less than half of black America is registered, less than half of those registered actually vote. I question those Civil Rights leaders who say we must fix the voting rights bill that was tampered with by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

“I’m saying if you fix it and you get it to where you want, it’s meaningless if black people won’t vote and that is what I see is happening,” said Leak.

As proof, he referred to the most recent election where he said, “It was so evident that black people didn’t go to the polls but complained bitterly about the results,” referring to the 2000 Bush/Gore presidential election.

Leak said blacks in Florida, where that prolonged battle for the Oval Office took place, “Half of the black residents of Florida did not vote. They didn’t come to the polls; so what good goes it do to have voting rights, Supreme Court monitoring and sustaining those rights and then we don’t have the ability or the sense to go to the polls and exercise that right to vote.”

Leak said he is “troubled by the events that have not taken place that I thought would be in place as a result of that historic day 50-years ago, and I am disappointed and disillusioned.

“As much as I am with those who are celebrating and commemorating, and I wish I could be there to do so, I’m just concerned that we as a people did not follow the precepts that was responsible for Dr. King’s speech in the first place…”

Leak was referring to the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was signed from President Lincoln “emanating from a speech he made prior to becoming the president in 1858 during the Lincoln/Douglas debates.”

“He spoke of a nation half slave and half free and he said it was a house divided against itself,” Leak said referring to President Lincoln. “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” said Leak. “He said the nation of America would not be able to stand if it’s divided against itself half slave and half free. It will tumble and fall into a Civil War which did happen after he became president.”

“We are the spirit of the march. The spirit of the speech (I Have a Dream) was that Dr. King was trying to echo the words of Abraham Lincoln even though he didn’t say it. He was saying that we must become a nation united so that we will not be divided against ourselves and fall into the same set of circumstances that created the Civil War 100 years before,” Leak warned.

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.

Poll: Ethnic Voters and Young People Key to California’s Support of Obamacare

Posted by Admin On August - 28 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Poll: Ethnic Voters and Young People Key to California’s Support of Obamacare

New America Media

by Anna Challet

SACRAMENTO — A strong majority of ethnic voters and young people in California support the Affordable Care Act, according to the results of a new Field Poll. The broad support from ethnic voters and voters under 30 has tipped the scales toward popular support of Obamacare in the state.

More than half of all California voters (53 percent) say they support the ACA, although white voters slightly oppose the health care law, with 49 percent opposing and 44 percent supporting.

But over 80 percent of African-American voters are in favor of the law, along with two-thirds of Latino voters. Asian-American voters also widely support the ACA, especially Vietnamese (76 percent) and Filipino voters (74 percent).

Additionally, 63 percent of voters under 30 express support for the law.

Mark DiCamillo, director of The Field Poll, notes that “the biggest differences [in support] relate to partisanship and political ideology.” Over 75 percent of registered Democrats back the ACA, as opposed to just 17 percent of Republicans. Ninety percent of self-identified liberals express support, compared to 15 percent of their conservative counterparts.

“One of the complicating factors … that will potentially hinder the outreach effort are voters’ predispositions toward the Affordable Care Act,” says DiCamillo. He notes that voters who are Republican or identify as conservative are less likely to express interest in receiving information about Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange.

The survey, administered by The Field Poll with support from The California Wellness Foundation, was conducted over landline phones and cell phones between late June and mid-July. Approximately 1,700 registered voters were polled in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Korean, and Vietnamese, with nearly 400 polled in non-English languages.

Half of California voters say that they have difficulty affording health care. The number is higher among ethnic voters, especially among Latino voters (60 percent).

Most uninsured voters (72 percent) and low-income voters whose household income is less than 139 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $32,700 a year for a family of four (71 percent) reported having a hard time affording health care.

DiCamillo says that Covered California has “a massive job ahead of itself” in terms of outreach to the state’s uninsured population, since many Californians have little understanding of the ACA, especially the voters who stand to benefit the most from the law’s provisions.

While only one-fourth of voters under age 65 say they have heard “a lot” or “some” about Covered California, uninsured voters and individuals interviewed in non-English languages were even less likely to have knowledge of the exchange.

But interest in learning about Covered California is high among ethnic voters, with Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, and non-English speakers all expressing a high level of interest in receiving information (79 percent, 82 percent, 64 percent, and 83 percent respectively).

DiCamillo says that the state has a lot of work to do in communicating to the moderate-income population that they might be eligible for tax credits if they purchase insurance on the exchange. When surveyed, two out of three uninsured voters who are eligible for tax credits were found to be unaware of their eligibility.

Similarly, less than half of the low-income voters who will be newly eligible for Medi-Cal were aware of their eligibility.

At a press briefing at the State Capitol last week presenting the poll’s findings, Secretary Diana Dooley of the California Health and Human Services Agency said that she was particularly struck by the data on young voters. The survey found that just 18 percent of voters under 30 say they have knowledge of Covered California.

“Much of our campaign will be targeted to moms,” says Dooley. Because most uninsured young people have little knowledge of their coverage options, Dooley is hopeful that communicating that information to their parents will result in more enrollees.

Ellen Wu, executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, says the strong support for the ACA among communities of color reflects the fact that these are the communities that stand to benefit the most from the law’s implementation.

The poll found that over 75 percent of non-English speakers under the age of 65 would prefer to receive information about Covered California in their native languages. Wu urges “the establishment of 800 numbers for non-English languages,” as part of the communication strategy the state is establishing for people to find information on their coverage options. She says that if non-English speakers see the same 800 number listed for everyone, they won’t trust that their language will be included and may not call.

David Panush, director of government relations for Covered California, is confident that the Affordable Care Act will ultimately be successful. He compares current disagreements to old arguments over the implementation of Medicare, which now has broad bipartisan support.

“When we had the Medicare debate 50 years ago, [it was] enormously controversial,” he says. “We’ll look back and say, ‘What was all the fuss about?’”

Madigan urges phone companies to act to reduce automated Robocalls to Illinois residents

Posted by Admin On August - 28 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan urged four leading telephone companies to address the growing problem of robocalls targeting Illinois residents.

Madigan sent letters to officials at AT&T Inc., CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and Consolidated Communications, which provide the vast majority of landline telephone service for Illinois residents, urging the companies to develop technology to block the onslaught of computer-generated robocalls that seek to scam consumers who pick up the phone.

“Because the potential financial harm from calls like these is real, phone companies should be exploring ways to reduce the number of automated calls targeting Illinois residents,” Madigan said. “Experts have demonstrated that there are technological solutions available that phone companies can use to cut down on these calls.”

Despite coordinated efforts by Madigan’s office, other state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Illinois residents continue to report robocalls to their homes, even when residents have placed their numbers on the Federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” list. The calls frequently originate from scammers in foreign countries, using technology to hide their location and identity, which makes enforcement efforts against them difficult.

As recently as this summer, Madigan issued an alert about the latest series of robocalls targeting Illinois seniors, which asked them to provide personal financial information to pay for services they never asked for or wanted. Across the country, during a three-month period in 2012, the FTC received an average of 200,000 complaints per month about robocalls. This figure marked a more than 200 percent increase from the same time period only three years earlier.

In today’s letter, Madigan asked the phone companies to explore technological solutions that would put a stop to these automated calls before they ever reach a consumer’s home.

50 Years Later, Civil Rights Leaders Face Bigger Challenges

Posted by Admin On August - 28 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

50 Years Later, Civil Rights Leaders Face Bigger Challenges

New America Media

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The 50th anniversary of the monumental 1963 March on Washington was accompanied by a wave of commemorative events that tried hard to recapture the energy and the spirit of the 1963 March. This was a tall order. The original march, punctuated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s towering “I Have a Dream” speech, acted as a powerful wrecking ball that crumbled the walls of legal segregation and ushered in an era of unbridled opportunities for many blacks. The results are unmistakable today. Blacks are better educated, more prosperous, own more businesses, hold more positions in the professions, and have more elected officials than ever before.

Yet the towering racial improvements since the 1963 March on Washington mask the harsh reality: The challenges 50 years later are, in some ways, more daunting than what King and other civil rights leaders faced.

When King marched in 1963, black leaders had already firmly staked out the moral high ground for a powerful and irresistible civil rights movement. It was classic good versus evil. Many white Americans were sickened by the gory news scenes of baton-battering racist Southern sheriffs, fire hoses, police dogs, and Klan violence unleashed against peaceful black protesters. Racial segregation was considered immoral and indefensible, and the civil rights leaders were hailed as martyrs and heroes in the fight for justice.

As America unraveled in the 1960s in the anarchy of urban riots, campus takeovers, and anti-war street battles, the civil rights movement and its leaders fell apart, too. Many of them fell victim to their own success and failure. When they broke down the racially restricted doors of corporations, government agencies, and universities, it was middle-class blacks, not the poor, who rushed headlong through them. As King embraced the rhetoric of the militant anti-war movement, he became a political pariah shunned by the White House, as well as mainstream white and black leaders.

King’s murder in 1968 was a turning point for race relations in America. The self-destruction from within and political sabotage from outside of black organizations left the black poor organizationally fragmented and politically rudderless. The black poor, lacking competitive technical skills and professional training, and shunned by many middle-class black leaders, became expendable jail and street and cemetery fodder. Some turned to gangs, guns and drugs to survive.

A Pew study specifically released to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations graphically made the point that the economic and social gaps between whites and African-Americans have widened over the last few decades despite massive spending by federal and state governments, state and federal civil rights laws, and two decades of affirmative action programs. The racial polarization has been endemic between blacks and whites on everything from the George Zimmerman trial to just about every other controversial case that involves black and white perceptions of the workings of the criminal justice system.

A half century later, the task of redeeming King’s dream means confronting the crises of family breakdown, the rash of shamefully failing public schools, racial profiling, urban police violence, the obscene racial disparities in the prison and criminal justice system, and HIV/AIDS. These are beguiling problems that sledgehammer the black poor and these are the problems that King and the civil rights movement of his day only had begun to recognize and address. Civil rights leaders today also have to confront something else that King did not have to face. King had the sympathy and goodwill of millions of whites, politicians, and business leaders in the peak years of the civil rights movement. Much of that goodwill has vanished in the belief that blacks have attained full equality.

Then there’s the reality that race matters in America can no longer be framed exclusively in black and white. Latinos and Asians have become major players in the fight for political and economic empowerment and figure big in the political strategies of Democratic and Republican presidential contenders. Today’s civil rights leaders will have to figure out ways to balance the competing and sometimes contradictory needs of these and other ethnic groups and patch them into a workable coalition for change.

It’s grossly unfair to expect today’s civil rights leaders to be the charismatic, aggressive champions of, and martyrs for, civil rights that King was. Or to think that 50 years later, another March on Washington can solve the seemingly intractable problems of the black poor. The times and circumstances have changed too much for that. Still, civil rights leaders can draw strength from King’s courage, vision and dedication and fight the hardest they can against racial and economic injustices that have hardly disappeared. This is still a significant step toward redeeming King’s dream.

Latino-Focused New Stages Festival features The Upstairs Concierge by Kristoffer Diaz and The Solid Sand Below By Martin Zimmerman

Posted by Admin On August - 28 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Free Series runs December 7-22, includes an “Industry Weekend” December 13-15

CHICAGO, IL -  Now in its 10th year, Goodman Theatre’s 2013 New Stages festival features five FREE new plays—two fully staged workshop productions performed in repertory plus three staged readings—in the Owen Theatre, December 7 – 22. All five plays celebrate Latino playwrights: The Upstairs Concierge, a contemporary farce about celebrity and baseball by Pulitzer Prize finalist (for The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity) Kristoffer Diaz; and The Solid Sand Below, an examination of the intoxicating nature of war which Martín Zimmerman developed during his time as a member of the Goodman’s Playwrights Unit, and which was selected for the 2013 National Playwrights Conference at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Connecticut. The three staged readings, which complement the two workshop productions over the December 13 – 15 “Industry Weekend,” are TBA. Tickets are free, but reservations are required: 312.443.3800, GoodmanTheatre.org or visit the box office (170 N. Dearborn).

“Our New Stages festival has grown exponentially in size, ambition and complexity over the past decade, giving audiences a first look at more than 50 new plays in development. With plays like Teddy Ferrara, Ask Aunt Susan, The Convert and Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, it’s also become an important engine for bringing new work to the Goodman’s stages,” said Goodman Theatre Director of New Play Development Tanya Palmer, who oversees the theater’s New Stages festival, Playwrights Unit and new works commissioning program. “Kristoffer Diaz and Martín Zimmerman are two of the most exciting young playwrights working today, and we’re thrilled to build on our longstanding commitment to Latino theater artists.”

Approximately one third of the plays developed in the New Stages festival have received full productions at the Goodman or at leading U.S. theaters—Marie Antoinette The Color of Desire by Nilo Cruz and Chasing Manet by Tina Howe. Playwrights featured in the festival have included Pulitzer Prize winners Lynn Nottage, Quiara Alegría Hudes and Nilo Cruz, as well as rising stars Christopher Shinn, Tanya Saracho and Thomas Bradshaw. With the expansion of the festival in 2011 to include fully staged workshop productions—an investment in new plays that provides writers with three weeks of rehearsal, design elements and nine public performances—New Stages offers the Goodman the opportunity to collaborate with a new generation of designers, including sound designer and composer Mikhail Fiksel and lighting designer Jesse Klug. Director and former Maggio Fellow Joanie Schultz, who makes her Goodman mainstage debut this season with Venus in Fur, first directed for the Goodman during New Stages.

The Goodman is grateful to those who make it possible to offer the series free of charge. The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and The Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation are the supporters of New Stages; Time Warner Foundation is the Major Supporter of New Play Development; The Glasser and Rosenthal Family and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust are Supporters of New Work Development. The Joyce Foundation is the Principal Supporter of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives.

Chicago Coalition Denounces Threatened U.S. Attack on Syria

Posted by Admin On August - 28 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Protest set for 5 PM, Thursday, Federal Plaza

(From the LGBTliberation@aol.com)

“What an insulting way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington”

CHICAGO, IL – With President Obama threatening to launch a U.S. attack on Syria, a coalition of Chicago activists is organizing to oppose his proposed bombing of Syria, charging that it would be like pouring gasoline on a raging fire. They have set a protest to begin at 5 PM, Thursday, August 29 at Chicago’s Federal Plaza at the corner of Adams and Dearborn Streets.

No matter how one feels about the Assad regime or the rebels, a U.S. attack on the Syrian government would lead to many hundreds if not thousands more casualties, and would represent a dramatic escalation of the war, threatening a superpower confrontation with Russia.

Like so many prior U.S. attacks, this one is built upon a tissue of lies and misinformation, charge anti-war activists:

  • The alleged trip wire for the U.S. attack on the Syria government is that government’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Yet a May 5th Reuters report notes that “U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.”
  • While Secretary of State Kerry claimed on Monday that the U.S. was forced into this posture because “for five days” the Syrian government wouldn’t allow access to the suspected chemical weapons attack site, UN spokesman Farnan Haq admitted in yesterday’s briefing [see starting at 12:00] that while it announced in the press Thursday that it wanted access, the formal UN request wasn’t submitted until Saturday, which was granted the next day.
  • The United States has aided previous poison gas attacks that killed thousands, according to a Monday report in Foreign Policy Magazine. The magazine referred to previously unpublicized documents that show that the CIA cynically aided Iraq’s Saddam Hussein with intel, knowing that he would use the info to launch chemical weapons attacks that killed thousands of Iranians.

The hypocrisy of the “human rights” casis belli for war on Syria fits a larger pattern. Saddam Hussein’s poison gas attacks aided by the Reagan administration are part of a rich trove severe human rights crimes by operatives of previous administrations that remain unprosecuted by President Obama.

The United States and its European allies, for example, had no problem using “extraordinary rendition” to kidnap people in countries abroad and deliver them to brutal prisons of Assad’s Syria, Mubarek’s Egypt, and Ghaddafi’s Libya for torture. President Obama’s allies in the Syrian civil war include serial human rights abusers Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Israel, all of whom are lavishly supplied with U.S. arms.

Far from promoting democracy, the United States under President Obama has supported a string of dictators around the globe, against their own peoples, and supported the recent military coup against Egypt’s President Morsi and the 2009 coup against Honduras’s elected government.

“It is a brutal irony that on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s March on Washington that we are again contemplating dramatically escalating a war in another small nation halfway around the globe,” said Andy Thayer, one of the initiators of tomorrow’s protest and an organizer against last year’s NATO summit in Chicago. “We live in a nation that is almost as racially segregated as it was then, with economic stratification on such a scale that people now commonly refer to the 1% vs. the 99%. These are precisely some of the reasons why a few years later Dr. King spoke out against his President’s war.”

Thursday’s protest is co-sponsored by Answer Chicago; Anti-War Committee – Chicago; CAMI-Committee Against the Militarization of Youth/Comite anti-militarizacion; Gay Liberation Network; International Socialist Organization; La Voz de los de Abajo; March 19th Anti-War Coalition; Syrian American Forum; World Can’t Wait Chicago (list in formation)

For more information please call 773.209.1187 or email LGBTliberation@aol.com

2013 NAAIA National Conference & Empowerment Summit to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana

Posted by Admin On August - 28 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) will convene for its 15th National Conference & Empowerment Summit on September 11 -13th 2013 at the Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana. Sales and financial services professionals from various states and insurance disciplines are expected to participate in 3 days of workshops and executive presentations geared toward enhancing selling skills, improving leadership aptitude, and individual coaching.

This year will feature a partnership with the Louisiana Department of Insurance to host a CAREER FAIR on September 13, 2013 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This year, conference attendees will participate in a community service project for Hands On New Orleans, sponsored by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA).

The 2013 theme is “Making Today’s Vision Tomorrow’s Reality”. Attendees will be inspired by nationally-renowned motivational speaker Maggie Anderson, author of Our Black Year & Founder of Empowerment Experiment; interact at a legislative briefing featuring James Donelon, NAIC President and Louisiana Insurance Commissioner, and participate at the career fair and workshop presented by Patrick Bell, Deputy Commissioner, and Division of Minority Affairs.

A line-up of expert panelists and speakers will discuss leadership skills, project management, teamwork, and productivity in sessions designed for today’s insurance and financial services professional. Some of the conference workshops are certified for CE credits. Online Conference Registration is now available.

Visit http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001lJXwI2iwBNKOGeOyKDZhteKnh25_QzScihQevC-RPD9NF2Fci1aS2SVCW7C3PO9e1eGav8r1ivGuqkxQO8LNGg1EDfDmv_j5W-7rCaC7vn0Z9WZT84SNtg== for additional information.

Send your career fair inquiries and resumes to info@naaia.org or fax to 202-478-5181.

Avoid getting run over when protecting your personal information, cautions Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On August - 28 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Protecting your personal identity information has become as much of a necessity today as looking both ways when crossing a street. And while there are various ways identity thieves attempt to steal your personal information, a recent poll by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) shows consumers are neglecting to protect themselves against the most common ID theft techniques.

The BBB poll showed that while slightly more than 25 percent of respondents rightly believe a lost or stolen credit card is a significant threat to personal identity information, only 12 percent consider bills, invoices and other personal paper thrown out in the trash to be a significant threat.

“It is ironic two aspects of identity protection that are the easiest to accomplish are considered the most and least important in the view of many people,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.

Much more likely ID theft possibilities, like losing a credit card or trashing a bill with a card number printed on it, get much less media coverage, Bernas commented, than other more difficult acts such as stealing information from telephone or online credit card purchases, or hackers stealing personal information.

“Using credit cards when shopping or eating out has become such an automatic action for many people that they mindlessly hand over their identities,” Bernas stated. “Paying the credit card bills and throwing out the receipts too often fall into the same category. Stealing your identity information from these actions is a lot easier for ID thieves than it is for them to accomplish sophisticated computer hacking.”

The BBB president explained that people need to take more responsibility for protecting their identities in ways that they can control. Guarding credit cards and shredding any documents with personal information are two actions every person can take to lessen the risk of their identity being stolen.

For more consumer tips, visit www.bbb.org

As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.

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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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