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Archive for July 10th, 2014

Father Pfleger Calls Violence in Chicago “Genocide”

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Calls for comprehensive plan of action

By Chinta Strausberg


Upset about the more than 90 shootings including at least 18 homicides that have taken place since the Fourth of July weekend, Saint Sabina’s Father Michael L. Pfleger Wednesday appeared on ABC 7’s “Windy City Live” where he called the violence acts of  “genocide.”

Pfleger was a special guest of “Windy City Live” co-hosts Val Warner, Ryan Chiaverini, and contributors Ji Suk Yi and Roe Conn.

Wearing his blue T-Shirt that says “Demand Peace,” Pfleger said, “If 90 soldiers inI raq got shot this weekend, we would have a national response to it, but 90 people get shot in Chicago primarily black and brown gets page 8 in some of the papers.

“We have to understand that this is genocide going on. This is a wiping out of a generation, and we have to understand that we have to take a comprehensive approach.”

Referring to the traditional finger pointing that goes on after a shooting where critics say parents or priests must do more, Pfleger said, “We need jobs.”

Pfleger said that need speaks volumes about the environment where these shootings are occurring. “You look in the areas where there is the most crime and you’ll find the highest unemployment, the worse educational systems, the worse economic development, the worse positive alternatives for young people (and) the most incarcerated coming back from jail.”

“If we don’t have the courage to deal with the major issue, we’re going to that many.  It’s not about just getting lower numbers. It’s about changing systemic problems that have kept this killing going for a long time, and I’m tired of hearing that homicides are down because for the mother who lost her child this morning or a father who lost…. He doesn’t care about homicides being down. His baby is dead,” said Pfleger.

Referring to Pfleger’s reference to Iraq, Conn told Pfleger, in Iraq or Afghanistan at least you know who you are going after. However, Conn added, “This is fratricide as opposed to homicide…. It’s neighbor-by-neighbor violence. The question is how do we change the culture here….”

Conn said in many instances the violence results from someone using an illegal gun“at the drop of a hat” and in some cases “it’s not about drug selling…but who looked at me funny, somebody disrespected me or you said something about me on Facebook. How do we get to people to not pull their guns out and shoot each other”? he asked.

Warner said, “That’s all they know is how to survive and that is what they do. It’s not right at all.  Remember back int he day, there were no guns. You had a good old fistfight. That is not the case anymore.”

Saying there have always been shootings in Chicago, Father Pfleger said when he was a child 800 people were being killed a year in this city. “If you look at your neighborhood, it looks like a Third World country. How do you value your life and value yourself?  You have all of this opportunity shut off…and you feel the only thing that gives me respect…the only thing that gives me any sense of power in my life because I have no power…. I can’t get a job. I can’t get a good education so my power is my gun.”

Pfleger said one young man told him his peers could be a Michael Jordan but they found out they couldn’t. “Everybody told us we could be the next Kanye. We can’t be that, but now all of a sudden because everybody can get a gun everybody can be a shooter.”

Referring to Marshfield Street located in the Auburn Gresham community, Father Pfleger aid there are abandoned houses and lots. Street leaders claim these areas he says nobody else wants.

Windy City Live co-hosts asked what could be done to avoid a repeat of last weekend’s double-digit shootings especially since guns are easily acquired from straw buyers whop urchase guns from Mississippi and sell them on the streets of Chicago.

“And,t here is no responsibility,” said Pfleger. “I can go right now buy 200 guns in Riverdale, sell them on the streets of Chicago and if that gun gets caught in a crime tomorrow they will say you bought this gun in Riverdale and you can say I must have lost it or it was stolen.

“I have been saying for ten-years title a gun like a car. If I have a car and Ig ive it to you, and I don’t transfer a title and you have an accident, they are coming for me. If I buy 200 guns, I got 200 titles. If I don’t transfer that tiitle, you’re going to jail,” said Pfleger.

Referring to the Obama administration requesting for $3.7 billion to curb immigrant children from crossing U.S. borders but not saying a word about the 82 shootings that occurred over the weekend in Chicago, Father Pfleger said, “We can’t find money for jobs for economic development. This is unacceptable.

“Some of our communities have been totally neglected and we’re talking about all of this money we’re spending for homeland security for terrorism overseas when we got terrorism here at home in Chicago…,” he said.

The largest employer for young people in the Midwest (1,000 slots), Pfleger said,“We took over West of Ashland, East of Halsted, 76th to 83rdand we said anything that happens in this area we take it personal. This is our territory. There will be no shooting, no killing.”

Pflege rwho in September of 2012 struck a peace truce with four street gangs in the Auburn Gresham community and who continues to hold 7 p.m. Friday night peace marches throughout the community said, “We put 160 through GED. I know for af act if people are given options, they want the job. They want the school. They want a future, but when you feel you have nothing…. Our job thing is working. We just got to do it on a broad basis and long-term.”

Pfleger said each week he brings together more than 150 people for his peace marches in an area that houses six different gangs with no police and not one single fight or incident. “It can be done,” he said.

He told of one man who was on the street and today he is driving a mega bus.  There is another man who came to him with an ankle bracelet on and today he is driving a CTA bus. Pfleger fought for jobs for them. He even sent them to school including free GED courses and sent some to college. Pfleger even bought many of them suits for their job interviews and provided them with the human resources they need for their families.

“People want options but you got to be able to say I believe in you, I love you, and I will help you,” said Pfleger.

In Chicago, Pfleger said there are 75,000 teenagers “who have been pushed out or dropped out of school. If we are not trying to reach them…if you are on thes treets every day with no job, no school, you are going to be involved in illegal activity.” Pfleger said one youth told him “the only options the institutions offer me is jail.”

Warner mentioned the mother who was shot in front of her own daughter at a Fourth of July barbecue. “It’s not even necessary gang-on-gang violence. People are scared to go out of their homes.”

When the “Windy City Live” staff mentioned the ending of the frisking in New York because it was racial profiling, Pfleger said, “I’m not willing to do that unless you do all.” He does not want police to stop gang members or make more arrests in the name of ending violence. Rather, Pfleger said, it has to be a comprehensive plan that involves jobs and education. “This thing didn’t happen overnight…. We got to have the courage to do the hard things and not just lock people up.”

Chiaverini added, “There is no simple answer and it’s certainly not going away.”

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.

Illinois Consumers Must File Claims by August 1 in $310 Million Settlement Over DRAM Price Fixing

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Consumers who purchased computers, printers, video game consoles, electronic devices with DRAM memory chips may benefit from settlement

CHICAGO, IL ─ Illinois consumers have until August 1 to claim money they may have overpaid on purchases of computers, printers, game consoles and other electronics that contained DRAM, or dynamic random access memory, as part of a $310 million dollar settlement with manufacturers.

Many Illinois businesses or consumers who purchased computers and other electronic devices from 1998 to 2002 could benefit under the settlement. The settlement provides restitution for people who purchased DRAM or devices containing DRAM in that time period from someone other than a DRAM manufacturer, including retailers such as Best Buy or Staples. DRAM is a common form of memory chip found in computers and other devices, including printers, gaming machines and MP3 players.

Claims can be filed online at www.DRAMclaims.com. The deadline to file claims is August 1, 2014. More information about the settlement is available by visiting www.DRAMclaims.com, calling a toll-free hotline at 1-800-589-1425 or emailing Info@DRAMclaims.com.

Consumers or businesses that purchased the following items between 1998 and 2002 are eligible to make a claim: Desktop and laptop computers, computer servers, computer graphics cards, printers, video game consoles, MP3 players, PDAs, DVD players, digital video recorders, and other technology devices that contained DRAM memory.

Following an investigation, Illinois and other states filed antitrust lawsuits in federal court alleging that consumers overpaid for electronic devices containing DRAM after the DRAM manufacturers conspired to artificially raise the price of its chips from 1998 to 2002.

In addition to monetary relief, the settlement also requires DRAM manufacturers to implement antitrust compliance programs and prohibits them from certain conduct related to the sale of DRAM that would violate the antitrust laws.

Payments from the settlement will be made after the court has granted final approval of the settlements, including the resolution of any appeals.

President Obama’s Remarks on the Economy

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Cheesman Park
Denver, Colorado

President Barack Obama: Hello, everybody!  Hello, Denver!

Everybody have a seat.  So I think we should just stay here all afternoon and have a picnic.  This is really nice around here.  Wow!  What a gorgeous day.

Can everybody please give Alex a big round of applause for that great introduction?  It is so good to be back in Denver.  It is great to be back in Colorado.  As all of you know, I spent a lot of time here in my last campaign.  I have been itching to get back.

I got to have dinner last night with Alex and four other Coloradans — Elizabeth Cooper, Leslie Gresham, Carolyn Reed and her husband David — at the Wazee Supper Club. It was tasty.  That was some good pizza.  And then I walked down the block to shoot some pool with Governor Hickenlooper at his old bar, the Wynkoop Brewing Company.  You should not ask him who won.  (Laughter) No, no, really, don’t ask Governor Hickenlooper who won at pool.  (Laughter.)  And it’s a great time to be in this beautiful park with my friend, Ken Salazar — who I love and I haven’t seen in a while.  There he is right there.  As well as your Congressman, Ed Perlmutter.  Yay, Ed.

So let me tell you why I’m here.  Every day, we get thousands of letters and emails at the White House.  I think it’s something like 40,000 a day of some sort of correspondence.  And every night, our Correspondence Office selects 10 letters for me to read.  And I’ve been doing that since I first came into office.  And it’s one of the most important things I do — it’s right there next to my national security briefing and whatever policy issues that we’re supposed to be working on — because it reminds me of why I ran for office.

And so I have a chance just to hear from people as they tell their stories.  They talk about the hardships that they’re going through; sometimes they talk about a success that they’ve had.  Kids write to me, asking questions about what I’m doing about climate change, or how old is Bo.  (Laughter.)  So people describe to me their fears and their hopes not just for themselves, but also for their children and their grandchildren and for the country.  And sometimes they thank me for taking a position on an issue.  And sometimes they say, how dare you take that position on an issue.  And sometimes people say they’re proud of the work that I’ve done, and sometimes people call me an idiot — or worse than an idiot — which is how I know that I’m getting a good sample.  (Laughter.)

So Alex wrote to tell me that the day after my State of the Union address, her boss gave her a raise to $10.10 an hour.   Alex actually, last night, confessed she actually didn’t watch my State of the Union address.  (Laughter.)  Which, hey, I understand.  (Laughter.)  When I was her age, I’m sure I missed a whole bunch of State of the Union addresses.  But her boss caught it, and he decided, let me make sure I’m paying my employees a fair wage.

Carolyn, from up in Wellington, wrote to say she and David used an SBA loan from the Recovery Act to open the third of their six Silver Mine Subs shops. Oh, you know Silver Mine?  All right.  Everybody is happy about that.  It was a wonderful story because both her and her husband were Teamsters.  See, she worked at UPS, and he worked for Bud.  And they just knew that they wanted to start something of their own.  And she described to us last night what it was like to take the risk to mortgage the house and make a business for herself, and then now to have a hundred employees and to be giving those folks an opportunity.  They’re hiring, by the way — (laughter) — in case people are interested.

Leslie, from Parker, wrote to say she’d been teaching preschool for 26 years and was an Early Childhood education — Educator of the Year, just a wonderful teacher.  But she described the difference she could see in children who had that early exposure to the kind of classroom education that she’s providing.

And Elizabeth, who’s going to be a junior this fall at the University of Northern Colorado, wrote to tell me how hard it is for middle-class families like hers to afford college.  And she shared something I know many of you feel when you wonder what the heck is going on in Washington.  She wrote she feels “not significant enough to be addressed, not poor enough for people to worry about, and not rich enough to be cared about.”  That’s what she wrote.

So part of the reason I wanted to have dinner with these folks is because they reminded me of why I ran for office and what I’m supposed to be doing every single day.  And the reason I’m here today is very simple:  I’m here because of Elizabeth, and Alex, and Carolyn, and Leslie.  And I’m here for every American who works their tail off and does everything right and who believes in the American Dream –  and asks for nothing but a chance at a decent life for themselves and their families.  That’s why I’m here.  And to tell all of you that I hear you.

I mean, sometimes it’s as simple as that — that I am listening and paying attention, partly because when I listen to Alex or I listen to Carolyn or I listen to any of the folks that I met with, I see myself in them.  Because I remember my first minimum wage job — at Baskin Robbins, by the way — (laughter) — I had to wear a cap and an apron — and how like a little raise would have really helped.  I think about what it was like for me to finance college.  I think about childcare costs when Michelle and I were first starting out with Malia and Sasha.  Your stories are ours.  You’re why I ran.

And so what I want to make sure of is, is that as screwed up sometimes as Washington gets, that everybody here understands that there’s progress to be made, and that there’s somebody out there who’s fighting for them, even if it sometimes feels like the system is rigged against them.

The other thing I want to make sure people understand is, is that we are making progress, as bad as the news looks, if all you were doing was watching cable TV all day long.  Yes, the crisis that hit towards the end of my first campaign hit us all really badly; 2007, 2008, that was rough.  But today, our businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs over the past 52 months.   Construction and housing are rebounding.  Our auto industry is booming.  Manufacturing is adding jobs for the first time since the ‘90s.  The unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest point since September of 2008 — the fastest one-year drop in nearly 30 years.

And, look, most of this is attributable to you, the American people — starting businesses, and paying down debt, and tightening belts, and doing all kinds of stuff just to make sure that you kept on and were able to look after your families.  But the decisions we made early on not only stopped the slide, but also built a new foundation for our economy, and they’re paying off now.

We’re more energy independent.  We’ve tripled the electricity we generate from the wind, ten times from the sun, creating jobs across the country — while producing more oil at home than we buy abroad for the first time in nearly 20 years.  Our energy sector is booming.  And, by the way, we’re doing that while reducing our carbon emissions more than any other country over the last five years.  So we’re making progress on climate change as well.

In education — our high school graduation rate is at a record high. The Latino dropout rate has dropped in half.  More young people are graduating from college than ever before.  We’ve made our tax code fairer.  We cut our deficits by more than half.  We’ve given millions more Americans the security of health care that means you won’t go broke just because you get sick.

So thanks to the hard work of you — and some actually pretty smart policies by us — (laughter) — we have come farther and recovered faster than almost any other advanced nation on Earth.  More companies are choosing to bring back jobs from overseas.  Thanks to our leadership in technology and innovation, for the first time in more than a decade, business leaders around the world have declared China is not number one when it comes to the place to invest, the United States is.  And our lead is growing.

So despite what you may hear, there is no doubt we are making progress.  By almost every measure, we are better off than when I took office — by almost every measure.  But here’s the thing — and this is why I’ve got to get out more and have lunch with — and pizza with my friends — because the fact is, we know we’ve still got a long way to go.

Here’s the challenge:  We’ve created more jobs at this point of the year than any year since 1999.  More jobs have been created in the first half of this year than we have since the ‘90s.  But many families barely earn what they did in the ‘90s.  Corporate profits are higher than ever.  CEOs make more than ever.  But most people are working harder than ever just to get by.  Wages, incomes have flat-lined.  They have not gone up.

So as a whole, the country is doing better, but too much improvement goes to the folks at the top and not enough of it is making a difference in the lives of ordinary Americans.  And that’s what we should be spending all our time talking about, how do we reverse some of those trends.  That’s what I came to Denver to talk about, that issue — how do we make sure if you work hard, do the right thing you can get ahead.  Washington may chase whatever political story they think will get attention, but to me the only story that matters is your story.  And I am here to say that this country does not succeed when just a few at the top do well and everybody else is treading water.  America does better when the middle class does better, when folks who work hard can afford to buy what they make and provide for our families and leave something better for our kids.

So this is what I’m spending time on.  This is what I’m fighting for.  This is my opportunity agenda.  I’m focused on how do we create good jobs that pay good wages — jobs in American manufacturing and construction, in American energy and innovation.

I’m fighting for an opportunity agenda that trains more workers with the skills to fill those jobs at community colleges and in apprenticeships and internships that give young people a solid start.

We’re fighting for an opportunity agenda that guarantees every child a world-class education, from high-quality pre-K, to a redesigned high school, to colleges and a rewarding career that’s affordable and you’re not loaded up with debt.

We’re fighting to make sure your hard work pays off with higher wages that you can live on and savings you can retire on — workplace flexibility, so if your kids get sick or you’ve got an ailing parent you’re not looking at losing your job; overtime pay that you’ve earned; affordable health care that’s there when you get sick and you need it most.

We’re fighting for the idea that everybody gets opportunity — no matter what you look like, or where you come from, or who you love, or how you grew up, or what your last name is.  America is a place where you should be able to make it if you try.

And the good news is we actually know how to do some of these things.  If we make just some modest changes — we don’t need revolutionary changes.  If we made some modest changes, made some sensible decisions we’d create more jobs, we’d lift more income, we’d strengthen the middle class.  We wouldn’t solve every problem overnight, but we’d be making more progress even than we’re already making.  That’s what we should be doing.  And of course, that’s what drives you nuts about Washington, because that’s not what it’s doing.  (Laughter.)

After everything we’ve been through together, you’d think that these challenges would absorb the attention of folks in Washington.  But these days, basic common-sense ideas cannot get through Congress.  Basic stuff — stuff that used to be uncontroversial.  It used to be that Republicans, Democrats, everybody said, you know what, America, it’s a good thing when we build roads and bridges and a smart grid to transmit energy — all those things are good for business, they’re good for workers, it helps — now they can’t seem to pass a bill, just to fund basic projects that we know are good for our economy.

We have evidence that early childhood education, every dollar we spend there, you get seven bucks back –  because kids to better in school, they don’t drop out, they’re less likely to get in trouble.  They’re less likely to go to jail.  They’re more likely to be taxpayers later on.  But you look at Congress — they can’t do it.

Think about it.  So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to strengthen the middle class.  They’ve said no to raising the minimum wage.  They said no to fair pay legislation so that women are getting paid the same as men for doing the same work.  They said no to unemployment insurance for Americans who are out there looking for a new job.  I know, because I get letters from them every day — folks who have worked all their lives, paid taxes all their lives.  And now, right when they’re having a tough time because of an unprecedented recession that we just went through, and they need a little help so they don’t lose their house or they don’t lose their car, suddenly Congress can’t do it.

Congress just said no to fixing our broken immigration system in a way that strengthens our borders and our businesses — despite the fact that everybody from law enforcement to corporations to evangelicals — there’s a coalition around immigration reform that’s unprecedented.  These guys still can’t get their act together.

Rather than invest in education that lets working families get ahead, they voted to give another massive tax cut to the wealthiest Americans.  Rather than invest in roads and bridges to create construction jobs and help our businesses succeed, they’ve chosen to preserve and protect tax loopholes for companies that shift their profits overseas that don’t do anybody any good.

Republicans in Congress right now have shown over and over they’ll do anything to rig the system for those at the top or to try to score political points on me, even if the obstruction keeps the system rigged against the middle class.  The best thing you can say for them this year is they haven’t yet shut down the government or threatened to go deadbeat on America’s obligations.  But it is still early, so —

Now, I always have to say this:  I don’t think that they’re all terrible people.  I think they love their families.  They love the country.  They’ve got a different economic theory.  Maybe they don’t know what ordinary folks are going through.  But maybe it’s not that they don’t get it.  Maybe it’s just because the theory they have is, is that if the economy is doing good for folks at the very top, then it’s going to help everybody else — despite the fact that we have evidence over and over again that those theories have failed the middle class.

More tax breaks to those at the top.  Fewer investments in things like education.  Looser rules for big banks, or credit card companies, or polluters, or insurers — they believe all that stuff really makes the economy hum and prosperity trickles down.

Just because they believe it doesn’t mean the rest of us believe it — because we know from our history it doesn’t work.  Our economy grows best from the middle out, when everybody has a shot, everybody is doing well.  And with a slight change of priorities, we could do it.  We could help a lot more Americans get ahead.  And folks at the top will do well too.  Everybody will do better.

And, by the way, Republicans used to understand this.  This is not like a crazy Democratic, socialist idea.  (Laughter.)  My favorite President is a Republican:  Abraham Lincoln, who helped build a Transcontinental Railroad and invested in the Homestead Act that helped people get land; and invested in our first major federal scientific research; understood that you make these common investments — land-lease colleges — or land-grant colleges, that all these things would end up giving people tools to improve themselves and thereby improve the country.  And we couldn’t all do it alone.  We had to do it with each other.

This wasn’t just a Democratic idea.  Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System.  Teddy Roosevelt started our national parks.  These are basic ideas that made America work.  They’re not partisan.  So I’m going to keep on working with Republicans and Democrats to try to get things moving over there.

In the meantime, I’m not going to stand by while partisan gridlock or political games threaten the hard work of millions of Americans.  So wherever and whenever I can go ahead and help families like yours, I’ve got the legal authority to do it, I’m going to do it. I’m not going to wait.  Not going to wait.

That’s why I’ve taken a bunch of actions this year just to help working Americans while still reaching out to Congress.  What I’ve said to them is, if you’re not acting, I’m going to go ahead and do what I can.

So if Congress won’t act to make sure women have the ability to get equal pay for equal work, I made sure that women had the protections they need to fight for fair pay in the workplace.  I think when women succeed, America succeeds.  We’re going to keep on investing in that.
If Congress won’t act to create jobs in construction or manufacturing, we’re going to go ahead and speed up permits for big projects that are already funded, and launch new hubs to attract more high-tech manufacturing jobs — because I want to make sure the next revolution in manufacturing and technology is an American revolution, right here in the United States.  I don’t want it going to France or Germany or China.  I want it to happen here.

If Congress won’t act to help more young people manage their student loan debt — and Republicans voted against a bill that would have allowed young people to refinance at lower rates — I went ahead and gave nearly 5 million Americans the opportunity to cap their student loan payments at 10 percent of their income.  I don’t want them saddled with debt before they start out in life.  I want to make sure that they’re able to pursue a career in teaching or social work, or work in a non-for- profit, and they can still afford it.

Republicans so far refuse to raise workers’ wages.  I did what I could — it turns out I’m a pretty big employer.  (Laughter.)  So I said any federal worker — anybody who works for federal contractors, they’re going to have to pay their employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour. And I asked business owners and governors and mayors and state legislators to do what they could on their own.

And, by at way, since I first asked Congress to raise the minimum wage, 13 states have gone ahead and raised theirs — and those states have seen higher job growth than the states that haven’t raised their minimum wage.  And more and more business owners are choosing to lift wages for workers like Alex.  America needs a raise.  And, by the way, when America needs a raise — I was telling Carolyn, our sub owner, last night, and she made the simple point, look, I want tax cuts and raises for my workers and for others who don’t have a lot because that means they’re going to buy more sandwiches.  I can already afford a sub sandwich.  If you give me a tax cut I’m not going to spend — I’m not going to buy more sub sandwiches; I can only eat so many.  (Laughter.)  But that’s true about the economy generally.  When you give tax breaks and you give raises, you raise the minimum wage, you give a bigger chance to folks who are climbing the ladder, working hard, don’t have a lot at the end of the month, that money gets churned back into the economy.  And the whole economy does better, including the businesses.

Now, I gather that some of the Republicans in Congress are mad at me for going ahead and doing things.  (Laughter.)  And I don’t know which things they find most offensive, whether it’s creating jobs, or easing student loan burdens, or raising wages, but it’s really bothering them.  They have a plan to sue me.  They have plans to sue me for taking executive actions that are within my authority — while they do nothing.

I have a better idea.  They should do something. I will work with them.  Rather than engage in political stunts that waste time and taxpayer money, join me.  Let’s do some things together.  Let’s build some roads.  Let’s give America a raise.  Let’s help families with childcare costs. There are all kinds of things we can do.  Don’t be mad at me for doing something.  How about teaming up with me.  Let’s all do something. Let’s all get America working.

We are better than this.  Gosh, doesn’t it get you just frustrated?  (Laughter.)  We could do so much more if Republicans in Congress focused less on protecting the folks who’ve got the lobbyists and all that soft money out there.  Stop worrying about the folks who already got — are doing just fine.  Focus more on stoking opportunity for all people.  Work with me.  That’s the American way.  That’s what makes this country great — a sense of common purpose and patriotism, an economic patriotism that says we fall and we rise as one nation, as one people.

So we can rally America around an economic patriotism that says, don’t give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, let’s give more tax breaks to help working families pay for childcare or college.

Let’s rally around a patriotism that says, don’t give tax loopholes to corporations shifting jobs overseas, let’s put people back to work here rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our airports, making sure the next generation of manufacturing is made in America.  That’s patriotism. That’s patriotism.

Don’t stack the deck in favor of those who’ve already succeeded.  We’re stronger when we’re helping everybody succeed, cultivating every talent of every child — every 4-year-old in America, give them high-quality preschool so they’re safe and taught well while we go to work and redesign our high schools to better prepare our kids for the 21st century.  And tell every American, you know, if your job was stamped “obsolete,” if it was shipped overseas, we’re going to train you for an even better one.

We need an economic patriotism that says it’s a good thing that everybody gets health insurance.  That’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing.  It’s a good thing when women are paid the same as men for doing the same work. That’s not un-American.  It’s a good thing when parents have some flexibility when their kids are sick.  It will make the employees more loyal; they’re more productive.  It’s a good thing when nobody who works full-time is living in poverty.  That’s not un-American. That’s not radical.  It’s right.  It’s what built this country.

I know that sometimes it must be frustrating watching what’s going on.  I guarantee I get frustrated.  There are some things that I have to mutter under my breath sometimes.  (Laughter.)  And the hardest thing to change in politics is a stubborn status quo.  And it’s harder when Washington seems distracted by everything except the things you care about.  And there’s a cottage industry in Washington that counts on you just being cynical about stuff, so that you don’t vote, you don’t get involved, you get discouraged, you say a plague on both your houses.  But you can’t give into that cynicism.  Do not let them win by you being cynical, because despite everything that’s happened, despite all the obstruction, America is making progress.

We’re better off now than we were five years ago.  We’re going to be better off five years from now than we are right now.  Despite the unyielding opposition of a few, there are workers who have jobs who didn’t have them before.  There are families who have health insurance who didn’t have it before.  There are students who can afford to go to college who couldn’t afford to go before.  There are troops who are home with their families after serving tour after tour of war.  Don’t get cynical.  (Applause.)  Don’t do it.

Cynicism is a popular choice these days.  It’s what passes off for wisdom.  (Laughter.)  But cynicism isn’t wise.  And remember that it is a choice.  Cynicism is a choice, and hope is a better choice.  And it’s a choice that I make every time I sit down with these incredible people that I had dinner with last night.  They make me hopeful.

It’s the hope that Alex has when she sits down and she picks up a pen and she writes to the President hoping that the system still works; hoping maybe the letter gets there; hoping that I’ll listen; hoping that even when Washington seems tone deaf, your voice might reach a President, your voice might reach a crowd in a park, your voice might move fellow citizens to change what needs changing.

Every day I receive these thousands of acts of hope from you.  I’m listening.  It’s why I ran for office.  It’s why I’m fighting for you.  I will keep treating your cares and concerns as my own.  I will keep trying to restore the American Dream for everybody who is willing to work for it.

Thank you, Denver.  God bless you.  God bless America.  (Applause.)

Join Rep. Alan Grayson in Telling Congress: No New War: We’re Not Going Back to Iraq – Sign the Petition

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

With turmoil in Iraq, the United States contemplates military action. But the American people have already made up our mind – we’re not going back to Iraq.

Please join Rep. Alan Grayson in telling Congress: We’re Not Going Back to Iraq.

Thanks for all you do!

Bob Fertik


I have some big news. The U.S. House of Representatives

recently voted on funding U.S. combat forces in Iraq, and the warmongers won. Yes, I’ve checked the date, and yes, it’s 2014.

SIGN

We need to say NO. American combat forces didn’t help last time and they won’t help this time. What is happening in Iraq is tragic and awful, but we should use the Hippocratic oath for foreign policy — first do no harm. Please join us.

Maybe Congress will get it right this time, after getting it so, so wrong last time. At the very least, since I’m in Congress this time, you can count on me to support peace. We also have a President not named Bush, and he actually listens to reason.

But tens of thousands of us pushing is essential!

SIGN

The war in Iraq cost us $4,000,000,000,000.00, or 8% of our entire national net worth. Thanks to IEDs, head injuries and PTSD, it left 250,000 U.S. soldiers with permanent brain abnormalities that you can see on an MRI scan. But now we’re finally out of Iraq – and the military-industrial complex wants us to dive back in!

This is an emergency. Send this to your friends. Send this to your family. Post this on Facebook, on Twitter, on whatever newfangled services are out there.

If you know any reporters or bloggers, send this to them. It’s time to speak up. Just this once, let’s make the news, not be made by it.

We may win any given vote, or we may not. But if we don’t advocate peace, we won’t get peace. So let’s do this. Together.

SIGN

Courage,

Alan Grayson

Bomb Trains Secretly Rolling Through Chicago?

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Candlelight Vigil is planned for the Pilsen neighborhood today, Thursday, July 10th, from 8 – 9:30pm

CHICAGO, IL— A year after the oil rail explosion killing 47 people at Lac-Mégantic, local groups are worried Chicago may be vulnerable as well.  Joining a national mobilization to commemorate the tragic explosion in Quebec, concerned residents are questioning the secrecy surrounding the route of so-called “bomb” trains through the region, trains that carry the highly explosive Bakken crude oil.

A Candlelight Vigil is planned for the Pilsen neighborhood, today, Thursday, July 10th, from 8 – 9:30pm, to highlight the dangers of explosive and corrosive oil by rail transport through Chicago and to demand information on bomb trains rolling through area neighborhoods.  It will be held at the BSNF Terminal on Western Ave. and 16th St., Chicago.

“At a time when the urgency for climate action is at its greatest in history, we cannot fall into the oil industry’s distracting debates on the ‘best methods’ to transport fossil fuels,” states Debra Michaud, organizer with Tar Sands Free Midwest.  “As our movement has blocked climate-killing pipelines across North America, big oil has moved at an alarming rate to transport oil by rail. Yet despite dozens of oil train disasters, the oil industry is seeking to dramatically expand oil by rail in the US and in Canada,” Michaud notes.

“Lac-Mégantic’s disaster is a grim reminder to us all: Big Oil will persist in extracting, transporting, and burning every drop of oil they can find. No matter the risk, no matter the cost to public health, safety, and the climate, the oil industry will take every opportunity to profit,” asserts Dr. Lora Chamberlain, coordinator for Frack Free Illinois.

Pilsen and Little Village, in south central Chicago, are two communities at risk of “bomb trains.” Located in the middle of these densely populated neighborhoods is the Western Ave. Railway Terminal and the rail lines leading into it, where black tank cars with the dreaded “Hazard 1267” placard have been observed.

“We have observed oil tank cars in the vicinity of the BSNF Terminal on Western Ave. and 16th St., in Pilsen. We are alarmed that the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods have not been notified of the risks of the Oil by Rail in their backyards by agencies under the direction of Gov. Quinn and Mayor Emanuel,” Kim Wasserman, director for the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) points out.  LVEJO was a lead organization in the closure of the Crawford and Fisk coal fired power stations in Little Village and Pilsen.

The organizations and community want to know from  Gov. Quinn and Mayor Emanuel whether or not explosive and corrosive oil trains are going through neighborhoods in and around Chicago, and which neighborhoods are involved.  They also want to know what emergency and evacuation plans have been developed in case of an explosion along these rail lines, and which state and local agencies are responsible for implementing those plans.

“Illinois communities deserve to know the risks and dangers of oil transported by rail lines in their back yards.  We are calling on Gov. Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to release oil train maps and emergency plans to residents throughout Illinois who live in the Blast Zones, Potential Impact Zones and Evacuation Zones,” Michaud said.

“Now we say NO MORE!  No more exploding frack oil trains. No more tar sands. No more reckless endangerment of our communities and our climate!” said Gloria Fallon of Rising Tide Chicago.

Organizational Sponsors:  Frack Free Illinois, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Tar Sands Free Midwest, Rising Tide Chicago, Nuclear Energy Information Service

Further Information:

Wall Street Journal: North Dakota Fracking: Behind the Oil-Train Explosions: Volatile Gases Aren’t Removed From Bakken Shale Crude; ‘The Regulations Are Silent'”

Mother Jones: Why Do These Train Cars Carrying Oil Keep Blowing Up? Millions of gallons of crude oil are being shipped across the country in “the Ford Pinto of rail cars.”

Women Business Owners Learn Tactics on Securing Corporate Contracts August 7 in Chicago

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Small business owners seeking ways to grow their business should attend “Connecting to Corporations: Developing the Value Proposition for Women-Owned Business,” a workshop presented by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) on Thursday, August 7, 2014 from 9 a.m. to noon, at Edelman, 200 E. Randolph St., 63rd Floor, in Chicago.

Presenter Julia Hubbel, author, veteran and a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), who specializes in teaching minority- and women-owned companies how to do business with the Fortune 500, will help small business owners adjust their value proposition to maximize impact, effectiveness and grow their business through connections with large corporate supplier diversity programs.

The workshop is free of charge but requires registration. Space is limited. For more information, please visit www.WBDC.org or call (312) 853-3477, ext. 0.

About the WBDC
A nationally and internationally recognized women’s business assistance center in its 28th year of operation, the WBDC provides a continuum of business development services to prospective and established women entrepreneurs including counseling, training, financial, certification and procurement assistance in Spanish and English. The mission of the WBDC is to provide services and programs that support and accelerate women’s business ownership and strengthen the impact of women on the economy. The WBDC is headquartered at 8 S. Michigan Avenue, 4th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60603, with a satellite office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. To learn more, visit www.WBDC.org.

21 Chicago Nonprofits Receive Grants From Illinois Bar Foundation

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Twenty-one Chicago nonprofit agencies are among 30 law-related nonprofit organizations statewide that have been awarded grants from the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).

Among the Chicago organizations receiving grants are the following:

Cabrini Green Legal Aid – $10,000
CARPLS – $10,000
Center for Disability and Elder Law – $10,000
Center for Law and Social Work – $3,000
Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation – $5,000
Chicago Law and Education Foundation – $5,000
Chicago Lighthouse for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired – $7,000
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services – $12,500
Domestic Violence Legal Clinic – $10,000
Equality Illinois Education Project – $7,500
Equip for Equality – $7,500
Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center – $7,500
Illinois Equal Justice Foundation – $5,000
Illinois Legal Aid Online – $15,000
Lawndale Christian Legal Center – $7,500
Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing – $10,000
Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services – $7,000
Life Span – $5,000
Midwest Center on Law and the Deaf – $3,000
Public Interest Law Initiative – $15,000
Uptown People’s Law Center – $5,000
The mission of the Illinois Bar Foundation is to ensure meaningful access to the justice system, for those with limited means, and to assist lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity. This year, the Foundation will distribute close to $400,000 in grants to legal aid organizations across the state of Illinois, and in Lawyers Care Fund support to attorneys and their families in need. The Illinois Bar Foundation is located at 20 S. Clark St., Suite 910, Chicago, IL  60603, and the phone number is (312) 726-6072.

Academy Awards®-Winner Kevin Kline Honored With Career Achievement Award at Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festivals 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration

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CHICAGO, IL – Celebrating its 50th anniversary of saluting the greatest talents in world cinema, Cinema/Chicago and The Chicago International Film Festival honored Academy Award®-winning actor Kevin Kline with a Career Achievement Award on Saturday, June 28 at the Four Seasons Hotel (120 E. Delaware), during a special Summer Gala celebration. Honored for his poignant roles and stunning breadth of work, Kline treated more than 350 guests to an intimate discussion led by host Bill Kurtis. Co-chaired by Cinema/Chicago Board Chairman Jeanne Randall Malkin and Board member Penelope Steiner, proceeds from the event directly benefit Cinema/Chicago’s year-round programming.

The celebratory evening kicked off with a lavish cocktail reception in the ballroom foyer of the Four Seasons, during which time guests browsed an array of unique silent auction items including rare film memorabilia, extravagant dining items, exciting hotel stays and more. At the same time, Kevin Kline walked the red carpet regaling the media with stories from his career, the importance of film and education, his warm feelings for Chicago, as well as the privilege and honor of being celebrated by Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival. The ballroom doors were soon opened to reveal a breathtaking room and guests were then treated to a delectable dinner and live auction featuring a trip to Napa Valley, a custom-designed “Star Wars” slate created by George Lucas and a guitar autographed by the Rolling Stones.

The highlight of the evening came when host and legendary journalist Bill Kurtis welcomed Kline onto the stage for an intimate conversation and special tribute. Kline charmed guests with his thoughtful responses and evident passion for the art of theater and film. Interspersed throughout the candid discussion were a selection of clips showcasing Kline’s most memorable performances, accompanied by thoughtful video messages from past collaborators and friends including Sigourney Weaver, Ang Lee, Robert De Niro, Sally Field, Morgan Freeman, Jon Turteltaub, Susan Sarandon, Michael Douglas, Mary Steenburgen and Robert Downey Jr, all speaking to not only the incredible talent that Kline exudes, but to the amazing person that he is both on and off the screen.

With this award, Kline joined the ranks of many of the film industry’s most influential talents that have been honored by the Festival through the decades, including directors Orson Welles, George Cukor, Oliver Stone, Richard Attenborough, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg; and actors Gregory Peck, Jack Lemmon, Sigourney Weaver, Liv Ullman, Shirley MacLaine, Faye Dunaway, Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood, Michael Douglas, Tom Cruise, Sally Field, Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino.

The Chicago International Film Festival’s Summer Gala is one of Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival’s most important events in their year-round programming. A primary fundraising event for the not-for-profit arts and education organization, profits from the Summer Gala support Cinema/Chicago’s Education Outreach Screening Program, which brings more than 6,000 Chicago Public School students to film screenings each year.

Evening Partners include Stella Artois, Sound Investment AV, CS, Casale Del Giglio, and Anna Lou Glass.

About Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline has earned accolades, awards and critical acclaim for his stellar career in both theater and film.

Kline’s film credits include many of the most memorable films of the past three decades, including “Sophie’s Choice,” “The Big Chill,” “Dave,” “In & Out,” “Soapdish,” “Grand Canyon,” “Life as a House,” “French Kiss,” “Cry Freedom,” “The Ice Storm,” “The Anniversary Party,” “Fierce Creatures,” “As You Like It,” “The Emperor’s Club,” “A Prairie Home Companion,” “Queen to Play,” “The Extra Man,” “Silverado,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Darling Companion” and “Last Vegas.”

Kline made his Broadway debut in “The Three Sisters.” Other credits include “Hamlet,” “On the Twentieth Century,” “The Pirates of Penzance,” “Henry IV,” “King Lear,” “Richard III,” “Henry V,” “Measure for Measure,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “The Seagull,” “Mother Courage and Her Children,” “Loose Ends,” “Ivanov,” “Arms and the Man”  and “Cyrano de Bergerac,” among others.

ABOUT CINEMA/CHICAGO
Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit arts and education organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Summer Gala is one of the year-round events presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the Chicago International Film Festival, The Television Awards, Intercom Competition, CineYouth Festival, International Screenings Program, Black Perspectives and Education Outreach. The Chicago International Film Festival is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Motivational Speaker Marcus Parker Launches New App as a Tool for Daily Motivation

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

“A Dose Of Motivation” with Marcus Parker is now available in the Google Play Store

Marcus Parker Motivation App

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The evening news, the feature story on the front page of the paper, and even the most talked about local issues on local radio stations have one thing in common – they highlight the worst that is happening in the world today. While it is essential to understand the challenges in the local community, the nation, and around the globe – the constant onslaught of negativity can weigh too heavy, and result in a negative outlook on life.

This is why life coach, author, and motivational rap artist Marcus Parker AKA “M-Positive”, has launched his hot newly-updated Android app called A Dose of Motivation. The app is designed to provide instant access to a wide range of motivational entertainment and tools such as music, books, and on-the-go life lessons.

While there is much in the world that can and should be improved, there is much good in the world too. This app highlights the positive thoughts and gives users a true dose of motivation through music, books, and life lessons, says Parker, who has overcome his share of negativity in life.

By utilizing a free mobile app and entertainment to provide motivation while on-the-go, Parker has created a quick pick-me-up that anyone can turn to when they begin to feel down. The app has tools that are designed to motivate within minutes of hearing a motivating song designed to celebrate the positive aspects of life, helping people focus on their own personal goals.

The app is much more than just a list of quotes, but a fresh and modern take on being the best you can be. The app makes you feel good from the inside out – and there is nothing sexier than radiating the pure joy for life which Parker delivers in not only intellectual property but an array of pictures taken with scenes of nature in the background.

Aside from the daily lessons, and motivational entertainment provided in “A Dose of Motivation”, the app also allows users to connect directly with Marcus. He is available for private coaching sessions, live performances, and speaking engagementsand always enjoys meeting those who are moved to bring more light and positive energy into the world.

To learn more about A Dose of Motivation in the Google Play Store please follow this link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.marcusparker&hl=en

Where Do We Go From Here: Addressing Violence and Apathy Among Young Black Males

Posted by Admin On July - 10 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Until we engage children, youth and families are around serious survival and developmental needs we will continue to see senseless acts of violence in communities. Changing the mindset of people in communities is our only alternative to address violence. ~ David Miller, M.Ed. – Founder of the Dare To  Be King Project


Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — Dare To Be King: What if The Prince Lives? A Survival Workbook for African American Males is an innovative approach to address urban street culture, violence and a self-defeating mindset among African American males. The workbook is the brain child of David Miller, a former teacher turned social entrepreneur. The model is a 52 week life/survival skills curriculum designed to teach alternatives to street life and coach the participants to explore opportunities for growth.

A victim of violence growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, Miller created the model to engage young Black males around three critical areas: anger, decision-making and impulse control. Miller believes that our cities are occupied by thousands of angry males due to failed public policies, absent fathers, eroding communities and dysfunctional schooling.

Dare To Be King is an essential community-based tool designed to create a much needed dialogue to challenge narrow definitions of manhood and masculinity. These definitions have created apathy and a fascination with gangs, drugs and a gangster lifestyle. Often popularized by shows like The Wire, The Sopranos and Hollywood movies that depict young African American males as drug dealers and criminals.

The curriculum uses role playing, case studies, discussion groups and critical thinking activities to attack a mindset of mediocrity and hopelessness. In September 2013, a local New Jersey newspaper ran the headline, 14-year-old Newark Boy Killed; Had 30 Bricks of Heroin and Loaded Gun in His Bedroom. These incidents speak to the urgent need to engage with young males who are locked into a lifestyle of death and destruction.

From the likelihood of being victimized by the police to robbed at gun point, the curriculum has developed innovative practices to teach life and survival skills. The curriculum uses the tragic examples of the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant to have dialogue with young males on topics like community safety, addressing encounters with strangers and the police and how to handle dangerous situations. For example, young males are encouraged to watch the film Fruitvale Station and participate in a series of critical thinking activities outlined in the curriculum.

According to Cephus Johnson, the Director of the Oscar Grant Foundation, Without efforts like Dare To Be King, we will continue to see escalating violence, incarceration and younger and younger killers in our community!

Recently, Forbes Magazine published the 10 most dangerous cities in America based on FBI crime data. These cities along with countless others are plagued with serious educational, family and community dynamics that often promote violence as a realistic alternative. Models like Dare To Be King specifically address many of the challenges that young males struggle with daily. Many times we hear in the news about large cities like Chicago and Detroit but the violence is devastating all communities.

Jackie Campbell, Assistant Commissioner for Youth Services City of Rochester Recreation & Youth Services states: Rochester is a small city with big city challenges, which are doubly felt by our Black men, and our young boys in particular. Our boys so often need time and space to dialogue on real life issues, from a cultural frame of reference. The Dare to Be King curriculum allows that and more, and provides them with the necessary skills to be resilient in the face of those real life challenges, and to help them see that success is within their reach.

Other sections of the curriculum boldly challenge fatherlessness, self-image and peer pressure in the lives of adolescent males. Each of these areas are important in shaping the lives of young Black males in our community. Serious efforts are also dedicated to working with the parents of the young males involved. From engaging single mothers to reconnecting fathers, the Dare To Be King model uses holistic approaches to engage young Black males and the adults who shape his world view.

Dare To Be King is currently being implemented in summer programs, after school programs, mentoring projects, and faith-based initiatives to support young males.

For more information or to order copies, please visit www.daretobeking.net.
About Founder David Miller, M.Ed.

A former Baltimore educator, Miller blends his longtime dedication to academic excellence with his gritty teaching approach. A product of Baltimores mean and unforgiving streets, Miller relates to urban street culture in ways many others cannot do when working with at-risk youth.

Over the past 20 years David Miller has developed an international reputation for designing programs across the globe. He has focused on gang interventions, literacy, youth development and family strengthening in Africa, Canada & West Indies.

Photo Caption: Workbook cover

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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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