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Archive for September 11th, 2014

President Obama: “Our Objective is Clear, We Will Degrade, and Ultimately Destroy ISIL”

Posted by Admin On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Statement by President Barack Obama on ISIL in its entirety

My fellow Americans, tonight I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.

As Commander-in-Chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people.  Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country.  We took out Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  We’ve targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia.  We’ve done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year.  Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer.

Still, we continue to face a terrorist threat.  We can’t erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm.  That was the case before 9/11, and that remains true today.  And that’s why we must remain vigilant as threats emerge.  At this moment, the greatest threats come from the Middle East and North Africa, where radical groups exploit grievances for their own gain.  And one of those groups is ISIL — which calls itself the “Islamic State.”

Now let’s make two things clear:  ISIL is not “Islamic.”  No religion condones the killing of innocents.  And the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.  And ISIL is certainly not a state.  It was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border.  It is recognized by no government, nor by the people it subjugates.  ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple.  And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.

In a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality.  They execute captured prisoners.  They kill children.  They enslave, rape, and force women into marriage.  They threatened a religious minority with genocide.  And in acts of barbarism, they took the lives of two American journalists — Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff.

So ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East — including American citizens, personnel and facilities.  If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States.  While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies.  Our Intelligence Community believes that thousands of foreigners -– including Europeans and some Americans –- have joined them in Syria and Iraq.  Trained and battle-hardened, these fighters could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks.

I know many Americans are concerned about these threats.  Tonight, I want you to know that the United States of America is meeting them with strength and resolve.  Last month, I ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL to stop its advances.  Since then, we’ve conducted more than 150 successful airstrikes in Iraq.  These strikes have protected American personnel and facilities, killed ISIL fighters, destroyed weapons, and given space for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim key territory.  These strikes have also helped save the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children.

But this is not our fight alone.  American power can make a decisive difference, but we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves, nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region.  And that’s why I’ve insisted that additional U.S. action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days.  So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.

Our objective is clear:  We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.

First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists.  Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.  Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are.  That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.  This is a core principle of my presidency:  If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.

Second, we will increase our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground.  In June, I deployed several hundred American servicemembers to Iraq to assess how we can best support Iraqi security forces.  Now that those teams have completed their work –- and Iraq has formed a government –- we will send an additional 475 servicemembers to Iraq.  As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission –- we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.  But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment.  We’ll also support Iraq’s efforts to stand up National Guard Units to help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL’s control.

Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition.  Tonight, I call on Congress again to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters.  In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its own people — a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost.  Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.

Third, we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks.  Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding; improve our intelligence; strengthen our defenses; counter its warped ideology; and stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the Middle East.  And in two weeks, I will chair a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to further mobilize the international community around this effort.

Fourth, we will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization.  This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who are at grave risk, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities.  We cannot allow these communities to be driven from their ancient homelands.

So this is our strategy.  And in each of these four parts of our strategy, America will be joined by a broad coalition of partners.  Already, allies are flying planes with us over Iraq; sending arms and assistance to Iraqi security forces and the Syrian opposition; sharing intelligence; and providing billions of dollars in humanitarian aid.  Secretary Kerry was in Iraq today meeting with the new government and supporting their efforts to promote unity.  And in the coming days he will travel across the Middle East and Europe to enlist more partners in this fight, especially Arab nations who can help mobilize Sunni communities in Iraq and Syria, to drive these terrorists from their lands.  This is American leadership at its best:  We stand with people who fight for their own freedom, and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.

My administration has also secured bipartisan support for this approach here at home.  I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL, but I believe we are strongest as a nation when the President and Congress work together.  So I welcome congressional support for this effort in order to show the world that Americans are united in confronting this danger.

Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL.  And any time we take military action, there are risks involved –- especially to the servicemen and women who carry out these missions.  But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.  This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground.  This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.  And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year:  to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.

My fellow Americans, we live in a time of great change. Tomorrow marks 13 years since our country was attacked.  Next week marks six years since our economy suffered its worst setback since the Great Depression.  Yet despite these shocks, through the pain we have felt and the grueling work required to bounce back, America is better positioned today to seize the future than any other nation on Earth.

Our technology companies and universities are unmatched.  Our manufacturing and auto industries are thriving.  Energy independence is closer than it’s been in decades.  For all the work that remains, our businesses are in the longest uninterrupted stretch of job creation in our history.  Despite all the divisions and discord within our democracy, I see the grit and determination and common goodness of the American people every single day –- and that makes me more confident than ever about our country’s future.

Abroad, American leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world.  It is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists.  It is America that has rallied the world against Russian aggression, and in support of the Ukrainian peoples’ right to determine their own destiny.  It is America –- our scientists, our doctors, our know-how –- that can help contain and cure the outbreak of Ebola.  It is America that helped remove and destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons so that they can’t pose a threat to the Syrian people or the world again.  And it is America that is helping Muslim communities around the world not just in the fight against terrorism, but in the fight for opportunity, and tolerance, and a more hopeful future.

America, our endless blessings bestow an enduring burden.  But as Americans, we welcome our responsibility to lead.  From Europe to Asia, from the far reaches of Africa to war-torn capitals of the Middle East, we stand for freedom, for justice, for dignity.  These are values that have guided our nation since its founding.

Tonight, I ask for your support in carrying that leadership forward.  I do so as a Commander-in-Chief who could not be prouder of our men and women in uniform –- pilots who bravely fly in the face of danger above the Middle East, and servicemembers who support our partners on the ground.

When we helped prevent the massacre of civilians trapped on a distant mountain, here’s what one of them said:  “We owe our American friends our lives.  Our children will always remember that there was someone who felt our struggle and made a long journey to protect innocent people.”

That is the difference we make in the world.  And our own safety, our own security, depends upon our willingness to do what it takes to defend this nation and uphold the values that we stand for –- timeless ideals that will endure long after those who offer only hate and destruction have been vanquished from the Earth.

May God bless our troops, and may God bless the United States of America.

Muslim Americans Say ISIS Terrorism May Lead to More Hate Crimes

Posted by Admin On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Muslim Americans Say ISIS Terrorism May Lead to More Hate Crimes

Arab American News

By Natasha Dado

Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, was a victim of a hate crime this week that wouldn’t have occurred had it not been for the phenomenon of the terrorist group “Islamic State” (ISIS).

Sarsour, who has become a voice for Muslim Americans nationally, discussed the incident on social media.

“My deputy director and I were harassed by a bigoted drunk who hurled hateful Islamophobic and anti-Arab epithets at us on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge [a neighborhood in Brooklyn],” Sarsour wrote in a Facebook post about the incident. “He said, ‘you are cutting people’s heads off, sharmoota, I’m going to cut off your head and see how you will feel, you Arab b…..’”

The attacker appeared to be referencing the IS, which beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steve Sotloff. The IS claimed the men were murdered in retaliation for the united States’ involvement in Iraq.

Sarsour said the attacker had some sort of item or tool in his back pocket. The man ran after them and picked up a huge NYC metal garbage can and threw it at them, causing them to run into oncoming traffic.
Muslim Americans still face widespread challenges fighting hate and discrimination more than a decade after 9/11, and IS terrorism seems to be creating even more misunderstanding about members of the community and their faith.

Since ISIS first gained a stronghold in Mosul, Iraq in early June, Muslim American religious and community leaders have repeatedly condemned the group publically to prove it doesn’t represent their faith.

“The Islamic State is actually succeeding in causing damage to the image of Muslims and Islam,” said Majid Shah, a Muslim American from Washington D.C.

In response to IS terrorism, users on social media sites have been posting derogatory comments about Arabs and Muslims.

For many Muslim Americans another attack on the United States by a group that commits acts of terrorism in the name of Islam would be detrimental and possibly increase hate crimes against the community.

After 9/11 many people blamed Islam for the attacks, and took out their anger and frustration on the community.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney recently predicted an attack this decade that would be far deadlier than 9/11. On Monday, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warned that ISIS could attack the United States within two months and Europe in one month if more action against the IS wasn’t taken.

Iraqi American Alia Almulla said the situation for Muslim Americans would be worse than it was after 9/11 if the IS attacked the United States.

“I feel like it will be way worse then what happened with Sept. 11,” she said.

Almulla was a victim of a hate crime after 9/11. The incident occurred in 2007 while she was pregnant and living in Oklahoma City. She was sitting at a park with her family when people started questioning her about the headscarf she was wearing. Someone approached her and pulled off the headscarf.
“Over there they are not educated at all about Islam or wearing a scarf. They have not even seen these things,” she said.

The attackers asked why she had the headscarf on and whether she was wearing it because she was bald and had lice.

“They pulled it off to see if I really have hair or whatever,” she said.

Speaking to The Arab American News, one Muslim woman who did not want to be identified remembered that when the Boston bombings happened she was worried about what it would mean to her community if the perpetrators were Muslim.

“When the Boston bombing happened I was praying, ‘God please don’t let that be a Muslim, because when an incident like that happens you pay a price,’” she said.

She said that after the Boston bombing, women in parts of Massachusetts were attacked because they were wearing hijabs.

There are a lot of people who believe the IS has not succeeded in becoming the new face of Islam or creating sectarian divides.

“I feel like it is not separating us. It is actually making everyone closer,” Almulla said. “When you are educated enough about Islam, you know these terrorists are misrepresenting Islam and the religion. When we let the IS create divisions between us, we’re giving them what they want.”

Muslim Americans have worked extremely hard over the years to prove their religion is peaceful and condemns terrorism. That hard work is paying off and while there are some who believe IS represents Islam and all Muslims, more are educated about the issue.

Shayan Gaziani, a young Muslim American, said the hard work of the community over the years has helped clear up a lot misunderstandings about his faith.

“It took a couple of years but people learned that what happened during 9/11 was not a representation of Islam,” he said.

Gaziani said there is a greater fraction of people who know that those who commit acts of terrorism in the name of Islam do not represent the religion or the community.

“People are more educated and supportive,” he said. “Even many news outlets have taken more caution in the way they report ISIS because they know now Muslims have a voice in America, right? We are people of peace.”

He said the hard work the Muslim community has done over the last few years to show they are typical Americans would not be discarded if the IS did attack the country.

“If anything, it would be the ultimate test of the hard work we have been doing,” Gaziani said.
He said IS members misrepresent Muslims and twist and distort the meaning of the Qur’an.

“You might be familiar with the verse in the Qur’an that states if you kill one innocent human being, it is like killing all of humankind,” he said. “If you save one it is like saving all of humankind.”

Gaziani, who lives in the southwest U.S., said there has been a decline in hatred and racial discrimination in his home state.

For his part, Shah said to look at it from the perspective of a human being acting incorrectly or wrongly, not a religion.

“Police Brutality and Racial Profiling Go Beyond Ferguson” – Cornell William Brooks

Posted by Admin On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

From Cornell William Brooks
President and CEO

It’s been one month since Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson.

Sadly, police brutality didn’t begin or end with Michael’s shooting. One year ago, Jonathan Ferrell was shot 10 times by a police officer while looking for help after a car accident. In July, Eric Garner gasped, “I can’t breathe,” as he was held down and choked to death by New York police officers. In August, we watched in horror as peaceful protestors and journalists in Missouri were threatened, beaten, and shot at by a militarized police force.

Today, the news crews have gone home, and Michael’s name is no longer making front-page headlines. But the NAACP is still focused on securing justice for Michael, ending racial profiling, and erasing the culture of police brutality in our communities.

We aren’t done fighting for justice. We must end racial profiling and police brutality now.

We were horrified to see everyday Americans being treated like the enemy in St. Louis County, but we were not surprised: the NAACP Missouri State Conference has filed five federal complaints in the past five years against St. Louis County police officers claiming excessive force. The NAACP has been a pivotal lead in bringing witnesses forward to the Michael Brown shooting, and calming the community in the aftermath as we urged peaceful protest.

Local NAACP leaders have been working with federal authorities to make sure a full review of the department’s policing practices is carried out, and finally we’ve prevailed: The Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the Ferguson police department in addition to their investigation of Michael Brown’s death. Attorney General Eric Holder recognized the work of the NAACP during calls to the civil rights community.

This investigation is happening because the people of Ferguson have spoken up about the history of mistrust and lack of racial diversity on the police force. And across the nation, people have gathered to grieve, protest, and demand justice be served. We made it very clear that we are paying attention to Ferguson, and that’s why we’re able to take this next step toward justice.

Police brutality and racial profiling go beyond Ferguson, plaguing communities nationwide. Even if the press isn’t talking about these issues anymore, we can’t afford to stop.

If you stand with millions across the country who won’t rest until police brutality and racial profiling end, share this image on Facebook today:


In solidarity,

Cornell William Brooks

Father Pfleger: ’79th Street Festival is The Real Deal’ – There Was Peace to the End

Posted by Admin On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
10,000-15,000 attended fest

By Chinta Strausberg

Saturday’s ninth 79thStreet Renaissance Festival, sponsored by the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation and the Faith Community of Saint Sabina, was more like a church service as thousands of people, including grannies and gang members, shouted, sang with some even playing the tambourine.—a scene Father Michael L. Pfleger called “the real deal.”

“It was a day of nothing but positive energy and love…all ages, grandma’s to gang members, children and families all sharing love and celebrating peace in the community,” said Father Michael L. Pfleger who was one of the sponsors of the event. “This is called peace in the street.” Pfleger said there can be peace on 79th Street every day and asked the crowd, “Who runs Auburn Gresham…79th Street… “We do,” the crowd bellowed.

A fired up Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-16th) introduced Gov. Pat Quinn reminding the crowd how some told them not to vote in 2008 and 2012 and how they turned a deaf ear and elected and re-elected President Barack Obama.

“Don’t believe the hype by those who tell you your vote doesn’t count,” warned Collins. Referring to Quinn’s wealthy opponent, Collins, said, “You need to send a message, you cannot buy my self-respect. You can’t buy my dignity.
Collins said Quinn raised theminimum wage that needs their support. Quinn called for unity and for people to“come together like a family…and stop the violence.”

Ald. Fioretti arrived saying,“Together we join in unity and we dwell in unity. When we are all together, no matter which ward we’re from, no matter who you are, no matter what you do, we, in unity, will make this the best city we’ve ever seen.”

Besides the Ferris Wheel, the Petting Zoo, face painting, basketball clinics, jumping jacks, free dental exams and other family-oriented entertainment, the 79th Street Renaissance Festival is fast becoming an event that raises the conscious levels of parents, youth and the media with a myriad of messages from its diverse vendors.

Last Saturday from the 79thStreet stage, Father Pfleger sent out a loud praise for the peace that hovered over the wall-to-wall crowd some of whom were singing, shouting, playing and eating food from vendors who represent some of Chicago’s finest restaurants.

Looking out over thousands of people who jammed 79th and Racine to Loomis, Father Pfleger said, “What we feel right now is real. All that other stuff is nonsense. This is the real deal. This is the real Auburn Gresham. We can do this out here,” he said referring to ending the violence.

He asked them to sing Hallelujah as he preached, ”Not another baby in this community should be lost…. We speak peace all over these communities…. These are our children. These are our communities. This is our community…. We can do this…,” he bellowed.

Several elected officials spoke at the festival including Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-16th), who introduced Gov. Pat Quinn, Ald. LaTasha Thomas (17th), Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), Carlos Nelson, executive director of the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development and others.

Ald. Fioretti arrived saying,“Together we join in unity and we dwell in unity. When we are all together, no matter which ward we’re from, no matter who you are, no matter what you do, we,in unity, will make this the best city we’ve ever seen.”

Sauntering down West 79thStreet, which was dotted with white tents, a bright new car sat next to one of  the vendor booths. Marc Rand, the son of iconic businessman Tim Rand, who represents the 17th annual Chicago Football Classics where on Saturday, September 20, 2014, at Soldier Field the showdown will begin at 3 p.m. between Central State University vs. Morehouse College and the famous High School Battle of the Bands and the Battle of the College Bands at half-time.

At the fifth quarter, there will be a raffle with the prize being 2014-Challenger SXT donated by Sherman Dodge. Standing by the car was Ron Collins, marketing manager Sherman Dodge in Skokie, Il. A co-sponsor of the festival, Collins said, “All funding goes to scholarship funding for CPS students.” He is holding a college fair before Saturday’s game.

Further down 79thStreet was a booth occupied by Chicago Police Department Officer Derrick Jones from the Sixth District CAPS office, who passed out applications for senior citizens bracelets for those in need of medical emergency assistance. When registered, the bracelets contain their medical history and their emergency contact information.

Jones also passed out flyers announcing free line dancing each Friday from 6 p.m.to 8 p.m. “I guarantee you’ll love it, and you’ll feel like you’ve had a wonderful workout.”

He also announced another program, the Exployer’s program for those between the ages 8-20. “Police interact with the children, do rap sessions with them. We play sports with them and take them on trips.” Jones said all activities are free. He can be reached at 312.745.3641.

While it was a day most politicians dream of given the estimated crowd of 15,000 people, it was also avenue where visitors received some very valuable information and free healthcare.

Jason Gray, operations manager with Gordon Dental Associates, had several dentists on hand to give free dental exams. “I am cleaning the teeth of the kids in the community. Only about 18 percent of all Medicaid eligible kids receive dental services even though 100 percent are eligible only 18 percent take advantage.

“We come out to community events like this to make sure we bridge that gap to care because there is a huge divide between dental care and parents being able to get that care delivered to their kids,” Gray told this reporter. “Education is really primarily responsible for the gap because most parents don’t know the services are available” which is why Gray’s group markets to the parents.

A number of talented groups and singers performed including the Peace Choir, 1390 Chatter/Transition, the Chicago Mass Choir, Michelle Williams, who is formerly Destiny’s Child, Saint Sabina’s Spirit of David praise dancing, Nubian Cultural Dancers, Music from Steel, Mayfair Dance Company, China Gray (opera singer); Senabella (the Bronzeville Diva); Anthony M (Hip Hop); HHW Voals, a Cappella Group, Curves Auburn Gresham, a work out group; Jesse White Tumblers; Ruff Rider Rollers,Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, J Moss, Smokie Norful, and the finale with Farley Jackmaster Funk.

Scores of vendors dotted both sides of 79th Street including Gordon Dental Associates, which offered free dental exams, the Chicago Police Department, Senator Collins, and the Chicago Football Classic.

At Loomis Street, there was a basketball clinic including a championship game. There was a Ferris Wheel,Tower Hills Stables Petting Zoo, a video arcade game, face painting, several senior activities including a luncheon.The South Shore Drill Team performed a number of colorful acts.

The festival ended with Father Pfleger giving out 600 school bags and on 79th Street with Farley Jackmaster Funk drawing in a bigger crowd. Nelson said there was nonviolence in the community. “It was peace to the end,” he said.

Other sponsors of the Inspiration 1390 AM Family and the 9th annual 79th Street Renaissance Festival were: METRO PCS –Wireless for All, Peoples Gas, Harold’s Chicken, The Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy and Safe Communities in Illinois.

Saturday’s ninth 79th Street Renaissance Festival, sponsored by the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation and the Faith Community of Saint Sabina, was more like a church service as thousands of people, including grannies and gang members, shouted, sang with some even playing the tambourine.—a scene Father Michael L. Pfleger called “the real violence.  (All photos by Chinta Strausberg)Saturday’s ninth 79th Street Renaissance Festival, sponsored by the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation and the Faith Community of Saint Sabina, was more like a church service as thousands of people, including grannies and gang members, shouted, sang with some even playing the tambourine.—a scene Father Michael L. Pfleger called “the real violence.

There was wall-to-wall people at Saturday's 79th Street Festival that drew people from all sectors of society.There was wall-to-wall people at Saturday’s 79th Street Festival that drew people from all sectors of society. (All photos by Chinta Strausberg)

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.

Madigan Urges FCC to Allow Phone Companies to Block Robocalls

Posted by Admin On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to issue an opinion on whether phone companies can legally implement call-blocking technologies to better protect phone customers from unwanted calls and scams, otherwise known as “robocalls.”

Call-blocking technologies, such as NoMoRobo, Call Control and Telemarketing Guard, allow phone carriers to identify and block unwelcome sales calls at a customer’s request. However, some phone carriers have not implemented this technology in part due to a federal law that they believe prevents them from blocking calls on a customer’s behalf.

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 FTC’s “Do Not Call” registry. The calls frequently originate from scammers in foreign countries, using technology to hide their location and identity, which makes enforcement efforts against them difficult.

Phone carriers have expressed concern that the FCC’s legal framework prohibits them from determining which calls should be allowed to go through to a customer and which should be blocked. Last year, in explaining the obstacles that phone carriers face in implementing call-blocking technologies, US Telecom wrote to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance that “the FCC has concluded that call blocking is an unjust and unreasonable practice under section 201(b) of the Communications Act of 1934.”

In a letter to the FCC today, Madigan and 38 other attorneys general sought a formal opinion from the FCC on whether an exception can be made to allow companies to block illegal telemarketing calls at the request of a customer.

“Robocalls are a growing problem in Illinois and across the country,” Madigan said. “It is imperative that we use every tool available to put a stop to these annoying and unwanted calls.”

Madigan’s letter is her latest step to address the growing problem of robocalls targeting Illinois residents. Previously, the Attorney General called on four leading U.S. phone carriers to implement the call-blocking technology that is being legally questioned before the FCC today. And in 2011, she led an effort to defeat federal legislation that would allow phone carriers to place automated robocalls on cell phones and force customers to pay for the unwanted calls.

While the FCC matter is pending, Madigan said the best step Illinois residents can take to better protect themselves from unwanted calls is to sign up for the FTC’s Do Not Call registry. To register, visit https://donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx or call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236).

Family of Charles Brown, Allegedly Murdered by Harvey Police, Demand Justice from City of Harvey, and that Mayor Kellogg “Fire and Charge the Killer Cop!”

Posted by Admin On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

(From Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression)


A rally will be held at Harvey City Hall, 15320 Broadway Ave, Harvey, IL (Cross Streets: Between E 154th St & E 153rd St), Saturday, September 13th, at 1 p.m., demanding that pertinent information regarding the alleged murder of Charles A. Brown by the Harvey Police Department is provided to Brown’s family.

On April 13, 2014 Charles A. Brown was allegedly murdered by Harvey Police.

* The parents of Charles Brown have yet to receive any real information about the killing of their son: Mrs. Joyce Brown and Mr. Charles A. Brown III, mother and father of Charles A Brown IV, have only been informed that members of Harvey Police Department committed the murder.

* They have been told by the State Police that they are investigating this case  as a homicide – a homicide that occurred within the Harvey Police Department

*  Harvey Police Department continues to stonewall the Brown family: counsel for the Brown family has made numerous requests to the City of Harvey for public information about the murder. However, they continue to withhold the police report on the incident and other pertinent information from the Brown family.

The Brown family is demanding that the City of Harvey:

*Provide the following:

A.   911 call recording that Harvey PD allege they received about the armed robbery at the hotel
B.    Personal Belongings
C.   Unedited video of cameras from hotel
D.   Police report of how Charles Brown was made a suspect
E.    Report of the victim alleging a robbery
F.    The vehicle Charles Brown was shot in

*Fire and charge the HPD officer who murdered Charles Brown.
The demand to fire the officer is well within the power of the Mayor. If the issue of due process is raised, the answer is, that his removal is necessitated immediately because of the obvious potential threat to public safety, his presence on police force with a gun, represents. If he is ultimately exonerated the matter can be reviewed

* Provide compensation to the victim’s family

Mrs. Joyce Brown is available for interviews, interested parties may contact her through the Chicago Alliance.

For more information, contact Frank Chapman, 312-513-3795 or

Ted Pearson 312-927-2689

Roosevelt University and City Colleges of Chicago Announce Innovative Degree Completion Program

Posted by Admin On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Roosevelt University and City Colleges of Chicago have signed a unique partnership agreement that makes it easier for City Colleges graduates to earn their bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt and pursue careers in growing industries.

The Dual Degree Partnership addresses Chicago’s need for a highly educated workforce by providing a pathway for full-time students to earn quality, accessible and affordable associate and bachelor’s degrees close to home in four years. Roosevelt University offers bachelor’s degree programs that align with City Colleges’ College to Careers focus areas, including Allied Health, Marketing, Management, Computer Science, Information Technology, Hospitality & Tourism Management, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education and Educational Studies.

Through College to Careers, City Colleges is partnering with corporate leaders and universities to prepare students for careers in growing industries. City Colleges students are encouraged to apply to this program in their first year to take advantage of the advising assistance and participants who graduate with an associate degree from City Colleges will transfer to Roosevelt University with junior standing.

“After completing an associate degree at one of the seven City Colleges, students in the Dual Degree Partnership will be guaranteed acceptance to Roosevelt and will transfer seamlessly to complete their bachelor’s degree,” said Roosevelt President Chuck Middleton.  “The program will ensure that student take all the required courses.”

Along with providing strong advising resources to help students stay on track to graduate in four years, the program has substantial financial advantages. Students who start at City Colleges of Chicago can save up to $40,000 on the cost of a bachelor’s degree. In addition, Dual Degree Partnership students are eligible for Roosevelt’s Guaranteed Tuition Discount Plan as well as generous Presidential, Provost and Phi Theta Kappa scholarships.

“We are committed to ensuring those students seeking to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program reach their goal, and do so maximizing their time, credits, and financial resources,” said Chancellor Cheryl L. Hyman of City Colleges of Chicago.  “Partnerships with four year institutions like Roosevelt are critical to creating a smooth path for our students from college to careers in fast-growing fields.”

Douglas Knerr, executive vice president and university provost at Roosevelt, said students have everything to gain—and nothing to lose—by enrolling in the Dual Degree Partnership.  “Students who enroll in the program are under no obligation to transfer to Roosevelt.  However, students who decide to transfer to Roosevelt will have many advantages that won’t be available to non-dual degree students,” he said

To participate in the dual-degree program, students must have graduated from high school (or attained the equivalent of a high school degree) and have completed or are enrolled in less than 30 semester hours of college level credit.  Participating students may earn all of their college credits at the City Colleges or bring transfer credits from another regionally accredited college to the City Colleges.

Dual-degree students are given up to three academic years at the City Colleges of Chicago to complete their associate degree.  When they graduate with an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree and transfer to Roosevelt, they will be granted junior status and should be able to graduate within two years.

To aid students financially, the Guaranteed Tuition Discount Plan will be locked in for up to three academic years at Roosevelt for students to finish their bachelor’s degree.  The best time for students to apply for the Dual Degree Partnership is during their second semester at City Colleges.  The one-page free application form will be available at the Transfer Centers of the City Colleges and on both the Roosevelt and City Colleges websites.

After an application is submitted to a Transfer Center, the director of the center will verify the student’s eligibility and forward the application to Roosevelt.  The transfer admission counselor at Roosevelt will then let the student know whether he or she has been accepted into the Dual Degree Program.  For further information about the program, City Colleges students should contact their advisor or the Transfer Center at their college or at Roosevelt University contact Julio Trujillo, admission counselor, jtrujillo02@roosevelt.edu, or Jennifer Jones, transfer admission counselor, jjones17@roosevelt.edu .

Senators Kirk, Coons Launch Senate Human Rights Caucus

Posted by Admin On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Inaugural Hearing: ISIS Violations of Women, Children and Religious Minorities in Iraq and Syria

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) launched the Senate Human Rights Caucus with an inaugural discussion on ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the al-Sham), and its growing threats to minorities, women and children in the Middle East. Along with the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski, the Senators were joined by Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Pascale Warda with the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, Manal Omar from the United States Institute of Peace, Bishop Mar Paulus Benjamin from the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, and Sarah Margon from Human Rights Watch.

The expert participants, along with Senators Kirk and Coons, highlighted the growing threat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In recent months, ISIS has systematically violated human rights, including ethnic cleansing and other atrocities targeting women, moderate Sunnis, non-Sunni muslims and other ethnic minorities. Ahead of President Obama’s address to the nation this evening regarding ISIS’s global terrorist threat, the participants outlined and discussed the human rights atrocities that are also unfolding and potential policy options for Congress and the Administration.

“The strength of ISIS in the Middle East is based on the fear and abuse of innocents,” Senator Kirk said. “The Senate Human Rights Caucus will be a voice for the voiceless and oppressed around the world by bringing in the top experts and champions of those putting their lives on the line for democracy and freedom. My partner Senator Coons and I are grateful to Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski for being here to launch this event, in addition to other panelists for helping to bring awareness to the atrocities that ISIS continues to unleash in the Middle East.”

“America is at its best when we lead with our values and a foreign policy that prioritizes human rights,” said Senator Coons. “Too often, those suffering under tyranny and oppression are forced to suffer in silence. The Senate Human Rights Caucus will amplify the voices of victims around the world and ensure that our policy responses reflect our highest values. I’m proud to co-chair this bipartisan caucus with Senator Kirk and look forward to working together to protect the rights and dignity of all.”

The Senate Human Rights Caucus was formed by Senators Kirk and Coons in the spirit of The Congressional Human Rights Caucus, originally created by former Congressmen Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and John Porter (R-Ill.) in 1983. Later re-named the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, its members have been working to defend and advocate for internationally recognized human rights in a nonpartisan manner for more than 30 years. In this vein, the Senate Human Rights Caucus will continue the Commission’s legacy by highlighting and defending key human rights issues throughout the world.

In order to raise awareness on specific violations and issues, the Caucus will hold monthly staff-level briefings on key topics, as well as periodic Member-level events to boost awareness and spearhead solutions to worldwide injustices and abuses. In bringing Congressional-level attention to global human rights issues that the public may be unaware of, the Caucus will be able to provide a voice to the voiceless and work to provide a lifeline to those suffering at the hand of repressive regimes.

Prosecutors Secure 35-Year Sentence in 2012 Stabbing Death

Posted by Admin On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

A Chicago man convicted of the 2012 stabbing death of his neighbor was sentenced to 35 years in prison, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Demetrius Jackson, 33, was convicted of the murder of his neighbor, William Terry, 55, who attempted to intervene in a fight between Jackson and his wife.

According to prosecutors, on Nov. 21, 2012, Jackson and his wife were at home in the 10300 block of Forest Ave. when they got into a heated argument.  As the argument continued, Jackson threatened to kill his wife and went into the kitchen to retrieve two knives.  Jackson’s wife left the home and went a few doors down and asked to use Terry’s phone to call police.  After calling police, Terry walked Jackson’s wife back to their home.  Jackson came out, confronted the two and started arguing with Terry, telling him to mind his own business.  Jackson went back into the house and when he returned, had the two knives.  Terry stepped between Jackson and his wife and attempted to calm Jackson down.  Jackson began swinging the knives at Terry, backing him into the street, where he fell.  Jackson fell onto of Terry and stabbed him multiple times.  Terry was able to get up and stagger back to his house, where he fell onto the porch and subsequently died.  Jackson fled the scene and turned himself in to Chicago Police a few days later.

Jackson was sentenced by Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan, who found Jackson guilty on June 16 after a bench trial.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Bonnie Greenstein and the Chicago Police Department for their work in this case.

Award-Winning Playwright, Film Director & Producer David E. Talbert Launches Multi-City Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search

Posted by Admin On September - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Kicks off October 4th

Los Angeles, CA– Ever consider a career in theater, film, or TV? Ever watched a play or a movie and said, “I could do that!” Now, here’s your chance! Bringing two decades of skill and experience to the craft of acting, pioneering theater producer and respected Hollywood film director -David E. Talbert opens the door to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn, grow, and be discovered. Award-winning playwright David E. Talbert will help thousands from coast to coast gain insight into the entertainment industry through his Multi City Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search Tour. For those who can’t get to Hollywood, David E. Talbert is bringing Hollywood to them through his  leading-edge Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search.

“I’ve gotten so many emails over the years asking me to do a workshop,” expressed Talbert. But then I thought ‘doing a workshop is great, but what would be better is to give people an opportunity to put what they just learned to use by getting a chance to be cast in one of my productions.’ I realized that I have been blessed to be in a position to not only do what I love, but to also hire people to do what they love and help make someone’s dream come true like someone did for me.”

Award-Winning Playwright, Film Director & Producer David E. Talbert

David E. Talbert’s Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search Tour kicks off in his hometown of Washington, DC on Saturday, October 4th at the Mayflower Renaissance. Other cities on the tour include Philadelphia, PA on Saturday, October 18th, Chicago, IL on Saturday, November 1st, Los Angeles on Saturday, November 8th and Dallas, Texas on Saturday, November 15th. There will be one session per day scheduled from 9 AM – 3 PM. The registration fee for the workshop is $250 per person. As an added bonus, everyone who attends the workshop will also receive a private one on one audition the next day with David E. Talbert for a chance to be cast in his next production.

“I’ve worked with so many incredibly talented actors, singers and comedians over the years in my plays and films, like Jamie Foxx, Paula Patton, Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan  and Jill Scott, just to name a few, added Talbert. “Now, I’m looking forward to finding and helping to launch the career of the next great talent.”

Photo Courtesy of It Is Done Communications

Ice Cube & David E. Talbert on the set of his feature film, First Sunday

Those interested in attending the workshop in their city should visit www.davidetalbert.com to receive full details on registration and location. Space is limited and early registration is encouraged. Reserve your seats today.

Perfect for the professional and the beginner, David E. Talbert’s Actors Workshop & Talent Search will give attendees a chance to learn first-hand what the entertainment business is all about and how to get their foot firmly in the door. Participants will receive detailed instruction on how to shape their performance and gain valuable insight into what directors really want. What makes David E. Talbert’s Acting Workshop & Talent Search really unique is the ability for participants to be able to audition with a working Hollywood director.

Photo Courtesy of It Is Done Communications

From Top to Bottom

David E. Talbert & Derek Luke on the set of Talbert’s

most recent feature film, Baggage Claim

Djimon Hounsou & David E. Talbert on the set of Talbert’s

most recent feature film, Baggage Claim

About David E. Talbert

David E. Talbert began his career in the world of theater, quickly establishing himself as a highly prolific and award winning playwright. The Los Angeles Times labels Talbert, “One of the most prolific theatre makers in America” and The Washington Post “A Playwrighting and directing wunderkind.” David E. Talbert has written and directed 14 nationally acclaimed touring productions that have garnered an unprecedented 24 NAACP nominations, winning Best Playwright of the Year for THE FABRIC OF A MAN. In 2007, Talbert received the New York Literary Award for Best Playwright of the Year for LOVE IN THE NICK OF TYME and the prestigious NAACP Trailblazer Award for his groundbreaking accomplishments in theater. While Talbert continues his success as a highly respected theatre-maker, with his most recent tour being the box-office juggernaut WHAT MY HUSBAND DOESN’T KNOW starring Morris Chestnut, he has also successfully expanded his brand into the world of feature films and television. His most recent film, the Fox Searchlight romantic comedy BAGGAGE CLAIM,

which Talbert adapted from his own Essence best-selling novel, starred Paula Patton,

Derek Luke, Jill Scott, Adam Brody, and Djimon Hounsou.

This marks the first time an African American filmmaker has adapted and directed his own novel.

Baggage Claim, released in the fall of 2013, opened as the #1 Comedy in America.

For more information on David E. Talbert and to register for the Acting Workshop

& Talent Search, go to www.davidetalbert.com

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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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