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Archive for April, 2015

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Statement on the Ongoing Situation in Baltimore

Posted by Admin On April - 30 - 2015 Comments Off on Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Statement on the Ongoing Situation in Baltimore

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released the following statement regarding the ongoing situation in Baltimore:

I’d first like to address the ongoing situation in Baltimore and the actions that we here at the department are taking to address it.  I have been in direct contact with officials in Maryland, including the Governor and I have directed this department to provide any assistance that might be helpful in restoring calm and resolving the unrest that broke out across the city. I also want to express my deepest condolences to the family of Freddie Gray. The Civil Rights Division and the FBI are already conducting a full and independent investigation into the tragic death of Mr. Gray.  And both the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Community Relations Service have been working to defuse tensions as that process continues.  Vanita Gupta, head of the department’s Civil Rights Division and Ronald Davis, director of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), are meeting with faith and community leaders in Baltimore and they visited a police officer last night who remains hospitalized after being injured in the conflict.  They told me he seemed to be in good spirits and I want to convey my best wishes for his speedy recovery.

I want to make clear once again that these senseless acts of violence are not only a grave danger to the community – and they must stop – but they are also counterproductive to the ultimate goal here, which is developing a respectful conversation within the Baltimore community and across the nation about the way our law enforcement officers interact with the residents they are charged to serve and protect.  That is a conversation that I am committed to advancing.  I am heartened that the unrest seemed to ease last night and that members of the community are trying to come together to clean up their city and I am hopeful that progress will continue in the coming days.

Let me add something else.  As we watch events unfold in Baltimore, it is easy to view Baltimore as a symbol of issues that we must all deal with.  And of course, the difficult situation there highlights so many issues that are part of our national debate.  But I’d ask that we remember that Baltimore is more than just a symbol.  Baltimore is a city; it is a great city; it is a beautiful city; it is one of our cities.  Like so many cities, Baltimore is struggling to balance great expectations and need with limited resources.  It is dealing with balancing the challenges of public safety and community expression.  And it is home to more than 620,000 people.  It was their home that the peaceful protesters were trying to make better.   And it was their home that the injured officers were trying to protect.

Let us keep all the people of Baltimore in our thoughts and prayers in the coming days.

Watch the video of Attorney General Lynch’s remarks.

Source: Department of Justice

Diverse Coalition Holds ‘Day of Action’ to Restore Over $200 Mil Cuts by Governor Affecting Most Vulnerable in Illinois

Posted by Admin On April - 30 - 2015 Comments Off on Diverse Coalition Holds ‘Day of Action’ to Restore Over $200 Mil Cuts by Governor Affecting Most Vulnerable in Illinois

CHICAGO, IL – A diverse coalition of faith and organization leaders representing The Alliance For Budget Equity (ABE) is holding a “Day of Action” protest rally, 10 a.m., Monday, May 4, 2015, at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 West Randolph Chicago, to urge Gov. Bruce Rauner to restore $205 million in budget cuts.

While giving a $100 million corporate tax break to the 1 percent like eBay, CapitalOne, CDW and SAC Wireless, “Gov. Rauner has cut the lifeline to our community and faith based programs which are vital to our children, seniors and the most vulnerable Illinoisans.”

Rauner has slashed $18 million from the Chicago Coalition of the Homeless affecting 12,500 people, a 55 percent cut for homeless youth services impacting 1,326 youth, a cut of $ 1 million for homeless prevention, slashed $14.1 million for supportive housing (disabled people), eliminated funds to educate homeless students who number more than 59,112 as of FY09, $1 million for children suffering from autism, $3.1 million from the Teen REACH program, $94,000 from the Westside Health Authority, $3.4 million from the Immigrant Integration Services, $87,500 from the Latino Outreach; $250,000 from the Coalition F/Tech-Assist child program, and over $6 million from a program that covers the costs for those too poor to pay for their loved ones to have a proper burial.

“We are very concerned about the cuts that Rauner has proposed to vital services that help homeless families get off the streets and become independent,” said Julie Dworkin, director of Policy for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. “These are life-saving services and they’ve already been subject to budget cuts over the years. They really cannot afford to cut back anymore.”

“The proposed budget cuts will only further devastate our communities. In June of 2013, I attempted to access emergency rental assistance through the state Homeless Prevention program.   However, I was turned down because of the lack of available funds which contributed to my current homelessness.  If Rauner’s cuts go through, even more people will be turned away and it will only create more homelessness,” said Charles Austin, a formerly homeless leader with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

The “Day of Action” protest rally will be held Monday, May 4, 2015, 10 a.m. at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St. The Coalition is urging Gov. Rauner to “Restore the cuts, and stop balancing the budget on the backs of the poor.”

For more information, contact:

Chinta Strausberg



Sharyn Elman



Macon County Woman Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud

Posted by Admin On April - 30 - 2015 Comments Off on Macon County Woman Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Judge Thomas E. Griffith of the Circuit Court of Macon County sentenced Debra D. Weger to a term of two years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after she pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery and five counts of filing fraudulent sales and use tax returns, all Class 3 Felonies.  As part of her plea, Weger was also ordered to pay $107,952 in restitution to the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR).

Debra D. Weger was operating Weger License & Title Service in Decatur, IL.  The indictment alleged that Weger fraudulently filed Vehicle Sales Tax Returns, failed to file Vehicle Sales Tax Returns, failed to pay over taxes due to the State of Illinois, altered checks payable to IDOR, and deposited checks payable to IDOR into her personal bank accounts.  Through the investigation, it was established that Weger caused a minimum criminal financial harm to the State of Illinois of $107,952.

“Tax fraud and forgery are serious crimes that cannot be tolerated,” said Revenue Director Connie Beard.  “I applaud the efforts of Revenue’s Criminal Investigation Division, as well as the Attorney General’s Office in obtaining this conviction.  My office will continue to work with the Attorney General to ensure that lawbreakers are held accountable and that full restitution is paid on behalf of taxpayers.”

The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office based on a referral from the Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigation Division.

The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. Launches the Black Male Entrepreneur Institute in Washington, D.C.

Posted by Admin On April - 30 - 2015 Comments Off on The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. Launches the Black Male Entrepreneur Institute in Washington, D.C.

Program designed to create more Black businesses,and jobs in the Black community Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. launched the first Young Black Male Entrepreneur Institute event at the City Club in the nation’s capital. This is the first of many in the United States.
During the event, experienced businessmen shared advice on building successful businesses in the new economy with more than 40 up and coming young Black male entrepreneurs. The charge in the room was unmatched and culminated with remarks from Ron Busby, President and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., Harry Wingo, President

and CEO of the DC Chamber of Commerce, Antwayne Ford, President & CEO of Enlightened, Inc. and William Clyburn Jr, President & CEO of Clyburn Consulting LLC.

This pilot initiative provides young Black male entrepreneurs, both seasoned and novice, the opportunity to experience a specialized curriculum derived from our nation’s most competitive business schools and business development counseling in the region. The participants have the opportunity to collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs, network with successful chamber leadership and improve their local communities by creating jobs.

Through the USBC network, these young men now have access to resources and support to help sustain their businesses. Beyond creating wealth building practices, this initiative aims to reshape society’s negative perception of Black men by elevating their visibility and impact in business, community and leadership; and enhancing their interest in economic development.

Howard R.Jean, Institute Engineer, shared his sentiments,”When approached by President Busby, Keith and I jumped at the chance to be instrumental in enhancing a diverse pool of young talented Black men who aspire to build legacies through economic empowerment as business owners and not just employees.” Similarly, Keith Benjamin Jr., Institute

Organizer, shared his excitement, “A fire was lit on Friday morning and it’s going to be amazing watching the paths to success created and blazed in the months to come.” As business owners and social change agents, President Busby, Howard R. Jean and Keith Benjamin Jr. take mentoring young Black men seriously because doing so shapes the

economic future of the Black community and society as a whole. To learn more on how you can be involved with the Black Male Entrepreneur Institute or how to launch a program in your city, contact the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. at (202) 463-8722 or email us at info@usblackchambers.org.

About the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc

USBC is an association of over 115 self-sustaining, viable Black Chambers and small business associations nationwide whose collaboration with strategic partners increases our capacity to serve. We serve our members through our 5 pillars of service, Advocacy, Access to Capital, Contracting, Entrepreneurial Training, and Chamber Development.

Through the creation of resources and initiatives, we support African American Chambers of Commerce and business organizations in their work of developing and growing Black enterprises. For more information about the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., please visit our website at usblackchambers.org.

The Greater Englewood Community Celebrates Inaugural 10th Anniversary

Posted by Admin On April - 30 - 2015 Comments Off on The Greater Englewood Community Celebrates Inaugural 10th Anniversary

Investing In Our Community Through Partnership, Pride, and Persistence

CHICAGO, IL – On Thursday, April 30, 5:30 p.m.-7:30.p.m., the Englewood community will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Englewood: Making a Difference Quality-of-Life Plan, hosted by Teamwork Englewood. This is the first time residents, leaders, and organizations will convene to honor those organizations and individuals whose work and accomplishments reflect one or more of the ten (10) strategies outlined in the Quality-of-Life Plan established in 2005.

The Quality-of-Life Plan was created with 650 individuals who sat down at the offices of Teamwork Englewood over a course of 18 months. The plan was created to make Greater Englewood a viable, sustainable, vibrant community where people can live, work, and conduct business.

“Far too many times Englewood is in the media for negative occurrences and tragic events painting the picture of despair. Individuals around Chicago are not always privy to the community’s rich history, powerful organizations, small-business owners, energetic youth, and wise elders,” says Perry Gunn, Executive Director of Teamwork Englewood. This is an historical moment for the Englewood community as we celebrate this inaugural event.

The event will be held Thursday, April 30, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., at Kennedy-King College’s Great Hall (740 W. 63rd Street). Teamwork Englewood will honor several dozen individuals who worked to improve safety, education, the job market, the housing marketing, health services, urban agriculture and economic development within the last ten years.

For more information contact Rashanah Baldwin 312-566-8647 or 773-488-6600 rashanah@englewoodportal.org

Why That Mom Was Right For Slapping Her Son in Public

Posted by Admin On April - 30 - 2015 Comments Off on Why That Mom Was Right For Slapping Her Son in Public

Why That Mom Was Right When She Publicly Disciplined Her Son For Violently protesting – And Why Other Parents Should Do The Same

By Orrin Hudson, founder of Be Someone

Mother Disciplines Son For Protesting

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – As I watched the video of rioters in the streets of Baltimore, I wanted to cry… For my country, for the city of Baltimore but more importantly, for each and every young person I saw participating. Most of them were high school students, and I want to reach out and touch each one. I want to prove to them they can be someone. Is it too late to convince them they can be contributors? And that they can succeed if they believe in themselves?

I believe there is hope. My heart, however, was enlightened when I saw the video of Toya Graham, the single mom who refused to let her son join the mob taunting police and tearing down the city. You have probably seen it… Is there anything stronger than a mothers true, tough love? She was not about to let her son make the wrong choice. She was not about to give up her dearest position in life to others who didnt care what happened to him as long as they could use him for their own agenda.

I dont know this woman but I love what she did. She served as an example. Each of us must be as committed as she was and is. All that is required for our communities to be destroyed is for good people to sit back and watch them. We got to get in the game and be someone!

That kid was me 40 years ago, and that mom was my mom. Desperate times cause for desperate measures!

And where were the other parents? They had to have known that their children were involved in the violent rioting. They were not at home. So where did they think they were? What did they think they were doing?

We must not give up on our young people and we must convince them they can be winners, not losers. My goodness, we have so much work to do!

Freddie Gray. Walter Smith. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. No matter the color of your skin, there’s sadness when we hear these names – African-Americans killed by police. In each case, there have been community protests. In three of these deaths, there have been violent demonstrations. The latest in Baltimore has left a part of the city in ruins.

Let’s stop the madness, but it starts at home.

Let’s quit making excuses, and quit allowing our children to take to the streets to tear down our society. Quit falling for the lie you cant make it in this world because the deck is stacked against you. I know firsthand you can succeed if you make the right choices. I took control of my life when I learned success is up to me not some faceless “system” that wants me to fail.

I love my country. I believe it truly is a land of opportunity but only IF we take advantage of the avenues to success that are afforded to us. No, its not easy. Yes, it takes determination, focus and grit because admittedly, there are obstacles on any path. Truly, it takes a “knock me down, and get back up” attitude. We must convince our young people to act constructively, not destructively!

Orrin Hudson is the founder of Be Someone, an Atlanta, GA-based non-profit that uses the principles of the game of chess to teach urban youth that there is a consequence for every move – whether on the chess board or in life. Learn more about Hudson and his award-winning program at www.BeSomeone.org.
Watch the Video of Toya Graham and her son:

Kirk Statement on Holding Iran Accountable Through Sanctions Defense

Posted by Admin On April - 30 - 2015 Comments Off on Kirk Statement on Holding Iran Accountable Through Sanctions Defense

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) issued the following statement after Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif claimed that a final nuclear agreement will require the United States to permanently lift all sanctions against Iran:

“With or without a final nuclear deal with Iran, Congress can and will continue to hold Iran accountable for its nuclear and missile proliferation, sponsorship of terrorism, and human rights violations. While the President may temporarily waive sanctions against Iran, only Congress has the power to permanently lift all 14 Iran sanctions laws.”


In the United States, 14 Public Laws impose sanctions specifically against Iran:

  • Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (sec. 307 of P.L. 87-195)
  • Iran Claims Settlement (title V of Public Law 99-93)
  • Iraq Sanctions Act (sec. 586G(a)(1) through (4) of P.L. 101-513)
  • Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act of 1992, as amended (title XVI of P.L. 102-484)
  • Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, as amended (P.L. 104-172)
  • Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act, as amended (P.L. 106-178) (p. 36)
  • Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, as amended (P.L. 106-387)
  • Iran Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act of 2002 (subtitle D, title XIII of P.L. 107-228)
  • Iran Freedom Support Act (P.L. 109-293)
  • National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (P.L. 111-84, including the VOICE Act at title XII, subtitle D)
  • Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, as amended (P.L. 111-195)
  • National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, as amended (sec. 1245 of P.L. 112-81)
  • Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-158)
  • National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Subtitles C and D, the latter of which is cited as the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012, Title XII, Division A of Public Law 112-239).

Collins’ Plan Protects, Informs Seniors Seeking Reverse Mortgages

Posted by Admin On April - 30 - 2015 Comments Off on Collins’ Plan Protects, Informs Seniors Seeking Reverse Mortgages

SPRINGFIELD, IL – In the wake of revelations that at least one con artist used a risky financial product called a reverse mortgage to scam dozens of senior citizens, State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) secured Senate passage today of legislation that would help protect consumers from such fraudulent schemes.

“A reverse mortgage is a complicated financial product that can leave homeowners and their families vulnerable to scams and unable to pay when the loan comes due,” Collins said. “This legislation requires lenders to provide potential borrowers with accurate information about the product, a list of counselors they can contact if they need help and the opportunity to reconsider within three days of signing the paperwork.”

For almost 30 years, a lawsuit filed by the state alleges, Chicago remodeler Mark Diamond tricked senior citizens into taking out reverse mortgages – which pay out cash advances based on a homeowner’s equity – and then use the loan proceeds to pay his company to make home improvements. Instead, Diamond took the money while the repairs remained unfinished or poorly done. Many of his victims and their families faced losing cherished homes they’d owned for decades when the homeowner died or moved into long-term care and the loan (the cash paid out, plus interest) came due. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking a court to put Diamond, who kept his scheme going by conducting it under the auspices of different companies, out of business for good. Diamond’s practices are also under federal investigation.

Collins worked with Madigan, Housing Action Illinois and other advocates on Senate Bill 1281, which would ensure potential borrowers are informed about the risks of reverse mortgages and also prohibit someone who facilitates a reverse mortgage from accepting any of the proceeds in exchange for services, as Diamond did. Finally, the legislation would prevent conflicts of interest by banning lenders from receiving compensation in exchange for trying to sell borrowers on other financial products, such as life insurance policies and investments.

“The senior citizens I represent take great pride in their homes; many have worked hard their whole lives to pay off their mortgages,” Collins said. “Strong consumer protections can help them avoid unscrupulous schemes so they can live out their later years in peace and dignity and not worry about whether the family home will be there for their children and grandchildren.”

Next, the House will consider Collins’ legislation.

President Preckwinkle Announces $1 Million in Savings From County’s New Employee Life Insurance Contract

Posted by Admin On April - 30 - 2015 Comments Off on President Preckwinkle Announces $1 Million in Savings From County’s New Employee Life Insurance Contract

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced that a new life insurance contract, approved by the County Board at its meeting today, is expected to yield more than $1 million in savings annually.

Under terms of the contract negotiated by the County’s Procurement and Risk Management Offices, following a competitive bidding process, Minnesota Life will provide life insurance services for County employees for three years with two one-year options for renewal, creating annualized savings of $1.14 million. With the previous vendor, Cook County was spending roughly $3.59 million annually.  The yearly cost of the new agreement is expected to be $2.45 million.

“Whether we are negotiating a life insurance contract or reducing the use of printers, we will do whatever we can to provide more efficient services at a lower cost,” Preckwinkle said. “Cook County is facing a challenging budget year and we must continue doing more with less. This is an important example of how we are working to ensure a County government that is operating as cost-effectively as possible.”

The contract culminates a process that began with a Request for Proposals for group term life benefits that was released in September 2014. The County received and evaluated eight proposals in response to the RFP in accordance with the Cook County procurement code.

Minnesota Life’s proposal scored consistently high during the evaluation process when County officials reviewed it against the scope of required services to offer both group term and supplemental life insurance to Cook County employees. The pricing offered is guaranteed for the term of the contract and includes significant savings from the County’s previous life insurance contract.

Under President Preckwinkle, the County has completely revamped its public procurement process to increase competitive bidding on County business while making the process more efficient.  The life insurance contract is the latest example of hard dollar savings and benefits that these changes are providing for the County and its taxpaying public.

This contract also includes new administrative support from the vendor on record keeping and the claims submission process.  Minnesota Life also provides several electronic options, including online evidence of insurability and beneficiary designations, online claims submission and an automation of the coverage continuation process.

“Over the last two months we have identified $8 million in savings and our efforts to encourage smart, streamlined government won’t stop there,” Preckwinkle said. “I think it is important to lead by example as we are encouraging all of our Bureau Chiefs and Department Heads, as well as the separately elected officials, to reduce operating expenses and find savings this year.”

Preckwinkle recently announced personnel and non-personnel savings of $7 million while noting that her office continues its effort to pursue vendor savings and review use of cell phones, printers and vehicles to further decrease expenses

Nepal: Loss of Lives More Tragic Than Loss of Monuments

Posted by Admin On April - 30 - 2015 Comments Off on Nepal: Loss of Lives More Tragic Than Loss of Monuments

Nepal: Loss of Lives More Tragic Than Loss of Monuments

New America Media

By Sandip Roy

Soon after the news of the 7.9 earthquake reverberated through social media, I, like many others I knew, shared on Facebook a dramatic picture of the destruction wrought by it.

It was a BEFORE and AFTER picture of Kathmandu’s historic Darbar Square, the magnificent UNESCO designated World Heritage site now reduced to rubble, years of painstaking human endeavor and pride just casually brushed aside by the tectonic forces of nature.

A couple of days later the death toll has hit 4,400 and rising as news trickles in from remote villages flattened by the earthquake. But in some ways to the rest of the world, those before and after images of palaces and temples and tower overshadow the enormity of that human loss and its devastation.

On one hand it is a reminder of how powerful culture and history and heritage is to the idea of a country. If today something happened to the Taj Mahal or the river front in Varanasi, grief and mourning would sweep across India and the world and a gaping hole left in its history. On the other hand, at a time when the death toll is still mounting, and thousands are stranded on the street, the inconsolable grief over “irreplaceable” wood and brick also feels disquieting – smacking of the picture-postcard mourning of the far-away tourist.

The tourism angle is an enormous part of the Nepal story unfolding around the world. In Bhuj an earthquake was just an earthquake, a natural disaster, not perceived really as a loss of heritage. The images from Nepal resonate around the world because so much of the world has been to Nepal, has posed in front of those monuments that have now crumbled to dust. Nepal exists in albums and home videos around the world in a way a Bhuj does not. And while the face of a child at a relief camp, or a long queue at a food rationing centre, makes us shake our heads and sigh, we have seen those pictures over and over again from many parts of the world. They are interchangeable and while tragic, sadly do not have the drama of the BEFORE and AFTER pictures of the toppled Dharahara tower. There is no doubt about which one we will click on, which one is more “shareable”.

This is not unique to Nepal. When the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas the shockwaves were heard around the world. That act became the symbol of the irrational barbarism of the Taliban, more than the atrocities they were inflicting on their own people – the public execution by stoning in stadiums or the blinding of girls who attended school or the plight of the 7.4 million refugees in Pakistan and Iran alone before the Americans even went to war against Kabul. The “senseless” destruction of the Buddhas helped make the Taliban even more of an international pariah, different from run-of-the-mill dictatorships. Iran’s state television in an odd turn of phrase condemned the Taliban’s “inhuman and violent behavior” for its demolition of monuments. “All we are breaking are stones,” shrugged Mullah Omar in response. In an echo of Mahmud of Ghazni at the Somnath Temple, he asked Afghans if they would rather be “smashers of idols or sellers of idols”.

A western cultural expert told The Guardian in despair “I consider myself a friend of Afghanistan. I have spent fifteen years trying to help the country. But it is becoming an island of madness.” It’s one thing to not care about democracy and human rights but to be so cavalierly dismissive of tourism and culture felt truly baffling. The Taliban angrily complained that the world seemed more concerned about offering money to save the statues instead of offering aid to save the starving people of Afghanistan, in effect turning the statues from artefacts into idols, venerated more than human lives. Kofi Annan, then the UN Secretary General said it was “not going to be easier now to raise money for the humanitarian crisis” in Afghanistan. But the cultural gap was stark. While most of the world mourned the statues, Jamal Elias, a professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania noted that the Lahore-based daily Nawa-I Waqt ran a full page article comparing how the suffering of children failed to move the West, while earthen statues brought out their “sympathy”.

This is not to say the Bamiyan Buddhas or the palaces and temples of Bhaktapur and Darbar Square were not priceless or that their destruction, whether by man or nature, is not literally a monumental tragedy. This is part of a heritage and it cannot be rebuilt or pieced back together like a jigsaw. “The loss of inheritance has made bearing the loss of human lives even more difficult,” laments Luxmee Maharjan, a journalist who worked with the Kathmandu-based Himalayan Times.

If anything it is affirming to know that culture, which is often on the cutting block in government budgets, is not just the preserve and responsibilities of the UNESCOs of the world, that its loss can shake us to the core. But the grief over the destruction and looting of the National Museum in Iraq has to be viewed in context of the ravages of the larger American-led war in that country. When an ISIL group takes a sledgehammer to ancient statues in Mosul, the Iraqi prime minister pledged to protect Iraq’s heritage as if the ISIL, with their grisly execution videos, had not crossed the norms of civilization long before they defaced a 40-tonne Assyrian winged bull.

The problem lies not in mourning the loss of priceless heritage. That loss should indeed be mourned. In an ideal world the rebuilding of lives and the rebuilding of monuments should not come at the expense of each other. The destruction of Patan could in fact help keep the world’s attention focused on the larger destruction in Nepal and help in rebuilding the country as a whole. Or one could eclipse the other.
In Afghanistan, a post-Taliban government keenly aware of the symbolic power of the Bamiyan Buddhas declared that rebuilding them would be a “cultural imperative”. There was even a proposal by a Japanese artist to mount a $64 million windmill-energy powered sound and laser show to project Buddha images at Bamiyan. Elias writes “many people have questioned the ethics of spending large sums to make replica statues in a country where the overwhelming majority of the population lives without personal security or the basic necessities of life.”

Nepal, a poor country far more dependent on tourism than Afghanistan, will face these same thorny moral dilemmas in the days ahead. And the world will need to remember that Nepal is not just a home for old temples and palaces and Everest expeditions. The 3700 (and counting )dead in Nepal are also a part of its lost inheritance. For them Nepal was home and not just a tourist backdrop.

Sandip Roy is author of “Don’t Let Him Know” and editor of First Post, where this article originally appeared.

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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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