Tag Archives: Immigrant Youth Justice League

A Brief Conversation with an Alien- no the outerspace kind…I think.

I went for a walk the other night in the woods a few nights back, gathering my thoughts and contemplating my life, the world and the swath of brilliant stars above through the trees. Suddenly one of them moved, seeming to tumble towards me. It veered at the last moment, gliding to an astounding, silent and instantaneous stop among the trees a short distance away, and just above a small clearing. My heart raced, and I had a sense that I should run, but was so taken by this extraordinary moment I remained, even edging from the path, where the grass crunched lightly beneath my feet.

It was indeed an object of some sort. Odd that the light surrounding that smoothly polished body, the color of a blue opal was almost soothing. I angled towards a large maple, placing it partly between myself and the object. Though there w ere no markings seams or rivets of any kind I had a sense that it turned, as though facing me directly.

I had no impression or recollection of a door opening. but I was immediately aware of an opening, and all at once a small figure standing before me.

I might have been shocked or frightened, but I was now looking into the deepest, darkest pools of a small creature’s eyes. There was no emotion in the creature’s pale face, only a feeling that I had nothing at all to fear.

“Thank you,” the creature said.
I can’t say if it was a male of female voice, and I had no impression that its thin lips moved at all. And it wasn’t in my head, but seemed to be in some space between us, where common air existed and in which our own thoughts remained our own.

“Thank you?” I asked. “I, uh, I have a feeling I should be thanking,” I chuckled. “I really don’t know what…”

“Its understandable. You’ll have a million questions tomorrow, but not a single one right now, am I correct?” said the being.

“Wow,” was all I could think to say. “I suppose I’m not representing the species too well that I can’t come up with one interesting thing to say, huh?”

“So why don’t I do the talking and see if I can’t anticipate a few thousand of those questions. How’s that?’

“Thank you.”

“There is so much,” began the being. “We just haven’t time for…You are devout to your world, and more devout to your species, and paramount to yourselves. So are we all. You are a miracle. I am a miracle, just as all life is throughout the universe; and it is great indeed. All of us are the consciousness or a great universal organism. If you take nothing from this, understand that the circle of life is around you in ways yet to be fully imagined. Your world is not merely a host that carries life. It is a living thing, just as the galaxy and universe, and all of the universes are so much more. They are teeming, and they are life themselves. Render them from this moment forward in that light and you will begin a new paradigm…of, crap, look at the time. I really have to fly.”

“Wait,” I exclaimed, ignoring his terrible pun. The being seemed to reappear in the opening of the vessel without the passage of time.

“You’ve got questions, don’t you?”

“I think might head might…Why can’t you stay longer?” I pleaded.

But the vessel was already climbing through the trees where it lingered for just a moment. As fast as I could imagine it disappeared among the stars. I laughed, settling back against the tree, where I tried to take all of this in, to convince myself that it was all a dream, though I knew better.

It was just before dawn then I finally left the forest. The morning dew was already collecting. I could hear traffic in town a mile or so away. Of coarse I would never tell a soul about this. Who the hell would believe such a wild tale, but I tell you it happened, as sure as I’m sitting here. Believe what you will, and if nothing else just ponder the message. All the rest you can discard as the ramblings of a very confused mind…

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at www.glunzbeers.com.


Revolution and Beer Expose’: Rightwing radio attempting to provoke race riot over Zimmerman trial

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Revolution and beer has been monitoring a number of Rightwing talk shows and media, from FOX to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, local Chicago programming and more. Google “Zimmerman Trial Riots” and pages of Rightwing blogs, the proving grounds for mainstream Rightwing talk radio and FOX news’ polished and populist messaging, and you’ll find pages filled with racially charged, concocted alarmist rhetoric.

This was from one site, which will go unnamed, but sets the groundwork for the racist subtext pervading the nation from the Right since President Obama was elected:

“Well before the verdict is announced, agitators and provocateurs are already using social-media services to broadcast their intentions to unleash chaos and death. One Facebook page being investigated by authorities, for example, was entitled “RIOT for Trayvon.” In its description, the page read: “They don’t think we will tear this mutha —– [expletive deleted] up! LIKE IF YOU READY TO RIDE! LETS FLEX OUR MUSCLE! WHAT, YOU SCARED?” Other pages brazenly call for murder.”

This is a carefully crafted strategy, with the Right cloaking their intentions by pointing the finger at the innocent, like good mafia lawyers would. They accuse champions and advocates of racial inequality that still is very much alive in the nation of being “race baiters”, or “Race Hustlers.” Sean Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, Ingraham and others denounce Obama as sowing division in American politics simply for discussing continuing racial inequity in society.

This is the sort of trash parading as humor in the absence of actual thought, and their deficit of humanity and morality

This is the sort of trash parading as humor in the absence of actual thought, and their deficit of humanity and morality

On Wednesday, while I was in Washington DC, Limbaugh said this on his program: “I really thought that one of the reasons that we elected and then reelected Barack Obama was so that there wouldn’t be any more race riots. I thought the election of the first black president would end racial strife, and so did millions of Americans who voted for Obama on that basis. Now we actually have media people agitating for race riots in regard to the George Zimmerman trial because the prosecution in this trial is imploding. We have a media that is totally invested in Zimmerman being found guilty and handing and then electrocuted and then drowned and then shot and then cremated for whatever happened to Trayvon Martin.”

Which is it, Rush, who contradicts himself in just two short sentences, which must be something of a record? Sort of like talking out of one’s ass. So is the media agitating for race riots for a in a Zimmerman acquittal while pressing for a conviction at the same time?

Beck was hysterical today, and not in the tickle and squeeze sort of way. he accused the “media” of setting “the Arab world on fire, and they set this country on fire,” during a formless and, in my informed opinion, racially targeted rant on his radio show.

“This is what will happen,” he said, if he’s (Zimmerman) is acquitted. they will either kill him in the streets or try him for civil rights violations.”

One local rightwing I-just-tell-it-like-it-is racist with a talk show in Chicago suggested that listeners invest in a window replacement company in the Florida town where the trial is taking place. Hilarious!

But at Revolution and Beer we are also always asking the question, what is the end game? There is one very obvious in provoking violence and that is the continued perpetuation of Black stereotypes, as well as the legitimacy of an overbearing and out of control status quo media. Secondary would be to split the African American community within itself, an attempt to sow distrust or fear from outside organizations helping challenged communities and to strengthen white voting constituencies into the 2016 election.

Too conspiratorial for you? As better data has emerged regarding the unprecedented numbers of enfranchised voters in the black community in the 2012 election was one of several factors leading to Obama’s re-election, those revelations have sent shockwaves through the post-Republican party. the right has struggled within itself over courting the Hispanic vote, which went almost entirely to Obama. Both of those turnouts, coupled with a disastrously low white turnout sank the right’s run for the White House. Now, with the party split and no one but possibly Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry eyeing the adult’s chair, the post-Republicans are getting desperate. But they’ve been desperate, or have you forgotten Obama’s Kenyan past, Half-rican jokes and the birther psychos already?

In the end, it is really about what happened to this young man…trayvons-body-shown1

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at www.glunzbeers.com.


Revolution and Beer breaking News: Taxpayers tell corporations in Illinois, “Pay your fair share!”

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It was just past noon at the Apple flagship store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Sunlight poured through the storefront windows, the iconic Apple-shaped window on the second floor and the skylight overhead. the doors were open, allowing the noon time traffic sounds along Michigan Avenue and a strong cool breeze among the towering downtown buildings.

I’d been alerted through carefully guarded bits and pieces of information. Inside the store there was a larger than usual number of customers at the tables brimming with the latest Apple electronics, and on the second floor as well. Mixed among them were the salespeople, clad in their ubiquitous blue polo shirts. At the door, two security guards were apparently unaware of what was about to take place.
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Two members of Fair Economy Illinois suddenly appeared on the stairs with a megaphone, decrying, “Apple, Apple, you you’re no good!” Instantly that voice was joined by nearly 50 protesters throughout the store: “Pay your taxes like you should!”
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Toby Chow, of Fair Economy Illinois, and a guest on the Revolution and Beer show in June told shoppers, protesters and Apple employees that, “The company paid an effective tax rate of barely 7% in 2011, while the rest of us pay 15 to 20% to support services that we all need, from roads and bridges to police and fire protection. It’s outrageous that you and I pay, on average, three times as much in taxes as one of the wealthiest corporations in the nation!”

Apple’s profits between 2009 and 2012 were over $70 billion. They have paid almost no taxes in the United States or in Illinois, despite those record profits. And Apple is not alone. Fair economy Illinois, other groups and citizens are alarmed that pensions and social programs are being cut, schools are being closed and our infrastructure is crumbling at a time when too many corporations in Illinois are paying little or nothing in income taxes.

Bill 3627 would mandate corporate tax transparency in Illinois and require that corporations disclose of basic financial information, such as Apple’s Illinois taxable income, an itemized list of tax credits, and total Illinois corporate income tax paid.

There was a spirit here. There was no wavering. The protesters were organized, peaceful and respectful, initiating a dialogue quickly behind the scenes with Apple management and then with police. Still, they were unmoved until they had a chance to make their case.

From among the protesters State representative William Davis, of the 13th district also addressed the issue, showing his full support for the protest as well as the effort to have corporations pay a fair portion of the tax burden the average citizen and small business must bear. IMG_5381

“Apple is not the only corporate tax dodger,” he said to applause, “but two-thirds of corporations in the state of Illinois pay nothing in Illinois corporate income tax, and every year the state loses roughly two billion dollars in tax revenue because of state corporate tax loopholes. And because of federal tax loopholes like the ones that Apple uses, Illinois loses an additional two billion dollars each year in federal revenue that is passed to the states. Four billion dollars a year would do a lot to help build communities with good schools and good jobs, with help and security for the most vulnerable in our society. But in Illinois, we have been doing the opposite — we have cut funding for education, healthcare and human services, and yet we continue to give huge tax breaks to profitable corporations.”

Police arrived as the protest was winding down. Apple security initially called police and stated there was a “mob action with criminal damage to property,” said one unnamed officer. Fewer than a dozen officers responded and were clearly annoyed at the false alarm raised by Apple security. There was no damage to property and no arrests, though business at the Apple store was briefly interrupted.IMG_5376

still chanting the protesters peacefully exited the store where they cheered on the sidewalk outside. Lining the walk way they continued for passersby, handing out flyers or talking to the curious individually. This is the sustained sort of pressure, both in protests and peaceful actions, as well as political pressure and citizen lobbying of a sort Fair Economy Illinois has undertaken. Revolution and Beer will be addressing the polar opposite of that in Washington DC this July 4th.

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at www.glunzbeers.com.


Two Rallies in Chicago, a Study in Contrasts…and Freedom

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I managed to make it to most every event on my list this week, from protests and press conferences to the two biggest events in Chicago this week, the Blackhawks rally and the Gay Pride parade. It was those last two events that got me to thinking. Something about each of them highlighted something stark and interesting about us as people. Let me explain.

The events could hardly have been more different. On Thursday, following the Blackhawks Stanley Cup win, the city held a parade. Mind you, this was on the heels of a Monday riot across the city as celebrations spilled into the streets, resulting in dozens of arrests, and millions of dollars in damage to property and clean up. As a comparison, in 10 months of nearly daily sustained protests by the Occupy movement, not a single window was broken. The Thursday event drew several hundred thousand to downtown and Grant Park, and again saw numerous arrests and was marred when police stopped a man carrying two handguns concealed in a pack.

There was a notable sense of aggression at the rally, reflective of a sport that condones violence as part of the game. The fist fights on the ice among players are wildly cheered, adding to the allure and draw of the game and which is too often repeated among fans in the audience. There are dozens of sites on the internet celebrating fan and player violence. It is a part of the game. it is, for fans of the sport, part of the game’s appeal.

This isn’t anti sports and pro-gay. This is a perspective, one that might not be immediately considered. I played sports and enjoy sports. I can do without the gratuitous violence, and I can do without the tribal or ape-like and gleefully erotic rage-driven destruction after a team loses or a team wins. Curious that the police always stand aside and allow the rampage when it comes to team sports, but are arrayed in ranks of riot-geared pseudo-military clad police for peaceful civil demonstrations over constitutionally protected rights. Here’s why.IMG_4966

There is a function that this sort of mass public masturbation serves. It affirms group think, which builds a foundation for nationalism. By the minimal response by authorities and almost anecdotal coverage by the media of what is largely committed by young white people there becomes a tacit approval for such behavior. It is the untempered fury that the state or church can temper to war. For those who believe in freedom, this is the antithesis of freedom.

By contrast the Gay Pride parades and activities around the nation, lofted upon the historic reversal of the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, was not anchored in rage or driven by violence. In Chicago, according to authorities, one million turned out for Pride events, rivaling the throngs that gathered for the Blackhawks rally. The Pride event was based entirely on community and love and relationships. No cars were overturned, no windows smashed. There were no fights and no arrests. Blackhawks fans rudely booed Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Quinn, who has hardly furthered the cause of allowing gays to marry might have been jeered at those lining the parade route at the Pride event, but was politely applauded.

The spirit and energy at both events truly was a study in contrasts. At one people, complete strangers embraced at random in a spirit of joy and peace. At another, by 2pm there were ample numbers of drunken young men, many looking for a fight. One was about violent entertainment that distracts from a great game, the other was about freedom, and what is more fundamental to freedom than the choice to whom you can love and marry.

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at www.glunzbeers.com.


Residents Tell Chicago Alderman Moore: Take a Stand for Tenants’ Rights!

Residents of Astor House have been fighting for fair and affordable low income housing since 2012. Low and fixed income,  disabled, and elderly tenants are being forced out.

Residents of Astor House have been fighting for fair and affordable low income housing since 2012. Low and fixed income, disabled, and elderly tenants are being forced out.


Today, Astor House tenants and members of the Rogers Park community are bringing their frustrations with unsafe building conditions and BJB Properties’ forced displacement of residents to 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore’s office.

For weeks, tenants have been asking Moore to assist them in getting Joe Slezak of BJB Properties, an owner of the 1246 W. Pratt building, to the negotiating table. But Moore’s office has declined to intervene.

At a rally and 4:30 p.m. press conference outside Moore’s 7356 N. Greenview office, tenants will call on Moore to do the right thing: take action to prevent the remaining Astor House tenants from becoming homeless.

BJB has purchased dozens of buildings housing low-income tenants—such as the Hotel Chateau in Lakeview—to convert them more profitable luxury housing. Since it purchased the building, BJB has filed at least 60 eviction cases at 1246 W Pratt.

Meanwhile, management has ignored worsening problems with the building.

“I have pictures from all over the building—appliances in disrepair, bedbugs, cockroaches, rodents, elevators not working, mold, water damage, faulty fire equipment. Not to mention heat, water and electricity being turned off for days at a time,” says tenant Adenrele Adeboje.

Multiple calls into Chicago’s 311 building complaints telephone line have documented people being stuck in elevators every week, as well as narrowly missed falls after elevator doors opened to reveal an empty shaft.

“There’s a lot of elderly folks living here that can’t move around that easily. How are they going to get out when the elevator is broken for a week at a time?” asks tenant Arbie Bowman.

Like at the Hotel Chateau and Abbott Hotel, BJB has begun construction at the Astor House with little concern for the tenants still living there. Much of it occurred before the company had proper permits on display or even processed by the city. Even now, the company is doing more construction than is covered by the permits it has.

As a result, tenants have endured electricity shut-offs and construction noise from the early morning through the late evening. Dust from the project sent Bowman’s elementary-age daughter to the hospital from asthma attacks.

Weeks ago, BJB Properties began advertising apartments on Craigslist, even as its remaining tenants fight their eviction cases in court. But Loyola students, BJB’s target market, have been spreading the word about these conditions on campus.

“I can’t believe the price they are renting at. I wouldn’t pay $850 for a bedbug-infested studio. Not even with new floors!” says senior Tala Said.

She, like hundreds of Loyola students and other community members, have signed on to a boycott of BJB in protest of these conditions. “The least Alderman Moore can do is help negotiate reasonable time and compensation for tenants to move,” Said says. “If these tenants end up homeless, we will hold Alderman Moore responsible.”

Press Contacts:

Arbie Bowman, 773-302-5171

Melvin Jennings, 312-256-6772

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at www.glunzbeers.com.


Protesters to target leading corporate tax deadbeat in push for greater Illinois tax transparency Monday

Illinois loses hundreds of millions of dollars in federal revenue because of company’s corporate tax evasion, charge activists, while 80% of Illinois residents support corporate tax transparency.

On Monday, July 1 at noon, Fair Economy Illinois and their partner organizations are hitting one of the nation’s biggest corporate deadbeats to raise awareness about the company’s sweeping failure to pay their fair share of Illinois and federal taxes. The protest is part of a broad campaign to support corporate tax transparency legislation in Illinois, in what promises to be one of the fall legislative season’s most energized grassroots legislative efforts in Springfield.

Illinois doesn’t have to be broke, charge activists. Two-thirds of corporations operating in the state pay no Illinois corporate income tax – and the target company’s tax evasion alone costs hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue each year for Illinois residents and their schools, public safety systems and other civic agencies.

Nippon Sharya, a railcar manufacturer received almost $10million in state and local tax breaks, and a billion in state and federal contracts for 80 jobs. Tax breaks will more than pay for the jobs, giving the company millions in taxpayer funded profit and making the workers essentially a welfare work program.

Nippon Sharya, a railcar manufacturer received almost $10million in state and local tax breaks, and a billion in state and federal contracts for 80 jobs. Tax breaks will more than pay for the jobs, giving the company millions in taxpayer funded profit and making the workers essentially a welfare work program.

81% of the State of Illinois’ revenue comes from income and sales taxes on goods purchased by ordinary residents, while only 8% of Illinois’ revenue comes from corporate income tax payments. That fundamental inequity forces working people to pay higher taxes – and forces children, the elderly, the disabled, state employees and local communities to bear the burden of cuts to education, healthcare, retirement security and frontline public services, say tax accountability advocates.

Tax fairness starts with tax transparency, say members of Fair Economy Illinois and its partner groups, who are pushing legislation in Springfield that would force the disclosure of corporations that are paying no taxes in Illinois – and the reasons for those tax dodges. House Bill 3627 — introduced this May by Barbara Flynn Currie — would address the current cover-up. The Senate passed a similar bill, SB 282, in November but it was killed in the House Revenue Committee by both Democratic and Republican legislators.

Nearly 80% of Illinois voters say legislation to require publicly-traded corporations to disclose how much they pay in Illinois corporate income tax is a good idea — with 75% of Republicans, 80% of Democrats and 84% of Independents saying it is a good idea — according to a survey by Public Policy Polling. Read the entire poll here: http://bit.ly/17lvzaH
Fair Economy Illinois: http://www.faireconomyillinois.org

NEWS ALERT: For Immediate Release

Press Contact: Don Floyd, dfloyd@iiron.org, 815-751-5621; Chris Geovanis, chrisgeovanis@gmail.com, 312-446-4939

Protest/Direct Action: Leading Corporate Tax Deadbeat

Monday, July 1, noon, Chicago, IL: Location to be announced

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at www.glunzbeers.com.


The End of History

954840_10201130282290214_947914457_nDHS has issued an all points bulletin for Johannes Gutenberg for causing history to happen. Authorities say that Gutenberg, a German national, who turned 613 years old this year, remains an unindicted co-conspirator for the proliferation of a technology that led to history taking place. Authorities recently have begun the process of reversing the damage done to the wealthy and powerful, which for centuries has become increasingly abused, led to new and revolutionary technologies, and began encroaching upon the narrative hegemony once enjoyed by industrialists, kings, royalty and wealthy white land owners. DHS officials warn that Gutenberg should be considered clever, informed and therefore extremely dangerous to the status quo.

The dilemma of true history is that is that the immensely complex, the vast avalanche of human experience, success and toil is simplified to a shadow of its true self for the digestion of our limited intellects. It is much akin to a movie, a great book or a digital photograph, behind which whole worlds exist, though we only acknowledge the merest impression of those worlds. But here is the key, remove any part of that background, no matter how miniscule and the image becomes less true.

The anthropological and archaeological records before written history make minor distinction sfor royalty and wealth. The narrative on the advent of farming-which gave humanity beer-is on the farmer, not his or her sovereign. Neolithic villages are described by their social structure and construction. That changed with the advent of writing. When we ponder the flowering of Egyptian culture it is the dynasties, the royalty that comes to mind first. Only recently have we learned details about the daily lives of those laborers and artisans that built the temples and pyramids of Egypt.

Religion-organized, state promoted and enforced religion- it can be argued was a tactic for control of the population, and a vehicle for extending power through warfare. Knowledge and information previously were enjoyed as the privilege of royalty and aristocrats. But technology is too often not shared, shall we say, liberally and freely. It is a failure of our species that new and critically empowering technologies are reluctant to be shared at all levels of society. Their proliferation is slowed by local politics, stuttered by commercialization, and preempted by completion between nations, races and religions.

The lack of voice and its accompanying agency might well be the key to many ills afflicting the planet, from the war to terrorism, racial and religious antagonism and poverty. But those voices are imperative to an accurate accounting of mankind. Imagine the battle of the Bulge told only by Eisenhower, Hitler or Montgomery none of whom were anywhere near the battle. Lost would be the toils and tears of the Great depression, the words of Anne Frank, the horrors of September 11th, the trial and triumph of the handicapped or the lesson of the addict. But it is all those voices which joins the palette to paint the most accurate mural of history.

History is not written by the victor, it is written by the empowered. History is the subject of the bold, the oppressed and the impassioned.

The assault by corporations and governments is not by accident. It is not a naïve reaction to real or vague security threats. There is a duality to the effort. On one hand there is an effort to stem or anticipate terror threats. On the other hand is an insidious effort to control and disrupt public, constitutionally guaranteed dissent and protest. The infiltration, monitoring and technologies applied by government against, not terrorists, but disquieted and concerned citizens of all political stripes is sinister. It is about control. It is a separation of the government from its people in favor of a Kafka-like self preservation of hegemony and power. It illustrates that the government has become its own separate nation, and all of us are perceived by that new nation as interlopers and a threat.

This year, lost among the impressive and historic protests in Turkey, another protest took place in Sarajevo. At one point, 250 foreign bankers and more than 100 others found themselves trapped and surrounded by thousands of angry and outraged Bosnian citizens. It took the better part of 14 hours for the police to reopen the building and allow those inside the Bosnian parliament building to leave. At one point mothers blockaded a street with strollers. The bankers were attending a conference on investment in Bosnia, plagued by massive unemployment, crumbling infrastructure and rampant corruption following the civil war during the 1990s.

The cause of the outrage was over the expiration of laws in February of 2013 that had previously assigned identity numbers to citizens at birth, akin to a Social Security number in the United States. The result was that since the expiration of the law no new-born children have been able to get ID numbers, depriving them of a long list of benefits, such as passports, medical care and more. In reality, it makes these children non-entities, or non persons in their own country. The spark for the outrage came after a 3 month old child was unable to travel to Germany for a stem cell transplant. Attention compelled the Bosnian government to issue travel documents for the child, but the fate of thousands of other children remains in limbo.

Bosnia has long had a history of political squabbling and backstabbing. The cobbled-together parliament is separated by parties representing ethnic Serbs, Muslims and Croats, who were at war with one another until a NATO intervention in 1996 compelled the so-called Dayton Peace accords. The parties have been antagonistic towards one another since the formation of that unified Bosnian parliament. In the current flap, the Serbs are demanding that that identity numbers show what part of the country someone comes from, in effect ethnic identifiers, while the majority Bosnian Muslims, Independents and Croats want those numbers assigned to children randomly.

But behind those lines is something far more dangerous. After two decades travelling and studying the Balkans, nothing is ever quite what it seems on the surface. The Balkans have long been the testing and proving grounds for all sorts of nefarious schemes by internationalists and governments. For example, while not a direct cause, part of the catalyst for the war was a manufactured crisis against the Yugoslav Dinar. The war helped Germany move through reunification easier, and protected the Deutsch Mark, which preceded the Euro and was the Dollar’s anchor currency in Europe.

Not that Yugoslavia did not suffer significant stumbling blocks of its own making, but as Germany reunified and a new Europe, post Cold War, grew on the horizon, Yugoslavia was poised to become a significant player on the European and world stage. Its geopolitical position was enviable, with prime overland access for oil from Central Asia and into the heart of Europe, and with some of the largest, untouched mineral deposits in the region. Before the smoke had cleared during the 1999 NATO war in Kosovo Halliburton had already secured contracts for an overland oil pipeline from the Black sea across the war torn and impoverished region.

That story is important to understand the duplicitous nature of what happens in the Balkans, and how it resonates, even informs strategy and agendas around the planet. Standing on the frontline during the siege of Sarajevo, I had a sense of past and future history colliding, and in the balance stood humanity at a crossroads. There were echoes of the Ottoman invasions of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth centuries, of Austro-Hungarian hubris, the blood lusts of the Second World War and the short-sighted angst of the old Communist order. Poised opposite that past was the crumbling chaos of the old Cold War order, the world dividing and sub-dividing itself among arbitrary tribal assemblages. There would be strife and greed and a disregard for the true challenges awaiting the planet. Amid the destruction and despair of that tragic city that was all crystal clear. Bosnia was a lesson. The world refused to hear that lesson.

So now there is a new lesson, or perhaps a new scheme. Time will bear both out. But here is the alarming part, the disturbing conclusions that can be drawn from this is fairly obvious. The evidence is found plainly in our past and in our present. It is key to the erasure of history. Here’s what I mean.
At the start of the industrial age, the rich and powerful pitted working class people organizing into Unions against the poor, immigrants or disavowed racial minorities, such as poor blacks in the united States as a bulwark against labor organizing. These groups were often camped by company and factory owners at the gates as a warning to would-be organizers. When that failed outright violence was all too ready an option, often with the support of the government, the Columbine Colorado Mine Massacre in 1927 in which police fired into a crowd of mine workers killing six and wounding dozens is but one example.

There are ample examples of state backed anti-union violence, too numerous to list here. Those poor and disaffected minorities were tools, they were essentially non persons for the manipulation of the powerful.
Scrutiny has been growing upon the abuse of third world labor. More than a thousand were killed and nearly 3000 injured in April of 2013 in a Bangladesh factory collapse supplying Western European and American retail outlets with garments. But third world labor has become a mainstay for companies fixated fully on bottom-line profitability. That successive catastrophes has not compelled a moratorium or an outlawing of such labor practices, and has not driven a real conversation on an international minimum wage and a convention on global labor practices only underscores the hypocrisy of American fictions on freedom and morality.

There is a new necessity by the modern industrialists to secure the labor paradigm they are accustomed to. The Bosnian experiment is a signpost of things to come globally. We shall see more of this, as populations are erased from citizenry and relegated to non-person status. In such a world they will have no rights, no agency and no voice. And when the common person loses their voice only the wealthy and powerful will remain to paint the mosaic of humanity. It will be incomplete, and that will mark the end of history.

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