Friday, September 30, 2011

Study: No real progress in CPS grade school reading in 20 years - Chicago Sun-Times

Gibson says Verlander should be AL's MVP, too

Gibson says Verlander should be AL's MVP, too

By Rick Hummel St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sat, 09/24/2011 - 4:12pm

No starting pitcher has won the National League Most Valuable Player Award since 1968 and there have been only two from the American League since then.Butthat might change this year considering the dominance of Detroit Tigers righthander Justin Verlander.

Verlander entered the weekend 19 games over .500, at 24-5, for a team that was 24 games over, having already won the American League Central Division title. Verlander led the league in earned run average, at 2.29, innings pitched (244) and strikeouts (also 244) and lowest opponents' batting average, .190.

Cardinals Hall of Famer Bob Gibson spends his television baseball time mostly watching his old team. But he is familiar enough with Verlander and also familiar with the MVP award and Cy Young Award, both of which he won in 1968 as the last National League starter to do so.

When Verlander's accomplishments were quoted to Gibson the other day, he had no reservationsabout saying that the Tigers star deserves the MVP,although Verlander isn't an everyday player.

"His record pretty much speaks for itself," Gibson said. "You've got to take into consideration what he means to winning the pennant. To pick a guy who had a great year and their team is nowhere near winning the pennant ... I don't know that you consider him nearly as much.

"When you're right in the middle of the race, who else would you consider?"

Gibson said when a club has a pitcher such as Verlander, "it gives the team a lot more of a comfort zone."

And to be that imposing, said Gibson, "is a lot of fun."

Gibson should know. He was 22-9 with a legendary 1.12 ERA in 1968. Besides leading in strikeouts (268) and holding opponents to a .184 average, Gibson also had28 complete games out of 34 starts and pitched a whopping 304 2/3 innings.

If Verlander won his final start on Saturday night, he would finish 25-5, the same record Los Angeles' Sandy Koufax had in 1963 when he was the major league Cy Young Award winner and NL MVP.

There are several MVP candidates among American League position players this year. At the top are Boston first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson and Texas all-purpose player Michael Young.

Before the weekend, Gonzalez was first in average (.341) and third in runs batted in (116). Ellsbury was fifth in average (.319) and possessed the odd combination for a leadoff man of 37 stolen bases and being tied for the lead in total bases with Gonzalez (340).

Granderson, hitting .271, was first in RBI (119), second in homers (41) and the leader by 19 in runs scored, at 134.

Infielder/DH Young was second in average at .335 and had his first 100 RBI season, with 104.

In Gibson's MVP year only one player, San Francisco's Willie McCovey, drove in more than 100 runs -- 105. McCovey led in homers (36). Gibson got 14 first-place votes, the other six going to batting leader Pete Rose, who averaged .335 for Cincinnati. In the greatest year for the pitcher in some 100 years, the entire league averaged just .243.

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News Republic : Ron Paul: US-born al-Qaida cleric 'assassinated'

Ron Paul: US-born al-Qaida cleric 'assassinated'    Shared with News Republic (

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LA Times - Obama's former campaign funders on Wall Street turn against him

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Message received — Mayor Emanuel backs After School Matters

Census: Recession Turning Young Adults Into Lost Generation

Link: (sent via Shareaholic)

Broken down by race and ethnicity, 31 percent of young black men lived in their parents' homes, compared with 21 percent of young Latino men and 15 percent of young white men...Most of the cities with low percentages of young adults living at home were in the Midwest.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Mansfield Lecture: Featuring Marion Wright Edelman

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "John Paul Jones" <>
Date: Sep 21, 2011 4:07 PM
Subject: The Mansfield Lecture: Featuring Marion Wright Edelman
To: "a" <>, <>, <>, "Lorri Baldwin" <>, "Wendy Jones" <>, "Pat Debonnett" <>, "Patricia Gray-Smith" <>, "B.Love" <>, "Diane Latiker" <>, <>, <>, "robert Douglas" <>, <>, "vanicesuh" <>, <>, "Brenda JBell" <>

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Glenn B Davis <>, Mentoring - Jobs PLUS Group
For those who are interested this should be an interesting presentation.  Marion Wright Edelman if you recall is the founder of  the Children's Defense fund.
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Roosevelt University <>
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 5:19 PM
Subject: The Mansfield Lecture: Featuring Marion Wright Edelman

If you can't view this email properly, please click here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011, 6:30 p.m.

Through visionary action, it is possible to dismantle the cradle-to-prison pipeline and create a path to hope
for all children.

Such is the challenge put forth by Marian Wright Edelman, this year's Mansfield Lecturer and a lifelong advocate for social justice. Under her leadership, the Children's Defense Fund has become the nation's strongest voice for children and families.

Join us for this thought-provoking conversation.
For more information, please contact Nancy Michaels at nmichaels@roosevelt.ed ,
or visit .

This event is co-sponsored by the Office of the President.

Contact: Roosevelt University, 430 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605
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The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Recalls Obama's Fall From Grace | Truthout

While reading this I came across this bumper sticker in Truthout:

"I refuse to believe that corporations are people until Texas executes one."

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Taraji P. Henson slams 'TV Guide' cover snub

Petition for the Red Line Extension

2011-12 Federal Budget Petition.doc Download this file

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "John Paul Jones" <>
Date: Sep 20, 2011 3:54 PM
Subject: Petition for the Red Line Extension

Please use.

John Paul Jones
Community Organizer
Developing Communities Project
11300 South Halsted, Suite A
Chicago, Illinois 60628-6827

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Monday, September 19, 2011

On the verge of a Palin crossover - NBA News | FOX Sports on MSN

John Fleming, GOP Congressman, Blasts Obama Over Buffett Rule: I Can't Afford A Tax Hike

Link: (sent via Shareaholic)


Mr. President: Trying to negotiate with rich people that can only see their own immediate interest and  narrow point of view is a mistake; as is surrounding yourself with advisers who only  believe in the rich and being rich themselves. The majority of Americans are not of this ilk.

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The Use of Internet Databases for Research -

Around the world in 60 seconds: Incredible time-lapse video from the International Space Station

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ira Glass on Storytelling on Vimeo

Congressional Progressive Caucus Works to Increase Influence : Roll Call

Obama’s Economic Quagmire: Frank Rich and Adam Moss Talk About What’s Really in Ron Suskind’s Revealing New Book About the White House -- Daily Intel

Cosmic Log - Gamers solve molecular puzzle that baffled scientists

Watching 2 black QBs and Coaches

Tampa Bay vs Minnesota; also watching Bears score on Saints

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Recess Is Making a Comeback in Schools -

YouTube Shirley Ceasar "You're Next in Line for a Miracle"

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chicago Tribune - Challenge accepted, Mr. Mayor

Violent crime plunges 12 percent in US in 2010

Sweet Elderly Couple Tests Their New Webcam

The Weekend Interview with Juan Rangel: The Masters of Hispanic Destiny -

Chicago Tribune - Inside the gambling bill

Illinois poverty growing as state help shrinking - Chicago Sun-Times

Ramen by HP? The Wild Possibilities Of Printing Food | Fast Company

Political Fail Blog: Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants you to research your neighbors; Chicago to post the address of every person arrested over the past decade


Matt Gratz, Political Fail Blog

Starting today the city of Chicago will be posting the statistics of all crimes in the past ten years as well as keep a daily updated log of crimes in the city on the internet for anyone to access for any reason. As the Emanuel administration tells Chicagoans the release is an attempt to make government more open, I see this as a way for the government to instill in you the need for them to protect you from your own neighbors.

"It's a whole new era of openness and transparency," said Brett Goldstein to the AP, the city's chief data officer and former police officer. "You determine your own analysis."
While the police see this as openness and transparency, I see this as an attempt to further the division among Americans and to create more fear that only the police and government can make go away. Transparency is needed in the way law is made, not in the amount of daily arrests made by the police. That information is already available to the public.

The data base will hold approximately 4.6 million incidents including each name and address, if there was an arrest, the police beat, city ward and case number. This will include all crimes and all criminals ranging from murderers to pot smokers.

The Mayor and police department have decided not to release the details of officer-involved shootings or some crimes that are still under investigation. The fact that any incident that may involve the wrong doing of a police officer will be omitted from the online files proves that this is not an attempt at open government, but clever propaganda designed to justify the authoritarian style of governing by Obama's former chief of staff.

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Citizens For Colvin Fundraising Event (3)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Message from Marlow Colvin

Marlow Colvin:

Please pass this information along to your friends and associates regarding the new mortgage assistance program, offered by The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IDHA) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  It's designed help families struggling to stay in their homes as a result of unemployment or underemployment with temporary mortgage assistance.

(Sent via Seesmic

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$27 million from State for new, innovative UNO school

10 Old-School Tips For A Happy Marriage

My maternal grandparents married over 60 years and my parents 20+; hell yes I'd take their advice on relationships. Wish they were still here.

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STEMing the tide of unemployment

President Obama Treated Like Rodney Dangerfield

Where's Rahm? City website will help you find out -

STEM School Webinar Series

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Researchers Without Borders at the University of Chicago" <>
Date: Sep 16, 2011 10:03 AM
Subject: STEM School Webinar Series

Researchers Without Borders 

Fall 2011 STEM School Webinar Series



Researchers Without Borders (RWB) is an initiative of the Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Chicago. RWB is an online working environment devoted to interdisciplinary, collaborative and open research approaches to solving complex problems affecting education and other fields.




Watch for the Spring 2012
RWB Webinar Series:


School Partnerships to Support STEM Teaching and Learning


Join the RWB STEM Education Community Group



Communities are a key part of RWB. In these communities, you can raise and discuss emerging issues, questions and ideas about open research and RWB projects. Participate in the conversation about STEM education!



Check out other RWB Groups:


Fidelity of Implementation

Sustaining Change and Innovation

Collaborative Open Research


Many conversations in education today are focused on "STEM" schools. However there is no shared understanding about exactly what STEM schools are. This webinar series will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about a range of STEM schools across the country and to share information and engage with one another. These webinars will be relevant to anyone interested in STEM education today.  


Webinar 1: What is a STEM School? Introduction

Monday, October 3, 2011, 3-4:30 pm CST


This session will introduce participants to the widely varied landscape of STEM schools in our country today. CEMSE staff will begin with a brief introduction to STEM school models and then two STEM school leaders will provide brief introductions to their schools. These leaders, who come from STEM schools with very different approaches to supporting STEM teaching and learning, will provide an overview of the important elements of their schools and their understandings of STEM and expectations for STEM learning. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions of featured school leaders and to share some of their own experiences and ideas for comment by others. The session will set the stage for the next three sessions, each of which will take participants on an in-depth look at some exciting and innovative STEM schools. 

Webinar 2: What is a STEM School? Metro Early College High School, Columbus, OH

Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 3-4:30 pm CST


This session will provide an in-depth look at Metro Early College High School in Columbus, Ohio and Reynoldsburg STEM Academy in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Established in 2006, Metro Early College High School was born out of the desire of both the Ohio State University and Battelle to create a "small" STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) school with a "big footprint." Made possible through the facilitation and network the Educational Council, Metro is a demonstration site for The Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN), and was the first higher education (The Ohio State University), business (Battelle Industries), and K-12 partnership for STEM learning in Ohio. As a demonstration site and center for innovation, it is our responsibility to improve educational systems through teaching for the 21st Century and then rapidly prototype for sharing across educational systems working in this endeavor for the future of our collective students. 



To register for these webinars go to

 Researchers Without Borders 


Upcoming Webinars


Webinar 3: What is a STEM School? Math, Engineering, Technology and Science Academy (METSA), Carrollton, TX

Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 3-4:30pm CST


Webinar 4: What is a STEM School? Rochester STEM High School, Rochester, NY

Thursday, November 17, 2011, 3-4:30pm CST


Webinar 5: What is a STEM School? Describing STEM School Models

Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 3-4:30pm CST


For more information and to register for these free webinars, go to Researchers Without Borders  


 Please forward this e-mail to those you think might be interested in the webinars.

This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation.

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University of Chicago | Center for Elementary Mathematics & Science Education | 1225 E. 60th Street | Chicago | IL | 60637

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Carl West/" <>
Date: Sep 16, 2011 11:38 AM
Subject: STOP!

Building the Next Generation of Leaders

Content & 50 NGLC Symposium Partner

C/ Dwayne West CEO/Managing Editor


STOP, read and comprehend carefully and unemotionally. I learned something extremely valuable and this information came directly from within the White House's key associate who reads everyday.

We teach our kids that's its not always about winning. Sometimes it’s how you play the game that determines your character and sportsmanship as well as your long term standing with your fans. Presently America has seen history made with the election of Barack Obama, the first Black person to control the CEO chair and top spot of the mega conglomerate, the United States.

Answer this, what history will be made if President Obama wins again? Most importantly, what accomplishments will be made in Black and mainstream America if he's elected for a second term? Will Hispanics be better off? Will gays be better off? Will Blacks have a lower unemployment, and will his election pay my daughter's way and her friends way through college (Harvard)? Most importantly, since we seem to be concerned more with what THEY think, will white America be better off with a second term by President Barack Obama?

Let me get to my point, and please all you emotional readers, hold your seats, and before you start to vibrate, remember he made choices also. My mother and father taught me how to judge a man and decide for myself what a man will do and how he'll make life easier and more productive me.

STOP with any dismayed opposition to me opposing President Obama. He got my undying support and VOTE during the first election and he did nothing to earn it other than the fact that he was a Black man. And most of us, if we're honest voted for him because he was Black. What else did we have to gage? He had very little experience, and that's one thing in the Democratic primary and in the general election that his opponents got correct. But guest what? Blacks could care less because he was a brother with swag, had a smart and gorgeous wife; two great kids and we liked his style. Style impresses and influences us!

Come clean and just admit it. And when the time comes, most will vote for him for the same exact reason. There maybe a few added advantages why myself as well as most of Black America will vote unanimously for Barack Obama. When I go into that booth Nov. 2012, and punch that ballot card for the 45th president of the US, its going to be for one reason and one reason only. That dude looks like me - period, that's it!

So my loyalty and devotion to President Obama is not to be questioned. But what is to be questioned by me, is his unwavering and devoted commitment to Carl D West. I want that and I need that!

I want him to speak to the world and tell them I will save my people and unchain them from the bondage of past slavery and today's hidden racism that penetrates every basement bowels and every ivory towel from Wall Street to mainstreet. And if it cost him a second term, so be it. He already made history with Black people giving him 95% of their love and votes and now I need love in return.

He's accomplished enough to last him and his family a life time. Never will his children's children want for anything. President Barack's God gave him more than he could have asked for. Now let him give back in a way that will shame some, but save many. He may only have one chance to create a change we can not only believe in, but see, smell and touch.

STOP acting like we can’t be outspoken about issues and concerns that affect us and our families as well as generations to come. This is totally about generational wealth, education, economics, power, land/property and freedom. There is too much at stake for me and mine to sit back and just chill and leave my future up to any one man or a group of men.

In speaking with my source, they said the people; mainly Blacks should speak up loud and clear. How as can the Republicans and other elected officials know your concerns. If Blacks remain quite they will be left out, because that means that we're OK. They said follow the direction of the Tea Party. The Tea Party demanded action loud and clear from both parties and now they have seats in Congress and are getting resources for their children’s' children. They advised Blacks to be heard without being abrasive, abusive and demeaning, but demand what you want from your leaders and elected officials; and he promised me that President Barack understands the people's pain, or at least he hears it.

So for all the pundits and Black talking heads, STOP asking Blacks to be silent about their future. Its make me think these hacks are only concerned with their own. Once again, it’s not about President Obama winning a second term, it’s about how he plays the game which is most important to me. What about you? Peace and one love.

NOTE: Social Media Week Chicago starts next Monday - Friday, and anyone involved in online interaction should register for a few panels. I've been honored to be one of a few minorities to create and host a panel at this exclusive yearly gathering of technology experts and leaders in social media.

Kyra Kyles, Red Eye; Kathy Chaney, Chicago Defender; Munson Steed, Rolling Out; Marcie Hill, Write Design Group, and Rhymefest will join's panel, Can Social Media Create Social Change next Tuesday (Sept. 20th), 2pm - 4pm at the Illinois Center, located in downtown Chicago. Panel co-facilitated by marketing guru Lauren McCadney from CDW. To register, visit

Content & 50 NGLC Symposium Partner


Syleena Johnson prepares to release latest CD on Sept 27th

The boys Khaled, Tyson, Carmelo, Jay - Z, Ne Yo, Nas, Steve Stoute, Premier, Common, AG celebrates Nas' birthday in NYC

50 Cent promotes new power drink "Street Kings'

Content & 50 NGLC Symposium Partner

Deven D. Anderson, Wade Henderson and Rev. Jesse Jackson during black youth press conference in DC (Photo: Jazzmyne PR)

Impact of Jobs Act & Poverty Report

Sp. Correspondent: Deven Anderson

It's a critical time in America. The recession has been tough, especially for young black American's. With the unemployment rate for young black males over 18 percent, young black men are still hemorrhaging and the people we put in office to represent us are just starting to take notice.

If that's not enough, earlier this week the US Census Bureau released Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010, a report that underscores the spiraling rate of poverty and decline of the median household income for Americans. This is the third consecutive year that the household income for African-American's declined and, according to the report, 10.7 million African Americans lived in poverty in 2010.

The New York Times recently reported that young people between the ages of 25 - 34 are depending more on their parents for financial support; of that age group without family support 45.3 percent of them live in poverty. That's right, almost half of the 25 - 34 year-olds are unemployed.

Earlier this week President Obama sent a much-needed American Jobs Act to the Hill for swift passage. This jobs legislative package is a critical attempt to address the economic hardships faced by Americans across the country.

President Obama's American Jobs Act includes the Pathways Back to Work Fund will provide summer job programs for low-income youth and year-round employment for economically disadvantaged young adults will have a significant impact on the Black community.

It is important that black youth take the necessary steps to compel our elected officials to remain focused on creating jobs. Whether you're Democrat, Republican, or Independent, you must pay attention and make sure that our decision makers constructively move on social policies that will aid in the upward mobility of marginalized communities.

Two simple and effective ways to be involved. First, we connect with community organization(s) and leader(s) to serve as "community watchdogs" ensuring that funds sent to states benefit the most impacted from "American Jobs Act". And secondly, register to vote and educate members in your local community of the importance of the 2012 election.

It's time for young folks to take control of our own future. Without action, we will continue to lead in economic and social disparities. Enough is enough. It's time to get busy making the government work for us.

(Deven D. Anderson, Senior Program Associate of Black Youth Vote!).

Black Youth Vote! is a national grassroots coalition of organizations and individuals committed to increasing political and civic involvement among Blacks aged 18-35. The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation launched Black Youth Vote! to empower Black youth by educating them about the political process and training them to identify issues and influence public policy. or

Dr. Vasudevan

Passing of PUSH for Excellence Board Member, Friend and Supporter

Correspondent: MG Media

Dr. Damayanti Vasudevan, Vice President, Diversity R.R. Donnelley passed away enjoying one of her favorite pastimes, traveling. While out of the country, Sunday, Sept. 11th, around 2:30pm, nurses discovered Dr. Vasudevan had an irregular heartbeat. The family still unsure of the cause, but believes she suffered a stroke. Damayanti was surrounded by family and friends when she passed. Please send condolences to Operation PUSH, 930 East 50th Street, Chicago, IL 60615, 773-373-3366 x 268 (OFF), 773-373-4103 (FAX).

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Afrika Porter Ollarvia, I will see you at your party on Saturday - CDW

Content & 50 NGLC Symposium Partner


Correspondent: MG Media


The hottest new stage play has gotten tons of publicity and has practically sold out every show.Dweebs, Geeks & Weird-Os (The Real. Cool. Musical.) a CLKing Creation PREMIERE Saturday, September 17, Harold Washington Cultural Center (4701 S. King Drive). Early Show 4p / evening Show 8p. Advanced Tickets $20 / door tickets $25.

ENCORE Presentation, Dweebs, Geeks & Weird-Os, Saturday, September 24, Chicago State University - Douglas Hall (9501 S. King Drive). Early show 4p / evening show 8p. Advanced tickets $20 / door tickets $25, advanced discounted tickets & more available at:


WVON Host 18th Annual Financial Seminar, Saturday, September 17, at Malcolm X College, located 1900 West Van Buren. Engage with cable veteran and business icon Bob Johnson, currently the Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies, and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) will share his insights on the growing wealth gap. And John Rogers, Chairman of Ariel Investments will discuss entrepreneurship, diversity in the financial market, and trends for individual investors.

The seminar will offer workshops like re-building credit, mortgage workshop, social media, business in the digital age and tax tips to protect small businesses. Tickets to see Johnson’s keynote presentation are $30. All other workshops are free. For more information, contact Angelique Westerfield, 773-247-6200 ext 423 or

“Anchors Aweigh,” as this magical evening boards the ship for passage in a moonlight cruise along the scenic shores of Lake Michigan while enjoying a “seafaring” grand buffet supper, libations, entertainment and dancing. At 8:30 P.M. the ship will return to its Navy Pier berth, “drop anchor” and guests will then partake in a “dockside” dessert buffet until 10:00pm.

Rock the Boat! is Sunday, September 18, tickets may be purchased in Museum's Bookstore, online or by calling Diane McCain, 773.420.2727 or Proceeds from the event will benefit the Museum’s Exhibitions and Educational Programs.

Branding Business Breakfast Workshop, Saturday, Sep 17, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM, City Point Loft, 110 E. 23rd Street (Chicago). Learn how to attract more clients to your business, discover common mistakes businesses make when developing brands, learn the profit connection between personal and business brand, learn to leverage social media and learn to craft your 30 second brand message about your business! Call 312.268.5207 or register at Host and life coaches, Larvetta L Loftin and Nicole Dunbar.

Chesterfield Community Council will host the 7th Annual Silas Purnell College Expo on Saturday, Sept. 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Tuley Park, 90th and King Dr. This event is designed to expose high school students to admissions and financial aide representatives from a variety of Illinois Colleges and Universities and HBCU's. The late Silas Purnell is credited with assisting more than 60,000 students with financial aide and admissions to colleges and universities throughout the country. The event is FREE and open to the public. For more info visit: or call Eli Washington, chairman of the Chesterfield Community Council at (312) 513-0073.

TRUTH B TOLD News Service nominee

DISCLAIMER: The views of publisher & correspondents are not necessarily the views of advertisers and sponsors
©2011 TBTNewsService | CEO, MG Media: C/ Dwayne West, Vice President of Operation: ATWINTOO Production, Business Development Manager: Dennis Howell, Communications Director: Hope Miles, Editor/Special Correspondent: Tenille Brooks, Photo Editor: Lauren McCadney, Political Correspondent: Maze Jackson, Special Intern Assistant: Chrissy Faulkner - Board of Directors: Andrew Stroth, Andre Grant, Charles Johnson, Felicia Fortenberry, Scott L. Steward, Paula Yates, Tony Taylor; Advisory Board: Mr. Bill Garth, Regina Brown, Carla Hawthorne, Pastor Al Richards; Board member emeritus: Sidney West, Sr., Shirley Hopkins, Ron C. West; Incoming CEO: Karly Olivia Moran West. PO Box 19082 Chgo, IL 60619 - 312/980/2681 - No image or works of words can be used without permission of CEO. One Company. A World of Knowledge.

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White House details plans for more digital learning –

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

State Challenges Hospitals’ Tax Break - Chicago News Cooperative

Aware of any literature on this or regarding hospitals and community economic development?

What's your reaction to American  jobs act and cuts super committee will make by end of year? Finally anyone seen any recent news, research, presentations, blogs or other on state of Illinois  economic and workforce development especially through dceo and Idot? Thanks

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Man’s Skin Color A Factor In Sentencing Him To Die In Perry’s Texas

Having devoted significant attention to Rick Perry's role in the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, let's turn our attention to what could potentially be Rick Perry's next controversial execution -- Duane Edward Buck's, currently scheduled for Thursday. The Buck case, it should be noted, is dissimilar from the Willingham case in many vital ways -- the most important being that prosecutors proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Buck committed the 1995 double murder with which he was charged. Nevertheless, there are some interesting parallels.

The controversy in Buck's case stems from potential malpractice that occurred during the sentencing stage of his trial. Here, we kick things over to Tim Murphy of Mother Jones, who's been giving this matter considerable attention:

Prosecutors firmly established Buck's guilt, but to secure a capital punishment conviction in Texas they needed to prove "future dangerousness"—that is, provide compelling evidence that Buck posed a serious threat to society if he were ever to walk free. They did so in part with the testimony of a psychologist, Dr. Walter Quijano, who testified that Buck's race (he's African American) made him more likely to commit crimes in the future (Quijano answered in the affirmative to the question of whether "the race factor, [being] black, increases the future dangerousness for various complicated reasons.")

As you might imagine, the way in which Quijano made the blanket assertion that race was a determining factor in assessing future criminality is a wee bit untenable, constitutionally speaking. As Murphy reported, back in 2000, when Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) was Texas' attorney general, he caught wind of a similar controversy in the sentencing phase of an Argentinian man named Victor Saldano. Cornyn recognized the problem, sought and won the right to retry the case, and compiled a list of cases in which the death penalty had been assigned based on similar race-based theories of criminality. Per Murphy, all of the cases Cornyn identified have been retried, save for Buck's.

If you're familiar with the Willingham case, you are probably asking yourself, "What's wrong with the forensic psychiatrists they're relying on in Texas?" Willingham didn't have to worry about his race being thought of as a factor in future criminality, but there was still recognizable malpractice to be found. As David Grann reported back in 2009, Willingham's prosecutors relied on two forensic psychiatrists to offer a profile of Willingham. Neither man actually met with Willingham. One, Tim Gregory, harped on the fact that Willingham owned an Iron Maiden poster, with which he attributed to Willingham an unnatural obsession with "death, dying" and "satanic-type activities." The other psychiatrist, James P. Grigson...well, he was a piece of work:

He testified so often for the prosecution in capital-punishment cases that he had become known as Dr. Death. (A Texas appellate judge once wrote that when Grigson appeared on the stand the defendant might as well “commence writing out his last will and testament.”) Grigson suggested that Willingham was an “extremely severe sociopath,” and that “no pill” or treatment could help him. Grigson had previously used nearly the same words in helping to secure a death sentence against Randall Dale Adams, who had been convicted of murdering a police officer, in 1977. After Adams, who had no prior criminal record, spent a dozen years on death row—and once came within seventy-two hours of being executed—new evidence emerged that absolved him, and he was released. In 1995, three years after Willingham’s trial, Grigson was expelled from the American Psychiatric Association for violating ethics. The association stated that Grigson had repeatedly arrived at a “psychiatric diagnosis without first having examined the individuals in question, and for indicating, while testifying in court as an expert witness, that he could predict with 100-per-cent certainty that the individuals would engage in future violent acts.”

So it would seem that Texas has something of a troubled history with psychiatric determinations of future criminality. Of course, in the Willingham case, it wasn't these psychiatrists who convinced Rick Perry that Willingham was an "exteremely severe sociopath" -- their testimony was for the jury's consumption. The guy who helped convince Perry was Willingham's own defense attorney, David Martin -- and Perry was not shy about citing Martin's opinion as a reason to not offer clemency.

This raises an interesting question, though: If Perry's willing to listen to a defense attorney in this fashion, would he be swayed by a prosecutor? Because one of the prosecutors in Buck's case is trying to get Perry to listen to him. Per Murphy: "Last week, one of the Harris County prosecutors who helped secure Buck's conviction wrote a letter to Perry urging him to grant a re-trial."

This past Monday, Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles turned down Buck's clemency request, so now it's up to Rick Perry or his current attorney general, Greg Abbott, to grant a stay of execution and retry the case according to Cornyn's original plan. What are the odds this will happen? Over at Salon, Alex Pareene suggests it's a long-shot: "As we have seen, killing lots and lots of people is one of the things about Rick Perry that Republican voters love, so I can't imagine he'll grant clemency or even delay the sentence." Of course, all of the controversy Perry generated during the recent MSNBC/Politico debate could spur Perry to do something for the sake of putting the matter to bed, and Perry could grant the stay with some confidence that Buck could still be potentially sentenced to death on retrial. Nevertheless, I fear that Pareene is right.

Rick Perry Has 234 Executions Under His Belt. Will He Make It 235 on Thursday? [Mother Jones]

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People at the Reagan Republican candidate debate applauded Perry on executions.

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Profile: concerned citizens of chatham | EveryBlock Chicago

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

News Alert: Census: U.S. poverty rate rises to 15.1 percent, number of uninsured Americans hits record high

News Alert: Census: U.S. poverty rate rises to 15.1 percent, number of uninsured Americans hits record high
September 13, 2011 10:43:11 AM

The Census Bureau reports the number of Americans in poverty jumped to 15.1 percent in 2010, a 27-year high. About 46.2 million people, or nearly 1 in 6, were in poverty. That’s up from 43.6 million, or 14.3 percent, in 2009. It was the highest level since 1983.

The number of people lacking health insurance increased to 49.9 million, a new high after revisions were made to 2009 figures. Losses were due mostly to working-age Americans who lost employer-provided insurance in the weak economy.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Israelis hold ‘million-man march,’ call on Netanyahu for economic reform

Chicago Urban Farming: City Council Approves New Ordinance

Can women's tennis survive when Serena Williams is gone? Right now, that prospect is scary. - News | FOX Sports on MSN

Coach's press conference

Some of Sarah Palin's Ideas Cross the Political Divide -

Amazingly I agree with her on these 3 points:

"First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private)."

The only other thing I've liked from her is expression "How is that whole hopey changey thing working out?"

If she and her ilk were willing to work with people who look and think differently this country would be on a much more positive path. Alas they are fighting to take us backwards rather than forward-

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HowStuffWorks "Do the digits in my social security number represent anything in particular?"

House Freshmen Emerge as G.O.P. Power Brokers -

Obama Re-Election: The Lesser-Evil Strategy

Fade to Black : CJR

BB King, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Jeff Beck perform 'Sweet Little Angel' YouTube

BB King Eric Clapton Thrill is Gone YouTube

Lenny Cravitz B.B. King Al Green - "Take Me to the River"

Friday, September 9, 2011

NYT: Stimulus for Skeptics

Recession/depression's "underlying forces - the continuing housing overhang, the gradual deleveraging process, the lingering mood of fear and anxiety."

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NYT: Employers Say Jobs Plan Won't Spur Jobs Growth

"The dismal state of the economy is the main reason many companies are reluctant to hire workers, and few executives are saying that President Obama's jobs plan - while welcome - will change their minds any time soon."

Consumers need hope and jobs to increase the demand that drives the economy.

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Reich: Obama's jobs plan isn't enough - Mobile

I agree we haven't  spent enough to stimulate consumer demand an thus the economy

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Newcomer Tony Sacco’s has pizza lovers fired up - Chicago Sun-Times

Assault on saggy pants continues | Bleader

GOP Leaders Soften Tone Against White House : Roll Call

Obama Jobs Plan: Women Pleasantly Surprised

Thursday, September 8, 2011

ComEd CEO to retire after Constellation deal closes -

How to get your stolen laptop back within 24 hours - Holy Kaw!

Obama Jobs Speech: Economists Look For Bold Ideas On Black Unemployment

Job market dismal ahead of President Obama's speech, Republican debates |

Health care, education and IT are Illinois Jobs growth hotspots -,0,6734269,full.story

Greg Rivara, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Employment Security, said that although the recovery has been "very uneven," there are some identifiable hot sectors for job growth in Illinois. They include health care, education and information technology. The department recently helped Aon Corp. fill 100 well-paying positions, Rivara said, pointing to one success story.

Rivara's advice for job-seekers: The agency offers training in computer skills and other areas, and employees have to keep their skills marketable. "If an individual lost their job and has not improved their skills," he said, "they are not in a position to re-enter the workforce and find meaningful employment."

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Monday, September 5, 2011

India's Antigraft Movement Isn't Just about Corruption - TIME

What would Gandhi do? Hazare channels the Mahatma

Sajjad Hussain / AFP / Getty Images

As I listened to the crowds gathered in New Delhi's Ramlila Maidan these past weeks in support of an anticorruption crusader named Anna Hazare, echoes of Cairo's Tahrir Square were everywhere. Like the Egyptians who took to the streets of their capital, the Indians who got together in New Delhi — the young, frustrated unemployed men, the teachers and doctors — were rising up against the only system they had ever known, many protesting for the first time in their lives. In both New Delhi and Cairo, the nonviolent approach was one preached by Mohandas Gandhi. On the day that Hosni Mubarak stepped down from power, U.S. President Barack Obama even compared the Egyptians to a previous generation of Indian protesters, seeing in the Cairo demonstrations similarities with "Gandhi leading his people down the path of justice."

Some Indians won't be comfortable with comparisons to the Middle East. They will point out that India, unlike Egypt (or Tunisia or Libya), has remained free of dictatorship since winning independence. True, it is a proud democracy. Even Indira Gandhi, who suspended many civil liberties during two years of emergency rule in the mid-1970s, eventually sought the legitimacy of the vote. (Indian voters rejected her experiment with authoritarianism; she was beaten badly in the 1977 national election and accepted the result.) Defenders of the Indian government will also say that Hazare's anticorruption movement flowers precisely because Indian democracy is so strong. As television anchor Rajdeep Sardesai puts it: "In how many other countries could you abuse the political class, burn draft bills, create a confrontational situation and yet have the space and opportunity to be heard?" (See pictures of protests against the Arrest of Anna Hazare in India.)

And yet Indians are not satisfied with their democracy. They feel their disillusionment just as bitterly as the Arabs and rail against the exhausting indignities of daily corruption — against the police who have to be bribed to approve passport applications, against the clerks who demand money to disburse ration cards or farming subsidies. Politicians euphemistically call corruption India's "implementation problem," as though it were a minor administrative hitch to be smoothed out with smart cards and biometric scanners. Indians aren't buying it any longer. They have become fed up with a democracy that exists mainly in form rather than function, and they are forcing the government to face an uncomfortable truth: daily life in India, particularly for those who are poor (in other words, the majority), is barely different from life in Mubarak's Egypt. What good is the vote when, to obtain their ordinary rights as citizens, Indians must live at the mercy of an unaccountable bureaucracy and police force?

The scandals of the past year have also convinced many Indians that corruption goes way beyond the petty venality of poorly paid clerks and constables. The 2010 Commonwealth Games, its organizing committee chaired by a senior member of Parliament, was supposed to be a showcase for the new India. Instead, allegations of massive cost overruns, shoddy workmanship and graft turned it into a national humiliation. During the height of this year's global food crisis, India was faced with another scandal: tons of subsidized grain meant for the poor was found rotting in warehouses. Thanks to the government, the hungry can't eat — even when there's enough food. (See India's most influential people.)

Indians may not be fighting to overthrow a dictator, but they share with the Arab world a yearning for dignity. An editorial by the Christian Science Monitor made a point that could be applied to both places: dignity, it said, means worthiness, and "a government can't move a country forward if leaders don't value the people, don't find them worthy."

The Indian government seems to value its people mainly as workers, consumers and entrepreneurs who have propelled the country to 9% growth. But the decadelong boom has also led to vast inequalities of income. India now has 55 billionaires, their combined $250 billion fortune amounting to a sixth of the country's GDP. And yet all that wealth has failed to remedy a terrible truth: 500 million Indians lack access to any kind of sanitation.

When citizens are made complicit in an immoral system, they suffer a different kind of indignity. Under repressive regimes, like those in Turkmenistan or Zimbabwe, they have no choice. India shows that complicity can be impossible to resist even in a democracy. But it also offers the hope of change. When Hazare ended his fast on Aug. 28, he asked supporters to never pay a bribe again. India won its fight for independence 64 years ago; the fight for dignity is just beginning.

Read about why India's corruption fight is just beginning.

See TIME's Pictures of the Week.

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What Will School Look Like in 10 Years? -