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Archive → May 10th, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Week

 

For more than a decade, Joe Ocol has used chess to champion change.

He is a math teacher at Earle STEM Academy in West Englewood. And his students – too often written off because of where they come from – have won major tournaments, met with a sitting U.S. president and earned coveted college scholarships for their skills.

“I always ask them: ‘Who is the king in your life?’ The king in your life is you,” Ocol said.

“So they see themselves as kings instead of pawns.”

Adversity is the norm for Ocol and his team.

Many of his students do not have dinner waiting for them at home, so Ocol pays out of pocket to feed them at practice after school. Many dread the summer, when violence spikes in Englewood. That’s when Ocol runs a chess camp to keep students safe.

It hasn’t been easy. But Ocol’s persistence is paying off.

In March, seventh-grader Tamya Fultz – one of Ocol’s star players – won first place in individual chess at Chicago Public Schools’ Academic Chess South Conference Playoffs. She was the only girl in the competition to place. And Ocol’s team placed third overall.

Three weeks earlier, Fultz took bronze at the Illinois state championship contest.

Among the medal winners, Fultz was the only girl, the only African-American and the only Chicago Public Schools student, Ocol told DNAinfo.

Fultz and her teammates will now have the chance to compete on the nation’s largest stage for youth chess. Ocol is taking the team of seven students to the U.S. Chess Federation SuperNationals in Nashville to compete from May 11-14 – a tournament that happens only once every four years.

Major tournaments like this are crucial, because they enable students to earn official ratings for their play. A rating of over 1800 makes a student eligible for a host of scholarship opportunities.

Four years ago, Ocol took a team from Faraday Elementary School on the West Side to the SuperNationals tournament. One of his students came home with a first place finish. Because of that, she won a spot at Whitney Young Magnet High School, and now has received a scholarship to attend the University of Illinois-Chicago, Ocol said.

Ocol’s selfless investment of time and money is paying dividends in a place of great need.

So as part of Teacher Appreciation Week, the Illinois Policy Institute is raising money to cover the costs of registration, lodging and meals for Ocol and his team during the upcoming tournament in Nashville. A gift of $5,000 would enable him to provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for his students.

By rallying behind his beloved chess team, we can ensure teachers such as Ocol know how much they mean to Englewood, Chicago and the state of Illinois.


Austin Berg

Senior Writer
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Source: Will County News

Militant leftists are more an annoyance than a real threat to liberty

Militant leftists are more an annoyance than a real threat to liberty

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antifa protests flag burning

In many articles leading up to the 2016 election I discussed the problem of “escalation.” Namely escalation on the left end of the political spectrum and the people who identify with it (set aside that this spectrum does not exist for the leaders and gatekeepers that exploit it).  In analyzing the consequences of the inevitable Trump win, it was clear that extreme leftists (cultural Marxists) were about to lose considerable social influence and that this would end up driving them to more aggressive measures. This process has happened even faster than I expected. Cultural Marxists are almost universally distrusted or despised in America today. Their only support seems to come from their own inbred activist circles, Hollywood and certain elements of the corporate world.

This does not mean they are going away. Not at all. What it means is that they are going to evolve into something else, perhaps something worse. That said, even if this does occur, I worry that conservatives are putting far too much stock in the threat these people represent. My greatest fear is that conservatives will become so hyper-focused on a militant left that they forget about the international financiers that instigated this mess in the first place. I also worry that we will one day abandon our constitutional principles in the name of stomping such people into the dirt.

I understand the circus mentality surrounding this issue. The lefties want to “punch fascists” and be some kind of folk heroes in a cultural revolution, so they fabricate images of Nazis and imperialists everywhere in order to rationalize their behavior. Conservatives see this behavior and conjure images of communist hordes overrunning the Republic and building a nation-sized gulag around us, so we want to go out and “punch communists.”  It’s a tale over a century old.

I see an undue level of fear, though, over the cultural Marxists. I see guys going out to counter-protest little 96 pound, vegan Antifa kids by strapping on ballistic plates or soft body armor and SAP gloves like they think they are going to war. I have to chuckle a little because it showcases the conservative tendency to meet every threat with a nuclear over-response (metaphorically speaking… in some cases).  Remember, in most situations these college-age weaklings have no clue what they are doing, they can barely move around in those skinny jeans they all wear and half of the men identify as women. This is not a group of well trained, bloodthirsty Cheka; they are incompetent and fumbling in the dark.

Opening a high pressure can of whoop ass on such people might be necessary in some instances, but “victory” against them is not going to earn you a place in Valhalla. Let’s be realistic — this is not a war, it is a game… an opportunity to brawl in the streets.

To illustrate my point further, I would like to repost a video that has been making the rounds in the liberty movement recently. Behold! The next phase of escalation in leftist militancy: Learning which end of a gun goes “Boom!”…

The above video posted by the Phoenix John Brown Gun Club was apparently meant as a message of intimidation, but instead it resulted in a roar laughter. These are the people we are supposed to be afraid of?

Anyone with marginal firearms training will be feeling some cringe right now. There is nothing intimidating about 50 people shooting wildly at a drawing of Pepe The Frog and mostly hitting the dirt hillside instead. It’s hard to become personally proficient with a firearm when you can’t even tell who is hitting what during your “training.”  It is also hard to hit a target when you aren’t shown how to shoulder your weapon correctly or present a proper shooting stance.

I’m a good sport and I’ll give the Antifa kids two tips: Lean forward into the gun instead of backwards, and stop gripping the mag well and put your non-shooting hand on the handguard; that’s what it is there for. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen poorly managed prepper and militia training as well, but nothing quite to the level of pure suck that comes across in the video above. And I don’t hold it against the people who showed up to the event, I hold it against the incompetence of the trainers.

But let’s get back to the main point of this article.

The John Brown Gun Club does not represent real escalation. Not the kind of escalation I have referred to in the past. Most leftists do not grow up in a gun culture and are thus lost when trying to adopt it. When you are barely exposed to the notion of a thing, you are going to be very slow in learning that thing. When I showed a friend of mine this video they said, “It’s like when Asians immigrate and have trouble driving…” (Is that racist?  Oh well, who cares…).

Real escalation when it comes to the Left is almost always funded and supported by governments or by elites seeking to use those leftists as cannon fodder. I highly suggest skeptics of this idea look into Antony Sutton’s evidenced records and studies into the corporate backing of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.

I would also suggest research into more famous and violent leftists activist groups like the Weather Underground; a group responsible for dozens of bombings and threats against government facilities. Perhaps the most suspicious circumstance of the Weathermen and their seeming immunity in many cases to prosecution is the strange story of Bill Ayers, a leader within the Weather Underground that planned multiple bombings but remains free to this day and is an influential figure among political elites in Washington.

If you think that the racially charged rhetoric of social justice warriors today is extreme or “new,” just look at the rhetoric of the Weather Underground, which included discussions on “killing all white babies” because they were destined to “grow up to be oppressive racists.”  This propaganda has been going on  long time.

These are the kinds of groups we should be truly worried about, and not because they are capable of ever accomplishing their goals. Leftists rely on two things when imposing their will on others — they rely on the power of the mob, the power of government or both. Right now it is clear that the left has lost the power of the mob. They have no momentum. They were losing any momentum they did have long before conservatives faced off with them at places like Berkeley.

Government- and elitist-supported groups, supplied with training and funding, are a greater danger. They tend to operate more like terrorist cells, using bombings, shootings and attrition.

This is not always simply to instill fear or to achieve an actual political aim in support of leftist “values.” Instead, these groups are sometimes injected into the system as a way to inspire conservatives to overreact or to run into the welcoming arms of a waiting dictatorship.

Perhaps the most effective example of the creation and exploitation of violent leftist terror was Operation Gladio, a false flag program running from the 1950s to the 1990s in Europe until it was finally exposed by Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti. Many of the leftist and “communist” cells involved in the numerous attacks on civilians during this period were in fact either handled and manipulated by government agencies like the CIA through Gladio or they were created from scratch by the same agencies.

This is not to say that every Antifa and SJW organization active today is some kind of Frankenstein creation of the government. As I stated earlier, most of these people are ignorant college kids brainwashed by academia. They are, at most, useful idiots and not a true threat.

What I am saying, however, is that a day is likely coming in which Gladio-style leftist groups will be active in the U.S., and they will not be assaulting senior citizens with mere pepper spray.

The goal behind such groups will not be to “win.”  They are not trying to establish a Marxist enclave. What they really want is to frighten conservatives and liberty activists into supporting extreme measures outside of the constitution and our principles. For once we abandon our principles in the name of “winning,” we will have actually lost everything.

At bottom, the pinnacle threat to liberty is not the cultural Marxists, the SJWs, Antifa or whatever else they like to call themselves. The real threat, as always, are the establishment elites funding and influencing that very ideology, that very mob. Countering the leftists on the street in some situations is useful, but not at the expense of abandoning the root cancer eating at the heart of our country. Until the moneymen and political criminals are dealt with, the waves of angry leftist dupes and their more dangerous Marxist cells will never end.

— Brandon Smith

Source: Will County News

Democrat wants fiscal responsibility when it comes to killing your privacy

Democrat wants fiscal responsibility when it comes to killing your privacy

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) suggested during a recent Judiciary Committee hearing that forcing U.S. technology giants to include backdoors in devices for government surveillance is a matter of fiscal responsibility.

The elderly committee chair’s argument about the need for government to be able to snoop through electronic communications with ease comes from her apparent shock that the FBI paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a third-party hacker to gain access to an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters.

“I was so struck when San Bernardino happened and you made overtures to allow that device to be opened, and then the FBI had to spend $900,000 to hack it open,” Feinstein said, according to the Associated Press. “And as I subsequently learned of some of the reason for it, there were good reasons to get into that device.”

The government made the decision to bring in the hackers after ending a court battle with Apple.

But as former Congressman Ron Paul noted last year, the government didn’t just begin wanting access to encrypted devices following the San Bernardino shooting.

Paul wrote:  “[T]he truth is they had long sought a way to break Apple’s iPhone encryption and, like 9/11 and the PATRIOT Act, a mass murder provided just the pretext needed. After all, they say, if we are going to be protected from terrorism we have to give up a little of our privacy and liberty. Never mind that government spying on us has not prevented one terrorist attack.”

The liberty advocate also pointed out: “[T]his new, more secure iPhone was developed partly in response to Ed Snowden’s revelations that the federal government was illegally spying on us.”

And with Feinstein complaining that the government had to spend money to hack the shooter’s phone, it’s worth looking at what’s already being spent to violate American privacy.

Over the next two years, according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Trump administration wants to invest nearly $100 million in taxpayer funding to help the FBI and other intelligence agencies defeat encryption.

Since 2011, the NSA has cost U.S. taxpayers around $75 billion.

When the San Bernardino attack occurred in 2015, NSA was operating under a budget of about $10 billion.

What does the agency do with all that money? Well, thanks to Snowden we know that it sweeps up all digital communications data in real time and scours it for signs of budding extremism.

In other words, if the “good reasons to get into that device” Feinstein referenced included text messages and other communications to extremists involved in the San Bernardino attack, the NSA had them.

The information would have made its way to the NSA’s $1.5 billion 1 million square-foot data center in Utah where it stores the data it collects in the surveillance dragnet.

Why does all of this matter? Because Feinstein wants you to believe that the government needs to save $900,000 by making hacking easier—and that we’ll all be safer for it.

That is a load of bullsh*t.

The government missed the San Bernardino shooters, and numerous other real terrorists, because it’s too busy collecting information on millions of people who pose no threat to the nation.

It is information overload— and people like Feinstein are telling us the smart thing to do would be to have more.

I strongly urge you to read Bob Livingston’s 2015 piece, “San Bernardino terror attack lays bare the fraud of government,”  which exposes the massive fraud that the government surveillance state commits against American citizens every day.

Source: Will County News

Trump News May 10, 2017

WHITE HOUSE MEMO

In order to restore the public confidence in the FBI, President Donald J. Trump accepted the recommendation of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and removed FBI Director James Comey from his position yesterday. It was a necessary move to reinstitute faith in America’s crown jewel of law enforcement after a series of high profile and political missteps. The search for new leadership that restores public trust and confidence in the FBI’s vital law enforcement mission will begin immediately.

MORNING:

  • 10:30AM: President Trump meets with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia

WHITE HOUSE UPDATES

Photo of the Day:

Yesterday, the Second Family’s pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo, also known as BOTUS, visited the White House for the first time. Follow Marlon on Instagram@MarlonBundo. (Official White House Photo By Hannah MacInnis).
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Vice President Pence and Mrs. Pence host military families at an event celebrating National Military Appreciation Month and National Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
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Honoring our Veterans this National Military Appreciation Month.
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PRESS ROOM

Watch yesterday’s press briefing with Sean Spicer:

Today, a press briefing will be held at 1:30PM ET in the White House Briefing Room with Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. Watch it LIVE here.

NEWS REPORTS

  • Washington Times: Trump’s immigration enforcement helps slow illegal border crossings by 76%
    Read More
  • CNN: Pence family rabbit hops into spotlight at White House event
    Read More
  • National Review: The Bipartisan Case against James Comey
    Read More

Source: Will County News

Illinois Policy Golf Outing June 5th

Join the Illinois Policy Institute for a day on the greens in support of making Illinois a freer and more prosperous state at the fourth annual Links for Liberty golf outing.

WHEN: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday, June 5
WHERE: Mistwood Golf Club, 1700 W. Renwick Road, Romeoville, IL 60446
TICKETS: Foursome $1,200  Individual golfer $300  Hole sponsor $500

To register, visit linksforliberty.com, or contact Judi Willard at 217-528-8800 or jwillard@illinoispolicy.org by May 31.

Source: Will County News