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Ingraham: Moore is a RINO scapegoat 

Ingraham: Moore is a RINO scapegoat

Conservative commentator Laura Ingraham said during a recent interview that she believes the GOP is happy to embrace Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore’s accusers because it gives the RINO establishment a much needed diversion from its failures to deliver on conservative promises.

“When it comes to Roy Moore’s Alabama Senate bid, it seems like everyone is running for the exits. And perhaps they should,” she said. “Look, the accusations have piled up, and I understand, no one running for office wants to be asked uncomfortable questions.”

Still, Ingraham added, voters shouldn’t ignore the fact that Moore won Alabama’s primary thanks to voters willing to defy the party leadership’s recommendation to throw in for Luther Strange, a member of the current do-nothing Republican establishment.

“‘He’s gonna hurt the party,’ leaders say, ‘so let’s cut our losses now and put Jeff Sessions back in his old seat. It’s going to be a midterm election disaster for the GOP,’” she said.

“I kind of think the GOP is just trying to use the Moore allegations — yeah, use them, to deflect — deflect attention and criticism from their own failures.”

Ingraham went on to note that the GOP establishment is currently hitting approval ratings of about 29 percent.

“Donald Trump’s looking really good compared to those numbers,” she said. “And last time I checked, let’s face it, it wasn’t Moore who dropped the ball on ObamaCare repeal and he didn’t take long periods of time off out of session while he had work to do.”

She continued: “And we know this, Moore didn’t set up a slush fund for congressional miscreants who are involved with sexual behavior; now that’s immoral.”

“Before the GOP makes him the scapegoat for all that ails the party, well, I think the GOP itself needs to do some self-reflection,” Ingraham concluded.

Source: Will County News

To force identity change, the Left has resorted to ‘whipping’ resisters again!

To force identity change, the Left has resorted to ‘whipping’ resisters again!

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Roots Movie
In the 1977 television series Roots, actor Levar Burton is whipped until he begrudgingly gives up his given name and is forced to use the plantation’s assigned name Toby. Screenshots from video available at Critical Commons

Forty years ago, millions of Americans watched the Roots series which included a scene so disconcerting that actor Levar Burton, whipped to near unconsciousness until finally surrendering his name, called it “his most difficult to perform. This cinematic moment set up Kunta Kinte’s key dilemma, which was not his capture by enemy tribesman, but the forced surrendering of his identity and having to live with one the plantation assigned.

This hardship of losing his name and personal history attached to it not only broke the spirit of the once-proud Gambian, but would have impacted three key constructs Kinte relied on in understanding who he was — these being his NationalSocial/Group and Individual Identities. The disruption or eradication of any of these three layers would impact Kinte’s personality foundation, interrupt his developmental continuity and eliminate accrued self-esteem among others potentially causing the type of significant developmental and social troubles for the young man that the author Alex Haley capitalized on in detailing the man’s dramatic life.

While whipping someone into identity compliance may be a tool of the past, the same psychological fear of Identity Loss are now more common among Americans today than they were back in 1767. Recent Ipsos data suggests that nearly 39 percent of “white” Americans believe they are under attack while a whopping 54 percent of “black” Americans believe they are too. Thus, it’s reasonable that this poll correlates with recent news spikes detailing actual identity attacks:

At the national level the NAACP just announced that America’s National “Identity” — as delivered in the lyrics of the National Anthem — has now been deemed racist, specifically in response to the president weighing into the NFL anthem protest issue, and now must be changed… *Crack*

At the state level, a Democrat from Detroit will be punishing 1000s of constituents if Bill 0646 passes. He plans on withholding funding from cash-strapped schools until they surrender their long-held identities such as Vikings, Scots or Chippewas… *Snap*

And at the county level, Democrat members of the Fairfax County School Board in Virginia, backed by the NAACP, recently ignored years of student and community votes for a replacement high school name — and instead “assigned” to their “wrongheaded” taxpayers their “approved” moniker instead…*Pow*!

And at a local level, a university’s homecoming parade was abruptly halted by protestors where the school’s black chancellor was immediately escorted out by police for his own safety while an actual indigenous American dressed in native garb — representing the school’s native identity — was physically threatened while his surrounding followers were verbally and physically assaulted…*Whack*!

In each of the examples above, there is some level of dehumanization that has, or will, take place with each forced change. And history is full of organizations likewise hoping to control nations, individuals or groups through “identity antagonism” with significant success. Examples range from the 1938 Nazi law forcing Jews to change their names through to today where many cults or gangs also require name/identity changes. Military indoctrinations too, like what author and veteran Alex Haley endured, relies on a specific process of “de-pluralization” and “de-individualization” as detailed in Stahelski’s Five Phases. “Boot Camp” is multi-step process that puts recruits under extreme pressure while stripping them from prior affiliations and eradicating their previous individual identities.

To achieve a compliant post-self identity state, recruits are forbidden to use their first names, or in the more extreme U.S. Marine Corps example, they are forced to speak in third person or what psychologist’s call illeism.

However, it’s important to remember that military recruits are screened before entering boot camp such that only 29 percent of Americans even qualify to attempt service — and of those who successfully screen to attend boot camp — approximately 15 percent  ultimately wash out.  So, the question becomes, “What would happen to today’s non-military, non-cult or non-gang youths when they are forced against their will into a process of ‘de-pluralization’ and ‘de-individualization’?” Well the answer might be found at a Virginia High School which was recently forced to change its name against the majority wishes of the students and community.

Forced Identity Change – The Impact of a Name-Change “Whipping” on Teenagers

In 2015 a group of five J.E.B. Stuart High School students joined local NAACP and Hollywood personalities in calling for the school to change its name to Justice Thurgood Marshall.  For two years, however, surveys and community feedback from the community clearly indicated that a name change was not desired.  In 2016, for example, a long-marketed campaign to change the name culminated in a key community survey where only 1%of the surveyed population returned a “yes” vote for change!

Yet key Democrat Party backed school board members continued to market for name change directly to the students by allowing hostile and often dishonest communication products – from Black Lives Matter and the NAACP – to be delivered directly the beleaguered students by a few accommodating teachers and activist students.

Ultimately the school board leadership relented in July 2017 and voted yes in proposing a win-win solution where the school would subtly shift away from the Confederate named J.E.B. Stuart and instead celebrate the Virginia-based “Stuarts” who had famously fought – and died – in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 while also serving as state elected leaders.  The community came together and voted “yes” to this solution yet – at the last minute – the school board voted down their own recommended “Stuart” option and instead forced the Hollywood-backed Thurgood Marshall identity on the resistant community in ‘assigning it the name’ “Justice”.

What’s in a School Name to a Teenager?

Gerald Oster in Helping Your Depressed Teenager writes that “Identity is the sense of one’s special place (or niche) in the world (and that) teenagers are constantly trying to discover who they are, who they will become and where they belong.”  Findings in the Journal of Contemporary Educational Psychology, argue that a teenager’s positive identity formation is closely tied to his or her High School experience and that identity development correlated to personal affirmation when the school related to multiple aspects of themselves.

A school’s name or symbol is traditionally meant to convey the power or strength of sports teams and helps form certain aspects of a student’s identity.  Participating in school traditions also creates a sense of belonging not just to the school peer group, but to a whole community where most residents shared the same themed school rituals. Social scientists suggest that students who participate in school traditions are perpetuating an important act called “community building.” Yet name-change antagonists bypass the positive aspects of identity and typically attack real or assumed historic misdeeds of the school’s icon as justification for projecting stress upon the students by associating them directly to the school’s namesake  such as the assumed “racism” of a slave holder  which was the logic used to promote changing the Stuart High School name in Fairfax County, Virginia.

In one key example of an attack, a NAACP chapter president contrasted Stuart’s name against the positive characteristics of abolitionist John Brown. To make the point of “racism,” the assembled heard the wildly incorrect yet painfully uncorrected claim that Brown (who had a relationship with Stuart) was ultimately charged and unfairly hanged as a heroic “African American”  but Brown was most certainly was not an African American. Other media quoted “experts” dishonestly claimed the high school had been built “on land taken from resistant black residents under eminent domain… that the government simply took their private property” while at the school itself one teacher lectured students that JEB Stuart was an equivalent of Adolph Hitler.

All of these incendiary claims could easily have been disproven but weren’t and the resultant impact  similar to the ‘de-pluralization’ and ‘de-individualization’ process  predictably had impact. Ultimately the hyperbolic claims became the antagonist’s “whip” in delivering humiliation, embarrassment and pressure on “target” students who  like Kunta Kinte in Roots  resisted name change.  Student Victoria Haver explained the tension the campaign created: “People are very polarized… It’s either, ‘you’re a racist and a bigot because you don’t want the name changed,’ or ‘you hate America and you hate our history, because you do want it changed.’” 

Another media report demonstrate that it wasn’t just hesitant students who were targeted: “Tensions are rising in the controversy over changing the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School. Three community leaders advocating to keep the name have filed police reports after they were called white supremacists on the anonymous web forum Fairfax Underground. Now, they say they won’t attend the meeting out of fear for their safety.

Likewise, at another schools forced into a name change, one student became so upset that he sent a string of death threats to the students and staff seen as those holding the “whip”  which forced the FBI’s involvement.

Student death threatOther teenage name-change victims in OklahomaMassachusetts and New York showcased their frustration by bolting from classes by the 100s in protest. These unexpected protests forced police involvement, traffic snarls, missed tests and ultimately earned punishments and detentions for the resistant students. These detentions in turn hastened the resentment of the new school name and those who were seen as complicit in the change. The National Institute of Mental Heath suggests that these tension-creating campaigns can create symptoms similar to those of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder known as Avoidance, Arousal or Cognition:

Avoidance “Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience or avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event.” Triggering of this symptom can happen when she is reminded of that person such that they would avoid related places or issues.

Arousal (or Reactivity): 1) Easily startled; 2) Feeling Tense; 3) Difficulty Sleeping or 4) Having Angry Outbursts.  They explain that these symptoms are usually consistent and not triggered by reminders of the person or event.  Specifically, these symptoms “…may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.”

Cognition (or Mood): 1) Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event; 2) Negative thoughts about oneself or the world; 3) Distorted feelings like guilt or blame and 4) Loss of interest in enjoyable activities where the victim may feel alienated or detached from close ones. 

NIMH suggests the PTSD symptoms are often accompanied by anxiety disorders: depression, substance abuse or one or more which include restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge; being easily fatigued; difficulty concentrating or irritability.

Stuart Student Measures Before & During the Hyperbolic Name-Change Campaign

The following eight measures were taken before and during the name-change campaign. The academic, behavioral and fitness measures are related to the aforementioned NIMH and PTSD symptoms while comparative “baseline” data was provided from nearby Lee High School, also of Fairfax County, which is similar in size and demographics to Stuart High School, to better demonstrate the impacts of the hostile campaign vs. a nearby school which didn’t suffer the attacks.

  1. Group and Personal Identity – An assessment of two Stuart yearbooks (2014 vs. 2016) demonstrates there was a significant drop off in the student’s Group ID chartcohesiveness and concepts of “group” or “oneness” as presented by images and words after the campaign. Strong Group & Personal ID are significant elements in mental stability, confidence and overall well being. “Primary Group Pride” images featured after negative name campaign dropped from 39 to 3  a loss of 92.3 percent in promoting strong “Group ID” imagery. Psychologists claim loss of Individual/Group ID causes confusion, stress and anxiety.
  2. Cardiovascular Fitness – The National Institute of Mental Health suggests those exposed to routine anxiety producing stimuli  such as the stress caused by loss of identity or membership in a group  may see a drop off in sleep and focus. Declining sleep may be measured by loss of individual fitness and drop off in grades. Year over year cardiovascular fitness scores of incoming Stuart Students (Pre-Campaign vs. Campaign) demonstrated a drop in passing by -6 percnet for Boys and -14.7 percent points for Girls and vs. County averages the declines are even greater with drops of -7.9 percent Boys and -16 percentfor Girls.
  3. Grades – Stuart students experienced a drop in class grades directly associated with the Slavery Focus/anti-Virginia/Stuart and Civil War topics. Stuart S.S. Pass Rate Race chartstudents had produced the lowest Virginia Historypass rate in the County in 2013/14 at84 percent but by 2015/16  at the height of the attack  the pass rates fell even more to 81 percent. Meanwhile, for comparison and to isolate the Virginia scores, World History pass rates where compared during the same time frame and where shown to have gone up resulting in an 8 percentdivergence between Virginia. vs. World History pass rates during the name-change campaign.
  4. Race-Based Grade Loss – Virginia requires students complete standardized tests in History and Social Science. Results were compared here year over year and with nearby confederate-themed R. E. Lee High School used as a control group in that the students there did not suffer anxiety producing, divisive and polarizing anti-name campaign. Here the name-change hypothesis held in that Stuart’s Black studentssuffered the largest pass-rate drop at -7 percent; the largest percentage loss in the county. Stuart’s White students, however, gained +4 percent creating a 13 percent gap between groups which previously had only a 2 percent gap. Meanwhile Lee High School rates went up +5 percent during the same period.School Safety Report Card
  5. Behavior and
  6. Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Offenses – NIMH suggests those subject to periods of stress or anxiety will often have behavioral or substance abuse problems. Using Lee H.S. as a “control” group shows that JEB Stuart Students saw a substantial increase in all categories once the change campaign brought into the school with a +177 percent and +37 percent increase during the campaign year  the county’s largest increase.
  7. Absences and
  8. Dropouts – Psychologists suggest people avoid stress or anxiety causing environments. To this end absences (minor reaction) and drop outs (major reaction) were measured. School data demonstrated above shows that Black student’s grades suffered the most during the name-change campaign which would reasonably suggest there would be a correlation in increased absences or dropouts. Indeed, Stuart suffered a +9.1 percent increase in severe (>20 percent absences) among Black students while Lee High School saw an increase of only +3.2 during the same period. Finally, Stuart dropouts increased by 2.7 percent while they actually decreased at Lee by .2 percent during the same period.

 charts

Hyperbolic Name-Change Antagonists Have to Be Neutralized

The state and county data used to showcase the student’s name-change demise at J.E.B. Stuart High School started nearly two years ago but much of the clear damage is apparently only now coming to light. Only days after assigning the students their new name they then provided a series of “Depression Screenings” to afflicted students perhaps in the spirit of ‘better late than never’.

Stress screeningBut in what may be the healthiest mental response, resistant students fought the school board’s decision by campaigning to return the promised “Stuart” name in a petition entitled: Listen to the Students voices!”  While the student-led effort has garnered nearly 1,500 signers, the community launched a school board recall effort and began in legal action which focuses on the board’s abandonment of their own name-change policies.

But beyond the student’s mental health outcomes, this case study seemingly offers a true microcosm of where the larger population is.  One need only parallel the spikes in the affected J.E.B. Stuart students’  “Disruptive Behavior” and “Drug, Alcohol & Tobacco offenses” with the nation’s overall increases in suicide ratesmass shootings and alcohol use.

Clearly research demonstrates that maintaining one’s positive identity matters.  Thus, when anyone, of any race, attacks the basis of who they are or worse – forces someone else to change who they are – bad things can happen and scholars agree.   Dr. Jason D. Hill  a black immigrant who chose to live in the U.S. – argues that this type of antagonistic anti-Americanism is infecting youth at a stunning speed.  Likewise Professor Walter Williams in his recent article entitled “Undermining America” posits, “Leftists have had their greatest successes in undermining American values on the nation’s college campuses. Derelict and dishonest college administrators, professors and boards of trustees have given them carte blanche.” Dr. Jason D. Hill’s video can be accessed here

Americans of all races, names and identities must pay attention to those movements which seek to whip us, to re-name us or to divide us.  We must embrace critical thinking and its emphasis of education over simple minded eradication.  Another danger is the intellectually lazy reliance on “Presentism”, which is one’s bias toward the past influenced by one’s present-day attitudes and experiences, which is being leveraged more and more as the basis of identity attacks.

Abe Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”  To this end, we must embrace our nation’s motto of E. Pluribus Unum or “From Many, We are One.”  Our motto demands that we incorporate our collective subcultures, traditions and ethnicities in strengthening and maintaining our unified identity.  We are a strong a multi-ethnic society where Americanism must unify under the banner of inclusivity and true – not just stated – tolerance.

To survive as a nation, Americans must resist the whip of segregationist’s plantation mindset known today as identity politics and practiced by the ever-more mainstream Left. Levar Burton reflected on this sentiment: “Kunta was a warrior and he maintained that aspect of his identity throughout his entire life, he never surrendered who he was. . . . It was the indomitability of his human spirit, his warrior spirit, that prevented him from accepting that name, and that’s what that scene is about.  I control who I am.

— M. Andre Billeaudeaux

Andre Billeaudeaux is a retired military journalist and strategist and has published extensively on topics centered on social science, national identity, psychology, politics and history.  He studied psychology under Dr. Phil Zimbardo of Stanford and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Native American Guardian’s Association.  

Source: Will County News

Another day, another major threat to your privacy

Another day, another major threat to your privacy

If you use the internet or carry a phone, Big Tech is watching.

It’s no secret that the nation’s technology behemoths are constantly working to gather as much data on their costumers as possible. In many cases, consumers are happy to hand over that data in trade for the convenience new technologies provide.

But based on the information provided in a couple of new reports, Big Tech is tracking you even when you don’t realize it, or when you specifically take steps to block companies from monitoring your connected activity– and the level of intrusiveness involved may surprise you.

For instance, Quartz reports that Americans using Android phones are constantly sending physical location data back to Google, even when they turn off location services in an effort to avoid being tracked.

From the report:

Many people realize that smartphones track their locations. But what if you actively turn off location services, haven’t used any apps, and haven’t even inserted a carrier SIM card?

Even if you take all of those precautions, phones running Android software gather data about your location and send it back to Google when they’re connected to the internet, a Quartz investigation has revealed.

Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers—even when location services are disabled—and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy.

Quartz observed the data collection occur and contacted Google, which confirmed the practice.

In short, Google is following you everywhere you carry your Android phone.

And even with robust security measures in place, this means that third-party bad actors could potentially gain access to every detail about your whereabouts.

Another report out from ArsTechnica focuses on the growing intrusiveness of technology designed to track your online activity, detailing how corporations are now following your every keystroke and mouse movement in real time to gather information about you.

From the report: 

If you have the uncomfortable sense someone is looking over your shoulder as you surf the Web, you’re not being paranoid. A new study finds hundreds of sites—including microsoft.com, adobe.com, and godaddy.com—employ scripts that record visitors’ keystrokes, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior in real time, even before the input is submitted or is later deleted.

Session replay scripts are provided by third-party analytics services that are designed to help site operators better understand how visitors interact with their Web properties and identify specific pages that are confusing or broken. As their name implies, the scripts allow the operators to re-enact individual browsing sessions. Each click, input, and scroll can be recorded and later played back.

A study published last week reported that 482 of the 50,000 most trafficked websites employ such scripts, usually with no clear disclosure. It’s not always easy to detect sites that employ such scripts. The actual number is almost certainly much higher, particularly among sites outside the top 50,000 that were studied.

Source: Will County News

All the old world systems are being deliberately torn down

All the old world systems are being deliberately torn down

As we approach the holiday season many people turn to thoughts on tradition, heritage, principles, duty, honor and family. They consider the accomplishments and even the failures of the past and where we are headed in the future. For most of the year, the average American will keep their heads in the sands of monotony and decadence and distraction. But during this time, even in the midst of the consumption frenzy it has been molded into, people tend to reflect, and they find joy, and they find worry.

What perhaps does not come to mind very often though are the institutions and structures that provide the “stability” by which our society is able to continue in a predictable manner. While many of these institutions are not built with the good of the public in mind, they often indirectly secure a foundation that can be relied upon, for two or three generations, while securing power for the establishment. The problem is, the establishment is never satisfied with a static or semi-peaceful system for very long. They are not satisfied by being mostly in control, they seek total control. Thus, they are often willing to create chaos and crisis and even tear down old structures that previously benefited them in order to gain something even greater (and more oppressive for the rest of us).

The official Thanksgiving holiday, for example, did not really begin as a homage to the colonial settlers and pilgrims of America’s birth and their struggles to build a new life. It began far later, in 1863 as the Civil War was raging. It was the Civil War that upset the traditional balance of power between the states and the federal government, nearly annihilating the nation and asserting federal power as unquestionable for decades to come. A moment of great chaos which destroyed old institutions (like the 10thAmendment) but gave establishment elitists even more control in the end.

In Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation for the Thanksgiving holiday, he stated: “In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity … peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict.”

This may sound like a rather delusional claim on Lincoln’s part as we look back now at that time period, especially for those who understand how much freedom was actually lost in the process. But this is what the establishment does — it provides some security and some stability for a time, then suddenly rips it away to frighten the masses into conforming to increased centralization, then it returns that security and stability afterwards as a reward for our compliance.

In 1864, Lincoln gave a second proclamation for a Thanksgiving holiday, stating that: “I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust.” Now, I sometimes wonder if Lincoln was referring to reverence for God, or reverence to the power structure which was about to give back some of the predictability and tranquility it had taken away?

Well, America has enjoyed another period of relative calm in terms of institutional peace and most citizens have grown rather used to the idea that this calm is somehow the norm. However, it is becoming ever more clear that another shock to the system is coming, this time through domestic and international events, and some of the old world structures we are used to seeing may not exist afterwards. Here are just a few…

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Source: Will County News

ISRA Thursday Bulletin – November 23, 2017

Letterhead

ISRA Thursday Bulletin – November 23, 2017

 

Executive Directors Message

As gun owners, we are always told by the anti-gunners that “if you just give us this restriction or that ban we will leave you alone.”  I have never believed them and neither have most of you.  The latest propaganda piece put out by Gabby Giffords and her space cadet husband, Mark Kelly, lists things they want to ban.  One of those is the dreaded muzzle loading rifle because some of them can shoot a .50 caliber ball.  This is just an example of how far they really want to go, which is to ban everything.
Most of the time, I discuss what is happening in the State of Illinois but that doesn’t mean we should forget what is going on in Washington D.C.  October was a busy month for the anti-gun crowd in Congress.  Representative Bonnie Coleman (D-NJ) introduced H.R. 3962 to stop online sales of ammunition.  Representative Norma Torres (D-CA) introduced H.R. 4025 which would require reporting of any two firearms purchased in a five day period.  Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) introduced H.R. 4052, which is a magazine ban.  Many of the bills in Congress will have a state version introduced at some time in the future.
We all received an early Thanksgiving blessing at 8:13 pm on Sunday night when Charles Manson finally died.  Manson spent 45 years in prison living off the tax payers.  Why some people want to keep mutts like Manson alive, I will never understand.  Manson and his followers killed many more people than they were charged with and convicted of.  I am often asked if I oppose the electric chair.  The answer is no; I prefer the electric couch, however.
My email (and I am guessing yours) is crammed full of almost irresistible bargains.  The Black Friday sales seemed to have already started and, in some cases, began last Monday.  I have to say I did spot a few real bargains, but a bargain is only a bargain if you need it and can afford it.  I will say there were some very good prices on ammunition.  If you plan on taking a shooting class, now might be a good time to stock up.
Last week, I mentioned classes that included both partner classes, for those who you live or work with, and active shooter classes, for those who could be a target (such as churches, businesses and other organizations).  This week, I spoke to a fellow instructor who just held a concealed carry class for a church group; they decided it is best to begin training for their own self-defense.  With those things in mind, I am working on two such classes to be held at the ISRA Range.  I hope to have them scheduled before the end of the year, and I expect the classes to take place in late spring or early summer.  In the meantime, anyone who is interested these types of classes, should get their concealed carry class out of the way and take a handgun skills class.
On behalf of the ISRA staff, the Board of Directors and myself, I want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for all of you great ISRA members.  You are the best.
Thanks for being a member.
Upcoming events: ISRA Calendar
For more information, visit www.isra.org
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Glock League
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
ISRA Wednesday Night Air Gun League
ISRA 10 Meter International Air Pistol League
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Range Work Day
Sunday, December 3, 2017
Black Powder League
Check out ISRA’s website at www.isra.org! Tell us what you think!
Follow the ISRA on Twitter and Facebook.

Give the gift of an ISRA membership.   Not an ISRA Member?  Join Today!

Illinois State Rifle Association, PO Box 637, Chatsworth, IL 60921

Source: Will County News

Englewood eighth-grader, the “chess queen of the South”

Tamya Fultz is a queen. But she doesn’t act like royalty.

An Englewood eighth-grader, the “chess queen of the South” is a soft-spoken ambassador for an Earle STEM Academy chess team that’s out to beat the world, despite team members’ struggles in their own backyards.

“Chess helps their life because sometimes they have problems at home,” Tamya said of her teammates. “It helps their grades, it helps them think more; make better choices.”

Unfortunately, this lifeline is in danger of disappearing without a source of funding. But that uncertainty hasn’t stopped Tamya.

Her skills and presence can be intimidating to her opponents. Take her opening round match at a tournament in Indianapolis, for example.

“I won in four moves, and he started crying,” Tamya said, smiling sheepishly.

In Illinois’ 2017 state chess tournament, she was the only girl among 25 finalists. She was also the only African-American. And the only Chicago Public Schools student.

Tamya has emerged as the undisputed leader of the team created by Earle math teacher Joe Ocol.

“You should see the kindergarten and first-graders coming in wanting to learn chess,” Joe said. “They want to be like Tamya. Tamya is their model.”

Her legacy is only growing. Earlier this year the Earle team brought back three trophies from the U.S. Chess Federation SuperNationals tournament in Nashville, the largest chess tournament in history.

Taahir Levi, Joe’s youngest player, took home first place in blitz in his division. (Blitz is a chess strategy game that requires a player to beat his or her opponent in less than five minutes.) Tamya won an individual trophy for her high placement, as did the team as a whole. In their division the Earle players were the only Illinois team with a top 25 finish.

So much does Joe believe in the South Side squad that while financially stressed himself, he’s been paying thousands of dollars out of pocket to finance the team’s travel and tournament expenses.

“There is a lot of talent in Englewood,” Joe said. “They just need an opportunity to shine.”

But when he began teaching chess, Joe did not have trophies in mind. The goal was simple: safety.

In 2005, while Joe was teaching at Marshall High School on Chicago’s West Side, one of his students was shot and killed. He believes this student’s murder was meant as a warning from local gang members to other young men: Join or die.

Joe is no stranger to street violence. He grew up amid political conflict in the Philippines, and knew classmates who met the same end as his Marshall student. But this was different.

Inspired by an article detailing the “danger zone” for students between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., Joe started to teach chess after school. At first no one came. But free snacks began to attract a steady crowd. And slowly, champions began to emerge.

The latest is Taahir.

“Winning is the best part,” he said while sitting down for a practice match against Tamya. If she is Englewood’s magnanimous chess queen, Taahir is its puckish prince.

“It’s helped me,” he admits. “The mental strategy has helped me.”

But halfway through his match with the queen, Taahir forfeited. Ocol snapped to attention.

“You must never give up,” he said sternly. “Even if you are down, Taahir, you need to keep fighting. That is unacceptable. Do you understand me?”

Taahir nodded. This is why they’re champions.

The problem? Funding for the team has all but dried up. By himself, Ocol can no longer front the cost of travel and registration to give his kids the opportunities they would not be able to afford on their own. The ratings students receive in official play are crucial in winning scarce college scholarship money.

This is Tamya’s plan. She’s hoping to earn a spot in a selective-enrollment high school next year and work toward a scholarship to attend college for engineering.

“We try to teach the kids that the smallest piece can be the largest,” Tamya’s mother, Andrea, said. The weakest pieces on a chessboard can become powerful if used properly. “If this program dries up … their hearts would be crushed.”

Joe’s wish is for a consistent chess program that is not tied to school funding that too often doesn’t materialize. In addition to individual donations, he hopes to partner with a corporate sponsor, similar to what he’s seen Nike do for the hopes of high school basketball players across Chicago.

“We receive through giving,” Ocol said. He knows this better than most.

“If there has been one life saved in all these years, that is something to cherish.”

To invest in an Illinois success story by giving to the Earle chess team, click here.


Austin Berg
Director of Content Strategy  Illinois policy

Source: Will County News