Bringing the War Back Home, Courtesy of the Chicago Police Department: “Black Site” Used in Chicago; Local Press 'Uninterested'

An explosive article about CPD’s use of a “black site” to hide, isolate and sometimes torture people in Chicago has just been published by Stuart Ackerman of “The Guardian” newspaper. (The full article is at . . .

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BOARDWATCH: 'The Board’s pro-business policy of moving essential health services to the private sector is not in the best interests of Chicago’s school children...' Nurses' testimony highlights dangers of privatization obsession of Rahm's appointed Board of Education.

[Editor's Note: Below is the written testimony prepared for presentation at the February 25, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education by veteran CPS nurse Helen Ramirez Odell. Not only did the Board members . . .

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Retired school nurse and Chicago Teachers Union leader Helen Ramirez Odell (at podium) was one of two speakers who challenged the Board's decimation of school health services during the February 25, 2015 Board meeting. Standing with Ramirez Odell is Joan Lipschutz, who is currently working as a school nurse and who took a personal day to try and bring the crisis situation to the Board members, who ignored both nurses. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

BOARDWATCH: Veterans for Peace continues to remind Rahm's Board of Education of the obscenity of CPS militarism

[Editor's Note: The following statement was delivered to the February 25, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education by Arny Stieber, a Vietnam veteran, who has repeatedly spoken at Board meetings in opposition to . . .

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Veterans for Peace spokesman Arny Stieber, right at microphone, returned to the Board of Education for the group's monthly reminder to the Board that Chicago should cease the militarization of Chicago Public Schools, which is the most militarized school system in the USA. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

Barack Obama's hypocrisy -- and ignorance of Chicago and union history -- was fully exposed as Rahm Emanuel is defeated. Even with the massive support -- and even a 'Bro Hug' from Obama -- Rahm was forced into a runoff scheduled for April 7.

In no local election in American history has the President of the United States come down from his throne to tout the candidacy of one candidates as did Barack Obama during the month before the . . .

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Rarely in the long history of the United States of America has a sitting President of the United States devoted time to campaigning for a local mayor. But in January and February 2015, Barack Obama came to Chicago on behalf of the desperate campaign of incumbent Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Obama's first service to Emanuel saw Obama doing a radio ad that ran throughout the campaign up to the February 24 election day. Then, less than a week before the voting, Obama came to Chicago for a publicity stunt on behalf of Emanuel. Despite the White House support, at taxpayers' expense, Emanuel received only 45 percent of the vote on February 24 and as a result faces a runoff against Jesus

BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education meeting of February 25, 2015 continued the Board's privatization and charter school policies despite the verdicts of the February 24 municipal election against Rahm Emanuel and the massive vote for an elected school board!

The Chicago Board of Education held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 25, 2015, at 42 West Madison Street, the old Sears Loop Store, at the "Garden Level", which is now the small Board Meeting . . .

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Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey reminded the Board of Education that the schools were all receiving PARCC materials, confusing administrators and teachers, while the Board was unwilling to make it clear to the Illinois State Board of Education the Board's position. Sharkey also reminded the Board that the citizens of Chicago had voted nine to one for an elected school board. After he spoke, Sharkey held a press conference which was attended by all the reporters and camera people there for the Board meeting, leaving few media people inside the Board meeting to listen to the five Board members who had dared to show up following the February 24, 2015 referendum demanding an end to the appointed school board. Substance photo by David Vance.

RAHMWATCH: Mayor saves city from minor snowfall, orders all out effort to make sure every side street is plowed this time -- while making sure the TV cameras are watching him at Snow Command...

Not wanting to have the news reports once again showing that Chicago's side streets were left unplowed while the mayor's block and those of powerful city officials were cleared, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stood on . . .

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at Snow Command. When the big snow buried Chicago in January, Emanuel suffered a

Rahm rejected... Chicago's mayor faces runoff despite massive corporate media and money blitzes... Mayor's millions and Hollywood propagandists fail to offset citizens' rage against 'Mayor One Percent'

Despite unprecedented support from the President of the United States and a campaign that spent more than $15 million to elect him, Chicago's neoliberal mayor, Rahm Emanuel, will face the end of his political career . . .

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel received only 45 percent of the vote on February 24, 2015. There will be a runoff.

CTU and community organizations celebrate victory forcing Rahm in to runoff, while preparing for April 7 defeat of Rahm and 'Rahmunism'

By the early morning hours of February 25, 2015, the Chicago Teachers Union and the majority of the others backing the candidacy of Jesus "Chuy" Garcia began preparing for the election campaign to defeat Rahm . . .

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Elected school board referendum shows 90 percent want the elected school board

Despite the tricks played by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his allies (especially Alderman Joe Moore) to block a major referendum on the elected school board in 2011, in 2015 the voting on the elected school . . .

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Members of the Chicago Board of Education at the January 28, 2015 Board meeting. Left to right, Henry Bienen, Mahalia Hines, Jesse Ruiz, David Vitale, Andrea Zopp, and Carlos Azcoitia. Not shown because of the difficult media angles at Board meetings is the corrupt Board member Deborah Quazzo (see photo below). Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

The arc of Justice? A look back at a mere four years at the Chicago Board of Education and in Chicago's public schools

The Chicago municipal elections are Feb 24, 2015. Don't we all hope that the "arc of educational justice" is bending away from corporate rule toward democracy? Don't we hope Rahm Emanuel has to face a . . .

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Juan Rangal, then head of UNO, spoke at the January 26, 2011 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education while numerous pro-charter school protesters line up outside the Board. The protesters included a guy dressed up as

The beginning of the most expensive municipal election in Chicago history... More than 50 mailings to one home in the 45th Ward during build up to the February 24 voting as Rahm and Rahm's surrogates try every slander to defeat a Progressive Caucus leader

There were days when our mailbox received four mailings on the upcoming municipal election. By February 23, after both my wife and I had voted early, our home had received 51 pieces of mail about . . .

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Despite the expensive campaign against Alderman John Arena by the forces allied with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, on the even of the February 24 voting, Arena's campaign had a major advantage over its adversaries.

Will Guzzardi versus Rauner's budget immorality

[Editor's Note: The statement below is the response of State Rep will Guzzardi to the budget speech by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Rauner's complete speech, which we reported on last week at, can be . . .

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State Rep Will Guzzardi.

Early voting ends today -- February 21, 2015 -- so here are the locations of the 51 early voting sites

February 21, 2015, is the final day for early voting in Chicago. Election Day is February 24, 2015 (Tuesday, as usual) and voters are able to vote early. Voters don't need a reason or excuse . . .

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Bob Fioretti is the only one of the major candidates for mayor who spoke out on every major education issue -- from school closings to the strike -- during the four years of Rahm Emanuel's time as mayor of Chicago.

Four of the five Mayoral Candidates Respond to Questionnaire Regarding Bi-lingual Education in CPS Schools— Mayor 1% Doesn’t Respond— Parent Mentors from Four Schools Discuss its Importance

Parent Mentors—people who work in schools to support students and teachers—in programs sponsored by the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) on the Northwest Side of Chicago got four of the five mayoral candidates to respond . . .

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Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) parent mentors after reviewing mayoral candidates' answers to questions about English Language Learners. Only Rahm Emanuel failed to answer the three questions. Substance photo by Kim Scipes.

Fierce and angry responses to Rauner's budget speech as Illinois's billionaire gov'nor practices droppin' his final 'g's' while tryin' to sound like just another guy...

Anyone who listened to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's budget speech, as it was delivered (as I did) had to want to scream at the invocation of the memory of Abraham Lincoln, and Rauner's obscene attempt . . .

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Bruce Rauner, now Governor of Illinois, began positioning himself in Abraham Lincoln poses, even before his State of the Union and budget speeches in February 2015.

Is it time to renew the 'nature versus nurture' debate? If so, can its beginning start with a discussion of keeping score by talking about 'smart people' and others....'For better or worse, rightfully or wrongfully, “intelligence” is the elephant in the classroom...'

No one will claim that Michael Jordan or Jahil Ochafor are not "gifted" as athletes specifically at least for playing basketball. And yet when it comes to discussing whether human children are endowed by virtue . . .

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Albert Einstein at the time he published the General Theory of Relativity.

It's almost over... for the mail delivery person who will be on Workers Compensation from lugging the anti (_______, fill in the blanks) ads from the Rahm people and Rahm's clones... to the materials asking for a vote for the candidates, from ward to City Hall... February 24, 2015 is ELECTION DAY!

Everyone in Chicago knows that the weekend before an election is the key time to complete your canvass (for your candidates), prepare your GOTV workers, tell the "minuses" on your canvass that the voting is . . .

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One of the many

'Social Movement Unionism', 'Social Justice Unionism,' or some other understanding... Disentangling Theoretical Confusion within the Global Labor Movement

[Editor's Note: With the recent decision by the Washington Post, not generally a friend of labor unions, to feature a lengthy essay by Milwaukee's Bob Peterson, and the attempts by some in the Chicago Teachers . . .

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By July 2014, leaders of the three largest pre-K - 12 locals in the American Federation of Teachers were brought together to discuss

DFER -- 'Democrats for Education Reform' -- is pouring millions of dishonest dollars into negative campaigning against City Council progressives like 45th Ward Alderman John Arena

It's been about five years since the multi-million-dollar group calling itself "Democrats for Education Reform" (DFER) first began, and almost as many years since the group first arrived in Illinois. DFER propagandists for charter schools . . .

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Since 2011, DFER's Rebeccas Nieves Huffman, above, has spoken at Chicago Board of Education meetings, attacking the Chicago Teachers Union and the public schools. DFER's push for more charter schools and against the city's real public schools has been a constant since Richard M. Daley was mayor. But in 2015, DFER escalated its slanders doing expensive negative mailings against members of the City Council Progressive Caucus. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

We Need Syriza in Illinois... When a millionaire governor decrees austerity, it’s time for the left to step up.

[The following article by Jane McAlevey has been published in The Nation, February 16, 2015 and is reprinted here with permission of the author. Jane McAlevey's book ("Raising Expectations and Raising Hell, my Decade Fighting . . .

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Chicago Reader photo.