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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 11:47 AM
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CeaseFire has become the new Mayors Against Illegal Guns- and not in a good way:


CeaseFire ‘violence interrupter’ among dozens charged after gang probe

Federal prosecutors announced Friday that Francisco “Smokey” Sanchez has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. Sanchez is a “violence interrupter” for CeaseFire and is part of the Gangster Two-Six Nation street gang, according to law-enforcement sources...

...The Cure Violence organization, which is based at the University of Illinois at Chicago and oversees CeaseFire, defended the program while seeming to acknowledge the charge against Sanchez as a “relapse.”

“Although relapses may occur, we need to see the bigger picture of the amazing work and great successes and contributions of interrupters in Chicago and around the country,” Cure Violence said in a statement.

The complaint against Sanchez describes how police and federal agents obtained a search warrant Wednesday and went to Sanchez’s Brighton Park home at 6 a.m. Thursday. While searching his bedroom, they found a Colt .45-caliber handgun inside a metal container designed to look like a book. The lid of the container was not fully closed, the complaint noted, and the butt of the pistol could be seen through the opening.


Gang leaders out of Supermax say they want to help, but cops worry
Frank Main @FrankMainNews | email

Willie “Minister Rico” Johnson, Francisco “Smokey” Sanchez and Melvin “Head” Haywood all did time in Tamms Correctional Center, a Supermax prison where gang leaders were held to keep them from communicating with their underlings.

Now, they’re back on the street after completing prison terms for murder. And they’re communicating with gang members again — but this time as “interrupters” for the anti-violence group CeaseFire. The job pays about $33,000 a year, records show.

CeaseFire has been celebrated for its success in stopping street violence in a widely seen documentary, “The Interrupters,” but many cops still view it with skepticism since some of the group’s employees have been charged with serious crimes while working there.

Gary Slutkin, the founder of CeaseFire, said job screeners for the program make sure employees like Johnson, Sanchez and Haywood are no longer active in gangs. Still, the screeners are looking for employees who can speak to gang members in the language of the streets and can gain their trust, Slutkin said.


On Patrol With Chicago’s Last Violence Interrupters

by Ann Givens

Chicago outreach worker Francisco Sanchez had been home from work only a few minutes when his cell phone rang again. It was a little after 3 a.m.

You need to head back out, the caller said. Three people just got shot on your block.

Sanchez walked toward the red and blue flashing police lights, looking for familiar faces in the crowd. As a violence interrupter in Chicago, his job is to use his ties in southwest Chicago — and his credibility as a onetime gang leader — to stop shootings before they multiply. In a case like the one he was fielding now, that meant finding out who the victims were, and making sure their friends didn’t hatch a plan to retaliate.


Tio Hardiman, Executive Director for Violence Interrupters, NFP, has dedicated his life and career to community organizing for peace and social change. In 1999, Mr. Hardiman joined CeaseFire, an award-winning public health model that has been scientifically proven to reduce shootings and killings. In 2004, Tio created the Violence Interrupters Initiative.

In 2004, under Tio’s direction, CeaseFire received additional funding from the State of Illinois to immediately expand from 5 to 15 communities and from 20 to 130 Outreach Workers and Violence Interrupters.


CeaseFire Illinois director ousted after domestic battery arrest
Carlos Sadovi and Jeremy Gorner

The longtime head of an anti-violence group that works to stem gang shootings in Chicago was dismissed Monday, just days after his arrest on a charge that he beat up his wife.

The University of Illinois at Chicago, which operates CeaseFire Illinois, said the contract of Tio Hardiman as director would not be renewed at the end of the month.

Reached by telephone, Hardiman said he felt betrayed by CeaseFire and its founder Dr. Gary Slutkin, who initially expressed support for him after the arrest on Friday.

“I feel shipwrecked and abandoned,” Hardiman said Monday night. “I feel Dr. Gary Slutkin in particular is dead wrong with all of the heavy lifting I’ve done with CeaseFire during my entire career.”


Order of protection issued against anti-violence activist
June 05, 2013|By Jeremy Gorner, Chicago Tribune reporter

A Cook County judge issued an order of protection Tuesday barring fired CeaseFire director Tio Hardiman from any contact with his wife as more details emerged about his arrest nearly 14 years ago for beating another woman.

Court records obtained by the Tribune show that Hardiman's then-wife obtained an order of protection against him in 1999 after she alleged that he had knocked her to the floor and repeatedly beat her on the face, head and body.

In the latest incident, Hardiman pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery on allegations he punched and kicked his current wife, Alison, on Friday at their west suburban Hillside home. Prosecutors said she suffered bruises, a cut to her neck and a swollen lip.

Hardiman, who was dismissed Monday from his post heading the anti-violence group, has denied guilt.

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed May 31, 2017, 01:14 PM (0 replies)

"Hope you also visited those men that gave their all." IMO, Rick Best is one of them

And so was 2LT Richard Wilbur Collins III:


"Newly-commissioned U.S. Army Second Lieutenant Richard Wilbur Collins III and Army veteran Rick Best were recently killed reportedly combating white supremacy in favor of American ideals in their own country...

...Collins, 23, who was black, was three days from officially graduating from Bowie State University in Maryland when he was fatally stabbed by a white man who authorities say was a member of a suspected white supremacist Facebook group called "Alt Reich."

Collins stood his ground while visiting the University of Maryland's campus with friends that morning when his alleged killer, 22-year-old Sean Urbanski, approached the group, yelling at them to "step left if you know what's best for you."

When Collins refused, Urbanski stabbed him in the chest."
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon May 29, 2017, 11:28 PM (1 replies)

The Mad King of Juice: Inside the Dysfunctional Origins of Juicero


Juicero began in secret. The startup, a sort of Keurig for cold-pressed plant-water—which made headlines for the $120 million in venture capital it secured from the likes of Google and Kleiner-Perkins between 2013 and 2015, and again when it announced its wi-fi-connected countertop appliance would cost a jaw-dropping $700 on launch—intended to keep its business free from prying eyes, either because it feared corporate espionage, mockery, or both. Was it the future of convenient health food, or an overfunded subscription service for bags of chopped up plants?

Founded in 2013 by Doug Evans, erstwhile CEO of New York juice company Organic Avenue, Juicero coupled a bizarre set of interests: a curdled, monopolized tech industry which has run dry on useful new ideas; the medically-vague but burgeoning wellness industry’s promise to fill a physical and spiritual void, stripped away at least in part by tech itself. Two types of snake oil, expertly blended to suit their flavor profiles—and true to the spirit of both industries, accessible only to the wealthy...

...Evans’ micromanaging style and refusal to defer to his own employees’ expertise caused the company to hemorrhage talent. One former employee watched Juicero churn through three top executives—a CFO, a COO, and a VP of Operations—in under a year. In spite of tremendous funding and an impressive talent pool in its early days, disagreements, especially with Evans led to a “legendary” volume of exits or firings. Evans bragged before launch of having 12 PhDs on staff. Several have since departed according to their Linkedin profiles, and a source claimed around a quarter of those PhDs remain today.

And what Evans wants, allegedly, can range from impractical to humiliating. Several employees related an anecdote in which flies had begun cropping up in the company’s San Francisco office. Evans—a vegan who at one point only allowed his employees to expense vegan meals on business trips—refused to implement a solution that would kill them. “I had to interview companies and ask if they had a catch-and-release program,” an employee recounted. “I went through links to help him understand that even that is not humane. It’s actually more stressful on the pests for you to catch them and relocate them.” Gizmodo could not confirm how or if the issue was resolved, and Juicero declined to make Evans available for an interview...

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri May 19, 2017, 02:01 AM (1 replies)

"Lax" gun laws elsewhere are not responsible for murders in Chicago

The nearest US city in size, Houston, has a murder rate less than half of Chicago's- yet
it is a gun-friendly city, in a gun-friendly state that is surrounded by gun-friendly states:


(CNN) Chicago marked 2016 as the deadliest year in nearly two decades, data released by the Chicago Police Department shows.

The city saw a surge in gun violence in 2016: 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims, according to a statement released by the department on Sunday.


Chicago, the only city among the nation's 20 largest to see population loss in 2015, could be overtaken in a decade by Houston as the third-most-populous city if the trend continues, experts said.

The city of Chicago lost about 2,890 residents between 2014 and 2015, bringing the city's population down to 2,720,546, according to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Numbers made available in March showed the greater Chicago area, which includes the city and suburbs and extends into Wisconsin and Indiana, lost an estimated 6,263 residents — the greatest loss of any metropolitan area in the country.


By the end of September 2016, Houston already had counted 235 murders, putting the city on pace to reach 345 murders by Dec. 31 — an unlucky 13 percent jump from the previous year.

That did not happen.

Last year’s murder tally will hold steady at 302 murders, according to preliminary Houston Police Department data. That’s one fewer murder than in 2015, though it still exceeds the five-year average by more than a quarter.


Houston city, Texas

Population, 2015: 2,296,224

Promogulating faith-promoting rumor will not bring about your desired handgun ban-
your 'progressive vision' is a fantasy.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun May 7, 2017, 03:45 PM (0 replies)

Thomas Frank: The Democrats' Davos ideology won't win back the Midwest


The tragedy of the 2016 election is connected closely, at least for me, to the larger tragedy of the industrial midwest. It was in the ruined industrial city of Cleveland that the Republican Party came together in convention last July, and it was the deindustrialized, addiction-harrowed precincts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin that switched sides in November and delivered Donald Trump to the Oval Office.

I am a Midwesterner too, and I like to think I share the values and outlook of that part of the country. I have spent many of the last 15 years trying to understand my region’s gradual drift to the political right. And I have spent the last three weeks driving around the deindustrialized Midwest, visiting 13 different cities to talk about the appeal of Donald Trump and what ails the Democratic Party. I met labor leaders and progressive politicians; average people and rank-and-file union members; senior citizens and Millennials; sages and cranks...

And what I am here to say is that the Midwest is not an exotic place. It isn’t a benighted region of unknowable people and mysterious urges. It isn’t backward or hopelessly superstitious or hostile to learning. It is solid, familiar, ordinary America, and Democrats can have no excuse for not seeing the wave of heartland rage that swamped them last November.

Another thing that is inexcusable from Democrats: surprise at the economic disasters that have befallen the midwestern cities and states that they used to represent.

Too many Democrats ditched the working class, and unsurprisingly, much of the working class ditched them.

As Frank put it elsewhere, a 'liberalism of the rich' will not hold up:


How the Democrats Created a "Liberalism of the Rich"

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon May 1, 2017, 06:43 PM (14 replies)
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