|Progressive Calendar 10.26.05||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 05:57:32 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 10.26.05 Toll 2000 vigil TONIGHT Wednesday 10.26 7pm 1. Park board meets 10.26 5pm 2. Park candidates 10.26 7pm 3. Toll 2000 vigil 10.26 7pm 4. Other toll vigils 10.26 5. Toll media 6. War walkout letter 7. Vs Iraqi deaths 10.27 6pm 8. Cam campaign 10.27 6pm 9. Dag/peace 10.28 9am 10. Bicking campaign 10.29 9:30am +more 11. Chile 10.29 10am 12. Kip/health care 10.29 10am 13. Grassroots 10.29 11am 14. News/war/film 10.29 12noon 15. BBones Halloween 10.29-31 7pm 16. Cindy Sheehan - CD in DC: why? 2,000 dead, not one more 17. Reza Fiyouzat - Democrats still around? 18. Matsui/La Chance - SS Katrina sinks Bush 19. ed - "Good" and George Bush (poem) --------1 of 19-------- Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 10:08:07 -0500 From: Chris Johnson <issues [at] chaska.org> Subject: Park board meets 10.26 5pm Wed 10/26 - 5-6pm Location: Mpls. Park Board HQ, 2117 West River Road Special meeting of the Committee of the Whole to discuss the 2006 budget in detail. Scheduled for one hour, 5pm to 6pm. This may be your only chance to learn any details at all about next year's park system budget. Supporting documents include a one page summary of commissioners' priorities and a one page summary of budget categories. Such details as have never been seen before! (Not even close to a budget by program or by line item.) --------2 of 19-------- Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 10:08:07 -0500 From: Chris Johnson <issues [at] chaska.org> Subject: Park candidates 10.26 7pm Wed 10/26 - 7-9pm Location: DeLaSalle High School Cafeteria GetBoB General Election Candidate Fair Wednesday, October 26th 7-9pm DeLaSalle High School Cafeteria One DeLaSalle Drive Come meet the candidates and ask them hard questions! --------3 of 19-------- Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 15:24:00 -0500 From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Toll 2000 vigil 10.26 7pm Death Toll Reaches 2,000 - A Call to Action Passing A Tragic Milestone: 2000 U.S. Military Dead in Iraq Emergency Vigil to mark the 2000th U.S. military death in Iraq Not One More Death, Not One More Dollar Wednesday October 26, 7pm Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River Between Minneapolis and St. Paul News reports confirm that a tragic new milestone has been passed in the U.S. war in Iraq, the 2000th U.S. military death. A coalition of Twin Cities organizations are sponsoring a candlelight vigil at 7:00PM on Wednesday, October 26 on the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue bridge between Minneapolis and St. Paul to mark this tragic milestone. Over 405 similar events are set in cities and towns, large and small, in 49 states across the U.S. A statement issued by local organizers says in part, "The sad day has come when the 2000th U.S. military death has occurred in Iraq. We will gather to mark this tragic milestone and to call attention to the tragic human and economic costs of the war in Iraq and to call for immediate withdrawal of U.S. military forces." The statement continues, "How many U.S. soldiers and Iraqis must give their lives before our government finally admits that the war was wrong and it is time to bring the troops home?" Among the Twin Cities area organizations that are sponsoring the emergency vigil are; Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq, Women Against Military Madness, Anti-War Committee, Iraq Peace Action Coalition, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Crocus Hill/West 7th Neighbors for Peace, Veterans for Peace Chapter 27, Alliant Action, Nonviolent Peaceforce, St. Joan of Arc Church, Arise! Resource Center & Bookstore, Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace, Minnesotans for a United Ireland, Twin Cities Artist Front, St. Joan of Arc/WAMM Peacemakers, Pax Christi Twin Cities, Mayday Bookstore, St. Luke Presbyterian Church, Youth Against War and Racism, Socialist Alternatives, Anti-War Organizing League, Women's Internation League for Peace and Freedom and others. The national call for vigils to respond to this tragic milestone was initiated by the American Friends Service Committee, Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families for Peace. --------4 of 19-------- Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 17:53:15 -0500 From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Other toll vigils 10.26 For those who want to vigil on Wednesday evening, but live in other places: MoveOn has a site for finding vigils near you, which will work all over the U.S., so it could be sent to friends everywhere. The link is http://www.moveon.org/event/events/index.html?action_id=29&zip=55075&id=6198 --------5 of 19-------- Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 11:06:36 -0500 (CDT) From: Paul Rieckhoff <OpTruth [at] democracyinaction.org> Subject: Toll media 2,000 Casualties: Tell the Media to Honor their Sacrifice 2000 American Troops have now been killed in Iraq. As we pass this grim milestone, the media has briefly turned their attention away from celebrity gossip and fad diets, and on to the human cost of the war. But for over two years, the media have failed to adequately honor the sacrifice of America's Servicemembers. Putting the names of the fallen on Page A-10 is an insult to America's Troops and to the families of the fallen, and is yet another example of poor media coverage of the war. As Veterans of this war, we are asking you to please write to your local newspaper now, and urge them to honor the sacrifice of America's Troops by publishing daily casualty reports on Page One. It takes only three clicks to send a letter with our easy-to-use tool at www.operationtruth.com. You can do it in less than a minute. Your email will do more than just help sway newspaper editors. The "Letters to the Editor" are one of the most widely-read sections of the newspaper, and are often watched by elected officials. Politicians need to hear that you consider the war a priority issue. Every email makes a difference. Once you send your letter, forward this email to your friends. It's is an easy way to make a concrete change in war coverage in your community, and to honor the sacrifice of the American Troops that have died in Iraq. Thank you for REALLY supporting the Troops, Paul Rieckhoff, OIF Veteran Executive Director Operation Truth www.operationtruth.com/*Your email ID. <diaEmailID='47794856' thread=6797/>--*/ --------6 of 19-------- Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 21:20:40 EDT From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: War walkout letter Students against the war walkout, Nov 2nd Please pass on to any high school peace activists you may know, -- www.yawr.org -- Attention all students planning to walkout on November 2: Please consider signing onto the following "open letter" to Twin Cities school officials demanding that no student is failed or punished for walking out on November 2nd. We will be submitting this letter the Minneapolis School Board at a press conference Tuesday, and to Bloomington and other school district officials in the coming days. The more students who agree to sign, the stronger our protest will be and the more likely school officials will agree to our demands not to punish or fail anyone. If you agree to sign onto the below letter please do the following: Send an email to: against.war [at] gmail.com In the subject field put: "sign my name to open letter" In the body of the email include: Your full name, your school, and your grade Call me at 612-760-1980 with any questions. See you November 2! -Ty --- Open Letter to Twin Cities Public School Administrators From Youth Against War and Racism high school activists "DON'T FAIL US FOR WALKING OUT AGAINST WAR!" As you have probably learned, students from dozens of schools across the Twin Cities are planning to walkout of school on November 2nd to protest Bush's war on Iraq and military recruitment in our schools. This is part of a nation-wide day of action called by Youth Against War and Racism and endorsed by numerous organizations and figures, including Cindy Sheehan, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Code Pink. Already nearly 1000 Twin Cities high school students from over 15 schools have signed our "Walk-out Pledge" sheets, and we are confident many more will sign in the coming days and will walkout with us on November 2nd. However, we are extremely concerned over threats to fail any student who misses tests on November 2nd. We understand that, by coincidence, you have scheduled a finals day on the anniversary of Bush's reelection, the day chosen for the national student walkout. But normally when students miss finals they can make them up if their absence is excused. Is it too much to ask that anti-war students who choose to participate in this justified act of protest, who are taking action to secure a decent future for our generation, also be given make-up tests? Bush lied to the country about this war, and many young people are joining the military dying in Iraq because they are deceived by Bush's lies. Nearly $6 billion a month is wasted on this war while our school budgets are being slashed and college tuition rises out of reach for most of us. Who is going to stop this madness? Are you? On November 2nd we are taking action, and we are asking that you don't punish or fail us for fighting back against Bush's war. We are calling on School Boards and District Superintendents to act. This is a district wide and regional issue and you cannot defer the decision to individual schools or teachers. We are demanding that no student anywhere in the Twin Cities fail their classes or face repression or punishment for joining the national student walkout on November 2nd. Initial signers: Riva Garcia, South High School Antavia Paredes, South High School Hannah Savage, St. Lewis Park High School Laura Phillips, St. Lewis Park High School Olivia Muzzy, Perpich Arts High School Grace Dircz, Perpisch Arts High School --------7 of 19-------- From: Jess Sundin <jess [at] antiwarcommittee.org> Subject: Protest Iraqi deaths 10.27 6pm FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS: Bell ringing ceremony to grieve and protest the deaths of Iraqis in the US/UK war and occupation Thursday 10/27 @ 6pm @ Holyland Restaurant, 2513 Central Ave NE, Mpls. We are participating in this international "bell ringing" project to mark the one year anniversary of the release of the John Hopkins/Lancet Study and to break the silence surrounding the mounting death toll in Iraq. Across the globe, at least 100,000 rings will sound out against this war. Please join us in front of this popular Middle Eastern at a time when many of our Muslim neighbors will be breaking the day's Ramadan fast. --------8 of 19-------- From: Tom Taylor <tom [at] organicconsumers.org> Subject: Cam Gordon campaign 10.27 6pm Cam Gordon's campaign for MPLS' 2nd Ward City Council seat has received a huge shot in the arm with the reception of 5 huge endorsements over the past week. League of Pissed Off Voters, The Federation of Workplace Democracies, Lavender Greens, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Gente de Minnesota, adding to his endorsements from The Green Party and the Sierra Club. Over the next 14 days parlaying these new endorsements into a new Green seat on the council will take two things, volunteers and money. Phone calling and door knocking are going great but we can use more folks to help out. We phone call every Tuesday and Thursday at Northern Sun Merchandizing from 6 to 9 and door knocking just about every evening. If you can call get a hold of Tom Taylor to set up a time - 612-788-4252. If you can door knock get a hold of Robin Garwood so he can let you know then whens and wheres - 651-338-7699 robin [at] camgordon.org. Another needed shot in the campaign arm is money. There is a big mailing that is going out. Being the frugal campaign that we are we are sure of the people power we can leverage to deliver the new literature to the doors, savings hundreds of dollars in postage, but $2,000 is needed to pull off the printing. If you can donate or know of friends, relatives or colleagues that can, checks can be made out to Neighbors for Cam Gordon and sent to Arthur LaRue, Treasurer, 630 Cedar Ave S #1106, Minneapolis, MN 55454. Which ever you can do please do them soon as the last two weeks are flying by. http://camgordon.org/news.php Prepared and paid for by Neighbors for Cam Gordon, labor donated - 630 Cedar Ave S #1106 - Minneapolis, MN 55454 Tom Taylor 612-788-4252 --------9 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Dag/peace 10.28 9am Friday, 10/28, 9 am to 2 pm, Peter Wallensteen speaks on Dag Hammarskjold at the U.N. at U.N. Rally & seminars "A Culture of Peace," Mpls. Convention Center, 1301 - 2nd Ave S, Minneapolis. ($25 w/lunch) FFI: Margaret Severe, 612-869-0559. --------10 of 19-------- From: Ian Stade <ianstade [at] gmail.com> Subject: Bicking campaign 10.29 9:30am +more Dave Bicking for Mpls City Council, Green Party *Lit Dropping*. We got some lit dropped last weekend and have many other areas in the ward to distribute the new piece. If you are interested in doing some freelance dropping, please contact Stephen Eisenmenger at 747-2854. He will set you up with a map and lit. We also will be meeting on Saturday at 10am for an organized lit drop. Please call me (612-532-8288) or email me if you are interested. We will meet at Isabel's Coffee Cafe at 10 am, 4159 Cedar Ave S. *Doorknocking -*Dave and Farheen need volunteers to doorknock with them on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday 10/29 9:30AM-12PM - doorknocking w/ Farheen. Meet at Resources of the Americas 3019 Minnehaha Ave - need 1 more volunteer (Spanish speaking preferred) -Precinct 1 Saturday 10/29 12:30PM-3PM - doorknocking w/Farheen. Meet at Resources of the Americas 3019 Minnehaha Ave - need 5 more volunteers (Spanish speaking preferred). - Precinct 1 Sunday 10/30 9:30AM-12PM - doorknocking w/ Farheen. Meet at Blue Moon Cafe, 3822 E Lake St - need 3 more volunteers (Spanish speaking preferred) Precinct 1 Sunday 10/30 12:30PM-3PM - doorknocking w/Farheen. Meet at Blue Moon Cafe, 3822 E Lake St - need 4 more volunteers (Spanish speaking preferred) Precinct 1 *Phone calling* - If you made phone calls in the past or would like to now, we are contacting people on our doorknocking lists. This is a bedrock of our get out the vote effort, please consider doing so phone calling. If you are interested, please call Stephen at 747-2854. If you have any members interested in doorknocking, lit dropping or phonecalling, please have them email(ianstade [at] gmail.com) or call me 612-532-8288. Thanks Ian --------11 of 19-------- From: Mary Turck <mturck [at] americas.org> Subject: Chile 10.29 10am Saturday, October 29 - New Voices in Chile Carolina Muñoz Proto, a Chilean student at Macalester College, will speak about her experience with youth movements in Chile. (Coffeehour: A weekly talk and discussion with a featured speaker. Saturdays, 10-11:30 a.m. $4 ($3 for members). Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.) --------12 of 19-------- From: Santwana Dasgupta <santwana [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Kip/health care 10.29 10am Taking Wellstone's Words to Heart: Building Grassroots Support for Single-Payer Universal Health Care, Part I With Kip Sullivan, national leader on single-payer universal health care. Saturday, October 29 10am to 2pm (Lunch / refreshments will be served) CWA Hall, 3521 East Lake Street, 612-722-7200 Everyone is welcome, however space is limited. RSVP: Santwana, santwana [at] hotmail.com, 821-8759 (h), 961-1344 (m) In The Conscience of a Liberal, Paul Wellstone argues that in the face of huge corporate lobbyist, a complicit media, scare tactics and propaganda, universal single-payer health care must have unwavering grassroots support built over a sustained period of time if it is going to make any headway in the United States. Through a series of trainings and forums the DFL Progressive Caucus intends to help build that support. We invite you to join us for this exciting campaign. Kip Sullivan will walk us through the essentials of progressive health care policy, talking points and interim steps. We'll strategize and decide what role we want to play to move this movement forward. We are not alone in our support for Single-Payer Universal Health Care: [The Green Party of Minnesota began this latest move to single-payer (with Kip) several years ago. We welcome later conversions of other parties. We urge them to go beyond talk, and actually vote for it in the MN State Legislature. -ed] * Single-Payer Universal Health Care is in the DFL State Party Platform. * At the State Fair, hundreds were drawn in by information about Single-Payer, which was prominently displayed at the DFL booth. * The State DFL Party offered training about Single-Payer to the Central Committee members who gave it enthusiastic reviews. * U.S. Senate Candidate Ford Bell enthusiastically supports Single-Payer; other candidates are open to learning more about it. * In addition, there are a number of legislators who support some form of single-payer including the co-authors of H.F. No. 481 (http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H0481.0&session=ls84): Representatives Mariani, Walker, Paymar, Johnson, S., Goodwin, Otremba, Huntley, Thao, Greiling, Hausman, Hilty, Davnie and Clark; and S.F. No. 414: Senators Foley, Lourey, and Marty. The health care crisis is costing us jobs, leading us to bankruptcies and contributing to America's growing disparity between the haves and have nots. Just as recently as the last legislative session, the situation threatened to get even worse when Republicans tried to cripple the only affordable health care plan many working Minnesotans have: MinnesotaCare. They called it "Welfare Healthcare" as they openly assaulted the poor. At a recent health care forum in St. Cloud, Human Services Commissioner Kevin Goodno declared that single-payer would never happen in Minnesota. Meanwhile, Rep. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) suggested an alternative to worrying that pesky health insurance; he suggested eating lots of fruit and vegetables, drinking lots of water, exercising, breathing clean air and saying your prayers!!!! It is time to build a grassroots support to for Single-Payer Universal Health Care. Now is the time to get educated, organize, act, and elect candidates who will deliver a health care plan that covers every Minnesotan. (Certificates will be presented to participants and will apply toward "trainer certification" for those who wish to teach others as a DFL PC representative.) --------13 of 19-------- From: Krisrose02 [at] aol.com Subject: Grassroots workshop 10.29 11am 10.29.05 Workshop: Empowering Grassroots Decision Making GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives and not be subject to the will of another. Therefore, we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We will also work to create new types of political organizations that expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process. Highlights: Share experience and ideas on how to prepare successful meetings, and how to facilitate using consensus. Preparing a meeting, facilitating a meeting, and the consensus process will all be covered. Whether you are a novice or a pro facilitator, this meeting is for all who would like to help empower grassroots Greens in Minnesota to directly participate in decision making processes. Saturday, October 29 11am-1pm Black Bear Crossing Cafe basement in the Larry Kitto Room. Take Lexington Parkway off of Hwy 94 or Hwy 694 It's at the Como Park Pavilion at Lake Como. FMI: Ken Pentel - kenpentel [at] yahoo.com (612) 387-0601 Kristen Olson - krisrose02 [at] aol.com 651-210-0789 --------14 of 19-------- From: humanrts [at] umn.edu Subject: News/war/film 10.29 12noon October 29 - Film: The Troubles We've Seen: A History of Journalism in Wartime. 12noon One of the most important films of the past decade has never been released. in North America! Shot primarily in Sarajevo in 1993, during the siege of the former Yugoslavian city, "The Troubles We've Seen" is a exploration of the ethical challenges of war reporting, in which Ophuls examines attitudes toward war in the Western media, and in the societies they inform. The 243-minute documentary interlaces stark realities of combat with mordantly hilarious references to Hollywood fantasy-versions of war, and includes over50 interviews with some of the world's leading journalists, commentators, historians, newscasters and others. Among those appearing in the film are CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Walter Cronkite, The New York Times John Burns, legendary war correspondent Matha Gellhorn (once married to Ernest Hemingway), French philosopher Bernard Henri Levy, and then-Serbian President, Slobodan Milosevic, currently on trial for war crimes. Location: University of Minnesota Film Society, Bell Museum of Natural History, 17th and University SE, Minneapolis, MN --------15 of 19-------- From: Brent Harring <butterflyman [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Barebones Halloween 10.29-31 7pm AND IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO GET INVOLVED. come by bedlam studio any tues. and thurs 7-9 or sunday 1-4. 514 1/2 Cedar Ave. S. 612-341-1038 Hello, everyone! Please join us when "the veil is thinnest!" If you'd like to help, all kinds of volunteers who can help in many ways are needed! Please call 612-724-4979. See you at the Show! Brent Announcing The 12th Annual Barebones Halloween Show. FORETOLD (it's your funeral) Saturday October 29th, Sunday October 3oth, and Monday October 31st 7pm @ Hidden Falls Park Hidden Falls Park - North Entrance (parking available) ¼ mile south of Ford Parkway Bridge on E. Mississippi River Blvd. FREE (donations will be solicited) Dress Warm. Bring Blankets Information: Barebones Hotline.612-721-4979 Post Show Reception Bands: Saturday - Naughty Pines (old timey gypsy klezmer from Ashland, WI) Sunday - Brass Messengers Monday - International Novelty Gamelan featuring DBD Barebones Productions presents their 12th Annual Halloween Show - a community created outdoor pageant of larger than life puppetry, costumed characters, originally composed live music, singing, dancing, stilt walking, and pyro-artistry (fire). This year's pageant, "FORETOLD: It's Your Funeral" takes place in Deadstown, a river ghost town that never sleeps. Long-sighted Divinator's scan the night sky and predict disaster for the towns decaying inhabitants. How far will they go to protect themselves from their own worst fear? See the self-fulfilling prophesy unfold!. The pageant begins as the audience is led down an ambient trail to the haybale seating. Here they will be treated to a feast of otherworldly imagery and illusory orchestration. The pageant ends with a candlelit procession to the Mississippi River bank for a fire drawings and river puppets finale. A reception follows in the Hidden Falls Park pavilion with food, drink and live music. As has become customary, the pageant includes a public naming ceremony during which the audience is invited to honor friends and relations that have passed on. Audience members are also offered a chance to do so privately afterward at artistic installations set up on site for this purpose. This year's Halloween Show is located at the base of the North Entrance to Hidden Falls Park. The entrance is off of Mississippi River Boulevard, roughly ¼ mile south of the Ford Parkway Bridge. On site parking is available. Limited haybale seating will be provided. Audience members are advised to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes as they will be traveling. Monday's performance will be held rain or shine. If the weather is sketchy on Saturday or Sunday, audience members should check the hotline (612-724-4979) for cancellation information. About The Halloween Show: Annually, since 1993, Barebones Productions presents The Halloween Show, a community-created pageant of larger than life puppetry, drama, dance, pyrotechnics, and originally-composed live music. Baba Yaga and her Fearsome Trials, Rot and Compost as Creative Forces, and Inanna's Descent to the Underworld are some of the themes we've embraced, and the pageant always includes a section where members of the audience are invited in a public naming ceremony to honor friends and relations that have passed on. People are also offered a chance to do so privately afterward at artistic installations set up on site for this purpose. After the big community pageant, the audience joins the cast in enjoying food, live music, and dancing. We present The Halloween Show each year as an alternative Halloween-time family arts event without a commercial focus that takes place in alternating Twin Cities urban neighborhoods. Over 75 artists, puppeteers, musicians, performers, and technicians are involved in the creation of The Halloween Show each year. Over the past ten years our audience has grown from 100 to over 2000. We produce The Halloween Show as a popular event for celebrating the glory of fall in Minnesota: a place where summer dies hard and stays dead long. But it is equally important for us to create time and space for reflection on the necessity of death. Our Halloween Shows are hugely varied and eclectic events that draw on the folklore of numerous traditional harvest-time celebrations yet rely on our artists' contemporary creations for thematic content and performance. During the pageant we always try to reclaim the concept of death for our participants as something that is not necessarily horrifying or fearful, but something we all have a right as living beings to understand and own. We feel it is of immense importance to do this at a time of year when violence and horror are exploited so intensely. About BareBones: Barebones Productions is a Minneapolis-based collective of visual and performing artists that create spirited and spectacular parades, installations, and performances, the grandest of which is our Annual Halloween Show. Barebones has also produced 5 annual Winter Pageants on Ice and several puppet shows including The Little Match Girl and Raven Steal the Sun at venues such as Logan Park in Northeast Minneapolis, Powderhorn Park in South Minneapolis, Nicollet Island, Dunning Field in St. Paul, and the Walker Sculpture garden. Barebones has performed in parades throughout the metro area including 4th of July parades in Edina and Marine on St. Croix, the Aquatennial, and the Greenway Parade of the Arts. Barebones is a regular contributor to the Northeast Minneapolis Community Event "Art-a-whirl". We are regular collaborators with Farm in the Cities, an environmental education program, The Children's Museum, and The Science Museum of Minnesota. In addition to creating public performances, this year Barebones began coordinating a residency program connecting artists with schools. --------16 of 19-------- CD in DC: Why? 2,000 Dead, Not One More By Cindy Sheehan t r u t h o u t | Perspective Tuesday 25 October 2005 Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the State becomes lawless and corrupt. - Mahatma Gandhi Unfortunately, the 2,000th American death in Iraq is tragically coming up too soon. In addition to the young lives wasted in Iraq, 246 of our brave men and women have been killed in Afghanistan. Our troops and the war in Afghanistan get even less attention than Iraq, if possible. I am in Washington, DC, now and along with a coalition of peace groups and local activists, we will be holding vigils at the White House for the rest of the week from 12 noon to 8 p.m. Each day, we will be passing out black wrist bands, and we will have each person who picks one up write a KIA troops' name and number on it. Each wrist band will also stand for 50 innocent Iraqis killed. Every day at 6pm, we will have a "die-in." We will ask everyone who is present at 6pm to lie down and represent a dead soldier. At that point, the park police will give us three warnings before they arrest us. We are not encouraging people to get arrested. That is a very personal decision. I am planning to not get up on the day after the 2,000th soldier is killed. I may be arrested. Then, when they let me out, I will go back and lie back down. We in America have let this criminal administration get away with murder for too long. Enough is enough. It's time to start practicing non-violent civil disobedience ( C.D.) on a large scale. On Tuesday the 25th, we will be fasting for the length of the vigil in solidarity with the hardships that Americans and Iraqis are enduring on a daily basis. We are asking America to fast in solidarity with us. On Wednesday the 26th at 10:30 a.m., we will be going to Arlington Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Then to the White House for our vigil. On Thursday the 27th at 10:30 a.m., we will be delivering a wreath and signed sympathy cards to the Iraqi Embassy. We are asking people who come out to our vigil on the Lafayette Park side to bring sympathy cards. Then to the White House for our vigil. On Friday the 28th at 10:30 a.m., we will be delivering flowers and get well wishes to Walter Reed Hospital, and we are asking people to bring get well cards to our vigil. Then off to the White House for our vigil. Tomorrow I will be calling on President Bush to answer my original question: "What Noble Cause?" There is absolutely no noble cause. Our children and the Iraqi people are dying and suffering for no cause except for power and money-greedy criminals. The numbers are staggering. More American soldiers have been KIA in the first 32 months of Iraq so far than in the first four years of Vietnam. This isn't another Vietnam, people - this is worse. We cannot allow the people who are running our country to keep on running it into the ground. It is time to exercise our sacred duty as human beings. Let's get peacefully radical. http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/102505B.shtml --------17 of 19-------- Democrats still around? By Reza Fiyouzat Online Journal Contributing Writer Download a .pdf file for printing <http://www.onlinejournal.org/Commentary/102205Fiyouzat/10-22-05_Fiyouzat.pdf>. Adobe Acrobat Reader required. Click here <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html> to download a free copy. October 22, 2005 - Do not worry if you are a Republican and you still hear utterances that annoy you coming from your left; it certainly is not from the official 'left' in the form of Democratic Party USA. Most likely, the rage and the screams for murder are coming from the hard left of the spectrum, from which you are comfortably far, far away. Either that, or from within your own Republican Party. There are very concrete and analyzable reasons for the lack of true oppositional sentiment on the part of the Democrats, if not for the stupidity required of the punditry industry that is paid to uphold them as something other than what they are, which tends to blind indiscriminately. It has obviously blinded many besides the party bureaucracy or their hangers-on, which in certain elections get to include even some far left luminaries. But, (as Blues Traveler says) anyway . . . There are likewise deep, structural reasons for the fact that some Democrats feel that they should be more Republican than thou, and, exactly at a time when the Iraq war/occupation is starting to be increasingly perceived as a disaster for the national interests of the U.S., propose to send an extra 80,000 troops to Iraq! And there are good reasons for this eventuality: despite the fact that the Bush administration is imploding with corruption, illegal wars, trashing of Geneva Conventions, sacking of civil rights, outright cronyism, arrogance, did I mention corruption - despite all this, Democrats are so desperate they approve every torture advocate and fascist functionary proposed to various cabinet posts, and some even line up to kiss up to Bush's judicial nominees who are clearly falling off the right end of the spectrum. Right now, Bush could clone Hitler, make him up and dress him up as a black woman and Democrats would still . . . Oh, sorry . . . I forgot . . . That was already done! Woops! Well, anyway . . . Do not forget, the good peoples of the world, that this same Democratic Party USA was responsible for the extreme escalation of the invasion of Vietnam. Under Johnson, the U.S. troop presence in Vietnam shot up to half a million soldiers. As a result of which military escalation, between three and five million Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians were murdered. Back then, too, you see, they had to stay the course. There are deep reasons why the official opposition being expressed to the Iraq war/occupation is increasingly from the ranks of those historically allied to the Republicans, in fact, and not the Democrats, unless we are talking about the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party; i.e., about three or four people in the Congress! Wow! What blinding opposition! Three or four people vociferously opposing the war in the Congress, in a country in which, according to the latest polls, merely something like a third of the population supports the Chimp President's war/occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. How is this a democracy? But, due to the diligent efforts of the punditry classes, we are of course invited to be blinded to the fact that the Democrats are not able to formulate anything, much less a viable opposition, because they really are redundant for the time being. Of course, they have to pretend they are relevant. They have to pretend that they are a real party with a real constituency, mostly because that is part of their function. They are players in the game of bringing the public to the political trough, and their function is, partly, one of keeping the people at the officially designated political trough and keeping them there only. But, let's step back and see what are some of the structural reasons for the Democrats becoming increasingly redundant. As Steve Zeltzer (among others) has pointed out, since the dawn of NAFTA, for whose passage the Democrats played a key and energetic role, the party has essentially had its base dismantled. As Zeltzer points out in his article, /Business Unionism & the AFL-CIO's Crisis,/ "US capitalists, and the Democrats and Republicans whom they control no longer need their alliance with the trade union bureaucracy. They have shifted production out of the United States using NAFTA and the WTO and they have instituted a tough-going deregulation and privatization program supported by the Democrats that has destroyed or whipsawed heavily unionized sectors from trucking, airlines, rail and communication," (/Labor Action Coalition,/ February 2005). In other words, the union base of the Democrats has disintegrated due to the improved conditions for a higher degree of mobility for capital; at the earliest signs of diminishing returns on profits, the U.S. capital can (with very little cost that can in turn be recovered very quickly) take flight, if they so desire, to a mere six feet south of the border into Mexico, and enjoy a far higher rate of profit. Further, now thanks to CAFTA, again passed with great help from the Democrats, capital can now take a slightly more distant flight and go to, say, Nicaragua or El Salvador, countries the CIA helped to ruin, and enjoy even bigger rates of profit, exactly thanks to the devastation (and the desperation that comes with it) brought on them by the U.S. Now, at the same time that the Democrats helped the U.S. capital-owning classes along the path of more mobility - thereby destroying the historical social conditions for the long-term survival of their own social base - the party functionaries had to start raising increasing percentages of the money needed for their political campaigns from the corporations; as opposed to from a popular social base. In doing this, they naturally are more overtly beholden to the corporations, at the same time that they have helped to hand over the political campaigning, i.e., the 'getting out the vote' process, to advertising agencies; as opposed to allowing the real issues of concern to people to find their way into the public discourse that matters most to the lives of the citizens of the United States. There is also another component involved here, which runs deeper and goes beyond the Democratic Party's specific trajectory. Historically, from about the early twentieth century, the function of policy writing started a migration from inside the actual political parties to think tanks and foundations. In other words, the writing of the political parties' platforms was no longer a bottom-up transfer (through different mediations) of the needs and demands of the party base dictated to the party leadership (which should be the case in any classically defined political party). The writing of the platform was turned, instead, into some technical task that had to be done by experts with detailed knowledge of economics, political structures and social research, etc. In fact, according to a University of Massachusetts/Boston professor, Thomas Ferguson, lecturing us about this very process back in the late 1980s, the decoupling of the task of 'policy writing' from the task of 'getting out the vote' started as a conscious effort by the U.S. ruling classes, beginning toward the end of the nineteenth century, in response to too many voters turning out to vote; due to the prolonged and successful agitation by the Populist Movement. In other words, the ruling classes watched in horror, as the voter turnout peaked in the 1880 presidential elections as something like 85 percent of the eligible voters showed up to vote! The voter turnout remained high until the 1896 elections (about 80 percent), and started its steady decline ever since. Put another way, the rulers saw how close they came to getting licked by real democracy, and they didn't like it. So, they started introducing all manner of qualifications for voting, in effect starting a 'legal' campaign of disenfranchisement by other means; by introducing arbitrarily whatever measures that guaranteed them a lower voter turnout; English literacy tests, poll taxes, strict registration requirements, etc. By the time women's suffrage was granted in 1920, thereby expanding the suffrage, the process of disenfranchisement by other means had found some sophistication. The so-called Progressive Era had had successes in, among other areas, 'de-politicizing' the bureaucracy and the policy writing function of the political parties was well on its way to the desks of the so-called experts and technicians. So, in effect a long process of decoupling people from politics has been taking place in the US for a long time now, and on two fronts. First, the working people (/not/ the capitalists) have been taken out of politics in the sense that their demands are not the real stuff out of which platforms for political parties are constructed, and based on whose needs political campaigns find any meaning. Second, people are taken further out of politics in the sense that each election year, false menus of 'issues' are presented as the only relevant topics worth discussing; menus, which in reality, are put together by the corporations, who pay the bills for politicians' political road shows, when their campaign seasons are in full swing. Isn't it amazing? It's all basically a road show, yet the pundits are astounded at the level of 'apathy' among the voters!! Voters are not apathetic! They are very realistic in fact. They are the wiser for not showing up at this phony circus that presents itself as 'democracy.' The truly apathetic, in fact, are the ones who show up to vote for more of the same. Democrats are so ideologically bankrupt at the moment that they simply cannot formulate any new ways that would further the interests of their ultimate paymasters, the ruling capitalist classes in the U.S.A. And the corporations know this. The U.S. corporations know that one of the best ways to beat the 'diminishing returns' game is to acquire monopolies, and the only way to get monopolies is to act through the state (including the armed forces part of the state). And the political party that is representing this stance least ambiguously and most forcefully right now is the Republican Party. It is that simple. That, and only that, can explain why it is that Republicans (in both military and in the legislative, as well as in the punditry circles) are more creative, more confident, and some of whom actually do show independence of thought, and are showing agility enough to bring to the attention of their brothers and fellow travelers that, hey, maybe they are giving the game away too overtly! As in, they have such a large political field of maneuver that they can present even the opposition side of the political topics of importance, i.e. war in Iraq. It should be remembered that at some point in the 1960s, the Republicans' presence in the U.S. Congress was limited to one-third of the Senate and to about one quarter to a third of the House. So, we can set that as a benchmark, if you like, to the limits of the shrinkage possible for the Democratic Party USA. At the rate they are stampeding over to Republican ideals, though, the Democrats may well break the record! Now, here is the clincher as far as the real Left is concerned: Pity any 'progressives' who still pin their hopes on the Democrats, those true asses of this miserable U.S. political scene! Comrades, if there ever was a time ripe enough (as ripe as you can imagine) for a third party to present a clear platform and seize the day in this US of A, now is it! In case some object that there already exist at least a few third parties, it should be pointed out that what we need is for all these small parties to unite. Not only the already-existing parties but ALL of us need to unite! We must pose this question to ourselves every morning as we wake, and every night as we go to bed: Why is it that the political representatives of capital, in all their myriad opinions and colorings, from clear fascists in the Republican Party all the way to the 'liberal' wing of the Democratic Party can peacefully sit in the same chamber and get along and pass legislation that tastes delicious to their capitalist paymasters, and /we/ cannot do the same among ourselves? Are we not screaming bloody murder at how they are carving up Iraq by divide-and-conquer ways and means? Well? Who's dividing us other than ourselves? Can the hundreds of thousands of people, who marched on Washington, DC, on September 24, afford /not/ to sit together in the same political party; a big, national party of our own? A pluralist left is the only way forward, and the only way out of this splintered, divisive, sectarian, backbiting situation that we on the Left are in now. Let us unite and seize the day /now!/ /Reza Fiyouzat is an applied linguist/university instructor, and a freelance writer and analyst. He keeps a blog at /Revolutionary Flowerpot Society <http://revolutionaryflowerpotsociety.theblog.cc/>/, and may be reached at /rfiyouzat [at] yahoo.com <mailto:rfiyouzat [at] yahoo.com>. [There is some significant chance that Dem-condoning forces within the Green Party will re-run 2004 by not running a 50-states candidate for president, in deference to Hillary and screaming Dems (screaming worked for the Dems in 2004; why not 2008?). If so, the left will have no alternative to what is suggested above. Greens for local politics, a new party for national politics. - ed] --------18 of 19-------- SS Katrina Sinks Bush by Leilla Matsui and Stella La Chance www.dissidentvoice.org October 25, 2005 The catastrophic success of Hurricane Katrina in carrying out the Bush administration's second term agenda in only a few short days should have been cheering news for the beleaguered war prez. Even though he is being forced to lick his wounds publicly while the key players of "Operation Hurrah Katrina" celebrate "Mardi Graft" behind closed doors, the president should have had plenty of reason to rejoice along with them, if he hadn't already outlived his usefulness both publicly and within his own party. Having secured New Orleans as ground zero for a long awaited ethnic cleansing, while laying out the blueprint for a police state nationwide, Bush is now in the awkward position of having to appear penitent while signaling "Mission Accomplished" to his dwindling base. Already we can see the damage he's inflicted on his trademark smirk, as he snorts and wheezes through his openly scripted public appearances. Not even his renewed hard line stance against Syria can re-ignite his fizzling approval ratings. Funny how the plight of homeless Somalis swimming around in your own backyard tends to put a damper on even the heartiest appetites for destruction. Add a grieving Gold Star mother left to bake outside your Texas ranch and you've got yourself a public relations nightmare. And that's not even counting Tom Delay's recent arrest for money laundering, Bill Frist's SEC woes, and Karl Rove's impending indictment in the Valerie Plame affair. Clearly, Bush is living off the chump change left over from his much vaunted and mostly illusory "political capital". After publicly praising fellow patsy and former FEMA chief Michael Brown -- the Lee Harvey Oswald of this reverse political assassination (what else do you call it when a public figure is set up to kill thousands of his fellow citizens?) -- Bush himself has become a fall guy for the White House's Cheney-led cabal, yet another expendable player in the shell game of Empire. Having achieved everything they set out to do (destroy the Bill of Rights, expand the powers of the Patriot Act, make Homeland Security a branch of the military, give permanent tax breaks to the rich, legalize torture, normalize pre-emptive war, eradicate public education... to name just a few), the junta has little reason to concern itself with trivialities like Bush's plummeting popularity. Still, the junta may have underestimated the fallout from the recently disclosed e-mails from a FEMA staffer to Michael Brown's secretary proving that "Brownie" fiddled with his dinner arrangements while New Orleans was being wiped off the map. "Let Brownie Eat Cake" will likely linger in the collective memory long after the heads of America's current Imperial rulers roll into the gutter of history. Rather than the fiery "End Times" finale many expected would mark the end of Bush's second term in office, a confluence of comparatively minor but highly symbolic events have contributed to the steady erosion of his approval ratings, leaving him vulnerable and ridiculous. Even die-hard loyalists have to admit that only a horse's ass would promote a horse show organizer to the nation's highest emergency relief agency. And only a horse's ass would praise the efforts of this mass murderer's bungled hatchet job on his own presidency. "Guten arbeit, Herr Braunie". Bush's choice of loyal spinster Harriet Miers, his one-time legal counsel and head cheerleader, as his Supreme Court nominee gives impetus to the notion that the president is a lonely and isolated figure in his own administration. At first glance, the evangelical Harriet Miers seems a natural choice for the "Supreme-Being" Court -- an asexual frump with a corruption riddled rsum and a paper trail of love letters to the guy who is now championing her promotion to the federal bench. Being as unfamiliar with the complexities of constitutional law as she is with the correct application of eyeliner, Miss Harriet fits right in with all the other unqualified comfort-giving cronies (emphasis on "crone") whom he has appointed to key positions based on loyalty and a willingness to play wet nurse to his inner demons. It's not hard to imagine (although painful to visualize) wee George struggling with mater Barbara's whalebone corsets only to find himself suckling the butt-end of her mother-of-pearl-handled Smith and Wesson. The wildly unpopular choice of his former lawyer to the nation's top court merely reinforces the view that the boy king feels increasingly frozen out of the decision-making loop, and is seeking maternal reassurance from yet another tough old nanny bird who will soothe his daily public spankings with lollipops, and lend a sympathetic ear to his private deliriums. On the other hand, we should at least consider the possibility that abject fear and paranoia lies at the root of Bush's bizarre choice. Could it be that George's real concern is that history will describe his major legacy as starting (and losing) a war based on a mountain of lies as opposed to being the first United States President to end up in prison for his achievement? Perhaps Harriet's secret asset and only real qualification for the highest court is her assurance of a "not guilty" verdict on appeal, should Dubya be forced to answer to a jury of American citizens angry at being manipulated, repeatedly lied to, and exploited for their warm bodies and tax dollars in the name of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" or any number of other high crimes and misdemeanors, including making torture a national policy and revealing the names of CIA operatives during wartime? Conservative opposition to Harriet Miers. nomination is only based in part on her ambiguous stance on Roe v Wade, contrary to what the blowholes of the religious right would have us believe. More likely, it stems from the residual rage Bush loyalists feel after seeing "Dear Leader" exposed as a drooling dummy, wholly dependent on Karl Rove's Light and Magic wizardry to prop him up. Image, more than ideology, has always explained the political genius of George Bush. By maintaining a barricaded and heavily armed distance from the grunts on the ground (at home and in Iraq), the boy king's regal disregard for human suffering could always be marketed to his advantage at the skilled hands of his puppet masters. Through the power of image, the silver spoon he was born with became a dirt tipped shovel, his cowardice, "courage", and his notorious insensitivity, "compassion". But almost overnight, it seems, Bush has transformed from the HSS Lincoln's buff, "commander-in" chief into a cowardly deck hand standing idiotically resolute on the prow of a life boat, watching helplessly as his slave ship sinks. That's not to say that his supporters are shedding too many tears for the chained human cargo that perished aboard the "SS Katrina". Indeed they have made clear that they privately endorse genocide if it accomplishes what decades of tax breaks for the rich, cuts to social services, and curbs on civil liberties have failed to do, namely kill off "undesirable" populations and keep the remaining majority paralyzed with fear and uncertainty. But even those who benefit most from the "bidness" of government and religion take exception to having their agenda laid out in the cruel glare of daylight. For them, Bush's criminality is not so much his utter contempt for human life but his ignorant disregard for the protocols of Empire. Through arrogance and incompetence, the Junior Bush has revealed the tricks of the global gulag trade, allowing the inmates a revealing look into the infernal center of their prison planet. For that reason alone, he will live out the remainder of his term in disgrace and obscurity. Leilla Matsui is a freelance writer living in Tokyo, Japan, and mistress of the on-line journal, Rage Against the Washing Machine. E-mail her at: jenmatsui [at] hotmail.com. Stella La Chance is a disgruntled housewife living in suburban Ohio, who takes an amateurish interest in immature child psychology. She attends night school, and can be reached: stelladallasx [at] yahoo.com. --------19 of 19-------- [..as the indictments come, the polls fall, and BushCo disintegrates, O huzzah and hurrah and hahhah and caloo-calay..] "Good" and George Bush - good for nothing - good day - good night - good bye - good riddance --------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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