Progressive Calendar 10.26.05
From: David Shove (
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)

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Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 10:08:07 -0500
From: Chris Johnson <issues [at]>
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.)

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Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 10:08:07 -0500
From: Chris Johnson <issues [at]>
Subject: Park candidates 10.26 7pm

Wed 10/26 - 7-9pm
Location:  DeLaSalle High School Cafeteria

GetBoB General Election Candidate Fair
Wednesday, October 26th
DeLaSalle High School Cafeteria
One DeLaSalle Drive
Come meet the candidates and ask them hard questions!

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Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 15:24:00 -0500
From: wamm <wamm [at]>
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.

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Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 17:53:15 -0500
From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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

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Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 11:06:36 -0500 (CDT)
From: Paul Rieckhoff <OpTruth [at]>
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 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*Your email ID. <diaEmailID='47794856'

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Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 21:20:40 EDT
From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: War walkout letter

Students against the war walkout, Nov 2nd
Please pass on to any high school peace activists you may know,

-- --
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]
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


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]>
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]>
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

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]

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

Prepared and paid for by Neighbors for Cam Gordon, labor donated - 630
Cedar Ave S #1106 - Minneapolis, MN 55454 Tom Taylor 612-788-4252

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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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,

--------10 of 19--------

From: Ian Stade <ianstade [at]>
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] or call me
612-532-8288. Thanks Ian

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From: Mary Turck <mturck [at]>
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]>
Subject: Kip/health care 10.29 10am

Taking Wellstone's Words to Heart: Building Grassroots Support for
Single-Payer Universal Health Care, Part I
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], 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
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

(Certificates will be presented to participants and will apply toward
"trainer certification" for those who wish to teach others as a DFL PC

--------13 of 19--------

From: Krisrose02 [at]
Subject: Grassroots workshop 10.29 11am

10.29.05 Workshop: Empowering Grassroots Decision Making

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
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.

Ken Pentel - kenpentel [at] (612) 387-0601
Kristen Olson - krisrose02 [at] 651-210-0789

--------14 of 19--------

From: humanrts [at]
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

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]>
Subject: Barebones Halloween 10.29-31 7pm

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.
(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

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

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

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.

--------17 of 19--------

Democrats still around?
By Reza Fiyouzat
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Download a .pdf file for printing
Adobe Acrobat Reader required.
Click here <> 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

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

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

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

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 <>/, and may be
reached at /rfiyouzat [at] <mailto:rfiyouzat [at]>.

[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
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

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

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] 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]

--------19 of 19--------

 [ 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]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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