|Progressive Calendar 10.27.05||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 06:38:25 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 10.27.05 1. Mayoral answers 10.27 10:30am 2. Mpls mingle 10.27 7pm 3. Comic artist 10.27 8:30pm 4. Sensible vigil 10.30 12noon 5. GPSP CC 10.30 4pm 6. Aaron Neumann 10.30 4pm 7. MUI/Samhain 10.30 7pm 8. Superior hiking 10.31 10am Duluth 9. The word on SOA 10.31 12noon 10. Kathy Kelly - 100,000s pay for the imperial ambitions of a few 11. Mike Marqusee - Empire of denial 12. Joshua Frank - Fitzgerald v BushCo: hold your elation in check 13. Ted Rall - Why Bush is unimpeachable 14. David Swanson - Why I'm getting arrested at the White House today 15. Gerard Smith - To hell in a hand basket 16. ed - Friends don't let friends vote for Hillary (poem) --------1 of 16-------- Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 From: The Sustainable St Paul Team <web [at] elizabethdickinson.org> Subject: Mayoral answers 10.27 10:30am Mayoral Questionnaires Available On Thursday! Come to Our Press Conference & Read the Web Site On Thursday, Chris Coleman and Randy Kelly's responses to the Sustainable St Paul Questionnaire will be made public. You can read the full texts on our web site: www.sustainablestpaul.org. We encourage everyone to read their replies closely and assess. Let us here at Sustainable St Paul know what you think. More importantly, let your neighborhood and city newspapers know what you think about the mayoral candidates' stands on sustainability issues! Offer your opinion to friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Continue to advocate for the cleaner and greener city we're trying to create. If you're able to, we encourage you to attend our press conference tomorrow morning. The press conference is at 10:30am, Thursday, October 27th, in Memorial Hall, St Paul City Hall. In addition to inviting the media, we've invited the Kelly and Coleman campaigns to attend, too. We are trying to do something more positive than 'politics as usual' and would rather each campaign respond directly to media questions about their stands on sustainability issues. Both the Coleman and Kelly campaigns will have spokespeople at the event. We'd love to see you, too. --- Attend Upcoming Mayoral Debates and Raise Our Issues! We're hoping to see Sustainable St Paul supporters at each of the next four mayoral debates. We're hoping to insert our platform points - and the key questions we raise - into the upcoming dialogue. Here's the debate schedule. Thursday, October 27: 7 pm at Lao Family Community of MN, 320 W. University and sponsored by WSCO, Got Voice? Got Power! Friday, October 28: 6:45 on Almanac, Twin Cities Public Television Tuesday, November 1: 7 pm at Sundin Musical Hall, Hamline University and sponsored by the Hamline University Student Congress Wednesday, November 2: 7 pm at Central Presbyterian Church, 500 Cedar Street and sponsored by MPR, Central Presbyterian Church, Capitol River District Council Keep Up the Good Work We know you're out there. We know Dickinson supporters are still talking to neighbors and friends, revisiting the issues, debating our current choices and lamenting the loss of the better candidate! Thanks for continuing to think about and advocate for progressive issues. Together, we've already influenced the mayoral race to this point. More importantly, we hope to continue to influence public opinion and policy in order to create a more sustainable, equitable, and just St Paul. Thanks for your part in this! The Sustainable St Paul Team Sustainable St Paul E-mail: mailings [at] elizabethdickinson.org Phone: (651) 226-3527 Web Site: http://www.elizabethdickinson.org --------2 of 16-------- From: "Krueger, Rodney" <rodney.krueger [at] frontiercorp.com> Subject: Mpls mingle 10.27 7pm What is the Minneapolis Mingle? An opportunity to: - meet your downtown Minneapolis neighbors - learn about the wide array of lifelong learning and recreation options - take in a free seminar on a variety of topics - mingle with your neighbors and enjoy refreshments from area restaurants - get information on schools, parks & libraries When is it? Thursday October 27, 7-9pm Where is it? Minneapolis Community College, Wheelock Whitney Hall 3rd floor, 1501 Hennepin Av Parking: Hennepin Av ramp ($5 per entry), metered street parking, & bus routes. Like to join us? Please call 612.659.6500 or email Victoria.Lauing [at] minneapolis.edu Hosted by the Minneapolis Lifelong Learning Collective, including Minneapolis Community & Technical College, Minneapolis Public Schools, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, and the Minneapolis Public Library. --------3 of 16-------- From: Arise! <arise [at] arisebookstore.org> Subject: Comic artist 10.27 8:30pm Keith Knight Comic artist and author of The K Chronicles and The Beginner's Guide to Community-Based Art Thursday 10/27 8:30 pm >From his website: Keef comes to the Midwest with his world famous comix/slideshow to promote the latest K Chronicles collection The Passion of the Keef and his brand-new Beginner's Guide to Community-Based Art. Here's the deal: You show up (casual dress). Keef shows up, sets up his slide projector and runs through a slide show of some of his comics, along with stories of censorship, editorial insanity, and the Truth behind some of the strips. Keef then takes questions from the audience. Finally, you have the rare opportunity to give Keef money, in exchange for a book or CD. Keef will write and draw whatever you want on the book. Note: Because this whole thing has gotten out of hand, Keef will no longer sign body parts unless they're actually attached to a living body. No exceptions. Bio: Keith Knight is part of a new generation of talented young African-American artists raised on hip-hop; artists who infuse their work with urgency, edge, humor, satire, politics and race. His work has appeared in various publications worldwide, including Salon.com, ESPN the Magazine, L.A. Weekly, MAD Magazine, the Funny Times and World War 3 Illustrated. Keith has published six books; four collections of his multi-panel strip, the K Chronicles, and his first collection of single panel strips called Red, White, Black & Blue: a (th)ink anthology, and most recently, The Beginner's Guide to Community-Based Art. Check out his website: http://www.kchronicles.com/ --------4 of 16-------- From: skarx001 <skarx001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Sensible vigil 10.30 12noon The sensible people for peace hold weekly peace vigils at the intersection of Snelling and Summit in StPaul, Sunday between noon and 1pm. (This is across from the Mac campus.) We provide signs protesting current gov. foreign and domestic policy. We would appreciate others joining our vigil/protest. --------5 of 16-------- From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: GPSP CC 10.30 4pm Green Party of St Paul Coordination Committee (CC) meeting 4pm Sunday, 10.30 Cahoots Coffee House Selby Av 1/2 block E of Snelling in StPaul --------6 of 16-------- From: Tom Taylor <tom [at] organicconsumers.org> Subject: Aaron Neumann 10.30 4pm River hipsters Isabelle, Phil and Otto Harder, are hosting a house party for MPLS 3rd Ward Green Party candidate Aaron Neumann on Sunday October 30th from 4 to 8 in the evening. Come meet Aaron, support his campaign and view the Mississippi River from one of the coolest locations in lovely lower NE MPLS. House Party, Sunday Oct 30th. 4pm to 8 for Aaron Neumann at the Harder's, 2208 Marshall Street N.E. Aaron Neumann is running for Minneapolis City Council Ward 3. There will be games for kids,apple cider and more. Hopefully the autumn weather will let us hang out in the backyard and enjoy the Mississippi river. Come on over and meet Aaron Neumann --------7 of 16-------- From: Mike Whelan <mpw4883 [at] yahoo.com> Subject: MUI/Samhain 10.30 7pm From: Minnestotans for a United Ireland (651) 645-9506 SAMHAIN (the CELTIC NEW YEAR) At 7pm on Sunday, October 30, Minnesotans for a United Ireland will sponsor a bonfire at Newell Park, Fairview Avenue and Pierce/Butler Road, in celebration of Samhain, the Celtic New Year; a tradition from which the world receives Halloween. This is a family centered, alcohol free event that will include Irish music and dance, an update on Irish efforts for national liberation, and other political issues.. The bonfire is symbolic of the time when Irish and other Celts kept a fire burning all night to protect everyone from falling over to the other side as the boundaries between this world and the spirit world were opened up during the transition between October and November. Come for the fun and sense of community, stay for the Irish bonfire dance, and don't forget to bring containers to carry home ashes to be spread on the door of your home for protection over the next year. Information: (651) 645-9506 --------8 of 16-------- From: GibbsJudy [at] aol.com Subject: Superior hiking 10.31 10am Duluth The Superior Hiking Trail Association seeks volunteers to help build 40 miles of trail through the city of Duluth. No experience is needed, tools provided. Dress for the weather and bring a lunch. For more information contact Judy at 391-0886 or gibbsjudyaol.com or go to the website at www.shta.org. Monday, October 31, 10-3 pm. Meet at the junction of Grand Avenue/Evergreen Boulevard and 131st Ave. W. Wednesday, November 2, 10-3 pm. Meet at the junction of Skyline Parkway and St. Louis River Road. Thursday, November 3, 10-3 pm. Meet at the junction of Skyline Parkway and St. Louis River Road. Friday, November 4, 10-3 pm. Meet at the junction of Skyline Parkway and St. Louis River Road. Saturday, November 5, 10-3 pm. Meet at the parking area on Skyline Parkway halfway between Haines Rd and Piedmont Avenue. Judy Gibbs 5875 North Shore Drive Duluth, MN 55804 218-391-0886 (mobile) --------9 of 16-------- From: mnsoaw [at] circlevision.org Subject: The word on SOA 10.31 12noon GET THE WORD OUT-SOA What is the SOA? What is WHINSEC? Find out at an informational presentation: Monday October 31 at 12 Noon Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) Helland Center in the Helland Building 1501 Hennepin Avenue Downtown Minneapolis Multi-media presentation geared to those who are new to this issue. The program includes images, portions of a video, real prisoners of conscience, Minnesota's history with the campaign, witnesses from delegations to Central and South American countries and legislative efforts. The US Army School of Americas (SOA), based in Fort Benning, Georgia, trains Latin American soldiers in combat, counter-insurgency, and counter-narcotics. Graduates of the SOA are responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America. Colombia has the most soldiers at the school at this time. SOAWatch and our local chapter, MNSOAW is working to Close the SOA. www.mnsoaw.org --------10 of 16-------- 100,000s Pay for the Imperial Ambitions of a Few For Whom They Toll By KATHY KELLY CounterPunch October 26, 2005 Today, in cities and towns throughout the U.S. and beyond, activists will gather to grieve and protest the carnage wrought by the unlawful and immoral war in Iraq. Thousands will gather to commemorate the 2,000 lives of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and call upon U.S. people to stop funding the war. Others will focus chiefly upon the well over 100,000 Iraqi lives lost, and, in a campaign launched some months ago, will ring bells 100,000 times 1,000 chimes each in 100 different locations--as names of Iraqi civilians killed since the start of Shock and Awe are read aloud. October 25th marked the 2,000th American service-member death in the Iraq war: October 29th will mark one year since The British Lancet, perhaps the world's foremost medical journal, estimated from careful research that tens of thousands of Iraqi people had died due to this same horrific war. The demonstrations will overlap, but for once we can claim that separate demonstrations, held simultaneously, can actually raise awareness and hopefully affect change. These protests are after all the same: One life, two thousand lives, one hundred thousand lives, or many, many more--are all too much to pay for the imperial ambitions of the few. Let me tell you about something I just learned. Eager to help promote the "100,000 Rings" campaign, I recently accepted an invitation--from a literature class at a Baltimore community college--to bring some experiences of injustice and war to the students' literary pursuit--in this case, the ancient Greek drama, Antigone. It was a surprisingly good fit. Sophocles' heroine dies utterly forsaken and alone in punishment for standing against Creon, her king, who decrees that her slain brother, declared an enemy of state, will rot, unburied, above ground. Antigone defies the king and adheres to her conscience. In front of witnesses, she pours dirt upon her brother's corpse, and when the King's guards undo her work, she returns openly to the scene of her "crime' to repeat her act once again. After the King sentences her to be buried alive, the blind seer, Tiresias, denounces the unjust King, saying: "Thou hast thrust children of the sunlight to the shades, . . .but keepest in this world . . . a corpse unburied, unhonoured, all unhallowed," entombing the living and refusing to honor the dead. When Creon relents, of course it is too late. Tiresias had warned him of his madness and as the Greeks and others echoing have said: "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad." The lesson for our time is painful. All over the world, people can see that the U.S. went to war against Iraq because the ruling elites in this country knew Iraq couldn't fight back. Enough madness. We are mired in a war that could last ten years or more, one that is already intensifying other, perhaps even more dangerous conflicts. Now, whatever security we might establish, as U.S. people or as people of the world, rests in seeking fair trade relations and raising vigorous opposition to the warmongers who run this country. Any other behavior would be madness. We must not show Creon's callous disregard to those slain by war. A few months ago, our friend Scott Blackburn went to downtown Chicago, alone, and rang a bell, once a minute, in memory of each U.S. soldier who had been killed in Iraq. The dreadful total then was still "only" 1594, and it kept him there for over 24 hours, ringing his bell once a minute. People who stopped to talk with him learned that honoring the other dead of this war would take months. A local reporter came by, and although Scott's story of our troops made the paper, nothing he had told the reporter about the Iraqi casualties was considered news. For Scott, the 100,000 rings project was immediately apparent as a burning obligation. Like all war, this rotten folly creates victims on all sides. What it has done to our safety in this most precarious of times, by destroying most of what was left of our good faith with the world, by further fracturing international solidarity and understandings of rights and law, by escalating conflicts of both grave terror and war-making, has prevented U.S. people from seeing the greatest terrors we face, the disasters generated by our own degradation of the world's resources and our planetary environment. And let us each consider also the small but real tragedy of not being able to look at ourselves in the mirror each day without wondering how much longer we'll continue to make war against people for the sake of gluttonously controlling their precious and irreplaceable energy resources. Which is to say: if you see people gathered in your neighborhood this week, in anger or grief or guilt, with their bells or their candles, perhaps it's best not to ask if it's an observance for 2,000 Americans or for the well-over 100,000 Iraqi tragedies our government has not yet even seen fit to count. A life is a life, and the full tragedies of this cruel war are yet to be told. Advice I read in sixth grade remains true today: "send not to know for whom the bell tolls." It tolls for thee. I'm grateful to my friend and co-worker Sean Reynolds for elements contributed to this article. For more information on the 100,000 Rings campaign, visit www.iraqmortality.org. Kathy Kelly co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a Chicago-based campaign to challenge U.S. military and economic warfare against Iraq. She is the author of Other Lands Have Dreams: from Baghdad to Pekin Prison. She can be reached at: kathy [at] vitw.org --------11 of 16-------- America's Iron Click Empire of Denial By MIKE MARQUSEE CounterPunch October 26, 2005 During the heyday of British, French, Belgian or Portuguese colonialism, if you asked the citizens of London, Paris, Brussels or Lisbon whether their countries were the seats of great transcontinental empires, they would have answered 'yes', unhesitatingly, and most would have taken pride in the fact. But stop an American in the street today, and ask the same question, and you're most likely to get a quizzical look. The US maintains military bases in 140 foreign countries (needless to say, there are no foreign military bases on US territory). Thanks to exorbitant military spending more than the combined total of the 32 next most well-armed nations - the US enjoys a unique and coercive global reach, a monopoly which it intends to preserve at all costs, as the current National Security Strategy makes clear. The US claims and exercises a prerogative to topple other regimes and occupy other countries that it denies to all other nation-states. Through the IMF, WTO and World Bank, it shapes the economic destinies of most people on the planet. The fact is that the fate of billions living beyond US borders is determined by decisions made in Washington. Yet, we are told, this is not an empire. True, the US prefers indirect over direct rule; its domination is exercised, for the most part, through military and commercial alliances, rather than outright conquest. But empires of the past have also used these methods. What really makes the US different is the persistence and in most cases the sincerity of its imperial denial. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld insisted to Aljazeera: "We're not a colonial power. We've never been a colonial power." Colin Powell agreed: "We have never been imperialists. We seek a world in which liberty, prosperity and peace can become the heritage of all peoples." They seemed astonished and offended that anyone could think otherwise. The litany of disclaimers echoes down the years. Sandy Berger, Clinton's national security advisor, described the US as "the first global power in history that is not an imperial power." Nixon wrote in his memoirs that the US was "the only great power without a history of imperialistic claims." When Johnson sent troops to topple an elected government in the Dominican Republic in 1965, he insisted: "Over the years of our history our forces have gone forth into many lands, but always they returned when they were no longer needed. For the purpose of America is never to suppress liberty, but always to save it." The history of denial is as long as the history of intervention and that goes back to the first decades of the republic, when US forces engaged in military action to protect US shipping in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Sumatra and Peru. In US foreign policy, respect for the sovereignty of others has always come second to commercial interests. By the end of the 19th century, the US had annexed Hawaii, along with dozens of smaller islands across the Pacific, and used military force to secure a foothold in the markets of China and Japan. When it prised the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico from the dying Spanish empire in 1898, the US declared "a new day of freedom" in these "liberated" lands. Filipinos took the rhetoric seriously and rebelled against the imposition of US rule. After more than a decade of brutal counter-insurgency, a quarter of a million Filipinos had been killed, and 4200 Americans. This was ten times the number of Americans killed in the brief Spanish-American War. Yet US history textbooks routinely assign far more space to the latter than the former. America, Woodrow Wilson declared, was "the only idealistic nation in the world". He proclaimed "national self-determination" as the cornerstone of a new world order, but deployed US military forces overseas more frequently than any of his predecessors: against Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Panama, Nicaragua and the nascent Soviet Union. Thanks to history textbooks, Hollywood, television and politicians (Democrat and Republican), the US people are kept in ignorance of their imperial past. Each intervention is presented as an altruistic response to a crisis. Since there is no American empire, no pattern, habit or system of extra-territorial domination, the motive for each intervention is assessed at face value. Somehow the principles of liberty and human happiness always seem magically to coincide with American national self-interest or, more precisely, the economic interests of the US elite. In recent years, the fact that America is an empire has become less of a secret, even to Americans. Commentators such as Robert Kaplan and Niall Fergusson have urged the US to abandon its blushes and face up to its imperial responsibilities. In a new twist on "the white man's burden" (which Kipling urged on the US at the time of the Philippine War), they argue that empires have been and can be benign, and that the US is a liberal empire, or, in the words of Michael Ignatieff, "an empire lite, a global hegemony whose grace notes are free markets, human rights and democracy". The appeal of this new imperial rhetoric seems largely restricted to sections of the intelligentsia - both liberal and conservative. Bush and US spokespersons are careful to avoid or refute it, most Americans are uncomfortable or bewildered by it, and it is simply unacceptable to those in Asia, Africa and Latin America whose lives and consciousness have been shaped by anti-colonial movements. Opposition to foreign domination is not an emotional spasm. It is grounded in history and experience and the balance of probabilities (not least the probability that the imperial power will place its own interests before those of the people it rules). The rationalisations and even the forms of empire change but the underlying reality does not. Decisive power, military and economic, remains in the hands of a distant elite. Whether it's talk of "empire lite" or Bush-style unilateralism, you can hear the drumbeat of the old American exceptionalism, the claim that the US has a unique destiny and that this destiny embodies the fate of humankind. History has taught peoples in many lands to fear the USA's altruism. In a poem from the early 1920s entitled 'The Evening Land', DH Lawrence wrote: I am so terrified, America, Of the iron click of your human contact. And after this The winding-sheet of your selfless ideal love. Boundless love Like a poison gas. Mike Marqusee is the author of Wicked Messenger: Dylan in the 1960s and Redemption Song: Muhammed Ali and the Sixties. He can be reach through his website: www.mikemarqusee.com This column originally ran in The Hindu. --------12 of 16-------- Hold Your Elation in Check Fitzgerald vs. the Bush Administration By JOSHUA FRANK CounterPunch October 26, 2005 It is hard not to be elated over what seem to be imminent indictments resulting from this whole Valerie Plame/CIA leak. Is it going to be Scooter Libby, Karl Rove or Dick Cheney? Perhaps all three? It is impossible to say at this point, but as Jason Leopold and John Byrne recently reported over at RawStory.com, indictments of at least two people are likely if the grand jury approves Patrick Fitzgerald's charges. We should know by the end of the week at the latest, they say. If this is indeed the case and the grand jury gives Fitz the green light to proceed, the Bush administration will surely take another huge hit in the polls. This may all seem like very good news for those that despise this administration and its policies. Any indictments will certainly shed new light on the corruption of the intel leading up to the Iraq invasion. It's been rumored that those indicted will likely resign from their White House posts. But before you get too excited about a potential Bush collapse and a Rove resignation, let's not forget that their accomplices, many of the same folks so excited about the potential charges, will still be lurking. If Republican power topples in the next few years, the party waiting in line to replace them has no plan to change the crooked course in Iraq. The enabling Democrats aren't about to be held accountable for embracing the scandalous neocon agenda, either. Even if the Democrats miraculously take back the Senate and make in-roads in the House of Representatives in the 2006 mid-term elections, nothing in Iraq will change. The neocon policies will persevere. The Democrats complicity in the Iraq saga goes much deeper than their willful support of Bush's war resolution in 2002. How soon we forget that back in 1998, President Clinton signed into law the Iraq Liberation Act - drafted by the same Republican hawks that helped thrust forth Bush's own Iraq policy including; Republican staffer Randy Scheunemann, Donald Rumsfeld, former-CIA director R. James Woosley, and Ahmad Chalabi. As I discuss in greater detail in Left Out!, Clinton's legislation outlined the US's ultimate objective for its involvement in Iraq. That is, to remove Saddam and overthrow his government. When Clinton signed his legislation into law in mid-October 1996, Republican Senator Trent Lott sang his praises: "The Clinton administration regularly calls for bipartisanship in foreign policy. I support them when I can. Today, we see a clear example of a policy that has the broadest possible bi-partisan support. I know the Administration understands the depth of our feeling on this issue." Despite Lott's gratitude, Iraq wasn't just a Republican issue - the Democrats had also long propagated falsehoods about Saddam's potential WMD threat. "If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear," President Clinton admitted in February of 1998. "We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." In a letter to President Clinton, Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry among others wrote in October of 1998, "[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." The Iraq invasion isn't just about the Democrats buying into Bush's propaganda. Despite popular belief, the Dems had not been duped. The illegal invasion of Iraq was a result of a concert of bi-partisan lies that spewed from the US government over many years. The Democrats were and are just as responsible for the bloodthirsty deceptions as the Republicans. So sure, we can be excited about the potential hit the Bush regime is about to take from Patrick Fitzgerald. We have to be grateful when we can. But just keep in mind as you celebrate, that the Plame ordeal and the fallout of indictments aren't going to rein in all of the bad guys. Joshua Frank is the author of the brand new book, Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, which has just been published by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted rate at www.brickburner.org. Joshua can be reached at Joshua [at] brickburner.org. --------13 of 16-------- Published on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 by Ted Rall Why Bush Is Unimpeachable Cracks Appear in the Constitution by Ted Rall New York - The phone rings with a blocked caller ID but I know who it is. My friend the film critic has just put down the same article I've just finished reading, a front-page blockbuster in the New York Daily News. It says that George W. Bush knew about Karl Rove's scheme to blow CIA agent Valerie Plame's cover for years, that he was Rove's partner in treason from the start, that his claims of ignorance were lies. The News article is anonymously sourced but we know it's 100 percent true because the White House won't deny that Bush is a traitor. "So they'll impeach him now, right?" My friend asked the same thing in 2001 when recounts proved Bush lost Florida, when the 9/11 fetishist admitted that he'd never even tried to catch Osama, when WMDs failed to turn up in Iraq, and when his malignant neglect killed hundreds of Americans in post-Katrina New Orleans. "This means impeachment. Right?" Wrong. Any one of Bush's crimes towers over the combined wickedness of Nixon and Clinton. And there are so many to choose from! How many times has Bush "made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States" (a key count in the Nixon impeachment)? Stop laughing, you. Unfortunately for my friend and the United States, impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. Nixon and Clinton faced Congresses controlled by the other party. Because Bush belongs to the same party as the majorities in the House and Senate, nothing he does can get him impeached. Our failed Constitutional system means we're stuck with this disastrous demagogue for three more years. Gloat now, Republican readers, but party loyalty's stranglehold on impeachment can easily take the form of a complacent Democratic Congress overlooking the misdeeds of a batty Democratic president. Any safe can be cracked; every system of safeguards breaks down eventually. We can't get rid of Bush because the Founding Fathers, who were smart enough to think of just about everything, dropped the ball when they drafted the article that provides for presidential impeachment. Because there were no national political parties back in 1787, their otherwise ingenious system of checks and balances failed to account for the possibility that a Congress might choose to overlook a president's crimes. Small parties were active on the state and local level during the late 18th century, but James Madison, George Washington and most of the other Founders despised these organizations as harbingers of petty "factionalism" that ought to be banned or severely limited. Washington used the occasion of his 1796 farewell address to decry "the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally. It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration," he warned. "It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection...In governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged." Voting blocs were the enemy of good government. In the new republic, Madison wrote in his seminal Federalist No. 10, political arguments should be considered on their own merits. Since candidates for and holders of political office would be judged solely as individuals, Congressmen would focus on the greater good rather than political alliances when weighing whether to impeach a president. Even when parties began to emerge as a national force in 1800, few politicians would have argued that a Democratic-Republican president should be safe from impeachment unless the Federalist Party happened to control Congress. Another Constitutional breakdown, concerning the separation of powers, occurred in June 2004. More than a year after the Supreme Court decided in Rasul v. Bush that the nearly 600 Muslim men and young boys being held incommunicado at Guantnamo Bay were entitled to have their cases heard by U.S. courts, they remain in cold storage - no lawyers, no court dates. The Bush Administration simply ignored the ruling. "[Bush's] Justice Department," Dahlia Lithwick wrote in Slate, "sees [the ruling] through the sophisticated legal prism known as the Toddler Worldview: Anything one doesn't wish to accept simply isn't true." Because the Founding Fathers never anticipated the possibility that the nation's chief executive would treat its final judgments with the respect due an out-of-state parking ticket issued to a rental car, the Supreme Court has been rendered as toothless as a gummy bear. The more you look, the more you'll find that our Constitution has been subverted to the point of virtual irrelevance. The legislative branch has abdicated its exclusive right to declare war to the president, who was appointed by a federal court that undermined the states' constitutional right to manage and settle election disputes. Individuals' protection against unreasonable searches have been trashed, habeas corpus is a joke, and double jeopardy has become routine as those exonerated by criminal court face second trials in civil court. Our system of checks and balances has collapsed, the victim of a citizenry more interested in entertaining distraction than eternal vigilance. Where evil men rule, law cannot protect those who sleep. 2005 Ted Rall --------14 of 16-------- Why I'm Getting Arrested at the White House Today By David Swanson October 26, 2005 [For a list of similar actions across the country, see http://www.afsc.org/2000/all_locations.php] The first reason I'm going to lie down, refuse to move, and wait to be arrested outside the White House today is my belief that massive civil disobedience is needed if we are going to end the war and forestall the next war. The power of nonviolent sacrifice has been tried and tested. It may not work this time, but nothing else seems remotely likely to do the job, not even my most extravagant hopes for indictments. I'm being as practical as I know how to be. Public opinion is widely against the war in this country, in Iraq, and around the world. Talk is cheap. Our democracy is a shell. Something more is needed. But there are other reasons for my action. A few of them are: * Solidarity - I've been encouraging civil disobedience and reporting on it, but have not been engaging in it. If I miss another useful opportunity to engage in it, I become a hypocrite and a bad example. And were I to miss it, I would miss the bonds of solidarity that are formed in such actions. If you think I am right, what do you think about what you, yourself, are doing? Or not doing? * Admiration - I plan to get arrested together with Cindy Sheehan and other leaders of the movement for peace, including veterans of the war and family members of the dead. I greatly admire these people and consider it an honor to act with them. * Honor - I want to honor and remember the people whose lives have been most directly destroyed by this war, including those who have fought in it on both sides, and those - the vast majority of the dead - who have died in this war without ever picking up a gun. These people have been brutally attacked from behind a desk in an oval-shaped office. Children have lost limbs and minds by the tens of thousands for the greed and power of a small number of cruel people. * Anger - I'm extremely angry. A gang of criminals blatantly lied to the world about the reasons for the slaughter. There could be no acceptable reasons for such a thing, but I would be less angry - I think - or it would be a very different anger if they had given honest reasons and my compatriots had accepted them. Instead they told lies. They concocted stories. They forged documents! [ http://www.repubblica.it/2005/j/sezioni/esteri/iraq69/b odv/bodv.html ] And many of us knew they were lying. They weren't even so much lying as going through the motions of lying - this was the level of their arrogance. This sort of arrogance may never before have seen its match outside of the profession of journalism - a profession about which I am too angry to speak. * Disgust - I am disgusted with the debate over whether the hell that is occupied Iraq might be even worse if it were no longer occupied. What's at stake here, primarily, is the future of international law, that is: the future right of the country with the most weapons to aggressively attack and occupy weaker countries and never face justice. If this war is allowed to stand, there is no more international law and cannot be for a long long time - perhaps longer than such a planet will have for human life. The debate must begin with a demand for justice. If I break into your house and bust up half your furniture, I do not then own your house and have a moral obligation to stay the night. If I bully the police into letting me, then I have created a lawless state. And if I force you to torture your family members and then claim that you and your family will fight horribly after I leave, that still does not give me the right to remain. The only decent thing I can do is get out. When I get out, I owe you reparations and repair services and counselors and aides of your choosing. But staying helps nothing and destroys great things. * Communication - By pretending to die on the White House sidewalk, we will symbolize the dead. By being arrested, we will symbolically play out the only decent action a police officer could perform at the White House: arresting its occupant. It is my hope that the power of nonviolent action, and the brilliance of Cindy Sheehan in working the media (you should have seen them wait in the rain for her yesterday) will communicate the force of this message to those it has not yet reached, namely the United States Congress. * Nausea - The U.S. Congress makes me sick to my stomach. Its members routinely ignore the will of the residents of their districts. With few exceptions, they work for corporate greed, not human needs. The exceptions include Senators (they can be counted on one hand) who have taken baby steps toward ending the ongoing global crime in Iraq. The main exceptions are the approximately 75 Members of the House of Representatives who inconsistently make general motions in the direction of forming an opposition party against the war party. The stellar exceptions include the leaders of the Out of Iraq Caucus and the Progressive Caucus, members like John Conyers, Maxine Waters, Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee, and Charlie Rangel who have raised their voices with relative strength. Dennis Kucinich has introduced a Resolution of Inquiry into the White House Iraq Group [ http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/whig ]. Jim McGovern is preparing to introduce a bill to cut off funding for the war [ http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/funding ]. Not a single Congress Member, despite the wishes of 72 percent of Democrats [ http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/polling ], has the nerve to support impeachment. * Hope - We can give them the nerve. That's what I hope that civil disobedience will accomplish. (And let's hope for some help from Fitzgerald as well). There are signs that we may be turning a corner. There are members of both houses beginning to clear their throats and open their ears. * Love - I love my friends, family, and colleagues. Above all, I love my wife and the baby who is due in March. I can't bring a child into a world like this without doing what I can to make it better. And I try my best to love my enemies and to do what I can to defuse their holy hatred. Join us! 6 p.m. E.T. at the White House. Take action at your house today: http://www.afsc.org/2000/all_locations.php Take action everywhere on November 2: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/3818 Take action at your school on November 17: http://www.nyspc.net/notyoursoldier.php Take action at recruiting stations on November 18: http://www.iraqpledge.org/ Be the change you want to see in the world. -- David Swanson is creator of MeetWithCindy.org, co- founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson obtained a Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997. His website is www.davidswanson.org --------15 of 16-------- To Hell In A Hand Basket by Gerard Donnelly Smith Swans - October 24, 2005 Whether or not you believe in an afterlife - an afterlife of eternal rebirth back onto this suffering planet or an afterlife of either eternal damnation in a fiery hell or infinite peace in paradise - you must agree with Sartre that "other people are hell"; in part, because "other people" support War, and wage War. Of course, other people can, for a time, bring you joy, provide ecstatic moments, make you feel warm and fuzzy. Often, I feel joy when I hold my child. Often my wife and I take ecstatic flight, and I fall asleep peacefully. Sometimes, though, when the world becomes too much, I drink enough to feel warm and fuzzy. Often, I'll pen a poem about a current issue, hoping it may make some difference. Then I begin to check the facts, rather than remaining blissfully ignorant in my creature comfort, preferably several porters. Like an obsessive-compulsive, I read the paper and listen to the news, rather than just write a love poem to my wife. What I learn is nothing new. The War on Terror continues as the Bush administration squanders the goodwill the Islamic world sent the U.S. after 9/11. The criminal Osama bin Laden is still at large; the international police investigation to find him seemingly non-existent. Britain and the U.S. now threaten Iran, Syria, and all others who supposedly harbor terrorists; the officials in both democratic countries will not consider that their own actions have terrorized the Islamic populations and in some measure fueled the insurgency, and the jihad. So War continues, despite the contradictions underlying its justification. In the name of peace, our leaders claim they must wage War; in the name of democracy, our leaders say they must torture, detain, murder, and maim; in the name of God, our leaders declare an everlasting War on zealots who declare in the name of God an everlasting war on infidels. After ten millennia of War, what can one say about humanity's capacity for change? People still kill others to secure scarce resources; people still kill others because they have different beliefs, different faiths, and different skin color. After ten millennia, one must admit, especially in highly advanced societies like the U.S., that the military has gotten much better at killing others. The goal to kill without the risk of being killed in return has almost reached perfection. Some military leaders hope to replace ground troops with remote-control weapons. To kill from a distance while creature comforts wait at home - that's the dream of some military officers, yet others do pray for peace. Perhaps, I'm being too pessimistic. The United Nations does oppose, in principle, the development of more effective methods of killing, does oppose genocide and wars of aggression, and does have as their "Millennium Goals," the eradication of poverty. The WHO and the CDC work tirelessly to eradicate disease, to stop the threat of virus. Their work with the current avian flu strain H5N1 may save 7 to 150 million lives. Perhaps, all people aren't hell, just some people, just those who advocate War and Violence to solve international or domestic conflict, those who believe that viruses like HIV/AIDS and natural disasters like the 2005 Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina are God's reward for sinners. Maybe, as these fundamentalist believe, these aren't the end times and such self-fulfilling prophecies aren't bringing the apocalypse to my doorstep like some "rough beast, its hour come round at last, "Slouch[ing] towards Bethlehem to be born." But sometimes it sure looks like the end is in sight, feels like an end to suffering must come in some form or another: either fire or ice as Robert Frost suggested, certainly not with a whimper, but a bang. Perhaps I should never read W.B. Yeats's "The Second Coming" again. Maybe I should insist everyone stop reprinting it, reciting it, misquoting it! What did Yeats fear in 1919, when he penned these lines? He didn't know the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, now the "new date" for the "end of the world." Israel hadn't been carved out of Palestine, yet. President Bush had not yet received "visions from God" to create a Palestinian State, as if this were a new revelation! Bush had not yet received divine inspiration to fight his crusade against the so called Axis of Evil and the Global Islamic Jihad, as he has labeled his enemy. In 1919, the Allies hadn't built the national boundaries that would ensure the current conflicts in Africa and the Middle East. Yet, Yeats knew that man's inhumanity to man had reached new heights in trenches where mustard gas left victims writhing in agony, and at post offices where occupation forces shot down civilians and unarmed poets. Poets whose greatest hopes were freedom, democracy, and peace: AND I say to my people's masters: Beware, Beware of the thing that is coming, beware of the risen people, Who shall take what ye would not give. Did ye think to conquer the people, Or that Law is stronger than life and than men's desire to be free? We will try it out with you, ye that have harried and held, Ye that have bullied and bribed, ....... tyrants, hypocrites, liars! (From "The Rebel" by Patrick Henry Pearse) In 1919, what hope did Yeats have that mankind would change its behavior? Wilfred Owen had shown us all what hope could be had in "Dulce Et Decorum Est" in which victims of a mustard gas attack plunge at readers "guttering, chocking, drowning" with their "blood/come gargling from froth-corrupted lungs." Owen's wished to expose the old lie that it is not honorable to die, or even kill for ones country! In writing these poems, did these poets hope the horror would reform politicians, stop generals from ordering insane assaults on fortified installations, convince parents to oppose conscription, and shock imperialist into leaving occupied territories? Did the Vietnam War poets hope their words would stem the tide of blood? But the lie swings back again. The lie works only as long as it takes to speak and the girl runs only as far as the napalm allows until her burning tendons and crackling muscles draw her up into that final position burning bodies so perfectly assume. Nothing can change that, she is burned behind my eyes and not your good love and not the rain-swept air and not the jungle-green pasture unfolding before us can deny it. From "Song of Napalm" by Bruce Weigl By exposing the old lies, did the Poets against the War and Sam Hamil hope to change President Bush's heart? Though she understood the power of poetry to transform lives, Sharon Olds recently refused to attend the National Book Festival, at the invitation of Laura Bush: "I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in order to bear witness - as an American who loves her country and its principles and its writing - against this undeclared and devastating war. But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration. "What kept coming to the fore of my mind was that I would be taking food from the hand of the First Lady who represents the Administration that unleashed this war and that wills its continuation, even to the extent of permitting "extraordinary rendition": flying people to other countries where they will be tortured for us." Does she hope her refusal will cause Laura Bush, while she lies in bed at night with George, to convince him to end his War? Hardly is that question out before one replays the sound bites and the propaganda that justify mass slaughter. Do we poets honestly think poetry can counter the propagandist's onslaught? Despite the images of torture at Abu Ghraib, though we recoil at the girl aflame with napalm, recoil at the body parts strewn across a street where there is oil or gold or diamonds or soil to be bought with a pound of flesh, the military-industrial complex will continue to secure the resources for its own "national security." As long as middle-class citizens of the world continue to consume the creature comforts which supply the power to global corporations, War will continue. Each image of horror exposed by peace-movement poets and activists, by ethical journalists, and conscientious politicians will be countered with images of patriotism, exaggerated fears of terrorism, and by the injection of mind-numbing entertainment. Yes, if only in some "smothering dream" the images from the victims' last moments would haunt everyone, then everyone might wish for peace. Instead, the population of the willing believes the censored images, believes that one side is good while the other is evil. When liberation and freedom are the root causes of suffering, when exposed lies and creationism win over rock-solid evidence, then what hope for change? So "where are we and where are we going?" my good editor asks. Some of us live in hell and some of us are in paradise. Some of us are burying children, while others bury their heads in books. Some of us are starving, while some of us shit three times a day. Some of us scour garbage heaps, while some of us heap up garbage through conspicuous consumption. Some of us enjoy our creature comforts, while others find no comfort at all. Some of us are writing poetry, while others are wiring bombs. Some of us are heading for heaven; the rest, to hell in a hand basket. --------16 of 16-------- Friends don't let friends vote for Hillary. Teach them to see, that we be free. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.