|Progressive Calendar 02.27.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 15:25:12 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 02.27.06 1. Transit on 35W 2.27 7pm 2. Soldiers/home 2.28 8:30am 3. Housing/color 2.28 10am 4. Haiti rally 2.28 4pm 6. Carnival/peace 2.28 5:30pm 7. Fat Tuesday salon 2.28 6:30pm 8. Anti-trafficking 2.28 6:30pm 9. Sami/Iraq 2.28 7pm 10. Toxic/community 2.28 7pm 11. Neuroscience/kids 3.01 11:30am 12. Racial profiling 3.01 11:30am CassLake//4pm/6:30pm Bemidji MN 13. Women/global 3.01 12noon StCloud MN 14. Mercury-free MN 3.10 2pm 15. Food choice panel 3.01 3:30pm 16. SOA 3.01 6pm 17. Anti-torture 3.01 6:30pm 18. Fidel/Stone/doc 3.01 7pm 19. Sex/law/GLBT 3.01 7:45pm 20. Girls/sports 3.01 --- 21. Mizna deadline 3.13 22. March Forth 3.04 23. Michael Keefer - Understanding the planned assault on Iran (2 of 2) 24. ed - In the beginning (poem) --------1 of 24-------- From: Darrell Gerber <darrellgerber [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Transit on 35W 2.27 7pm Transit Options For I-35W Monday, February 27 7pm Martin Luther King Park, 4055 Nicollet Av S Minneapolis Join your municipal, state and regional leaders to engage in a community dialogue about Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on I-35W-what might it look like and how can it serve our neighborhoods? Nacho Diaz, Director of Metropolitan Transportation Services for the Met Council, will be a featured speaker. Sponsored by: State Senator Scott Dibble; State Representatives Frank Hornstein and Neva Walker; Minneapolis City Council Members Elizabeth Glidden (8th), Robert Lilligren (6th), Ralph Remington (10th), and Scott Benson (11th); The Field Regina Northrop Neighborhood Group; The Kingfield Neighborhood Association; and CANDO Questions: Call Andrea Jenkins, 8th Ward City Council Office, 612-673-2208 --- From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com> There is a public meeting tonight regarding the possibility of bus rapid transit on I-35W. Full announcement below. Sorry so late - I just heard about this. This may be of interest to those interested in transit, or just in public process issues. As we discussed at our meeting last night, the system of public input in our city is broken - and probably not accidentally so. At last night's meeting, we heard all about the problems of small businesses on Lake St. who are being hit with expensive assessments for "streetscaping" improvements that just don't make sense. They went through the process - and then the city pulled a fast one on them. Given the City Council decision on Friday (only Cam stood up for them!), there may be nothing more they can do (they are still investigating options). The process similarly failed the folks in Uptown who were fighting a big expansion of Calhoun Square - now to be seven stories tall. I worked with them just a little at the very end of the process. People, neighborhoods, and businesses that are involved in this "public input" game need some help. One thing I believe we may be able to do is to follow these processes and research what is really happening and who is behind the scenes. This way we may be able to work with and help those who are just starting out and don't know what they are up against. Forcing a better, more open, and more fair process for public involvement would help us all. And it's just the democratic thing to do! That's why I say this may be of interest to more of us than just those who live right along I-35, or commute along I-35, or are interested in transit issues. -Dave Bicking 612-276-1213 --------2 of 24-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM> Subject: Soldiers/home 2.28 8:30am Tuesday, 2/28, 8:30 to 11:30 am, free workshop called "Coming Home: Helping Soldiers Reintegrate into Family, Workplace and Community" for clergy & church staff only, St. Michael's Lutheran, 1660 W. Co. Road B, Roseville. Pre-registration required with Lois Swenson, 612-588-5572. --------3 of 24-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Housing/color 2.28 10am Housing and Communities of Color Tuesday, February 28 (10am-12pm) Minneapolis Urban League 2100 Plymouth Avenue North Minneapolis, MN 55411 (Parking is on east side of building) This meeting, the second of four, will spotlight what is happening in the African American community and further discussions on issues faced by communities of color regarding housing. Some of the issues that will be addressed by housing advocates, service providers and impacted community members will include: the racial disparity in the local homeless community racial discrimination in rental housing and barriers to home ownership Everyone is welcome: community members, elected officials, social service providers, and advocates. There is no cost to participate or a need to register for this event. For further information, please contact Josephine Pufpaff at Josephine [at] mesh-mn.org or 612.384.1448. --------4 of 24-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM> Subject: Haiti rally 2.28 4pm Tuesday, 2/28, 4 to 5 pm, rally against U.S. intervention in Haiti elections, Hennepin County Govt Center near lightrail station, Mpls and march to Federal Building plaza. bieogo001 [at] umn.edu ---------5 of 24-------- From: stpaulunions.org <llwright [at] stpaulunions.org> Subject: Wal-Mart/awake 2.28 4pm Press Conference Are you below average? WalMart says its average is $10.11 per hour for associates Tuesday Feb 28 4pm Elmer L Anderson Building 540 Cedar & Minnesota St. In St. Paul A Wal-Mart Associate will speak on wages & working conditions. Other speakers include Grocery workers, WakeUpWalMart.com members, and concerned legislators. Pending Legislation will also be presented. SPONSORED BY WakeUpWalMart.com For Further Information Contact Bernie or Jenny at 651-451-6240 or 651-216-3827 [In the Old South they had house associates and field associates -ed] ---------6 of 24-------- From: Nonviolent Peaceforce <MelDuncan [at] NonviolentPeaceforce.org> Subject: Carnival/peace 2.28 5:30pm Nonviolent Peaceforce Invites you to !Carnival! for Peace Tuesday, February 28 5:30 Social Hour 6:30 Festive Dinner Short Program about NP - Mel and international staff Silent and Live Auction Dancing to The Resisters! El Nuevo Rodeo 2nd Floor Nightclub Corner of Lake Street and 27th Avenue East, Minneapolis Parking: On Street, or Behind US Bank on Lake Street 1 block away Please bring someone to introduce to the Nonviolent Peaceforece a neighbor, family member or friend. Send check to DANCE Nonviolent Peaceforce 425 Oak Grove Minneapolis 55403 or call 612-871-0005 and ask for a written invitation, only $35 per person, $20 tax deductible. RSVP by Feb 5. Seating is reserved. Some of the great auction items include: · Romantic cottage in Brittany, France, sleeps 4, for 1 week · Bed & Breakfast for Cross Country Ski Weekend in Wisconsin · Covington Inn Stay (B&B on a boat in the Mississippi) · Mosaic table · Massage · 2 VIP tickets to Brave New Workshop --------7 of 24-------- From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Fat Tuesday salon 2.28 6:30pm At the Salon on Tuesday, February 28, we will have a Fat Tuesday party. We will have a celebration, but will also remember the people in, or from, New Orleans who are still displaced. Red beans and rice and Louisiana Bread Pudding will be served, and music of the area will be heard. thanks, patty Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. --------8 of 24-------- From: humanrts [at] umn.edu Subject: Anti-trafficking 2.28 6:30pm Please join us for the first meeting of Students Against Human Trafficking (SAHT), a student group devoted to building an anti-trafficking movement by fostering youth empowerment, raising awareness about human rights and human trafficking, and encouraging cross-sectoral linkages among social justice issues. The meeting will be on Tuesday, February 28 from 6:30-8:00 pm in Room N204 at the University of Minnesota Law School. Free pizza and beverages will be provided! For more information, please contact Jonna Cohen: cohe0119 [at] umn.edu or 651.815.1425. --------9 of 24--------- From: "Don,Rachel Christensen" <chris385 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Sami/Iraq 2.28 7pm The Minnesota FOR and Mac-Plymouth Peacemakers invite you to a community forum with Sami Rasouli: Tuesday, February 28, 7pm, at Macalester-Plymouth United Church, at the corner of Lincoln Av. and Macalester St. in St. Paul. Sami is an Iraqi American who lived in the US for 17 years, running Sinbad's Market in Minneapolis. In 2004 Sami returned to Iraq to participate in re-building his war-torn country and do what he can to contribute to peace. He returns to the US periodically to visit family and friends and share his experiences as one who is completely 'unembedded'. Sami is currently working for the Karbala Human Rights Organization and has had close contact with Christian and Muslim Peacemaker Teams. --------10 of 24-------- From: CarolGwood [at] aol.com Subject: Toxic/community 2.28 7pm TOXIC HAZARDS AND YOUR COMMUNITY Tuesday, February 28 7pm, Matthews Center 2318 29 Av S Minneapolis Find Out About Your Exposure to Toxic Substances! Attend a free community education workshop to find out what toxic chemicals we¹re exposed to in South Minneapolis. The Centers for Public Health Education and Outreach at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and several neighborhood-based organizations are co-sponsoring this event. Fifth and Last Session, Industrial Activity as toxicant source: --Detailed information about specific toxicants that are sourced from industrial/commercial/disposal operations including incineration. Also discussed: workplace exposures and releases (spills, polluted sites, air and water discharges) that constitute a risk to the individual or community. --Toxins from industrial activities such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), arsenic, heavy metals, and persistent bioaccumulative toxins (PBTs), --Characteristics of industrial toxins (environmental behavior) --What individuals/community can do to reduce industrial toxins and their health impacts (exposure and risk). The workshop will be taught by Dr. William Toscano, Chair of the Environmental Health Sciences division of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Mark Snyder, pollution prevention specialist for the MPCA, will discuss toxic chemical waste management and emissions trends for facilities located in south and southeast Minneapolis neighborhoods using Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data, MPCA's Air Toxics Emissions Inventory and other tools available to the public. Mark will also discuss local examples of where communities have worked with industrial and manufacturing facilities in their neighborhoods to reduce waste and emissions. There will be lots of opportunity to ask questions and discuss the information presented. Don¹t miss this chance to talk with our two expert speakers and find out about your family¹s toxic exposure. Free activities for children ages 4-10 provided by South Minneapolis YMCA. For more information, please contact Carol at: carolgwood [at] mn.rr.com Phone, 612.724-8430 These programs are funded in part by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) as part of the Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training. --------11 of 24-------- From: Consortium <lawvalue [at] umn.edu> Subject: Neuroscience/kids 3.01 11:30am The Lecture Series on Law, Health & the Life Sciences will present Prof. Martha Farah, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) on Wednesday, March 1, 2006 from 11:30am-1pm in the Theater at Coffman Memorial Union. Prof. Farah will lecture on "Developmental Neuroethics: Neuroscience, Childhood and Society." Prof. Dana Johnson, MD, PhD (University of Minnesota, Neonatology and International Adoption Clinic) and Donald Brunnquell, PhD (Director, Office of Ethics, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minneapolis/St. Paul) will offer commentary after Prof. Farah's lecture. Continuing education credit is offered (see below). The series is cosponsored by the University of Minnesota's Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences (www.lifesci.consortium.umn.edu <file:///C:\Documents%20and%20Settings\Lunch%20Series\2005-06\Kammen\www.lif esci.consortium.umn.edu> ) and Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences (www.jointdegree.umn.edu <http://www.jointdegree.umn.edu/> ). Abstract: Advances in the study of brain development, along with the growing demands that society places on children and adolescents, present a host of neuroethical issues. Prof. Farah will review the relevant scientific findings and their translation into clinical and educational practice, and offer an analysis of the ethical issues involved. Among the issues to be considered are the growing use of psychopharmacology for children, including school-aged and preschool children, and for therapeutic and enhancement purposes; and the relevance of neuroscience research on brain development to child rearing practices and education policy, and to child and adolescent culpability in the criminal justice system. Martha Farah is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Farah's work spans many topics within cognitive neuroscience, including visual perception, attention, mental imagery, semantic memory, reading, prefrontal function, and most recently, neuroethics. Her publications include: Visual Agnosia, (MIT Press, 1990; 2nd edition, 2004), The Cognitive Neuroscience of Vision (Blackwell, 2000), and the edited volume: Patient-based Approaches to Cognitive Neuroscience (MIT Press, 1999; 2nd edition 2006). She is a recipient of the American Psychological Association's Early Career Contribution Award, the National Academy of Science's Troland Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She received her PhD from MIT in 1983. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required if you wish to receive continuing education credits (CLE, CME or CNE). RSVP to lawvaluer [at] umn.edu or 612-625-0055. Coffman Union parking is available in the East River Road Garage on Delaware Street behind Coffman Union. Maps may be found at http://onestop.umn.edu/Maps/index.html. This lecture is intended for students, faculty, researchers, scientists, policymakers, patients, health care professionals and organizations, and interested community members. Following this lecture, participants should be able to: * Discuss issues in neuroethics that arise from neurologic findings and social pressures in children and adolescents. * Understand how scientific findings are used in clinical and educational practice. The University of Minnesota is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of Minnesota designates this continuing medical education activity for a maximum of 1 category 1 credit toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award per lecture. Each physician should claim only those credits that he/she actually spent in the educational activity. This activity offers 1.20 contact hours of continuing education and is designed to meet the MN Board of Nursing criteria for mandatory continuing education for licensure renewal. Continuing legal education credit (CLE) for attorneys will be requested (1.5 hours). This is the final lecture in the 2005-06 Lecture Series on Law, Health & the Life Sciences. This year's Lecture Series focuses on the social implications of neuroscience. For more information on upcoming events, visit http://www.lifesci.consortium.umn.edu/conferences/lecture_series.php <http://www.lifesci.consortium.umn.edu/news_and_events/#events> . --------12 of 24-------- From: audreythayer <athayer [at] paulbunyan.net> Subject: Racial profiling 3.01 11:30am CassLake//4pm/6:30pm Bemidji MN Fact or Fiction in Northern Minnesota? RACIAL PROFILING The Greater Minnesota Racial Justice Project Presents: Myron Orfield Associate Professor of Law, U of M Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs Executive Director, Institute on Race and Poverty March 1, Wednesday speaking at three locations: 11:30-1:30pm Leech Lake Tribal College 6530 Hwy 2 NW, Cass Lake, MN 2:00-4:00pm American Indian Resource Center Great Hall, BSU, 1500 Birchmont Dr NE, Bemidji, MN 6:30-8:30pm People's Church 824 America Ave, Bemidji, MN Professor Orfield will discuss the Racial Profiling Study of 2003 that identified serious concerns of racial injustice in Beltrami, Becker, Cass, Hubbard, and Mahnomen counties. He is an authority on civil rights, state and local government, state and local finance, land use, questions of regional governance, and the legislative process. Professor Orfield graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota, was a graduate student In 1990, Professor Orfield was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, where he served five terms, and to the Minnesota Senate in 2000, where he served one term. For the past ten years, Orfield has been president of a nationally respected regional research organization undertaking studies involving the legal, demographic and land use profiles of various American metropolitan areas. He is the author of two books: Metropolitics: A Regional Agenda for Community and Stability (Brookings 1997), American Metropolitics: The New Suburban Reality (Brookings 2002). This is a free event and everyone is welcome. Sponsored by Greater MN Racial Justice (ACLU-MN), Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and the American Indian Resource Center For more information call: 218-444-2285 ---------13 of 24-------- From: bharti [at] mnwomen.org Subject: Women/globalization 3.01 12noon StCloud MN March 1: St. Cloud State University Women's Center Women on Wednesday Series: Women, Feminism and Globalization. Noon-1 PM. Free and open to the public. Atwood Theatre. 320/308-4958. --------14 of 24-------- From: Cesia Kearns <cesia.kearns [at] sierraclub.org> Subject: Mercury-free MN 3.10 2pm It's possible - make Minnesota mercury free! We need you to attend a critical hearing on stopping mercury pollution in Minnesota: Wednesday, March 1st at 2pm State Capitol, Room G-15 (downstairs below the rotunda) Come to this hearing of the Senate Jobs, Energy and Community Development Committee and the Environment Committee, to show decisionmakers that we want 90% reductions from coal plants by 2009 and 2011! For more information, contact Cesia Kearns at the Sierra Club: 612-659-9124 or cesia.kearns [at] sierraclub.org www.mercuryfreeminnesota.org --------15 of 24-------- From: Gregory J. Oschwald <greg [at] ca4a.org> Subject: Food choice panel 3.01 3:30pm Panel on Consumer Choices and Food <http://www.exploreveg.org/events/panel-on-consumer-choices-and-food/> A discussion of consumer choices and food is the next panel in our series leading up to Peter Singer's visit <http://www.exploreveg.org/events/singer>. Eating is one of the most essential things we do. However, we rarely take time to think about it and the implications that it has for the world around us. This panel will take a critical look, through environmental, economic, and philosophical perspectives, at the culinary choices we make as consumers every day. Panelists: Jeremy Iggers, Food Critic for the Star Tribune; Dan Philippon, Program in Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Ethics; Valerie Tiberius, Department of Philosophy 3:30-5pm on Wednesday, March 1 Folwell 208 <http://onestop.umn.edu/Maps/FolH/index.html> on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota --------16 of 24-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM> Subject: SOA 3.01 6pm Wednesday, 3/1, 6 pm, School of Americas Watch meeting, Holy Trinity Lutheran, 2730 E 31st St, Mpls. www.mnsoaw.org --------17 of 24-------- From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com> Subject: Anti-torture 3.01 6:30pm Every Wednesday: meeting of the anti- torture group, T3: Tackling Torture at the Top (a sub-group of WAMM). Note new location: Center School, 2421 Bloomington Ave. S., Mpls. We have also added a new feature: we will have an "educate ourselves" session before each meeting, starting at 6:30, for anyone who is interested in learning more about the issues we are working on. We will share info and stay current about torture in the news. --------18 of 24-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM> Subject: Fidel/Stone/doc 3.01 7pm Wednesdays, 3/1 and 3/8, 7 pm, film of Oliver Stone's two interviews with Fidel Castro, "Comandante" (90 min) and "Looking for Fidel" (50 min), apt in St. Paul near Macalester College. Registration limited to 10 folks interested in information from a pro-Fidel group, with joanmdm [at] comcast.net or 651-451-4081. --------19 of 24-------- From: David Strand <mncivil [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Sex/law/GLBT 3.01 7:45pm Wednesday March 1, 7:45-9:15pm. Sexual Orientation and the Law - a presentation sponsored by Unitarian Universalists Out 4 Marriage. First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Ave South, Minneapolis, MN. --------20 of 24-------- From: bharti [at] mnwomen.org Subject: Girls/sports 3.01 --- March 1: Melpomene Institute Join Melpomene and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports for a pilot of the new Backyards and Beyond program at the Minnesota Women's Building, 550 Rice St., St. Paul. The program will cover information about Title IX and will provide you with tools for assessing local sports programs. For more information, 651/789-0140 or www.melpomene.org. --------21 of 24-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Mizna deadline 3.13 Call for Submissions Deadline: March 13 (postmark deadline) Mizna, prose, poetry and art exploring Arab America, is seeking original writing for our upcoming publication. We welcome submissions on Arab-American themes that explore the diversity of our community. Contributors do not have to be of Arab descent provided their work is of relevance to the Arab-American community. If you would like your work to be considered for publication, please send three copies (double-spaced, maximum 2500 words) and a short biography (maximum 75 words) to the address below. Please limit poetry submissions to 4 poems per submission. Include your name, phone number, mailing address, and e-mail address. We regret that we cannot return submissions. Alternate forms of submission are accepted, including tape recordings. Mizna encourages writers who have recently translated their work into English to submit. We are available to assist writers through the editing process if necessary. Writers whose work is published in Mizna will receive a stipend and complimentary copies of the journal. Due to the volume of submissions received, we reserve the right to return unreviewed any submission not conforming to the above guidelines. Mizna, Inc. 2205 California Street NE #109A Minneapolis, MN 55418 Mizna-a forum for Arab art. Visit our website: http:www.mizna.org or email us at Mizna [at] Mizna.org --------22 of 24-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: March Forth 3.04 MARCH FORTH A Fundraiser for the Green Party of Minnesota Saturday, March 4th 7pm-1am at the Latvian House in NE Minneapolis - 2337 Central Ave NE Musical performances by: Brass Kings, and Travis and Jonny For more information, contact the Green Party of Minnesota at 612.871.4585 or www.mngreens.org --If anyone you're talking to want to donate a skill or gift to the silent auction they should contact: Tori Johnston tori_j [at] msn.com , 612-824-8492 or Carol Mellom cmellom [at] comcast.net , 651-291-2421 --------23 of 24-------- Petrodollars and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation: Understanding the Planned Assault on Iran by Michael Keefer February 10, 2006 GlobalResearch.ca [2 of 2] [End of part 1: Numbers like these suggest that George W. Bush will indeed get the new war he so desires. And it appears that he will get it soon. As Newt Gingrich declared on Fox News in late January, the matter is so urgent that the attack must happen within the next few months. "According to Gingrich, Iran not only cannot be trusted with nuclear technology, but also Iranians 'cannot be trusted with their oil'" (Roberts).] The Euro-denominated Tehran Oil Bourse Gingrich's wording may sound faintly ludicrous. However, it would appear to be a slanting allusion to the fact that the Iranian government has announced plans to open an Iranian Oil Bourse in March 2006. This Bourse will be in direct competition with the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and London's International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) - and unlike them will do business not in U.S. dollars, but in euros. What Gingrich evidently means is that the Iranians cannot be trusted to market their oil and natural gas in a manner that continues to benefit the United States. Peter Phillips and his colleagues in Project Censored explained very clearly in 2003 how the current U.S. dollar-denominated system of oil and gas marketing provides the U.S. with a highly advantageous system of exchange. In 1971, "President Nixon removed U.S. currency from the gold standard": "Since then, the world's supply of oil has been traded in U.S. fiat dollars, making the dollar the dominant world reserve currency. Countries must provide the United States with goods and services for dollars - which the United States can freely print. To purchase energy and pay off any IMF debts, countries must hold vast dollar reserves. The world is attached to a currency that one country can produce at will. This means that in addition to controlling world trade, the United States is importing substantial quantities of goods and services for very low relative costs." (Phillips) As Krassimir Petrov has observed, this amounts to an indirect form of imperial taxation. Unlike previous empires, which extracted direct taxes from their subject-nations, the American empire has "distributed instead its own fiat currency, the U.S. Dollar, to other nations in exchange for goods with the intended consequence of inflating and devaluing those dollars and paying back later each dollar with less economic goods - the difference capturing the U.S. imperial tax." Oil, backed by military power, has provided the rest of the world with a reason for accepting depreciating U.S. dollars and holding ever-increasing amounts of them in reserve. Petrov remarks that in 1972-73 the U.S. made "an iron-clad arrangement with Saudi Arabia to support the power of the House of Saud in exchange for accepting only U.S. dollars for its oil. The rest of OPEC was to follow suit and accept only dollars. Because the world had to buy oil from the Arab oil countries, it had the reason to hold dollars as payment for oil. [..] Even though dollars could no longer be exchanged for gold, they were now exchangeable for oil" (Petrov). But as Phillips notes, the economic reasons alone for switching to the euro as a reserve currency have been becoming steadily more persuasive: "Because of huge trade deficits, it is estimated that the dollar is currently [in late 2003] overvalued by at least 40 percent. Conversely, the euro-zone does not run huge deficits, uses higher interest rates, and has an increasingly larger share of world trade. As the euro establishes its durability and comes into wider use, the dollar will no longer be the world's only option." The result will be to make it "easier for other nations to exercise financial leverage against the United States without damaging themselves or the global financial system as a whole." Prior to the invasion of Iraq, several analysts suggested that one very obvious motive for that war was the fact that, beginning in November 2000, Iraq had insisted on payment in euros, not dollars, for its oil. In mid-2003, by which time the U.S. had made clear the intended terms of its occupation of Iraq, one such analyst, Coilin Nunan, remarked that it remained "just a theory" that American threats against Iraq had been made on behalf of the petro-dollar system - "but a theory that subsequent U.S. actions have done little to dispel: the U.S. has invaded Iraq and installed its own authority to rule the country, and as soon as Iraqi oil became available to sell on the world market, it was announced that payment would be in dollars only" (Phillips). William Clark writes, more directly, that the invasion was principally about "gaining strategic control over Iraq's hydrocarbon reserves and in doing so maintain[ing] the US$ as the monopoly currency for the critical international oil market" (Clark, 28 Jan. 2006). There is currently some debate over the extent to which U.S. war preparations against Iran are motivated by concern for the continued hegemony of the petrodollar (see Nunan). I find the analyses of William Clark and Krassimir Petrov persuasive. Clark notes that an important obstacle to any major shift in the oil marketing system has been "the lack of a euro-denominated oil pricing standard, or oil 'marker' as it is referred to in the industry." (The current "oil markers," in relation to which other internationally traded oil is priced, are Norway Brent crude, West Texas Intermediate crude [WTI], and United Arab Emirates [UAE] Dubai crude-all of them U.S. dollar denominated.) In his opinion, "it is logical to assume the proposed Iranian bourse will usher in a fourth crude oil marker - denominated in the euro currency," and will thus "remove the main technical obstacle for a broad-based petro-euro system for international oil trades." This will have the effect of introducing "petrodollar versus petroeuro currency hedging, and fundamentally new dynamics to the biggest market in the world-global oil and gas trades. In essence, the US will no longer be able to effortlessly expand credit via US Treasury bills, and the US$'s demand/liquidity value will fall" (Clark, 28 Jan. 2006). An even partial loss of the U.S. dollar's position as the dominant reserve currency for global energy trading would, as Petrov suggests, lead to a sharp decline in its value and an ensuing acceleration of inflation and upward pressure on interest rates, with unpleasant consequences. "At this point, the Fed will find itself between Scylla and Charybdis - between deflation and hyperinflation - it will be forced fast either to take its 'classical medicine' by deflating, whereby it raises interest rates, thus inducing a major economic depression, a collapse in real estate, and an implosion in bond, stock, and derivative markets [.], or alternatively, to take the Weimar way out by inflating, [.] drown[ing] the financial system in liquidity [.] and hyperinflating the economy." Any attempt, on the other hand, to preserve what Mike Whitney calls the "perfect pyramid-scheme" of America's currency monopoly (Whitney, 23 Jan. 2006) by means of military aggression against Iran is likely to result in equal or greater disruptions to the world economy. American military aggression, which might conceivably include attempts to occupy Iran's oil-producing Khuzestan province and the coastline along the Straits of Hormuz (see Pilger), will not just have appalling consequences for civilians throughout the region; it may also place American forces into situations still more closely analogous than the present stage of Iraqi resistance to the situation produced in Lebanon by Israel's invasion of that country - which ended in 2000 with Israel's first military defeat (see Salama and Ruster). The involvement of Turkey One significant difference between the warnings of a coming war circulating in early 2005 and those which have appeared in recent months is the current evidence of feverish diplomatic activity between Washington and Ankara. The NATO powers have evidently been co-opted into Washington's war plans: the so-called EU-3 (France, Germany, and Britain) presented Iran with a negotiating position on the nuclear fuel cycle for Iran's power plants that seemed designed to produce an indignant refusal. (As Aijaz Ahmad writes, the European group "was not negotiating; it was relaying to Iran, and to all and sundry, what the U.S. was demanding and threatening to report Iran to the Security Council if the latter did not comply. Everyone knows that Iran had closed its Isphahan facility voluntarily, as a confidence-building measure, expecting some reciprocity, and then re-opened it, in retaliation, after having waited for reciprocity for many months and not getting it-indeed, receiving only escalated demands.") But according to the well-connected Jürgen Gottslich, writing in Der Spiegel in late December, Iran was not discussed during the new German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung's recent visit to Washington. Gottslich wrote that "the speculation surrounding an American strike against Iran centers more on developments in Turkey. There has been a definite surge in visits to Ankara by high-ranking National Security personnel from the U.S. and by NATO officials. Within the space of just a few days, FBI Director Robert Mueller, [CIA] Director [Porter] Goss and then NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer visited Turkey." Condoleezza Rice also flew to Turkey immediately after her December trip to Berlin. The aim of these visits has quite obviously been to bring Turkey into line with a planned attack on Iran. As Gottslich writes, "On his Istanbul visit, Goss is alleged to have given Turkish security services three dossiers that prove Iranian cooperation with al-Qaeda. In addition, there was a fourth dossier focusing on the current state of Iran's nuclear weapons program." But why, beyond the obvious fact of Turkey's shared border with Iran, should Turkey be such an important factor in American war plans? The answer is suggested by an article published by an American academic, Robert Olson, in the June 2002 issue of Middle East Policy. According to Noam Chomsky, Olson "reports that 12 percent of Israel's offensive aircraft are to be 'permanently stationed in Turkey' and have been 'flying reconnaissance flights along Iran's border,' signaling to Iran 'that it would soon be challenged elsewhere by Turkey and its Israeli and American allies'" (Chomsky 159). These Israeli aircraft would evidently take part in any American and Israeli aerial attack on Iran, and Turkish consent would no doubt be necessary for their use in such an act. What advantages might Turkey hope to gain from its consent? The collaboration of Britain, France and Germany in the cranking up of diplomatic pressure on Iran might suggest that Turkey's much-desired admission to the European Union could have been held out as one carrot-possibly with the argument that participation in an attack on a fundamentalist Islamic state could be one way of calming European fears over the entry of a Muslim nation into the Union. An equally persuasive advantage may have been a secret promise of future admission to the select group of nuclear powers. Christopher Deliso has assembled evidence both of Turkey's persistent involvement in the smuggling and production of nuclear weapons technology, including centrifuge components and triggering devices (Deliso, 21 Nov. 2005)-and also of the very interesting fact that the key administration officials involved in the outing of Valerie Plame, who was investigating these murky operations, included people, among them Marc Grossman, former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, who give every appearance of having been centrally involved in the very network of nuclear arms proliferation that the CIA was working to uncover (Deliso, 24 Nov. 2005). Even when supplemented by Sibel Edmonds' indications of high-level collaboration in the frustration by Turkish agents of the FBI's parallel investigations of what appears to be the same network, the evidence remains at best suppositious. And yet despite the inaccessibility of details-which will no doubt remain inaccessible for as long as Dick Cheney, John Bolton and the rest retain the power to frustrate investigations into the activities of their close associates and subordinates-the larger pattern is, to say the least, intriguing. The same highly-placed neoconservatives who have been crying wolf over Iran's non-existent nuclear weapons appear to have been deeply-and lucratively-involved in the trafficking of restricted and forbidden weapons technology into Turkey. Should this pattern turn out indeed to involve corruption, hypocrisy, and treachery on the grand scale that Deliso's investigative reporting would suggest, is there any reason one should be surprised? What else, to be frank, would you expect from people such as these? Global Research Contributing Editor Michael Keefer is Associate Professor of English at the University of Guelph. 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The Hindu; available at ZNet (1 February 2006), http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=22&ItemID=9642 Walker, Martin. "German media: U.S. prepares Iran strike." UPI (30 December 2005), http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20051230-112208-8968r Whitney, Mike. "The countdown to war with Iran." Online Journal (17 January 2006), http://www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_425,shtml ----. "Iran's Oil Exchange threatens the Greenback." OpEdNews.com (23 January 2006), http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_mike_whi_060123_iran_92s_oil_exchange_.htm Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization. --------24 of 24-------- IN THE BEGINNING In the beginning, God created the rich. And the rich looked around and said, Hey, God, where the hell is the world with all the resources for us to exploit? So God got busy and did the world thing with oil and timber and coal for the rich to pump up, cut down, or dig up for profit. And the rich looked around and said, Hey, God, this is all well and good, but, where the hell are the poor people to do the pumping and digging and cutting? You don't expect US to do it, do you? Back to the drawing board, and be quick about it! So God got busy again and did the slave serf employee poor people bit, so the rich could be rich without working. And the rich looked around and said, Hey, God, good job. Except, that conscience thingy you gave us makes us feel bad treating the poor like dirt. What can you do about that? So God got busy again and expunged from the rich their consciences, scruples, sympathy, and moral senses. And the rich looked around, felt ecstatically wonderful getting rich by grinding the faces of the poor, and said, Hey, God, thanks a bunch; now go f*** yourself! And so God got busy again doing just that, for disobeying the rich in thought word or deed is heresy and blasphemy. - David Shove 03.25.04 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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