Progressive Calendar 02.27.06
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. He is a former President of the
Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English. His
recent writings include a series of articles on electoral fraud in the
2004 US presidential election published by the Centre for Research on
Globalization.

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                  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

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   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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