Progressive Calendar 03.04.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2006 03:46:08 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    03.04.06

1. Intl womens day   3.04 8am
2. Vets for peace    3.04 10am
3. Sweatshops/globe  3.04 10am
4. Iraq war conf     3.04 10am
5. Dept of peace     3.04 11am
6. NOW               3.04 11am
7. GreenParty StP    3.04 12noon
8. River/dike rally  3.04 12noon
9. Northtown vigil   3.04 1pm
10. Teaching/book    3.04 3pm
11. Iran/film        3.04 7pm
12. GreenParty party 3.04 7pm
13. Vietnam war/play 3.04 7:30pm
14. Dyke march bene  3.04 9pm

15. Sensible vigil   3.05 12noon
16. ImmigrationDemos 3.05 1pm/Farabault 3pm/Northfield
17. Women v prisons  3.05 3pm
18. Nonviolent comm  3.05/06

19. Gary Olson        - Venezuela's threat
20. John Conyers      - Why we act
21. Arundhati Roy     - Bush in India: just not welcome
22. Onion             - Democrats vow not to give up hopelessness
23. Katherine Brengle - The progressive revolution
24. Michael Parenti   - Custom against women
25. ed                - New words, new concepts (re/pre)

--------1 of 25--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Intl womens day 3.04 8am

The 11th Annual International Women's Day Celebration

Saturday March 4, 8am to 4:30pm Coffman Memorial Union, University of
Minnesota, 300 Washington Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis. Education,
resources, advocacy, activism, community, networking, and celebration!

Keynote speaker: Naomi Tutu. Plenary panel: Susana de Leon, Peggy
Flanagan, Farheen Hakeem, Pakou Hang, and Nyango Melissa Nambangi. Panels,
workshops, theater, film, and display tables from co-sponsoring

Sponsored by: Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and the Human Rights
Program at the University of Minnesota. FFI: visit <>.

--------2 of 25---------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Vets for peace 3.04 10am

Saturday, 3/4, 10 to 11:30 am, Veterans for Peace chapter 127 meets at
Peacehouse, 510 E Franklin, Mpls, to discuss issues of homeless vets.  Wayne
Wittman, 651-774-4008.

--------3 of 25--------

From: humanrts [at]
Subject: Sweatshops/globe 3.04 10am

March 4 - Sweatshops and Globalization. 10-11:30am.  Cost:  $4 ($3 for

Octavio Ruiz will speak on the connections between labor conditions and
corporate globalization through free trade agreements, and will introduce
alternatives to sweatshop- produced clothing.

Location: Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Avenue, Mpls MN

--------4 of 25--------

From: Jess Sundin
Subject: Iraq war conf 3.04 10am

Schedule Speakers Endorsers Workshops Main Saturday, March 4, 2006 10am to
5pm University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management Bldg, West Bank,
Mpls. Cost $5-20 sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds.
Students attend free with student ID.

Keynote address by Sami Rasouli Long-time Twin Cities peace activist who
returned home to Iraq, to try to rebuild peace, in the face of U.S.
occupation. Local experts will lead workshops on various topics and
include discussion of strategies for building the anti-war movement.

Event will include lunch, cultural work by local artists and concrete ways
to get involved building a local movement against the war.

 Sovereignty, Oil and War;
 US Empire versus Iraqi Independence;
 Resistance Movements in Iraq;
 "Democracy" Under Occupation;
 Getting Away with Torture;
 Life Under Occupation;
 From Palestine to Iraq;
 Iraq, Oil Dependency and Global Warming;
 iRAQ Up for sale?;
 The War on Terror Across the Globe;
 The War At Home;
 If Iraq is Issue #1, the Media is Issue #2;
 The Faces and Frontiers of Activism:
 Youth and student organizing against the war.

Speakers include: Sami Rasouli, Arthur Henson, Mick Kelly, Ismail Khalidi,
Ashley Dresser, Tsione Wolde-Michael, members of Youth Against War and
Racism, Fouzi Slisli, Anh Pham, Jess Sundin, Tracy Molm, Gerardo
Cajamarca, Alondra Espejel, Dave Bicking, Hatem Younis, Marie Braun,
Elizabeth Dickinson, Lynne Mayo, Jeff Nygaard, Karah Ferguson, Richard

It's not too late to Register On-Line Payment amount is $5-20 sliding
scale. Advance registration helps us ensure that we have enough food and
conference materials for everyone. No one's turned away for lack of funds
and students get in free with student ID (but pay $3 for lunch). Your
registration fee includes lunch, conference materials, and helps to pay
the costs of space rental and bringing in our wonderful speakers. Click
here to go to our main conference website and pay now.

--------5 of 25--------

From: humanrts [at]
Subject: Dept of peace 3.04 11am

March 4 - DoPeaceMN Talk. 11am-12noon.
Mary Jane Lavigne and other members of DoPeaceMN will speak on the Dept of
Peace initiative.

Friendship hall, Friendship Village, 8100 Highwood Dr., Bloomington, MN

--------6 of 25--------

From: erin [at]
Subject: NOW 3.04 11am

March 4: Minnesota NOW Behind the Scenes or Give Me Something to Do! -
Find out about MN NOW's behind the scenes activities, what makes our
organization work.  11am-12:30pm. Minnesota Women's Building, 550 Rice
Street, St. Paul. 651/222-1605.

--------7 of 25--------

From: Elizabeth Dickinson <eadickinson [at]>
Subject: GreenParty StP 3.04 12noon

The regular monthly membership meeting of the Green Party of St. Paul will
take place this Saturday, March 4, from 12-2 p.m. at Mississippi Market
(Selby & Dale location), upstairs in the community room.

Ken Pentel will be joining us to present on our consensus process for the
first half, with regular business comencing in the second half. Come one,
come all!

--------8 of 25--------

From: Gjerry Berquist <GjerryBerquist6 [at]>
Subject: River/dike rally 3.04 12noon

[Stamp out MAC idiocy before it wrecks again - ed]

Many community and environmental groups near the Saint Paul airport at
Holman Field are appealing the recent decision of the Planning Commission
concerning the project proposed by the Metropolitan Airport Commission
(MAC).  This Saturday you are invited to witness the impact of the
proposed nine (9) foot high levee/floodwall/dike at the West Bank of the

RALLY for the River RALLY for the Neighborhoods Saturday, 04 March at noon

 Enjoy the view of the Mississippi River and its East Bank as you drive
down-River, South on Bayfield Street to the Rally site.
 Witness the 24'x9' high replica of the proposed levee/floodwall/dike
 Eat multiple provided cookies (hecho en Mexico)
 Hear why this is truly a bad idea for the neighborhoods and the River

Located at the South End of Bayfield Street, East of the Terminal, between
the River and many airport hangers.  Just drive past the Terminal
building, turn left at the Big gates toward the River and follow Bayfield
Street to its end.  Plenty of parking.  Bring your children and please
notify your neighbors and friends.  This Rally will be short and sweet.

Gjerry Berquist, Public Policy Participant
West Side   651.224.6426

--------9 of 25--------

From: Lennie <major18 [at]>
Subject: Northtown vigil 3.04 1pm

We will now be peace vigiling EVERY SATURDAY from 1-2pm at the at the
southeast corner of the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE
in Blaine, which is the northwest most corner of the Northtown Mall area.
This is a MUCH better location.

We'll have extra signs.  Communities situated near the Northtown Mall
include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden
Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids.

For further information, email major18 [at] or call Lennie at

--------10 of 25--------

From: Corey Mattson <coreymattson [at]>
Subject: Teaching/book 3.04 3pm

Author Talk @ Mayday Books
Peter Henry talks about his book

Saturday March 4 at 3pm at Mayday Books
Free and open to the public! (301 Cedar Ave, South; West Bank, Minneapolis)

The true story of an American teacher, "Becoming Mr. Henry" traces the
development of the author from a young boy bewildered by the world to a
knowing mentor of street-wise youth. Along the way, Mr. Henry dispenses
ample insight on current educational debates involving high-stakes
testing, abstinence education and zero tolerance drug policies.  Often
off-beat and funny, and sometimes touching and poignant, _Becoming Mr.
Henry_, is mainly about teaching - why it matters, how it can be
successful, and why it may be an essential tool for liberating the human

Peter Henry was raised in a nine-child family by a pair of professors.
He has attended or taught in over a dozen different schools across
America, has studied abroad in Mexico and France, has a bachelor's degree
from the Carleton College and earned a Master's of Arts in Teaching degree
from St. Thomas University.

--------11 of 25--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Iran/film 3.04 7pm

Saturday, 3/4, 7pm, Iranian film "Gilaneh" about woman's family during
Iran-Iraq war and aftermath, part of "Women with Vision" film fest at the
Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave, Mpls.

--------12 of 25--------

From: David Shove <shove001 [at]>
Subject: GreenParty party 3.04 7pm


Saturday, March 4 - 7pm-1am
The Latvian House, 2337 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis

Musical performances by: Brass Kings and Travis and Jonny
Plus Farheen Hakeem, Dave Shove, Kristen Olson and Bluegrass music by
Chick Pea and Garbanzo.

MC'd by Council Member Cam Gordon and friends.

Meet candidates seeking Green Party endorsements (including Jesse
Mortenson in 64A) - Enjoy Vegetarian Organic Food - Have fun! - Silent
Auction - BYOB - $10 at the door

--------13 of 25--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Vietnam war/play 3.04 7:30pm

A Piece of My Heart

Souls are lost, bodies destroyed, friendships forged in a war that haunts
us still. Six American women give voice to their experiences in Vietnam.

Written by Shirley Lauro
Inspired by the book by Keith Walker
Directed by Maggie Bearmon Pistner
March 4-18, 2006

The Playwrights' Center
2301 Franklin Avenue East
Minneapolis, MN 55406-1099

Tickets and Reservations:
$16 (regular)
$14 (student/senior)
$12 (veteran/active military)
Group discounts available


Saturday, March 4: 7:30 pm (Post-show Q&A with Shirley Lauro)
Sunday, March 5: 2:00 pm (Free children's theatre class*)
Monday, March 6: 7:30 pm (Pay what you can)
Friday, March 10: 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 11: 7:30 pm (Post-show panel of women Vietnam vets)
Sunday, March 12: 2:00 pm (ASL Interpreted)
Thursday, March 16: 7:30 pm
Friday, March 17: 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 18: 7:30 pm (Audio Described)

Featuring: Bonnie Allen, Beth Chaplin, Edward O. Linder, Sophronia Liu,
Angela Marsh, Lori M. Neal, Anna Olson

Creative Team: Andrea Gross, Montana Johnson, Mark Koski, Katie Ritchie,
Roxanne Skarphol, Nicole Simoneau, Toni Solie

--------14 of 25--------

From: veganfeministsunite <veganfeministsunite [at]>
Subject: Dyke march bene 3.04 9pm


Saturday, March 4
@ the MALA (behind the Hub bike co-op)
cabaret show 9-11p
Dance party 11p-?

live music, drag, radical cheerleading, spoken word, etc.
DJ stylings of Turntables Tages.

The Twin Cities Avengers are raising money to make the 2006 Dyke March and
afterparty FREE without corporate sponsorship.  We need $ for a venue,
accessibility vehicles for those who can't walk the march, distro of info,

Have questions?  Wanna help plan the Dyke March?
email TCAvengers [at] or visit

--------15 of 25--------

From: skarx001 <skarx001 [at]>
Subject: Sensible vigil 3.05 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

--------16 of 25--------

From: David Strand <mncivil [at]>
Subject: Immigration demos 3.05 1pm/Farabault 3pm/Northfield

As the Sensenbrenner-King Bill has already passed the U.S. House of
Representatives with the support of 5 of 8 congressional represenatives
from Minnesota(including Gilchrest, Kline, Kennedy, Ramstad, and Collin
Peterson who has the dubious distinction of being the only Democrat to
actually cosponsor the bill thus far), it is imperative that we all speak
out now and get both our Senators to oppose HR4437.

This bill would criminalize both private and religious charity and public
services unless they inquired for proof of legal residence from everyone
who recieved services from them.

Conservatively, it is estimated that more than 20 million U.S. born
citizens have no picture I.D. and many homeless people, urban dwellers,
homemakers, poor people, and those who don't drive as well as more than a
third of those over the age 85 have no such proof despite being born and
raised U.S. citizens.

Changing unlawful presence in the country from a civil matter to a
criminal matter is bad enough.  This bill would make unlawful presence in
the country an aggravated felony.

The bill would require civic and religious groups to insist on provision
of proof of citizenship or immigration status before they could invite an
individual to eat at a potluck or face charges of aiding and abetting a

An individual could be charged with aiding and abetting a felony as well
if they took a date to dinner without proof of citizenship or immigration
status, Or invited a coworker to join their carpool, or stay over in an
emergency situation, or use their restroom, or gave money to a panhandler,
etc. without first seeing proof of immigration or citizenship status.

Of course a union organizer could also be charged if an undocumented
worker at a workplace they were trying to organize was offerred any food
at an organizing meeting!

Sunday Demonstrations!
Dear Friends and Allies,
Thank you to all of you that have come to the demonstrations in Rochester
and Austin. I just want to remind you that we will be in Faribault and
Northfield this Sunday march 5th.

Sunday March 5
Central Park
2 Av and 5 St NW

Sunday March 5
Central Park
3rd St. E.

Come and show your support for fair immigration reform. It is critical
that we create the awareness in our communities. The senate has already
started talking about immigration and is the perfect time to speak up.

We hope to see you there this Sunday! Sincerely, Ernesto Velez

--------17 of 25--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Women v prisons 3.05 3pm

SUNDAY, MAR. 5, 3pm on the Wave Project: Women Challenging the
Prison-Industrial Complex. Producer/host:Lydia Howell

Hear from intrenationally-known activist-schlar ANGELA DAVIS, TC
playwright/actor HEIDI ARNESON talking about taking theatre inside
Minnesota prisons, and activists from the WOMEN'S PRISON BOOK PROJECT.
Plus, poetry, speeches & music from 1920 blues to 20th century hip-hop

--------18 of 25--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Nonviolent comm 3.05/06

March 5, 6 Nonviolent Communication: How We Communicate Our Values

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, peacemaker, author and founder of the Center for
Nonviolent Communication, comes to the College of St. Catherine to offer
this workshop. Rosenberg's interactive workshop demonstrates how to
communicate across polarized differences gracefully. Bring your toughest
situation to the workshop and find out how nonviolent communication works.
The workshop is Sunday and three-quarter day on Monday. The workshop is
co-sponsored by the College of St. Catherine Centers of Excellence for
Women, Economic Justice and Public Policy and for Women and Spirituality
and Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality.

Preregistration is required: nonviolentcommunication [at] or call

Cost is $125 for whole event; $100 for Sunday only; $75 for Monday only.
Scholarships available.

Location: College of St. Catherine, 2004 Randolph Ave, St. Paul.

--------19 of 25--------

Venezuela's Threat
By Gary Olson
March 04, 2006
ZNet Commentary

Here is today's multiple choice question:  Who recently provided 1.15
million gallons of low-cost heating oil to thousands of poor and working
class families in seven East Coast states, including 25,000 people in
Philadelphia, and did so with the words,"No one should be forced to
sacrifice food, shelter, or medicine to stay warm" ?

  a.) King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
  b.) Felix Rodriquez
  c.) George W. Bush
  d.) Oprah Winfrey
  e.) 10 major U.S. oil companies.

The correct answer is "b" and Rodriquez is the CEO of Citgo, a subsidiary
of Venezuela's state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).
On behalf of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, he also distributed free
heating oil to dozens of homeless shelters from Maine to Delaware.

Venezuela, with the largest oil deposits outside the Middle East and the
world's fifth largest oil producer, also sold oil at far lower costs to
fifteen poor nations in the Caribbean and Central America. Even Native
Americans in Maine were recipients, and Chief Bill Philips of the Micmac
tribe thanked Pres. Chavez: "He is a fellow Native from the Americas, and
we appreciate Chavez trying to bring low-cost heating oil for our

The 10 U.S. oil companies did not respond to requests to help the poor.
Just one of them, Exxon, reported record profits of $36 billion in 2005.

Can the twice democratically-elected Chavez be the same fellow that Pat
Robertson wants the CIA to assassinate, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has
likened to Adolf Hitler; and official and semi-official types have placed
on the White House "enemies list," labeled a "red devil," as "lethal as
Osama bin Laden," and a "madman"?  Further, the U.S. supported a
unsuccessful military coup against Chavez in 2002 and Condoleeza Rice has
called the Venezuelan government a "major threat to the region."

Assuming for the moment that preventing Pennsylvanians from freezing to
death hasn't prompted this venomous rhetoric, what could account for it?
Perhaps the answer lies in some evil deeds done by Pres. Chavez back in
Venezuela. What mischief has he been up to there?

The challenges are daunting in Venezuela where 80% of the population is
poor and some 1 million children scratch out a bare subsistance in the
major cities. After four decades of indifferent upper-class rule, Chavez,
a 51-year-old former army paratrooper, was elected president in 1998 and
again in 2004.

According to Washington-based economist Mark Weisbrot, "The tangible
improvements for those living in Caracus' poor barrios have been noticed
in the rest of Latin America, a region with the most outrageously unequal
income distribution in the world."  Here are a few highlights of his

  * For the first time time, universal health care is official state
policy and peasants are living longer due to accessible health care.
  * Elementary schools are providing three free meals a day to all
students, drawing some million new students to school.
  * misiones (missions/government projects) are extending vital social
services like literacy training, food subsidies, and rudimentary health
care to the poor.
  * Indigenous Venezuealans, homosexuals and women are now protected in
the constitution.
  * Land reform is redistributing idle land to landless peasants.
  * Operation milegro (miracle), a joint venture with Cuban doctors, has
restored eyesight to thousands of blind people in the region.

Venezuelan elites, who despise Chavez and call him a "monkey," have tried
mightily to sabotage the economy for eight years but it grew at a
respectable nine percent in 2005, the highest in the hemisphere.

Venezuelan oil has made this possible but only Chavez acted on the clearly
subversive and radical notion that his country's vast resources should be
used to benefit the country's people and even those beyond its borders.

Oil was nationalized in 1976, but according to all accounts the oil
bureaucracy operated as a "state within a state," refusing to function on
behalf of the citizens. The system remains imperfect but Chavez finally
excercised effective control over PSVSA in 2001. State oil profits were
over $25 billion last year and the petrodollars are now staying home in
the form of high social spending, faithfully reflecting social ownership
of this natural resource. Something must be working because his approval
rating stands at 77%, the highest in the Americas.

And of course this begins to explain why Chavez is viewed as a threat, as
a "virus" that might "infect" others. An alternative development model
where the citizens, not private U.S. foreign investors, are the primary
beneficiaries of government policy is feared by U.S. elites.  As Latin
American expert Prof. Rosa Maria Pegueros observes, from Washington's
perspective the real threat is that if Chavez succeeds, he may "create an
eqalitarian society that has the power to resist United States hegemony."

Who knows where this virus may appear next. To help it spread, I'm filling
my tank at the Citgo station from now on.

Gary Olson, Ph.D. is chair of the Political Science Department at Moravian
College in Bethlehem,PA.  Contact:olson [at]

--------20 of 25--------

Why We Act
By Congressman John Conyers
Thursday 02 March 2006

Before sharing some thoughts with you, I wanted to make sure all of you
know about an important event in New York City at 8pm tonight.  Harper's
Magazine is hosting a public forum entitled "Is There a Case for
Impeachment?" It will be moderated by Sam Seder of Air America Radio's the
Majority Report. I will be on the panel with Lewis H.  Lapham, the editor
of Harper's and recent author of an article I highly recommend "The Case
for Impeachment" (the web article is an excerpt, get the magazine for the
whole thing).

We will be joined by Michael Ratner, the President of the Center for
Constitutional Rights; my former House Judiciary colleague who served with
me during the impeachment of President Nixon, Liz Holtzman;  and John
Dean, a renowned legal scholar and former White House counselor to
President Nixon.

More information can be found at the Harper's website. For those who
cannot attend (and my understanding is that the event is at or near
capacity) I am told that the Majority Report will be airing it live and
CSPAN will air at a later date.

For some time, I have opened some of my speeches with a fairly standard
line about how great democracy is because hardly anyone votes but everyone
complains. There is a new variation on this problem among some in the
progressive community and it goes like this: nothing we do matters,
nothing we do changes anything so why bother doing anything.  Here are a
few thoughts I will touch upon tonight that I offer in response:

     Why We Act

There are few roles in our constitutional government that are more
frustrating than being a member of the minority party during a period of
one party control of the government. However, at a time when the majority
party in general - and the president in particular - appears to be acting
in open violation of the laws and the constitution, there are few jobs
which are more important to the future of our democratic form of

People think of Watergate, or Iran Contra as constituting crises.  They
were in the sense that an executive branch was acting in violation of the
law, and in tension with the majority party in the congress. But in the
end, the system worked, the abuses were investigated, and actions were
taken - even if presidential pardons ultimately prevented a full measure
of justice.

Today, the crisis is substantively and systemically far worse. The alleged
acts of wrongdoing - lying about the decision to go to war;  manipulation
of intelligence; facilitating and countenancing torture;  using
confidential information to out a CIA agent; open and flagrant violations
of federal wiretap laws - are far more egregious than any I have witnessed
in my 41 years in Congress. The majority party has shown no ability to
engage in simple oversight, let alone challenge the Administration
directly. The courts, while operating as an occasional and partial check,
are institutionally incapable of delving into most of the controversies we
are presented with as a result of limitations on standing, ripeness, and
other doctrines. The media, which is increasingly concentrated, was
shell-shocked and in some respects cowered by 9/11, and for the most part
unwilling to alienate the party in charge.

Faced with that dilemma, we had a choice. We could simply ignore the
myriad of transgressions being committed, and continue to reacting to the
legislative agenda put before us by the Republican Party on a day-to-day
basis, or we could do everything in our power to call attention to and
document these very grave abuses of power. I opted for the latter course.

I could not live with myself or my children, if when faced with an
Administration that went to war under false pretenses, used classified
information to smear political opponents; and wiretapped innocent
Americans without warrants, I did not formally respond to it. If the
Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the
constitution, is silent on these matters, who else can we expect to speak

So for the last several years I have:

* Forwarded scores of letters to the Administration requesting information
about these abuses, including most notably a letter inquiring about the
accuracy of the Downing Street Minutes signed by 122 Members and more than
500,000 Americans.

* Forwarded numerous letters to the Republican Chairs asking them to
conduct hearings on these abuses, including a letter signed by 52 Members
formally requesting that the Committees on Judiciary, Armed Services,
International Relations and Intelligence convene hearings on the Downing
Street Minutes.

* Filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Administration, asked
for investigations by GAO, various Inspectors General, and the Justice

* Held our own Democratic hearings, for which we were forced by the
Majority to retreat to the basement of the Capitol.

* Completed a comprehensive report on the Downing Street Minutes and the
Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq
War, which was more than 270 pages and 1000 footnotes in length.

* Filed legislation resulting from our investigation not only censoring
the President and the Vice President, but creating a select committee to
more fully investigate whether impeachable offenses had occurred.

* When the NSA scandal broke, we again responded - with letters, requests
for independent investigations, holding our own hearing, and are now in
the process of completing a comprehensive report of these and related
civil rights and civil liberties abuses by the Administration since 9/11.

All of this constitutes a public record of the constitutional abuses we
have seen, and is designed to stand the test of time. It comes on top of
the hearings and Report I prepared on the electoral abuses in Ohio which
led to an unprecedented electoral college challenge in the House and the

Now let me add, in many respects, this is just the tip of the iceberg of
the policy failures of this Administration. Over the last six years we
have seen a record budget surplus turn into a record deficit;  we face
trade deficits as far as they eye can see and the near evisceration of our
manufacturing base; we have a record number of individuals and families
who do not have health insurance; we passed a disastrous Medicare sell out
bill; we went through the debacle of Congress and the President
politicizing the tragic Terry Schiavo case;  Port Security is abysmal, the
Homeland Security Department is a joke, and yesterday we learned that Bush
knew very well that the levees in New Orleans could be breached even
though he later said no one anticipated it. These are all weighty, serious
issues. They present significant problems for our nation as well, however,
they are not of the same constitutional magnitude as the other issues
we're talking about today.

There can be no doubt that today we are in a constitutional crisis that
threatens the system of checks and balances that has preserved our
fundamental freedoms for more than 200 years. Just because the president's
approval ratings is down to 34% and the vice president's approval is down
to 18%, does not mean they cannot do severe, long term harm to our nation.
Our actions and tonight's forum are an important clarion call to anyone
who is listening - that there is a constitutional line that even a
president cannot cross without our people standing up and fighting for
their democracy.

--------21 of 25--------

Bush in India: Just Not Welcome
Arundhati Roy

On his triumphalist tour of India and Pakistan, where he hopes to wave
imperiously at people he considers potential subjects, President Bush
has an itinerary that's getting curiouser and curiouser.

For Bush's March 2 pit stop in New Delhi, the Indian government tried
very hard to have him address our parliament. A not inconsequential
number of MPs threatened to heckle him, so Plan One was hastily shelved.
Plan Two was to have Bush address the masses from the ramparts of the
magnificent Red Fort, where the Indian prime minister traditionally
delivers his Independence Day address. But the Red Fort, surrounded as
it is by the predominantly Muslim population of Old Delhi, was
considered a security nightmare. So now we're into Plan Three: President
George Bush speaks from Purana Qila, the Old Fort.

Ironic, isn't it, that the only safe public space for a man who has
recently been so enthusiastic about India's modernity should be a
crumbling medieval fort?

Since the Purana Qila also houses the Delhi zoo, George Bush's audience
will be a few hundred caged animals and an approved list of caged human
beings, who in India go under the category of "eminent persons." They're
mostly rich folk who live in our poor country like captive animals,
incarcerated by their own wealth, locked and barred in their gilded
cages, protecting themselves from the threat of the vulgar and unruly
multitudes whom they have systematically dispossessed over the centuries.

So what's going to happen to George W. Bush? Will the gorillas cheer him
on? Will the gibbons curl their lips? Will the brow-antlered deer sneer?
Will the chimps make rude noises? Will the owls hoot? Will the lions
yawn and the giraffes bat their beautiful eyelashes? Will the crocs
recognize a kindred soul? Will the quails give thanks that Bush isn't
traveling with Dick Cheney, his hunting partner with the notoriously bad
aim? Will the CEOs agree?

Oh, and on March 2, Bush will be taken to visit Gandhi's memorial in
Rajghat. He's by no means the only war criminal who has been invited by
the Indian government to lay flowers at Rajghat. (Only recently we had the
Burmese dictator General Than Shwe, no shrinking violet himself.)  But
when Bush places flowers on that famous slab of highly polished stone,
millions of Indians will wince. It will be as though he has poured a pint
of blood on the memory of Gandhi.

We really would prefer that he didn't.

It is not in our power to stop Bush's visit. It is in our power to
protest it, and we will. The government, the police and the corporate
press will do everything they can to minimize the extent of our outrage.
Nothing the happy newspapers say can change the fact that all over
India, from the biggest cities to the smallest villages, in public
places and private homes, George W. Bush, the President of the United
States of America, world nightmare incarnate, is just not welcome.

--------22 of 25--------

Democrats Vow Not To Give Up Hopelessness
February 27, 2006 | _Issue 42^09_

WASHINGTON, DC - In a press conference on the steps of the Capitol Monday,
Congressional Democrats announced that, despite the scandals plaguing the
Republican Party and widespread calls for change in Washington, their
party will remain true to its hopeless direction.

"We are entirely capable of bungling this opportunity to regain control of
the House and Senate and the trust of the American people," Senate
Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said to scattered applause. "It will
take some doing, but we're in this for the long and pointless haul."

"We can lose this," Reid added. "All it takes is a little lack of
backbone."  Despite plummeting poll numbers for the G.O.P nationwide and
an upcoming election in which all House seats and 33 Senate seats are up
for contention, Democrats pledged to maintain their party's sheepish

"In times like these, when the American public is palpably dismayed with
the political status quo, it is crucial that Democrats remain unfocused
and defer to the larger, smarter, and better-equipped Republican machine,"
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said. "If we play our cards
right, we will be intimidated to the point of total paralysis."

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) cited the Bush Administration's bungled response
to Hurricane Katrina as a model for Democrats.

"Grandmothers drowning in nursing homes, families losing everything,
communities torn apart - and the ruling party just sat and watched,"
Lieberman said.  "I'm here to promise that we Democrats will find a way to
let you down just like that."

According to Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Democrats are not willing to
sacrifice their core values "indecision, incoherence, and disorganization"
for the sake of short-term electoral gain.

"Don't lose faithlessness, Democrats," Kennedy said. "The next election is
ours to lose. To those who say we can't, I say: Remember Michael Dukakis.
Remember Al Gore. Remember John Kerry."

Kennedy said that, even if the Democrats were to regain the upper hand in
the midterm elections, they would still need to agree on a platform and
chart a legislative agenda - an obstacle he called "insurmountable."

"Universal health care, the war in Iraq, civil liberties, a living wage,
gun control - we're not even close to a consensus within our own ranks,"
Kennedy said.  "And even if we were, we wouldn't know how to implement
that consensus."  "Some rising stars with leadership potential like [Sen.
Barack] Obama (D-IL) and [New York State Attorney General Eliot] Spitzer
have emerged, but don't worry: We've still got some infight left in us,"
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said. "Over the last
decade, we've found a reliably losing formula, and we're sticking with

Dean reminded Democratic candidates to "stay on our unclear message,
maintain a defensive, reactive posture, and keep an elitist distance from
voters."  Political consultant and Democratic operative James Carville
said that, if properly disseminated, the message of hopelessness could be
the Democrats' most effective in more than a decade.

"For the first time in a long time, we're really connecting with the
American people, who are also feeling hopeless," Carville said. "If we can
harness that and run on it in '06, I believe we can finish a strong

--------23 of 25--------

The Progressive Revolution
by Katherine Brengle

The Democratic Party has left us high and dry too many times: it's time
to move on.

For years, true progressives within the Democratic Party have fought to
force the party to hold on to our ideals. We have called, and emailed,
and written letters, and showed up at office doors, and set up our own
infrastructure that tries to fight the Democrat's battles for them.

We created our own media outlets, blogs, radio programs and stations to
counter the right-wing's domination of the mainstream information
industry. We did all of this out of our passion to change this country
for the better.

And then we used all of it to keep on supporting a party that no longer
supports us. The Democrats take our help, and our money, and our
passion, and use it for their own ends. They make token gestures of
appreciation, like yesterday's doomed-from-the-start Alito filibuster,
and never really get anything done that the base wants done. Again and
again, they give us just enough to keep us hanging on, waiting for the
day when they will stop simply calling themselves Democrats and start
actually being Democrats.

When will we stop taking the bait?

Whenever a loss like Alito or Kerry or Iraq happens, there is a backlash
within the progressive movement calling for a revolution within the
party or for the creation of a viable third party. After a little while,
we let go of our anger and go back to the grind for the DNC.

We are the base of the Democratic Party. We could be the base of a party
based on true democratic ideals. Instead of urging voters to oust
ineffective Democrats, let's give them a better option. Let's give them a
party that will fight for clean and open government, free of corruption
and corporate influence. Let's give them a party that will fight for the
rights of the American people to earn a living wage for their work. Let's
give them a party that will fight to clean up our nation^s polluted rivers
and lakes and skies. Let's give them a party that will balance the budget
and cut wasteful government spending. Let's give them a party that will
uphold the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Let's give them something to believe in again.

We are millions strong. We are bright, and passionate, and capable. And
we have something the other side doesn't have - the right of it. Again and
again, polls show that the American people want clean government, job
security and economic security, retirement security, an end to needless
and unexplained wars, environmental regulation, and the right to live
their lives as they see fit without intrusion from the government.

We can give them all of this. We just have to be willing to try. We have
to cut ourselves loose from the coattails of the Democrats, and stop
accepting their table scraps like dogs.

We have the chance to make a difference. We have the netroots, and the
grassroots, and a thriving alternative media. Let's use them to brighten
America's future.

Katherine Brengle is a freelance writer and activist. She is also a
member of Military Families Speak Out, and her husband currently serves
with the United States Marine Corps in Iraq. Katherine recently joined
the staff of the American Liberalism Project where her column appears on

--------24 of 25--------

Custom Against Women
By Michael Parenti
ZNet Commentary
March 02, 2006

(The following is a revised excerpt from Parenti's newest book, THE

If we uncritically immerse ourselves in the cultural context of any
society, seeing it only as it sees itself, then we are embracing the
self-serving illusions it has of itself. Perceiving a society "purely on
its own terms" usually means seeing it through the eyes of dominant groups
that exercise a preponderant influence in shaping its beliefs and
practices.  Furthermore, the dominant culture frequently rests on
standards that are not shared by everyone within the society itself.  So
we come upon a key question: whose culture is it anyway? Too often what
passes for the established culture of a society is the exclusive preserve
of the privileged, a weapon used against more vulnerable elements.

This is seen no more clearly than in the wrongdoing perpetrated against
women. A United Nations report found that prejudice and violence against
women "remain firmly rooted in cultures around the world."

In many countries, including the United States, women endure
discrimination in wages, occupational training, and job promotion.
According to a New York Times report (6/18/04), in sub-Saharan Africa
women cannot inherit or own land-even though they cultivate it and grow 80
percent of the continent's food.

It is no secret that women are still denied control over their own
reproductive activity. Throughout the world about eighty million
pregnancies a year are thought to be unwanted or ill-timed. And some
twenty million unsafe illegal abortions are performed annually, resulting
in the deaths of some 78,000 women yearly, with millions more sustaining
serious injury.

In China and other Asian countries where daughters are seen as a
liability, millions of infant females are missing, having been aborted or
killed at birth or done in by neglect and underfeeding.

An estimated hundred million girls in Africa and the Middle East have been
genitally mutilated by clitoridectomy (excision of the clitoris) or
infibulation (excision of the clitoris, labia minor, and inner walls of
the labia majora, with the vulva sewed almost completely shut, allowing an
opening about the circumference of a pencil).

 The purpose of such mutilation is to drastically diminish a woman's
capacity for sexual pleasure, insuring that she remains her husband's
compliant possession. Some girls perish in the excision process (usually
performed by an older female with no medical training). Long term
consequences of infibulation include obstructed menstrual flow, chronic
infection, hurtful coitus, and complicated childbirth.

In much of the Middle East, women have no right to drive cars or appear in
public unaccompanied by a male relative. They have no right to initiate
divorce proceedings but can be divorced at the husband's will.

In Latin American and Islamic countries, men sometimes go unpunished for
defending their "honor" by killing their allegedly unfaithful wives or
girlfriends.  In fundamentalist Islamic Iran, the law explicitly allows
for the execution of adulterous women by stoning, burning, or being thrown
off a cliff.

In countries such as Bangladesh and India, women are murdered so that
husbands can remarry for a better dowry. An average of five women a day
are burned in dowry-related disputes in India, and many more cases go
unreported.  In Bihar, India, women found guilty of witchcraft are still
burned to death. In modern-day Ghana, there exist prison camps for females
accused of being witches. In contrast, male fetish priests in Ghana have
free reign with their magic practices. These priests often procure young
girls from poor families that are said to owe an ancestral debt to the
priest's forebears. The girls serve as the priests' sex slaves. The ones
who manage to escape are not taken back by their fearful families. To
survive, they must either return to the priest shrine or go to town and
become prostitutes.

Millions of young females drawn from all parts of the world are pressed
into sexual slavery, in what amounts to an estimated $7 billion annual
business. More than a million girls and boys, many as young as five and
six, are conscripted into prostitution in Asia, and perhaps an equal
number in the rest of the world.

Pedophiles from the United States and other countries fuel the Asian
traffic. Enjoying anonymity and impunity abroad, these "sex tourists" are
inclined to treat their acts of child rape as legal and culturally
acceptable.  In Afghanistan under the Taliban, women were captives in
their own homes, prohibited from seeking medical attention, working, or
going to school. The U.S. occupation of Afghanistan was hailed by
President Bush Jr. as a liberation of Afghani women.

In fact, most of that country remains under the control of warlords who
oppose any move toward female emancipation. And the plight of rural women
has become yet more desperate. Scores of young women have attempted
self-immolation to escape family abuse and unwanted marriages. "During the
Taliban we were living in a graveyard, but we were secure," opined one
female activist. "Now women are easy marks for rapists and armed
marauders." In Iraq we find a similar pattern: the plight of women
worsening because of a U.S. invasion. Saddam Hussein's secular Baath Party
created a despotic regime (fully backed by Washington during its most
murderous period). But the Baathists did allow Iraqi women rights that
were unparalleled in the Gulf region. Women could attend university,
travel unaccompanied, and work alongside men in various professions. They
could choose whom to marry or refrain from getting married.

But with the growing insurgency against the U.S. occupation, females are
now targeted by the ascendant Islamic extremists. Clerics have imposed new
restrictions on them. Women are forced to wear the traditional head
covering, and girls spend most of their days indoors confined to domestic

 Most Iraqi women are now deprived of public education. Often the only
thing left to read is the Koran. Many women fear they will never regain
the freedom they enjoyed under the previous regime. As one Iraqi feminist
noted, "The condition of women has been deteriorating. . . . This current
situation, this fundamentalism, is not even traditional. It is desperate
and reactionary."  For all the dramatic advances made by women in the
United States, they too endure daunting victimization.  Tens of thousands
of them either turn to prostitution because of economic need or are forced
into it by a male exploiter--and kept there by acts of violence and

An estimated three out of four women in the USA are victims of a violent
crime sometime during their lifetime. Every day, four women are murdered
by men to whom they have been close. Murder is the second leading cause of
death among young American women.

 In the USA domestic violence is the leading cause of injury among females
of reproductive age. An estimated three million women are battered each
year by their husbands or male partners, often repeatedly.

Statistically, a woman's home is her most dangerous place--if she has a
man in it.

Battered women usually lack the financial means to escape, especially if
they have children. When they try, their male assailants are likely to
come after them and inflict still worse retribution. Police usually are of
little help. Arrest is the least frequent response to domestic violence.
In most states, domestic beatings are classified as a misdemeanor.

Women who kill their longtime male abusers in desperate acts of
self-defense usually end up serving lengthy prison sentences. In recent
times, women's organizations have had some success in providing havens for
battered women and pressuring public authorities to move against male

To conclude, those who demand respect for their culture may have a
legitimate claim or they may really be seeking license to oppress the more
vulnerable elements within their society.

There may be practices in any culture, including our own, that are not
worthy of respect. And there are basic rights that transcend all cultures,
as even governments acknowledge when they outlaw certain horrific customs
and sign international accords in support of human rights.

 Michael Parenti's recent books include Superpatriotism (City Lights), The
Assassination of Julius Caesar (New Press), and most recently, The Culture
Struggle (Seven Stories Press). For more information visit:

--------25 of 25--------

New words, new concepts

We here at the Progressive Calendar are constantly seeking to invent new
words for the new concepts that will improve your life, making it more
interesting and fulfilling than the rather deadly dull one you have today.

We have put to sleepless work our highly trained teams of wordsmiths; they
hunt words in the wild, poke them with pointed sticks etc to see what they
are made of, and then take the best - and only the best - and make the
small changes necessary for the new word/concept to arise, henceforth to
enlighten and expand your perception, grant you epicycles of epiphanies,
and so on.

What our unequalled experts have come up with for an appetizer course are
a few "re" words granted a leading "p", resulting in "pre".

 Preal	 	The stuff all real things come from
 Prebound	Taking a new lover while you still have the old one
 Precall	Vote the bum out before he's elected
 Precess	Get out to the playground before the other kids
 Precital	The peaceful period before the bad music starts
 Precount	Tally Bush votes days before the election
 Prectum	Where the moon doesn't shine either
 Precycle	Dispose of before using

We are advised that is it possible to get too much of a good thing all at
once, so we will stop now. It's been preal. -ed


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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