Progressive Calendar 03.23.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 04:21:22 -0800 (PST)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     03.23.06

1. Same-sex marriage 3.23 7:30am
2. Meth/youth        3.23 12noon
3. CCHT housing      3.23 4:30pm
4. Eagan peace vigil 3.23 4:30pm
5. Northtown vigil   3.23 5pm
6. Labor/pulpits     3.23 5:30pm
7. Transportation    3.23 6pm
8. Iraq on brink     3.23 6pm
9. Poems/WendyLewis  3.23 7pm
10. Arab film fest   3.23 7pm
11. Peter Singer     3.23 7pm
12. MW social forum  3.23 7pm

13. Counter recruit  3.24 12noon
14. Arab film forum  3.24 3:30pm
15. Palestine vigil  3.24 4:15pm
16. Grassroots media 3.24-25 5pm
17. Food for folk    3.24 6pm
18. Farmworker       3.24 7pm
19. Arab films       3.24 7pm
20. Joyeux Noel/film 3.24

21. Sustainable StPaul endorses Mortenson 64A
22. Charlie Reese     - Check your beliefs
23. Tom Philpott      - Food, sustainability, and the environmentalists
24. Boris Kagarlitsky - 1968 vice versa
24. ed                - Why I can't eat my veggies (poem)

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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Same-sex marriage 3.23 7:30am

Thursday, 3/23, 7:30 to 9 am, People of Faith rally at the Capitol to oppose
constitutional amendment denying all legal recognition of same-gender

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

From: humanrts [at]
Subject: Meth/youth 3.23 12noon

March 23 - BREAKING the ICE: Strategies for Intervention and Treatment of
METH Use among YOUTH.  Time: (see below).  Cost: $45.OO NON-YIPA MEMBERS,

In Collaboration with Hazelden - Center City, MN; Prairie St. John s -
Fargo, ND; Recovery Plus - St Cloud, MN

About the Presenters:

Julie Sagen, RN, CARN is a Chemical Dependency Nurse at Prairie St. John's
with 22 years of experience, most of which has been in addiction nursing.
She has worked both in the public and private treatment sectors in
inpatient and outpatient settings. She is part of a team, at Prairie St.
John's, setting up a methamphetamine addiction treatment program.

Janet Dinsmore, a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor specially trained in
Relapse Prevention, has worked as Lead Counselor for the Relapse
Prevention Program at Recovery Plus for 9 years. In addition to working a
personal recovery program, she adapted the existing programming to conform
to the Methamphetamine crisis, implementing the evidenced based research
of the Matrix Institute and Terence Gorski's Relapse Prevention model.

Jim Atkins is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and has been employed
in the inpatient treatment field since 1992. He is currently the Director
of Admissions at the Hazelden Foundation. He has been in recovery from
addiction to methamphetamine and other drugs since 1987. Jim speaks
frequently on methamphetamine addiction, treatment and recovery, and has
contributed to numerous reports on methamphetamine in Twin Cities
newspapers, television and radio programs. In April 2005, he presented on
the subject in the US Congress.

Certificates of Attendance for all attendees available at end of the

Workshop Topics Include:
    *      Signs and symptoms of meth use and addiction
    *      Strategies for intervention
    *      What to expect in early stages of recovery
    *      Principles of successful meth treatment
    *      Long term impact of meth addiction
    *      Supporting youth in recovery
    *      Working with families of youth addicts

As Well As:
by Youth in Recovery
from North St Paul High School

Schedule of Events:
Noon - Check-in will begin
12:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Presentation

-REGISTER by March 20th!
-Return REGISTRATION FORM with payment to address listed below or Go to Online
-Check-In will begin at noon and speaker presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Location: Children's Home Society & Family Services, 1605 Eustis Street,
St. Paul, Minnesota

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

From: Philip Schaffner <PSchaffner [at]>
Subject: CCHT housing 3.23 4:30pm

In 2006, Central Community Housing Trust celebrates 20 years of creating
affordable, quality apartments and town homes in our community.

Learn how Central Community Housing Trust is responding to the affordable
housing shortage in the Twin Cities. Please join us for a 1-hour Building
Dreams presentation.

Minneapolis Sessions: Mar 23 at 4:30p
St. Paul Sessions: Mar 29 at 7:30a * Apr 19 at 4:30p

We are also happy to present Building Dreams at your organization, place
of worship, or business. Space is limited, please register online at: or call Philip Schaffner at 612-341-3148 x237
(pschaffner [at]

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

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 3.23 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.

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

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 3.23 5pm

We have changed time and day of the NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil to 5 PM every
Thursday. For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis
by phone or email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

The new time and day will start on March 23.
The old time and day, 1 PM, Saturday, is canceled

Northtown Mall Peace Vigil Time Change - We'll vigil for peace EVERY
THURSDAY, 5 to 6 pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave
NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

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

For further information, email Evangelos Kalamboki at EKalamboki [at]

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

From: <llwright [at]>
Subject: Labor/pulpits 3.23 5:30pm

Spread the word about what the rest of the world celebrates as
International Workers Day - get involved in Labor in the Pulpits.

Volunteer to speak about the role unions play in your life, in the fight
for economic justice and to improve communities for us all. Don't think
you can do that? Then get your congregation to participate instead.

Labor in the Pulpits/On the Bimah/In the Minbar connects union members
with dozens of Twin Cities churches, synagogues and other faith
communities who actually invite union workers to speak that weekend.

No one can do better than union members in talking about equality, fair
treatment and other issues of workplace justice. No one can do better than
union members in reminding other people of faith how much we have in

Afraid to speak up? Don't be. We'll provide materials, training and advice
from union members who have done this before.

Want to get yourself or your congregation involved? Contact Lynne
Larkin-Wright, 651-222-3787 x16 or by email: llwright [at]

Training and information sessions

*Thurs, March 23: 5:30-7 p.m., United Labor Center, 5th floor, 312 Central
Ave., Minneapolis

* Thurs, March 30: 5:30-7 p.m., St. Paul Labor Center, 411 Main St, St

* Mon, April 3: 5:30-7 p.m., United Labor Center, 5th floor, 312 Central
Ave., Minneapolis

* Tues, April 25: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Minnesota Nurses Association, 1625
Energy Park Drive, St. Paul

Labor in the Pulpits is sponsored locally by the Twin Cities Religion and
Labor Network, Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council, and Saint Paul
Trades and Labor Assembly. It is organized nationally by the AFL-CIO and
Interfaith Worker Justice.

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

From: ejadvocates [at] [mailto:ejadvocates [at]] On
Behalf Of Cheryl Morgan Spencer
Subject: Transportation 3.23 6pm

The Minneapolis Urban League, OPACC/MICAH, The Alliance for Metropolitan
Stability, The Institute on Race and Poverty, Legal AID, The Council on
Black Minnesotans, EJAM and The African American Leadership Summit and The
Black Church Coalition present..

The Minnesota Pipeline " Advocating for Equal Access to Transportation in
Minnesota: A Community Dialogue on Disparate Impact, Communities of Color
and the Transportation System "

Thursday, March 23
The Minneapolis Urban League 2100 Plymouth Av N Mpls


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

From: Socialist Alternative <mn [at]>
Subject: Iraq on brink 3.23 6pm

Iraq on the Brink
Why Peace is Impossible Under U.S. Occupation
Thursday, March 23
University of Minnesota Coffman Rm. 305 (300 Washington Ave, SE, Mpls)

As Iraq slides toward civil war, it is increasingly clear that the U.S.
military occupation is hurting - not helping - the prospects for peace.
Yet Republicans, Democrats, and even some antiwar organizations still
argue the U.S. needs to remain in Iraq to prevent civil war.

Come hear a socialist analysis of how the U.S. occupation is aggravating
the religious violence and get involved in building a mass movement to
bring the troops home NOW!

Speaker: Barry Shillingford, antiwar organizer in the Twin Cities Followed
by lively discussion and planning for the next steps in the local antiwar

Sponsored by Socialist Alternative
* mn [at]
* 612.226.9129

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

From: juliet <juliet [at]>
Subject: Poems/WendyLewis 3.23 7pm

Publication event for local poet Juliet Patterson celebrating her literary
debut, The Truant Lover

Thursday, March 23rd * 7 PM
The Loft Literary Center
1011 Washington Ave. S

With DJ Zen-rock, special guest MC Melissa Borgmann
Readings by Gabrielle Civil & Ed Bok Lee
Film by Ann Prim
Music by Wendy Lewis & members of Redstart
Reception to follow sponsored by the Birchwood Café

[It's Wendy Lewis I want to see & hear. I am the proud possessor of a 1999
CD by Wendy Lewis and Bill Carrothers, "The Language of Crows". Both are
excellent musicians, and Wendy's songs (and perhaps Wendy herself) are
almost as quirky and weird (good things) as I. She does "Ballad of
Lizzie Borden" and "Jesus Loves Me" in appropriately unacceptable ways
that I treasure. Then there's "Savior Self", "Like a Sick Eagle", "Doll
House", and more. -ed]

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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Arab film fest 3.23 7pm

Thursday, 3/23, 7 pm, Arab Film Fest free film "Mercedes," a comedy about
Egyptian social and political tension, Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin
Ave.  Mpls. or

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

From: Tessa Eagan <teagan [at]>
Subject: Peter Singer 3.23 7pm

Peter Singer, renowned bioethicist
7pm Thursday March 23
Ted Mann Hall 2128 4th Street S Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (2/27/06) - Bioethicist Peter Singer, noted as one of
the 100 most influential people by TIME Magazine, will present an engaging
lecture at the University of Minnesota on March 23.  The lecture, entitled
"Ethics and Animals," will look at the ethical questions that arise from
our society's use of animals.

The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a public
reception. Visit for more information.
Contact:  Ramona Ilea, 612-623-7615, ilea0001 [at]

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

From: Larry Olds <lolds [at]>
Subject: MW social forum 3.23 7pm

This is a reminder of an informational meeting about the MIDWEST SOCIAL
FORUM 2006 at the Resource Center of the Americas, 7 pm Thurs, March 23.
The Forum will take place in Milwaukee on July 6-9, 2006.  For more
information on the MWSF, please visit the official Forum website:

The meeting will also provide an update on planning for the first US
Social Forum, which will be held in Atlanta June 17 - 22, 2007 (http://

Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Av Mpls, Romero Room

CONTACT FOR MORE INFO: Teresa Ortiz, Resource Center of the Americas,
612-276-0788, ext.22; tortiz [at]

Larry Olds 3322 15th Ave S Minneapolis MN 55407 USA 612/722-3442

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

From: sarah standefer <scsrn [at]>
Subject: Counter recruit 3.24 12noon

Counter Recruitment Demonstration
 Our Children Are Not Cannon Fodder
Fridays   NOON-1
Recruiting Office at the U of M
At Washington and Oak St.  next to Chipolte
for info call Barb Mishler 612-871-7871

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

From: Ahmed <ata200221 [at]>
Subject: Arab film forum 3.24 3:30pm

Arab filmmakers Omar Amiraly (Syria), Michel Khliefi (Palestine) and Inas
Al Degheidy (Egypt)

"Cinema and Society in the Arab World" symposium and film event
March 24-26 (schedule at end of release)
University of Minnesota, Nicholson Hall, 216 Pillsbury Drive SE
(near 15th & University) and Oak Street Cinema
Free and open to the general public

U of M Event to Examine Cinema and Society in Arab World
Film Screenings by Arab Directors Part of Four Day Event

Minneapolis, MN - The University of Minnesota Institute for Global
Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, and Department of Cultural Studies
and Comparative Literature will present a symposium examining "Cinema and
Society in the Arab World" at Nicholson Hall, U of M east bank campus, on
March 24-26.

The symposium will include panel discussions on Cinema and National
Identity, Cinema and the Arts, and Cinema and The Culture Industry. Each
evening will feature film screenings and discussions by noted Arab
filmmakers Omar Amiraley of Syria, Inas Al Degheidy of Egypt and
Palestinian Michel Khliefi. The conference will be a gathering of
intellectuals, filmmakers, and curators from the US, Europe, and the Arab
world to engage in a dialogue and evaluate 100+ years of Arab cinema: its
origins and influences, political events that shaped it, and how it has
shaped and was shaped by the consciousness of the Arab people. A schedule
of events can be found at the end of this release.

The Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature (CSCL), part
of the College of Liberal Arts, is growing its program in the study of
world cinema. Courses in African, Indian and Chinese cinema have been
offered for several years. With the recent introduction of Arab cinema
into the curriculum, CSCL is poised to become the premier department in
the country for the study of national cinemas.

Professor Hisham Bizri, himself a practicing filmmaker, is the chief
organizer for the symposium. He considers the timing of this symposium
critical in relation to world events. "At this time, when the U.S. is
engaged in war in the Arab world, the study of Arab cinema becomes
important for our students, who will benefit enormously not only from the
political and social aspects of Arab cinema but also from the personal and
the aesthetic aspects that are shaped by a living culture and a society
that is the cradle of civilization, be it Jewish, Christian, or Islamic."

Professor Hisham Bizri is available to talk about the symposium,
filmmakers and the film studies program at the University of Minnesota.
For information and availability please contact Kelly O^ÒBrien at
612-624-4109 or obrie136 [at]

Friday, March 24

3:30-5:30pm 275 Nicholson Hall, 216 Pillsbury Drive SE, U of M east bank
Cinema & National Identity panel discussion
Panelists: Mohammed Bamyeh, Joseph Massad, Michelle Stewart; moderator:
Mazhar Al-Zo'by

7pm  Oak Street Cinema, 309 Oak St. SE
Special screenings with Syrian filmmaker Omar Amiralay

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

From: peace 2u <tkanous [at]>
Subject: Palestine vigil 3.24 4:15pm

Every Friday
Vigil to End the Occupation of Palestine

Summit & Snelling, St. Paul

There are now millions of Palestinians who are refugees due to Israel's
refusal to recognize their right under international law to return to
their own homes since 1948.

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

From: Erik Forman <eforman [at]>
Subject: Grassroots media 3.24-25 5pm

March 24-25. Macalester College, St. Paul

Whether you're fighting injustice or spreading the word about a cultural
event in your community, local independent media covers our blind spots
when the corporate media turns a blind eye. At the Grassroots Media Fair
we will make connections to strengthen local independent media, explore
the important role of independent media in a desolate capitalist
mediascape, learn about the upcoming battles in the fight for a democratic
media, build ties between activists and independent media producers,
celebrate the re-launch of Twin Cities Indymedia, learn how to make our
own DIY media, and discuss Media Justice and the power of
self-representation. All are encouraged to attend this series of panels
and presentations showcasing the rich Twin Cities grassroots media scene
in the global movement for a democratic cultural environment.

Please visit our website at
<> for the schedule and conference


Friday March 24
5-7pm Plenary Session
Timothy Russo of *Indymedia Chiapas* and *Communicadores Populares por la
Autonomía* (COMPPA) will be coming all the way from southern Mexico to
share stories of the role that community and independent media has played
in Mesoamerican social movements, including the Zapatistas' Other
Campaign. (Olin-Rice 150)

Saturday March 25

(Registration throughout the day)
10:30-11am Introductions and Opening Plenary (4th Floor Old Main)

Get up early for *The Electromagnetic Enclosures*- a conversation with
Pete Tridish, *Prometheus Radio Project,* about the emergence of the
pirate radio movement, the legal low power radio stations that it spawned,
the media ownership battle, and the future of the electromagnetic
spectrum. (4th Floor Old Main)

12noon Free Lunch. No strings attached. (4th Fl. Old Main)

1-2:20 Session 1
*Whose Streets!? (Reclaiming your Visual Landscape)* with Josh Macphee,
artist, activist, and author of Stencil Pirates. "(4th Fl. Old Main)
*The Movement is the Message*- Independent Media Networks and Activism
Panel/Discussion with local TC mediamakers and activists from the
Counter-Propaganda Coalition, Twin Cities Media Alliance, IPR, and others.
"(1st Fl. Old Main)

2:30-3:50 Session 2 ((1st Fl. Old Main)
*DIY Skillshare!! *stencilmaking, screenprinting, zinemaking, and more!*
Putting the 'Community' Back in 'Communications'*- Community Media Panel
*Will the Revolution be Wireless?* Panel on Community Wireless (or lack
thereof, in the Twin Cities)

4-4:30 *THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF TC-INDYMEDIA*- What is Indymedia? Where
did it come from? How do I use it? How can I get involved? All of these
questions will be answered during this brief presentation.

4:00-6:00 *Make-Your-Own-Conference Time*
This is your time to network with other mediamakers in your format or
genre, making connections and building solidarity to strengthen the
movement. You may also set up your own workshop or panel during this time
if you feel that the organizers of the conference have left out an
important topic.

6:00-7:00 Dinner Break

7:00-9:00 *Media Justice Plenary Panel *(Weyerhaeuser Chapel)

Please contact Erik [eforman [at]] or John
[jslade [at]] with questions or requests, or visit our website
at for more information.

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

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Food for folk 3.24 6pm

This email is from Gary Brever, CSA farmer from Ploughshare Farm
( and founder of Food for Folk that is a
project to get great sustainably and locally produced food to low-income,
working poor, and homeless populations.  Visionary speaker, good music and
food and GREAT cause! -Tom Taylor 612-788-4252

Fundraiser and awareness for the Food for Folk Project and to highlight
sustainably and locally grown foods.  This event includes a wild salmon
dinner(vegetarian option available), a guest speaker, and live

Friday, March 24, 6pm
StMark's Catholic Church -1983 Dayton Ave St. Paul 55104
Cost:  $20 (advance tickets--up to one week prior), $25 (at the door), $5
(For children under 12)

Tickets available at Trotter's Café (232 North Cleveland Ave, St. Paul),
The Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (2105 First Ave South,
Minneapolis) or by calling Tim Dougherty at 612-330-1624

On Friday, March 24 the Food For Folk Project is hosting a benefit dinner
at St. Mark's Church in St. Paul.  All money raised will go to The Food
For Folk Project, which provides fresh, organic produce from Community
Supported Agriculture farmers and organic producers, as well as
sustainably raised meats and eggs from Whole Farm Coop, to low-income,
working poor, and homeless populations.  This event includes a salmon
dinner, a talk given by Kamyar Enshayan, and live entertainment by the
House of Mercy Band.

Salmon Dinner
Served with organic vegetables from Ploughshare Farm and featuring
Alaskan-caught wild salmon by Norman Botz, a commercial fisherman from the
Long Prairie, MN area.

Food For Folk
"Healthy Food for Low Income Families*
c/o WesMin RC&D  900 Robert Street  Suite #104  Alexandria, MN 56308
Phone: 320-763-3191 ext 5 Fax: 320-762-5502

Contact: Gary Brever
Food For Folk Project
218-267-5117 218-267-5157 (fax)
gjbrever [at]

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

From: Brian Payne <brianpayneyvp [at]>
Subject: Farmworker 3.24 7pm

Local Organizing in Solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Workshop, Friday, March 24, 7-9pm
"Farmworker Poverty, Fast Food Profits and You."
Macalester College, Cultural House

A popular education workshop about the work of the Coalition of Immokalee
Workers to end sweatshops and slavery in the fields.  The workshop will
explore the links between farmworker and consumer exploitation by fast
food companies like McDonald's.

Contact Info: Brian Payne, 612-822-8460, brianpayneyvp [at]

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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Arab films 3.24 7pm

Friday, 3/24, 7 pm, Arab Film Festival short films including "The
Euphrates Dam," "The Chickens," and "A Flood in Baath Country," with
director Omar Amirala present, Oak Street Cinema, 309 Oak St. SE, Mpls. or

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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Joyeux Noel/film 3.24

Friday, 3/24 (begins), various times, film "Joyeux Noel" (Merry Christmas)
from true story where WWI enemies put down their guns to shake hands
together, Edina Theater, 3911 W. 50th St, Edina.

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

From: Jesse Mortenson <teknoj [at]>
Subject: Sustainable StPaul endorses Mortenson 64A


Sustainable St. Paul Endorses Jesse Mortenson for MN House District 64A

ST. PAUL, MINN. (March 21, 2006) - Sustainable St. Paul announced that it
has endorsed Jesse Mortenson <> in the race
for the Minnesota House of Representatives District 64A seat.

"Jesse embodies the ideals of our organization," said Mary Petrie,
co-founder of Sustainable St. Paul. "He is the candidate dedicated to
renewable energy, independent businesses and grassroots democracy, and we
feel that he will work hard to move these issues forward if elected."

The organization in particular noted Mortenson's leadership in the Green
Party of Minnesota, Midway Citizen Consumer Community Coalition, Small is
Beautiful Committee of the Green Party of St. Paul, Metro Independent
Business Alliance and Campus Environmental Issues Committee at Macalester

"Jesse played an important role in organizing Sustainable St. Paul's
effort to get Chris Coleman and Randy Kelly on record regarding crucial
issues in last year's mayoral race, including Mayor Coleman's commitment
to fulfill 24% of St. Paul's energy needs from renewable sources by 2015,"
said Petrie.

Sustainable St. Paul is a coalition of Greens, progressive Democrats, and
independents working to make sure that St. Paul leaders are held
accountable for the sustainability of our environment, local economy and

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

Check Your Beliefs
Charlie Reese
March 17, 2006

Let's play a fantasy game to check on our belief in human rights. Let's
suppose that in a mythical state, a governor announced a campaign to
punish African-Americans for alleged violence.

Step one is to confiscate the land owned by African-Americans, evict
them from it and use the land to build massive new subdivisions. Only
white Protestant Christians may live in these subdivisions.

Step two is to connect these all-white Protestant Christian settlements
to each other by a highway on which African-Americans are forbidden to
drive. To facilitate control, the automobile tags for African-Americans
will be a different color from the tags issued to white motorists.
Checkpoints would be set up all around the state capitol to search and
harass African-Americans trying to enter.

Would you support such a plan? Would you hail that mythical governor as
a man of peace? Would you go to your church congregation and ask the
members to send money to the occupants of these white settlements? Would
you lobby the federal government to subsidize this new apartheid state
in our midst?

I don't think so. I think most Americans would consider such acts an
abomination, un-American and a mockery of everything both Christianity
and the United States stand for.

Well, if you would condemn such acts here directed against
African-Americans, why won't you condemn identical acts committed
against the Palestinians by the state of Israel?

Those settlements you hear about are built on Palestinian land, and they
are for Jews only. New roads that Palestinians are forbidden to use
connect them. The entire West Bank is riddled with Israeli checkpoints,
where innocent Palestinians are daily humiliated and harassed. A trip to
a nearby village can mean waiting in line at checkpoints for hours.
Palestinians have died in these lines.

After all of these humiliations, abuses, the houses destroyed, the
children killed, the olive trees uprooted, how do you think Palestinians
feel about Americans who support the Israelis no matter what they do to
the Palestinians? Don't take my word about these abuses. Check out the
Israeli human-rights organization at

If you cannot condemn the flagrant abuses of Palestinians by the Israeli
government, then you are undoubtedly a bigot, the worst kind of racist
pig who believes that Palestinians are some kind of subspecies of the
human race. If you do condemn in your heart these terrible abuses, but
are afraid to speak out about them, then you are a damned coward.

I listened in disgust to a congressional committee hearing on the
Palestinian elections. It was all about what the Palestinians have to
do. It was as if the cops, interviewing a child who had been raped by an
adult, lectured the child on dressing provocatively and of being in
places she should not have been in.

The Palestinians are the victims here. It is their land that is
occupied. They have no army. They are at the mercy of the Israeli
government. They don't have a superpower protecting them from
international sanctions and supplying them with billions of dollars. The
United States should be telling Israel to get out of the West Bank and
East Jerusalem, to dismantle its settlements and checkpoints, and to
allow Palestinian refugees to return to or be compensated for the land
the Israelis stole.

You want to know why we have a problem with terrorism? It's not Islamic
fundamentalists or hatred of freedom. It's our support of Israel's
unspeakable abuse of Palestinians. Don't blame Osama bin Laden. Blame
the president, Congress, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
and all the cowardly Americans who practice hypocrisy by claiming to be
moral while supporting gross immorality committed against their fellow
human beings in Palestine.

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

Food, sustainability, and the environmentalists
by Tom Philpott
Grist Magazine
Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The other day, a prominent Canadian journalist paid me a visit to
interview me for his book on building a sustainable future. At one point,
I expounded on the closed-nutrient cycle of old-school organic farming,
contrasting it with what writer Michael Pollan deemed the
"industrial-organic" way. In the old-school organic style, which relies on
animals, farm wastes are recycled into the soil, providing all the
nutrients necessary for the next harvest.  The industrial-organic farmer,
by contrast, imports his or her soil fertility - just like the
conventional farmer. The difference is that the organic farmer is likely
shipping in composted manure from far-flung places, while the conventional
grower is hauling in a processed petroleum product.

"The problem," I continued - my interlocutor's eyes may well have been
glazing over - "is that most small vegetable farms these days, including
my own, don't have enough animals to produce the nitrogen we need. So our
transition to real organic farming is ongoing."

The journalist then asked me a question that stopped me short: "Do you
think real organic farming could feed the world?" I stammered something
like "I hope so," and had him jot down a couple of books to look up. It
wasn't until after he left that I realized why his question made me so

What he was asking me, in essence, was, "can sustainable farming feed the
world?" To which the only wise response is, "can unsustainable farming
feed the world - for long?"

To an extent, the problem is one of semantics, centering on the definition
of "sustainable." To many green types, places like Whole Foods and Wild
Oats teem with "sustainably produced" stuff - everything from T-shirts to
apples, chicken and eggs, even versions of Twizzlers and TV dinners. But
the great bulk of it falls under the rubric of industrial-organic - like
the wares on offer at Wal-Mart, only a little less so, these goods depend
on a culture of cheap and plentiful crude oil and labor.

The cheap-oil problem has certainly gained traction among greens. Blogs
devoted to "peak oil" abound; this very blog seems like one at times. Most
of these discussions, though, devolve into sniping about biofuels and
hybrids. It's important to wonder how we'd get around in an era of
super-high oil prices.

But I don't understand why more people aren't worried about what we'd eat.

The cheap-labor problem certainly doesn't garner much attention in
environmental circles. The amount Americans pay for food as a percentage
of income has fallen steadily since 1980, leveling off about at 10 percent
- less than any people in history. Meanwhile, growth in real wages has
stagnated. According to Robert Pollin's indispensable Contours of Descent:
U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity, real hourly
wages peaked at $15.73 in 1973 and by 2000 stood at $14.15 (2001 dollars).
And that was after a rare three-year growth spurt provoked by the
stock-market bubble; since 2000, stagnation has returned.

What these two facts - cheap food, stagnating wages - reveal to me is a
vicious circle. We need our food supply as cheap as possible to feed
low-wage people; we need lots of low-wage people - farm workers,
slaughterhouse workers, clerks at our number-one grocer, Wal-Mart, and so
on - to sustain our cheap-food system. Whatever else it does - and it
works pretty well, if you're a major shareholder in transnational
corporations - this cycle consumes enormous resources and, yes, severely
damages the environment.

How do we keep labor so cheap? One way is by prying open foreign labor
markets. Want to agitate for higher wages in the textile plant? Fine.
We'll move the plant to China. Better take what the company gives you.
Pollin quotes the sometimes-sainted Alan Greenspan on why wage growth
lagged productivity growth in the go-go late 1990s: Even then, workers
were "traumatized" by the specter of job insecurity, the chairman noted

How do we keep food so cheap? One way is by opening our market to
foreign-grown food. As Ken Meter has shown, we're about to become a net
food importer. If you think Mexican labor is cheap in California's and
Florida's tomato fields, imagine how much cheaper it is down in Mexico.
Another way, as I have shown here ad nauseam, is subsidies. Last year the
federal government cut checks to commodity-agriculture producers amounting
to $23 billion - roughly equivalent to Bolivia's GDP. In those terms alone
- never mind steep environmental and social costs - cheap food is actually
a pretty pricey proposition.

But that $23 billion figure shouldn't make farmers the equivalent of
Reagan's welfare mothers of the 1980s. The payments urge overproduction,
which pushes prices down and eats into farm incomes. The real
beneficiaries of this welfare scheme are grain buyers: processors like
Archer-Daniels Midland and Cargill, and feedlot operators like Smithfield
Foods. And, of course, their shareholders.

Back to my Canadian journalist visitor. He spoke with great knowledge
about energy issues, about fluid local grids where everyone's a producer
and everyone's a consumer. About food - even though he tends a garden
plot, even though he shops at farmers markets - he seemed, like so many
environmentalists, like so many people nowadays, out of his element.

Why is it so difficult to get people interested in the politics of food?
In a culture where food production takes place in such abstraction, food
becomes banalized into minimal rituals of ingestion, digestion, and
expulsion. Food, when we do think of it, becomes a kind of sport, another
spectacle to consume: chefs puffing like fullbacks on Iron Chef, Emmeril
bellowing idiotically like some sort of high-school football coach.

Can sustainable agriculture feed the world? That depends, I suppose, on
what you're trying to sustain. But I seriously doubt that industrial
agriculture - or its bastard child, industrial-organic - can for much

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

1968 Vice Versa
By Boris Kagarlitsky
ZNet Commentary
March 19, 2006

France has once again become the center of attention. First of all, the
European Constitution was snowed under by the French people, then
immigrant youngsters were rioting in the suburbs, now the students of
Sorbonne, who are way more well-off, have sparked a rebellion, altogether
inviting the afore-mentioned youngsters from the suburbs, which were
referred to by our press solely as Islamic extremists and menace to the
entire European civilization.

Our journalists have nothing to offer but trivial repeating references to
the 1968 events. And this is not the simplicity and ignorance of our
political commentators that strikes most, but the common logic which
presupposes the absolute vanity of tracing the current situation until a
conflict emerges out of nowhere, and whether you like it or not you've got
to make comments on it. It doesn't matter what's actually happening, our
commentators are too short of time to look into the matter. Pick a hint,
take evidence, lying on the surface and expose it. We had "Islamism" some
months ago, now "1968 is back". It seems that political events have to
inevitably repeat just like seasons of the year.

The only comfort, though, is to think that the Western press' coverage on
the Ukraine events was as skin-deep as was ours on France. And if anything
is to happen in Russia, French comments would be as shallow and ridiculous
as those we are having now in our press.

Still, this is France right now which is undergoing crisis at the moment.
Why now and why of this kind?

The measures, taken by the French government are not unique, to begin
with. The similar policy is pursued by the majority of European
governments. For example, the law which sparked such vehement protest on
part of the French studentship, is now being discussed by liberal parties
in Sweden (in the electoral campaign there the rights of the youth are
becoming the most burning issue). In postmodern Orwellian Newspeak they
call it "employment opportunities for young people".

Well, neoliberal policy indeed stimulates creation of new jobs by
employing market measures, expanding freedom for entrepreneurship, thus
automatically diminishing the social security of the employees. The
assumption is, that having acquired more freedom; the bourgeoisie will
actively hire new employees. In reality, as known, these measures result
in closing good jobs and offering numerous bad ones, with low salaries and
no security. In the long-run, it is not even about the youth under 26,
deprived by law of the social security while applying for a job. This law
is another example of the neoliberal policy on the whole, which has long
been rejected by the majority of population.

Here comes the trouble: while the society has agreed upon the unanimous
rejection of the neoliberal course, the political class has become a
habitat for the liberal consensus. The measures supported by all
influential and "serious" political parties, are exactly those rejected by
the great majority of population. And vice versa, the policy, which all
population stands out for, is the one rejected by political parties and
even mediocre political leaders. Responsibility in politics today
presupposes sheer negligence of the electorate's interests and
aspirations. Democracy, as an essential condition for its own proper
functioning, needs to fully exclude people from the decision-making
process.  [Just like here. -ed]

All the afore-mentioned creates the situation in which the population is
left at nothing but organizing riots to display their attitude to the
policy pursued. The referendum on the European Constitution was also a
form of a riot but in an electoral way. The defeat at the ballot-boxes had
taught Western political elites a lesson: they will no more call serious
issues for a vote.

Now back to the ridden to death comparison between the current events in
Paris and those of 1968. What strikes first, is their obvious
contradiction. The students, rioting in 1968, were more radical but also
more isolated from the majority of the population. Today they are just a
part of the wide social movement, and not even its most radical sector.

In 1968 the left forces were stronger and more influential, but they did
not represent the views of the majority. Being given the chance to have a
say, the philistine French "silent majority" of 1968 voted for Gaullists.
Now the Left as an organized force in "serious politics" in France simply
doesn't exist. The Socialist party only carries its name, while its
political stance is way more right than the Gaullists'. The Communists are
weak, broken into rivaling groupings, and disoriented. The society,
however, has become more left than it was in the 1960s.

The political life of the 1960s with its rift on right and left (with
dominating right wing) more or less precisely reflected the moods and
positions in the society itself. Now the politics is a sort of lining, the
mirror image of the social moods. Back then, the political struggle
reflected the contradictions of the society, now we see the flagrant
contradiction between politics and life.

The conflicts of the kind are a natural consequence of a certain political
or socio-economic reality, which is called the European Union. Or, to put
it more precisely, the main point of the EU as an institute consists in
abolishing democracy in the sense stupid Europeans have got used to in the
last hundred years. It is not surprising that insulted population, being
forcibly excluded from the political process, is trying to resist this
injustice. The riots of today are just a preface to the serious conflicts
which are inevitable to break out in many democratic states. Being at the
top of this list, France once more has presented itself, according to
Marx, a "classical state" of political struggle.

[Our stolen national government fails us at every turn. I no longer expect
anything from the majority of DC Dems other than craven cowardice and
collusion with the enemy. Since they don't respond to the people, things
like general strikes, and sledgehammers to Diebold voting machines, may be
our only answer. Class warfare will get more like warfare. Perhaps we can
learn from Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti, et al, the brightest part of the world
today. -ed]

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

 Why I can't eat my veggies

 This bean
 looks mean

 My peas
 have knees

 Those spuds
 are duds

 Green cuke
 I puke

 My salad
 is pallid

 makes me pee

 call I sour

 This cut corn
 acts forlorn

 Asparagus is
 most unfair to us

 A rude carrot -
 I can't bear it

 This lettuce
 won't let me

 Parsley pains
 me arsely

 All these veggies
 give me wedgies

 If you love me
 let me eat cake


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
                     over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02
              please send all messages in plain text no attachments

  • (no other messages in thread)

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.