Progressive Calendar 04.18.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 01:19:36 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    04.18.06

1. Cam meets public  4.18 9:30am
2. EconAlt/CTV       4.18 5pm
3. Agribiz/effect    4.18 6:30pm
4. Venezuela/salon   4.18 6:30pm
5. 9-11/LooseChange  4.18/19 7pm
6. Pentel/Hamline    4.18 7pm
7. Women/war/Iraq    4.18 7pm
8. NaziGermany/USnow 4.18 7pm

9. Choice/capitol    4.19 9:30am
10. Schools/race     4.19 3pm
11. CCHT housing     4.19 4:30pm
12. Candidates/youth 4.19 5pm
13. WomenRightsBash  4.19 5pm
14. Salman Rushdie   4.19 5:30pm
15. Anti-torture     4.19 6:30pm
16. Transportation   4.19 6:30pm
17. Xcel injustice   4.19 7pm
18. Wind power       4.19 7pm
19. Sex education    4.19 7pm
20. WomenRebels/film 4.19 7pm

21. Dave Edwards - Channel 4 smears Chavez
22. Indigo Girls - Dear Mr President (song)

--------1 of 22--------

From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at]>
Subject: Cam meets public 4.18 9:30am

Cam Gordon, Council Member, Second Ward 612-673-2202 (w) 612-296-0579 (c)

Office Hours: I am happy to announce that beginning in February I will be
holding office hours every Tuesday morning in the Second Ward from
9:30-11am.  The locations will rotate as follows, so that I can meet with
residents in their own neighborhoods:

Third Tuesdays:
Southeast Como neighborhood
SECIA office, 837 15th Ave SE

--------2 of 22--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: EconAlt/CTV 4.18 5pm

Starting THIS TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY (Apr 11 and 12) "Our World Today/Our
World In Depth" begins airing on SPNN, Channel 15, Public Access in St.

The show is weekly on Tuesday at 5 pm, midnight and then Wednesday morning
at 10 am.

Below are the titles and guests for the next shows:

Apr 18: "Economic Alternatives" w/Katie Quarles and Karen Redleaf
Apr 25: "Medicare Part D" w/Joel Albers and John Schwarz
May 2: *"The Truth About Medicare Part D" w/Sue Abderholden and Jane
Hanger Seeley
May 9: "Community Access Media" w/Mike Wassenaar

* all shows above are hosted by yours truly except *"The Truth About
Medicare Part D" which is hosted by Joel Albers.
Eric Angell 651-644-1173(h) 1-847-202-0034(c)

--------3 of 22--------

From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Venezuela/salon 4.18 6:30pm

Hi, This Tuesday, April 18, Jack Rossbach will be the guest and he will
tell us about his recent trip to Venezuela and his view of Hugo Chavez
and the government.

Pax Salons ( )
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.

--------4 of 22--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Agribiz/effect 4.18 6:30pm

Researching Corporations/Economic Justice

Tuesday, April 18, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Carondelet Center, Dining Room, 1884
Randolph Avenue, St. Paul. Mark Shultz from the Land Stewardship Project
will shed light on the impact of agribusiness on workers and communities
and the future.

Sponsored by: Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Justice Commission,
Bread and Roses, School Sisters of Notre Dame Justice Office, and School
Sisters of Notre Dame Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry.

--------5 of 22--------

From: alteravista [at]
Subject: 9-11/LooseChange 4.18/19 7pm

Begin Questioning 9/11!

9/11 has redefined the course of the future for the whole world.  Is the
official story true?

Come see a free movie about the events of 9/11 and the many unanswered

LOOSE CHANGE, 2nd Edition, 2006
Produced by Korey Rowe, directed by Dylan Aver
Tuesday April 18, 7 pm

Mim's Cafe/Lori's Coffee House
1435 Cleveland Av N (at Buford) StPaul
(West of the StPaul farm campus; 4 blocks S of Larpenteur)
Parking in street or behind restaurant

Wednesday April 19, 7pm
Mayday Bookstore
301 Cedar Av West Bank Mpls

Presented by mn911 group

Comments about this film:
" a brilliant piece of research presented cinematically with great
effectiveness. It's one particular selection of the mountains of evidence
that are available about what happened on 9/11.

"even a small portion of it is enough to convince you that the official
story is nowhere near true."

"...Hands down the very best video analysis of the events of 9/11."
-Republic Broadcasting Network

 * Why did six of the alleged 19 hijackers turn up alive right after 9/11?
 * Who made millions selling "puts" on (short selling) United and American
Airlines just before 9/11?
 * Why did firefighters report hearing explosions in the towers before
they fell?
 * Why was the steel wreckage immediately hauled off and shipped abroad
before forensic examination was done?
 * Why was there no sign of an airliner or bodies in the PA meadow where
Flight 93 supposedly went down?
 * and many many others

Come view one of the best recent videos about 9/11. FFI 651-633-4410.

--------6 of 22--------

From: Matt Kitchin <kitchin97232 [at]>
Subject: Pentel/Hamline 4.18 7pm

Civic Leader and Environmentalist Ken Pentel will speak at Hamline
University on Tuesday, April 18th at 7 PM in Drew Science Center 118.
Hamline is on Snelling and Hewitt (north of University Ave.) in St. Paul.

Come find out what is going on in Minnesota politics and what you can do to
help improve our democracy!

Sponsored by Hamline MPIRG.

--------7 of 22--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Women/war/Iraq 4.18 7pm

"Bearing Witness": women reporting on war @ B-L-B
reviewed by Lydia Howell, KFAI & online journal TC Daily Planet
(broadcast on KFAI's MOVIE TALK--1st Thurs.every month,6pm)

Our picture of war correspondents is the swashbuckler with a notebook, a
cool objective eye though a camera lens, addicted to adrenalin of
near-death and sex in exotic countries---and of course, always male.
"Bearing Witness", the newest film by Barbara Koppel, documents the first
year of the war in Iraq through the eyes of five women war correspondents.

Koppel is most known for her first documentary (about a miner's strike)
"Harlan County USA", which won the 1977 Oscar. Your first question might
be, do women approach a wa zone differently than men do? Certainly, no
less physical bravery is demanded of these female writers, photographers
and filmmakers than their male colleagues.  With co-director Marijana
Wotton, Koppel rips away the initial self-congratulation of American
victory and suggests that women never lose sight of the harrowing costs of
war paid by ordinary civilians - whose stories these women are driven to

From the fall of Baghdad to assault on Fallugha, the bombing of the United
Nations' Iraq HQ to Abu Graibe prison, and the emergence of the Iraqui
resistance, these five women's experience of reporting war takes us past
the too-often sanitzed accounts that manage to make the news Americans are
allowed to see. On one level, this film meditates on the highest aims of
what journalism is supposed to be.

CNN camera-woman Mary Rogers says, "This is a calling--like being a doctor
or a cop. It's life-consuming."

TV news producer, May Ying Welsh,works for Al-Jazeera and struggles with
rejection from fellow Americans, who see her as a 'traitor', and some
Muslim colleagues, since she's "not a believer".

Freelance photographer Molly Bingham was arrested and spent a week in Abu
Graibe prison at the war's start. Her return, with two Iraqui women
formerly incarertaed there, is a moving testament to spiritual endurance.
, London Times writer, Marie Colvin says, "I want to do a rough draft of
history." She underscores that, for her. covering war isn't about the
latest tank--it's about people. Wearing an eye patch, she has her own war
wounds, having lost an eye to shrapnel in Shri Lanka's civil war.

Colvin's fellow writer at the Times, Janine DiGiovanni says, "Reporters
have an obligation to bear witness."

Besides Iraq, these women have gone to some of the most terrifying places
on Earth, from civil wars in Africa to Cheneya, Yugoslavia in the 1990s
and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Koppel also digs into these women's
motivations, telling their personal journeys - and, yes, it is HARDER for
women doing this work - and perhaps, lonelier. May Ying Welsh brings her
bi-racial perspective. Issues of balancing work and family life that all
working women face become intensified for women reporting war. Yet, two of
the women's stories include romantic love, unexpectedly found under fire.
There's tragedy and triumph.

Finally,"Bearing Witness" makes clear the emotional toll that living in
war takes, which women may be more willing to reveal than most of their
male colleagues are. These women embody courage that's embedded in the
heart. No matter where you stand on the war in Iraq, "Bearing Witness" is
profound testimony with irrefutable power.

"Bearing Witness', $5, Tues. April 18, 7pm, @ Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 West
Lake St. south Minneapolis. Part of City Pages film curator Rob Nelson's
best of the GET REAL! Festival.

--------8 of 22--------

From: Dick Bernard <dick_bernard [at]>
Subject: NaziGermany/USnow 4.18 7pm

Annelee Woodstrom at First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis,
7 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sponsored by: Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers and First Unitarian Society,

Free, with free will donations accepted at the program.
Best parking at Walker Art Institute Lot.

In 1933, Anneliese Solch was a seven year old girl in Catholic school in a
small German town of 6000, walking distance from the border of

Adolf Hitler had just come to power, and within a year, Anneliese wanted
to join the local Hitler Young Maidens because they promised fun
activities.  Her parents forbade this.  Indeed they never became
affiliated with the Nazis, in a time when such affiliation would lead to
privileges not granted to non-Nazis.

A dozen years later, Anneliese, 19, and working 60 hours a week as a
telegrapher in Regensburg, 90 miles from her hometown, saw the defeat of
Germany, and with others had to walk home, near starving, witness to a
national dream destroyed.  Her father, who had been drafted into the
German Army, was never seen again.  It is believed he may be buried
somewhere in Russia, but they have never learned his fate for certain.

In 1947, Anneliese married a kind GI who had been amongst the liberators
of her town.  She became Annelee Woodstrom, and began what has become
almost 60 years of residence in northwestern Minnesota, including a 23
year career as a public school teacher.  Her husband and a daughter have
passed on, and her son, Roy, is a Community Librarian for the Minneapolis
Library system.

In 2003, Annelee wrote her memories in a very well-received book "War
Child: Growing Up In Adolf Hitler's Germany", and has done much public
speaking, from public schools to community groups and forums.

Her second book on her transition to U.S. citizen is in progress.

On April 18, Annelee will approach her topic in a way she has not done
before: she will describe Germany during 1933-45 as seen by a small town
Aryan Catholic girl; but in addition will talk about her increasing
concerns about similarities she sees between the U.S. of today, and her
home country during its dozen years of seeming triumph and ultimate

--------9 of 22--------

From: erin [at]
Subject: Choice/capitol 4.19 9:30am

Wednesday, April 19: NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota's Pro-Choice Lobby Day at
the Capitol. 9:30am Registration. Register online at

--------10 of 22--------

From: humanrts [at]
Subject: Schools/race 4.19 3pm

April 19 - Public Forum on Education and Demographics:  Balancing the
Demographics: Are Public Schools Truly Representative of our Community?.
Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd, Argon Room/Level 6, St.
Paul, MN

Myron Orfield, director of the University of Minnesota's Institute on Race
and Poverty, will join parents and community leaders in a panel discussion
on the changing racial composition of schools in St. Paul and the U.S.

*Is desegregation a broader issue than previously understood?

*Are we talking only about race?  Or are we talking about economic

*How might such policy changes affect where parents choose to send their
children to school?

This discussion precedes an upcoming Science Museum national exhibit
entitled "Understanding Race and Human Variation," opening on Martin
Luther King, Jr. Day in 2007.

Spanish, Hmong, and Somali interpreters will be available.

(For parking info, go to
For information on St. Paul NEAT, go to
For event information or to RSVP, contact Lisa Mayne, l.mayne [at],
651.216.4720, or Julie Schultz Brown, julke [at], 651.222.2844

--------11 of 22--------

From: Philip Schaffner <PSchaffner [at]>
Subject: CCHT housing 4.19 4:30pm

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.

	St. Paul Sessions: 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]

--------12 of 22--------

From: erin stojan <erinstpaulissues [at]>
Subject: Candidates/youth 4.19 5pm

Please pass along to Ramsey County youth who will be 18 by November 7.
Far too few folks are unfamiliar with county sheriff and attorney
candidates, though we are all asked to choose one of each in November.

Please refer questions to Sam Buffington at 651.357.6563 or visit

Featuring Spoken Word Artists from Across St. Paul:
Rodrigo of Palabristas, Tou Saiko Lee, Angel & Eliseo, F.I.R.E

April 19 from 5-9pm
Martin Luther King Center 270 Kent St.
(just off of Dale and University in St. Paul.)

Young people, especially youth of color, are the most policed and
prosecuted group in the United States. But despite the fact that the
criminal justice system so strongly impacts young people, very few of them
are aware that many of the officials involved in policing our communities
are elected to office and can be held accountable for their actions.

The League of Young Voters is hosting a youth-led, youth-oriented
community forum for candidates running for the offices of Ramsey County
Sheriff and Ramsey County Attorney.

This event has two purposes:

    * The first purpose is to provide a community forum in which
candidates can express their views on youth-related issues and address the
concerns of the young people in attendance.
    * The second purpose is to give community youth a positive experience
in active civic engagement and to encourage their future political

Sarah Nichols, a League organizer, insists that its crucial that youth are
seen as powerful by elected officials, especially when their decisions so
strongly affect young peoples lives. Another organizer, Sam Buffington,
agrees that as long as young people are seen and see themselves as
powerless, no elected official, no matter how well intentioned, will be
able to stand up to the political interests that look to criminalize
certain groups in our community and create a climate of fear around young
people. "Once we are seen and see ourselves as powerful," Buffington adds,
"no politician can afford to ignore us."

The League of Independent Voters (aka League of Young Voters, League of
Pissed Off Voters) is 3-year-old organization that encourages young people
to get engaged with electoral politics. In order to attract a young
audience and give community youth a voice, the League often incorporates
local Hip-Hop groups and other community-developed art forms into its
events. So along with the political candidates, this community forum will
feature young spoken word artists from all over Ramsey County. Nichols
explains, "The League not only wants to empower youth in our community, we
also want to showcase the powerful, insightful art being done by its young

For questions or more information call Sam Buffington at 651.357.6563 or

--------13 of 22--------

From: erin [at]
Subject: WomenRightsBash 4.19 5pm

Also April 19: Minnesota Advocate for Human Rights Women's Program House
Party hosted by Anne and Peter Heegaard. Live jazz and an update on our
work. 5-7pm. 612/341-3302, x 107.

--------14 of 22--------

From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at]>
Subject: Salman Rushdie 4.19 5:30pm

April 19 IAS Guest Speaker Series
Salman Rushdie: "Atep Across this Line
5:30-7pm Northrop Auditorium, Free Admission.

--------15 of 22--------

From: dave [at]
Subject: Anti-torture 4.19 6:30pm

Every Wednesday, meeting of the anti- torture group, T3: Tackling Torture
at the Top (a sub-group of WAMM).  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.

--------16 of 22--------

From: Darrell Gerber <darrellgerber [at]>
Subject: Transportation 4.19 6:30pm

Help develop Minneapolis' 10-Year Transportation Action Plan at one of
several workshops

The City of Minneapolis is hosting a series of workshops to give the
public an opportunity to share their ideas on how the City can improve its
transportation system. The workshops will provide an overview of the
City's 10-Year Transportation Action Plan, which is under development, and
will provide information on the transportation challenges facing the City.

When completed, the Transportation Action Plan will be a citywide plan
that addresses a full range of transportation options and issues,
including pedestrians, bicycles, transit, automobiles, and freight.  The
10-Year Action Plan will also include a transit and street operations plan
for downtown and new street design guidelines that reflect the
characteristics of the surroundings.

Pre-registration for the workshops is not required. Since the workshops
include presentations on transportation challenges facing the City,
followed by structured dialogue, participants are encouraged to arrive at
the designated meeting start time.

The Workshops are being held:

6:30-8:30pm, Wednesday, April 19, 2006
St. Olaf Catholic Church, 215 South 8th St., Minneapolis

6:30-8:30pm, Thursday, April 20, 2006
Communications Workers of America Hall, 3521 East Lake St., Minneapolis

6:30-8:30pm, Tuesday, April 25, 2006
    Harrison Recreation Center, 503 Irving Avenue N., Minneapolis

6:30-8:30pm, Thursday, April 27, 2006
    Martin Luther King Park Recreation Center, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S.,

6:30-8:30pm, Tuesday, May 2, 2006
    East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 2nd Street N.E., Minneapolis

Upon request, the City will provide reasonable accommodations to person
with disabilities or who are in need of a translator.  Please submit such
requests or requests for additional information to Charleen Zimmer,
Project Manager, at 612-673-3166 or Charleen.Zimmer [at]
no later than seven days prior to the meeting.

--------17 of 22--------

From: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at]>
Subject: Xcel injustice 4.19 7pm

Those interested in the environmental injustice imposed by Xcel Energy may
wish to attend--or help advertise--the documentary "Green Green Water"
made by St. Paul filmmaker Dawn Mikkelson.

"Green Green Water"
Wednesday, April 19
Macalester College
John B. Davis lecture hall in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center
(Building on southwest corner of Snelling and Grand Avenues.)
St. Paul, Minnesota
    * Free admission.  Some free parking available in Immanuel Lutheran
Church lot southeast from Grand and Snelling.

Use this movie to get yourselves and friends more informed about
Minnesota's problem with Xcel Energy fencing stolen electricity from
Manitoba Hydro and thereby destroying innocent Cree Indian people.  It is
a revelation of environmental injustice.  Have you noticed the ads by
Manitoba Hydro on Channel 2 touting clean green energy coming to Minnesota
from Manitoba for over 30 years?  This film shows the reality--compare it
to Manitoba Hydro's advertising.

--------18 of 22--------

From: Margaret Levin <margaret.levin [at]>
Subject: Wind power 4.19 7pm

Shoreview Green Energy Forum
Wednesday, April 19, 7pm
Shoreview Community Center, 4580 Victoria St. N. (off of Hwy. 96)

Featured speakers:
George Crocker, Executive Director, North American Water Office
Carl Nelson, Community Energy Program Director, Green Institute
Jeff Ledermann, Environmental Assistance, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Join us to learn more about renewable energy and wind power in Minnesota
and help local residents kick off the Shoreview Wind Power Challenge, a
campaign to sign up residents for a green energy program in which
consumers sign up to pay a few dollars more to their local utility to add
new wind turbines to the power grid.  Take action to demonstrate that
citizens want a new energy future.  There is a better way!

The Wind Power Challenge is an effort of the Shoreview Green Community
Campaign, a project lead by Sierra Club members to make Shoreview a model
community for its environmental practices.

For more information or to RSVP: margaret.levin [at] or

--------19 of 22--------

From: humanrts [at]
Subject: Sex education 4.19 7pm

April 19 - Forum: Youth Spreadin the Truth.  7 to 8:30pm.  Cost: Free and
open to the public..
Neighborhood House Auditorium, 179 Robie Street East, St. Paul, MN 55107

Minnesota Teens for AIDS Prevention (MN-TAP) is hosting this community
forum on comprehensive sex education. Currently there is a bill in the
state legislature that would establish medically accurate, age appropriate
comprehensive sex education.  Come learn about the issues at the Youth
Spreadin' the Truth community forum.

To register, visit:

--------20 of 22--------

From:'.sa ko.nech'.ne <tontheroad [at]>
Subject: Women rebels/film 4.19 7pm

REEL REBELS: films by and about women rebels
APRIL 19, 7pm
Center for Independent Artists
El Colegio
4137 Bloomington Avenue South, Minneapolis
CONTACT:Samantha Smart liveloveprosper [at] or Teresa Konechne  612.871.2576
COST:  	Sliding fee scale $5 - 10.

Proceeds will go to Diane Wilson's Toxic Tour with the Clean Catch
Campaign -to teach fisher people how to test their water for specific
contaminants and demand zero discharge agreements from polluting
industries.  Wilson will restore an old shrimp boat and take it from the
Gulf of Mexico up the eastern seaboard in her quest to save the waters and
restore the Clean Water Act to its original goal:  zero discharge.  (see

Currated by local filmmaker and activist Teresa Konechne who says "These
are three of my favorite films that bring into focus the strength and
depth of women, and of rebels.

Georgie Sicking, a legendary cowgirl poet and rancher, along with Diane
Wilson, a fourth generation Texas fisherwoman who is taking on the giants
of the petro-chemical industry, and of course Meridel whose words are like
a machete that cut through the weeds that keep us from seeing what is
really important.  In these days of extremes and a world that's almost
surreal in terms of corruption, technology, and imperialism, these women's
stories help us return to our roots and ground us in the "real."  This
night of films is an homage to these women and all rebels, but even more
so, to ignite and/or inspire in each of us, our own rebel spirits."

RIDIN' & RHYMIN'      2005   RT:  57:00
Directed by:  Dawn Smallman and Greg Snider

   	Cowgirl poet Georgie Sicking pens tough rhymes for hard times.
Whether she's on horseback, driving hundreds of cattle through a mountain
range or onstage, reciting to hundreds of fans, this intimate documentary
captures the remarkable life of America's most honored cowgirl poet.
  	Life as Georgie sees it : "I know what it is to feel a wild
mustang hit the end of my rope, and I know what it is to rock a baby."
Ride tandem with this original American icon, to hear how her west was
	Dawn Smallman & Greg Snider of Far Away Films, LLC live on a
volcano in Portland, Oregon, making documentary films about the people and
things they admire most in the world. For more info, please visit

Selected  Awards/Festivals:
Big Sky Award, Big Sky  Documentary Film Festival, 2005
Director's Choice Award, Black Maria Film and Video Festival, 2006
National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Santa Fe Intl. Film Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

TEXAS GOLD: One Woman's Fight in the most toxic place in America ´┐Ż2005
RT:  21:00 Directed by:  Carolyn Scott

	Diane Wilson, a fourth generation fisherwoman and mother of 5 has
been battling the giants of the petro-chemical industry in the most toxic
place in America.
	Surviving imprisonments, surveillance & constant harassment, Diane
recounts her hunger strikes and civil disobedience actions that have made
this self-proclaimed "unreasonable woman" public enemy No. 1 to the
lawless industries who routinely spill millions of pounds of toxins into
the air, water & soil.
	Diane believes that putting your life at risk is where change
	Carolyn Scott ´┐Żemerging Filmmaker and long time educator and
environmental activist.
 Carolyn won the Roy W. Dean Writers Grant in 2003 to develop a series
that looks at the global ecological crisis through the lives of 5
remarkable women.  Her mission is to make films that empower, inspire,
outrage and move her audiences to action.

"Meridel Le Sueur: MY PEOPLE ARE MY HOME"  1979   RT:  45:00
Directed by:  The Twin Cities Women's Film Collective

Meridel LeSueur - journalist, activist, Communist, feminist, poet, is
considered by many to be one of the great American writers of the 20th
	We see Meridel telling us the truth in her own beautiful words,
and narrating from her personal journals written across the first 75 years
of her activist and creative life. Always identifying with the struggle,
she became the written voice of the people's movements--the workers, the
unemployed, women, Indians, the farmers--her stories were their stories.
	She died in 1996, but she was still writing & living in Minnesota
when a group of women began to meet in the domed bible college at
University and 15th on the U of M campus around 1972; the group eventually
formed "The Twin Cities Women's Film Collective". They met Meridel through
her daughter Deborah who was part of the collective. The filmmakers and
Meridel immediately resonated with each other, and the film project was
born.  With borrowed 16mm technology in their hands, they set about
creating a vehicle for Meridel's own history of the Midwest, for her ideas
about love and compassion for the earth, for one another, and for the
causes of "the people".
	Members of the TCWFC will be on hand to talk about the making of
this film.

--------21 of 22--------

Channel 4 Smears Chavez
By Dave Edwards
ZNet Commentary
April 18, 2006

On March 27, Channel 4 News included a report by Washington Correspondent
Jonathan Rugman: 'Hugo to go?'

Rugman relentlessly smeared Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, in a piece
described by John Pilger as "one of the worst, most distorted pieces of
journalism I have ever seen". (Email to Channel 4 News, copied to Media
Lens, March 27, 2006)

Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow introduced the film:

"Now, he's the president with his own television show and a stream of
semi-humorous invective hurled at America and George Bush. Venezuela's
president, Hugo Chavez, accuses the US of planning to invade his country
to take control of its vast oil reserves. And last night he invoked the
ultimate deterrent - the bow and arrow dipped in Indian poison. 'If we
have to put a few arrows into the invading gringo, then you'll be done in
thirty seconds.'"

Snow is of course known for his own semi-humorous take on politics. But in
the context of Rugman's report, and of wider political commentary, this
introduction fits well as part of the ongoing cartoonisation of Chavez.

Cartoon 'bad guys' are of course depicted as absurd and wicked, and as
being absurdly delighted by their wickedness. Likewise, enemies of the
West are consistently painted by the media as ridiculous and menacing.
Western leaders, on the other hand, are presented as dignified and
rational - serious people who have ascended to the summit of a
meritocratic social order. Thus, Snow followed his comical portrait of
Chavez by noting the mature concerns of sensible people in the West:

"Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporter, and a major supplier
to America itself - that causes jitters in Washington, where Chavez is
seen as a demagogue who could spearhead a regional shift to the left.
Chavez is undoubtedly popular at home, where he's spent billions on health
and education programmes to improve the lives of the country's poor,
although his critics point to an increasingly authoritarian streak."

The opening moments of Rugman's report recalled the Guardian's infamous
October 2005 smear in which Noam Chomsky was pictured with Fidel Castro,
John Pilger, and "en route to Hanoi to give a speech to the North
Vietnamese". Chomsky commented at the time:

"That's my life: honoring commie-rats and the renegade who is the source
of the word 'pilgerize' invented by journalists furious about his incisive
and courageous reporting, and knowing that the only response they are
capable of is ridicule." ('Chomsky answers Guardian,' November 13, 2005;

Rugman's film similarly showed footage of Chavez with Fidel Castro, Saddam
Hussein and Qadaffi. Rugman's voiceover, strident and dramatic, hammered
home the point:

"He supplies 15 per cent of America's oil, yet America's enemies are his
friends. Hugo Chavez, in danger of joining a rogue's gallery of dictators
and despots - Washington's latest Latin nightmare".

The film repeatedly depicted Chavez as a dictatorial menace, referring to
his "personality cult" and to factories run as "Soviet-style collectives".
Rugman asked:

"Is Chavez on the way to becoming a dictator?"

If so, what species of monster might we be contemplating?:

"He's no Saddam, but what's happening here does feel eerily familiar. A
strongman buoyed up by oil defying the United States, using oil wealth to
rearm and consolidate his own power. Setting off alarm bells in Washington
where securing energy is a key foreign policy goal. A petro-state heading
for a showdown with its northern neighbour."

"Rearm" is a media trigger word intended to suggest a resurgent menace -
Hitler rearmed after the first world war. Saddam was rearming (we were
told). When exactly did mighty Venezuela disarm?

Washington's goal is merely "securing energy" - surely a reasonable,
rational priority for any modern, high-tech state. There was not a word
about the unreasonable, barbaric corporate greed that has led the United
States to exploit, terrorise and devastate its defenceless southern
neighbours for decades.

Rugman interviewed Maria Corina Machado, describing her as a "civil rights
activist". In fact she is a leader of Sumate, an extreme right
organisation that was deeply involved in a 2002 coup that temporarily
ousted Chavez (see below). Machado met Bush in the White House shortly
before the coup. Last November, the New York Times reported:

"Ms. Machado does not hide her close relations with Washington, which has
provided financial aid to Sumate, the anti-Chavez, election-monitoring
organization she helps run. In May, she infuriated the government when she
met with President Bush at the White House, and she further antagonized
officials in September by announcing that Sumate had received a fresh
infusion of $107,000 from Washington." (Juan Forero, 'Venezuela's
best-loved, or maybe most-hated, citizen,' New York Times, November 19,

In a March 23 report Rugman again described Machado as a "civil rights
activist", citing her as the source for his claim that "government
critics" are "fearing another Zimbabwe here". (Rugman, 'Lord Vestey's
farm,' Channel 4 News, March 23, 2006;

John Pilger sent a letter to Channel 4 News complaining of Rugman's

"This was a piece seemingly written by the US State Department, although
Channel 4's Washington correspondent, Jonathan Rugman, appeared on screen.
It was one of the worst, most distorted pieces of journalism I have ever
seen, qualifying as crude propaganda. I have been in Venezuela lately and
almost nothing in Rugman's rant coincides with reality. Factories are like
'Soviet collectives'; a dictatorship is on the rise; Chavez is like Hitler
(Rumsfeld); and the media is under government attack. The inversion of the
truth throughout this travesty is demonstrated in the 'coverage' of a
cowed media. Venezuela is a country in which 95 per cent of the press and
TV and radio are owned by the far-right, who mount unrelenting daily
attacks on the government unhindered. The Latin American Murdoch,
Cisneros, unfettered, controls much of it. Indeed, it is probably the most
concentrated, reactionary media on earth - but that was not worthy of a
single word from Rugman." (Pilger, op., cit)

Chavez - Doing Something For The Poor

First elected in 1998, Chavez launched massive campaigns, described as
Bolivarian Missions (named after the Venezuelan revolutionary, Simon
Bolivar), to combat disease, illiteracy, malnutrition, poverty, and other
social ills. Eighteen months after taking office, in a country of 25
million people, 1.4 million had been taught to read and write, while three
million previously excluded from education due to poverty had enrolled in
the education system. Seventy per cent of the population now enjoys access
to free health care while 45 per cent receive subsidised food. Julia
Buxton, a British scholar of Venezuelan politics, argues that the Chavez
government "has brought marginalised and excluded people into the
political process and democratised power". (Buxton, 'Resisting Confusion:
Pundit Michael Shifter and Venezuela,' April 23, 2005;

Chomsky comments on Chavez:

"The wealthy and the privileged hate him. On the other hand, the great
majority of the population is very impoverished and has always been kept
out of the country's enormous wealth. This Bolivarian Revolution, whatever
you and I may think about it, is actually doing something for the poor and
apparently they are reacting." (Chomsky interviewed by Steven Durel,
'Toward Freedom,' Social Change Today, November 7, 2005;

Radical attempts to raise the living standards of the poor are not
welcomed by US elites. Such reforms risk creating "the threat of a good
example", unleashing demands for greater equality and justice among
impoverished people across the region. The potential cost to Western
corporations exploiting this poverty is incalculable.

Thomas Carothers, a former Reagan State Department official, described US
policy in Latin America. He explained how the US sought to maintain "the
basic order of... quite undemocratic societies" and to avoid
"populist-based change" that might upset "established economic and
political orders" and open "a leftist direction". (Quoted, Neil Lewis,
'What can the US really do about Haiti?', New York Times, December 6,

In February, US media watch dog, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
(FAIR), reported that 95 per cent of the nearly 100 US press commentaries
covering Venezuelan politics during the first six months of 2005 expressed
clear hostility to Chavez.

The Wall Street Journal labelled Chavez a "tyrant" and "strongman",
claiming he had presided over "the collapse of democracy". Three Journal
editorials also referred to Chavez as a "strongman", while the editorial
board suggested that Chavez should be placed on a list of the world's
worst dictators. The Los Angeles Times called Chavez a "would-be
dictator," arguing he engaged in "undemocratic tactics".  (Justin
Delacour, 'The Op-Ed Assassination of Hugo Chavez,' February 13, 2006;

And yet the Venezuelan government and its programme of change have been
ratified by the Venezuelan electorate in eight elections and referenda.
FAIR noted that, in spite of the fact that recent polls indicate that
Chavez's domestic approval rating is above 70 per cent, "almost all
commentaries about Venezuela represent the views of a small minority of
the country, led by a traditional economic elite that has repeatedly
attempted to overthrow the government in clearly anti-democratic ways".

Similarly, in Britain the Independent wrote of "the Venezuelan strongman,
Hugo Chavez". (Rupert Cornwell, 'The 5-minute briefing: South America's
struggle towards democracy,' The Independent, April 22, 2005) The
Financial Times wrote of how "the populist militaristic strongman has
irked Washington with his anti-US rhetoric". (Andy Webb-Vidal, 'US softens
its stance on Venezuela in belief Chavez will hang on to power,' Financial
Times, August 6, 2004)

Chavez insists America is planning to invade his country. Chomsky argues
that this would probably already have happened, but for the disastrous
turn of events in Iraq.

Some kind of military action is certainly an option for the West. In an
April 2002 article titled, 'US "gave the nod" to Venezuelan coup,' the
Guardian reported US involvement in a coup that temporarily removed Chavez
from office earlier that month. A few weeks before the coup attempt, US
administration officials had met business leaders who took over the
interim government after Chavez was arrested. The US defence department
also confirmed that the Venezuelan army's chief of staff, General Rincon,
visited the Pentagon the previous December and met senior officials.

Although the Organisation of American States denounced the coup attempt,
as did all Venezuela's neighbours, Washington was eager to acknowledge the
new government, declaring: "A transitional civilian government has been
installed. This government has promised early elections." (Julian Borger
and Alex Bellos, 'US 'gave the nod' to Venezuelan coup,' The Guardian,
April 17, 2002)

In February, Tony Blair preached ethics to Venezuela:

"It is rather important that the government of Venezuela realise that if
they want to be respected members of the international community they
should abide by the rules of the international community." ('Chavez
rejects "attack" by Blair';, February 9, 2006)

The response from Chavez was telling:

"You, Mr Blair, do not have the morality to call on anyone to respect the
rules of the international community. You are precisely the one who has
flouted international law the most... siding with Mr Danger [George Bush]
to trample the people in Iraq."

By contrast, Jonathan Rugman said of the invasion of Iraq:

"Yes, the Americans want democracy here, but they don't want to die for
it." (Channel 4 News, November 12, 2003)

Rugman warned, without irony, that if the Americans "democratise too
quickly" they risked handing power over to Shia clerics.

There is an ugly truth behind the high technology, smart suits and genial
smiles - the modern mass media system provides the vital propaganda
component for a brutal system of exploitation.

But what will we see when the cruise missiles scorch the skies over
Venezuela? When yet more poor, brown-skinned people are left incinerated
by the weapons of the wealthy? Will we see the real thing: terrible
crimes, the trampling of hope - the West once again imposing poverty for
profit on helpless human beings?

Or will we see the media's version: one more tinpot dictator getting what
he deserved? A "rogue's gallery" of cronies and lackeys - the "willing
executioners" of a "rogue state" - receiving their just desserts? Will the
Sun headline read: 'Chavez Shafted!'? Will we see our leaders sincerely
mourning the "collateral damage" inflicted on the loved ones and little
ones with whom, as ever, "we have no argument"?

Will we be appalled, or will we stand a little taller, a little prouder,
alongside the Rugmans at the thought that the civilised West has once
again made its "tough choices" wisely in bringing "order" to this unruly


The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect
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--------22 of 22--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Song:  "Dear Mr. President"  by the Indigo Girls

Can be heard on link  below:

 "Dear Mr. President"
 (feat. Indigo Girls)

 Dear Mr. President
 Come take a walk with me
 Let's pretend we're just two people and
 You're not better than me
 I'd like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly

 What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street
 Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep
 What do you feel when you look in the mirror
 Are you proud

 How do you sleep while the rest of us cry
 How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye
 How do you walk with your head held high
 Can you even look me in the eye
 And tell me why

 Dear Mr.  President
 Were you a lonely boy
 Are you a lonely boy
 Are you a lonely boy
 How can you say
 No child is left behind
 We're not dumb and we're not blind
 They're all sitting in your cells
 While you pave the road to hell

 What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away
 And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay
 I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
 You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine

 How do you sleep while the rest of us cry
 How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye
 How do you walk with your head held high
 Can you even look me in the eye

 Let me tell you bout hard work
 Minimum wage with a baby on the way
 Let me tell you bout hard work
 Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
 Let me tell you bout hard work
 Building a bed out of a cardboard box
 Let me tell you bout hard work
 Hard work
 Hard work
 You don't know nothing bout hard work
 Hard work
 Hard work

 How do you sleep at night
 How do you walk with your head held high
 Dear Mr. President
 You'd never take a walk with me
 Would you


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