|Progressive Calendar 06.11.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2006 01:27:45 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 06.11.06 1. Hakeem campaign 6.11 10am 2. Green Party StP 6.11 12noon 3. 911 Revisited 6.11 1pm 4. Indian uprising 6.11 4pm 5. Vets for peace 6.11 6pm 6. Full moon walk 6.11 7pm 7. Holocaust/TV 6.11 7pm 8. NCountry music 6.11 7pm 9. Chalmers J/cspan 6.11 7pm 10. Mpls Green/up! 6.11 7pm 11. Holocaust/play 6.11 7:30pm 12. Global/classroom 6.12 1pm 13. Iran/Shahidi 6.12 5:30pm 14. ComoParkN4Peace 6.12 6pm 15. Pentel/governor 6.12 7pm 16. Spiritual progs 6.12 7pm 17. Venezuela/US 6.12 7:30pm 18. Edward Herman - On Iran: the gullible US media bites once again 19. Michael Parenti - Still soft on (corporate) crime 20. ed - Four class war poems --------1 of 20------- From: farheen [at] farheenhakeem.org Subject: Hakeem campaign 6.11 10am That means it is time to hit the streets. Green Party-endorsed Farheen Hakeem needs your help in order to help bring community voices to the County Board. Please donate sometime this month to volunteer at the following events: Doorknocking: Sunday 6/11 10AM Meet at MayDay Cafe 3440 Bloomington Ave. S. Mpls 55407 Sunday 6/11 1PM Meet at MayDay Cafe 3440 Bloomington Ave. S. Mpls 55407 Monday 6/12 6:30PM Meet at the Chatterbox 2229 E 35th St. Mpls 55406 Tues. 6/13 6:30PM Meet at the Chatterbox 2229 E 35th St. Mpls 55406 Wed. 6/14 6:30PM Meet at the Chatterbox 2229 E 35th St. Mpls 55406 Saturday 6/17 1PM TBA Sunday 6/18 10AM TBA Sunday 6/18 1PM TBA Parade: PRIDE - Sunday June 25th: Meet on Washington Ave, where the parade will begin at 10AM. I need at least 10 people passing out stickers and two people with the banner! Please bring a friend as well. Any questions? - Contact info [at] farheenhakeem.org or 612-395-5559 --------2 of 20-------- From: ed Subject: Green Party StP 6.11 12noon All people interested in finding out more about the Green Party of St. Paul are invited to: Our monthly meeting Sunday June 11 Mississippi Market, 2nd floor Corner of Selby/Dale in St. Paul noon until 2 pm <http://www.gpsp.org> --------3 of 20-------- From: Lynne Mayo <lynnne [at] usfamily.net> Subject: 911 Revisited 6.11 1pm 911 Revisited: Scientific and Ethical Questions Sunday, June 11 - 1pm Free: donations & RSVP requested 2420 17th Av S Mpls (home of Lynne Mayo) (Not the Lagoon Theater, but adequate--and the popcorn is free!!!) 612-722-7356 LLEN [at] usfamily.net DVD presentation with all the videos of (implosions) WTC #1,#2, & #7\ (Were you aware of the sudden ³collapse² of WTC #7? Most Americans are not) Steven E Jones, Professor of Physics, Brigham Young University Life long voting Republican. (...³But not for these guys!² he says of the Bush Administration) One of the best, most thorough, easily comprehended dvd¹s on the collapse of the towers. Who were the conspirators? Really, who were they? Come see why the WMD Bush story is impossible. --------4 of 20-------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org> Subject: Indian uprising 6.11 4pm KFAI's Indian Uprising, June 11, 2006 'DIVINE STRAKE' DETONATION HALTED by Brenda Norrell for Indian Country Today, June 5, 2006 MERCURY, Nev. - The ''Divine Strake'' detonation has been halted, but Western Shoshone continued their protest at the Nevada Test Site over Memorial Day weekend to demand respect for Western Shoshone land rights at the site, as stated in the Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863. Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone grandmother, was among 45 people arrested after they crossed the boundary onto the Nevada Test Site in an act of civil disobedience. Security from the site and Nye County sheriff's deputies arrested them and placed them in a holding facility. ''Enough is enough,'' Dann told the crowd before being arrested, which resounded the ''Ya basta!'' (''Enough is enough!'') battle cry of the Zapatistas fighting for indigenous rights in Mexico. http://www.Indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096413084 FIRE THUNDER SUSPENDED AND ABORTIONS BANNED ON PINE RIDGE by David Melmer for Indian Country Today, June 05, 2006. PINE RIDGE, S.D. - The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council banned abortions within the reservation boundaries, and at the same meeting suspended President Cecelia Fire Thunder - again. Nearly mirroring the state of South Dakota in the abortion ban ordinance, the council voted unanimously to not just ban all abortions regardless of the circumstances, but to ban the use of any drug that would prevent a pregnancy or abort a fetus the day after any sexual activity. http://www.Indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096413086 THE GREAT DAKOTA HOMECOMING: COMMENTS & OPINIONS by Chris Mato Nunpa (Dakota). On June 03-04, 2006, I attended the 3rd Annual Great Dakota Gathering and Homecoming at Winona, Minnesota... As I observed the event on the two days, I had mixed emotions and many questions... the dilemma that faced every Indigenous nation as they encountered the wasicu (Caucasian, Euro-American, or the white man) was: "Shall we fight him or shall we welcome and work with him?" Then, there were variations between these two extreme positions. And, of course, those that fought the white man to keep him from stealing Indigenous lands were considered "bad Indians" by the white man and those who worked with and helped the white man were "good Indians." See attached for complete text. * * * * Indian Uprising is a one-half hour Public & Cultural Affairs program for, by, and about Indigenous people broadcast each Sunday at 4:00 p.m. over KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul. Producer and host is Chris Spotted Eagle. KFAI Fresh Air Radio is located at 1808 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55454, 612-341-3144. --------5 of 20-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Vets for peace 6.11 6pm Sunday, 6/11, 6 pm, chapter 27 Veterans for Peace, St. Stephens school basement, 2123 Clinton Ave S, Mpls. 612-841-9141. --------6 of 20-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Full moon walk 6.11 7pm Full Moon Walk: A Children's Walk! Sunday, June 11, 7pm. Minnehaha Park, 54th Street South, Minneapolis (South End of the Pay Parking Lot). Learn more about historic Coldwater Spring and the struggle to protect and preserve this last sacred spring in the Twin Cities. A south Minneapolis family is has planned fun at this full moon walk for children of all ages. All are welcome. FFI: <www.FriendsofColdwater.org>. --------7 of 20-------- From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Holocaust/TV 6.11 7pm Both of these may be copied and held in perpetuity for school use. Two programs produced in partnership with Twin Cities Public Television will be aired via broadcast, cable and satellite this coming weekend on TPT's Channel 17: "Voice to Vision" Art Professor David Feinberg and his students work with Holocaust survivors to produce art reflecting their experiences. Sunday, June 11 7:00 pm "Holocaust Aftermath:" Holocaust survivors speak about their experiences and how they conveyed their traumatic memory to their children. Sunday, June 11 7:30 pm --------8 of 20-------- From: North Country Co-op <northcountrycoop [at] YAHOO.COM> Subject: NCountry music 6.11 7pm North Country Co-op, the Twin Cities' oldest natural foods co-op, celebrates its 35th Anniversary Celebration this year. Our upcoming West Bank Music Jamboree will highlight North Country's history and its connection to the musical culture of the West Bank. The jamboree features local legends Willy Murphy, Bill Hinkley & Judy Larson, the Jerry Rau Band and The Swamp Twisters. The show happens Sunday, June 11 at 7pm at the Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. Co-sponsored by KFAI: Radio without Boundaries North Country was born out of the peace and natural food movements in the late 1960's and early 70's. Then, as now, many people had lost trust in the big food corporations due to their use of dangerous additives and chemical fertilizers and the driving out of business of Ma-and-Pa groceries. This led people to come together to cooperatively supply themselves with healthy, Earth-friendly food. After existing informally as The People's Pantry on a porch and in a clinic waiting room, North Country opened its doors in April of 1971 to amazing popularity. This example of what co-ops could be led to the founding of many other cooperative businesses all over the Twin Cities. Through the fluctuations of taste and economics, North Country has survived to bring people good food and bring them together to make their lives richer. The West Bank counterculture of the late 60's and early 70's placed an emphasis on rejecting artificial corporate culture and returning to a more authentic, natural way of life. This manifested itself both by an emphasis on unprocessed, organic and bulk foods and revival of traditional American forms of music like folk and the Blues. All of our performers are part of that tradition: Willie Murphy has been writing, performing, recording and producing Blues/R&B music for over 30 years. His 1969 collaboration with folk/blues legend "Spider" John Koerner, "Running, Jumping, Standing Still," is still acclaimed as an all-time folk/blues classic. Throughout the 70's and into the 80's, Willie and the Bees defined live R&B/soul music. In 1990 Willie Murphy was named as one of the three charter members of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame along with Bob Dylan and Prince. It is not possible to talk about Minnesota's vital acoustic music scene with acknowledging Bill Hinkley & Judy Larson's contribution to that vitality. They are rightly renowned for their vast knowledge of folk songs and tunes from several different ethnic backgrounds. Bill and Judy were regular performers on Minnesota Public Radio's "A Prairie Home Companion" at the show's outset. Recently Bill Hinkley was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame and Bill Hinkley and Judy Larson received a lifetime achievement award from the Minnesota Bluegrass and Oldtime Music Association. For over twenty-five years Jerry Rau has played the role of the classic American troubadour, logging hundreds of thousands of miles, playing everywhere from street corners to the stage of one of the largest folk gatherings in the world, the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Folk Forum says, "Like excellent wine, he has developed crystal clarity and depth of flavor. He's one of our favorite people and treats us to a warm and intimate experience," and The Folk Sampler raves, "Jerry Rau is what folk music is all about." Charles Lawson and Ed Petche have played "Maxwell Street" styled Blues as Charles & Ed Play Blues every Thursday at the Viking Bar for the last 9 1/2 years. When they add Johnny Knuckles (The Knotwells) on drums, they are The Swamp Twisters, playing hard-driving, loud, rhythmic Maxwell Street style Blues plus Chicago, Louisiana, Texas, Swamp Pop, and Minnesota Blues. Contact: Erik Esse, North Country Co-op 612-338-3110 northcountrycoop [at] yahoo.com --------9 of 20-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Chalmers J/cspan 6.11 7pm Sun June 11, 7pm(central): CHALMERS JOHNSON on CPAN Book TV Q & A Johnson is the former Repbublican, author of SORROWS OF EMPIRE and his new book AMERICAN THEOCRACY. Cspan is on basic cable cahnnels 21 and 19 in MinneapolisCheck CSPAN for schedule/channels. --------10 of 20-------- From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com> Subject: Mpls Green/up! 6.11 7pm The next meeting of our group, Mpls Green Uprising, will be this Sunday evening, June 11, 7pm, at Dave Bicking's house: 3211 22nd Ave. S., Mpls (lower) Two blocks south of Lake St., just west of Hiawatha LRT stop. It has been four weeks since our last meeting (May 14th) - two weeks ago was Memorial Day weekend; last weekend many of us were away at the Green Party State Convention in Duluth. A lot has happened in four weeks. It should make for a full and interesting agenda. We have been very busy fighting the stadium til the bitter end in the State Legislature. We lost, of course, but we have laid the ground work for continuing the fight at the county, and for holding our representatives accountable in the coming elections. We can talk about where to go from here. Some possibilities: County Board meetings: The next meeting, the meeting of committees, will meet this Tuesday, June 13. It will start to take up the steps of implementing the stadium and the tax. There is much yet to be resolved. We should be present as much as we can. The full board meeting is the next Tuesday, June 20. Both meetings are held at 1:30pm at the Hennepin County Government Center, Room A2400. City Resolutions: An opposition County Board member has suggested that resolutions of opposition from the various cities and towns in Hennepin County would be very helpful. These need to be gotten quickly! Anyone interested, please contact me for more info. We have yet to make progress in Minneapolis on this. Ballpark Commissioners: These are very important positions!! They will negotiate the actual contracts with the Twins. We need people who will be much tougher negotiators than the 4 person majority on the County Board, who gave away our money much too easily. Even if we are going to be taxed for a stadium, some protections for the taxpayers could be included. Commissioners must be appointed by June 25th. Two by the county, two by the state, and one by Mpls. The Mpls commissioner should be determined to protect the interests of our city. During our work on the stadium, some issues came up, some contentious on this list and on the 5th Congressional District listserve. We should talk about those. As we act, we find out what the questions are.... as we resolve those, we are ready to work even better. There have been concerns regarding the appropriateness of demonstrating in front of legislators' homes; regarding how we portray our relationship to the Green Party as a whole; and regarding how we speak to the press in the most clear manner possible to avoid misinterpretations. We should also talk about the upcoming Green Party campaigns and about the results of last weekend's State Convention. There are some excellent candidates!! I know that many people will be concentrating on campaign work for the next 5 months - and rightly so. But we can't let other issues drop. I believe we can work out some way that the issues work can help the campaigns. It shouldn't be strictly either/or regarding our time and energy. Certainly the work we have been doing on the stadium gives energy and credibility to some of the campaigns. A heads up on some other things coming up: Public hearing at the Public Safety Committee meeting on Wednesday, June 21, 1:30pm on the proposed "alley ordinance". This is a proposal by Council Member Lilligren to prohibit walking in any alley other than your own! It seems like yet another tool for the police to enforce in a discriminatory manner - to arrest someone on suspicion, or for a crime for which there is not enough evidence to prosecute legally (and constitutionally). This would be a big step backward from the trend set by Cam Gordon in repealing the "dancing in the streets" ordinance. Another issue coming up before the City Council (not sure when): Schiff and Ostrow are pushing an ordinance that would restrict the residences of past sexual offenders. (Don't we all wish that Schiff and Lilligren had lost their last elections??) The proposed ordinance would restrict offenders from living near parks, day care centers and schools - leaving virtually no areas left within the city! It is based on some flawed assumptions: offenders are unable or unwilling to travel more than 2000 feet, offenders all attack strangers (really, most attack acquaintances and relatives), and all sexual offenders are pedophiles (hence the nature of the restrictions). Maybe others on this list have different opinions. These ordinances are popular and can become highly politicized to demonize their opponents. So we should be watching this. Call to Justice Conference: regarding crime and punishment and racial disparities. See Tueday's notice on this list from Guy Gambill. Unfortunately, he forgot to post the date: it is on Wednesday, June 8th at MCTC, 8am - 4:30pm. Details at http://www.crimeandjustice.org/ Looks very good! Lots of other issues coming up. And don't forget the County Board meetings! Tuesday June 13 and Tuesday June 20. Dave Bicking H: 612-276-1213 W: 612-729-8580 --------11 of 20-------- From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Holocaust/play 6.11 7:30pm Sunday evening free event from Jewish Studies: June 11: Henry Greenspan, Theatre and Psychology Department at University of Michigan will give a performance of his play "Remnants," based on his interviews of Holocaust Survivors. Free at 7:30 at Hubert H. Humphrey Center's Cowles Auditorium,301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455 West Bank Campus. Parking across the street. Greenspan dramatic narrative gives the impressions of both men and women's memory of the events on concentration camps and has be heralded as a breatthrough in representation of the Holocaust. In conjunction with International Conference on Hebrew Studies, sponsored by CNES/Jewish studies. for information contact: Renana Schneller <schne068 [at] umn.edu> --------12 of 20-------- From: humanrts [at] umn.edu Subject: Global/classroom 6.12 1pm June 12 - University of Minnesota course: Global Perspectives in the Secondary Classroom: Promising Practices and Controversial Issues . Time: 1-4:20pm; Monday through Thursdays. Cost: University of Minnesota tuition rates. June 12-30, 2006: This course examines the major issues, classroom practices, and controversies surrounding global perspectives in secondary education. In-service teachers enrolled in this course will become conversant in these topics and develop appropriate, effective strategies for helping secondary students develop a more global worldview. The course is listed in Curriculum and Instruction as CI 5150 Global Perspectives in the Secondary Classroom: Promising Practices and Controversial Issues and will be taught by JB Mayo. For more information, visit: http://education.umn.edu/catalogs/Default.asp?termcode=1065N. Location: University of Minnesota, Curriculum and Instruction Department --------13 of 20-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Iran/Shahidi 6.12 5:30pm Report from Iran: Jay Shahidi Monday, June 12, 5:30pm. 2104 Stevens Avenue South, Minneapolis. Hear Jay Shahidi, current president of the Iranian-American Society of Minnesota and long-time peace, justice and environmental activist, speak on Iran. Jay has returned to his native land twice in recent months and he will share the thoughts and fears of the Iranian people. All are welcome. Sponsored by: United Nations Association of Minnesota. --------14 of 20-------- From: Sheila Sullivan <aiisullivan [at] yahoo.com> Subject: ComoParkN4Peace 6.12 6pm We got a lot of applause at the Grand Ol' Day parade. It was a perfect day to march with a wonderful breeze blowing just for us. Our next meeting is Monday, June 12th at 6:00 at the Coffee Grounds. We need to mobilize and get the word out about the War Plays Project coming up on June 22nd. Check our website for more info and I'll see you Monday. www.comoparkpeace.org --------15 of 20-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Pentel/governor 6.12 7pm [Tired of being sold down the river on the stadium, health care, etc? Don't waste your time and vote on the too-big corporate parties - go Green! - ed] For those of you who share the values: Dear Green Party Supporters and Members, If you haven't heard I've been endorsed for Governor by the Green Party of MN. You are invited to the first 2006 Ken Pentel for Governor planning/volunteer meeting. The goals of this meeting are to add organization, creativity and excitement to our goals for a healthier world. Your help is need to make this happen. Agenda: --Why I'm running --What we need There are two days to convene, if you can make one, or both of the days below that would be great. Monday, June 12 and Tuesday, June 13 7pm Painter Park Rec Center, 3400 Lyndale Ave. S. Minneapolis Contact: Ken (612) 387-0601 For those in greater Minnesota, let's organize a meeting in your area in June too. Going deep-green statewide. --------16 of 20-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Spiritual progs 6.12 7pm Monday, 6/12, 7 pm (and each month's 2nd Monday), Network of Spiritual Progressives meets, Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet, Mpls. brucelissem [at] aol.com --------17 of 20-------- From: Minnesota Cuba Committee <mncuba [at] usfamily.net> Subject: Venezuela/US 6.12 7:30pm THE REVOLUTIONARY PROCESS IN VENEZUELA AND US FOREIGN POLICY 7:30, Monday, June 12, hear William Camacaro and Chris Nisan. William Camacaro is a Venezuelan journalist, political activist and founder of the Bolivarian Circle Alberto Lovera, in New York. Camacaro's radio show played an important role in the 2002 Venezuelan coup attempt when it was one of the few sources to report the truth about the political situation, helping to galvanize the Venezuelan people to retake their country. Chris Nisan is a Minnesota activist and writer for the Spokesman-Recorder just returned from Venezuela where he was invited to observe the creation of President Hugo Chavez' new commission to combat racial discrimination. Hubert H. Humphrey Institute, Room 20, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, U of Minnesota West Bank. Directions and parking: www.hhh.umn.edu/about/contact/parking/html Admission is free. http://groups.msn.com/minnesotacubacommittee --------18 of 20-------- U.S. Willing to Talk, With Conditions, and the Media Bites Once Again By Edward Herman ZNet Commentary June 10, 2006 http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-06/10herman.cfm The mainstream media have long had a high gullibility quotient when it comes to dealing with demonized external threats, which makes it easy to manage them and guide them into propaganda service. In the case of the ludicrous Guatemalan security threat of 1953-54, the publisher of the New York Times was persuaded by a United Fruit agent to send a reporter to Guatemala who "dutifully wrote a series of alarming reports about 'Reds' in the country" (Kinzer and Schlesinger, Bitter Fruit). Another United Fruit public relations man commented sardonically on the media's gullibility in that case: "It is difficult to make a convincing case for manipulation of the press when the victims proved so eager for the experience." Given their regular eagerness - or at a minimum, willingness - to support the government party line in dealing with a targeted enemy, the media never learn from experience. The forces that shape their news-making and editorial biases allow them to start anew with a fresh round of gullible propaganda service with little or no time lag. In the 1950s into the 1980s there was a series of alleged "gaps" which we allegedly suffered in relation to Soviet missile numbers and "throw-weight," each of them fraudulent, but each of them exposed only with a time lag that didn't interfere with a responsive U.S. buildup. Each exposure had no observable effect on the media's gullible acceptance of the next round of gap production. More recently, and currently, we see the media getting on the Iran threat bandwagon only months after some of the media had issued semi-apologies for swallowing propaganda disinformation on Iraq's menacing weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The forces integrating the media into the war-makers' propaganda operations overwhelm their capacity to learn from experience. The Vietnam War Phony Peace Offers The new U.S. offer of direct talks with Iran, with conditions, is a throwback to an earlier round of offers of talks with conditions in which the media served state war propaganda very effectively, and at an immense cost in resources and human life. The U.S. bombing of Vietnam, which became open and earnest in February 1965, led to widespread protests and resistance. In April 1965 the Johnson administration therefore began a series of offers to "discuss" and "pauses" in the bombing during which it allegedly awaited a response from North Vietnam that could lead to peace. It was very obvious at the time, and has been established by solid documentary evidence since, that these pauses were for public relations purposes only, and that only a North Vietnamese agreement to surrender and meet the full U.S. political agenda, would have ended the bombing and war. Those hidden surrender conditions were secretly conveyed to the North Vietnamese. But the U.S. mainstream media simply refused to recognize the not-very-hidden Johnson administration agenda and the PR purpose of these phony peace moves. They took the Johnson offers of supposedly "unrestricted talks" at face value, captured in James Reston's statement in the New York Times, after an early bombing lull, that "The problem of peace lies now not in Washington but in Hanoi." Allowing these PR ploys to be genuine and putting the onus of their failure on the North Vietnamese was deeply dishonest but extremely serviceable to the war-makers, making it easier for them to escalate their violence in response to these North Vietnamese refusals to "negotiate" (i.e., surrender). (This PR fraud was discussed at length at the time in Edward S. Herman and Richard DuBoff's America's Vietnam Policy: The Strategy of Deception [Public Affairs: 1966] and Franz Schurmann et al., The Politics of Escalation [Fawcett: 1966]). The Phony Bush Peace Offer to Iran The analogy with the Bush administration's current offer to talk directly with Iran is close. The Bush administration has openly acknowledged that its aim is Iranian "regime change," and it has engaged in a series of aggressive and provocative moves designed to achieve that outcome, including subsidizing internal dissidents within Iran, encouraging cross-border attacks from Iraq by Iranian expatriate terrorists, collecting data on Iranian targets by spy drones and on-the-ground incursions, and threatening to attack its latest target. It sabotaged the EU effort to negotiate a deal with Iran by refusing to agree to security guarantees to Iran as a part of the settlement. Why would it do that if its worry was only about Iran's possible development of a nuclear weapons capability? But just as the media didn't suggest a Johnson hidden agenda of surrender, so the media today refuse to focus on the agenda of regime change in interpreting the new offer even as it stares them in the face. Given the objective of regime change, and the fact that the United States has been subject to criticism for its long unwillingness to negotiate with Iran, an obvious hypothesis is that, like the Johnson peace offers of the 1960s, the new U.S. offer is intended to be rejected while giving the cooperative media and "international community" a public relations bone to chew on. If the latter are sufficiently gullible they will congratulate the Bush administration for its new openness and allow the onus to be put on Iran if it rejects an offer intended to be rejected. The Bush administration is only prepared to "negotiate" after Iran terminates its nuclear activities, the termination to be established by intensive inspections. Why should any conditions for negotiations be imposed on Iran? Why not just negotiate? Wouldn't the condition demanded by the Bush administration open the door to further U.S. insistence on endlessly intrusive inspections that never satisfied the Bushies in Iraq and could well stall "negotiations" with Iran indefinitely? Why should Iran have to make serious concessions in advance as a condition of negotiations and the United States make none? Ms. Rice has insisted on Iraq's suspension of nuclear activities on the ground that the administration doesn't want a gun pointed at its head, but as Selig Harrison points out, "then she points a gun at their head by saying that 'all options are on the table.'" ("It is time to put security issues on the table with Iran," Financial Times, January 18, 2006, as posted to the website of the Center for International Policy). But a good propaganda system will not ask such questions and will not find the new "offer" a cynical PR move intended to be rejected. On the contrary, it will credit Rice and Bush with "smart diplomacy" and a "rare victory" on the road to achieving the "only successful resolution worth talking about - a verifiable commitment by Iran not to develop the capacity to build nuclear weapons" ("What Counts on Iran," NYT ed., June 3, 2006). If Iran rejects the propaganda ploy, "spurns that conciliatory approach, Washington is sure to put sanctions back on the international agenda." This is same collection of editors who supported the Bush manipulation of facts and the inspection system on WMD to clear the ground for a military attack on Iraq; and here the editors follow closely in the footsteps of their predecessors during the Vietnam War who found the PR moves of that time genuine and helpfully putting the onus on the target for refusing to surrender. They are at it again. Let me give a short list of the facts and considerations that the propaganda system must bypass and evade to laud the new "talks with conditions" propaganda ploy: --First, as noted, its members must ignore the real agenda, and pretend that the supposedly grave threat of Iranian nuclear weapons is the main issue, just as they swallowed the Bush claim that Iraq's WMD and security threat to the United States was the main issue-and after this was found to be a fraud, the media very kindly allowed that the goal was Iraqi liberty. The media have accepted the nominal agenda as real and their premise across the board. --Second, they must ignore the fact that their government is already engaged in an aggression and preparing for its intensification against the supposedly threatening target (see Herman and Peterson, "The Fourth 'Supreme International Crime' in Seven Years Is Already Underway," ElectricPolitics.com, May 16, 2006). They did this in the Iraq case, where the year-long bombing campaign against Iraq prior to March 19, 2003, in violation of the UN Charter, was barely noticed and never condemned in the mainstream media. It is an absolute mainstream media rule that international law does not apply to their country, only to others - it has been pointed out, for example, that not a single New York Times editorial dealing with the invasion-occupation of Iraq ever mentioned international law or the UN Charter (Howard Friel and Richard Falk, The Record of the Paper: How the New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy, London: Verso, 2004). --Third, given the low level U.S. attacks already underway and very real threat of larger-scale aggression, it is important that the media always implicitly deny a U.S. target like Iran any right of self defense. Phony security threats to the United States are taken seriously; the real threats posed by the United States to its targets do not exist. The media will not quote the conservative Israeli historian Martin van Creveld,, who, after noting what the Americans had done to a nuclear-weaponless Iraq in 2003, wrote "Had the Iranians not tried to build nuclear weapons, they would be crazy." ("Sharon on the warpath: Is Israel planning to attack Iran?" International Herald Tribune, August 21, 2004). --Fourth, the media must demonize the target as background for making its threat real and denying it any right to self-defense. Back in the good old days a tiny victim like Guatemala could be made a "tool of Soviet aggression," and more recently it could be stressed that Saddam Hussein was a murderous killer (suppressing the fact that his worst abuses took place with U.S. support and under U.S. protection in the 1980s). Iran is now made into the world's leading supporter of international terrorism, controlled by fanatical theocrats and with a leader who threatens to "wipe out" Israel. But Iran hasn't engaged in any border-crossing attacks on other countries, as the United States and Israel do regularly, in violation of the UN Charter. Nor can Iran compete with these two countries in support of terrorist states, armies, and individual and small group terrorists.  Furthermore, both the United States and Israel are heavily influenced by theocrats and fanatics; and the claim of a threat to "wipe out" Israel is based on a mistranslation.  Beyond this, Iran is in no position to wipe out Israel and wouldn't be even with a small stock of nuclear weapons - whereas both the United States and Israel pose plausible threats to wipe out Iran. But answers to the demonization charge and the notion (and evidence) that this is a case of "demonization transference" is inadmissible in a propaganda system. --Fifth, the media must play down the fact that the United States abused the inspection process and UN in the run-up to the Iraq invasion, using them only as a cover for an already planned attack, smearing them as ineffectual and irrelevant insofar as they didn't help clear the ground for the attack. The media cooperated fully in this manipulation- denigration process as regards Iraq (the classic article in the NYT illustrating this treatment of inspections and UN as a threat is Martin Indyk and Kenneth Pollack, "How the United States Can Avoid the Inspections Trap," Jan. 27, 2003). Recalling that history would suggest questions about the integrity of the current U.S. use of the IAEA and the potential for its similar abuse in inspections that would obligate Iran to prove a negative. A patriotic media avoids this. --Sixth, the media must play down the fact that the United States itself is in violation of the NPT, in signing which this country pledged to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons. It is not only not doing this, it is developing new and "practicable" nuclear arms. As the United States stands alone in having used nuclear weapons on civilian populations, threatens to use them now, and is the only country in the world that can conceivably use them without deadly retaliation, common sense tells us that this is the really serious global nuclear threat - a direct threat and also an indirect one as the U.S. capability and threats compel all other countries to try to acquire nuclear weapons as a matter of self-defense. Weapons of Terror, the report issued by a commission chaired by Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq at the time the United States launched its war in 2003, is of course highly relevant to the issues at stake in the Iran case, but because the report's message is largely hostile to the frame of the U.S.-stoked "crisis," the mainstream U.S. media have given it short shrift. Aside from a guest appearance on NBC-TV's Meet the Press, during which the program's host, Tim Russert, pressed Blix on his departure from the party line, featuring questions like, "Why blame the Americans?" (June 4), the Blix report received minimal coverage in the U.S. media, and even less in the U.K. This is striking, because the report stresses that the "first barrier" to all weapons of mass destruction-related issues is a "political one," namely, the "development and maintenance of regional and global peaceful relations. Promoting peace is the prime means of avoiding both the acquisition and the retention of WMD (as well as other weapons)" (pp. 43-44). Of its 60 recommendations, the greatest emphasis falls on the world's most destructive weapons, with the most urgent recommendations directed at nuclear disarmament - a world free of nuclear weapons (see Annex 1, pp. 188-198). Toward this end, the report advocates one policy option after another designed to reduce the incentives to the non-nuclear-weapon states to acquire such weapons, including the resolution adopted in 1995 calling for the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free-zone in the Middle East. But as the United States and Israel reject these options, a good propaganda system will give such a report short shrift, and we have in the United States a very good propaganda system. Endnotes: 1. See Noam Chomsky, Pirates and Emperors, Old and New: International terrorism in the Real World (Boston: South End Press, 2002); William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Me.: Common Courage Press, 2005); Edward Herman, "Antiterrorism as a Cover for Terrorism": http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2001-10\05herman.cfm 2. See "Does Iran's President Want Israel Wiped Off the Map?" Anneliese Fikentscher and Andreas Neumann (Trans. Erik Appleby, Information Clearinghouse, April 20, 2006); Jonathan Steele, "If Iran is ready to talk, the US must do so unconditionally," The Guardian, June 2, 2006; David Peterson, "'Weapons of Terror'," ZNet, June 2, 2006. 3. In the major U.S. print media, coverage of the Blix commission's report has been limited to the New York Times (Warren Hoge, June 2), New York Sun (Benny Avni, June 2), Philadelphia Inquirer (an op-ed that appeared under Blix's byline, June 4), Christian Science Monitor (Peter Grier, June 5) and the Washington Times (John Zarocostas, June 5). In the major U.K. print media, there has been only a single report in The Guardian (David Batty, June 2)! --------19 of 20-------- Still Soft on (Corporate) Crime By Michael Parenti ZNet Commentary June 09, 2006 http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-06/08parenti.cfm A half century ago, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black reminded us in Griffin v. Illinois (1956) that there "can be no equal justice where the kind of trial a man gets depends on the amount of money he has." The corporate executive with a team of high powered attorneys has a different legal experience than the poor person with an underpaid court appointed lawyer. And it's not just a few indigents who need court-appointed lawyers; some 80 percent of defendants nationwide rely on public defenders. The recent convictions of Enron's billionaire swindlers Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling lend hope to those of us who dream of a more equitable legal system. But before we put Justice Black's dictum to rest, keep in mind that Lay and Skilling are out on bail, and that they still might end up with a light sentence or skip free on some technicality. In recent years prominent firms such as Enron, Adelphia, R. J. Reynolds, WorldCom, Time Warner, Tyco, Arthur Andersen, Refco, Bristol Meyers, ImClone, Global Crossing, and HealthSouth have been investigated for accounting and tax fraud, manipulating stock values, insider trading, and obstructing justice, criminal acts that have delivered economic ruin upon shareholders and employees. As of June 2006 only a handful of executives from these companies have seen the inside of a prison. Think of the magnitude of their crimes, the heartless damage wreaked upon many thousands of employees who saw their jobs, retirement funds, and financial security stolen from them. So much misery for the many so that the favored few might gleefully romp and frolic in increasingly obscene wealth. What kind of punishment awaits most corporate brigands? Martha Stewart did a grueling five months in a federal women's camp. Dennis Koziowski, former Tyco CEO, looted some $600 million to fund his lavish lifestyle, for that he got 8 to 25 years in a minimum security prison, and is eligible for parole in about six years, unless he wins an earlier reversal or sentence reduction. After getting a 15-year sentence for looting $100 million from Adelphia, John Rigas is free pending his appeal. So is Bernard Ebbers, former CEO of WorldCom (on a 25-year sentence), who wiped out a company worth $115 billion at its peak. Corporate crime is not a rarity but a regularity. The Justice Department found that most giant companies have committed felonies. Many are repeat offenders. Over the years, General Electric has been convicted of 282 counts of contract fraud and fined $20 million. But nobody at GE is doing time. (Imagine a street criminal with 282 felony convictions who is allowed to walk free.) Charged with 216 violations involving toxic substances, WorldCom was fined $625,000. Over a sixteen year period major oil firms cheated the government of nearly $856 million in royalties by understating the value of the oil they pumped from public lands, but nobody went to prison in any of these cases. Honeywell ignored defects in gas heaters resulting in twenty two deaths and seventy seven crippling injuries, for which it was fined $800,000. Johns Manville suppressed information about the asbestos poisoning of its workers; when ordered to pay damages in civil court it declared bankruptcy to avoid payment. Nobody ended up behind bars in either of these cases. An executive of Eli Lilly failed to inform the government about the effects of a drug suspected of causing forty nine deaths in the United States and several hundred abroad. He was fined $15,000. For dumping toxic chemicals into well water that was subsequently linked to eight leukemia deaths, W. R. Grace was fined $10,000. Charged with unlawfully burning toxic wastes into the atmosphere for twenty years, Potomac Electric Power Co. of Washington, D.C. was fined the crushing sum of $500. In none of these cases did anyone see the inside of a slammer. In 2005 the Bank of New York agreed to pay $38 million in penalties and victim compensation arising from a case of money laundering and fraud, but nobody ended up having to share a conjugal cell with Big Spike. That same year Halliburton executives failed to make payments to pension participants as legally required; instead they used some of the funds for executive pensions and bonuses. Halliburton was required to pay almost $9 million and an undisclosed tax penalty, but none of the company suits went to prison. In 2006, Custer Battles was found guilty of defrauding the United States of millions of dollars in government contracts in Iraq. The company was slated to pay triple damages but again nobody went to prison. That creepy fellow James Watt, Interior Secretary under the Reagan administration, helped rich clients illegally pocket millions in federal low-income housing funds. Watt was able to sidestep eighteen felony charges of perjury and plead guilty to a misdemeanor, for which he got five years probation and a $5,000 fine. As of 2006 there was an estimated $450 billion shortfall in retirement and disability funds, as numerous companies have defaulted on their pension payments. Federal law requires companies to honor their obligations to these funds but there is no real enforcement mechanism. When Firestone pled guilty to filing false tax returns concealing $12.6 million in income, it was fined $10,000, and no one went to jail. Over seven hundred people a year are imprisoned for tax evasion, almost all of them for sums far smaller than the amount Firestone concealed. Even when the fine is more substantial, it usually represents a mere fraction of company profits and fails to compensate for the damage wreaked. Over several years Food Lion cheated its employees of at least $200 million by forcing them to work "off the clock," but in a court settlement the company paid back only $13 million. Who says crime doesn't pay? In 2004 Halliburton paid a $7.5 million fine for false earnings reports. Halliburton was also accused of grossly overcharging the government for gasoline intended for U.S. armed forces in Iraq. Meanwhile, for work done on a government nuclear plant, Bechtel inflated its bill for labor, materials, travel, entertainment, and supplies - then gave itself a $250,000 bonus. Nobody at Halliburton or Bechtel went to prison for these huge thefts. And as we all know, both companies are still gorging themselves on fat government contracts. Someone who robs a liquor store is far more likely to do time than people who steal hundreds of millions of dollars from shareholders, employees, consumers, and taxpayers. Penalties often are uncollected or suspended. Over one hundred savings and loan (S&L) plea bargainers, who escaped long prison terms by promising to make penalty repayments of $133.8 million, repaid less than 1 percent of that amount. Claiming it did not have enough lawyers and investigators, the government failed to pursue more than one thousand S&L fraud and embezzlement conspiracies, amounting to hundreds of billions in losses for U.S. taxpayers. The Bush Jr. administration decreased major fines for mining safety violations and in nearly half the cases did not bother to collect the fines. No wonder miners continue to perish in preventable accidents. Frequently corporate criminals continue to live in luxury but claim they do not have the money to make restitution to their victims. They are able to hide many assets before penalties are established. When corporate felons actually are given prison terms, the sentence is usually light and sometimes not even served. S&L defendants, convicted of having stolen hundreds of millions of dollars, spent fewer months behind bars on average than car thieves and at relatively comfortable minimum security prisons. The two ringleaders of Archer Daniels Midland Co. who stole millions from their customers were sentenced to only three years. The average sentence for corporate criminals who do time is about eleven months. Let's go back some years to Wall Street investor Michael Milken who pled guilty to securities violations and was sentenced to ten years reduced to twenty two months, most of which was spent doing community service. Corporate criminals sentenced to community service seldom do but a small portion of it, if any. Milken had to pay back $1.1 billion to settle criminal and civil charges but retained a vast fortune of $1.2 billion from his dealings. Likewise, Ivan Boesky walked off with $25 million after paying his fine for insider trading and doing a brief spell behind bars. Every major participant in these late 1980s Wall Street investment crimes emerged from the experience as a wealthy man. Again, who says crime doesn't pay? Opinion surveys find that a majority of the public believes that wrongdoing is widespread in the business world. Some 90 percent think that big corporations have too much influence over government. Only 2 percent consider company bosses "very trustworthy." You've got to hand it to the American people. Buried alive under an avalanche of media disinformation and puffery, they still sometimes get it right. Sure it does us good to see some corporate predators get their asses kicked in court. And we should demand that it happen more often. But keep in mind that corporate crime is endemic to a system bound by limitless greed and pitiless theft, a system whose operational imperative is "accumulate, accumulate, accumulate," a system faithfully serviced by reactionary plutocrats in the White House who themselves partake of the plunder. Michael Parenti's recent books include The Assassination of Julius Caesar (New Press), Superpatriotism (City Lights), and The Culture Struggle (Seven Stories Press). For more information visit: www.michaelparenti.org. --------20 of 20-------- Four class war poems 1. To the ruling class we're less than the bugs on their Mercedes' windshields. 2. We will never be human and free until we outlaw billionaires. 3. Money without limit corrupts without limit. 4. Time to sass rhe ruling class, boot its ass. It shall not pass. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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