Progressive Calendar 06.11.06
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. [1]
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. [2] 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.[3] 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.


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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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