|Progressive Calendar 06.13.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 03:47:06 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 06.13.06 1. Candid Cam 6.13 9:30am 2. Cuba Cuba/KFAI 6.13 11am 3. Be the media/CTV 6.13 5pm 4. Ecology/GPSP 6.13 6pm 5. Green Party 6.13 6:30pm 6. Soul unburdening 6.13 6:30pm 7. Vegan/eat/fund 6.13 6:30pm 8. mn911 6.13 7pm 9. GP press conf 6.14 10am 10. Democracy/theocracy 6.14 11:30am 11. Violence/HIV 6.14 11:30am 12. Northland bioneers 6.14 5pm 13. SPIF happy hour 6.14 6pm 14. Tibet/torture 6.14 6pm 15. Rights dinner 6.14 5pm 16. London bombings 6.14 7pm 17. No Anoka stadium 6.14 7pm 18. Vets 4 peace 6.14 7pm Redwing MN 19. Peoples open mic 6.14 7pm 20. Papa "AG" Kolstad 6.14 7pm 21. AI StPaul 6.14 7:30pm 22. David Walsh - RP anti-gay marriage amendment cynical & reactionary 23. Patrick Martin - US Senate majority backs windfall for the rich 24. ed - Ticks (poem) 25. ed - Polymorph pink pluckers (poem) --------1 of 25-------- From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at] msn.com> Subject: Candid Cam 6.13 9:30am Cam Gordon, Council Member, Second Ward 612-673-2202 (w) 612-296-0579 (c) Office Hours: every Tuesday morning in the Second Ward 9:30-11am. The locations will rotate as follows, so that I can meet with residents in their own neighborhoods: Second Tuesdays: Prospect Park / East River Road neighborhood Pratt School, 66 Malcolm Ave SE --------2 of 25-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Cuba Cuba/KFAI 6.13 11am Hear about CUBA! on KFAI Tune in to CATALYST:politics & culture hosted by LYDIA HOWELL the next 2 Tuesdays, June 13 & June 20, 11am (archived 2 weeks after broadcaSt www.kfai.org) on KFAI RADIO, 90.3fm Mpls 106.7fm St Paul Hear a wonderful conversation with Rev. THOMAS SMITH,a harlem minister, with PASTORS FOR PEACE, who's leading this year's CARACAN TO CUBA, challenging the U/S. blockade of our Carribean enighbor for over 45 years. Rev. Smith has traveld to Cuba annually for 10 years and he gives an inspiring glimpse of the REALITY of life in Cuba that the U.S.government does NOT want you to know: universal healthcare, quality 3education ffrom k-college, for ALL. A vibrant culture of all the arts and free expressoin of religion. Plus: hear aobut this year's Caravan, which is stoppping at 120 American cities and towns on the way to Cuba(inlcuding MINNEAPOLIS: JUNE 22 @ St.Albert the Great Church. For local event info & Caravan info: email: MNCubaCommittee [at] aol.com CATALYST, Tues.11am, KFAI archived 2 weeks aftre broadcast www.kfai.org Tues. JUNE 13, 11am: Part one of conversation with REV. THOMAS SMITH on CUBA. Plus a conversation with MEENA NATARAJAN, director and playwright of PANGEA WORLD THEATRE's staged reading of THE PARTITION PROJECT (june 16 & 17) about one of the largest migrations in human history:when the partition of India and Pakistan happened in 1947-48. http://www.pangeaworldtheatre.org Tues. JUNE 29: Pt.2 with REV. THOMAS SMITH on CUBA. An event celebrating CUAB with music, food and updates Thur.JUNE 22, St Albert the Great Church in south MInneapolis. For info: email MNCubaCommittee [at] aol.com UPDATE Cuba 5 case. [LyDiA is UNABLE to SPEAK without LOTS of CAPs. -ed] --------3 of 25-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Be the media 6.13 5pm Dear St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers: While we still have public access tv (see: www.saveaccess.org for the reference), select SPNN Channel 15 for "Our World In Depth/Our World Today". Show times are 5 pm and midnight on Tuesday evenings and 10 am on Wednesday mornings. "Our World In Depth/Our World Today" features analysis of public affairs with consideration of and participation from Twin Cities area activists. The show is local and not corporately influenced (get it while you can!). Schedule for the next FIVE weeks: 6/13 and 6/14 "Be the Media" w/Twin Cities Indymedia representatives John Slade and Erik Forman. 6/20 and 6/21 "Medicare Part D" w/Joel Albers of UHCAN-MN and John Schwarz. 6/27 and 6/28 "De-deifying the Market" w/economist Karen Redleaf. 7/4 and 7/5 (repeat) "De-deifying the Market" w/economist Karen Redleaf. 7/11 and 7/12 "Coke and Pepsi: Hard Questions for Soft Drinks" w/Sanat Mohanty from India and Gerardo Cajamarca (Merideth Cleary interpreting) from Columbia. All shows are hosted by Eric Angell. ALSO on SPNN at 8:30pm Thursdays: Altera Vista. For information about future programing of "Our World In Depth/Our World Today", please send an e-mail to eric-angell [at] riseup.net. --------4 of 25-------- From: Krisrose02 [at] aol.com Subject: Ecology/GPSP 6.13 6pm The Coffee Grounds, Falcon Heights/Roseville, 6pm [Hamline Av 3 blocks S of Larpenteur Av] The Green Party of StPaul ecology Committee is committed to exploring the ecological concerns of residents of St.Paul and the 4th Congressional District. We will work to promote responsible ecological practices and policy in our District, and to implement the environmental justice section of our Green Vision which reads: "Clean air, clean water, and land free from toxic substances are keys to quality of life and fundamental to the health of our citizens, especially children. "As a Green city, St. Paul will work to reduce all local sources of air pollution, including automobile traffic and coal-burning power plants. "It will eliminate lawn chemicals that poison the Mississippi and will follow up on the great step it made in separating the storm and sanitary sewer systems by constantly monitoring and upgrading its waste-treatment facilities. "But there are factors that St. Paul alone cannot wholly control: agricultural chemicals from upstream farms pollute the Mississippi, while mercury and fine particulates from unregulated power plants to the west contribute to its increasing number of air-quality alerts. These will require active work on the state and national level." Contact: Kristen Olson - _kristenolson [at] mngreens.org_ (mailto:kristenolson [at] mngreens.org) , 651-210-0789 Meets second Tuesday, monthly. --------5 of 25-------- From: Wyn Douglas <wyn_douglas [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Green Party 6.13 6:30pm Fellow Greens, We are gearing up for a big Summer. There are parades to walk in, events to table at, conventions to attend and elections to win! YOUR energy is needed to help knock on doors, make some calls, talk to your friends ... any and all support you can give to the Party and candidates this Summer will help build the Party and bring Green values to the state of Minnesota. If you were ever looking for evidence of Greens relevance, look no further than the topics of conversation around the nation: Americans are sick of violence and war in Iraq, they want a new energy infrastructure that will reduce carbon fuel reliance and reduce pollution and they want everyone to have access to the same health care as a right. Now is the time for Greens to become more vocal about these issues which have been the bedrock of our platform for quite some time, and push them into becoming a reality! The Fundraising Committee needs your help NOW. In order to send our GPUS delegates to the National Convention, set up a table and reach out to Minnesotans at our State Fair Booth and provide support for our Local Parties and candidates around the State, we need to ask our fellow Greens for help. This week, Tuesday the 13th, Wednesday the 14th and Thursday the 15th, Greens will be gathering at the State Party office (621 W Lake St, Minneapolis) at 6:30pm to contact other Greens around the state and ask for their support. If you're unable to come on out, please consider contributing to the Party. You can do so on the web site or by mailing the office. If you're unfamiliar with the PCRP program, it's a way in which people can donate $50 each to the Party and get a receipt to submit to the State and then get your $50 refunded. Please consider supporting the Party in any way, shape or form you're able. This is not merely about fundraising, although it is a big reason we're getting together this week. This is also about re-energizing each other for a big push this Summer. I have heard talk recently about Greens becoming irrelevant or marginal. Truly, I believe this couldn't be further from the truth. Today, our issues are on the minds of every American after championing justice for decades. Minnesota, and the United States, need us now more than ever. Come out this week for one, two or three nights. Get involved with a campaign. Join a committee. Whatever you do this Summer, make it Green. Feel free to contact me with any questions, about anything you like. I hope to see you sometime this Summer! Wyn Douglas Finance Chair, GPMN --------6 of 25-------- From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Soul unburdening 6.13 6:30pm This Tuesday, June 13, we will have Open Discussion. Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. --------7 of 25-------- From: Benjamin Acaso <acas0002 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Vegan/eat/fund 6.13 6:30pm Join Compassionate Action for Animals, for great vegan/vegetarian eats at Galactic Pizza next Tuesday, June 13! The restaurant offers an amazing array of vegan pizza toppings including gooey soy cheese, mock duck, and organic veggies. Galactic Pizza will also be donating fifteen percent of its profits to CAA this Tuesday (and every other 2nd Tuesday evening of the month). This will be a great time to meet local vegetarians, eat delicious food, and support the cause. Please RSVP with Ben at ben [at] ca4a.org or check out www.ExploreVeg.org for more info. >From 6:30-8:30pm on Tuesday, June 13 Galactic Pizza, 2917 Lyndale Ave S. in Uptown, Minneapolis Benjamin Acaso Compassionate Action for Animals http://www.ExploreVeg.org ben [at] ca4a.org --------8 of 25-------- From: altera vista <alteravista [at] earthlink.net> Subject: mn911 6.13 7pm Next meeting of the 911 group: Tuesday, June 13, 7 pm, Lori's Coffee House, on Cleveland at Buford, St. Paul, across from St. Paul U of M campus. Note change from Monday evening to Tuesday evening, a permanent change. --------9 of 25-------- From: Krisrose02 [at] aol.com Subject: GP press conf 6.14 10am GREEN PARTY OF MINNESOTA ENDORSES CANDIDATES FOR STATEWIDE, FEDERAL OFFICES Endorsed Candidates to Hold Press Conference 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 14, on the State Capitol Stairs. Contact: Rhoda Gilman, Green Party of Minnesota Politics Chair, 651-224-6383, rhodagilman [at] earthlink.net Minneapolis, Minnesota -- Minnesota Green Party members gathered Saturday, June 3, in Duluth for their biennial convention and voted to endorse candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor and Attorney General. The Greens endorsed Michael Cavlan for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Senator Mark Dayton. Cavlan is a registered nurse, and an activist in the peace and justice movement. Cavlan's platform focuses on creating a Universal Single-Payer Healthcare system, ending the war on Iraq, realigning U.S. foreign policy to better address the roots of terrorism, ensuring transparency and accountability of elections and voting technologies, implementing sustainable energy and agricultural policies, and protecting and empowering local family farms and small businesses. "Working class people and members of the peace and justice community must have a voice in our society and in the political system," Cavlan said, "Corporate money must be removed as an influence in our government. We will work to preserve and rekindle our democracy." Greens also endorsed Ken Pentel for Governor. Pentel was the Green Party's gubernatorial candidate in 1998 and in 2002. Pentel has spent the last 20 years working for environmental protection and social justice as an organizer, speaker, lobbyist, and candidate. Pentel's platform includes implementing a statewide Single-Payer Universal Healthcare system, establishing a living wage, improving access to affordable housing, and education. "I am running to give voice to the ways we can sustain our relationships to the Earth and to each other," Pentel said. "The state of Minnesota can be a leader in sustainable, renewable energy, preventing toxic pollution, and local-sustainable organic farming. I plan to also speak clearly on the need to implement policy that will take the influence of big money out of our democratic process such as, Proportional Representation, Instant Run-off Voting, publicly funded elections, and lobby reform." The Greens endorsed small business owner John Kolstad for Minnesota Attorney General. John Kolstad is currently President of Mill City Music, and has been active in many civic, business and community organizations for the last 25 years. Kolstad is currently serving as the Chair of the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition (www.muhcc.org) Steering committee, whose goal is to bring Universal Single Payer Health Insurance to MN. Kolstad supports a Single Payer style health plan, affordable housing, instituting strong enforceable environmental laws in MN, Campaign Finance Reform, Instant Run-off Voting, Proportional Representation, and ending Corporate Welfare. Speaking on the Healthcare crisis in Minnesota, Kolstad says, "What amazes me is what lengths public and elected officials will go to NOT solve the health care crises. I have no doubt that I can manage the affairs of the AG's Office and fully live up to the expectation of the State Constitution and the people of MN." Green Party member Dave Berger will be seeking the party's endorsement for Minnesota State Auditor. "I have come to realize that we cannot promote a balanced and sustainable planet unless we have balance within our own lives." Berger says. "I promise that I will do all that I can to represent the people with dignity and respect. Respect for social justice, grassroots democracy, environmental wisdom, and security through nonviolence." In local elections, the Greens have endorsed candidates Julie Risser for State Senate District 41, Jesse Mortenson for State House Representative 64A, Jay Pond for U.S. Representative in the 5th Congressional District, Farheen Hakeem for Hennepin County Commissioner (District 4). Green Party member Leroy Schafer is running for St. Francis City Council. Wade Hannon is also seeking Green Party endorsement for U.S. Congress in the 7th Congressional District. All of the candidates will be available to address the media at a joint press conference on Wednesday, June 14, at 10:00 am on the State Capitol stairs. The Green Party of Minnesota is founded on the values of Grassroots Democracy, Non-Violence, Ecological Wisdom, and Social and Economic Justice. For more information on the Minnesota Green Party see:www.mngreens.org For more information on the candidates see: Farheen Hakeem for Hennepin County Commissioner www.farheenhakeem.org Jesse Mortenson for MN House District 64A _www.jessemortenson.com_ (http://www.jessemortenson.com) Julie Risser for MN Senate District 41 _www.voterisser4senate.com_ (http://www.voterisser4senate.com) Michael Cavlan for US Senate _www.cavlan.org_ (_http://www.cavlan.org_ (http://www.cavlan.org/) ) Jay Pond, US House of Representatives, Minnesota's 5th Congressional _www.JayPond.com (http://www.JayPond.com -------10 of 25-------- From: humanrts [at] umn.edu Subject: Democracy/theocracy 6.14 11:30am Rev. Barry W. Lynn to Speak in Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Forum: "Democracy or Theocracy?" - A Series of Discussions on the Value and Importance of Maintaining a Secular Government Wednesday, June 14, at 11:30am Minneapolis Downtown Public Library Auditorium 300 Nicollet Mall Thursday, June 15, at 11:30 PM St. Paul Landmark Center, Weyerhaeuser Auditorium 75 West Fifth Street Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, will speak on the topic: "Religion in Law and Public Policy: Knowing the Limits." The event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! FFI: info [at] tandemproject.com and http://www.tandemproject.com --------11 of 25-------- From: Rich Hahnen <UNAMinnesota [at] gmail.com> Subject: Violence/HIV 6.14 11:30am The Link Between Violence and HIV A Roundtable Discussion Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs Cowles Auditorium 301 19th Avenue South Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455 612-624-1190 June 14, 2006 11:30 - 12:00 AM Light lunch will be provided (at no charge) 12:00 - 1:30 PM Program Open to the public and the media (Reservations requested) Special Guests Mary Fisher, Global Coalition on Women & AIDS Leadership Council Idah Mukuka, Centre for Infectious Disease Research, Zambia Deborah Elizabeth Davis Zelaya, Teacher, Honduras Celina D'Costa, Indian Network of People Living with HIV Dresden Jones, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assualt Moderated by: Diane Knust, Lecturer, Univ. of Minn. School of Social Work, Training Consultant, Midwest AIDS Training Education Center Please RSVP by e-mailing to: UNAMinnesota [at] gmail.com Sponsored by: Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Minnesota AIDS Project United Nations Association of Minnesota University of Minnesota School of Public Health University of Minnesota School of Social Work Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assualt Minnesota Coalition of Battered Women --------12 of 25-------- From: barbara Vaile <barbara [at] organicconsumers.org> Subject: Northland bioneers 6.14 5pm Hello Bioneers! We would love to connect with you by sharing an evening together. Please consider joining us for the following event: Friends of the Northland Appreciation Night: June 14, 5p to 7p, IN (Intelligent Nutrients) for map and driving directions: (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=983+East+Hennepin+Avenue,+Minneapol is,+MN+55414&output=html) Meet and speak with others who are helping bring Bioneers to the northland. Hear updates you will want to pass along to your network; and discover the role that fits best with your time and talents. RSVP by emailing Michelle Gransee-Bowman, Assistant Conference Director, at northlandbioneers [at] frontiernet.net or call 612.247.0781. Feel free to Bring a friend! Find details about this event on the web at: www.nbconference.org We look forward to getting to know you and your network in the coming months. Vonda Vaden, Conference Director Michelle Gransee-Bowman, Assistant Conference Director northlandbioneers [at] frontiernet.net 612.247.0781 --------13 of 25-------- From: amhine2 [at] mmm.com Subject: SPIF happy hour 6.14 6pm SPIF's Talents, Arts, Concerts, Unifications, Lovefests, Action, & Recreation.Committee (SPIF-TACULAR.COM) impersonally invites you to SPIF Happy Hour!!! Three* Of Seven "Harrisburg" (Ward Three)* Parrish's / Casa Viejo West Seventh Street (near the candy factory) Flag Day Wed 14 Jun 2006 18.00 - 21:13h To discuss vexillology, what else? Bring plenty of money TAXI = 222-2222, and probably 333-3333, and maybe 444-4444, ... (Confucius say; "For good luck in back of sedan chair, call 999-9999.") The kitchen will be open and serving Mexicano y Americano ("Supper Club"). Be prepared to be moved and shaken. If not stirred into a frenzy. No spies. No secret handshakes. I told them at least 20 people will show, and maybe 50 or more, so please do what you can to make it. I'm warning you, though - Anne might make us wear name tags! --------14 of 25-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Tibet/torture 6.14 6pm Wednesday, 6/14, 6pm, Palden Gyatso, torture survivor and longest surving Tibetan political prisoner, will speak at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1200 Marquette Ave, Mpls. 612-703-6321 --------15 of 25-------- From: humanrts [at] umn.edu Subject: Rights dinner 6.14 5pm June 14 - Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights 2006 Human Rights Awards Dinner. Reception & Silent Auction at 5pm; Dinner & Program 6:45-8:45pm. Cost: (info unavailable). Working at the Intersections: Women, Immigration and Human Rights 2006 Human Rights Award Honorees Keynote Speaker: Hauwa Ibrahim, internationally recognized Nigerian human rights lawyer and advocate Kao Ly Ilean Her, Executive Director of the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans Lupe Serrano, Executive Director of Casa de Esperanza Master of Ceremonies: Garrison Keillor Our Human Rights Awards Dinner is a celebration of the accomplishments of our founders and the thousands of supporters, volunteers, board members and staff members who continue to build on their shared ambitions, values and ideals. This year our Human Rights Awards honor Hauwa Ibrahim, Kao Ly Ilean Her and Lupe Serrano, three amazing and pioneering women whose human rights work has improved conditions for women overseas and in Minnesota. Location: The Depot, Downtown Minneapolis --------16 of 25-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: London bombings 6.14 7pm 7/7: The London Bombings, Islam and the Iraq War": Milan Rai Wednesday, June 14, 7pm. Mayday Books, 301 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis. Enter through outside stairs on the north, underneath Midwest Mountaineering. Parking can be found in the lot to the east of the building. Milan Rai is a London peace activist and author. Milan's involvement in the Iraq issues began with anti-war efforts in 1990 which led to his co-founding the direct action and information group Active Resistance to the Roots of War (APPOW), and his founding of the British branch of Voices in the Wilderness in 1998. After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Milan co-founded Justice Not Vengeance, an anti-war group dealing wit the whole range of issues raised by the "war on terror." Sponsored by: Twin Cities Peace Campaign, Mayday Books, and WAMM. FFI: Call WAMM at 612-827-5364. --------17 of 25-------- From: Ron Holch <rrholch [at] attg.net> Subject: No Anoka stadium 6.14 7pm Taxpayers for an Anoka County Stadium Referendum Wednesday June 14, at 7pm Centennial Branch Anoka County Libraries 100 Civic Heights Circle, Circle Pines 763-171-3294 THE 2006 LEGISLATIVE SESSION IS OVER. The Twins Stadium has been decided on by the legislators. We may be next. No matter where you live in Minnesota, If you haven't already done so please write your representatives and tell them we do not need to waste more money on stadium giveaways to Billionaires. Please continue to tell them we want a vote as required by state law for any tax increase to pay for a stadium. Write letters to your local paper too. If you have done these things once already do it again. The time is now. Remind them that the election is only five months away. AGENDA ITEMS INCLUDE: What can you do right now to keep a referendum on stadium taxes November Elections. Website Lawn signs MN Data Practices Act Request to Anoka County Any Questions, comments contact me at: Ron Holch rrholch [at] attg.net <mailto:rrholch [at] attg.net> [Everyone who voted for the stadium should be kicked out. No excuses. They knew what they were doing, and now they deserve to pay the price. Let us have no lesser-evil caluculations; no matter how bad the other guys are, they're better than these proven suck-ups to billionaires. -ed] --------18 of 25-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Vets 4 peace 6.14 7pm Redwing MN Wednesday, 6/14, 7 pm, (and every 2nd Wednesday), Red Wing (#115) Vets for Peace at home of Charles Nicolosi. tuvecino [at] redwing.net --------19 of 25-------- From: Jennifer <jennifer_nemo [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Peoples open mic 6.14 7pm THURSDAY, June 14th 7-9pm. Minnesota Spoken Word Association's People's Open Mic: Poetry for the People by the People. Every Thursday. Lula's Coffee and Jazz, 3400 Nicollet Ave., Mpls. --------20 of 25-------- From: John Kolstad <jkolstad [at] millcitymusic.com> Subject: Papa "AG" Kolstad 6.14 7pm Papa John Kolstad [and Green Party endorsed candidate for Attorney General] and Clint Hoover won the "Road To Memphis" Competition Sunday (June 11, 2006) with their performance at the Coffee Grounds in St Paul. The duo will be going to Memphis for the 23rd International Blues Challenge in February 2007. In their first public appearance since winning this honor Kolstad and Hoover will perform Wednesday, June 14, 7-9pm at Jackson's Juke Joint at the Viking Bar 1829 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis. The show will celebrate the release of the Duo's new CD "Alive and Well at the Ginkgo". Papa John is a legendary Twin Cities blues and swing musician. Clint Hoover is one of only a few who are True Masters of both diatonic (blues) and chromatic harmonica. This is a fresh, lively, very musical album with excellent sound recording quality. The International Blues Challenge is the largest gathering of Blues bands in the world. It is a judged "Battle of the Bands," presented by The Blues Foundation in Memphis TN. More than 145 affiliated Blues organizations select Blues Bands and Duo acts to compete February 1st through 3rd 2007. Our local organization, The Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Organization sponsors "The Road To Memphis" to select the representatives from this area. In addition to Kolstad and Hoover, the popular group "Cool Disposition" was chosen to be the band representing GTCBMS in Memphis --------21 of 25-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: AI StPaul 6.14 7:30pm AIUSA Group 640 (Saint Paul) meets Wednesday, June 14th, at 7:30pm, Mad Hatter Teahouse, 943 West 7th Street, Saint Paul. http://www.aistpaul.org. --------22 of 25-------- Republicans' anti-gay marriage amendment: a cynical and reactionary maneuver By David Walsh 9 June 2006 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jun2006/gay-j09.shtml The attempt to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, which failed in the US Senate on Wednesday, was an exercise in political cynicism and reaction organized by the Bush administration and the Republican leadership in Congress. It was aimed at shoring up political support for the Republicans within the party's 'base,' i.e., the most backward elements of the American population. In the end, the move to cut off debate in the Senate and bring the measure to a final vote, which required a two-thirds majority to pass, fell 11 votes short of the 60 needed. The outcome, give or take a vote or two, was a foregone conclusion. The decision to bring the amendment before the Senate shows that the Bush administration hopes to alleviate its current political woes and avert a Republican debacle in the November mid-term elections by playing on the insecurity and prejudices of one section of the population at the expense of the basic rights of another. Even sections of the American media acknowledged the anti-gay measure was a sop to social layers whose support for the current administration has cooled. Polls indicate declining support for Bush both among moderate Republicans (from 81 to 56 percent since December 2004) and conservatives (from 93 to 78 percent). The New York Times spelled out the political calculations rather bluntly: "There are multiple reasons why Congress is taking up the issues now. The legislative calendar is relatively thin. The Senate majority leader, Bill Frist of Tennessee, who controls the Senate's schedule, has been trying to convince social conservatives that he is one of them in advance of a potential presidential bid. And while the leadership wants election-year votes on social issues, they do not want them too close to November in case they backfire." The arguments of the right-wing Christian elements are largely delusional. In their version of things, homosexuals, by asking for equal treatment, are waging war on America's 'traditional family values,' with the help of the 'liberal media' and 'activist judges.' "We have been left with no other choice for the defense of marriage than an amendment to the US Constitution," declared Tony Perkins, president of the ultra-right Family Research Council, at a recent press conference. "This is not about gay marriage, it is an assault on traditional marriage," claimed Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr., chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, an organization of black clergy, at the same event. "Gays are aggressive, gays declared war, gays are attacking traditional marriage, and we're saying stop it now." The debate over the gay marriage measure also served to divert attention, at least for a few days, from the mounting crisis of the Bush administration in both domestic and foreign policy. The White House and the congressional Republican leadership welcomed a chance to change the subject from US atrocities in Iraq and the deteriorating condition of the American economy. While the issue was brought before the Senate as a transparent political maneuver, the campaign for an anti-gay marriage amendment is itself deeply anti-democratic. The amendment would add the following language to the Constitution: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman." If this were implemented, it would alter the Constitution in an unprecedented manner to restrict, not expand, the rights of American citizens. A specific group, gay men and women, would be singled out for discriminatory treatment, in violation of the constitutional principle of "equal protection of the laws." The "legal incidents thereof" language is intended, moreover, to bar not only same-sex marriages, but also civil unions, which might give gay couples equivalent rights to married heterosexuals in such areas as child custody and adoption, property distribution and healthcare benefits. According to one account, the amendment would strip gay married citizens of access to more than 1,138 federal rights, protections, and responsibilities automatically granted to married heterosexual couples. The Constitution provides absolutely no basis for defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. That is a religious definition. As one of the anti-gay bigots, the Rev. William Owens, founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, explained recently: "Our position is based on Scripture, not political parties or persuasion or opposition." The enshrinement of such a religious attitude in the Constitution would be a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from making any law "respecting an establishment of religion." The effort to prohibit same-sex marriages goes hand in hand with campaigns to enshrine school prayer in the Constitution, promote the public display of the Ten Commandments and similar measures which target the separation of church and state, a bulwark of democratic rights. These are part of a larger, ongoing effort to eviscerate the Bill of Rights. While Republican leaders like Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas have ignorantly denied that the separation of church and state was a principle of the framers of the Constitution, the more brazen of the religious fanatics openly call for a repudiation of the Constitution's secular and humanist underpinnings. One of them, according to a sympathetic commentator, "points a finger at the framers of the Constitution of the United States, who self-consciously broke with 1000 + years of Western heritage by not referring to the Trinity and to Christ as King. This was the hole in the dike... through which modern secularism has poured." The goal of these types, with the open or tacit encouragement of the leadership of the Republican Party, is to transform the US into a theocratic state, in which the principles of the 13th century would prevail. Such views run counter to the democratic instincts and history of the American people. This is not to deny that, under conditions of growing economic insecurity for tens of millions and the political confusion that prevails in the US, appeals to 'traditional values' and the need to prevent the 'moral ruin of the nation' have had their impact. The Democratic Party, including its liberal wing, has shown itself unwilling and unable to seriously oppose such reactionary appeals. [And so what is it worth? Why support it in any way whatsoever? What is wrong with us that we put up with such cowardice? Are we as cowardly as they? We should already have told them of their coming permanent retirement. - ed] Nonetheless, the clear trend is for increased popular tolerance about sexual orientation. While 58 percent of the population opposes gay marriage, according to recent polls, only 42 percent supports a constitutional amendment prohibiting it. As columnist Margaret Carlson notes: "Every year millions of people watch "Will & Grace" and Ellen DeGeneres with no effect on their morals, and slowly make friends with the gay couple who moved in next door. For every homophobe who passes on, a young person grows up comfortable with the lesbians at work fussing over bridesmaids and wedding cakes. And then they register to vote. "In 1977, a third of Americans opposed equal employment rights for homosexuals. That's down to 9 percent. On gays in the military, that explosive precursor to gay marriage that almost derailed the infant Clinton administration, the Pew Research Center finds that by 2-to-1 people now believe gays should serve openly." According to Pew, opposition to gay marriage has dropped from 65 percent to 51 percent in 2006. One commentator (religioustolerance.org) observes, "The most recent three surveys show a fairly constant trend towards greater acceptance of same-sex marriage [SSM]. By extrapolating the data forwards in time, one might predict that equal numbers of American adults will support and oppose SSM by February of 2007. After that, one might predict that more adults will support than oppose SSM." The Bush administration and Republicans like Frist are openly seeking to deprive a considerable portion of the American population of its basic rights. The Urban Institute estimates the gay and lesbian population at 5 percent of the total US population over 18 years old, or some 10.5 million people. It calculates that some 3.1 million gay or lesbian people are living in "committed relationships in the same residence." The US is a massively complex and diverse society of nearly 300 million people whose demographics have undergone a dramatic transformation. The attempt by the Christian right to squeeze the American population into some largely mythical 'traditional' framework is as reactionary as it is doomed. A few statistics will suffice. Some 11 million people are currently living with an unmarried partner, a figure that is probably an undercount. Forty-one percent of American women ages 15-44 have "cohabited" (lived with an unmarried different-sex partner) at some point, 33 percent of all births are to unmarried women, and the number of unmarried couples living together increased 72 percent between 1990 and 2000-that number has increased tenfold since 1960. As of 2000, the most typical household in the US was an individual living alone. Twenty-seven million American households consisted of one person, compared to 25 million with a husband, wife and child. Only a quarter of households in the US now conform to the "traditional family" notion, a married couple and their children. The average American now spends the majority of his or her life unmarried. In 2000, 44 percent of US adults were single, compared to 36 percent in 1970. There are 100 million single and unmarried adults in the US (some living alone, some living with partners, families, roommates, etc.). In any event, the professions of concern for 'family values' and the sanctity of marriage on the part of the American political and media establishment are utterly hypocritical. The social policies of both parties are making life intolerable for millions, tearing families and marriages apart, guaranteeing increases in divorce or separation, domestic violence and child abuse. In many cases in the US, partners - married or unmarried, same- or opposite sex - hardly see one another, as millions are forced to worked longer and longer hours, often in two or three jobs, simply to make ends meet. The absence of affordable daycare, the high cost of medical insurance (entirely out of the reach of some 50 million people), increasing attacks on reproductive rights, the slashing of social programs for working class women and families, the soaring cost of housing - this is the actual program, as opposed to the fantasized version offered up by campaign advertisements, that the Republicans and Democrats alike carry out on behalf of America's families. The social fabric of the country is being torn apart primarily so that a disproportionate share of society's wealth will continue to flow to the 0.1 percent of the population that has enriched itself beyond imagination over the past several decades. [Why do we put up with the poorly-animated piles of diaper-dung who run this country? Why? Then they rub off their crap on all our lives. The world is their cess-pool. Imagine a world without them. -ed] --------23 of 25-------- US Senate majority backs windfall for the rich through repeal of estate tax By Patrick Martin 9 June 2006 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jun2006/tax-j09.shtml A clear majority of the Senate voted Thursday for the single largest handout to the super-rich in US history, a bill for permanent repeal of the tax on inherited wealth, but the measure fell just short of the 60 votes required to cut off debate and secure passage. The 57-41 vote means that supporters of repeal may have to settle for a slightly less gargantuan tax cut for multi-millionaires in order to attract the three additional votes needed to close debate and pass the measure. Senate Majority Leader William Frist (Republican of Tennessee) had refused to allow a vote on anything less than 100 percent repeal until after the vote to impose cloture and cut off debate. When that vote failed, Frist indicated another vote would be scheduled later in the year, either on the same bill or on one that would continue the estate tax but at a sharply reduced rate. Outright repeal would cost the Treasury an estimated $776 billion over ten years, while the "compromise" versions would shower $652 billion and $550 billion respectively on the richest Americans. Only two Republicans, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and George Voinovich of Ohio, broke with the Republican majority on estate tax repeal. Four Democrats sided with the Republican majority and voted to cut off debate: Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Max Baucus of Montana and Bill Nelson of Florida. The estate tax is paid only by a handful of wealthy families-only three out of every 1,000 estates exceed the current $4 million threshold. The repeal drive has been spearheaded and financed by 18 billionaire families, including the Waltons of Wal-Mart, who have spent over $200 million lobbying to preserve and expand their colossal share of the national wealth. Among the 18 families are the Dorrances, owners of Campbell Soup, the Mars candy family and the Gallo wine family. The estate tax was phased out over ten years under the $1.3 trillion tax-reduction package adopted in 2001, in which a half-dozen Senate Democrats played a key role in insuring passage of the plan pushed by the Bush White House. In order to make the tax cut for the wealthy as large as possible, the legislation provided for phase-out of the estate tax by 2010, followed by its complete restoration in 2011. This bizarre arrangement was necessary to satisfy budget constraints, which were based on calculating the ten-year cost of the tax break. The administration always intended to eliminate the 2011 restoration in subsequent years and make the tax cut permanent, but this has become more difficult with the skyrocketing federal budget deficit. The House of Representatives passed permanent repeal of the estate tax in April 2005, but the Senate postponed scheduled action in September, after hurricane Katrina. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley said that abolishing a tax on the wealthiest Americans would send the wrong political signal in the midst of mass suffering in the biggest natural disaster in US history. It is a remarkable fact of American life that it was only when television screens were dominated by images of American working people drowned, starving or begging for help that the political establishment in Washington felt embarrassed about enacting a new windfall for the financial elite. Now, five months before the November elections, the congressional leaders of both big business parties claim that the elimination of the estate tax is a popular, vote-getting measure. Republicans are anxious to push it through, while the Democratic opposition is half-hearted and timid. This demonstrates the extraordinary degree to which the interests of a financial oligarchy dictate official policy. It is a product of the unprecedented concentration of wealth over the past three decades, a process which is accelerating under the Bush administration. Incomes are being recorded which have no parallel in modern history, even in the period of the Robber Barons of the late 19th century. According to a report issued last week on hedge funds - a purely speculative financial venture which pools the capital of wealthy investors - the top 25 hedge fund managers made an average income of $330 million in 2005. The two most highly paid, James Simons of Renaissance Technologies and oilfield speculator T. Boone Pickens, made $1.5 billion and $1.4 billion in personal income, respectively. It is such fortunes that now require new forms of legal protection. The campaign for repeal of the estate tax has used the same "big lie" technique as the campaign against the alleged threat of gay marriage. The estate tax, applied to only a relative handful of the wealthiest individuals, was labeled the "death tax," and the impression was given that countless family farmers and small businessmen were being forced to sell out rather than bequeath their tiny assets to their sons and daughters. A typical example of this campaign was the editorial Thursday in the Wall Street Journal, which condemned the support for the estate tax by billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Bill Gates Sr., father of the Microsoft tycoon. Billionaires don't actually pay estate taxes, the Journal claimed. "The real people who pay the levy are the thrifty middle class and entrepreneurs who've built up a modest nest egg or business and are hit by a 46% tax rate when they die. Americans want family businesses, ranches, farms and other assets to be passed from one generation to the next. Yet the US has one of the highest death tax rates in the world." As repeated studies have demonstrated, the truth is that less than half of one percent of all estates are taxed under current law, and by 2009 this would include a grand total of 65 farms in the entire United States (actually not "farms," but rather substantial agribusinesses). The current law already provides that the exemption level will rise to $3 million in 2009 for an individual and $7.5 million for a couple, when only three out of 1,000 estates will pay anything in estate tax. Permanent repeal of the tax would cost $776 billion in revenue loss from 2012 to 2021, as well as an additional $213 billion in interest on the increased federal debt, a total of nearly $1 trillion. Some 71 percent of the additional benefits would go to those inheriting more than $10 million, with the balance going to those inheriting more than $3 million. There is literally no benefit for anyone not inheriting millions. Under an alternative plan proposed by Arizona Republican Jon Kyl, the first $5 million of an estate would be tax exempt, while estates between $5 million and $30 million would be taxed at 15 percent, the current rate for capital gains, and amounts above $30 million would be taxed at 30 percent-a sharp reduction from the current rate of 46 percent. Democrats overwhelmingly opposed the estate tax repeal, but largely on the grounds of its fiscal recklessness. "We will take the money which we are not going to collect from the estate tax and end up borrowing it," said minority whip Richard Durbin of Illinois. One leading Democrat, ranking Finance Committee member Max Baucus of Montana, has proposed his own version of estate tax reduction, similar to Kyl's, but with slightly lower exemptions and slightly higher tax rates for the very wealthiest. This plan would still eliminate more than two-thirds of the taxes on inherited wealth over the decade from 2012 to 2021. All of these plans would drastically exacerbate wealth and income inequality in the United States, which are already at record levels. One analysis by the Tax Policy Center, for example, found that estate tax repeal would give more money to the millionaires in just one year than all the income taxes paid by the poorest 65 million taxpayers. These taxpayers, with incomes less than $29,000, paid a total of $25.9 billion in income taxes. The estate tax elimination would give some 50,000 people more than $40 billion. The 2001 tax cut legislation already represents one of the largest windfalls for the wealthy in history. According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the number of estates subject to tax has declined from more than 50,000 in 2000 to only 13,000 this year, and will drop to barely 7,000 by 2009. The vast majority of the wealthy have thus already been completely exempted from this tax. Aside from the fiscal implications - repeal of the estate tax will complete the bankrupting of the federal treasury, forcing massive cuts in basic social benefits like Medicare and Social Security - there are the reactionary social consequences. One of the few commentaries to focus on this aspect of the issue appeared Monday in the Washington Post, written by Sebastian Mallaby, in general a fervent advocate of the capitalist "free market," as well as the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq. He voiced the fear that repeal of the estate tax, combined with rising economic inequality, would result in a permanent change in the US social structure. "For most of the past century, the case for the estate tax was regarded as self-evident," he wrote. "The estate tax, like a cigarette tax or a carbon tax, is a tool for reducing a socially damaging phenomenon - the emergence of a hereditary upper class - as well as a way of raising money." Under conditions where the presidency itself has become a semi-hereditary position, passed down from father to son, and perhaps next from husband to wife, it would seem that Mallaby's warning is more than belated. A financial oligarchy already dominates American society, controlling not only the economic levers of power in the banks and giant corporations, but both political parties and every institution of the state. --------24 of 25-------- The blood-engorged ticks at the top scurry for more veins to suck dry - yours? --------25 of 25-------- Pohlad's polymorph pink pluckers pick our pockets. Carry a sharp knife. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.