Progressive Calendar 06.24.06
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2006 04:47:21 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     06.24.06

1. NE farmers market   6.24 9am
2. Planned parenthood  6.24 9am
3. GLBT pride festival 6.24-25 10am
4. Guatemala           6.24 10am
5. wilpf               6.24 10am
6. PRT/Bakken          6.24 10am
7. Energy independence 6.24 2pm
8. SpiritRoad/950AM    6.24 3pm
9. Steve Macek/book    6.24 6pm
10. Soul/GLBT pride    6.24 6:30pm
11. Strange fruit/film 6.24 7pm

12. Jim Hightower  - How to fix our health care mess
13. Patrick Martin - US Senate backs indefinite occupation of Iraq
14. AP             - Mondale for pre-emptive strike vs N Korean missile
15. ed             - Spitting Image

--------1 of 15--------

From: tom [at] organicconsumers.org
Subject: NE farmers market 6.24 9am

How about some new potatoes, asparagus, rhubarb, shelled sweet peas,
beautiful heads of lettuce, herbs and last week - boysenberries and all
these products less that 24 hours off the plant or out of the ground.
IT'S THE NORTHEAST FARMERS MARKET.

Come get a shot of spring and help support local growers and businesses to
boot!

The Northeast Farmers Market is located in the parking lot of St. Boniface
Catholic Church, at the intersection of University and 7th Avenue NE,
across from Emily's Lebanese Deli, from 9:00 AM till 1:00 PM every
Saturday.

Besides the particle listing above of farm and garden products available
you can also get your glasses cleaned and pick up a pair of vintage frames
have some coffee a dn baked goods from Diamonds Coffee shop and of course
the Trebesch's will be there with their fabulous pork products and also
chickens.  Birdhouse John should be there too.  Doing his share to put an
end to bird homelessness with his one of a kind bird abodes.

Seven years in the making, Northeast Farmers Market is your gateway into
lovely lower NE Minneapolis.  Come meet your neighbors, grab a bag full of
spring, support family farms, local businesses and shrink the minutes and
miles between the farm and your fork.

yum yum fun, Tom Taylor 612-788-4252


--------2 of 15--------

From: Bonnie [at] mnwomen.org
Subject: Planned parenthood 6.24 9am

June 24:  Planned Parenthood of MN, ND and SD Action Fund's Live Action
Camp. A day-long workshop where volunteers will learn valuable skills
including: choice conversations, campaign infrastructure, taking the fear
out of phone banking and door-to-door campaigning. 9AM-2PM at the
Minneapolis Uptown Clinic, 1200 Lagoon Ave. Sally Hassell at
shassell [at] ppmns.org or 612/821-6164.


--------3 of 15--------

From: wamm
Subject: GLBT pride festival 6.24-25 10am

Saturday, June 24, 10am-10pm and Sunday, June 25, 10am-6pm.
Loring Park, Lyndale and Hennepin Avenues, Minneapolis.

The Twin Cities GLBT Pride Festival features four stages of all-live
entertainment, three food courts, fireworks, history pavilion and a Family
and Children's area. A Parade will take place on Sunday, June 25 at 11am
and will begin at 3rd Street and Hennepin Avenue and follow Hennepin
Avenue to Loring Park. Come visit the Peace Booth at the Festival and/or
join local peace organizations, including WAMM, in the Parade. Peace Booth
sponsored by: the Anti-War Committee (AWC), the Anti-War Organizing League
(AWOL), and WAMM. FFI: Call WAMM at 612-827-5364.

---
From: Erika Zurawski <zura0007 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: [AntiWarMN] No PRIDE in War - volunteers needed!

It's that time of year already, and the AWC is diving into the summer of
Pride! We are very excited about our festive participation in this year's
GLBT Pride Festival (June 24-25). But we need your energy and involvement
to make it a success.

Every year, close to half a million queer people and their allies descend
upon Loring Park to celebrate community and solidarity - the park is full
of positive energy, and many of the people who come there are looking for
progressive ways to become active. By dedicating ourselves for the
weekend, we always recruit huge numbers of supporters for the anti-war
movement.

Attacks on the queer community have continued over the past year. Social
conservatives continue to push an anti-queer agenda and have equated
marriage between same-sex couples with a terrorist act. Again this week,
Congress is debating a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and
Bush is holding a press conference to get people to rally around this
issue.

The failure of the war on Iraq has meant that the Bush Administration
needed to turn its bigotry toward those fighting for rights on the home
front. Queer rights have come under attack alongside immigrant rights, and
the fight of both communities is one of civil rights and equality. While
people in the US are fighting for equality, the Iraqi people are fighting
for their freedom. Bush is requesting supplemental funding for the war on
Iraq to the tune of $92.2 billion. His terror at home helps to distract
from US terror abroad.

Well, if being queer means you can't join the military, and Bush hates you
enough to call you a terrorist, then the peace movement is the place for
you!

*GLBT Pride 2006: Stop Clowning Around - Come Out Against War!*

The Anti-War Committee will have a booth at the Pride festival with a
carnival/circus theme. It's time for us to expose those clowns that are
running our civil rights and Iraq to the ground! Our booth will include
carnival games, face painting, and tarot card readings to draw people into
the fun - and the information. Don't miss your chance to throw your anger
at the grinning homophobes! We will also march in the parade (Sunday
morning) under the banner "Stop Clowning Around, Come Out Against War,"
wearing our most creative circus attire (lion tamers, flying trapeze
artists, and more) and passing out information about our anti-war work.

This is where you come in:

*Volunteer at the carnival or the literature table...* At all times we
need to have at least 2 people staffing our literature table, in addition
to that we need 4 people to help us run games and paint faces. And the
more people power we have, the more we can please! That's a lot of staff
hours - Saturday 8:30 to 6pm and Sunday 10am to 6pm. You can help us make
it a success.

*March with us... *We will march under the banner, "Stop Clowning Around,
Come Out Against War".  Marchers are encouraged to wear carnival/circus
attire. Anything you think you might find at a circus - lion tamers,
flying trapeze artists, tight rope walkers... is a go. We will chant
anti-war and solidarity messages, and pass out informational literature
along the route.  Line-up is at 10am in downtown Minneapolis. Come out to
say: "Racist, sexist, anti-gay - Bush and Cheney go away!"


--------4 of 15--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Guatemala 6.24 10am

Saturday, 6/24, 10 to 11:30 am, Mary Kost talks about "Comida Para Vida," a
nutrition program in Guatemala, Resource Center of the Americas, 3019
Minnehaha, Mpls.  www.americas.org


--------5 of 15--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: wilpf 6.24 10am

Saturday, 6/24, 10 am to midafternoon, Women's Intl League for Peace and
Freedom retreat, home of Paul and Rhoda Redleaf, 1015 Sibley Memorial Hwy
(Hwy 130, St Paul.  vegan14ever [at] riseup.net  (RSVP by June 13).


--------6 of 15--------

From: Margaret Beegle <beegle [at] louberts.com>
Subject: PRT/Bakken 6.24 10am

Every Saturday in June, Citizens for Personal Rapid Transit will have a
display at the Bakken Museum of Electricity, 3537 Zenith Avenue South,
Minneapolis. The exhibit is intended for children ages 5 to 12 and on up
to adulthood. Hours are 10:00 to 4:00. Come learn about magnetism and the
newest developments with PRT.


--------7 of 15--------

From: Mark Snyder <snyde043 [at] tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Energy independence 6.24 2pm

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE DAY
2-4pm, Saturday June 24th
at the Green Institute (2801 21st Avenue S.)
For more information, directions and cool posters:
http://renewableenergy.greeninstitute.org/default.asp?active_page_id=48

Energy Independence Day will celebrate the next revolution this nation
will be undertaking, the challenge to become independent from fossil
fuels.

Demonstrations of clean energy technologies will be given; arctic explorer
Will Steger and Mayor R.T. Rybak will speak at the event. Solar-powered
ice cream and children's activities will be available.

The event is being sponsored by the Green Institute, Clean Water Action,
the Alaska Coalition of Minnesota, MN Renewable Energy Society, Sierra
Club, SE Como neighborhood and others. Over 20 clean energy exhibitors
will be at the event, and prizes will be raffled from Patagonia, Welna
Hardware and Hour Car.


--------8 of 15--------

From: Burt Berlowe <berlowe [at] tcinternet.net>
Subject: SpiritRoad/950AM 6.24 3pm

Spirit Road Radio on Air America Minnesota 950AM will present highlights
of its past shows this Saturday at 3 p.m. Previous programs have focused
on union organizing, international peacemaking, environmental preservation
and sustainability and Native American culture. For info, contact Burt at
612-722-1504 or Rick at 612-824-7176.


--------9 of 15--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Steve Macek/book 6.24 6pm

Saturday, June 24, 2006
6 pm
Book Reading: Stephen Macek

Stephen Macek will read from his newly published book "Urban Nightmares:
The Media, the Right, and the Moral Panic Over the City." This timely work
explores how politicians, journalists, Hollywood filmmakers, and
conservative intellectuals, have demonized the inner-city poor and helped
to popularize right-wing victim-blaming interpretations of urban problems.

Time: Sat. June 24, 6 pm
Location: Mayday Books
301 Cedar Avenue, West Bank
Minneapolis, Minnesota
612-333-4719
www.maydaybookstore.org

Contact the store directly at 612-333-4719, or email us at
coreymattson [at] maydaybooks.org.

--
From: Stephen Macek <shmacek [at] noctrl.edu>

Book Launch/Reading for
"Urban Nightmares: The Media, the Right and the Moral Panic over the
City" (University of Minnesota Press)
by Steve Macek
6 p.m., Saturday, June 24, 2006
Mayday Books
301 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis (on the West Bank)

Steve Macek, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Speech Communication North Central
College 30 N. Brainard Naperville, IL 60540-4690 Phone: 630-637-5369 Fax:
630-637-5140

Out Soon on U of MN Press:
Urban Nightmares: The Media, the Right, and the Moral Panic over the
City
ISBN:  ISBN 0-8166-4361-X
http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/M/macek_urban.html

Webpage: http://stephen.macek.faculty.noctrl.edu/
Blog: http://stevemacek.blogspot.com/


--------10 of 15--------

From: David Strand <mncivil [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Soul/GLBT pride 6.24 6:30pm

Soul Essence and Pillsbury Community Services
Present
Story Tellers of Song and Word
"Talent Showcase and Tribute to T. Mychael Rambo"
Saturday, 6/24/06
Pillsbury House
3501 Chicago Avenue South
6:30 p.m.
Opening Reception/Hors'derves
8:00 p.m.
Showtime
Cost
$20.00
Local talent from the community will be performing!
Click here for more information!

 We Are One - The Motherland Campaign
Join T. Mychael Rambo, Debbie Duncan, Bruce Henry, Yolande Bruce, Gevonee
Ford, Ginger Commodore and Friends in this Community Fundraising
Celebration!
Sunday, June 25, 2006
4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
The PCYC - Capri Theatre
2027 Broadway Ave. North
Plymouth Christian Youth Center
(At Logan Ave. North & Broadway)
Cost: $15.00
(Goodwill Offering)
For more info: 651-225-4204
Proceeds will benefit NdCAD - (The Network for the Development of Children
of African Decent) and T. Mychael Rambo, in his Arts Education & HIV/AIDS
outreach efforts in the Motherland


--------11 of 15--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Strange fruit/film 6.24 7pm

STRANGE FRUIT: African-American murder mystery with unique view
reviewed by Lydia Howell
TC journalist and host of "Catalyst" on KFAI Radio

 From the first murky shots of a bayou night to the total surprise
ending of this murder mystery, one is carried on a tide of suspense,
with the added pleasure that fully-developed characters that are Black
folks anchor this film's center.

William Boyles is an up and coming NYC lawyer called back to his Louisiana
home when his cousin, Kelvin is visciously murdered in a torture-lynching.
STRANGE FRUIT has a John Grisham novel's flavor of unrepentant small-town
Southern bigotry, corrupt law enforcement and a hideous crime that reveals
everyone's true character. The difference is that STRANGE FRUIT's hero is
not only African-American, he's gay and the murder he's trying to solve
was a hate crime about same-sex love rather than false accusations of
rape.

Writer/director Kyle Schickner has a sure hand that knows when to tighten
the tension, yet, he never loses focus on creating people we inevitably
care about. This is his third feature film (previously he made "Full
Frontal" and "A Rose By Any Other Name" ) with his company Fencesitter
Films. Schikner spent the early 1990s writing and directing off-Braodway
plays and is also known as a bisexual activist.

Kent Faulcon's William is sophisticated, smart, and drop-dead handsome in
his Armani suites. (You might have seen him in major roles in "Solaris",
"American Beauty", "Men in Black", "Die Hard With A Vengence" and other
films or in recurring roles on TV's "Soul Food", "NYPD Blue",
"Girlfriends" "Charmed", and guest appearences eleswhere). He's got
confidence to burn but also communicates an undercurrent of loss that seep
out unexpectedly, in spite of his stoic armor. His hometown return
ultimately becomes just as much about facing his family as it does about
finding justice for his friend.

William's cousin/sidekick, Duane, is played with crackling comic timing by
David Raibon, a Houston cop turned standup comic and actor seen on BET's
"Comic View" and "It's Showtime at the Apollo", plus HBO's "Six Feet
Under", and "Just Shoot Me". Slipping effortlessly into drama, Raibon
expresses Dwayne's awkward balance between uncomfortableness about both
his dead brother's and Williams homosexuality and the fierce loyalty of
"being blood". Fan's of FX's "The Shield" know what he's capable of in his
role as Van Bro, the paralyzed ex-gang member.

Most known for playing Jenny on "The Jeffersons", Berlinda Tolbert plays
William's Aunt Emma and Duane's mother. Her range from outraged grief to a
rock of tolernace for her dead son and William's "difference" is the
emotional core of the film. But, William's 10-year absence from his
hometown is a result of the reality that most of his family and friends
couldn't accept that one of the most popular young men they ever knew
turned out to be a "punk". STRANGE FRUIT doesn't flinch from facing
homophobia whether by redneck cops or African-Americans.

In a small but, significant role, Harace Carpenter plays Buddy Bleu, an
60-something Black man who's gay bar is "the only place we can be
ourselves here". He's worth the price of admission.

Sam Jones is the quintessential Southern Sheriff, with deputies that match
him in near-caricature. But, William's confident confrontations of these
buffoons gives the satisfaction that equals Sidney Poiter's in "Heat of
the Night" and are sure to bring cheers. Christopher May plays a deputy
that William went to high school with and makes the most of his longest
scene to poignantly tell an everyday story that's rarely told.

 From the film's title through out the film music is beautifully used,
with regular dollops of blues. Schickner's STRANGE FRUIT gets hold of you
and doesn't let go until it's shocking end--a conclusion that deserves
more time than it gets. For those who feel there is one acceptable
bigotry--that is bias against against GLBT people--I suspect that
Schickner felt only a punch to the gut might open minds. STRANGE FRUIT is
solid entertainment for straight and gay audiences alike with marvelous
performances by actors that Hollywood should be making more scripts for.
Don't miss it.

STRANGE FRUIT, Sat.June 24, 7pm, Walker Art Ctr. 1750 Hennipen Ave,(next
to the Sculpture garden) MInneapolis $8/$6 Walker members (612)575-7600
www.walkerart.org


--------12 of 15--------

How to Fix Our Health Care Mess
By Jim Hightower
The Hightower Lowdown
Tuesday 20 June 2006

Bush's prescription-drug program is a boondoggle for America's
fraud-ridden health-industrial complex. A better choice is available, and
it's time to fight for it.

How messed up is America's health care system? Consider the case of the
Leavitts. Anne and her husband Dixie, both in their 70s, got frazzled
trying to work their way through the maddening maze of George W's new
prescription drug program, which compels seniors to choose among 1,400
competing drug-insurance schemes offered by 80 corporations. Each plan in
this baffling "marketplace" offers different coverage, is frustratingly
complex and is filled with fine print. The Leavitts had to call on their
son to help them select a company to cover their meds.

But - oops! - even with hands-on help, Anne and Dixie made a bad choice
that almost cost them their entire medical coverage. They rushed to drop
that plan and were lucky to find another at the last minute to avert a
family disaster.

What makes the Leavitts' story unique among the millions of seniors who've
been similarly discombobulated by Bush's convoluted prescription plan
(including 15 million who've been left with no drug coverage) is that
their helpful son is none other than Mike Leavitt. Yes, the head honcho of
Bush's Health and Human Services Department! One more twist:  Dixie
Leavitt made his fortune in the insurance business.

If someone who's an insurance professional and is personally advised by
the government's top health official still gets flummoxed - that's a clue
that the Powers That Be have saddled us with a truly lousy program.

                   The Health-Industrial Complex

There's no legitimate excuse for this mess. A program to provide medicines
for every single senior could and should be simpler and far less expensive
than Bush's $1.2 trillion scam. Medicare, with its extremely low overhead
and an efficient payment system already in place, is the logical conduit
for such a program. It could negotiate with drug makers on behalf of every
senior to get low prices on all medicines, then pay pharmacists directly
for the total cost of prescriptions they fill.

Instead, Bush and Congress put the new drug benefit in the hands of the
corporate bureaucracies that separate us patients from our medical
professionals. All seniors are on their own to purchase one of the
confusing myriad of drug cards from HMOs and insurance companies. These
middlemen then bill Medicare for whatever medications the seniors get and
put no lid on the prices of the drugs.

Thus, rather than being a straightforward benefit for people in need,
Bush's program has become a boondoggle benefit for America's bureaucratic,
wasteful, fraud-ridden health-industrial complex. Such giants as
UnitedHealth, Humana, and WellPoint (which have already scarfed up more
than half of the new drug program's market) are given both a new source of
monthly premiums and a generous federal subsidy to provide prescription
coverage.

Not to be left out of the financial fun, the drug barons have obtained a
green light to bloat their profits (already the highest of any industry)
with overpriced pills that ultimately are paid for by Medicare dollars
taken out of all of our paychecks. WARNING: The following fact could make
your eyeballs explode: Bush demanded and got a provision in his new
program that specifically prohibits Medicare officials from negotiating
with drug corporations to lower the prices they charge. If only this were
a bad horror movie! Alas, it's the core reality of America's sick health
care system. Wait, you say. We've got the top technology and medical
know-how in the whole freakin' world.  America is No. 1! We have the
healthiest people, and we get the best quality health care there is, bar
none. USA! USA! USA!

Well, that's the rah-rah myth we're fed by the industry, the media and
most politicians, but it's not true. Still, if you insist that the United
States simply must be No.1, it is true that ours is by far the most
expensive health care system on the globe. Go, USA! In 2004, spending
averaged $6,280 for each man, woman, and child in America - more than
double the average ($2,307 per capita) spent in all other industrial
countries.

Over 16 percent of our economy ($1.9 trillion last year) goes into our
corporatized system - 50 percent more than Switzerland's universal system,
which ranks second in spending per person. Not only does the United States
drastically outspend everyone else, but it does so while leaving tens of
millions of Americans outside the system. In contrast, Canada puts only 10
percent of its economy into health care, Australia 9 percent, and England
7 percent, and these countries manage to provide care for every one of
their people.

While we Americans pay much more, we get far less. The World Health
Organization's latest survey ranks the quality of US health care at - cue
the trumpets - 37th in the world. Ta-da! Not only is our system's
performance beneath Canada, Japan and all of Europe, but it's also beneath
such powerhouses as Malta, Colombia, Morocco, Chile and Dominica. We're
only one notch above Slovenia, for godssake!

America's "CorporateCare" system fails on the most basic measures of
health. For example, babies born in impoverished Cuba have a better chance
of survival than babies born here. On average, 77 babies die every day in
the United States - an infant mortality rate that, according to the CIA
World Factbook, ranks us way down at No. 42. At the other end of life's
span, our people can expect to die younger than those in 34 other
countries - including Cuba, Andorra, Luxembourg, San Marino and, yes,
Slovenia.

                           Rationing Care

Universal health care is not an economic issue - our country is the
richest in the history of the world, and we already throw more money into
the health care trough than any other nation in history. Nor is health
care even a health issue - our doctors, nurses, technicians,
nutritionists, pharmacists and others are phenomenally skilled, having
both the intellectual and technical capability to meet the health needs of
everyone in our land.

Universal care is a moral issue - and that's where our country has gone
all slippery. Notice that the CEO class and political elites all are
rolling along in the Rolls Royce of health plans, courtesy of generous
subsidies from us taxpayers. These are the very people who control
policymaking in Washington, and they have shown no ethical qualms about
taking good care of themselves while watching the majority of their fellow
citizens trying to go down life's bumpy health care road in a sputtering
Yugo - or, worse, on bare feet.

It's well-known that our system coldly leaves more than 46 million of us
without any health coverage. That's one in every six Americans, including
8.3 million children. If you're keeping political score, the number of
uninsured has jumped by six million under the Bushites' five-year reign in
Washington. More than half of America's low-wage workers (those paid
$20,000 a year or less by such outfits as Wal-Mart, Tyson or McDonald's)
are not covered - and more than half of them are having problems with
their families' medical expenses. Quite a few are paying a heavier price -
some 18,000 Americans die unnecessarily each year due to lack of health
insurance, roughly the same number who die of stroke, HIV or homicide.
Less well-known, however, is the costly burden on millions more who
supposedly are "covered" but may suddenly find themselves on the hook for
thousands of dollars if they get seriously sick. Here's how it can happen:

A 20 percent co-pay can quickly become a problem for middle-class workers
who, for example, need cancer medicines running $12,000 per month.

A trip to the hospital can leave you with a sickening side effect: having
to pay $10,000 or more for treatments that were quietly excluded in your
policy's fine print.

Of the 29 million Americans now in medical debt, 70 percent were insured
when their medical bills put them in this situation.

Medical bills help drive about a million people into bankruptcy each year
- 68 percent of them had health insurance when they filed.

                               The Fix

The system is so obviously messed up that even the Bushites know that
something must be done. Predictably, their "fix" is corporate-driven and
doomed to be an expensive failure. Just as he'd like to do with Social
Security (Lowdown, March and April 2005), George wants to privatize
Medicare and Medicaid, and also leave all other Americans at the mercy of
"marketplace care" - controlled by the usual suspects of the
health-industrial complex. His lure is to offer health-savings accounts
(HSA), "allowing" people to put a few thousand dollars into these tax-free
schemes. We are all then to draw from HSAs to cover routine medical
expenses and to buy high-deductible insurance policies (there's those
middlemen again) for our catastrophic expenses.  What if your savings and
insurance policies are inadequate? Well, tough luck, sucker.

The insidious ethic behind Bush's fix is that health care is just another
product to be purchased in the "free" marketplace, no different than
buying a car or an electronic gadget. The Bushites view health as a
consumer good, not as a part of the common good. In this view, people who
need care are not "patients" but "customers," and it's up to individuals
to become smart shoppers when buying the health care they need.

Excuse me, but while "consumer driven" makes a slick sound bite for George
W, purchasing health care is not at all like picking out a new
refrigerator. Start with the obvious fact that we're not all doctors or
medical technicians. How do we know whether we need this test or that one,
whether it's cough syrup we need or a cancer treatment? If you become
seriously ill, are you really in a position to go comparison shopping for
the cheapest hospital and specialists? And do you really want the
cheapest? Health care is not a market, it's a human need.  Yeah, yeah, say
the Bush ideologues, but you mooches will overuse the system if it's not
your own money you're spending. First of all, it is our money - either in
the form of insurance premiums or taxes. Second, even the best-insured
people rarely get a colonoscopy or amputation just because it's covered.
Going to the doctor is hardly something that people do for enjoyment.

                           A Moral Choice

Years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Of all the forms of inequalities,
injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

Allocating health care according to the size of your bank account or to
your privileged position in society is fundamentally (even biblically)
immoral. It's also a shameful embarrassment for any wealthy nation. A
strong, fair, affordable choice is readily available - and it's time to
fight for it. Americans can keep wasting hundreds of billions of dollars a
year on the handful of bureaucratic corporate profiteers that make up the
health-industry complex, or we can put that money into a single-payer
system that will deliver quality care to everyone. Despite relentless
ideological assaults on the idea of universal, government-financed systems
by cult-of-the-market dogmatists and right-wing blowhards, the untold
truth is that such systems work.

Let's refute a few of the Big Lies that have kept a national, single-payer
health plan from even being considered.

It's socialized medicine. Wrong, Limbaugh-breath. Like Medicare,
government doesn't deliver the health care under a single-payer system
(SPS) - you still go to your choice of doctors and hospitals. SPS, as the
name suggests, is merely a government-run payment system. Instead of you
and me paying inflated premiums to profit-seeking insurance giants which
then pay our medical bills, SPS eliminates the rip-off overhead of the
middleman and pays all of our bills directly to the providers.

Private is always better than public. Not at performing truly public
functions, such as assuring health care for all. Presently, up to a third
of the health premiums we pay to insurance corporations go not to health
care but to their profits, marketing campaigns, CEO pay packages, posh
headquarters, lobbying firms, and - most damning - massive bureaucracies
whose sole purpose is to try to deny coverage for our medical treatments.
With SPS, all of these costs are eliminated - Medicare, for example,
spends only 2 percent of its revenues on administrative costs.

We can't afford to cover everyone. We can't afford NOT to have universal
care. When today's uninsured millions get sick, they end up at the ER -
the most expensive care there is. Also, they get no preventative care,
which is far cheaper than paying for the serious illnesses that they later
develop. A decade ago, Taiwan switched from a US-style corporatized system
to a Canadian-style SPS. It quickly went from 60 percent of its people
covered to practically all - with virtually zero increase in overall
health spending.

There'll be waiting lists. Hello! Have you ever tried to get a quick
appointment with your family doctor - especially at night or on weekends?
Only a third of Americans have same-day access to their own doctor. It
takes days, even if you have insurance - ask an uninsured American about
waiting lists! And forget about trying to see a specialist within a month
of calling. No country with SPS has a waiting list for emergency care and
few have them for primary care. Waits for other procedures are almost
always for elective surgeries (liposuction, face lifts, tennis elbow,
nonessential MRIs, etc.).

                            Why Not Now?

The American people overwhelmingly support a major, progressive shift from
corporatized "care" to universal care. Recent polls show consistent
agreement on the need for real action:

Everyone has the right to quality, affordable care (90 percent) - Lake
Research poll of US Women, 12/05.

Average Americans spend too much on health care (65 percent);  government
spends too little (70 percent) - Pew poll, 3/06.

Our current system has so much wrong with it that either "fundamental
changes" are needed (56 percent) or we must "completely rebuild it" (34
percent) - CBS/New York Times poll, 1/06.

Government should guarantee health coverage for every American "even if it
means raising taxes" (65 percent) - Pew poll, 5/05. Likewise, 64 percent
of doctors favor a single-payer health plan, according to a 2004 Harvard
Medical School survey of Massachusetts physicians. Even corporate
executives - from General Motors to Wal-Mart - are publicly wailing about
the high cost and low coverage of America's current system (though none
are providing the leadership to put America on the right track to a
national plan of universal coverage).

A single-payer system is the answer. An unusually strong editorial in
March by the St. Louis Post Dispatch expressed the benefits succinctly:
"Employers would no longer be saddled with health care.  Workers would no
longer worry about health care for themselves or their children. And we
could toss the disgraceful private health insurance industry, with its
wasteful bureaucracy and inscrutable coverage rules, into the dumpster."

Many good grassroots groups are pushing this fundamentally moral issue
into the elections of '06, '08 and beyond, confronting Republican
lawmakers on their shameful fealty to corporate greed, and Democrats on
their appalling wimpiness. We can achieve the goal of good-quality health
care for all - and advance America toward the greatness of its democratic
potential.


--------13 of 15--------

US Senate backs indefinite occupation of Iraq
By Patrick Martin
23 June 2006
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jun2006/sena-j23.shtml

After a two-day debate, the US Senate voted Thursday to reject two efforts
to set limits on the duration of the US occupation of Iraq. An
overwhelming bipartisan majority voted by 86-13 to reject a resolution
setting a deadline of July 1, 2007 for withdrawal of US troops. Leading
Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Senate Minority Leader Harry
Reid, lined up with the White House against the measure introduced by John
Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004.

Then, by a 60-39 vote margin, the Senate rejected a non-binding
resolution, introduced by Democrats Carl Levin and Jack Reed, calling on
the Bush administration to begin withdrawing some American troops by the
end of this year and to announce a timetable for further withdrawals. Six
Democrats joined all but one Republican to defeat even this toothless
measure.

The Senate vote must be considered in conjunction with two others recent
developments. Congressional Republican leaders, prompted by the White
House, killed a provision in the emergency war spending bill adopted last
week that would have prohibited the use of funds to establish permanent US
bases in Iraq. And the Pentagon released its latest schedule for troop
rotations into Iraq, indicating that US military forces in the occupied
country will remain at or above 130,000 well into 2007.

Only one conclusion can be drawn: the war in Iraq will not be ended
through legislative action, which the Democrats, in any case, will not
seriously pursue. Both of the official bourgeois parties, the Democrats no
less than the Republicans, are committed to an open-ended American
military occupation of the oil-rich country.

What was remarkable about the Senate debate was the gulf it revealed
between official politics and the sentiments of a large majority of the
American people, who deeply oppose both the war and its authors, George W.
Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld & Co. The Republicans took an
aggressive posture in the debate, although their position is unpopular
with the American public. The Democrats were defensive and half-hearted in
their criticisms, in contrast to the strong antiwar sentiment of the vast
majority of Democratic voters.

The pattern of the Senate debate was similar to last week's debate in the
House of Representatives. Republican after Republican denounced all
criticism of the war as an appeal to "cut and run." Senate Majority Leader
Bill Frist, claiming that "huge progress" was being made in Iraq,
declared, "Withdrawal is not an option. Surrender is not a solution."

Senator John McCain denounced both Democratic amendments as calls for "a
withdrawal of American troops tied to arbitrary timetables, rather than
conditions in-country." Even the Levin-Reed plan, with no mandatory
withdrawal, would be "a significant step on the road to disaster," he
said. Senator George Allen of Virginia called the Kerry proposal a
"tuck-tail-and-run approach."

Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, the Democrats' vice presidential
candidate in 2000, opposed both resolutions and sided with the White
House.

Senator Hillary Clinton portrayed the Levin-Reed proposal as a middle
ground between Bush's open-ended commitment to Iraq and Kerry's proposal
"to set a date certain for withdrawal without regard to the consequences."
Speaking unabashedly as a representative of US imperialist interests, she
called the proposed redeployment of American military forces "a road map
for success that will more quickly and effectively take advantage of Iraqi
oil revenues."

Reid, Clinton, Joseph Biden, the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations
Committee, and other pro-war Democrats tried for several days to induce
Kerry to withdraw his resolution for pullout by a specific date, in order
to distance the Democratic Party from antiwar sentiments and avoid
Republican charges of capitulating to terrorism. Kerry insisted on forcing
a vote, but then voted for the Levin-Reed amendment as well.

Opinion polls provide only a pale reflection of mass sentiment in the
United States, where the entire weight of the media is employed to
suppress and discredit opposition to the war, and hostility to the war and
the Bush administration find no outlet within the two-party political
system. These conditions make it all the more remarkable that a clear
majority of the American people favors the setting of a timetable for
withdrawal, and an even larger majority, nearly 60 percent in the recent
Pew Research Center study, regards Bush's decision to invade and occupy
Iraq as wrong from the start.

In both the Senate and House "debates" the real reasons for the war in
Iraq, centered on the country's rich oil reserves, went virtually
unmentioned. Early this year, Bush declared that it was illegitimate to
raise the role of oil in the decision to invade and occupy Iraq, and he
insisted that this issue be excluded from the 2006 election campaign.

The Democratic Party has bowed to this dictate, limiting its criticisms to
the multitude of tactical failures by the White House and Pentagon since
March 2003, but never raising the most fundamental point, that the war was
an act of aggression impelled by economic and geo-strategic aims. It was
not a "mistake," as countless Democratic speakers said in the Senate and
House debates; it was and is a criminal act carried out in the interests
of the American corporate and financial elite.

The debates in both houses of Congress were sought by the Republicans, not
the Democrats, and they reflect a White House decision, as spelled out
Thursday in the New York Times, to make the Iraq war a central issue in
the fall election campaign. The purpose, of course, is not to have a
genuine national debate about the Iraq war. Instead, the White House seeks
to delegitimize opposition to the war and equate it with treasonous
capitulation to the terrorists.

There is a profound social and political logic behind this brazen defiance
of popular sentiment. It expresses the outlook of a narrow financial
oligarchy that controls both political parties and is entrenching itself
ever more firmly atop American society. It has no intention of allowing
the views of the people or what it considers democratic shibboleths, such
as congressional votes or elections, to stand in the way of its
single-minded pursuit of ever-greater personal wealth.

The systematic closing off of every institutional avenue for the
expression of popular sentiments and interests shows that the protracted
decay of American democracy, made inevitable by the staggering
concentration of wealth at the very top of society, is openly assuming the
forms of oligarchic rule.

Thus Congress has been preoccupied for weeks with discussions on how best
to minimize or abolish the estate tax, a levy which affects less than 0.3
percent of the population-but precisely that layer which exercises
near-total influence over politics and the media, and to which a large
majority of senators and most congressmen personally belong. Meanwhile,
the Republican House leadership quashed an effort to raise the minimum
wage from the current derisory level of $5.15 an hour.

The relative strength of the Republicans, who represent the most
right-wing and predatory sections of the US ruling elite, derives from the
fact that they have a clear line. The Democrats, on the other hand, are
perpetually on their heels and at loose ends because they are based on a
political lie: the claim that they, the second party of the financial
oligarchy, are the "party of the people." It has become impossible to
square this myth with the reality of the class interests which the
Democratic Party serves.


--------14 of 15--------

[The Democratic Party is not going to save us. -ed]

Mondale supports pre-emptive strike against North Korean missile
The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - Former Vice President Walter Mondale joined the list of
people supporting a pre-emptive U.S. strike against a North Korean
missile.

Mondale said on WCCO-AM on Friday that the United States should tell North
Korea to dismantle the missile - and if it doesn't "we are going to
take it out."

He said the missile would be easy to hit and "I think it would end the
nuclear long-range dreams of this dangerous country," said Mondale, who's
also a former U.S. ambassador to Japan, in the interview. Mondale, 78,
said North Korea already has nuclear weapons and its ambition to develop a
long-range missile is "one of the most dangerous developments in recent
history."

It's so dangerous, he said, because of the nation's isolation from the
international community and its unpredictable leader, Kim Jong Il. "It is
the danger of our time," he said. "Here's this bizarre, hermit kingdom
over there with a paranoid leader getting ready to test a missile system
that can hit us."

The tensions are over North Korea's apparent preparations to test-fire a
Taepodong-2 missile, which is believed to have a range of up to 9,300
miles. That would make it capable of hitting much of the U.S. mainland.
Former President Clinton's defense secretary, William Perry, advocated
such a pre-emptive strike in The Washington Post. But National Security
Adviser Stephen Hadley brushed aside Perry's suggestion.

Hadley said he hoped that North Korea would see the unanimously negative
reaction from the international community to the test and return to the
negotiati! ng table.

Mondale and President Jimmy Carter took office 1976 and were defeated by
Republican Ronald Reagon in 1980. Mondale was the Democratic presidential
nominee in 1984, and lost.

President Clinton appointed him ambassador to Japan in 1993 and he served
as Clinton's special envoy on the Asian financial crisis and economic
reforms in Indonesia five years later. He's currently practicing law in
Minneapolis.


--------15 of 15--------

        Spitting Image

 Get a picture of George W Bush
 a life-size color one is best
 but any will do

 Set it up somewhere you pass by often
 a hall or main doorway is good

 Any time of day or night
 whenever the spirit moves you
 stand back a bit, not too close,
 don't make it too easy

 You will be pleasantly surprised
 that with regular practice
 you will be able to spit as far
 and as accurately
 and as satisfyingly
 as the best of them.

 If anyone asks
 you can just say
 you're giving good old George
 a spit-polish
 which these days he could use

 As I'm sure you'll agree

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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