|Progressive Calendar 06.24.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|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 over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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