Progressive Calendar 06.28.06
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 13:57:14 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     06.28.06

1. Sustainable ag/city 6.28 6pm
2. Fetzer/911/CTV      6.28 8pm

3. CRA public comment  6.29 8am
4. Green roof tour     6.29 8:30am
5. Eagan peace vigil   6.29 4:30pm
6. Northtown vigil     6.29 5pm
7. Choice              6.29 5:30pm
8. Marketfest/GP       6.29 6pm
9. Venezuela/MN        6.29 7:30pm

10. Labor picnic       6.30 9am
11. Greens on Almanac  6.30 7pm
12. Resist!            6.30-7.04 7pm
13. Project earth fest 6.30-7.01 Geneva MN

14. Ken Pentel     - Pentel for Governor campaign announcements
15. BushGreenwatch - GOP all-out assault on federal protections
16. Dennis Persica - When the FBI raids the Times

--------1 of 16--------

Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2006 06:39:38 -0500
From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Sustainable ag/city  6.28 6pm

FARM SCHOOL

THE WOMEN'S ENVIRONMENTAL INSTITUTE ORGANIC FARM SCHOOL
At the Amazon Bookstore

Wednesday, June 21, 6 - 8 p.m.  General introduction to Farm School.
Wednesday, June 28, 6 - 8 p.m.  Sustainable Agriculture Movement:
Regional and International

Beginning June 21 and scheduled for Wednesday evenings through August 2,
WEI has a farm school in the city.

Guest lecturers include Mark Ritchie (former director of Institute for
Agriculture and Trade Policy), Meg Moynihan (U.S. Department of
Agriculture), Courtney Tchida (Minnesota Institute for Sustainable
Agriculture), Atina Diffley (Gardens of Eagan). Readings include
selections from Fatal Harvest, Women and Sustainable Agriculture, The Farm
as a Natural Habitat, Seasonal Eating, and The new Organic Farmer. All
required readings are available at the WEI Library and for on-site reading
at Amazon bookstore, as well as on sale at Amazon Bookstore.

To register for the WEI Organic Farm School, send your name, address,
telephone number and e-mail to WEI, P.O. Box 128, North Branch, MN 55056.
Cost $10 per class or $100 full tuition (does not Include books);
current WEI members can select any three classes for free; WEI Farm
Interns are required to register and are admitted free charge in exchange
for 20 hours farm work per month. Drop-ins are welcome. The full syllabus
will be posted on-line at www.w-e-i.org prior to the first day of class.

Amazon Bookstore Cooperative
4755 Chicago Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
612-821-9630
http://www.amazonbookstorecoop.com
contacts:       Barb Wieser at 612-821-9630


--------2 of 16--------

Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 10:54:48 -0500
From: altera vista <alteravista [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Fetzer/911/CTV 6.28 8pm

Jim Fetzer's 911 talk given at University of St. Thomas will be aired
tonight 6.28 on Minneapolis cable (MTN) station 16 at 8 pm (the Altera
Vista show time) and will air next week in St. Paul on SPNN channel 15 on
Thursday, July 6, at 8:30 pm.  If you have cable, you can listen again.
Tell your friends.


--------3 of 16--------

Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 08:24:08 -0500
From: Cam Gordon <camgordon333 [at] msn.com>
Subject: CRA public comment 6.29 8am

(Sorry about the late notice. Note that comments can be made in writing.)

Please spread the word. This group has been working very hard and I
acticipate that some additional significant reforms to the process will be
made in the weekend ahead.  Feel free to email me if you are interested
more details or opinions.  Stay tuned.

Cam Gordon Seward City Council Member, Ward 2

Public invited to comment on Civilian Review changes

The Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority Working Group invites the public
to comment on activities of the Working Group and on ordinance changes the
group is recommending. The details are as follows:

CRA Working Group Public Comment Opportunity
8am, Thursday, June 29, 2006
City Hall, Room 319, 350 S. 5th St.

The following changes have been decided by the CRA Working Group:

The City will proceed with an audit of Internal Affairs, target date in
2007.

A staff group has been directed to work on an Early Intervention System
for the Minneapolis Police Department.

Deputy Chief Sharon Lubinski has been appointed as MPD liaison to the
CPRA.

There are now new formats for the Civilian Review Authority Staff
Investigative Summary and the

Civilian Review Authority Board Findings of Fact and Determination.

The hearing is open to the public. Please sign up with the Working Group
staff to be called upon to offer comments. Written comments also may be
sent to Natalie Collins at natalie.collins [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us or 350 S.
5th St., Room 307, Minneapolis, MN 55415. The City will hold at least one
additional public hearing (date to be announced) associated with any
recommended ordinance changes.

Reports to the Council:
http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/council/2006-meetings/20060512/HEE20060501agenda.asp
  Item #6

http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/council/2006-meetings/20060630/HEE20060619agenda.asp
  Item #9

A Study of the Policy and Process of the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review
Authority - 02/01/06


--------4 of 16--------

From: Corrie Zoll
Subject: Green roof tour 6.29 8:30am

Thursday, June 29, 8:30am-12noon
Green Roof Tour at
Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District
http://greenspace.greeninstitute.org/default.asp?active_page_id=59


--------5 of 16--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 6.29 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.


--------6 of 16--------

From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 6.29 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5 to 6 pm, at the intersection of Co.
Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley,
and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com.


--------7 of 16--------

From: Bonnie [at] mnwomen.org
Subject: Choice 6.29 5:30pm

Also June 29: Pro-Choice Resources Garden Party and Silent Auction. Home
and Gardens of Krista Twesme, 32 N. Mississippi River Blvd, St. Paul.
5:30-8pm. Rain or Shine.  RSVP: www. prochoiceresources.org.


--------8 of 16--------

From: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at] comcast.net>
Cc: Linton Suzanne <bahiabaubo [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Marketfest/GP 6.29 6pm

Suzanne Linton, from the White Bear Lake area, has secured a booth space
for Greens starting this Thursday night at the MARKETFEST street festival
in downtown White Bear Lake.  The event is from 6 to 9pm each Thursday,
now through July 27.

She has an immediate need for volunteers to set up, staff, and take down
the booth.  Please contact her at 651-429-3529 or bahiabaubo [at] hotmail.com
to assist with these tasks.

Here is how Suzanne describes the spot:

We have a G R E A T location.  Just perfect!!
It is very close to the entrance intersection of Fourth St. and Highway
61.

It is near the Gazebo where the live musical entertainment is, and people
mingle around there for that.  We will be able to hear the music, and
people can visit our booth and listen too. We are in a location that was
vacated last Thursday because the previous people did not like that they
sell spices in the booth next door, but I guaranteed the woman that it
couldn't be too spicy for the Green Party and the spices next to us would
not bother us a bit.  If anyone has been to the Farmer's Market in White
Bear Lake, it is in that location ... on the OLD MAIN STREET (Washington)
across from the historical buildings.  Our booth is number 11.  It is a
Prime location. Just what we deserve.  Actually it is very possible that
we are more in the forefront than either the Democratic or Republican
boothes.  They do not put the political booths together .... but scatter
them around.

We will have a table THIS Thursday.
The Marketfest Festival goes from 6:00 to 9:00.


--------9 of 16--------

From: August H Nimtz Jr <animtz [at] tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Venezuela/MN 6.29 7:30pm

A Proposal for an International Conference in Solidarity with Venezuela in
Minnesota:

This is an invitation to all organizations and individuals for a meeting
to discuss the possibility of hosting a conference in the fall here in the
Twin Cities in solidarity with the revolutionary process underway in
Venezuela.  The proposal was made publicly at a meeting two weeks ago at
the University of Minnesota by William Camacaro of New York on behalf of
the Bolivarian Circles, the Cuban Solidarity Committee and Pastors for
Peace in NYC.

The purpose of the meeting is to decide if there is enough energy and
commitment to hold such a conference and when in the fall it should take
place.  The meeting will take place on Thursday, June 29, 7:30, at Holy
Trinity Lutheran church, 2830 E. 31st St. Minneapolis.  Again, all
individuals and organizations are invited to partake in the discussion.

August Nimtz, on behalf of the MN Cuba Committee


--------10 of 16--------

From nwasolidaritymsp [at] hotmail.com Wed Jun 28 14:44:40 2006
Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2006 21:20:24 -0500
From: Solidarity Committee <nwasolidaritymsp [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Labor picnic 6.30 9am

Solidarity day picnic
Due to the tremendous success of our last solidarity day we are happy to
announce that we are doing it again on Friday, June 30, at Highland Park
in St.Paul. So please come out and bring the family and friends

Come enjoy some comradery on the picket line, and get an early start on
your July 4th fun.
Come walk the picket line
Fill up on good food
Enjoy the company of friends.

AMFA DAY OF SOLIDARITY PICNIC--the strike is in its 10th month

We will be running our picketing operations out of Highland Park from
9am-7pm. Please contact Sue at the local to let us know how many people to
expect, everyone is welcome
Contact person: admin33 [at] qwest.net


--------11 of 16--------

From: DoriJJ [at] aol.com
Subject: Greens on Almanac 6.30 7pm

It is my pleasure to announce that Green Party Endorsed Candidates Michael
Cavlan, for US Senate and Ken Pentel, for Governor will be interviewed on
Almanac on Twin Cities Public Television Channel 2 at 7pm this Friday,
June 30.  Be sure to watch the show this week.  It should be exciting and
for some, an eye-opening interview.

--Dori Ullman Campaign Manager The Committee to Elect Michael Cavlan to
the US Senate 2006


--------12 of 16--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Resist! 6.30-7.04 7pm

Particpate this REAL celebration of resistance!

Friday, June 30th @ 7 pm
Potluck and a Movie
Breaking the Spell -documentary/riotporn about the riots in Seattle
Bring veggie/vegan food for all to share
Jack Pine Community Center
2815 Lake St. E., Minneapolis

Saturday, July 1st from 2-5pm
Workshop/Discussion
Blocs, Black and Otherwise
General discussion about the purpose and use of the black bloc
Open to the public
@ the Jack Pine Community Center
2815 Lake St. E., Minneapolis

Sunday, July 2nd from 2-5 pm
Workshop/Discussion
Affinity Groups- Organization and participation in the black bloc
Jack Pine Community Center
2815 Lake St. E., Minneapolis

Monday, July 3rd @ 2 pm
festival d'ennui
Free Market/Potluck/Dance Party/Drum Circles/Workshops
Bring food, stuff to give away and trade, drums and didgeridoos
There will also be a few workshops on making instruments (so bring some
3-4 PVC)!
Powderhorn Park
3400 15th Ave S

July 3rd @ 6 pm, $5 door
Requiem
Murder of Crows
Black Plague
Walker Community Church
3104 16th Ave. S.
Don't miss these bands playing the show following the festival

July 4th
International Day of Resistance
Whatever you make it!

For more information, secret plans, or ways to help out, contact:
doubleplusungoodthink (at) yahoo.com


--------13 of 16--------

From: PRO826 [at] aol.com
Subject: Project earth fest 6.30-7.01 Geneva MN

Environmental, Peace and Social Justice  organizations:

The band WookieFoot is sponsoring the Project Earth Festival at Harmony
Park in Geneva, MN this year from June 30 - July 1.  If you are interested
in tabling for free at this event, please contact Megan at the email/phone
number below.

PROJECT EARTH FESTIVAL

Project Earth Festival, presented by WookieFoot Productions, is a two day
camping and music festival to be held in Geneva, Minnesota on June 30th
and July 1st. 100% of all proceeds will be donated to ARC (American
Refugee Committee) as well as three other international relief
organizations. The event's aim is to bring greater global awareness
through workshops, speakers, music, and creativity. It's a unique
interactive experience where the festival goers will co-create the entire
event.

Harmony Park in Geneva, Minnesota (just north of Albert Lea) is a magical
campground set amidst an ancient oak grove forest on the shores of a Lake
Geneva. The event patrons are coming together to co-create eight
"Playgrounds"  where everyone can become an entertainer, or just be
entertained - the entire campground becomes the stage. These eight stages
will include an outdoor movie theater, an acoustic stage, a vaudeville
stage, and a solar/bio-diesel stage, as well as many others. All of the
production, music, and entertainment is being volunteered and organized by
the festival community as a whole.  Technology is being used in new ways
to create this level of symbiosis between the fans and the producers. The
Project Earth website is a series of "message boards" designed to open the
creation of the event to all who attend - a new vision for future
festivals - a truly "fan designed" event!

In 2005, Wookiefoot began fund raising for international relief and
sustainable development causes. To their delight and astonishment, they
were able to raise almost triple of their projected goal, thanks to an
outpouring of support from their fans. In January 2006, the Wookies went
on a four month mission across Nepal and Southeast Asia to find smaller
non-profits where they could see the positive effects first hand. They
discovered many visionaries who were strongly affecting change at the
community level, with responsibility and sustainability. Wookiefoot is
currently funding a de-land mining program and amputee orphanage in
Cambodia, an organic farm whose proceeds go to building libraries in Laos,
and a fair trade, anti-child labor, school building project in Nepal, as
well as the American Refugee Committee.

Other information:  Only 1000 tickets will be sold - Tickets are $35
available on-line only at www.wookiefoot.com/ProjectEarth - The event is
expected to sell out quickly - Tabling for Non-Profits and Social Justice
Groups is free - Children 12 and under are free

For more information, please visit these websites...
PROJECT EARTH - www.wookiefoot.com/ProjectEarth
WOOKIEFOOT -  www.wookiefoot.com
WOOKIE CHARITIES - _www.wookiefoot.com/WookieFootCharities/main.cfm_
(http://www.wookiefoot.com/WookieFootCharities/main.cfm)
Harmonypark.com

Contact:  _project-earth [at] hotmail.com_
Phone: 612-865-8083


--------14 of 16--------

Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 02:10:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ken Pentel <kenpentel [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Ken Pentel for Governor Campaign  Announcements

Dear Ken Pentel for Governor Campaign Supporters,

This note includes:
1. Lieutenant Governor announced
2. Call For petitioners
3. Next meeting location
4. Donations
5. Sign-up to the listserve
6. Media appearances

1. I would like to announce Danene Provencher; longtime activist and Green
Party of MN Coordinating Committee Member has joined the ticket as
Lieutenant Governor.

Danene's early activism included: working on the MN power-line struggle of
the late 70"s as well as working as a volunteer to help enforce child
support payments.

Danene became the Green Party of MN Events Coordinator in 2001 helping
organize many tabling activities including the State Fair. Then she ran
for the Mound City Council in 2002 (In a highly Republican area)getting
26% of the vote in 3-way race while spending only only $200.

She is a single mother for 23 years and an independent business woman.

Danene has consistently embraced the Green Party values and has shown the
discipline to see our values become policy. She inspires people to take
action; she follows throuth on tasks and is fearless standing-up for
justice and democracy. I am confident that Danene, if called apon, would
be a great Governor of Minnesota.

It is an honor and privilege to have Danene as part of the ticket.

2. WE NEED PETITIONERS.

If the Pentel/Provencher Campaign and other Green Party of MN endorsed
candidates want to be on the ballot we will need to get enough signatures
on the petitions.  Your help is needed to achieve this.

Please contact Tori or Mark if you can help collect signatures.
Petitioning begins July 4th.  Tori- tori_j [at] msn.com, 612-824-8492 Mark-
momelia [at] minn.net, 612-237-5696

3. THE NEXT Ken Pentel for Governor planning/volunteer MEETING.

The goals of this meeting are to continue to add organization, creativity
and excitement to our goals for a healthier world. Your help is needed to
make this happen.

Agenda:
--Prepare for petition drive
--Inventory supplies (i.e.Petitons, lit, clipboards,
   voter reg. cards, instructions.)
--Identify list of volunteeers ready to go.
--Select locations to petition

Day: Monday, July 3rd
Time: 7pm
Location: Sue Leskela's, 2880 Irving South #2, Mpls,
MN (Next to the Mall in Uptown)

Contact: Ken (612) 387-0601

For those in greater Minnesota, let's organize. Please
call or e-mail.
Going deep-green statewide.

4. DONATIONS NEEDED
People can send donations to:

Ken Pentel for Governor, PO Box 583091, Mpls, Mn 55458
First $50 is refundable. (If not yet used in 2006.)

5. LISTSERVE
If you want support the campaign, and help with organizing-get on the Ken
Pentel for Governor listserve by contacting Aaron at: aaronklemz [at] yahoo.com

6. Ken Pentel MEDIA APPEARANCES

--Friday, June 30th on Almanac channel 2 TV at 7pm with Micheal Cavlan.
(The show also replays later that night at 1am, Saturday at 7pm on channel
17, and Sunday 9:30am on Channel 2.)

--Saturday, July 1st at 9:30am, KSTP TV Channel 5, On the Media with Tom
Hauser.

--Monday July 3rd at 7:20am, KAXE Radio from Grand Rapids with Scott Hall

In the service of the earth, Ken (612) 387-0601


--------15 of 16--------

From BushGreenwatch
White House, GOP Leaders Plan All-Out Assault on Federal Protections
June 23, 2006 |
[Fascism in action -ed]

Apparently rushing to lock in a long-sought goal before the fall
elections, GOP congressional leaders may bring to a vote within weeks a
proposal that could literally wipe out any federal program that protects
public health or the environment - or for that matter civil rights,
poverty programs, auto safety, education, affordable housing, Head Start,
workplace safety or any other activity targeted by anti-regulatory forces.

With strong support from the Bush White House and the Republican Study
Committee, the proposal would create a "sunset commission" - an unelected
body with the power to recommend whether a program lives or dies, and then
move its recommendations through Congress on a fast-track basis with
limited debate and no amendments.

Three leading proposals have been introduced and are being winnowed into a
final version. They would give the White House some - or total - authority
to nominate members to the commission. House Majority Leader John Boehner
(R-OH) has confirmed that his office is coordinating development of a
final version for prompt floor action.

Sunset commissions have been proposed, and defeated, before. But public
interest veterans say the current situation is unlike any in the past,
because the House Republican Study Committee, which includes some of the
most anti-regulatory members of Congress, has secured guaranteed floor
consideration of a sunset bill.

If such a bill should become law, the sunset commission could be packed
with industry lobbyists and representatives from industry-funded think
tanks, and could conduct its business in secrecy. Two of the sunset
proposals under consideration would mandate that programs die after they
are reviewed, unless Congress takes action to save them.

Several environmental programs have been targeted during past sunset
attempts. Experts predict those would be among the first a sunset
commission would review. Among them: the Energy Star Program; federal
support for mass transit; the State Energy Program, which supports
numerous state and local energy renewable efficiency programs; the Clean
School Bus Program; the Land and Water Conservation Fund; federal grants
for Wastewater infrastructure; a national children's health study that
examines factors leading to such problems as premature birth, autism,
obesity, asthma, and exposures to pesticides, mercury and other toxic
chemicals.

A coalition of public interest groups is fighting to block enactment of a
sunset commission. Information is available through the
<http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=142873289&url_num=5&url=http://www.ombwatch.org/sunset>Sunset
Commission Action Center at OMB Watch.

Take Action
<http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=142873289&url_num=3&url=http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/ombwatch/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=3855&t=Sunset%20Action.dwt>

###
BushGreenwatch | 1717 Massachusetts Ave NW #600
Washington, DC 20036 | (202) 783-7400
Web site comments: info [at] bushgreenwatch.org
Copyright 2006 Friends of the Earth

[The corporations and the rich are the seedbed of fascism and hell on
earth. When are we going to declare independence? -ed]


--------16 of 16--------

When The FBI Raids The Times
Dennis Persica
June 28, 2006
http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/06/28/when_the_fbi_raids_the_the_times.php

Dennis Persica is a staff writer and editor at The Times-Picayune
newspaper in New Orleans. He has worked at the daily newspaper for the
last 20 years.

To paraphrase Alice's walrus, the time has come to talk of scary things.

The New York Times has spurred the anger of the Bush administration by
reporting on a program to monitor international banking transactions as
part of the government's counterterrorism program. Critics argue this is
the equivalent of reporting on troop movements or disclosing the existence
of secret weaponry. You don't have to look too hard online to find posters
of the World War II "loose lips sink ships" variety that pretty much blame
the Times for the deaths of American soldiers.

The National Review urged the administration to revoke the Times' White
House credentials. U.S. Rep Peter King, R-N.Y., said the Times should be
brought up on charges of treason.

The current climate leads me to ponder a what-if scenario. One that I hope
is as far-fetched as I believe it to be. But imagine the possibility
suggested by the recent rhetorical attacks and threats of prosecution.

What if the U.S. Attorney's office in New York - bolstered by a cadre of
federal marshals or FBI agents - entered the offices of The New York
Times, looking to rummage through the paper's files and computers either
to find the source of the leaks for the banking story or to make sure the
Times isn't about to publish another story allegedly damaging to national
security?

In raising this possibility, I am not suggesting the administration would
do this to shut down all news media and establish an authoritarian regime.
Let's just assume the government has good intentions - guarding the
nation's security - when it orders the raid. But historians and
polemicists of all political stripes know that since the dawn of humanity
the road to catastrophe has often been paved with good intentions.

Far-fetched? Remember, we are talking about an administration that has
angered even some members of its own party in Congress with its
my-way-or-the-highway approach. Republicans screamed the loudest when the
FBI raided the office of Democratic Rep. William Jefferson (who,
coincidentally, is my congressman). Critics say this administration has
seized the powers of the imperial presidency and expanded them farther
than ever before. There are echoes of the Cold War here, when we were
engaged in a similar debate: To defeat the totalitarians of the Eastern
Bloc, do we have to become more like them or can we win without
sacrificing our democratic soul?

Conservatives have long warned citizens to be careful about what powers we
allow the central government to arrogate because we'll likely never
recover what we've given up. Yet conservatives - and some
not-so-conservative people - are up in arms over the fact that The New
York Times and other newspapers have revealed major federal spying
programs.

Consider the implications of this hypothetical scenario: Agents search the
files inside The New York Times building. Perhaps some of those files are
carted out; maybe even computer drives are taken. Such a scenario would
make the Pentagon Papers dispute look like a minor disagreement among
gentlemen. In that case, the government tried to stop the Times and other
newspapers from printing a particular story. A raid, on the other hand,
would shut down the entire paper. If it wanted to get really tough, the
government could treat the Times as an enemy collaborator, seal off its
headquarters and move toward seizing its assets.

Meanwhile, the administration could count on a portion of the blogosphere
- as well as talk radio and cable TV personalities - to cheer on the raid.

Sure, other journalists would be outraged. But what could they do besides
write a few editorials and columns?  Perhaps a small majority of the
American public would think the government had overstepped its bounds as
well. But what can they do outside of expressing their opinions? Remember,
we are talking about the power of the federal government arrayed against
that of the press and the people. While the latter may win in the end,
their victory will be a long time coming - if it comes at all. And there's
reason to be skeptical about the likelihood of ultimate victory. After
all, the federal government has an arsenal of weapons - both figuratively
and literally. And to be honest, I've never quite bought into the notion
that the pen is mightier than the sword. Or the M16.

Since the days of Spiro Agnew's "effete corps," the press has been
portrayed - with some success - as a liberal elite with a political axe to
grind. Many of us in the media view these barbs as an occupational hazard.
We are accustomed to being criticized for doing our jobs, so we tend to
ignore the criticism if it strikes us as baseless.

But in recent years, the criticism has taken on an ominous tone. There are
the famous statements by Ann Coulter about how Timothy McVeigh or the 9/11
plotters should have targeted The New York Times building. There was the
ad I saw recently linking to a conservative website for t-shirts that
featured a noose and some comment about journalists that I've since
forgotten. I haven't forgotten the implication, however.

This is more than just an attack on perceived bias; this is demonization.
Journalists have now been caricatured as a group of people who are siding
with a fanatical, barbaric enemy. Once Americans believe that, it then
becomes easy to support our arrest.

Those who would grant the Bush administration extraordinary powers today
must ask themselves whether they would be comfortable with the same
authority in the hands of a President Clinton (Bill or Hillary), a
President Kerry or a President Gore. That is one test of whether the grant
of a certain power is a good idea: Are you comfortable with the government
having that power no matter who is at the helm?

Let's hope this scenario of raids on news outlets is nothing more than
conjecture; one that can exist only in some made-up Bizarro World - a
dark, hellish Wonderland of a society lacking the freedoms its leaders
proclaim to uphold - and nothing that could ever happen in this America,
our America.

 2006 TomPaine.com ( A Project of The Institute for America's Future


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