|Progressive Calendar 07.27.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 03:27:21 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 07.27.06 1. Env harm/WStPaul 7.27 8am 2. Child trafficking 7.27 12noon 3. Labor family unity 7.27 4pm 4. Building dreams 7.27 4:30pm 5. Eagan peace vigil 7.27 4:30pm 6. Anti-stadium demo 7.27 4:30pm 7. Northtown vigil 7.27 5pm 8. Roseville 7.27 6pm 9. PlanParent/Latino 7.27 6:30pm 10. Honeywell bombs 7.27 7pm 11. Stop Israel/vigil 7.28 4:15pm 12. Northside art 7.28 5pm 13. Sisters Camelot 7.28 7pm 14. Moyers/TV 7.28 9pm 15. Green Party - Coordinated campaign kick-off fun at the Poodle 16. David Korten - The great turning: from empire to earth community 17. Kouyoumdjian - Lebanon's fate at the hand of Israel 18. AustraliaNews - Nobel Peace Laureate on George Bush 19. Pinter/Chomsky - Letter 20. B Ehrenreich - The high cost of being poor --------1 of 20-------- Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 21:22:35 EDT From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Env harm/WStPaul 7.27 8am Protest is being organized for tomorrow morning to stop the construction of a frisbee park in West St. Paul, Dakota Co. next to the Garlough Environmental School. There will be devastation of wildlife and a unique ecosystem that must be preserved. Meet at Susan Jasper's apartment located at 1675 Livingston Ave. lobby in West St. Paul. FFI contact her at 651-552-7417 between 8am and 9am. --------2 of 20-------- From: erin [at] mnwomen.org Subject: Child trafficking 7.27 12noon More on July 27: Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights presents The Children's Human Rights Speaker Series "Human Trafficking: Child Victims" with Judge Denise Reilly. 12PM-1PM at The Century Room, 2200 Wells Fargo Center, 90 South Seventh St, Minneapolis. RSVP by Noon on Tuesday, July 25 at 612/341-3302 ext. 118 or abeier [at] mnadvocates.org. www.mnadvocates.org. --------3 of 20-------- From: stpaulunions.org <llwright [at] stpaulunions.org> Subject: Labor family unity 7.27 4pm Labor Family Unity Event Thursday, July 27 - Rain or Shine Lafayette Park - Mercury Lot 4 pm - 6 pm Lafayette Park is located at 444 Lafayette Road, between the buildings of Human Services and Natural Resources in the parking lot - with free parking in the Mercury lot!! --------4 of 20-------- From: Philip Schaffner <PSchaffner [at] ccht.org> Subject: Building dreams 7.27 4:30pm Learn how Central Community Housing Trust is responding to the affordable housing shortage in the Twin Cities. Please join us for a 1-hour Building Dreams presentation. Minneapolis Sessions: Jul 27 at 4:30p * Aug 22 at 7:30a * Sept 12 at 4:30p St. Paul Sessions: Aug 30 at 4:30p * Sept 20 at 7:30a We are also happy to present Building Dreams at your organization, place of worship, or business. Space is limited, please register online at: www.ccht.org/bd or call Philip Schaffner at 612-341-3148 x237 ( pschaffner [at] ccht.org) Central Community Housing Trust 1625 Park Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55404 (612) 341-3148 www.ccht.org --------5 of 20-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 7.27 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 20-------- [Re pro-stadium legislators: Kick 'em out! Kick 'em out! Kick 'em ALL out! When they voted for the stadium, they were secretly wishing to be put of politics for the rest of their lives. Help them, all of them, with their secret wish! They don't want to see us anymore, and god knows we don't want to see any of them now or ever again. -ed] From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com> Subject: Anti-stadium demo 7.27 4:30pm Dear fellow stadium tax opponents, Now is the time we need to be visible!! And tomorrow is an excellent and easy opportunity for you to show how you feel about being taxed for a stadium without a referendum. Thursday, July 27, 4:30-7pm No Stadium Tax demonstration outside of a Peter McLaughlin campaign fundraiser, Maria's Cafe, 1113 E. Franklin Ave. in south Mpls. We will start setting up at 4:30, fundraiser goes from 5:00 til 7:00. Please come for all, or for any time that you are available. We'll be out there with signs and leaflets. We have many signs made up - or bring your own. Your presence will be noticed! Peter McLauglin has said, since the beginning, that we don't need a referendum - elected representatives should be held accountable at election time. That is really the main argument they have made as to why the people shouldn't vote on this. NOW IS ELECTION TIME! Time to hold McLaughlin and all the others accountable! The good news is that there is still time to do this before they take the final vote on the stadium tax! So let's confront McLaughlin and all the other pro-stadium tax County Commissioners at every fundraiser, every debate, and every public appearance. This is an excellent one to start with - it is the only event on McLaughlin's campaign website, and it is in a good public location with lots of visibility from passing traffic. PLEASE COME! And tell everyone you know - pass it on. This is also important for building toward a mass turnout for the three scheduled public hearings. Before Hennepin County can take the final vote, they will have hearings where you can testify, or just come and support those who are testifying. The dates, times, and places of those hearings have just been set: 5-7pm Tuesday, Aug 22, Board Room, 24th Floor, Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. 6th St., Minneapolis. 6-8pm Wednesday, Aug 23, Council Chambers, Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road. 6-8pm Thursday, Aug 24, Council Chambers, Maple Grove Government Center, 12800 Arbor Lakes Parkway. Please put those dates on your calendar. Attend as many as possible - show our numbers. Please also consider speaking at one of them. Three minutes is allowed, typically. Call 612-348- 3081 to sign up to speak. It is first-come, first-served, so call now! The Twins organization will probably also try to pack these hearings. They have a 20,000 name mailing list and a lot of money, so they could practically shut us out if they mobilize. The venues are inadequate in size if both sides mobilize for these hearings. So please call 612-348-3081 as soon as possible! The Hennepin County website says that the final vote to impose the tax, sell the bonds, and build the stadium will probably be taken sometime in September. That doesn't give us much more time. We need your help now. Also, the County would be legally able to take the vote as soon as the hearings are over - even late night after the hearing on Thursday, August 24. That's what the State House of Representatives Tax Committee did back when they held their large hearing in Bloomington last May. The demo tomorrow is the most important thing for masses of people to come to. But other things are happening nearly every day. Once, again, go to http://ccarl.com/ to find out more - and to sign their petition. It is also possible to join CCARL.com and get email updates about what is happening and what you can do. You will be joining a Yahoo groups listserve. Tonight, CCARL will be once again caravanning and visiting pro- stadium County Commissioners. Last night they talked to Mike Opat. There will be caravans and leafleting this weekend as well. Join the group to find out more, or just email or call me and I'll forward the information, or reports from past actions. If you can become more involved, let me know. We need people to work on press contacts, to work on writing for the website, to attend and monitor County Board meetings and Ballpark Authority meetings, and to track the public events of the Commissioners who are up for election. For instance, just volunteering to monitor the campaign websites for McLauglin, Opat, and Stenglein would take some of the load off the people who have been doing the organizing work. This would be just a short term commitment - the public hearings, the County vote, and the Commissioner elections are all coming up real soon! Dave Bicking 612-276-1213 --------7 of 20------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 7.27 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. --------8 of 20-------- From: Douglas Root <doroot [at] comcast.net> Subject: Roseville 7.27 6pm Community & Economic Development Sub-Committee Walnut Room - City Hall Campus - Maintenance Building July 27 6-8pm Meeting Agenda 1. Welcome and Introductions (6:00 to 6:10 pm) All Sub-committee members and invited guests. 2. Review Group Norms (6:10 to 6:15 pm) Each member will read one selected group norm and provide a brief (about one sentence) description of how the norm improves the function of the sub-committee. C&E Development Sub-Committee Norms Start and end on time No long speeches Just say it Be civil to each other Be representative of multiple voices Respect others and opinions Do what you say you will do Openness and flexibility 3. Meeting Agenda, Organization, and Responsibilities (6:15 to 6:20 pm) Next meeting, meeting facilitation, responsibility for notes, posting 4. Review Initial Issues List from Packet (6:20 to 6:40 pm) Each sub-committee member will be asked to comment on additional input that would be helpful to understand the community consensus on three items from the initial issues list. 5. Review Packet from Co-chair training session on July 19th (6:40 to 7:00 pm) Is everyone comfortable with the responsibility of managing a meeting? 6. Discussion of Background Data from CD (7:00 to 7:50 pm) Focus on Vista 2000 report and comprehensive plan 7. Suggest Agenda Items and Activities for Future Meetings (7:50 to 8:00 pm) 8. Adjourn (8:00 pm) More info: http://forums.e-democracy.org/Roseville/contacts/douglasroot --------9 of 20-------- From: erin [at] mnwomen.org Subject: PlanParent/Latino 7.27 6:30pm Thursday, July 27: Planned Parenthood MN/ND/SD Action Fund Spice it Up! Learn more about Planned Parenthood's program serving the Latino community. 6:30-8:30 PM. $50 Salsa a la Salsa, 940 E. Lake Street, Mpls. For more info or to RSVP: www.ppaction.org. --------10 of 20------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Honeywell bombs 7.27 7pm Thursday, July 27, 7pm. Bryant Lake Bowl, 810 West Lake Street, Minneapolis. View the documentary film "Bombies" about U.S. dropping 90 million Honeywell cluster bombs on civilians in Laos during the Vietnam War. Marv and the Honeywell Project resisted the use of these terrorist weapons for 22 years. Discussion follows. Tickets: $12.00. Presented by: Marv Davidov and Pulse. FFI: Email <askus [at] bryantlakebowl.com>. ---------11 of 20-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Stop Israel/vigil 7.28 4:15pm Stop Israel Now! End U.S. Military and Political Support of Israel Friday, July 28, 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. (Note: this is an ongoing vigil that takes place every Friday.) Summit and Snelling Avenues, St. Paul. As Israel escalates its assault on Palestine and Lebanon, ACT NOW! Called by: the WAMM Middle East Committee and the Coalition for Palestinian Rights. FFI: Call Sarah Standefer at 612-437-0222 or Karen Redleaf at 651-283-3495. --------12 of 20-------- Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 17:56:39 -0500 From: Bean Scene <beanscene [at] qwest.net> Subject: Northside art crawl 7.28 5pm Flow Northside Artscrawl - BeanScene Inside and Out! Friday July 28 - 5pm till late We are sure you have heard about the first FLOW Northside Artcrawl on July 28th. This first-ever Northside-hosted arts crawl will feature over 30 youth and adult Northside artists presenting visual and performing works of art in galleries, studios, businesses and organizations, along West Broadway between Lyndale & Penn and at Penn & Plymouth. The Bean Scene is supporting this event by featuring our artists inside and hosting a live concert outside starting at 5:00 pm. Bring your whole family and discover Northside arts and artists of all ages. Enjoy the sounds of MC of the evening - DJ Dap Daddi. Wenso Ashby "Jazz in the Cities", featuring Zsame, Undaground Railroad, and Spencer McGillicutty. See store for performance times. --------13 of 20-------- From: entropy [at] riseup.net Subject: Sisters Camelot 7.28 7pm Our new Foodshare bus recently broke down so we are working hard to raise the necessary funds to rebuild the engine before the old bus (filling in) dies on us. C'mon down to our new office this friday, have a cold refreshment, enjoy some great acoustic music...and help out the twin cities' only mobile organic foodshelf! Sisters' Camelot FUNdraiser THIS FRIDAY, July 28 7 PM, 3649 Chicago Ave. performing: Lonesome Dan Kase (www.lonesomedan.com) shugE (www.myspace.com/shugEmusic) Chelsea Carnes (visiting from florida) & Dan Eike www.sisterscamelot.org --------14 of 20-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Moyers/TV 7.28 9pm I've found Bill Moyers' new series to be a facinatng food for thought with a variety of people from different faith perseoctives(most of them writers--including spoken word artist/playwright WILL POWER and essayist RICHARD RODRIGUEZ). Here's the (I think) last of the series this week. The entire series is available on DVD (single shows or the whole series) thru PBS. FRI JULY 28, channel 2 @ 9pm MON JULY 31, channel 17 @ 7pm Minneapolis/St Paul (other cities check PBS local listings) on BILL MOYERS' "Faith & Reason" Two agnostics, both literary writers come to terms with a world of faith Canadian novelist & poet MARGARET ATWOOD British novelist MARTIN AMIS --------15 of 20-------- From: Krisrose02 [at] aol.com Subject: Coordinated Campaign Kick-Off Celebration - FUNdraiser!! 07.30.06 Please forward widely!! Call your friends!! Coordinated Campaign Kick-Off Celebration - "FUN"draiser 07.30.06 Green Party at The Poodle! Coordinated Campaign Kick-off Celebration! FUNdraiser! Highlights will include a Candidate Talent Show, karaoke, music, and candidate dollar dance! Come out in support of our candidates and to celebrate our many accomplishments as a party this year! We deserve some fun, and to celebrate the potential we have this year to bring a message of Peace, Justice, Ecology, and Democracy to Minnesota Voters! Sunday, July 30 - 8pm through Midnight The Poodle - 3001 E Lake Street, Minneapolis Parking? There's a lot in back! Cost: $15 at the door goes to your favorite Green Party campaign/s. There will be some food provided. Beverages can be ordered from the bar. Appearances by: Dave Berger - for Minnesota State Auditor Papa John Kolstad - for Minnesota Attorney General Ken Pentel - for Governor of Minnesota Danene Provencher - for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota Michael Cavlan - for US Senate Jay Pond - for US House 5th Congressional District Jesse Mortenson - for MN House District 64A Julie Risser - for MN Senate District 41 Farheen Hakeem - for Hennepin County Commissioner --------16 of 20-------- [I hope EVERYONE reads this essay. -ed] The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community by David Korten http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=1463 YES! Magazine Summer 2006 Issue: 5,000 Years of Empire By what name will future generations know our time? Will they speak in anger and frustration of the time of the Great Unraveling, when profligate consumption exceeded Earth's capacity to sustain and led to an accelerating wave of collapsing environmental systems, violent competition for what remained of the planet's resources, and a dramatic dieback of the human population? Or will they look back in joyful celebration on the time of the Great Turning, when their forebears embraced the higher-order potential of their human nature, turned crisis into opportunity, and learned to live in creative partnership with one another and Earth? A defining choice We face a defining choice between two contrasting models for organizing human affairs. Give them the generic names Empire and Earth Community. Absent an understanding of the history and implications of this choice, we may squander valuable time and resources on efforts to preserve or mend cultures and institutions that cannot be fixed and must be replaced. Empire organizes by domination at all levels, from relations among nations to relations among family members. Empire brings fortune to the few, condemns the majority to misery and servitude, suppresses the creative potential of all, and appropriates much of the wealth of human societies to maintain the institutions of domination. Earth Community, by contrast, organizes by partnership, unleashes the human potential for creative co-operation, and shares resources and surpluses for the good of all. Supporting evidence for the possibilities of Earth Community comes from the findings of quantum physics, evolutionary biology, developmental psychology, anthropology, archaeology, and religious mysticism. It was the human way before Empire; we must make a choice to re-learn how to live by its principles. Developments distinctive to our time are telling us that Empire has reached the limits of the exploitation that people and Earth will sustain. A mounting perfect economic storm born of a convergence of peak oil, climate change, and an imbalanced U.S. economy dependent on debts it can never repay is poised to bring a dramatic restructuring of every aspect of modern life. We have the power to choose, however, whether the consequences play out as a terminal crisis or an epic opportunity. The Great Turning is not a prophecy. It is a possibility. A turn from life According to cultural historian Riane Eisler, early humans evolved within a cultural and institutional frame of Earth Community. They organized to meet their needs by cooperating with life rather than by dominating it. Then some 5,000 years ago, beginning in Mesopotamia, our ancestors made a tragic turn from Earth Community to Empire. They turned away from a reverence for the generative power of life - represented by female gods or nature spirits - to a reverence for hierarchy and the power of the sword - represented by distant, usually male, gods. The wisdom of the elder and the priestess gave way to the arbitrary rule of the powerful, often ruthless, king. Paying the price The peoples of the dominant human societies lost their sense of attachment to the living earth, and societies became divided between the rulers and the ruled, exploiters and exploited. The brutal competition for power created a relentless play-or-die, rule-or-be-ruled dynamic of violence and oppression and served to elevate the most ruthless to the highest positions of power. Since the fateful turn, the major portion of the resources available to human societies has been diverted from meeting the needs of life to supporting the military forces, prisons, palaces, temples, and patronage for retainers and propagandists on which the system of domination in turn depends. Great civilizations built by ambitious rulers fell to successive waves of corruption and conquest. The primary institutional form of Empire has morphed from the city-state to the nation-state to the global corporation, but the underlying pattern of domination remains. It is axiomatic: for a few to be on top, many must be on the bottom. The powerful control and institutionalize the processes by which it will be decided who enjoys the privilege and who pays the price, a choice that commonly results in arbitrarily excluding from power whole groups of persons based on race and gender. Troubling truths Herein lies a crucial insight. If we look for the source of the social pathologies increasingly evident in our culture, we find they have a common origin in the dominator relations of Empire that have survived largely intact in spite of the democratic reforms of the past two centuries. The sexism, racism, economic injustice, violence, and environmental destruction that have plagued human societies for 5,000 years, and have now brought us to the brink of a potential terminal crisis, all flow from this common source. Freeing ourselves from these pathologies depends on a common solution - replacing the underlying dominator cultures and institutions of Empire with the partnership cultures and institutions of Earth Community. Unfortunately, we cannot look to imperial powerholders to lead the way. Beyond denial History shows that as empires crumble the ruling elites become ever more corrupt and ruthless in their drive to secure their own power - a dynamic now playing out in the United States. We Americans base our identity in large measure on the myth that our nation has always embodied the highest principles of democracy, and is devoted to spreading peace and justice to the world. But there has always been tension between America's high ideals and its reality as a modern version of Empire. The freedom promised by the Bill of Rights contrasts starkly with the enshrinement of slavery elsewhere in the original articles of the Constitution. The protection of property, an idea central to the American dream, stands in contradiction to the fact that our nation was built on land taken by force from Native Americans. Although we consider the vote to be the hallmark of our democracy, it took nearly 200 years before that right was extended to all citizens. Americans acculturated to the ideals of America find it difficult to comprehend what our rulers are doing, most of which is at odds with notions of egalitarianism, justice, and democracy. Within the frame of historical reality, it is perfectly clear: they are playing out the endgame of Empire, seeking to consolidate power through increasingly authoritarian and anti-democratic policies. Wise choices necessarily rest on a foundation of truth. The Great Turning depends on awakening to deep truths long denied. Cultural Turning The Great Turning begins with a cultural and spiritual awakening - a turning in cultural values from money and material excess to life and spiritual fulfillment, from a belief in our limitations to a belief in our possibilities, and from fearing our differences to rejoicing in our diversity. It requires reframing the cultural stories by which we define our human nature, purpose, and possibilities. Economic Turning The values shift of the cultural turning leads us to redefine wealth - to measure it by the health of our families, communities, and natural environment. It leads us from policies that raise those at the top to policies that raise those at the bottom, from hoarding to sharing, from concentrated to distributed ownership, and from the rights of ownership to the responsibilities of stewardship. Political Turning The economic turning creates the necessary conditions for a turn from a one-dollar, one-vote democracy to a one-person, one-vote democracy, from passive to active citizenship, from competition for individual advantage to cooperation for mutual advantage, from retributive justice to restorative justice, and from social order by coercion to social order by mutual responsibility and accountability. Global awakening Empire's true believers maintain that the inherent flaws in our human nature lead to a natural propensity to greed, violence, and lust for power. Social order and material progress depend, therefore, on imposing elite rule and market discipline to channel these dark tendencies to positive ends. Psychologists who study the developmental pathways of the individual consciousness observe a more complex reality. Just as we grow up in our physical capacities and potential given proper physical nourishment and exercise, we also grow up in the capacities and potential of our consciousness, given proper social and emotional nourishment and exercise. Over a lifetime, those who enjoy the requisite emotional support traverse a pathway from the narcissistic, undifferentiated magical consciousness of the newborn to the fully mature, inclusive, and multidimensional spiritual consciousness of the wise elder. The lower, more narcissistic, orders of consciousness are perfectly normal for young children, but become sociopathic in adults and are easily encouraged and manipulated by advertisers and demagogues. The higher orders of consciousness are a necessary foundation of mature democracy. Perhaps Empire's greatest tragedy is that its cultures and institutions systematically suppress our progress to the higher orders of consciousness. Given that Empire has prevailed for 5,000 years, a turn from Empire to Earth Community might seem a hopeless fantasy if not for the evidence from values surveys that a global awakening to the higher levels of human consciousness is already underway. This awakening is driven in part by a communications revolution that defies elite censorship and is breaking down the geographical barriers to intercultural exchange. The consequences of the awakening are manifest in the civil rights, women's, environmental, peace, and other social movements. These movements in turn gain energy from the growing leadership of women, communities of color, and indigenous peoples, and from a shift in the demographic balance in favor of older age groups more likely to have achieved the higher-order consciousness of the wise elder. It is fortuitous that we humans have achieved the means to make a collective choice as a species to free ourselves from Empire's seemingly inexorable compete-or-die logic at the precise moment we face the imperative to do so. The speed at which institutional and technological advances have created possibilities wholly new to the human experience is stunning. JUST OVER 60 YEARS AGO, we created the United Nations, which, for all its imperfections, made it possible for the first time for representatives of all the world's nations and people to meet in a neutral space to resolve differences through dialogue rather than force of arms. LESS THAN 50 YEARS AGO, our species ventured into space to look back and see ourselves as one people sharing a common destiny on a living space ship. IN LITTLE MORE THAN 10 YEARS our communications technologies have given us the ability, should we choose to use it, to link every human on the planet into a seamless web of nearly costless communication and cooperation. Already our new technological capability has made possible the interconnection of the millions of people who are learning to work as a dynamic, self-directing social organism that transcends boundaries of race, class, religion, and nationality and functions as a shared conscience of the species. We call this social organism global civil society. On February 15, 2003, it brought more than 10 million people to the streets of the world's cities, towns, and villages to call for peace in the face of the buildup to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. They accomplished this monumental collective action without a central organization, budget, or charismatic leader through social processes never before possible on such a scale. This was but a foretaste of the possibilities for radically new forms of partnership organization now within our reach. Break the silence, end the isolation, change the story We humans live by stories. The key to making a choice for Earth Community is recognizing that the foundation of Empire's power does not lie in its instruments of physical violence. It lies in Empire's ability to control the stories by which we define ourselves and our possibilities in order to perpetuate the myths on which the legitimacy of the dominator relations of Empire depend. To change the human future, we must change our defining stories. Story power For 5,000 years, the ruling class has cultivated, rewarded, and amplified the voices of those storytellers whose stories affirm the righteousness of Empire and deny the higher-order potentials of our nature that would allow us to live with one another in peace and cooperation. There have always been those among us who sense the possibilities of Earth Community, but their stories have been marginalized or silenced by Empire's instruments of intimidation. The stories endlessly repeated by the scribes of Empire become the stories most believed. Stories of more hopeful possibilities go unheard or unheeded and those who discern the truth are unable to identify and support one another in the common cause of truth telling. Fortunately, the new communications technologies are breaking this pattern. As truth-tellers reach a wider audience, the myths of Empire become harder to maintain. The struggle to define the prevailing cultural stories largely defines contemporary cultural politics in the United States. A far-right alliance of elitist corporate plutocrats and religious theocrats has gained control of the political discourse in the United States not by force of their numbers, which are relatively small, but by controlling the stories by which the prevailing culture defines the pathway to prosperity, security, and meaning. In each instance, the far right's favored versions of these stories affirm the dominator relations of Empire. THE IMPERIAL PROSPERITY STORY says that an eternally growing economy benefits everyone. To grow the economy, we need wealthy people who can invest in enterprises that create jobs. Thus, we must support the wealthy by cutting their taxes and eliminating regulations that create barriers to accumulating wealth. We must also eliminate welfare programs in order to teach the poor the value of working hard at whatever wages the market offers. THE IMPERIAL SECURITY STORY tells of a dangerous world, filled with criminals, terrorists, and enemies. The only way to insure our safety is through major expenditures on the military and the police to maintain order by physical force. THE IMPERIAL MEANING STORY reinforces the other two, featuring a God who rewards righteousness with wealth and power and mandates that they rule over the poor who justly suffer divine punishment for their sins. These stories all serve to alienate us from the community of life and deny the positive potentials of our nature, while affirming the legitimacy of economic inequality, the use of physical force to maintain imperial order, and the special righteousness of those in power. It is not enough, as many in the United States are doing, to debate the details of tax and education policies, budgets, war, and trade agreements in search of a positive political agenda. Nor is it enough to craft slogans with broad mass appeal aimed at winning the next election or policy debate. We must infuse the mainstream culture with stories of Earth Community. As the stories of Empire nurture a culture of domination, the stories of Earth Community nurture a culture of partnership. They affirm the positive potentials of our human nature and show that realizing true prosperity, security, and meaning depends on creating vibrant, caring, interlinked communities that support all persons in realizing their full humanity. Sharing the joyful news of our human possibilities through word and action is perhaps the most important aspect of the Great Work of our time. Changing the prevailing stories in the United States may be easier to accomplish than we might think. The apparent political divisions notwithstanding, U.S. polling data reveal a startling degree of consensus on key issues. Eighty-three percent of Americans believe that as a society the United States is focused on the wrong priorities. Supermajorities want to see greater priority given to children, family, community, and a healthy environment. Americans also want a world that puts people ahead of profits, spiritual values ahead of financial values, and international cooperation ahead of international domination. These Earth Community values are in fact widely shared by both conservatives and liberals. Our nation is on the wrong course not because Americans have the wrong values. It is on the wrong course because of remnant imperial institutions that give unaccountable power to a small alliance of right-wing extremists who call themselves conservative and claim to support family and community values, but whose preferred economic and social policies constitute a ruthless war against children, families, communities, and the environment. The distinctive human capacity for reflection and intentional choice carries a corresponding moral responsibility to care for one another and the planet. Indeed, our deepest desire is to live in loving relationships with one another. The hunger for loving families and communities is a powerful, but latent, unifying force and the potential foundation of a winning political coalition dedicated to creating societies that support every person in actualizing his or her highest potential. In these turbulent and often frightening times, it is important to remind ourselves that we are privileged to live at the most exciting moment in the whole of the human experience. We have the opportunity to turn away from Empire and to embrace Earth Community as a conscious collective choice. We are the ones we have been waiting for. David Korten is co-founder and board chair of the Positive Futures Network. This article draws from his newly released book, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. Go to www.yesmagazine.org/greatturning for book excerpts, related articles, David's talks, and resources for action. -- [The 5000 years of empire/class rule has been much on my mind the last year or so. The more I see its anti-human results everywhere, the more I see we must stamp it out, root and branch. No more ruling classes. No more billionaires. No more elite-spread brainwashing designed to smash our humanity flat. The ruling class is unprincipled and manipulative; it foments wars and hate, racism and sexism; its heart is fascism. Besides the partnership for human potential metnioned above, humanity must evolve anti-bodies to stamp out ruling classes and the conditions that lead to them, or perish. If we just sit here, the ruling class will come for us, one by one, just as the Nazis did in Germany. Many people imagine THEY cannot be brainwashed by the rich. Well, the rich have been at it 5000 years, and we have been suckered into war after war. The rich are horribly effective; never underestimate the toxic stories they have arrowed in to our brains to weaken us while they strike. 5000 years of human misery demonstrates their success. If you think my remarks are over the top, read the Korten essay again. Then again. -ed] --------17 of 20-------- Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2006 20:41:09 +0000 From: Adnan Dakkuri <dakkuria [at] hotmail.com> A very interesting article written by an Armenian Lebanese from Chili. Pls read. The author attended the International College in Beirut. He is from an Armenian family that took refuge in Iraq first, and then moved to Lebanon. He left Lebanon in the late sixties to continue his studies in Europe then ended in Chile, where he continues to live now. He is a prominent, well-known economist and thinker, specialized in Latin America and is widely consulted by businesses in that area. He is also a member of the Center for Strategic Studies in London. THE OBLITERATION OF A COUNTRY Lebanon's Fate at the Hand of Israel by Armen Kouyoumdjian Phone/fax 56-32 612180 kouyvina [at] cmet.net July 24 , 2006 Once again I have had to redirect my report towards a subject other than the one I had planned to cover this week-end. Israel's assault on the Lebanon cannot leave me silent. May I also declare that more than ever in this particular case, I shall not tolerate any critical reaction to what I am about to write, none whatsoever. This is not a moment for debating in the Agora, and if you (or your mother-in-law to whom you pass-on these papers) do not like it, do not read them. PROGRESSIVE TREND Believe it or not, I used to be quite a fan of Israel during my young days in Beirut. I do not think it has anything to do with the fact that we are of the same age (I am 12 days older than Israel and much, much wiser). It probably relates to my early interest in military affairs. I even applauded its victories in the 1967 war, though it fucked up my last summer in Beirut, before I left that city for good in September of that year. It probably had not much to do with the several Jewish classmates I had at both school and university there, many of whom ended kup for a short while in Israel before leaving it in disgust. I myself avidly followed all the great military prowesses with great admiration. I soon realised how wrong I was. My first inkling that this was not a show to be admired came on December 27, 1968. I myself was just recovering from the May student revolution at the Sorbonne where I was studying, when Israeli commandos flew into Beirut airport and blew up in cold blood the 13-strong fleet of its once proud Middle East Airlines. Hey, I thought, this is not war, this is vandalism. If that did not change my mind, the following four decades have given plenty more ammunition. The 1978 invasion of the South, the 1982 occupation of half the country with the resulting destruction, and the Sabra and Chatila massacres. Any lingering doubts that may have remained within me would have been swept away when Menachem Beguin stopped Armenian scholars from attending seminars on Genocide in Israel, after which followed repeated denials of the Armenian Genocide by various top Israeli officials, finally culminating in an unholy alliance with Turkey. They even instructed Jewish organisations worldwide to shamefully collaborate in the negation campaign. Begin's real name was actually Wolfovitch (hey, just like that guy at the White House). THE TARGET The country which Israel has now decided to obliterate is not just any country. It is the cradle of the ancient Phoenician civilisation that gave the world its first modern alphabet, and pioneered international commerce. It has been the home of great artists and thinkers. It has given birth to some of the world's most brilliant business brains, and at least half a dozen country in Latin America have had presidents from among the ranks of the large Lebanese Diaspora. In my Beirut school we spoke three languages during break, never discriminated in any way among the many communities which made up our classes, in an educational system the quality of which I never saw again in the three countries where I have subsequently lived. We followed the latest pop music and films from all around the world. Half a century ago there were two French-language weeklies dedicated to movies in Beirut. There is not a single one in Chile. Above all this was the most hospitable country and people to have ever roamed the earth. I cannot compare the slap-up banquets that hosts used to come up with whenever one visited, to the visits my own sons made to the houses of their Chilean classmates when, during a study session of several hours their mothers would not even serve them a glass of water. Though it does not apply to my own family history, when Armenian survivors of the 1915 Genocide arrived in the Lebanon, itself in the midst of a famine and other difficulties, the local authorities built an entire village (Anjar) to house as many as they could. The Armenians owe the Lebanese, and in fact Arabs in general, a debt which can never be repaid enough. This country, whose modern independence is recent, is built on a fragile equilibrium which cannot easily take traumas. It is not the solid balance of the cement-less vault of medieval cathedrals, but the delicate one of a pyramid of Chinese acrobats. Mess around with one and the whole thing collapses, as happened several times over the past half century. To expect its authorities and modest armed forces to do other people's dirty work in as unrealistic as it is unjust. If the genesis of the Hezbollah problem are Iran and Syria, supposedly card-carrying members of the Axis of Evil, how come their territory is not being attacked, whereas poor Lebanon is obliterated? THE PERPETRATOR AND HIS ACTS The answer is: the cowardly bully always targets the weak and defenceless. To call Israel a Terrorist State would be an undeserved compliment. Terrorists at least have an ulterior motive, however warped it may sometimes be. Israel is a Vandal State. Vandals just destroy for the sheer pleasure of causing harm. Within a few days, this trading country's transport and energy infrastructure is in ruins, and half a million of its population are refugees. Its painful recovery from a long and also foreign-induced internal conflict has been wiped out at a stroke. Its trading and tourist activities are dead. It will probably have to default on its large public debt, much of which is held by its own banking system which in turn might become insolvent. Customs revenues are one of the main sources of treasury income. The cosmopolitan fabric of its population will once again be ruined by the mass exodus, which will take years to reverse, if ever. Meanwhile, there is an immediate humanitarian problem of massive proportions, when medical help cannot even get to the victims, and the power shortage prevents even those getting to a hospital from getting proper treatment. TIRED ARGUMENTS The main argument presented by Israel to justify its actions is Self Defence. This does not stand any scrutiny. Both national and international laws restrict your field of action in this respect. If you are a private individual and someone throws stones at your house, you can try to stop them and nobody will blame you for it. However, you have no legal nor moral right to go to his house, kill his family, set fire to his possessions, and then go on to do the same with his neighbours, the whole town where he came from and the whole country it is situated in. Articles 33 and 147 of the Geneva Convention are very clear about banning collective punishment and destroying targets of no military relevance. It is amazing that a state with a secret service and armed forces that carry such a high reputation, could not seek out the Hezbollah culprits who "kidnapped" three of its soldiers (whatever happened to the concept of prisoners of war, aren't they part and parcel of a military conflict?). Instead, not just areas known to be used as Hezbollah hideouts, not just the country's entire infrastructure, but residential areas of both Muslims & Christians, not to mention United Nation posts and more have been struck. Now there is a land invasion developing. The refugees who cannot leave the country are clogging up the capital, causing an immediate refugee situation which will then turn into deep social tension. The territory of Lebanon will not only accumulate understandable additional hatred against Israel, but will become a place of unrest which cannot be of any comfort to its neighbour. Their old claim to annex Lebanon up to the Litani river may be fulfilled, but it will only increase the pressure in the overpopulated remainder of the country. Physics 101. Let me get on to a more controversial argument, that of Israel's Right to Exist. I think by its behaviour as a Rogue State, it has long lost this right. Having a right to a country is not divine, even for God's chosen people. It is a capricious gift of history. Some have it, others have it for a while, and others never get it. Nobody has the right to mess up the whole of humanity every few years, in order to "guarantee" their own geographical survival. The Kurds are a nation that never managed to have a country, but they are not responsible for the 1973 start of the long rise in oil prices, which were multiplied by 30x in the following 33 years. The Poles have been in and out of having a country for most of their history, and though France and Britain went to war for them in 1939, they were sold down the river as soon as WWII ended. The Kashmiri are fighting for a country. We Armenians were without one for the best part of a thousand years. Did we go out and steal anybody else's country as a result? Does Hillary Clinton say for us what she said last week ("We will stand with Israel because Israel is standing for American values as well as Israeli ones"). Those values appear closer these days to those of Corporal Schillgrüber in the 1930's. THE CURSE If it is anything but a small consolation, everyone I have spoken to in recent days has been highly critical of Israel. It is understandable that the US administration has done nothing to prevent or stop this outrage, but the indifference of the Europeans is harder to fathom. In any case, the damage is done. A wonderful country has been wilfully destroyed. It might recover, one day. There is a spot just north of Beirut, a gorge through which flows the Nahr el Kalb (the River of the Dog). From Antiquity, it became a tradition for conquerors passing through Lebanon to carve their names on the stony walls of the river bank. Assyrian kings, Egyptian Pharaohs, Greek and Roman generals and the more modern armies (such as the nostalgic Régiment de Marche du Tonkin of the French Army). Tourist guides loved to show them to visitors and say: "they all came, they all went, but we are still here"). Maybe, Insh'allah, they will still be there again. In the meantime, I am putting an old Armenian curse on the State of Israel and all those who sail in her, adding that if God elected that as the country of his chosen people, I do not know who is the schmuck who gave Him the voting bulletin. The Armenian Curse is very effective but secret, though I can tell you that compared to its consequences, the Seven Plagues of Egypt appear as harmless as an old ladies' bridge afternoon. The day before Yom Kippur, you have to seek forgiveness from all the people you have wronged. On the day of Yom Kippur, you have to seek forgiveness from God. There are things, however, which have no forgiveness. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD." (Eze 39:4-5) --------18 of 20-------- Nobel Peace Laureate on George Bush From: Brisbane, Australia NOBEL peace laureate Betty Williams displayed a flash of her feisty Irish spirit yesterday, lashing out at US President George W.Bush during a speech to hundreds of schoolchildren. Campaigning on the rights of young people at the Earth Dialogues forum, being held in Brisbane, Ms Williams spoke passionately about the deaths of innocent children during wartime, particularly in the Middle East, and lambasted Mr Bush. "I have a very hard time with this word 'non-violence', because I don't believe that I am non-violent," said Ms Williams, 64. "Right now, I would love to kill George Bush." Her young audience at the Brisbane City Hall clapped and cheered. "I don't know how I ever got a Nobel Peace Prize, because when I see children die the anger in me is just beyond belief. It's our duty as human beings, whatever age we are, to become the protectors of human life." www.theaustralian.news.com.au/printpage/0,5942,19902313,00.html --------19 of 20-------- Letter (signed by Harold Pinter, Jose Saramago, Noam Chomsky & John Berger) Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 09:53:27 +0400 A Letter The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner - and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis - there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails. That this "kidnapping" was considered an outrage, whereas the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources - most particularly that of water - by the Israeli Defence (!) Forces is considered a regrettable but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians, on the land alloted to them by international agreements, during the last seventy years. Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones. The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called Justice. Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly - who but field commanders can forget this for a moment? Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows, all serve as a distraction in order to divert world attention from a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation. This has to be said loud and clear for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognised for what it is and resisted. John Berger Noam Chomsky Harold Pinter José Saramago --------20 of 20-------- The High Cost of Being Poor By Barbara Ehrenreich Alternet - Jul 21, 2006 http://www.alternet.org/story/39273/ There are people, concentrated in the Hamptons and Beverly Hills, who still confuse poverty with the simple life. No cable TV, no altercations with the maid, no summer home maintenance issues - just the basics like family, sunsets and walks in the park. What they don't know is that it's expensive to be poor. In fact, you, the reader of middling income, could probably not afford it. A new study from the Brookings Institute documents the "ghetto tax," or higher cost of living in low-income urban neighborhoods. It comes at you from every direction, from food prices to auto insurance. A few examples from this study, by Matt Fellowes, that covered 12 American cities: * Poor people are less likely to have bank accounts, which can be expensive for those with low balances, and so they tend to cash their pay checks at check-cashing businesses, which in the cities surveyed, charged $5 to $50 for a $500 check. * Nationwide, low-income car buyers, defined as people earning less than $30,000 a year, pay two percentage points more for a car loan than more affluent buyers. * Low-income drivers pay more for car insurance. In New York, Baltimore and Hartford, they pay an average $400 more a year to insure the exact same car and driver risk than wealthier drivers. * Poorer people pay an average of one percentage point more in mortgage interest. * They are more likely to buy their furniture and appliances through pricey rent-to-own businesses. In Wisconsin, the study reports, a $200 rent-to-own TV set can cost $700 with the interest included. * They are less likely to have access to large supermarkets and hence to rely on the far more expensive, and lower quality offerings, of small grocery and convenience stores. I didn't live in any ghettoes when I worked on Nickle and Dimed - a trailer park, yes, but no ghetto - and on my average wage of $7 an hour, or about $14,400 a year, I wasn't in the market for furniture, a house or a car. But the high cost of poverty was brought home to me within a few days of my entry into the low-wage life, when, slipping into social-worker mode, I chastised a co-worker for living in a motel room when it would be so much cheaper to rent an apartment. Her response: Where would she get the first month's rent and security deposit it takes to pin down an apartment? The lack of that amount of capital - probably well over $1,000 - condemned her to paying $40 a night at the Day's Inn. Then there was the problem of sustenance. I had gone into the project imagining myself preparing vast quantities of cheap, nutritious soups and stews, which I would freeze and heat for dinner each day. But surprise: I didn't have the proverbial pot to pee in, not to mention spices or Tupperware. A scouting trip to K-Mart established that it would take about a $40 capital investment to get my kitchenette up to speed for the low-wage way of life. The food situation got only more challenging when I, too, found myself living in a motel. Lacking a fridge and microwave, all my food had to come from the nearest convenience store (hardboiled eggs and banana for breakfast) or, for the big meal of the day, Wendy's or KFC. I have no nutritional complaints; after all, there is a veggie, or flecks of one, in Wendy's broccoli and cheese baked potato. The problem was financial. A double cheeseburger and fries is lot more expensive than that hypothetical homemade lentil stew. There are other tolls along the road well-traveled by the working poor. If your credit is lousy, which it is likely to be, you'll pay a higher deposit for a phone. If you don't have health insurance, you may end taking that feverish child to an emergency room, and please don't think of ER's as socialized medicine for the poor. The average cost of a visit is over $1,000, which is over ten times more than what a clinic pediatrician would charge. Or you neglect that hypertension, diabetes or mystery lump until you end up with a $100,000 problem on your hands. So let's have a little less talk about how the poor should learn to manage their money, and a little more attention to all the ways that money is being systematically siphoned off. Yes, certain kinds of advice would be helpful: skip the pay-day loans and rent-to-pay furniture, for example. But we need laws in more states to stop predatory practices like $50 charges for check cashing. Also, think what some microcredit could do to move families from motels and shelters to apartments. And did I mention a living wage? If you're rich, you might want to stay that way. It's a whole lot cheaper than being poor. [Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of 13 books, most recently "Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream." This piece first appeared on her blog.] (c) 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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