Progressive Calendar 09.04.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2006 05:44:18 -0700 (PDT)
           P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    09.04.06

1. Green ride/health care 9.04 8:30am
2. Immigrant rights rally 9.04 10:30am
3. Green/labor day picnic 9.04 3pm
4. NWA labor rally        9.04 3pm

5. Lebanon/KFAI           9.05 11am
6. SPNN/Palestine/media   9.05 5pm
7. Salon/open season      9.05 6:30pm
8. Coreopsis poetry       9.05 7pm

9. Greg Palast      - Today's pig is tomorrow's bacon (a Labor Day recipe)
10. A K Dewdney     - Welcome to the world of synthetic terror
11. Robert Jensen   - The limits Of George Lakoff's politics
12. Mumia Abu-Jamal - !Viva Fidel! Long live Fidel!
13. Holly Dressel   - Has Canada got the cure?
14. ed              - Another award  (award)

--------1 of 14--------

From: Kristen Olson Krisrose02 [at] AOL.COM
Subject: Green ride/health care 9.04 8:30am

[See the circle cycle circle the cities - ed]

Minnesota Greens
Please consider joining us on Labor Day at one of our stops for single
payer, or meet us at the end for a picnic with your Green Party endorsed
candidates!  Bring food, energy, good will, and support for universal
single payer health care in our state.


Edina, Minneapolis, St. Paul-- This Labor Day, September 4, Green Party
candidates for MN House, MN Senate, US Senate, US House, Governor, State
Auditor, and Attorney General will pedal a seven-seated cycle from Edina,
through the Fifth Congressional District, to the State Fair Grounds in
Falcon Heights, and on through St. Paul to a Green Party-sponsored Single
Payer Picnic at Harriet Island.

The candidates chose to ride the seven-seated cycle (a.k.a. cycle seven)
as a symbol of better health for our citizens and a better environment for
our state.  They will stop in several locations to address the press and
public on the need for universal single payer health care for all

"The Big Ride for Single Payer Health Care" will kick off in Edina at 8:30
am, at Fairview Southdale Hospital outside the parking ramp (On the West
side of France Avenue just South of Highway 62).  Julie Risser, Green
Party candidate for MN Senate in District 41 and Dave Berger, Green Party
candidate for State Auditor will address the press and public at the kick
off point for the cycle seven.

"One of the biggest flaws in our system is that health insurance is tied
to employment.  You lose your job you are dealt a one-two punch:  loss of
income, loss of health coverage."  Risser says.  "Implementing a universal
single payer system in Minnesota would ensure access to needed health care
for all Minnesotans, and reduce the administrative and financial burden on
Minnesota businesses.  It is time for Minnesota to lead the way to a
better health care system."

"This ride is a chance for us to work together in a healthy and fun way to
promote accountability and justice in the Minnesota health care system,"
says Dave Berger, candidate for Minnesota State Auditor.  "The current
system is an out-of-control corporate bureaucracy that allows gigantic
health insurance companies and executives to make billions of dollars from
insurance premiums. We need to reduce this waste and corruption by moving
to one simple form with a single payer representing all of the people in
this state and nation."

Jay Pond, candidate for US House in the 5th Congressional District will
speak at the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis (2525 Chicago Ave) between
10:20 and 10:30 am.

Jesse Mortenson, candidate for MN House in district 64A will speak at the
Family Tree Clinic in St. Paul between 12:20 and 12:30 pm.  The clinic is
located at 1619 Dayton Avenue in St. Paul.

Ken Pentel, candidate for Minnesota Governor will join the others and
speak when the bicycle reaches the Minnesota State Fair at 2:10 pm, at the
Main Gate in Falcon Heights (Snelling and Dan Patch Avenues).

The candidates will then stop by the Capitol building for a photo op at
3:20 pm.

[Circle cycle] Michael Cavlan, Candidate for US Senate, and Papa John
Kolstad, candidate for Attorney General will speak at Regions Hospital in
St. Paul between 3:55 and 4:10 pm.

"The Big Ride" will end at 5:00 pm at Harriet Island, where all of the
candidates will assemble for a press conference and picnic at the main
entrance to the park.

"As a nurse, I work in the trenches of health care. Every day, nurses and
doctors observe the corrupting influence of HMOs on the health care
industry," says Michael Cavlan, candidate for US Senate. "I call for
Minnesota to lead the nation by instituting single payer health care.
Single payer health care will not only be good for the people of
Minnesota, but it will be good for business."

The Green Party of Minnesota is founded on the values of Grassroots
Democracy, Non-Violence, Social and Economic Justice, and Ecological

Green Party of  Minnesota
Contact Rhoda Gilman, Green Party of MN  Politics Chair:  651-224-6383
__rhodagilman [at] earthlink.net_ (mailto:_rhodagilman [at] _
(_mailto:rhodagilman [at] earthlink.net_ (mailto:rhodagilman [at] )

For more information on the Green Party candidates see: (

For more information on the Green Party see:  _www.mngreens.org_
(_http://www.mngreens.org_ ( )

For more information on Universal Single-Payer Health Care see:

Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition _www.muhcc.org_
(_http://www.muhcc.org_ ( ) Physicians for a National
Health Care _www.phnp.org_ (_http://www.phnp.org_ ( )

For more information on the cycle seven see:  _www.cycleseven.com_
(_http://www.cycleseven.com_ ( )

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From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Immigrant rights rally 9.04 10:30am

Monday, September 4, 10:30am. Cesar Chavez Street and State Street, St.
Paul. March and rally for immigrant rights. Sponsored by: the Alliance for
Fair Immigration Reform in Minnesota (AFFIRM), the Minnesota Immigrant
Rights Action Coalition (MIRAC), and the St. Paul Trades and Labor
Assembly (AFL-CIO). FFI: Call 651-389-9174 or visit

--------3 of 14--------

From: Kristen Olson Krisrose02 [at] AOL.COM
Subject: Green/labor day picnic 9.04 3pm

Green Party of Minnesota
Contact Dave Berger, Green Party Candidate for State Auditor
(612) 338-3630
(612) 961-4192


St. Paul** When Green Party candidates heard that the traditional Labor
Day picnic on Harriet Island was canceled this year, they immediately
began work on plans to provide a smaller scale option to provide support
in a fun way for labor union members and their supporters this year.

"This is an important day to get together and support the union movement
and working people in general. As a union member myself I realize how
important it is to create a sense of community within the labor movement."
said Dave Berger, candidate for Minnesota State Auditor and member of
Education Minnesota (AFL-CIO). "It will be a smaller version, but we will
provide music, speakers, entertainment, and a collective community spirit
to celebrate the history of Labor Day."

The picnic will take place on Harriet Island near the Pavilion, 3-8pm.
Nearby, the Greens will provide a free concert 4:30-6:30pm on the
Raspberry Island at the Shubert Band Shell featuring the music of the Twin
Cities band Nice Driveway, with speakers and performances including Papa
John Kolstad, candidate for Attorney General and local musician, Michael
Cavlan, candidate for US Senate, nurse, and union member, Ken Pentel,
candidate for Governor, Jay Pond, Candidate for US House 5th CD, and
trumpet player, Jesse Mortenson, candidate for MN House Dist. 64A, and

Bring a picnic lunch and join us in celebrating the labor movement within
the United States.

The Green Party supports the right of working people to form or join labor
unions and expects our endorsed candidates and elected officials to
actively assist working people to form or join labor unions, by advocating
legislation to protect workers' organizing rights, opposing the use of
public funds to block organizing efforts, asking employers to maintain
neutrality, walking on picket lines, and taking other supportive actions.

"Labor Day is the celebration of the value and dignity of workers, and
their role in this country." said Michael Cavlan, candidate for US Senate.
"I will be proud to spend this Labor Day celebrating with my fellow
workers and promoting the role of Unions in our state."

The Green Party Labor Day picnic coincides with the Green Party "Big Ride
for Single Payer" health care which will bring all of the Green Party
candidates to Harriet Island at 5:00 pm.

The Green Party of Minnesota is founded on the values of Grassroots
Democracy, Non-Violence, Social and Economic Justice, and Ecological

For more information about the Green Party see: _www.mngreens.org_

For more information about the Green Party Candidates see: (

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From: Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council <betsy [at]>
Subject: NWA labor rally 9.04 3pm

Please join the Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council in supporting the
Northwest Flight Attendants!

Management at Northwest Airlines has torn up the Flight Attendants'
contract and imposed unilateral cuts totaling nearly $200 million per year
for five and a half years. Northwest slashed salary and benefits by 40
percent while dramatically increasing work hours. Northwest's suggestion
for how workers could get by on such low wages: dig in the trash. Please
join Northwest Flight Attendants in standing up to corporate greed.

Labor Day Rally
Monday, September 4, 3pm
Where: Veteran's Park Picnic Shelter
6335 Portland Avenue
Richfield, MN
(Crosstown 62 to Portland Avenue and go south)

AFA-CWA Local Executive Council 95
/bh opeiu #12 afl-cio

--------5 of 14--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Lebanon/KFAI 9.05 11am

Tune in to KFAI's "Catalyst: politics & culture" Tues Sept 5, 11am to hear
a converstaion about the history of Lebanon with "R. Abu Sahan",
Beirut-born, Lebanese-American linving in the Twin Cities. Lydia Howell,
host "Catalyst" KFAI, 90.1fm Mpls 106.7fm St Paul all shws archived for 2
weeks at

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From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: SPNN/Palestine/media 9.05 5pm

St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" airs at 5 pm and midnight each Tuesday and 10 am each
Wednesday on SPNN Channel 15.

9/5 and 9/6
"Palestine, Israel and the Media"  Interviews with Noam Chomsky and Hanan
Ashrawi.  Getting through the biases of the US corporate media coverage of
the root Middle East conflict.

"Our World In Depth" features analysis of public affairs with
consideration of and participation from Twin Cities area activists.  The
show is (mostly) local and not corporately influenced! For information
about future programing of "Our World In Depth", please send an e-mail to
eric-angell [at]

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From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Salon/open season 9.05 6:30pm

The salon this Tuesday, Sept. 5 will be Open Discussion.  Plenty to talk
about so hope you come to share your thoughts.

Pax Salons ( ) are held (unless otherwise
noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943
W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

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From: Coreopsis Poetry Collective <coreopsispoetry [at]>
Subject: Coreopsis poetry 9.05 7pm

Coreopsis Poetry Collective  (coreopsispoetry [at]
Presents an evening of poetry
Tuesday, September 5, 7pm

Alex Lemon
Amanda Nadelberg
Lori Young-Williams

Short question and answer period to follow
 donations graciously welcomed
at Black Dog Café 308 Prince Street lower town St. Paul

--------9 of 14--------

By Greg Palast
September, 3 2006

Some years from now, in an economic refugee relocation "Enterprise Zone,"
your kids will ask you, "What did you do in the Class War, Daddy?"

The trick of class war is not to let the victims know they're under
attack. That's how, little by little, the owners of the planet take away
what little we have.

This week, Dupont, the chemical giant, slashed employee pension benefits
by two-thirds. Furthermore, new Dupont workers won't get a guaranteed
pension at all - and no health care after retirement. It's part of
Dupont's new "Die Young" program, I hear. Dupont is not in financial
straits. Rather, the slash attack on its workers' pensions was aimed at
adding a crucial three cents a share to company earnings, from $3.11 per
share to $3.14.

So Happy Labor Day.

And this week, the government made it official: For the first time since
the Labor Department began measuring how the American pie is sliced, those
in the top fifth of the wealth scale are now gobbling up over half (50.4%)
of our nation's annual income.

So Happy Labor Day.

We don't even get to lick the plates. While 15.9% of us don't have health
insurance (a record, Mr. President!), even those of us who have it, don't
have it: we're spending 36% more per family out of pocket on medical costs
since the new regime took power in Washington. If you've actually tried to
collect from your insurance company, you know what I mean.

So Happy Labor Day.

But if you think I have nothing nice to say about George W. Bush, let me
report that the USA now has more millionaires than ever - 7.4 million!
And over the past decade, the number of billionaires has more than
tripled, 341 of them!

If that doesn't make you feel like you're missing out, this should: You,
Mr. Median, are earning, after inflation, a little less than you earned
when Richard Nixon reigned. Median household income - and most of us are
"median" - is down. Way down.

Since the Bush Putsch in 2000, median income has fallen 5.9%.

Mr. Bush and friends are offering us an "ownership" society. But he didn't
mention who already owns it. The richest fifth of America owns 83% of all
shares in the stock market. But that's a bit misleading because most of
that, 53% of all the stock, is owned by just one percent of American

And what does the Wealthy One Percent want? Answer: more wealth. Where
will they get it? As with a tube of toothpaste, they're squeezing it from
the bottom. Median paychecks have gone down by 5.9% during the current
regime, but Americans in the bottom fifth have seen their incomes sliced
by 20%.

At the other end, CEO pay at the Fortune 500 has bloated by 51% during the
first four years of the Bush regime to an average of $8.1 million per

So who's winning? It's a crude indicator, but let's take a peek at the
Class War body count.

When Reagan took power in 1980, the One Percent possessed 33% of America's
wealth as measured by capital income. By 2006, the One Percent has
swallowed over half of all America's assets, from sea to shining sea. One
hundred fifty million Americans altogether own less than 3% of all private

Yes, American middle-class house values are up, but we're blowing that
gain to stay alive. Edward Wolff, the New York University expert on
income, explained to me that, "The middle class is mortgaging itself to
death." As a result of mortgaging our new equity, 60% of all households
have seen a decline in net worth.

Is America getting poorer? No, just its people, We the Median. In fact, we
are producing an astonishing amount of new wealth in the USA. We are a
lean, mean production machine. Output per worker in BushAmerica zoomed by
15% over four years through 2004. Problem is, although worker productivity
keeps rising, the producers are getting less and less of it.

The gap between what we produce and what we get is widening like an
alligator's jaw. The more you work, the less you get. It used to be that
as the economic pie got bigger, everyone's slice got bigger too. No more.

The One Percent have swallowed your share before you can get your fork

The loot Dupont sucked from its employees' retirement funds will be put to
good use. It will more than cover the cost of the company directors'
decision to hike the pension set aside for CEO Charles Holliday to $2.1
million a year. And that's fair, I suppose: Holliday's a winning general
in the class war. And shouldn't the winners of war get the spoils?

Of course, there are killjoys who cling to that Calvinist-Marxist belief
that a system forever fattening the richest cannot continue without end.
Professor Michael Zweig, Director of the State University of New York's
Center for Study of Working Class Life, put it in culinary terms: "Today's
pig is tomorrow's bacon."

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "ARMED
MADHOUSE: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War," just released
from Penguin/Dutton, from which this is adapted.

And go to for a special Labor Day treat: an excerpt
from Air America Radio's Thom Hartmann's new book, "Screwed: The
Undeclared War Against the Middle Class - and What We Can Do About It."

[Expropriate the expropriators! Eat the rich! -ed]

--------10 of 14--------

Welcome To The World  Of Synthetic Terror
From Henry Makow

The following SPINE press release was sent yesterday to the editors of
over 1,000 American newspapers...

April 5th, 2006 ( - The evidence is in, the analyses have
been made, and conclusions have been drawn by scientists, engineers and
other experts: the so-called terror attacks of September 11, 2001 were
faked. There is, moreover, independent evidence from multiple and credible
sources that Al Qaeda is the creation of western intelligence agencies.

If you have any questions concerning these assertions, visit

The Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven has formed around this
website. The Panel consists of over thirty experts in the fields of
science, engineering, architecture, intelligence, the military, medicine,
Islamic studies and other disciplines. The members are willing to stand up
and be counted, even the ones with the highest public profiles. You will
find them listed on this page:

Of course, the Physics 911 website is hardly alone in cyberspace. There
are now literally hundreds of skeptical websites on the internet (with
only a handful of dissenting sites defending the official story). There
are other working groups with websites, as well, not to mention thousands
of people doing their own inquiries into 911, and millions of people
skeptical of the official story (including 48% of New Yorkers, according
to a Zogby poll taken in 2005).

We are now living in what has been called the Age of Synthetic Terror. In
contrast to the corporate media line, "terrorism" is the brainchild and
product of western intelligence agencies. Its purpose is to foment
domestic anger at Muslims in order to justify a program of a) invasion of
sovereign nations, b) seizure of their oil resources, c) mass murder
designed to look like sectarian violence, d) establishing permanent
military bases and e) the installation of puppet governments in the
countries so affected.

It follows that the mass murder of 9/11, blamed on Arab/Muslim patsies,
was but the opening scene of a drama that would have many acts, with
hundreds of thousands of murders to follow.

There is one and only one way to bring this program of synthetic terror to
an end. The knowledge that we have acquired must be made public and made
public soon. The next massive military operation may be against Iran. Such
an attack would require a triggering episode in which a handful of
Muslims, Iranian this time, would be blamed for the bombing of a western
target, possibly involving a nuclear device, given the (pretended) concern
over Iran's nuclear program. (Think Iraq. Think WMDs.)

How long will it take members of the corporate media to break free with
this story? Their colleagues may be unaware that the country of Venezuela
has undertaken an international inquiry into 9/11. They may be unaware
that Charlie Sheen's allegations are but the tip of an iceberg or unaware
of the deception in Iraq or that the Osama tapes are faked.

The story is yours.

A. K. Dewdney, PhD
Coordinator Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven

--------11 of 14--------

Getting Cognitive: The Limits Of George Lakoff's Politics
By Robert Jensen
ZNet Commentary
September 02, 2006

[A review of Whose Freedom? The Battle over America's Most Important Idea
by George Lakoff (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006).]

One of George Lakoff's key observations in his work on contemporary
political discourse is that "frames trump facts" - when facts are
inconsistent with the frames and metaphors that structure a person's
worldview, the facts will likely be ignored. Ironically, Lakoff's new book
- Whose Freedom? The Battle over America's Most Important Idea -
demonstrates that problem all too well. His worldview seems to keep him
from the very critical self-reflection that he counsels for
liberal/progressive people.

Lakoff's "frame," simply stated is: (1) Right-wing Republicans are the
cause of our problems, and (2) progressives working through the Democratic
Party will deliver the solutions. So, out the window must go any facts or
analyses that suggest

(1) the problems of an unjust and unsustainable world may be rooted in
fundamental systems, such as corporate capitalism and the imperialism of
powerful nation-states, no matter who is in power, and

(2) the Democratic Party is not only not a meaningful vehicle for
progressive politics but, as a subsidiary of that corporate system with
its own history and contemporary practice of empire-building, is part of
the problem.  [My view - ed]

To deal with those obvious and difficult challenges to his political
proposals, Lakoff fudges certain facts and ignores others. Whether he does
this unconsciously - trapped by uncritical acceptance of his own frames
and metaphors - or is aware of it, we cannot know. But the result is a
book that offers little to citizens who want to deepen their understanding
of our political crisis and start to strategize about a new direction that
can bring this country - and human society more generally - back from
the brink of the collapse we face on many fronts.

Whose Freedom? also has a sloppy, slapped-together feel which, together
with its serious intellectual and political problems, raise serious doubts
about Lakoff's fitness to play intellectual guru to any
liberal/progressive movement, a role to which he has been elevated by
many. Lakoff, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley,
invites this blunt assessment of his book by the way in which he tries to
establish himself as an expert.

He asserts that his analysis deserves such serious consideration because
he writes not only as a political activist but as a linguist and a
cognitive scientist, working "in the service of a higher rationality that
the tools of cognitive science provide" (p. 15). So, let's hold Lakoff and
his book to the standards of a higher rationality.

First, in a book on freedom by a cognitive scientist, we might expect some
measure of scientific precision in defining the term. Instead, Lakoff uses
"freedom" as a dumping-ground term for any positive value he wants to
endorse and attach to progressive politics. Near the end of the book he
ties freedom to opportunity in general, economic opportunity, health,
social security, unionization, education, and privacy. "Every progressive
issue is ultimately about freedom," he says (p. 243).

In some superficial way that may be true, but such a laundry list hardly
advances the critical thinking needed to counter the reactionary right's
formulations, which also are rooted in assertions about the nature of
freedom, as Lakoff points out. The advantage right-wing folks have is that
they are comfortable with intellectual simplemindedness in a complex
world, which makes for rhetoric that can soar but policies which tend to

It's not clear that an equivalent simplemindedness by progressives will
pose a successful challenge. The goal for progressives should be honest
accounts of the complexity that can be communicated clearly, not equally
vapid platitudes that will never have the same power to propagandize.

What progressives need to shape more successful rhetoric is a bit of
analytical clarity, which is nowhere to be found in the book. In academic
philosophy there is a rich, though often highly technical, literature on
freedom. Mining those insights and translating them into ordinary language
there would be a contribution, but one Lakoff doesn't attempt.

For example, the distinction between negative freedom (simply stated, the
"freedom from" outside control) and positive freedom (the existence of
conditions and resources that create the "freedom to" pursue one's
interests) that has developed in philosophy is directly applicable to
modern political issues. Lakoff makes no mention of it, or any other
consistent and coherent framework for understanding the concept of

The book's analytic shortcoming are exacerbated by the haphazard writing
and non-editing. In some places, Lakoff throws out aphorisms and slogans
without bothering to develop them beyond a single sentence. Whatever
organization he had in mind for the book, it is not readily apparent. Many
readers are willing to wade through bad writing for good ideas, but the
frustration level grows quickly when no coherent ideas appear as the pages
turn. And then there's the problem of evidence - those fudged facts.

For example, Lakoff makes the perfectly sensible claim that religion has
no special claim to superiority in moral reasoning, and he contests
conservative Christians' attempts to define their religious morality as
superior. I couldn't agree more. But to support his argument that this
conservative position is the minority view, he states that "only 12.7
percent of Americans claim to be evangelical Protestants" (p, 201).

Since the book has no footnotes, it's impossible to know where the figure
comes from, but that's considerably lower than many surveys report. A 2004
poll for Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and U.S. News and World Report found
that white evangelicals make up 23 percent of the population. A 2002 ABC
News/Beliefnet poll found that of the 83 percent of Americans who identify
as Christian, 37 percent consider themselves to be born-again or
evangelical, which would be about 30 percent of the general population.

Meanwhile, a 2004 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life put
the percentage of white evangelical Protestants at 26.3 percent, of which
12.6 percent were categorized as "traditional evangelical." In that study,
black and Latino Protestants were in separate categories, and there is a
category of white Catholics labeled "traditional."

So, it's easy to imagine that conservative Christians are a considerable
segment of the population. The question isn't trivial, and in fact is
crucial to Lakoff's claim that follows: "Most Christians are progressive."
It's not clear that the factual claim is accurate, unless one defines
progressive so expansively that it becomes meaningless.

The book's second major problem comes out in this same paragraph, in which
Lakoff argues that "many evangelicals, like Jimmy Carter, are
progressives." Jimmy Carter, a progressive? Is this the same Jimmy Carter
who while president coddled the Shah of Iran as that brutal dictatorship
was collapsing? The President Carter who ignored the pleas of human-rights
advocates like the late archbishop Oscar Romero, whose request to Carter
that the United States stop funding the brutal Salvadoran military
government and its death squads was ignored?

It's true that Carter has been a stronger advocate for justice and peace
since leaving office, and in those endeavors he deserves support. But
meaningful social change requires that we understand how institutions
shape political decisions as much as, if not more than, individuals;
ignoring the actions of Democrats while they were in power leads
progressives to ineffective strategy and tactics.

Perhaps Lakoff understands that the unpleasant facts of Democratic
leaders' actions must be obfuscated or ignored if progressive people are
to be persuaded to spend their time and money helping to put those same
folks back in power. Some of the book's most embarrassing material comes
in this arena, concerning Bill Clinton.

In that section on religion, Lakoff asserts that morality "is ultimately
about recognizing and responding to others' needs - it is about empathy."
Again, I couldn't agree more. That might lead us to ask questions about
the empathy underlying some of the Clinton policies that Lakoff valorizes.
For example, he gives high marks to the Democrat's Iraq policy, "Clinton's
military containment of Saddam Hussein inside Iraq's no-fly zones, which
indeed succeeded in keeping Saddam Hussein from developing weapons of mass
destruction" (p. 232). L

Lakoff conveniently ignores the fact that these no-fly zones were imposed
illegally by the United States and Great Britain (initially along with
France, which eventually pulled out of the deal), and the routine
U.S./U.K. bombing that occurred in those zones had no legitimacy in
international or domestic law. That is to say, they were crimes against

While Republican crimes demand condemnation, apparently Democratic ones
are praiseworthy.  Legal considerations aside, a moral question pops up as
well, which Lakoff also conveniently ignores. Key to Clinton's policy on
Iraq was the continued imposition on Iraq of the harshest economic embargo
in modern history, which virtually the whole world wanted to lift -
except the United States and its U.K. ally (which was every bit as much a
lapdog to Clinton as to Bush).

While Hussein shares the moral responsibility for the devastation caused
by those sanctions, that Clinton policy is directly responsible for the
deaths - by conservative estimates - of hundreds of thousands of
civilians, maybe more than 1 million. Predictably, the most vulnerable -
children and the elderly, the sick and the poor - suffered most from the
economic sanctions. Clinton administration officials made it clear that no
matter what Iraq did to meet the specifications of U.N. resolutions on
weapons - the condition for ending the embargo - the sanctions would
remain in place until Hussein was out of power, which effectively
condemned to death those hundreds of thousands. Remember, according to
Lakoff, morality "is about empathy."

Yet when activists tried to build a movement in the late 1990s to change
this cynical and cruel Clinton policy, we found few Democrats willing to
listen. The longstanding U.S. goal of controlling the politics of the
Middle East - consistent through Republican and Democratic presidents
since World War II - trumped any empathy that Bill Clinton, Al Gore,
Madeleine Albright, or other individuals in that administration might have

I suppose I can empathize, in some sense, with Lakoff: If he wants to help
create the conditions for the return to power of the Democratic Party,
perhaps its sins are best ignored. But it's difficult to see how this
serves the "higher rationality" that Lakoff invokes at the beginning and
end of the book.

Though this critique may seem harsh, it is a friendly one. I agree with
many of the policy prescriptions that Lakoff labels as "progressive,"
though I would want to push his analysis to the left and move past the
predictable and uninspiring liberal ideology. I would highlight the more
fundamental issues around illegitimate systems and structures of power,
primarily the corporation in capitalism and the nation-state in the
imperial era.

Such suggestions are typically derided by those in Lakoff's camp as
unrealistic and/or idealistic. Yet no one has ever explained how a
progressive politics that entrenches support for failed systems is a
realistic option for the future. Whatever short-term strategies we might
devise to try to roll-back the advances of the reactionary right, those
tactics have to be informed by honestly facing the depth of our problems.

If this does seem harsh, that's good - because it's crucial that someone
with Lakoff's public platform be critiqued sharply when such weakly argued
and thinly supported ideas are tossed off in this shallow a book.

Being rational - along with being clear and honest - are important if we
are to create the needed shift in fundamental thinking necessary to make
it possible to pull this world back from the brink of multiple disasters
on ecological, cultural, political, and economic fronts.

In his concluding call to a higher rationality, Lakoff writes, "Perhaps
the hardest reframing problem is reframing our own minds" (p. 259).
Ironically, it turns out that his book is evidence for that very claim,
which may be the value of Lakoff's recent work. As he states at the end of
Whose Freedom?, with no apparent sense of that irony: "Transcending the
ideas that we were raised with - growing to see more - is the cognitive
work of achieving freedom" (p. 266).

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at
Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center He is the author of The Heart of
Whiteness: Race, Racism, and White Privilege and Citizens of the Empire:
The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity (both from City Lights Books). He can
be reached at rjensen [at] .

--------12 of 14--------

!Viva Fidel! Long live Fidel!
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
Party for Socialism and Liberation - Aug 31, 2006

The recent news of the illness of Cuban President Fidel Castro, has
unleashed a ghoulish glee in Miami, and also in the White House. The
spectacle of people dancing in the streets of Miami, at news of Fidel's
sickness was disgraceful.

Few of us who have grown up under the propaganda that passes for the
corporate media have any real idea of either Castro's or Cuba's immense
social accomplishments, while under the threat of U.S. invasion and
destruction. As a student of history, I'm often amazed at what we don't
know about other people, even those as close as Cuba. If Americans truly
supported democracy, instead of dictatorships, the name Fidel Castro may
never have become known to us.

That's because Castro, as a young man, newly graduated from law school,
endeavored to run for the Cuban Senate as a "clean government" candidate.
His platform opposed political repression and corruption, and how major
Cuban institutions had been bought off by the U.S.-Mafia elites. He spoke
out against vende-patrias (sell-outs) among the politicians, and also
denounced the press because journalists were being bought with botellas
(or bribes). He opposed the corruption of the dictatorship's courts.

Guess who the U.S. supported? The U.S. supported the dictator, Fulgencia
Batista, a man who was legendary for his brutality and his corruption.
Given the legal challenge posed by the young Castro, his election was
scuttled by the Batista regime, and Castro learned that there was no
"legal" way to oppose the regime. The U.S. has always preferred its own
brutal puppets to democrats, and has done so on every continent in the
world. What we also don't hear about, is the actions of the U.S. against
Cuba, which can only be called terrorism. Under either "Operation Pluto,"
"Operation Mongoose," "Operation JM Wave," the U.S. has bombed factories,
plotted overthrow, planned and tried to carry out assassinations, worked
with organized crime, destroyed crops and other crimes. The famous Church
Committee reports unveiled several assassination attempts against Fidel,
which were "coordinated with the Mafia dons Meyer Lansky, John Roselli,
Sam Giancana, and Santo Trafficante," all of whom owned businesses on the

Before the Cuban Revolution, the island was called a "Mafia paradise," for
the Mafia leaders owned casinos, nightclubs, whorehouses, and also
legitimate businesses, like banks, airlines, TV stations, and newspapers.
For example, in one 8 month period alone, (in 1961) the CIA committed
5,780 acts of sabotage and terrorism against Cuba, including several
attempts to assassinate the Cuban president.

The U.S.-supported repression, brutality and corruption forced Fidel, and
millions of other Cubans, to become revolutionaries, instead of democrats.
And, once a revolutionary, it forced him to become an internationalist,
supporting freedom struggles all around the world.

In late 1975, when armies of the racist regime of South Africa invaded
Angola, it was Cuba that sent 18,000 troops to assist the beleaguered
African state. By year's end, Cuba's 36,000 soldiers, with their Angolan
allies, bested South Africa in the field, forcing them to retreat, for the
first time in the history of apartheid. It was, Fidel would later say, an
"African Giron," a reference to Cuba's battlefield victory over the U.S.
in the Bay of Pigs. (The U.S., of course, supported the South Africans,
and several brutal terrorist armies, the FNLA, and UNITA).

While it may be true that Fidel is ailing, it's also true that he, and the
Revolution that he helped lead, has been a force for good in the world, on
the side of the oppressed, not the oppressors. It has been on the side of
freedom, not slavery.

Consider, if you will, how many people, in Vietnam, in Chile, in
Argentina, in South Africa, in Iraq, in Palestine, have suffered
needlessly, because of the actions, exploitation, support of dictators,
secret wars of repression, by US presidents over these last 50 years.

How many assassinations, bombings, stolen elections, proxy wars, etc.,
etc., have been plotted in the dens of the White House against the peoples
of the world?

So we join our Cuban friends in saying: !Viva Fidel! !Viva la Revolución
Cubano! !Venceremos!

Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Articles can be reprinted with credit to the Party for Socialism and

--------13 of 14--------

Has Canada Got the Cure?
by Holly Dressel

Via NY Transfer News Collective  *  All the News that Doesn't Fit
-NY Transfer]
YES! Magazine - Fall 2006

Publicly funded health care has its problems, as any Canadian or Briton
knows. But like democracy, its the best answer weve come up with so far.

US Canada Health Care:  Should the United States implement a more
inclusive, publicly funded health care system? That's a big debate
throughout the country. But even as it rages, most Americans are unaware
that the United States is the only country in the developed world that
doesn't already have a fundamentally public - that is, tax-supported -
health care system.

That means that the United States has been the unwitting control subject
in a 30-year, worldwide experiment comparing the merits of private versus
public health care funding. For the people living in the United States,
the results of this experiment with privately funded health care have been
grim. The United States now has the most expensive health care system on
earth and, despite remarkable technology, the general health of the U.S.
population is lower than in most industrialized countries. Worse,
Americans' mortality rates - both general and infant - are shockingly

Different paths

Beginning in the 1930s, both the Americans and the Canadians tried to
alleviate health care gaps by increasing use of employment-based insurance
plans. Both countries encouraged nonprofit private insurance plans like
Blue Cross, as well as for-profit insurance plans. The difference between
the United States and Canada is that Americans are still doing this,
ignoring decades of international statistics that show that this type of
funding inevitably leads to poorer public health.

Meanwhile, according to author Terry Boychuk, the rest of the
industrialized world, including many developing countries like Mexico,
Korea, and India, viscerally understood that private insurance would
[never be able to] cover all necessary hospital procedures and services;
and that even minimal protection [is] beyond the reach of the poor, the
working poor, and those with the most serious health problems.[1] Today,
over half the family bankruptcies filed every year in the United States
are directly related to medical expenses, and a recent study shows that 75
percent of those are filed by people with health insurance.[2]

The United States spends far more per capita on health care than any
comparable country. In fact, the gap is so enormous that a recent
University of California, San Francisco, study estimates that the United
States would save over $161 billion every year in paperwork alone if it
switched to a singlepayer system like Canada's.[3] These billions of
dollars are not abstract amounts deducted from government budgets; they
come directly out of the pockets of people who are sick.

The year 2000 marked the beginning of a crucial period, when international
trade rules, economic theory, and political action had begun to fully
reflect the belief in the superiority of private, as opposed to public,
management, especially in the United States. By that year the U.S. health
care system had undergone what has been called "the health management
organization revolution." U.S. government figures show that medical care
costs have spiked since 2000, with total spending on prescriptions nearly

Cutting costs, cutting care

There are two criteria used to judge a country's health care system: the
overall success of creating and sustaining health in the population, and
the ability to control costs while doing so. One recent study published in
the Canadian Medical Association Journal compares mortality rates in
private forprofit and nonprofit hospitals in the United States. Research
on 38 million adult patients in 26,000 U.S. hospitals revealed that death
rates in for-profit hospitals are significantly higher than in nonprofit
hospitals: for-profit patients have a 2 percent higher chance of dying in
the hospital or within 30 days of discharge. The increased death rates
were clearly linked to "the corners that for-profit hospitals must cut in
order to achieve a profit margin for investors, as well as to pay high
salaries for administrators."[5]

"To ease cost pressures, administrators tend to hire less highly skilled
personnel, including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists...," wrote P. J.
Devereaux, a cardiologist at McMaster University and the lead researcher.
"The U.S. statistics clearly show that when the need for profits drives
hospital decisionmaking, more patients die."

The value of care for all

Historically, one of the cruelest aspects of unequal income distribution
is that poor people not only experience material want all their lives,
they also suffer more illness and die younger. But in Canada there is no
association between income inequality and mortality rates - none

In a massive study undertaken by Statistics Canada in the early 1990s,
income and mortality census data were analyzed from all Canadian provinces
and all U.S. states, as well as 53 Canadian and 282 American metropolitan
areas.[6] The study concluded that "the relationship between income
inequality and mortality is not universal, but instead depends on social
and political characteristics specific to place." In other words,
government health policies have an effect.

"Income inequality is strongly associated with mortality in the United
States and in North America as a whole," the study found, "but there is no
relation within Canada at either the province or metropolitan area level
- between income inequality and mortality."

The same study revealed that among the poorest people in the United
States, even a one percent increase in income resulted in a mortality
decline of nearly 22 out of 100,000.

What makes this study so interesting is that Canada used to have
statistics that mirrored those in the United States. In 1970, U.S. and
Canadian mortality rates calculated along income lines were virtually
identical. But 1970 also marked the introduction of Medicare in Canada -
universal, singlepayer coverage. The simple explanation for how Canadians
have all become equally healthy, regardless of income, most likely lies in
the fact that they have a publicly funded, single-payer health system and
the control group, the United States, does not.

Infant mortality

Infant mortality rates, which reflect the health of the mother and her
access to prenatal and postnatal care, are considered one of the most
reliable measures of the general health of a population. Today, U.S.
government statistics rank Canada's infant mortality rate of 4.7 per
thousand 23rd out of 225 countries, in the company of the Netherlands,
Luxembourg, Australia, and Denmark. The U.S. is 43rd - in the company of
Croatia and Lithuania, below Taiwan and Cuba.

All the countries surrounding Canada or above it in the rankings have
tax-supported health care systems. The countries surrounding the United
States and below have mixed systems or are, in general, extremely poor in
comparison to the United States and the other G8 industrial powerhouses.

There are no major industrialized countries near the United States in the
rankings. The closest is Italy, at 5.83 infants dying per thousand, but it
is still ranked five places higher.[7]

In the United States, infant mortality rates are 7.1 per 1,000, the
highest in the industrialized world - much higher than some of the poorer
states in India, for example, which have public health systems in place,
at least for mothers and infants. Among the inner-city poor in the United
States, more than 8 percent of mothers receive no prenatal care at all
before giving birth.

Overall U.S. mortality

We would have expected to see steady decreases in deaths per thousand in
the mid-twentieth century, because so many new drugs and procedures were
becoming available. But neither the Canadian nor the American mortality
rate declined much; in fact, Canada's leveled off for an entire decade,
throughout the 1960s. This was a period in which private care was
increasing in Canadian hospitals, and the steady mortality rates reflect
the fact that most people simply couldn't afford the new therapies that
were being offered. However, beginning in 1971, the same year that
Canada's Medicare was fully applied, official statistics show that death
rates suddenly plummeted, maintaining a steep decline to their present

In the United States, during the same period, overall mortality rates also
dropped, reflecting medical advances. But they did not drop nearly so
precipitously as those in Canada after 1971. But given that the United
States is the richest country on earth, today's overall mortality rates
are shockingly high, at 8.4 per thousand, compared to Canada's 6.5.

Rich and poor

It has become increasingly apparent, as data accumulate, that the overall
improvement in health in a society with tax-supported health care
translates to better health even for the rich, the group assumed to be the
main beneficiaries of the American-style private system. If we look just
at the 5.7 deaths per thousand among presumably richer, white babies in
the United States, Canada still does better at 4.7, even though the
Canadian figure includes all ethnic groups and all income levels. Perhaps
a one-per-thousand difference doesn't sound like much. But when measuring
mortality, it's huge. If the U.S. infant mortality rate were the same as
Canada's, almost 15,000 more babies would survive in the United States
every year.

If we consider the statistics for the poor, which in the United States
have been classified by race, we find that in 2001, infants born of black
mothers were dying at a rate of 14.2 per thousand. That's a Third World
figure, comparable to Russia's.[8]

But now that the United States has begun to do studies based on income
levels instead of race, these "cultural" and genetic explanations are
turning out to be baseless. Infant mortality is highest among the poor,
regardless of race.

Vive la différence! Genetically, Canadians and Americans are quite
similar. Our health habits, too, are very much alike - people in both
countries eat too much and exercise too little. And, like the United
States, there is plenty of inequality in Canada, too. In terms of health
care, that inequality falls primarily on Canadians in isolated
communities, particularly Native groups, who have poorer access to medical
care and are exposed to greater environmental contamination. The only
major difference between the two countries that could account for the
remarkable disparity in their infant and adult mortality rates, as well as
the amount they spend on health care, is how they manage their health care

The facts are clear: Before 1971, when both countries had similar, largely
privately funded health care systems, overall survival and mortality rates
were almost identical. The divergence appeared with the introduction of
the single-payer health system in Canada.

The solid statistics amassed since the 1970s point to only one conclusion:
like it or not, believe it makes sense or not, publicly funded,
universally available health care is simply the most powerful contributing
factor to the overall health of the people who live in any country. And in
the United States, we have got the bodies to prove it.

[In America the many are sicker so the few may be richer. It's the
American Way, and someone, including perhaps someone in your family, has
to pay for it. -ed]

End Notes

[1]Terry Boychuk. The Making and Meaning of Hospital Policy in the United
States and Canada. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor: 1999.

[2] David U. Himmelstein, et al. Health Affairs, Jan.-June 2005,

[3] Professor James Kahn, UCSF, quoted in Harper's Magazine, "Harper's
List," Feb. 2006.

[N] ational Health Expenditure Data,

[5] Devereaux, Dr. P.J., et al. "A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of
Studies Comparing Mortality between Private For-Profit and Private
Not-For-Profit Hospitals," Canadian Medical Association Journal, May,

[6] Nancy A. Ross et al. "Relation between income inequality and mortality
in Canada and in the United States: cross sectional assessment using
census data and vital statistics," Statistics Canada, reprinted in Health
Geography, GEOG-303, ed. Nancy Ross, McGill University, 2005, pp. 109-117.

[7] CIA World Fact Book.

[8] See, among many studies blaming race, Child Health USA 2003, Health
Status - Infants; HRSA, with graphs such as "Breastfeeding Rates by
Race/Ethnicity, 2001"; "Very Low Birth Weight Among Infants, by
Race/Ethnicity 1985-2001";

[Holly Dressel was born south of Chicago and lives in Montreal, Quebec.
She is a writer/researcher and the best-selling co-author, with David
Suzuki, of Good News for a Change and other works.

This article was adapted from Holly Dressel's book God Save the Queen -
God Save Us All: An Examination of Canadian Hospital Care via the Life and
Death of Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, to be published in 2007 by
McGill/Queen's Press.]

©2004-06 YES! is published by the Positive Futures Network, PO Box 10818,
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110-0818, USA Phone: 206/842-0216

--------14 of 14--------

Another Award

It is my great pleasure to accept, from no less a personage than David
Shove, the David Shove Award for Outstanding Service to David Shove. Every
day in every way, above and beyond the call of duty, I labored for the
greater glory of David Shove, selflessly putting none before him, going
where he goes, doing as he does, worshipping the very ground he walks

If I now see a bit farther than he, it is because I stand upon his
shoulders. More than that, I cannot say, for he has sworn me to secrecy.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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