Progressive Calendar 09.10.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 09:40:02 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     09.10.06

1. Stadium lit drop  9.10 9am-all day
2. Ethiopia /KFAI    9.10 12noon
3. SHAC 7/films/food 9.10 1pm
4. Newsworthy/TV     9.10 5pm
5. Vets for peace    9.10 6pm
6. Risser/Senate/D41 9.10 7pm
7. Lebanon concert   9.10 7:30pm

8. John Pilger - Empire: war and propaganda
9. ed          - The little poem that wasn't there

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Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2006 07:50:15 -0500
From: Dave Bicking <dave [at]>
Subject: Stadium lit drop 9.10 9am all day

Just a reminder that the new independent political committee, Citizens
Against Stadium Taxes, is doing a lit drop this weekend to get out the
votes in this Tuesday's primary election.  WE NEED YOUR HELP!

I understand we have had a pretty good response so far.  But we need more
people in order to cover as much territory as possible.  For those who
have already RSVP'ed, thanks!  For those who haven't been able to make a
commitment yet, here is the information you need if you find you have the
time to help us this weekend, or even on Monday:

We will have literature and maps available for pickup all day today
(Saturday) and Sunday.  We are trying to have people come to our
"headquarters" at 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, or 5pm.  But we can make
accomodations for any time you have available.  Please commit for at least
two hours; more is greatly appreciated.

If at all possible, please call Julie at 763-438-3970 if you are coming,
so we can give you directions, and so we can be sure to be there to set
you up with literature, maps, and supplies.  Our "headquarters" is at 743
Winnetka Ave. S., Golden Valley.  It is just north of I-394.  There is no
exit for Winnetka, so if you are coming from Mpls, take the Lousiana Ave.
exit, and go west along the frontage road.  There will be a tent in the
front lawn.

We will be lit dropping in Stenglein's District 2 (NE Mpls, N Mpls, St.
Anthony Park, Golden Valley, Crystal, New Hope, and Plymouth), and in Mike
Opat's District 1 (Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Crystal, New Hope,
Robbinsdale, and a bit of N Mpls).  We have walking routes, plus driving
routes in some more suburban areas.

Once again, call Farheen at 612-395-5559 if you can help with her lit
drop.  She is challenging Peter McLaughlin in District 4.

We really need all the help we can get.  We MUST defeat at least one of
these pro-stadium-tax County Commissioners!  We can't let them get away
with this.  Consider this OUR referendum on the stadium tax.

Thanks for your help, Dave Bicking

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From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at]>
Subject: Ethiopia /KFAI 9.10 12noon

INDIAN UPRISING PREEMPTED.  Voices of Ethiopia is having a special
broadcast for Ethiopian New Year, airing from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. Ethiopia,
a federal republic, is located in Eastern Africa, West of Somalia,
surrounded by the countries of Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and
Kenya. It is slightly less than twice the size of Texas.  Ethiopia is the
oldest independent country in Africa.  The three main colors of her flag
were so often adopted by other African countries upon independence that
they became known as the pan-African colors, green, yellow and red.
Population about 74,777,981.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Getting a bead on Felix Cohen's 'miners' canary' by
Editors Report, Indian Country Today, August 31, 2006.

The famous comparison of American Indians to the ''miner's canary'' made an
appearance in Indian Country Today's Vol. 26, Iss. 12 editorial in a way
some sharp-eyed scholars might find puzzling. It turns out that quote has a
more intricate history than even we suspected, and we'd like to straighten
out the record. But as its author, the great Indian law authority Felix S.
Cohen, might say, this is not simply an antiquarian enterprise. What might
seem like a footnote to his work turns out to inspire some broad and not
very flattering comparisons to the federal bureaucracy of our own day.

Cohen, it seems, was quite fond of his paragraph saying that oppression of
Indians, like the dropping of the miner's canary in a mine shaft, was the
warning sign of poison in the society. He was so proud of it he used it
twice, with some difference in wording. The version we used came from a
1949 lead article titled ''Indian Self-Government,'' published in The
American Indian, Vol. V, No. 2. But we gave as the citation Cohen's second
use, in a 1953 article in the Yale Law Journal, ''The Erosion of Indian
Rights, 1950 - 1953: a Case Study in Bureaucracy.'' The 1949 article is
available in the collection of Cohen's essays, ''The Legal Conscience''
(Yale University Press, 1960). The 1953 article is not easily accessible,
in print or online. (We found it in the bowels of Yale Law School's Lilian
Goldman Library.) Since there are nearly 50,000 references to the canary
quote on the Internet, most of them inaccurate, let us get the versions

Here is what Cohen wrote in 1953:

''It is a pity that so many Americans today think of the Indian as a
romantic or comic figure in American history without contemporary
significance. In fact, the Indian plays much the same role in our society
that the Jews played in Germany. Like the miner's canary, the Indian marks
the shift from fresh air to poison gas in our political atmosphere; and
our treatment of Indians, even more than our treatment of other
minorities, reflects the rise and fall in our democratic faith.''

This version, we think, is pithier than the one we quoted last time, but
both have a similar context. In both articles, Cohen was protesting the
trend in the BIA to undermine progress toward tribal self-government. By
1953, this trend had accelerated to the point where it was about to emerge
full-blown in the policy of termination. We've repeatedly condemned this
social disaster as a product of the Republican Eisenhower years, but Cohen's
essay shows that we were too narrow. His devastating polemic is directed at
then Indian Bureau Commissioner Dillon Myer, who has gone down in history as
one of the worst influences on federal Indian policy in the 20th century.
But Myer was appointed by Democratic President Harry Truman at the
suggestion of Cohen's own former boss, New Deal-era Interior Secretary
Harold Ickes.

Myer knew nothing about Indians. As Cohen and other critics pointed out at
the time, he made his name during World War II as administrator of the
Japanese-American internment camps. He brought his wartime rigidity to the
BIA, even importing former concentration camp wardens as tribal supervisors.
Ickes bitterly regretted his recommendation; in 1951 he wrote of Myer, ''A
blundering and dictatorial tin-Hitler tossed a monkey wrench into a
mechanism he was not capable of understanding.''


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From: Isaac Peter <minnesotaprimatefreedom [at]>
Subject: SHAC 7/films/food 9.10 1pm

Come all!
Benefit for the SHAC 7 - Films and Vegan Food
The JackPine Center: 2815 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Sept. 10 From 1-4pm

More info on this website:

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From: Lee Dechert <LDechert [at]>
Subject: Newsworthy/TV 9.10 5pm

The Minnesota News Council's "Newsworthy" launches its fifth-year
10-part series Sunday, 9/10/06 on tpt-17, 5:00-5:30 p.m.

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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Vets for peace 9.10 6pm

Sunday, 9/10, 6 pm, chapter 27 Veterans for Peace, St. Stephens school
basement, 2123 Clinton Ave S, Mpls.  612-821-9141.

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From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Risser/Senate/D41 9.10 7pm

On Sunday September 10 at 7pm there is an organizational meeting for
Risser for Senate District 41. 6112 Ashcroft Avenue Edina MN call
952-927-7538 for directions.

We have a tremendous opportunity here because the DFL candidate, Andrew
Borene, dropped out of the race this past Thursday. However there are less
than two months left, and I still don't have a manager. I have been
door-knocking, creating literature, working with my husband on the
web-site, depositing checks, writing the thank you notes, delivering lawn
signs, participating in debates, organizing a letter to the editor effort,
and going after endorsements. I am also trying to maintain a semblance of
order at home. And I start teaching this Tuesday - one class in the
evening one night a week.

When the news broke about Andrew pulling out I figured I could simply ramp
things up and work harder. But I really need help. I realize all campaigns
need help. This is a unique situation however, and I can't do this on my

I really need people who can step in and organize people, doorknocking,
fundraising for me if we are to take advantage of this situation. Thanks.
- Julie Risser [Green Party candidate]

fwd by Danene Provencher, Mound

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From: Mizna <mizna-announce [at]>
Subject: Lebanon concert 9.10 7:30pm

Jordanian Musician, Sakhar Hattar, in concert benefiting relief work in
Lebanon by Mercy Corps

7:30pm Sunday, September 10
Cedar Cultural Center 416 Cedar Ave. South Minneapolis (612) 338-2674
Admission: $18 in advance at the Cedar or outlets listed on; $20 at the door.

The event is sponsored by KFAI radio and co-sponsored by the humanitarian
group Minnesotans for Lebanon and by the Arab-American arts organization
Mizna, both based in Minneapolis.  Media interested in interviews may
contact Russell Packard, (651) 436-2314, russellpackard [at], or
Rabih Nahas, (612) 501-4009, rabih [at]

Minneapolis concert will raise funds for humanitarian relief in Lebanon

Arab and Minnesotan musicians will join together in concert at
Minneapolis' Cedar Cultural Center on September 10 for a unique evening
to celebrate sharing music across cultures while raising funds to aid the
million people displaced by this summer's war in Lebanon.

Sakher Hattar of Jordan, a world-recognized virtuoso of the traditional
Middle Eastern stringed instrument the oud, will be accompanied by the
Minnesotan world-music ensemble Crossing Borders led by Russell Packard.

The 7:30 p.m. concert, sponsored by KFAI 90.3/106.7 FM, will showcase the
sensuous and captivating sound of traditional Arab music, and it will
double as a fundraiser to support the acclaimed relief work being done in
southern Lebanon by the respected aid group Mercy Corps International.

Russell Packard said the concert is an attempt to meet tragedy with joy
and hope.  A social justice activist from Washington County who uses music
to bridge between cultures, Packard was scheduled to perform at the Jerash
international arts festival in Jordan this summer. The festival was
cancelled in light of the devastation in Lebanon, and Packard and Hattar
agreed to recast the Minneapolis concert as a benefit.  "It wouldn't be
right to have a celebration of Middle Eastern music without a statement of
empathy and peace and solidarity," Packard said.

All profits from CDs sold at the show will go to Mercy Corps.  Donations
to Mercy Corps can be made at the show or via the group's web site Admission is $18 in advance or $20 at the show: See or call 612-338-2674 for show details.

Fundraising: Donations to Mercy Corps can be made at the show or online at  All profits from CDs sold at the show will go to
Mercy Corps

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Empire: War and Propaganda
by John Pilger
New Statesman

The US role in supporting Israel's military assault on Lebanon falls into
a pattern of imperial tyranny, where history is rewritten to suit
America's needs while Europe stands cravenly by.

By John Pilger

07/26/06 "Information Clearing House" -- -- The National Museum of
American History is part of the celebrated Smithsonian Institution in
Washington, DC. Surrounded by mock Graeco-Roman edifices with their
soaring Corinthian columns, rampant eagles and chiselled profundities, it
is at the centre of Empire, though the word itself is engraved nowhere.
This is understandable, as the likes of Hitler and Mussolini were proud
imperialists, too: on a "great mission to rid the world of evil", as
President Bush has also said.

One of the museum's exhibitions is called "The Price of Freedom: Americans
at war". In the spirit of Santa's Magic Grotto, this travesty of
revisionism helps us understand how silence and omission are so
successfully deployed in free, media-saturated societies. The shuffling
lines of ordinary people, many of them children, are dispensed the
vainglorious message that America has always "built freedom and democracy"
- notably at Hiroshima and Nagasaki where the atomic bombing saved "a
million lives", and in Vietnam where America's crusaders were "determined
to stop communist expansion", and in Iraq where the same true hearts
"employed air strikes of unprecedented precision".

The words "invasion" and "controversial" make only fleeting appearances;
there is no hint that the "great mission" has overseen, since 1945, the
attempted overthrow of 50 governments, many of them democracies, along
with the crushing of popular movements struggling against tyranny and the
bombing of 30 countries, causing the loss of countless lives. In central
America, in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan's arming and training of
gangster-armies saw off 300,000 people; in Guatemala, this was described
by the UN as genocide. No word of this is uttered in the Grotto. Indeed,
thanks to such displays, Americans can venerate war, comforted by the
crimes of others and knowing nothing about their own.

In Santa's Grotto, there is no place for Howard Zinn's honest People's
History of the United States, or I F Stone's revelation of the truth of
what the museum calls "the forgotten war" in Korea, or Mark Twain's
definition of patriotism as the need to keep "multitudinous uniformed
assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people's
countries". Moreover, at the Price of Freedom Shop, you can buy US Army
Monopoly, and a "grateful nation blanket" for just $200. The exhibition's
corporate sponsors include Sears, Roebuck, the mammoth retailer. The point
is taken.

To understand the power of indoctrination in free societies is also to
understand the subversive power of the truth it suppresses. During the
Blair era in Britain, precocious revisionists of Empire have been embraced
by the pro-war media. Inspired by America's Messianic claims of "victory"
in the cold war, their pseudo-histories have sought not only to hose down
the blood slick of slavery, plunder, famine and genocide that was British
imperialism ("the Empire was an exemplary force for good": Andrew Roberts)
but also to rehabilitate Gladstonian convictions of superiority and
promote "the imposition of western values", as Niall Ferguson puts it.

Ferguson relishes "values", an unctuous concept that covers both the
barbarism of the imperial past and today's ruthless, rigged "free" market.
The new code for race and class is "culture". Thus, the enduring,
piratical campaign by the rich and powerful against the poor and weak,
especially those with natural resources, has become a "clash of
civilisations". Since Francis Fukuyama wrote his drivel about "the end of
history" (since recanted), the task of the revisionists and mainstream
journalism has been to popularise the "new" imperialism, as in Ferguson's
War of the World series for Channel 4 and his frequent soundbites on the
BBC. In this way, the public is "softened up" for the rapacious invasion
of countries on false pretences, including a not unlikely nuclear attack
on Iran, and the ascent in Washington of an executive dictatorship, as
called for by Vice-President Cheney. So imminent is the latter that a
supine Congress will almost certainly reverse the Supreme Court's recent
decision to outlaw the Guantanamo kangaroo courts. The judge who wrote the
majority opinion - in a high court Bush himself stacked - sounded his
alarm through this seminal quotation of James Madison: "The accumulation
of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands,
whether of one, a few, or many, and whether her editary, self-appointed,
or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

The catastrophe in the Middle East is a product of such an imperial
tyranny. It is clearly a US-ordained operation, with the long-planned
assault on Gaza and the destruction of Lebanon pretexts for a wider
campaign with the goal of installing American puppets in Lebanon, Syria
and eventually Iran. "The pay-off time has come," wrote the Israeli
historian Ilan Pappe; "now the proxy should salvage the entangled Empire."

The attendant propaganda - the abuse of language and eternal hypocrisy -
has reached its nadir in recent weeks. An Israeli soldier belonging to an
invasion force was captured and held, legitimately, as a prisoner of war.
Reported as a "kidnapping", this set off yet more slaughter of Palestinian
civilians. The seizure of two Palestinian civilians two days before the
capture of the soldier was of no interest. Neither was the incarceration
of thousands of Palestinian hostages in Israeli prisons, and the torture
of many of them, as documented by Amnesty. The kidnapped soldier story
cancelled any serious inquiry into Israel's plans to reinvade Gaza, from
which it had staged a phoney withdrawal. The fact and meaning of Hamas's
self-imposed 16-month ceasefire were lost in inanities about "recognising
Israel", along with Israel's state of terror in Gaza - the dropping of a
500lb bomb on a residential block, the firing of as many as 9,000 heavy
artillery shells into one of the most densely populated places on earth
and the nightly terrorising with sonic booms.

"I want nobody to sleep at night in Gaza," declared the Israeli prime
minister, Ehud Olmert, as children went out of their minds. In their
defence, the Palestinians fired a cluster of Qassam missiles and killed
eight Israelis: enough to ensure Israel's victimhood on the BBC; even
Jeremy Bowen struck a shameful "balance", referring to "two narratives".
The historical equivalent is not far from that of the Nazi bombardment and
starvation of the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto. Try to imagine that described as
"two narratives".

Watching this unfold in Washington - I am staying in a hotel taken over by
evangelical "Christians for Israel" apparently seeking rapture - I have
heard only the crudest colonial refrain and no truth. Hezbollah, drone
America's journalistic caricatures, is "armed and funded by Syria and
Iran", and so they beckon an attack on those countries, while remaining
silent about America's $3bn-a-day gift of planes and small arms and bombs
to a state whose international lawlessness is a registered world record.
There is never mention that, just as the rise of Hamas was a response to
the atrocities and humiliations the Palestinians have suffered for half a
century, so Hezbollah was formed only as a defence against Ariel Sharon's
murderous invasion of Lebanon in 1982 which left 22,000 people dead. There
is never mention that Israel intervenes at will, illegally and brutally,
in the remaining 22 per cent of historic Palestine, having demolished
11,000 homes and walled off people from their farmlands, and families, and
hospitals, and schools. There is never mention that the threat to Israel's
existence is a canard, and the true enemy of its people is not the Arabs,
but Zionism and an imperial America that guarantees the Jewish state as
the antithesis of humane Judaism.

                      Government silence

The epic injustice done to the Palestinians is the heart of the matter.
While European governments (with the honourable exception of the Swiss)
have remained craven, it is only Hezbollah that has come to the
Palestinians' aid. How truly shaming. There is no media "narrative" of the
Palestinians' heroic stand during two uprisings, and with slingshots and
stones most of the time. Israel's murders of Rachel Corrie and Tom
Hurndall have left them utterly alone. Neither is the silence of
governments all that is shocking. On a major BBC programme, Maureen
Lipman, a Jew and promoter of selective good causes, is allowed to say,
without serious challenge, that "human life is not cheap to the Israelis,
and human life on the other side is quite cheap actually . . ."

Let Lipman see the children of Gaza laid out after an Israeli bombing run,
their parents petrified with grief. Let her watch as a young Palestinian
woman - and there have been many of them - screams in pain as she gives
birth in the back seat of a car at night at an Israeli roadblock, having
been wilfully refused right of passage to a hospital. Then let Lipman
watch the child's father carry his newborn across freezing fields until it
turns blue and dies.

I think Orwell got it right in this passage from Nineteen Eighty-Four, a
tale of the ultimate empire:

"And in the general hardening of outlook that set in . . . practices which
had been long abandoned - imprisonment without trial, the use of war
prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions . .
. and the deportation of whole populations - not only became common
again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered
themselves enlightened and progressive."

John Pilger's new book, "Freedom Next Time", is published by Bantam Press
This article first appeared in the New Statesman.

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