|Progressive Calendar 10.24.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2006 04:06:31 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 10.24.06 1. Mpls energy fair 10.24 6pm 2. Louisiana/play 10.24 7pm 3. Malachy McCourt 10.25 12noon 4. Spirit of Peace 10.25 1pm 5. Europe/terrorism 10.25 3:30pm 6. Malachy McCourt 10.25 5:30pm 7. Kip/health care 10.25 6:30pm 8. Malachy McCourt 10.25 6:30pm 9. John Moe/book 10.25 7pm 10. Guantanamo/law 10.25 7pm 11. PeaceQuake 10.25 7pm 12. Stanton/rights 10.25 7:30pm 13. Ralph Nader - The messianic militarist in the White House 14. Joshua Frank - An interview with Cindy Sheehan 15. Philip Greenspan - Election 2006: delivering more of the same 16. Milo Clark - The games played and called elections 17. Aleksandar Jokic - Get this: imperialism is bipartisan --------1 of 17-------- From: Karen Engelsen <siribear [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Mpls energy fair 10.24 6pm Minneapolis Energy Fair 10.24 6:00pm/9:00pm Learn to save $$ on your energy bill & keep our community healthy!! Tuesday, Oct. 24, 6-9pm, Jenny Lind Community School, 5025 Bryant Ave. N., Minneapolis. Information Booths, Money and Energy saving tips at 6:00 p.m., High Efficiency Heating and Cooling Systems at 6:45 p.m. Arctic Explorer Will Steger will speak at 7:30. Free compact flourescent bulb for attendees, also kids activities. For more information, call 612-335-5856 or see www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/energychallenge/ Karen Engelsen Alliance for Sustainability karen [at] afors.org 612-331-1099 --------2 of 17-------- From: Toni Hauser <tigress [at] gettilted.com> Subject: Voices/Louisiana/play 10.24 7pm VOICES OF LOUISIANA - THE HISTORY, HUMOR & HARDSHIPS OF LOUISIANA The Voices Foundation, a non-profit organization of actors and educators, who have traveled from New Orleans, performing a national tour of The Voices of Louisiana. Played by seven actors and educators of the Evacuation Theatre Troupe who were greatly impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. The History Theatre 30 E. Tenth Street Saint Paul, MN - Box Office 651-292-4323 COST: $25 WHY: To 'spread the word' of the history and hardships of our hometown through humor and poignancy. Proceeds from the show will fund art and theatre projects as well as scholarships for communities in disaster areas of Louisiana. MORE INFO: http://www.voicesoflouisiana.org WHAT ELSE: From Columbus' arrival in the New World to Napoleon's bathtub decision to sell Louisiana, the play begins as a historical and hysterical romp through the pages of history. Then we meet the colorful Louisiana characters that have shaped its history including Huey P. Long, Anne Rice, Truman Capote, Emeril, Ellen DeGeneres, Tennessee Williams, Britney Spears, and Richard Simmons. Voices concludes with true Katrina stories of courage, loss, resiliency, and gratitude. CONTACT: Rose Marie Sand at (504) 666.1220 OR Barry Lemoine, at (504) 301.8770 --------3 of 17-------- From: Mike Whelan <mpw4883 [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Malachy McCourt 10.25 12noon Come fundraise with Malachy McCourt! 10.26.06 Malachy McCourt, actor, writer, truckloader, dishwasher, current New York Green Party gubernatorial candidate, you name it and Malachy has a story to add to it. He is gifting Minnesota with a 1 day tour. Don't miss out! Wednesday Oct. 25 12noon to 2:30p.m. Lunch, pint, and a book Liffey Irish Pub 175 West 7th St. St.Paul, MN Malachy McCourt has acted on stage, on television and in several movies. In the 1970s he had a talk show on WMCA radio. Malachy McCourt also wrote two memoirs titled A Monk Swimming and Singing my Him Song, detailing his life in Ireland and later return to the United States where despite limited education he operated a successful Manhattan tavern frequented by entertainment celebrities. He also authored a book on the history of the much loved Irish ballad Danny Boy. -Malachy McCourt in Wikipedia, Oct. 17, 2006 --------4 of 17-------- From: Larry Johnson <elent7 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Spirit of Peace 10.25 1pm Spirit of Peace Sculpture to be Dedicated October 25, 2006 Final phase of installation at Lyndale Park Peace Garden, Minneapolis Sadako Day Ceremony at 1:00 p.m. One hundred school children will carry strings of origami peace cranes as they process into the Lyndale Park Peace Garden to the sound of taiko drums at the dedication of the Spirit of Peace sculpture at the Peace Garden near Lake Harriet on Wednesday, October 25, 2006, at 1:00 p.m. The fourteen-foot vertical bronze sculpture, the top of which shows a flying crane, was designed by St. Paul artist Caprice Glaser as the centerpiece of the circle of boulders that was installed in 2005. Each of the boulders has a plaque explaining one step of folding the origami crane. The brief program will highlight the telling the story of Sadako Sasaki, the young Japanese girl who folded a 1,000 paper cranes after she was diagnosed with radiation sickness. Yumiko Yoshikiyo, a native of Hiroshima and representative of the Never Again Campaign, will be one of the featured speakers. Marcia Sanoden, an American who grew up in Japan, will lead Japanese songs. Mu Daiko will provide the drummers and Elaine Wynne and Larry Johnson are the storytellers. The Peace Garden is located on Roseway Road across from the Rose Garden on the northeast side of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. Since the circle of boulders was installed in August 2006, thousands of people have followed the directions on the boulders and folded a crane for peace. The date of this ceremony was chosen to honor Sadako Sasaki, who died on October 25, 1955, from the after-effects of radiation from the atomic bomb. The garden, which is the site of an annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration on August 6, also boasts a bridge of Japanese design with relic stones from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many plantings, and a cascade. It is the longest blooming garden in the Minneapolis Park System. Fundraising for the installation of this sculpture began in fall 2003 and donations have arrived from throughout Minnesota, the U.S. and from Japan. Residents of Hiroshima provided a major donation toward this project. Major donors were able to choose a word of peace to be engraved in the bronze base of the sculpture. Peace words include names of notable individuals who have been involved nationally or internationally in peace and justice, words of peace in 23 languages and other words that evoke peace. For further information, contact Mary Maguire Lerman, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board at 612-313-7726 (office) or 612-221-9319 (cell). --------5 of 17-------- From: humanrts [at] UMN.EDU Subject: Europe/terrorism 10.25 3:30pm October 25, 2006 - "The European Legal System Responds to Terrorism: Balancing Human Rights and Security". 3:30-5pm. Cost: Free and open to the public. Prof. Fionnuala Ni Aolain will give a free public lecture entitled "The European Legal System Responds to Terrorism: Balancing Human Rights and Security," as part of the Center for Austrian Studies lecture series. Speaker Biography: Fionnuala Ni Aolain is concurrently the Dorsey and Whitney Chair in Law at the University of Minnesota Law School and a Professor of Law in the University of Ulster's Transitional Justice Institute in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is co-founder and Associate Director of the Institute. Professor Ni Aolain received her LL.B. and Ph.D. in law at the Queen's University Law Faculty in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She also holds an LL.M. degree from the Columbia University Law School. Professor Ni Aolain has published extensively in the fields of emergency powers, conflict regulation, and sex-based violence in times of war. She was a representative of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at domestic war crimes trials in Bosnia (1996-97). In 2003, she was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as Special Expert on promoting gender equality in times of conflict and peace-making. In 2004, she was nominated by the Irish government to the European Court of Human Rights, the first woman and the first academic lawyer to be thus nominated. Her lecture for the Center for Austrian Studies lecture series will examine recent developments in the European legal system as European legislators and jurists attempt to meet the needs of assuring both human rights and security as they respond to the challenge of terrorism. FFI: Center for Austrian Studies at 612-624-9811 or casahy [at] umn.edu. Also 612-624-9811 or l-debo [at] umn.edu Sponsored by the Center for Austrian Studies Location: Cowles Auditorium at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis. --------6 of 17-------- From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at] gmail.com> Subject: Malachy McCourt 10.25 5:30pm Malachy McCourt reads and signs books at Magers and Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S. in Uptown at 5:30 pm Wednesday, October 25 Malachy McCourt is the author of A Monk Swimming, Singing My Him Song, Danny Boy, The Claddagh Ring and Malachy McCourt's History of Ireland. He has also had a successful career as an actor in feature films and the television series Oz. Visit his website at www.malachymccourt.com. -- Malachy McCourt's History of Ireland In the successful tradition of Thomas Cahill's modern-day classic, How the Irish Saved Civilization, here is an authoritative and completely engaging one-volume account of Irish history by County Limerick native, gifted storyteller, and bestselling author Malachy McCourt. Its pages are populated with figures from myth, legend, ancient history, and current events, from Cu Chulainn and Brian Boru to Oliver Cromwell, James Joyce, Lady Gregory, Gerry Adams, and Sinead O'Connor--some beloved, some controversial, but all with an undeniable influence on the course of Irish history and in turn, the history of the modern world. McCourt proves an irresistible guide on this vivid tour through the colorful and turbulent history of the Emerald Isle, from the Celtic settlements, through Viking and British occupations, modern troubles and struggle for independence. He also offers fresh insights on the country's cultural contributions to folklore, literature, art, music, and cuisine. --- The Claddagh Ring Bestselling author Malachy McCourt recounts the story of Ireland's timeless symbol of loyalty, friendship, and love, a ring design of two clasped hands that is worn by millions worldwide. Following the success of his Running Press titles Danny Boy and Voices of Ireland, McCourt explores this beloved icon of Irish heritage through vivid anecdotes, charming folk tales, and recent documented incidents. Said to have been first crafted more than 400 years ago in a fishing village on Galway Bay, there is much more to the story of the Claddagh ring than simple popular history, and McCourt tracks it down and recounts it with his stellar storytelling finesse. Further info at www.magersandquinn.com or David Unowsky 612-822-4611 davidu [at] magersandquinn.com --------7 of 17-------- From: Kip Sullivan <kiprs [at] usinternet.com> Subject: Kip/health care 10.25 6:30pm October 25, 6:30 to 9:00 pm, Amore Coffee, 917 Grand Ave, St. Paul. Amore Coffee is owned by two women who are members of the progressive Metropolitan Independent Business Alliance. Kip Sullivan, who sits on the steering committee of the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition, will discuss his new book, The Health Care Mess. The book attributes the health care crisis to great waste in the health care industry, and prescribes a single-payer (or Medicare for all) system as the solution. --------8 of 17-------- From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Malachy McCourt 10.25 6:30pm Spreadthe word. Famous Irish Author and Green Party candidate for Governors race in New York will be appearing at a book, reading signing anf Fundraiser for the Green Party candidates October 25th 6:30 pm till 10:00 pm Keirans Irish Pub in the Titanic Lounge (where the wake for Eugene McCarthy was held) 4th St, Downtown Minneapolis. Music, Food and some good auld Oirish Craic provided. If you do not know what Irish Craic is, well then show up and you will find out. You will not regret it. --------9 of 17-------- From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at] gmail.com> Subject: John Moe/book 10.25 7pm John Moe discusses "Conservatize Me" 7pm Wednesday, October 25 at Magers and Quinn in Uptown Further info: David Unowsky 612-822-4611 davidu [at] magersandquinn.com website www.magersandquinn.com What would happen if a lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool, recycling liberal immersed himself entirely in conservative thought, culture, and rhetoric for one month? One critically acclaimed political humorist decided to find out. In the hit movie, "Supersize Me," filmmaker Morgan Spurlock documented the dramatic effects on his body of a steady diet of McDonald's food. Could the same technique be applied to politics? What would happen to someone's mind if they subsisted entirely on conservative media and rhetoric? With such rancor and polarization, is America still a place to change someone's mind and get them to cross over to the other side of the ideological fence? Is it possible to do that to yourself? For one month, John Moe put himself on a strict political regimen: he reset his radio dials from NPR to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, he watched nothing but the Fox News Channel and read nothing but The Wall Street Journal and The National Review. He even went head to head with some of today's most influential conservative thinkers, NRA devotees, and the Family Research Council all in the name of "The Experiment." He also learned a lot along of things along the way, one of them that there's a lot more that liberals and conservatives share than meets the eye. John Moe is well known to humor fans as one of the writers of the award-winning highbrow humor website McSweeneys.net. He is also a commentator for NPR's All Things Considered and a regular contributor to the nationwide public radio program Weekend America. He lives in Seattle, where he hosts several public radio programs dealing in politics, business, technology, literature, and culture. Some of his short humor pieces have appeared in the anthologies Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans... --------10 of 17-------- From: Kelly O'Brien <obrie136 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Guantanamo/law 10.25 7pm Separation of Powers in the Long War: Guantanamo and the Rule of Law Joseph Margulies, attorney, MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University Wednesday, October 25, 7:00 p.m. Room 25 Mondale Hall (Law School), University of Minnesota west bank campus free and open to the public Directions/Map: http://www.onestop.umn.edu/Maps/MondaleH/ FFI: U of M Institute for Global Studies, www.igs.cla.umn.edu <http://www.igs.cla.umn.edu/> or 612-624-9007 The MacArthur Justice Center is committed to ensuring that authorities at the local and national level follow the U.S. Constitution and international law when holding prisoners. MJC litigates on behalf of individuals held against their will and without proper charges in order to hold government accountable to make a clear and legal case for any incarceration. Joseph Margulies, lecturer and trial attorney at MacArthur Justice Center, has been a successful civil rights and capital defense attorney for 14 years. He has represented scores of death row inmates around the country, and he currently is lead counsel for four detainees held at Guantanamo Bay in Rasul et al. v. Bush et al. The case will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this spring. To work with MacArthur Justice Center, Margulies is taking leave from Margulies & Richman, PLC, his criminal defense and civil rights practice in Minneapolis. He previously served as the senior staff attorney of the Texas Capital Resource Center, where he represented men and women on Texas' death row. Margulies' appearance is part of the U of M Institute for Global Studies series "The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy: Alternative Voice." --------11 of 17-------- From: "Murphy, Cathy" <CMurphy [at] analysts.com> Subject: PeaceQuake 10.25 7pm It's a PeaceQuake! The idea of ending the war in Iraq is spreading across our country as a successful campaign strategy. You are invited to join your neighbors in being part of this winning strategy. Together we will define specific strategies that we can use locally to demonstrate to our candidates that supporting peace can lead to electoral victory. Wednesday, Oct 25 7-9pm Peace Presbyterian Church 7624 Cedar Lake Rd, St Louis Park refreshments & children's activities provided Cathy Murphy 952.935.8653 --------12 of 17-------- From: humanrts [at] UMN.EDU Subject: Stanton/rights 10.25 7:30pm October 25, 2006 - Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "The Solitude of Self": Women's Rights are Human Rights. Time: 7:30pm. The Ada Comstock Distinguished Women Scholars Lecture Series Featuring Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota, and a consummate scholar of feminist rhetoric. Campbell's presentation will highlight the life and speeches of first-wave feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and illuminate how a humanistic appeal for women's rights in a particular speech found a responsive chord with Senate and House committees assigned to consider women's suffrage. Reception follows in the Hubert H. Humphrey Center Atrium. RSVP: 612.625.9837 or women [at] umn.edu Location: Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey Center, 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55455 --------13 of 17-------- The Messianic Militarist in the White House by Ralph Nader Published on Saturday, October 21, 2006 by CommonDreams.org On October 17th, George W. Bush, signed into law a bill he bulldozed through Congress that, in Senator Patrick Leahy's prophetic words, would suspend "the writ of habeas corpus, a core value in American law, in order to avoid judicial review that prevents government abuse." This law, whose constitutionality is in doubt and will be reviewed by the Supreme Court in due time, puts so much arbitrary and secret unilateral power in the hands of the Presidency that the ghost of King George III must be wondering what all the fuss was about in 1776. If you want more evidence of how obsessively-compulsed George W. Bush is about his wars, their fabrications, budgets and cover-ups, consider his cue card statement on the legislation at the White House signing ceremony. "It is a rare occasion when a president can sign a bill he knows will save American lives," he declared. Hello! He has rejected all kinds of occasions to save American lives here at home. He has refused to do anything about the widespread and preventable mayhem known as medical and hospital malpractice, while fanatically pushing for restrictions on the right of such victims or their next of kin to have their full day in court. At least 80,000 Americans die from malpractice just in hospitals every year, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. The same Presidential pen could have saved thousands of more lives and prevented many more injuries were it to alight on safety legislation and larger budgets for reducing job-related sickness and trauma (58,000 lost lives a year) and air pollution (65,000 lives a year) - to name a few categories of preventable violence. But he signaled from the onset of his Presidency that such bills would be opposed from the getgo. And once again remember his incompetence in letting U.S. soldiers - hundreds of them die in Iraq from the lack of adequate body armor. At the signing event, Mr. Bush called the legislation "a way to deliver justice to the terrorists we have captured." To him all captured subjects are ipso facto convicted terrorists. It is not as if his record gives any credence to such fantasies. But he persists in his deception none the less. Out of nearly 700 prisoners in Guantnamo Bay, he has charged only ten after over four years of detention. Ten! Why? Mostly, as military, civilian lawyers and other monitors have said, because the vast majority of these abused or beaten prisoners were innocent from the day of their apprehension - victims of bounty hunters in Afghanistan and surroundings. It served Bush political purposes to say to the American people that Guantnamo Bay contained among the most evil of all people, so long as he could deny the innocents any opportunity to challenge their incarceration (habeas corpus) in an impartial tribunal. Until the Supreme Court ordered him to stop denying the "detainees" due process. Here in the U.S. Bush has imprisoned without charges over 5000 people, as terror suspects. Ninety nine percent turned out to be innocent of accusations that they were engaged in terrorist activities. Given this batting average, it is troubling that Mr. Bush has the unchecked power to deprive those he imprisons, with or without charges and without attorneys, of habeas corpus. In these tribunals established by the new law, the defendants' have no right to review evidence against them and cannot challenge Bush's unbridled power to determine the definition of torture. So vague are the law's words that what constitutes "terrorist activity" and whether it can be used against U.S. citizens remain with the monarchical power of George W. Bush to decide. Anyone who doubts the assertion that the new law will be used to remove any boundaries - constitutional, statutory or treaty - from restraining Mr. Bush and his subordinates should read the celebratory article by a former Bush Administration official, law professor John Yoo, in the Wall Street Journal. He reads the law as removing the courts - including the Supreme Court - from any judicial review of Bush's "war on terror". Mr. Yoo left out the obvious conclusion, which is that Mr. Bush is now, in this area, the legislative and the judicial authority - the dominator of checks and balances. To Bush allies, such as Mr. Yoo, the boundless inherent power of the Presidency, does not ever include any recommendation that these poor, innocent souls, swept up by wasteful, boomeranging dragnet practices, be compensated for their brutalization and confinement. Bush's belligerent policies after 9/11, which caught him napping in Crawford, have served to provide recruitment grounds for more and more trained terrorists. Look at Iraq and Afghanistan. Pursuing policies against terrorism that create more terrorists have been noted by Bush's own officials, not to mention scores of ex-military, diplomatic and intelligence officials who served in past Republican and Democratic administrations. One would think, with such backing, the Congressional Democrats would have moved to block his rampages which have so lowered his public approval to below 40 percent. None of this fazes or affects the messianic militarist in the White House. He continues his ways of endangering our nation, weakening its moral and political influence abroad, turning off more and more of the American people disgusted with the huge costs in lives and money, and deep-sixing his Republican Party. Even the latter achievement cannot rescue history's description as an all-purpose, self-inflicted Wrecker-in-Chief. --------14 of 17-------- An Interview with Cindy Sheehan The Antiwar Movement and Independent Politics By JOSHUA FRANK CounterPunch October 23, 2006 When the admirable Tiberius upon becoming emperor, received a message from the Senate in which the conscript fathers assured him that whatever legislation he wanted would be automatically passed by them, he sent back word that this was outrageous. "Suppose the emperor is ill or mad or incompetent?" He returned their message. They sent it again. His response: "How eager you are to be slaves." -- Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Joshua Frank: Cindy, we are in the armpit of another election season and it seems that the mainstream antiwar movement is rallying behind the Democrats once again, hoping if the Dems can just recapture the House that the Republicans will finally be held accountable for all their horrible faults. Impeachment will follow and the war will end. What do you think? Where do you stand on all of this? Cindy Sheehan: I hold very little hope that, due to the utter corruption of our electoral system, and the Republican reign of terror and fear against the American public, the Democrats will even take back one or more Houses of Congress. Even if the Democrats take back the lower House, the potential Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) has already said that impeachment would not be "in the cards." Rep. John Conyers (D-Mi) has also backed off of impeachment rhetoric. Since Bush has said over and over again that the troops aren't coming home while he is president, it is up to us to make sure that his presidency is cut short. We all know that the Vietnam War ended when Congress cut its funding. There is a bill that has been sponsored by Rep. Jim McGovern, (D-Ma) HR4232 that cuts funding to leave our troops in Iraq, but he has very little support and even a smaller chance of getting it to the floor for a vote. I believe that most representatives don't support the bill because they will be accused of "not supporting the troops." I believe that it is not supporting the troops to leave them in that nightmare. Although I admire the Democrats on many issues, when it comes to war and peace, most get their pockets lined by the same corporate interests. No matter which party has control of Congress come November, we the people have to keep the pressure up to stop the current course our country is taking. Frank: You are currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Progressive Democrats of America, a pro-Democrat organization that calls for reform of the Democratic Party from within. The PDA consistently ignores progressive antiwar alternatives to the Democrats. Do you think that such a position could actually hurt the antiwar movement? Should we instead be supporting antiwar candidates who want to hold both parties accountable? Sheehan: I think that the PDA endorses candidates based on their entire platforms. Of course, I only care about candidate's record on the war and what they say about peace. I prefer to call our movement a "peace" movement, because "antiwar" is too narrow. I think it would be great if we didn't need a PDA, if all Democrats were progressive peace candidates, but we know they are not. I would vote for a Republican if they were calling for the withdrawal of troops and for impeachment, and I definitely think a viable third party could rein in the "two" parties we have now. We will never have a viable third party, though, as long as we vote out of fear and not out of integrity. Instead of voting for the "lesser of two evils" we should be voting for a candidate that reflects our "beatitudes" and not the war machine's. Frank: The PDA may endorse candidates based on their entire platform, but they still won't support antiwar candidates that are not Democrats -- and they've received a fair amount of criticism for that position. Do you think that such a policy may be a problem for those who want to build an independent antiwar movement that seeks to challenge both parties? Sheehan: Yes, well the group is called Progressive Democrats of America. They have had no problem with me endorsing third party candidates. I completely support a viable third party. I don't know if PDA's position is holding up an independent antiwar party as much as the mainstream Republican and Democrats are. I think reform of the Democratic Party could only reinforce antiwar efforts and all progressive causes in general. I don't think the PDA is hurting the antiwar movement because I don't think they have enough consolidated power to affect it one-way or the other. Frank: It seems to me that working to reform the Democratic Party, like the PDA, sidelines other issues, most importantly right now, the war effort. I guess you don't agree? Sheehan: I think it will take all of us working for all kinds of issues; the PDA can focus on their piece. I will continue to focus on mine just like you will continue to focus on yours. Frank: Who are the peace candidates you are supporting this year? Sheehan: So far I have supported three who ended up losing in the primaries: Marcy Winograd, Jonathan Tasisni and Christine Cegelis -- all of whom are Democrats, first two up against pro-war incumbents. I have also supported Jeanne Cricenzo, a Democrat, Malachy McCourt for Governor of New York who is a Green and Michael Berg and Todd Chretien, both of whom are Greens. Kevin Zeese of Maryland who is an independent candidate. And most recently I told Howie Hawkins, who is running against Hillary Clinton in New York as a Green, that I would support his antiwar campaign. Frank: I've heard a rumor that you may be looking to start your own third party. Is that true? Sheehan: Yes, it is true. I think that to save our democracy our country needs a viable and credible third party. This nation was founded on rule by a few rich white males, and for all intents and purposes, we are still ruled by a corporate elite. We need a third party that will represent all the people, not just the wealthy. Joshua Frank, author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, edits http://www.BrickBurner.org --------15 of 17-------- Election 2006: Delivering More of the Same by Philip Greenspan (Swans - October 23, 2006) With an election approaching, torrents of babble are flooding the media with predictions of which congressional candidates in the various elections are gaining and losing and what the ultimate impact of the election will mean. No one can predict what is to come but in making decisions affecting our future, we speculate on how the future will unfold and envision how it might affect those decisions. So of necessity we gamble on our assumptions of the future. The media pundits are supposedly experts but their prognostication scores are well below par. The alternate media and the knowledgeable authorities that they relied on, like retired General Anthony Zinni and Scott Ritter, who were ignored or pooh-poohed by the major media called it correctly. I am no pundit, but disagree with my friends and acquaintances who are hoping that this coming election will bring changes - impeachment of Bush and/or a retreat in the war policy. Irrespective of any changes in the makeup of the legislative branch, I foresee no significant change in foreign policy. Candidates from both major parties will spout out promises that they know will electrify the voters, but once elected will tactfully withdraw from the needs and demands of their political constituencies. The Democrats, even if they win big, will not touch impeachment. Their party is equally guilty of all of Bush's transgressions. If it hadn't been for Congress's - Democratic as well as Republican - endorsement of all of Bush's policies, his impeachable offenses would not have been enacted. Impeachments only arise where Congress can claim innocence of the offense - like a sexual impropriety or an illegal burglary. Elected officials and their appointees are controlled by the corporate elite and accordingly respond to the elite's demands. Their position can be discerned by analyzing the major media, an important part of that elite. How the news is handled is the tip-off. Well-regarded pundits who whole-heartedly supported Bush, such as Thomas Friedman and George Will, have turned critical of his policies. Editorial columns and news items have done likewise. But they do not advocate ending the War on Terror. The elite is well aware that the Bush policies are a shambles and that the public is fed up with the war. But they are not. So they must keep things going by feeding the public an alternate and plausible prescription. The wars, the killings, the spending will continue. There is too much invested in the Middle East to give up - billions in military bases, oodles and oodles of untapped oil. Much, much more than there was in Vietnam and Tricky Dick, after promising that he would get out, not only kept it going but expanded it into Laos and Cambodia, while appeasing the public with gradual troop withdrawals. The war will end when an overwhelming public demand tantamount to a revolt breaks out or the GIs on the front lines mutiny as they did in Vietnam. Neither occurrence is as far-fetched as it may seem. The precariousness of the economic condition of the country - an unprecedented debt, the continual erosion of employment opportunities, possibility of a crushing inflation, etc., could lead to the impoverishment of a substantial segment of the public and a citizen revolt. The GIs being overstretched for long periods in the war zones will eventually lead to the massive mutinies. Fasten your seat belts and hold on to your hats a turbulent future is approaching! --------16 of 17-------- The Games Played And Called Elections by Milo Clark "Bending straws is local, rigging electronic systems is not." - Mary Magdalene, Making Things Right, Karlingenus Robotus, Tiberius et Ux, Rome, 119 (Swans - October 23, 2006) In terms of framing, holding elections is now the criterion for democracy. Elections in Kazakhstan, Ecuador, Myanmar, Eureka County, and South Chicago are cited as evidence of democracy in action. Nonsense! Ever since folks first bent straws, rigging elections has been a way to power. The number of ways we can expect next month's US midterm elections to be rigged are numbered by the counties within the states. Elections in the once United States of America are primarily governed by local laws only faintly guided by state laws within the shadowy context of federal law. Electoral districts are an overlay of local offices working up the ladders of representation through to the state Electoral College processes, which, in aggregate and in theory, yield a national president. At each step, determination of district boundaries, establishment of voting places, appointments of workers and bosses, voting forms, methods of collecting ballots and then counting them fall to a jungle of officials, authorities, and arbiters. Every step is inundated in politics. Control of local politics ends up as control of elections. >From the very first days of elections in the nascent United States of America, politicians worked diligently and tirelessly to craft the electoral processes to guarantee predictable results. Governor Gerry of Massachusetts (1810-1811) devised grotesque boundaries for districts and lent his name to the now very sophisticated redistricting processes worked to return incumbents to office (Gerrymandering). Computerized database modeling now yields over 90% re-election results. At simplest levels, a ballot cast in whatever form is collected at precinct level, put in some kind of container and sent to the counting place. Rarely now are ballots counted at precinct level. Whoever controls that box or cartridge or electronic disk from precinct to counting place may manipulate the ballots as a first step. We must go back, however, to understand those rules governing who actually ends up being allowed to vote in a precinct. Registration processes varying from rigorously excluding to very loosely including tend to be a function of state law administered at county level. Massive efforts are marshaled by various parties to (1) encourage or (2) to discourage classes of voters. That is, to get certain demographic profiles to the polls or to keep them away. From poll taxes to literacy tests, from specific forms of identification documents to remote locations to register, ever-new means are sought to restrict or to expand particular sets of voters. Assuming a person manages to get registered and that person is in a demographic profile deemed favorable by the politicians controlling the local elections, then ballot forms will be designed that are judged to be easy to understand and to use. These people deemed favorable will also tend to find rides offered to polling places in convenient locations that will be well supplied with blank ballots, friendly poll workers and short lines. A person with unfavorable demographic profile who manages to get registered will find little transportation offered, remote and inconvenient locations, ballot shortages, unfriendly workers slowly shuffling voters through long lines. Ballot design is also open to manipulations. In Hawaii, primary elections are by party only. Any crossing of party lines will invalidate the ballot. Ballot design places the different parties in adjacent lines with minimal apparent separation. Parties are distinguished by very faint colors easy to mistake in all but the best lighting conditions. The infamous "chads" of Florida's 2000 election are similar ballot design manipulations. "Paper ballots" are in the charade category also. Mark-sensed or optically scanned "paper" ballots marked with a #2 lead pencil or a special electronically sensitive lead are collected in a reader box, totals of which are electronically determined. >From entry into the collector box through registration in counting processes, the system is electronic and open to all the manipulations of any electronic system. Theoretically, a recount would involve taking the marked ballots from the collecting boxes and re-running them again. They would not be hand-counted unless a court ordered them to be. Which, in part, was exactly where the once Supreme Court intervened in a grossly partisan 2000 ruling that gave the presidency to George W. Bush. Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines were given great impetus by the Help America Voting Act (HAVA) which, superficially, was designed to facilitate voting by disabled or handicapped people. DRE machines use touch screens or wheels to enter selections (votes). The votes are collected electronically into cartridges vaguely similar to ATM cards. The cartridges are programmed before the elections by the manufacturers and "read" by the manufacturers' proprietary programs classified as intellectual property and unavailable to public scrutiny. HAVA set up "testing" procedures by theoretically third parties that, in practice, proved laughable. Computer experts by the droves have shown the ease by which these devices and their cartridges can be manipulated. Years and years of work have gone into creating our present voting systems. Every attempt to make any process inviolate has only challenged those who want to use them. The present Republican Party has worked most diligently in recent years to find ways to frustrate voting by those deemed demographically inappropriate. Their success has been registered notably in Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and California. Whether or not their control of process will overcome the Foley and related factors we will know after November 7th. My research suggests that it will take very heavy turns in numbers and reasonably accurate counting of those numbers to take Congress from the Republicans in 2006. The heavy turns in numbers are a possibility. Given those numbers, the temptations to manipulate results will be massive. The tools to manipulate results are in place. Simply creating challenges has the potential of tying up election outcomes in legal battles dragging far into the coming years. Will the court system reflect the heavy efforts made to place judges in key positions? [ed predicts: The GOP will subvert and contest enough close elections in 2006 to leave the outcome in doubt for months. Finally, they will all go to the Supreme Court, which will declare that all contested elections go to the previous incumbent. Bush can keep soldiers in the military beyond their enlistment period; now he will move to keep GOP incumbents in beyond their last election period. If so, it will take more drastic citizen action than we have see for decades to actually change the federal government. If I'm wrong, we will soon see. I think things are far worse than lesser-evil Dems would like to believe. -ed] --------17 of 17-------- Get This: Imperialism Is Bipartisan by Aleksandar Jokic (Swans - October 23, 2006) Some polls suggest voter interest in the run-up to the midterm elections is at its highest point in years. Should it be? One phrase politicians love to use in describing why they are running is "to make a difference." However, could any difference materialize as a result of voting in the current two-part political system? The answer is not really, because there is no real difference between the parties, particularly when US corporate interests and the US imperium are concerned. Against the Bush Regime Paul Craig Roberts concludes "The War is Lost" by stating: "Before America can preach democracy to the world, we must first rescue American democracy from the Bush regime and re-establish government accountability to the people." One can read similar statements elsewhere. For example, Antonia Juhasz, in her book, The Bu$h Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time, writes the following: "The individual Middle East Free Trade Area agreements are paving the way for a radical, thoroughly U.S.-centric corporate globalization agenda for the Bush administration to carry from country to country in the Middle East and then well beyond. The president has forced into acquiescence the growing wave of criticism against these economic policies, both within the United States and abroad by linking them to the defeat of terrorism. It is economic imperialism in its truest form: Governments the world over are forced to adopt economic policies that benefit the growth and power of one nation with a threat of military action if they do not accede, all in the name of "world peace." (p. 290)" While pronouncements like these certainly could seem appealing to all who are angry, for whatever reason (and there are many), with the Bush administration, oversimplifications harm the clarity and substance of legitimate and otherwise persuasive political and economic criticism. The danger lies in misidentifying the sources of the US foreign policies (such as "spreading democracy") and in misplacing the responsibility for the consequences of such policies. There is Only One Party in the United States When one realizes that the title of Ms. Juhasz's book is in fact a colossal misnomer, one can better appreciate the dangers. "Invading the world one economy at time" is and has been for some time the US agenda or, which amounts to the same, the agenda of a few dozen Anglo-American Big Oil and banking old money oligarchs who own the political establishment of the country. Another reason why there is nothing new in these policies is the fact that they are an exact replica of the free-trade dogma of the 19th century British Empire that lead to its practice of "cannibalizing the economies of increasing parts of the globe in order to survive." The quote is from William Engdahl's A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, a book that describes in solidly footnoted detail how it happened that just a handful of Anglo-American families could amass untold wealth and unprecedented power, including the ability to get their and other countries to wage war to support their private interests: "During the course of the Versailles talks, a new institution of Anglo-American coordination in strategic affairs was formed. Lionel Curtis, a longtime member of the secretive Round Table or 'new empire' circle of Balfour, Milner and others, proposed organizing a Royal Institute of International Affairs. ...The same circle at Versailles also decided to establish an American branch of the London Institute, to be named the New York Council on Foreign Relations, so as to obscure its close British ties." Thus, under the leadership of the Council on Foreign Relations, US foreign policy came to be based on the synergy between control over oil and control over finance, with government, intelligence agencies, and the military playing a supporting role to the banks and the oil cartels. No surprise, then, that the practice "of invading one (or a few) economies at the time" has been playing out no matter who the president was or from which of the two identical (as far as imperialism is concerned) political parties he hails: when it comes to US foreign policy, the elephant and the donkey are equally a hyena. The imperial project of Pax Americana is bipartisan. The inimitable Gore Vidal puts it thusly: "[t]here is only one party in the United States, the Property party ... and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt -- until recently ... and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties." If Vidal's "one party" claim were true, one would want to know what exactly explains this fact. Why are the two parties in reality one party? But before considering this question let us first explore two examples that suggest that Vidal's thesis is extremely plausible: Continuity of Policy Across Political Parties The United States is building an enormous embassy in Baghdad and a base so large it eclipses Kosovo's Camp Bondsteel, which had been the largest foreign US military base built since Vietnam (it is so big, I am led to understand, that it is better visible from space than the Great Wall of China). Obviously, it is under President Bush that this construction in Iraq is taking place. However, who conquered the land where Bondsteel was built in the first place? The name is: Bill Clinton. The party: Democratic. In addition, did Clinton engage in the process called: "invade the world one economy at the time"? Yes he did, and in particular the socialist and self-sustainable economies, such as Rwanda and Yugoslavia, by way of proxy aggression and direct aggression respectively. It should strike us as peculiar that a president from the "left" side of the spectrum, i.e., Democrat side, is engaged in a policy that critics call "the Bu$h Agenda," should it not? Was Clinton then the Bush (or Bu$h) before Bush? Indeed, the practice stretches back even further. In each case, of course, the crime against peace (the supreme international crime, according to the Nuremberg court) is committed for the sake of "world peace," and when we end up owning everything and everyone, this is imperialism "in its truest form." However, it is important that we make clear that this is not new to the Bush administration. In fact, Bush is an amateur compared to Clinton when it comes to concealing this imperialism. Clinton was and continues to be a better manipulator of the public; thus, in my mind, the most gruesomely misguided political bumper sticker of all times reads: "No one died when Clinton lied." Of course, people died when the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant was bombed in Sudan (Operation "Infinite Reach" killed one, wounded 10, and deprived hundreds of thousands of Sudanese and Africans of medication). People died when he lied about Bosnia, about Racak, the pretext for starting to bomb Yugoslavia in the operation "Merciful Angel," i.e., about "impending genocide" in Kosovo that now in 2006 (after Slobodan Milosevic defended himself successfully in The Hague) is no longer an indictable offence at the ICTY. Those were real bombs released upon then-Yugoslavia (a country no longer in existence), though some were banned by international convention. How else did the U.S. get in the possession of the land to build Bondsteel in Serbia? Secondly, when it comes to Bush's crimes against peace described as "war on terror," they represent a simple continuation of what a democratic president, Jimmy Carter, inaugurated on July 3, 1979. Carter on this fateful day secretly authorized $500 million to create an international terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia. The result, in Zbigniew Brzezinski's words, was "a few stirred up Muslims" -- meaning the Jihadists and the Taliban. Some like to call the current trouble with "terrorism" a blowback, suggesting that what we now have is the result of some fundamentally misguided policies put in place by some previous (incompetent?) administration. It is interesting, however, that the very term "blowback" first appeared "in a classified CIA post-action report on the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953, carried out in the interests of British Petroleum." If one is wondering what the CIA is doing acting on behalf of British Petroleum, which is not even an American company, it is worth consulting Enghdahl once more to recognize that there is in fact no differentiation within Anglo-American global oil interests. He writes that after the Achnacarry Agreement, the "Seven Sisters" [made up of Esso (Standard Oil of New Jersey, now Exxon), Mobil (Standard Oil of New York), Gulf Oil, Texaco, Standard Oil of California (Chevron), Royal Dutch Shell, and the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (British Petroleum)] "were effectively one institution," and that with it, "British and American oil majors agreed to accept the existing market divisions and shares, to set a secret world cartel price, and end the destructive competition and price wars of the last decade." He says that since this 1927 agreement, "the Anglo-American grip over the world's oil reserves has been hegemonic," and that "threats to break that grip have been met with ruthless response..." Engdahl's A Century of War documents a number of instances throughout history where this ruthlessness was displayed on a global scale. But returning to the notion of "blowback," it is worth pondering if back in 1953 the young CIA was already smart enough to invent this term to express concern about "unintended consequences of covert operations," how difficult it would be for the mature CIA in the 21st century to invent the practice of politically expedient fake blowbacks? Could it be that there is continuity (across administrations and "party" lines) in pursuing Pax Americana (by all means, illegal and immoral)? There is No Remedy The inevitable conclusion regarding opposition to "Bush regime" is that the critics of imperialism ostensibly coming from the left are apparently capable of criticizing Pax Americana only as something which is supposedly part of just the Republican agenda, and even more narrowly construed as the Bush agenda. Why are they doing this? One may surmise that if these talking heads were to become "equal opportunity critics," call things as they are, consequences might follow. Perhaps there would be no speaking engagements, and TV interviews would wither away. What else would they lose? Thus, while Juhasz's book makes good points she is constantly on tour speaking, but by misplacing blame, in fact she (as many others), ends up aiding and abetting the U.S. in pursuing its imperialist "globalization." I understand that being a critic with integrity may push one out of all markets, empty one's niche of supporters, and shrink one's corner of relevance. While the latter is unfortunate, I still prefer the former (integrity). Consequently, if rescuing "American democracy" (or restoring government accountability to the people) is the goal, it is not enough to rescue it from the "Bush regime." It also must be rescued from Democrats who are equally invested in the imperial project just as Republicans are. Furthermore, as far as the goal of "democracy to the world" is concerned, the best thing for America, American people, and the world is to leave "democracy" up to the world. These are lofty goals contemplated from the perspective of what is good for not only Americans but also for the peoples the world over. It is another question whether these goals could be accomplished at all. Here are some reasons for doubt: The calls such as one from Paul Craig Roberts to "rescue American democracy from the Bush regime" have two straightforward interpretations. On the "soft" reading, this is a simple appeal to vote for Democrats come next rounds of elections. This, however, will take us nowhere given that the imperial project is bipartisan in nature. On a more "hard-line" understanding, since the US Constitution provides "for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union," this may be an invitation to organize a quasi-revolution that would remove by force an administration that is continuously violating the Laws of the Union. This is unrealistic, however. The Founding Fathers could not have possibly envisaged a US government controlling the armed forces with such destructive powers that no Militia could defeat. It appears, therefore, that the imperial project with its bipartisan support is firmly entrenched no matter whether the "Bush regime" or some other regime, Republican or Democrat, is in place. The Ultimate Cause: Private Ownership of National Interest In the end, two fundamental question remain unanswered: Why exactly is the US foreign policy bipartisan, why is there only one party in the United States? Could it be the case that just as there is nothing "Federal" about the US Federal Reserve, which is a private enterprise (that possesses no reserves, by the way) or nothing "English" about the Bank of England, which is another private enterprise, that there is nothing "National" in the awesomely important National Interest, which could also be just another private enterprise (perhaps of the very same people as above). It is sometimes said that the U.S. is run by its "East-Coast Elite." However, what is so called would presumably be (part of) American elite, as, after all, the "East Coast" is a part of the U.S. But American elite they are not, for they do not act for the good of their nation since they (mistakenly) think that all nations are theirs (to toy with). Naturally, if this hypothesis is correct, those who would want to "rescue" American democracy and "re-establish" government accountability are given a clear method to accomplish this. Eliminating the grotesque wealth of a very few persons (through for example something like nationalization) who because of their privileged position have the ability to print money or control interest rates and so on, and to exercise full control of the government (that is, both parties), intelligence agencies, and the military would at once eliminate the "private ownership of national interest." Deprivatizing or recollectivizing national interest would reestablish democracy and political competition would once more become something other than the battle of the clones. However, the outlined scenario may be more utopian than the Bolshevik Revolution, and certainly the hope would be that American democracy could be rescued without the multiple repeat of the fate that befell the Romanovs. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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 To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.