Progressive Calendar 11.05.06
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 05:07:18 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    11.05.06

1. Palestine          11.05 9am
2. Amazon/GLBT/MPO    11.05 12noon
3. Interfaith retreat 11.05 1pm
4. Celt/shop/Samhain  11.05 1pm/7pm
5. Anti-corp pranks   11.05 2pm
6. KFAI's Indian      11.05 4pm
7. Indigenous films   11.05-08 6:30pm
8. Criticize Israel?  11.05 7pm

9. Rami/MidEast       11.06 12noon
10. Pond photo op     11.06 2:30pm
11. US empire 101     11.06 5:30pm
12. IRV info session  11.06 7pm
13. Vote blackout     11.06 7pm

14. ed             - Mn Daily exclusion of Greens: comments & developments
15. Phil Rockstroh - 2006: It's always darkest just before total darkness
16. Silver/McChesney - Air America's ABC blacklist: the real story
17. Joshua Sperber - How the US lost Latin America

--------1 of 17-------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Palestine 11.05 9am

Sunday, 11/5, 9 and 11 am, Dr Bernard Sabella, Christian member of
Palestinian Legislature, speaks at both masses on "Palestine and Israel: the
Politics of Talking Peace," St Joan of Arc, 4537 - 3rd Ave S, Mpls.
streichenfm [at] usfamily.net


--------2 of 17--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Amazon/GLBT/MPO 11.05 12noon

MPO Shopping Day noon-5pm @ Amazon Books

A portion of our proceeds on this day will go to benefit the Minnesota
Philharmonic Orchestra. Get your holiday shopping done while enjoying live
music, treats, and free gift wrapping. Founded in 1993, the MPO seeks to
provide diverse arts entertainment of the highest quality, resulting in
increased visibility for the musical talents of the GLBT community.

Amazon Bookstore Cooperative 4755 Chicago Ave S, Mpls 612-821-9630
info [at] amazonbookstorecoop.com


--------3 of 17--------

From: "Human Rights Center @ the U of MN" <humanrts [at] UMN.EDU>
Subject: Interfaith retreat 11.05 1pm

November 5, 2006 - Bridging: An Interfaith Retreat.
1-7pm.
Cost: $10.

Purpose: To provide space where interfaith organizations and individuals
committed to interfaith work will come together to explore commonalities,
bear witness to differences, and facilitate the building of new bridges.

Panel Discussion: Where Are the Barriers Within Us?
Breakout Sessions
Premier performance of the play, "Supposings"
Drumming
Communal dinner

(dinner will include foods compatible with a variety of religious and
dietary sensibilities)

Cost: $10, Pre-registration is strongly recommended as space is
limited. Scholarships are available.

For further information regarding the location of the U of M Law
School please call Patrick Finnegan of the U of M Human Rights Center:
612-626-0041

For more specifics about the Retreat and/or information regarding
scholarships, please call Ira Gordon at 612-861-6040.

This event is being hosted by the University of Minnesota Human Rights
Center.

Sponsoring Organizations include:
The Archdiocesan Council of Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs; the
Center for Religious Inquiry at St. Mark's Cathedral; the Hindu
Society of Minnesota; the Islamic Center of Minnesota; Justice
Squared, a Program of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC);
the Mall Area Religious Council; Masjid an-Nur Community and
Interfaith Ministries; the Minnesota Chapter of the Parliament of
World's Religions; the Minnesota Council of Churches; the Presbytery
of the Twin Cities; Oak Grove Presbyterian Church.

Location: University of Minnesota Law School, Mondale Hall, 229 19th
Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55455


--------4 of 17--------

From: Rebecca McConkey <mn_united_ireland [at] lycos.com>
Subject: Celt/shop/Samhain 11.05 1pm/7pm

Celtic Shopping Day
Sunday Nov 5th

5th Annual Celtic Shopping Day 2006
1:00 to 6:00 PM
A day of live Irish Music, celebration and shopping
Featuring handcrafted Irish clothing, jewelry, photography, pottery,
CD's, books and more.Mui will have a table -books ,t-shirts ,buttons etc
Dubliner Pub 0n University and Cretin/Vandalia

And that evening..................

Samhaim celebration and bonfire under a full moon!
Sunday November 5,
Sponsored by Minnesotans for a United Ireland.
At Newell Park, Fairview and Pierce Butler Road in Saint Paul
Starts at 7:00, goes until the last person gets done gazing at the dying
embers.

Minnesotans for a United Ireland 612-871-7110


--------5 of 17--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Anti-corp pranks 11.05 2pm

Sunday, 11/5, 2 pm, Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy presents
film "The Yes Men" about anti-corporate activist-pranksters impersonating
World Trade Organization spokesmen, Bryant Lake Bowl, 810 W Lake St, Mpls.
$7 to 14.  www.iatp.org


--------6 of 17--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org>
Subject: KFAI's Indian 11.05 4pm

KFAI's Indian Uprising for November 5th

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR ANCESTORS: THE DAKOTA COMMMEMORATIVE MARCHES OF
THE 21ST CENTURY, a reading of excerpts from essays.  This new book was
edited by Waziyatawin Angela Wilson (Dakota) and published by Living
Justice Press, St. Paul, MN.  LJP a nonprofit organization, publishes
books on restorative justice, www.livingjusticepress.org.

"May this book stand as a testament to the atrocities visited on the
Dakota of Minnesota, not for posterity, but as an opportunity for us to
finally tell our story.  May this book be recognized as part as part of
the healing process that restorative justice champions and as bringing
some understanding to the atrocities still inflicted on Dakota people, for
only with understanding can healing come.  May this book give rise to the
dominating society taking responsibility for setting things right with
Dakota descendents, for, just as our people and communities live with the
legacy of historical trauma, so, too, do Whites live with legacy of the
atrocities that their ancestors committed.  May this book be recognized as
articulating a pattern visited upon all Indigenous Peoples of this
continent and throughout the world­­the pattern of colonization and
oppression.  May this book be part of undoing these negative patterns,
which unfortunately still thrive today." ~ Harley Eagle, an enrolled
member in the Wapaha Ska Dakota First Nations Reserve (Saskatchewan,
Canada).  He is the co-director of antiracism programs for the Mennonite
Central Committee of the U.S.

Note: The Third Dakota Commemorative March Honors Ancestors with a
150-mile walk starting on November 7th.  Dakota people from the United
States and Canada will march through southern Minnesota in honor of their
ancestors who were forcibly removed from the Lower Sioux Agency to
concentration camps at Mankato and Fort Snelling in November of 1862.
For the Dakota this commemoration signifies an opportunity to remember and
grieve for the suffering endured by their ancestors as well as to relate a
perspective of the event which has rarely been told.  See attached for
details.

* * * *
Indian Uprising a one-half hour Public & Cultural Affairs program is for
and by Indigenous people broadcast each Sunday at 4:00 p.m. over KFAI 90.3
FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul.  Producer and host is Chris Spotted
Eagle.  KFAI Fresh Air Radio, www.kfai.org, is located at 1808 Riverside
Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55454, 612-341-3144.


--------7 of 17--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Indigenous films 11.05-08 6:30pm

MINNEAPOLIS, MN: NOV.5-8 INDIGENOUS FILM FESTIVAL
University of MN
Wiley Hall, 225--19TH Ave., West Bank campus, MInneapolis
Info: ContactMarissa (612)624-0243 or Elisa (612)330-1523

Sun.Nov.5, 6:30pm
See the documentary film TRUDELL, that explores the life & times, poetry
& politics of JOHN TRUDELL, lifelong member of AIM/American Inidan
Movement, poet and lead singer of the group GRAFFITI MAN.

MON. Nov.. 6,
6:30pm:BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
7:30pm:HOMELAND

TUE.Nov.7:
6 pm:OGITCHIDAG GIKINWOAMAAGAD
7:30pm: OIL & ICE

WED.Nov. 8: 6:30pmTOBACCO: A GIFT OF CHOICE
7:30pm:DRUMBEAT OF MOTHER EARTH


--------8 of 17--------

From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Criticize Israel? 11.05 7pm

"Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitic?" with Norman Finkelstein

Sunday, November 5, 7:00 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Avenue
South, Minneapolis. Norman Finkelstein is one of the more provocative,
thoughtful and actively critical voices speaking out against Israel's
policies toward the Palestinian people. He received his doctorate in 1988
from the Department of Politics, Princeton University for a thesis on the
theory of Zionism. He currently teaches political theory at DePaul
University in Chicago. He is the author of five books, including "Beyond
Chutpah: On the Misues of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History" and "the
Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering."
The son of Holocaust survivors, Finklestein is known for his writings
about the policies of the state of Israel, especially in the
Israel-Palestinian conflict and for his view that the Holocaust is being
exploited for personal financial gain and right-wing Israeli political
ends.

Organizations and others have attempted to censure this issue by exerting
pressure on institutions which provide a venue for exposure and discussion
of this issue. "To call this quite literally the last taboo in American
public life would not be an exaggeration. Abortion, homosexuality, the
death penalty, even the sacrosanct military budget can be discussed with
some freedom. The extermination of Native Americans can be admitted, the
morality of Hiroshima attacked, the national flag publicly committed to
the flames. But the systematic continuity of Israel's 52-year-old
oppression and maltreatment of the Palestinians is virtually
unmentionable, a narrative that has no permission to appear"-Edward Said.
Come hear Dr. Finkelstein's examination of this issue. Don't miss this
rare opportunity to hear Dr. Norm Finkelstein when WAMM Middle East
Committee brings him to the Twin Cities Sponsored by: WAMM Middle East
Committee. FFI: Call WAMM 612-827-5364


--------9 of 17--------

From: Kelly O'Brien <obrie136 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Rami/MidEast 11.06 12noon

"Making Sense of the Middle East: An Insider's Critical Analysis"
Rami Khouri, editor-at-large, The Daily Star (Lebanon) newspaper
Monday, November 6, 12:00 p.m. (reception to follow)
University of Minnesota, 235 Blegen Hall, west bank campus
Free and open to the public
Directions/parking: http://www.onestop.umn.edu/Maps/BlegH/
FFI: Institute for Global Studies, www.igs.cla.umn.edu; 612-624-9007

Rami Khouri, editor-at-large for the Beirut-based The Daily Star
newspaper, will speak at the University of Minnesota on Monday, November 6
at 12:00 p.m. His talk, "Making Sense of the Middle East: An Insider's
Critical Analysis," will take place in 235 Blegen Hall, on the
University's west bank.

Rami Khouri was recently appointed as director of the Issam Fares
Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs at American
University of Beirut (AUB). Author of "A View from the Arab World," an
internationally syndicated weekly political column at
www.agenceglobal.com, his commentary and articles center around the broad
range of roles played by the Middle East, its culture, politics and
religion worldwide.

A Palestinian-Jordanian who was educated in both the Middle East and the
U.S., Khouri returned to his homeland 35 years ago and now resides in
Beirut, Amman, and Nazareth. As an internationally syndicated political
columnist and author, he provides knowledgeable and fair commentary on the
Middle East for U.S. and international media. He has hosted "Encounter,"
a weekly current affairs talk show on Jordan Television, and "Jordan
Ancient Cultures," a weekly archaeology program on Radio Jordan.

Khouri's appearance is part of an ongoing series at the U of M titled The
Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy: Alternative Voices, sponsored by the
Institute for Global Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. Upcoming
speakers appearing this fall will include Virginia Tilley of the Human
Sciences Research Council in South Africa. More on the series can be found
at www.igs.cla.umn.edu.


--------10 of 17--------

From: Jonathan Fluck <jonathanfluck [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Pond photo op 11.06 2:30pm

Pond photo op at Elementary School

Jay Pond, 5th Congressional district candidate for the Green Party, will
be speaking to a fifth grade class at the Bethune Elementary School in
North Minneapolis at the invitation of its teacher, John Jacobse at 2:30pm
on Monday November 6.

Please call Jonathan Fluck, press representative for the Pond campaign at
612-600-7439 to facilitate clearance for the press.


--------11 of 17--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: American empire 101 11.06 5:30pm

Mondays, 9/11 to 11/13, 5:30 to 8 pm, free class "American Empire 101" with
U of M prof Richard Martinez, Jack Pine Center, 2815 E Lake, Mpls.
612-624-6005.


--------12 of 17--------

From: Jeanne Massey <jkmassey [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: IRV info session 11.06 7pm

Instant Runoff Voting Information Session

On November 7th, Minneapolis voters will have the opportunity to cast a
vote for Instant Runoff Voting and better democracy in Minneapolis.
Election Day is around the corner and the Better Ballot Campaign wants to
make sure Minneapolis voters know about Instant Runoff Voting before going
to the polls.

Have questions about Instant Runoff Voting? Still wondering what it is?
You are invited to learn more at any of the several upcoming information
sessions.  If you already know about Instant Runoff Voting, please tell
your friends, neighbors and family about it and invite them to an
information session to learn more.

Monday, November 6
Presentation to Audubon Neighborhood
Audubon Park, 2899 Fillmore St NE
7:00 pm
Details: http://www.betterballotcampaign.org/node/420


--------13 of 17--------

From: Ann Cader <anncader [at] visi.com>
Subject: Vote blackout 11.06 7pm

Friends for a Non-Violent World and the St. Paul Chapter of the NAACP
Present

AMERICAN BLACKOUT
"...a provocative look at Black disenfranchisement in the 2004 elections"
David Halbinger, The New York Times

monday november 6 7pm
golden thyme coffee shop 921 selby ave @ milton st st. paul, mn
free showing + discussion + action

In 2000 and 2004, Black Americans were systematically shut out of the
vote. This documentary details how this was done, as well as what happened
to the one woman who called out these crimes against civil rights in the
United States Congress: Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.

This documentary pulls double duty: on the one hand, it's a fine-tooth
examination of both the continued, unconstitutional marginalization of
Black voters in America. On he other, it details attempts by various
political and media machines to crush McKinney in retaliation for her
outspokenness on that subject and the illegality of the war on Iraq.

Featuring Also: Congressmembers John Conyers, John Lewis, Stephanie
Tubbs-Jones, Bernie Sanders and jounalists Greg Palast and Bob Fitrakis.

Civil Rights was supposed to fix the disenfranchisement of Black citizens.
It barely made a start before George Bush and his backers started fixing
elections to 'black out' Black votes.

Call (651) 917-0383 or 649-0520 for more information.


--------14 of 17--------

Mn Daily exclusion of Greens - comments & developments
Posts from John Kolstad, Anna Weggel, Lydia Howell, Annie Young, Diane
Peterson. -ed

--a--

[Brief repeat of earlier notice; then on to email responses. -ed]

The Minnesota Daily for Wednesday November 1 2006 is in two sections, A
and B.

B is 10 pages long, all of it entitled "Election Guide 2006."
B1 is a full page graphic.
B2 if full of names and pictures of candidates.
For governor: Pawlenty, Hatch, Hutchinson. No Pentel
For US Senator: Kennedy, Klobucar, Fitzgerald. No Cavlan.
..and so on, for AG & US Rep CD5

No Greens listed or pictured. 8 more pages, going into detail about R D
and I. Not a word on G.

The editor of this "guide" is Jim Hammerand, _jhammerand [at] mndaily.com_
(mailto:jhammerand [at] mndaily.com)
Please write to Jim immediately and let him know that this is unacceptable
for an academic, tax-payer funded, publication.

Of the LWV, MPR, and the UofM, the U gets MUCH more tax money than the
other two. So it should be the fairest. I find this exclusion the worst so
far.  Brazen. No explanation given by the editor - just exclusion. As many
as 80,000 - 90,00 U students may use this "guide" in Tuesday's election.
How many lost votes? --David Shove


--b--

Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2006 12:27:40 -0600
From: John Kolstad <jkolstad [at] millcitymusic.com>
To: aweggel [at] mndaily.com
Subject: RE: CAndidate Exclusions/Daily

Hi Anna,

Thank you for calling me last night.  Your explanation was that this was
not deliberate and just a matter of circumstances and that you felt very
bad about it.  I will be submitting a Opinion piece if I have time but I
think it is clear that what you must do to correct this very serious
mistake by the MN Daily is to print a front page story Monday, Nov 6,
apologizing to the students for this negligence and then print the names
and issue of each of the candidates on the ballot that you excluded in
your voter guide.

If you don't do this you may be liable to serious law suits. Your error,
whether deliberate or in error, very likely will unfairly affect the
coming election November 7.  Interfering with this election and misleading
the students are serious violations of a student newspaper and basic
tenets of journalism.  In addition, you have committed an act of
discrimination and showed favoritism to some parties and candidates over
others.  Depending on your status as a business, this act of
discrimination could bring a challenge to the very status of the MN Daily
as a business.

You still have time to remedy at least some of this ergregious error. I
urge you to immediately put your staff to work to remedy this outrageous
blunder.

I am a graduate of the U of MN 66' and my daughter is now a student .  I
have always held the MN Daily in high regard.  This is a great shock that
such an awful abuse could have been allowed.

I would like you to please respond to this post and let me know if you
intend to repair this harm and how.

Sincerely,
Papa John Kolstad/President, Mill City Music
Candidate for MN Attorney General


---c---

Anna T. Weggel wrote:

John,

You are welcome for calling you back. However, I did not say I felt very
bad about the guide and that it was just a matter of circumstance that we
took all minor party candidates out. Yes, it was our original plan to
include them, but because of spacing and staffing issues we changed our
plan.

No, we will not print an apology. And no, we are not liable to any sort
of law suits. We have consulted with our attorney who is an expert in
First Amendment law and he assures us that we had every right to prepare
the election guide in the manner that we did.

Anna Weggel
Co-Publisher and Editor in Chief
The Minnesota Daily
Office: 612-627-4070 x. 3020
Cell: 612-236-7066
aweggel [at] mndaily.com


---d----

Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2006 15:37:49 -0600
From: John Kolstad <jkolstad [at] millcitymusic.com>
To: Anna T. Weggel <aweggel [at] mndaily.com>
Cc: John Kolstad <jkolstad [at] millcitymusic.com>
Subject: Re: CAndidate Exclusions/Daily

Anna Weggel
Editor:  MN Daily
November 3, 2006

Dear Anna,

I am deeply disappointed in your response, to say the least, and your
attitude.  The First Amendment does not allow you to harm students and
individuals or to interfere with this election while receiving the
protection of the U of MN.  If you think that Students and MN Citizens
have no recourse you are mistaken.  At least now it is clear that you
deliberately harmed candidates legally and legitimately on the ballot.

You have deliberately deceived the students who contribute over $400,000
per year in student fees to the Daily.  Your bias and discrimination are
below the standards of the tabloids.

This low level of ethics and principle reflect on the University of MN,
the students who support you with $458,400.00/year, and your advertisers.
U of MN students and your advertisers will find out about your political
bias and discrimination and I predict there will be consequences for you
and the Daily.  And what is most appalling is that you have given coverage
to those who caused student tuition to skyrocket, The DFL and GOP, and
have excluded those that are proposing the State lower tuition, The Green
Party.

Clearly this is a case of prior censorship by you and the staff of the
Daily.  I do wonder if the arrogance and bias of the Daily editor and
staff is a reflection of the failure of the School of Journalism, the
University in general or if the Daily has been taken over by renegade,
antidemocratic students.

Sincerely,
John R Kolstad  U of MN  '66

-end Kolstad Weggle mail--


---e---

Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2006 12:16:16 -0600
From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Election Guide
Dear Mr.Hammerand,

As a 20 year veteran journalist, I must tell you that your exclusion of
Greens in the Mn Daily Voter's Guide fails Journalism 101 ethics. It's
also unacceptable in a publication paid for by tax dollars.

Real democracy provides real choice for the voters. Guess that's not
something you were taught in high school government class. Of course, it's
too late before Election Day to rectify.

I hope youll catch up on your homework before you start applying for
journalism jobs. You're woefully unqualified for employment in the free
press our democracy so despreately needs.

Lydia Howell, PULSE/KFAI, Minneapolis,MN


--f--

Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 12:26:56 -0600
From: Annie Young <anniey [at] visi.com>

I thought there were only about 40-50,000 students at the U.  Never the
less 5% or either number means about 2-5,000 votes that might be sitting
there. With Greens active on campus this all seems so ludicrous.  A
Voter's Guide usually lists ALL candidates.  How undemocratic can one
University be?

Annie Young GP-EO


--g--

Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 10:04:52 -0600
From: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at] comcast.net>

I just phoned the Daily, and spoke with editor Anna, whose last name seems
to be something like Wigel.  I asked why all the candidates did not
appear. She explained that all the candidates had been interviewed, but it
was it turned out to be too costly to include them all in the Guide so
they only included the major parties.  Also, a late-night staff change
also contributed to this "unfortunate" situation of a smaller publication.
She said she did not like this situation.  The Guide has been in the works
for months.  I asked if the excluded candidates couldn't still be
published in this Friday's, or Monday's, paper.  She replied it could not
be done.

Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 12:56:27 -0600
From: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at] comcast.net>

Besides students at the U of M, there are a great many faculty and staff
people who populate the campus.  I presume many of those employees also
routinely read the campus newspaper.

As Dave Shove commented, no explanation given by the editor.  How's that?
That smacks of airheadedness in journalism, if not something else.

His point about taxpayer money supporting the U is worth considering.  A
church, as a nonprofit institution, would be taken to severe task for such
a discriminatory communication on candidates.

The U scores another point for fascism, apparently.  I wonder if Channel
2's "Almanac" would make a story out of this?

Keen for Green democracy,


--------15 of 17--------

Midterm Elections 2006: It's Always Darkest, Right Before . . . It Goes
Completely Black
by Phil Rockstroh
www.dissidentvoice.org
November 2, 2006

"If voting could change the system, it would be illegal."
--Theodore Adorno

"I can't go on. I'll go on."
--Samuel Beckett

One's actions grow out of one's beliefs. Beliefs grow out of the ecosystem
of our collective lives known as culture. In this way, cultures are
organic: they germinate, sprout, grow, bloom, bear fruit, then fade in
accordance with the climes and terrain of the times.

America now grows: paranoid delusions and wishful thinking. These are our
national plant and staple crop, respectively.

A strange genus of the former has overgrown the land. It began as a small
hybrid, a member of the Bush family, growing mostly in southern and
western states. Some theories hold that its origins were in Connecticut,
although, when it was transplanted to Texas, it spread, unchecked, due to
the fact that there are few herbivores in the region to limit its
pernicious growth. There, in the dry Texas soil, it grew dense and thorny,
and thrived when watered with blood and oil.

Left unpruned and unregulated, it grew thicker than an ancient oak, larger
than a redwood. It became a Paranoia Sequoia, growing ever larger in the
hot greenhouse gases of global climate change; its massive branches spread
across the world, casting a shadow of fear and revulsion beneath it.

And it has bore strange and terrible fruit, indeed -- as well as
proliferate assorted nuts.

Unfortunately, its oily wood limits its use as timber that might be used
to build anything constructive: Its wood is mostly suitable for crucifixes
and coffins. Yet, due to its aforementioned oily base, it can be used to
build a bonfire large enough to set the world ablaze.

At present, the people of the United States are lost in a dark woods
overgrown by these sun-occluding trees. Some among us have taken to
ingesting hallucinogenic mushrooms (the aforementioned staple crop)
sprouting from the forest floor. Upon ingestion, they tell of having
strange visions involving a covey of Democratic dwarfs who will fell the
dark forest with their K Street-provided axes.

In addition, borne of our desperation, many of us dream, two years hence,
Prince Biden the Bland or St. Hillary, mounted upon her triangulating
donkey of war, will come to our rescue and lead us from this dark and
terrible place.

Such foolishness is understandable within the context of American culture:
Our decaying empire has become an over-the-counter culture for legally
medicated Lotus Eaters. Yet the effects of the meds are palliative. Prozac
poops-out. Rush Limbaugh's Oxycontin certainties transmogrify into detox
deliriums. The Republican Woodstock of the so-called "Clash of
Civilizations" becomes the Altamont of Guantanamo.

Moreover, the comedown is going to be a real bitch. Heads will throb,
stomachs will churn, when the realization arrives: we've become addicted
to a corrupt system, rigged for the benefit of a few, ruthless
corporatists -- and maintained and enabled by both our political parties.
Accordingly, the lives of us ordinary Americans (who are dependent on this
system because we have no choice in the matter) are no longer in our
control. Somewhere along the way, our freedom to choose went missing --
was waylaid -- as we were pimped into wage slavery for the profits of the
corporate class.

I must confess: I wish there existed drugs that provided an effect
powerful enough to allow me to hallucinate visions of hope.

Instead, I will proffer this stark fantasy: I believe, at this late hour,
the second best thing that could come to pass in our crumbling republic is
for the total destruction of the Democratic Party -- and then from its
ashes to rise a party of true progressives.

Now, I believe the best thing that could happen for our country would be
for the leaders of The Republican Party -- out of a deep sense of shame
(as if they even possessed the capacity for such a thing) regarding the
manner they have disgrace their country and themselves -- to commit
seppuku (the act of ritual suicide practiced by disgraced leaders in
feudalist Japan) on national television.

Because there's no chance of that event coming to pass, I believe the
dismantling of the Democratic Party, as we know it, is in order. It is our
moribund republic's last, best hope -- if any is still possible.

Regarding this, I hope I'm proven to be dead-ass, Flat Earth Theory,
Warren Commission wrong.

How have I come to this despairing conclusion?

First a caveat: While I harbor little affection for nor feel any affinity
with the corrupt establishment of the Democratic Party, I don't believe,
as is the case with the present leadership of the Republican party,
they're a klavern of insane, death-smitten apocalypticists. However, I do
believe that a craven desire for power and privilege has transformed them
into morally bankrupt, lickspittle, corporate stooges.

For this, I believe, they have disgraced themselves as well. Does anyone
believe that the denizens of K Street have, as of late, begun enriching
the coffers of the Democratic Party because the lobbyist class now harbors
a secret desire to create a system where a greater diversity of views can
be promulgated? Yes, and Jack the Ripper stalked the streets of East
London because he wanted to draw attention to the wretched plight of
underclass women in class-stratified Victorian England.

Ergo, regardless of which political party controls congress, the empire
will continue to unravel. Corporate "leaders", like feudal lords, will
continue to ruthlessly wield power and have dominion over our lives no
matter the outcome of the midterm elections of 2006.

The mind-shredding propaganda of the so called "free market" will continue
to be our culture's defining mythos; its corrupt priesthood will continue
to fleece their dazed and hapless flock.

American roadways and so called freeways will remain as clogged as the
arteries of the junk food bloated commuters, sitting stalled and stupefied
in traffic, within their grotesque motor vehicles, in the time-grinding
limbo created by the international petroleum state.

--
Overgrown
by Angela Tyler-Rockstroh

Wealth, power, and privilege will continue to be consolidated by the
already wealthy, powerful, and privileged. Public schools will continue to
fail to educate. The over-fished, pollution-afflicted, global
warming-decimated oceans and seas will continue to die.

Official lies will still proliferate like swarming locust. As a result,
the public will grow outraged and demand more of its own rights and civil
liberties be curtailed. The poor will disproportionately suffer while the
rich will sleep the untroubled sleep of the kleptocratic class.

As, all the while, our fabled Shining City on the Hill will suffer ongoing
brownouts and power outages.

Amid all of this disorder and dissolution what possible difference could
it make to vote for either a corporatist Republican or a corporatist
Democratic candidate?

The runaway entropic decay of the present system cannot be reversed by
political cant.

Ergo, this year, the voting public is being offered a choice between
imbibing the Empire Lite of the Democratic Party or the Republicans'
Empire Mad Dog 20/20. Accordingly, we've been provided with choice number
one: stick with the Republicans and continue on with our planet-destroying
bender (that will end in either the detox hotel named the Limits of
Imperial Power or our being fitted with a toe tag in the Morgue of History
reading, "Deceased. Cause of death: expired after succumbing to Acute
Empire Intoxication Poisoning"). Or choice number two: the Democrats'
covert flask-sipping, internal organ-rotting, problem drinking of the
heady drafts of corporate corruption. In short, both of the two major
political parties have been privy to the bacchanal of bribery that passes
for business as usual in the present political/economic system.

A vivid illustration of the hopeless mindset of chronically diffident
Democrats is their failure to demand the use of traceable paper ballots
this election cycle. In this way, they're analogous to a timid,
denial-ridden spouse whose mate returns home, with smeared lipstick and
disheveled clothing, sans undergarments, reeking of Jack Daniels, all the
while, defensively asserting her fidelity -- after an impromptu road trip
with an outlaw motorcycle gang -- and her credulous spouse believing the
whole episode has strengthened the relationship by building trust between
them.

Yet dread gnaws beneath the surface of the collective awareness of
liberals and progressives. What belies Democrats inability to agitate for
meaningful change is: At a deeper level, they, as is the case with most of
us Americans, realize that, in order to live in the manner to which we
have become accustomed, we must continue our complicity in the crimes of
empire. Hence, they realize they would be politically burned at the stake
if they ever ventured to utter such heresy aloud.

For, deep down, we know that our actions are not only unethical, but
unsustainable as well. Our minds have difficultly grasping this fact; its
ramifications are too overwhelming. The knowledge -- that we maintain "our
way of life" on the bartered blood of the innocent -- is too unnerving.
Its implications are too damning; therefore, we banish such thoughts to
the darkest regions of our unconscious.

It would seem: We can't see the forest through ourselves.

We whimper into the abyss for reassurance.

The abyss replies: "It's always darkest, right before ... it goes
completely black."

In this manner, we unwittingly carry the darkness of empire. Perhaps, if
we Americans were to unburden ourselves of the illusion of our
exceptionalism, our load would lighten. It would be easier to support the
load, if we relieved ourselves of the weight of so many lies,
self-deceptions and rationalizations, as well as the other onerous
byproducts of our denial.

At this point, given the abysmal levels of mass ignorance, self-deception
and delusion at large, are we Americans even up to the task? Or has our
pervasive disconnect from civic life deteriorated to such an extent that a
majority of us are even capable of apprehending the dire circumstances
confronting the nation? (It would seem that not only have we chosen to
ignore an elephant standing in the living room of our collective
awareness, but we have chosen to cover him over with nondescript
upholstery and now regard him as part of the furniture.)

My motive for bringing this up is not to be merely provocative; I'm asking
because I'm chilled to the core of my being afraid. Regarding it all, I'm
in the thrall of a sitting bolt upright in bed, quaking with night sweats
terror.

Nor am I coming from a lofty moral plane on this one: I'm coming from a
pounding upon the ground despair -- a scanning the line of the horizon
searching for any signs of hope desperation -- a shaking my fist at the
indifferent sky rage.

As you may have surmised, I'm outright mortified as to where we as a
nation are headed, regardless of the outcome of Tuesday's midterm
elections. Given the bender of destruction we've been on, our nation needs
far more help than a simple changing of the party affiliation of our
corporate enablers -- it needs an intervention.

But that line of thinking would probably lead to a seizing of power by an
Oprah/Doctor Phil junta -- and the empire would still collapse, beneath
the weight of self-help platitudes and positive affirmations.

Phil Rockstroh, a self-described auto-didactic, gasbag monologist, is a
poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be
contacted at: philangie2000 [at] yahoo.com.

Angela Tyler-Rockstroh is a Broadcast Designer/Animator who has worked
with major Networks such as Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, HBO Family,
PBS, as well as with Flickerlab on the animation "Bonanza" sequence of
Michael Moore's documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11. She currently is a
wage-slave for HBO, but in her spare time creates satirical graphics for
Phil Rockstroh and graphics for Moore's forthcoming documentary, Sicko, on
the subject of the American health care system.


--------16 of 17--------

Air America's ABC Blacklist: The Real Story
by Josh Silver and Robert W. McChesney
Friday, November 3, 2006
CommonDreams.org

This week we learned that some 90 major corporations demanded that their
ads be pulled from radio stations that run Air America programming,
demonstrating the fundamental challenge facing everyone working to promote
critical journalism and a vibrant free press.

First off, let's clarify why this is taking place: The crime isn't that
Air America is partisan. All or most of these firms advertise on
politically conservative talk radio programs and/or stations. And the
crime isn't even being "liberal." Some of these advertisers have moderate
or liberal executives who donate to Democratic candidates and are far from
rabid conservatives.

So what is the problem? While "liberal" Air America clearly favors big D
Democrats, unlike virtually all other programming on commercial radio and
television, it gives airtime to reports that are critical of corporations
and the powerful politicians they keep in Washington.

This is the heart of the problem: Air America commits a crime called
journalism. Almost none of the so-called conservative radio shows or
networks do any semblance of actual reporting. They merely pontificate --
repeating talking points that seem to be emailed straight from Karl Rove's
laptop.

Air America does its share of pontificating as well, and we leave it to
others to compare its integrity to that of Limbaugh and Hannity. But we
can say that Air America journalism occasionally focuses on corporate
malfeasance. It examines closely the deeply corrupt relationship between
corporate power and government officials.

This brand of journalism is found almost nowhere else on the commercial
dial. It is brandished as "liberal" because it does not practice
journalism as stenography to those in power. This is the same reason that
Bill Moyers doesn't have any of these 90 firms lining up to underwrite his
PBS reporting.

So what should we learn from this episode?

1) Commercial media are highly concentrated and corporate advertisers have
massive budgets, giving their programming decisions profound implications.
According to its own Web site, ABC Radio has more than 4,400 affiliate
radio stations reaching nearly 105 million people nationwide. Monopoly
media power translates into significant political power and that is
dangerous. This is a big deal.

2) Media are concentrated in the hands of massive corporations who are
only concerned with profits. Anything that reduces or threatens those
profits is eliminated: Investigative journalism because it's too
expensive; government accountability because it pisses off politicians and
regulators who dole out billion-dollar policy favors like media
"deregulation"; corporate accountability because it angers corporations
like the long list that pulled Air America funding. Good journalism can be
bad for business.

3) Note the presence of the U.S. Post Office and U.S. Navy on the list of
advertisers who have blackballed Air America. It is an outrage that public
monies are being deployed to push the ideological agenda of the Bush
Administration, or any other administration for that matter. This is one
more example of the corruption of governance in Washington, where big
money and political power are picking over the bones of democracy.

What's left? Timid, lapdog journalism that fills our TV screens and radio
dials. A newspaper market dominated by a handful of massive firms that
suffer the same symptoms. Cheap to produce reality shows, celebrity fluff,
regurgitated press releases, spin assessing other spin, and
entertainment-as-news that titillates but rarely informs.

Obviously we have to stop the corruption in Washington that allows this
"business as usual." But there are three specific and crucial areas that
demand our attention:

First, we must stop further media consolidation. This episode vividly
illustrates the peril of monopoly media power. Bush's man at the Federal
Communications Commission is actively moving to lift some of the last
remaining ownership limits. The dream scenario for Big Media: eliminate
ownership rules so one company can own all the media in a town, and have
one newsroom serve all outlets. Heaven for the conglomerate; hell for
everyone else. Public backlash stopped a similar move in 2003, and the
battle is being fought again at www.stopbigmedia.com.

Second, we must understand that virtually all media - TV, radio, phone -
will soon be delivered digitally through the Internet. With increasing
speeds, every Web site holds the revolutionary potential to become a TV or
radio network, breaking the corporate bottleneck on media access and
distribution. But today, cable and phone companies are mounting a
full-court press in Washington to privatize the Internet, and make them
the gatekeepers to all media - by removing the long-standing principle of
"Net Neutrality" on the Internet. Fortunately, public backlash is winning
the day (so far), buoyed by the SavetheInternet.com Coalition at
www.savetheinternet.com.

Third, noncommercial media, including PBS, NPR and community broadcasters,
must be well funded and insulated from political pressure. The United
States has the lowest per capita funding of public broadcasting in the
industrialized world. Our dysfunctional system has the president
appointing partisan operatives to the board that funds PBS and NPR
programs. Once again, the public must be engaged, and the public
broadcasting system must be overhauled and reinvigorated.

Critical journalism is bad business for media corporations and their
advertisers. It is time to engage the public and demand a media system
that will inform and protect America, rather than one that is, in the
words of Jon Stewart, "hurting us."

Josh Silver and Robert W. McChesney are co-founders of the nonpartisan
media reform organization Free Press.

[We also need to break up big corps into much small ones, and get rid of
corporate personhood. Letting money-crazed berzerking billionaires have
tanks (mega-corps) to safely attack us has to be the height of insanity.
-ed]


--------17 of 17-------

Post-Cold War Decline
How the US Lost Latin America  [O may it be so! -ed]
By JOSHUA SPERBER
CounterPunch
November 4 / 5, 2006

The end of the Cold War can be seen as both the best and worst thing to
ever befall the United States. On one hand, the USSR's precipitous
collapse represented total victory for the US. In one dramatic moment, the
US's primary military rival was defeated, while the putative threat of
communism appeared to suffer an irrevocable setback, if not absolute
historical refutation, with the demise of its oldest and largest
nation-state sponsor; US anti-Soviet policies were perceived as
vindicated, while the global conditions for US dominance pursued since the
Wilson Administration, as described by Neil Smith - namely, an open world
market - had finally arrived. US hubris was as sizable as it was
predictable. On the other hand, the disappearance of the US's primary
rival introduced enormous and potentially insurmountable difficulties.

Massive military spending subsidizing the US economy found itself without
political justification for the first time since FDR's Lend Lease Act
rescued capitalism from itself; an enormously effective propaganda device
used to suppress domestic labor and maintain social control had been lost;
the disappearance of an ostensibly alternative political-economic ideology
that had previously inspired the US into undergoing domestic civil rights
reforms threatens to create a newfound and possibly terminal complacency;
and the nominal raison d'etre for an aggressive foreign policy
"protecting" allies from the alleged Soviet threat, while toppling and
upholding rebels and servants in interventions around the Third World, has
been eliminated. The ramifications of the end of the Cold War can be seen
domestically and internationally, and politically, economically,
militarily and ideologically. This paper will examine the effects of those
ramifications on the US relationship with Latin America.

When we say that the US "lost" Latin America we are of course adopting the
language of US planners who seek to "have" it, that is, who seek to keep
it from foreign competitors as stipulated in the Monroe Doctrine, while
maintaining internal rulers amenable to US corporate investment and
extraction. The US has lost on both counts, as imperial rivals,
specifically China, Noam Chomsky notes, are cultivating financial, arms
and energy agreements with Latin American states, while growing numbers of
those states are increasingly and flagrantly ignoring US orders. The US's
traditional response of forcible removal has apparently been presently
neutralized, at least in Venezuela, where the 2002 attempted overthrow of
Hugo Chavez was a humiliating failure, resulting in the solidification of
the targeted regime. Likewise, the US's traditional day-to-day method of
dominance over Latin America, that of IMF/WTO economic policies expediting
the massive and regular transfer of Latin American wealth to the US, is
also being eschewed by emboldened nationalist leaders.

With the collapse of the socialist bloc, large areas hitherto quarantined
from the West became exposed to capitalist penetration, dialectically
creating the conditions for the US's ensuing overreach. The economic
aspects of this overreach, however, to a fair degree transcend the Cold
War. It was in 1973 that capitalism's postwar Golden Age finally came
tumbling to an end. The crisis in overproduction/ under-consumption would
prove intractable, triggering the US's shift from productive to finance
capitalism and the advent of a debt-based economy. Though the US
effectively employed economic means to thwart rivals from the 1973 oil
crisis through the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, as David
Harvey writes, the deindustrialization associated with its greater shift
to a consumption-driven economy weakened the nation internally while its
growing massive debt significantly weakened its leverage vis-a-vis foreign
rivals. The international equilibrium that had been so totaled by WWII,
which had left much of the world in ruins and the US vastly enriched, was
irrepressibly reconfiguring. The Cold War's end, depriving the US of its
role as the chief defender of the West against the USSR, introduced a
greater political component to the intensifying economic rivalry between
the US and its allies, specifically its Western European allies who were,
in fits and starts, moving toward economic, political and nascent military
unification driven by both longstanding US economic dominance and the
hastening decline of the rate of profit.

Growing differences between the US and its Cold War allies - not to
mention its adversaries - descended into total and acrimonious conflict
over the US/UK 2003 war on Iraq. Immanuel Wallerstein asserts that the US
war against Iraq constituted a war on France and Germany, noting that it
was the first time in the history of the UN that the US was unable to win
Security Council passage of a resolution it badly wanted. France and
Germany, among others, were indeed defying US attempts to isolate and
strangle Iraq, elevating its own energy, financial and political interests
above the US's attempt at disciplining the recalcitrant oil producer.
Hussein's threats to convert oil sales from dollars to euros, which would
have benefited the EU at potentially great US expense, could further be
seen as likely to have raised the hackles of US leaders. Indeed, the
latter were particularly embittered as they recognized that the military
destruction of Iraq's ossified nationalized economy would create massive
investment opportunities benefiting the global economy as a whole. Their
erstwhile allies, for their part, opposed the war as a means of, beyond
protecting their own positions, opposing the narrower US interests that
attacking Iraq did in fact also advance. Beyond the general domestic
benefits of warfare - expanding executive power, weakening civil
liberties, furthering nationalism and weakening labor, etc. - the US
attacked Iraq with the aim of controlling access to the Middle Eastern oil
"spigot"  while encircling China with military bases, securing US
dominance for future decades as outlined in the Project for a New American
Century, as Harvey notes.

The war has, of course, not gone as planned. As a result, the US has
suffered incalculable political damage - partially due to the
incontrovertible exposure of its prewar claims as fabrications. It is
badly overextended militarily, strengthening the hands of regional
adversaries, namely Iran, and its treasury is hemorrhaging. In short, as
Paul Kennedy presciently saw, it appears that the US's difficulties in
Iraq are hastening what was being fended off: US decline.

It is more this material weakening of the US global position than the blow
to its political credibility that pertains to Latin America. Latin
America, as opposed to Western Europe, has long had good reason to view
the US with hostility and suspicion. The US has repeatedly undermined
democratic nationalist heads of state, overthrowing Arbenz in 1954
Guatemala and supporting the military coup against Goulart ten years later
in Brazil. In 1973 Chile, the CIA orchestrated the overthrow of the
socialist democrat Allende, replacing him with Augusto Pinochet who went
on to establish a murderous police state. After the US-supported dictator
Somoza was overthrown in 1979 Nicaragua, the US created death squads who
employed non-state terrorism as a means to destroying the popular
Sandinista Government. The US established similar death squads in
Guatemala and El Salvador, murdering hundreds of thousands of people.
Today the US supports a government in Colombia engaged in some of the
worst human rights abuses in the hemisphere.

If US-supported repression, however, is a means to an end, the end largely
involves economic domination. The US has more often than not been able to
achieve this more directly, if not less violently in its effects, through
the imposition of IMF/WTO economic mandates, often culminating in brutal
so-called austerity programs. For creditor nations, these programs'
success was their failure, as the dramatically depreciated standards of
living resulting from foreign-imposed neo-liberalism in Argentina, for
example, discredited that program there once and for all. The political
fallout of the Argentine crisis - where the poor overtook highways and
rebelled in food protests, while the wealthier fought cops upon being
deprived of their capital - has contributed to the US's failure to impose
the Free Trade Area of the Americas in Latin America, an attempt to expand
NAFTA as a means of matching the EU's increasing economic cohesion and the
ascent of China.

The backlash against IMF/WTO neo-liberalism and its US sponsor is
increasingly articulated through indigenous people's movements, which have
obtained state power in Bolivia. Indigenous movement's grievances,
platforms and rhetoric, buttressed by the strength of innumerable
anti-capitalist movements with their annual meetings at the World Social
Forum in Porto Alegre, arguably represent the greatest and most cogent
refutation of global US-led capitalism in the post-Cold War era. That the
US is unable to condemn these movements as Soviet proxies, but must either
attack them through the baldly oppressive and ideologically prostrate "War
on Terror," itself a rhetorical substitute for the equally impotent "War
on Drugs," badly weakens its hand. No matter how hollow and hypocritical
the US's Cold War rhetoric had been it at least had the retrogressive
Soviet police state to reference. With the collapse of the Soviet Union,
US imperialism is growingly naked - revealing its indubitable
oppressiveness among masses whose revolutionary sentiment "another world
is possible" is a direct challenge to the US nationalism that is an
internal precondition for its rule. At the same time, even removed gloves
can do little when their fists are being swallowed in the Middle East.

While the growing brazenness of US extra-legal violence reveals and
exacerbates its weakening position, the US is simultaneously suffering as
a result of the internal contradictions of its official, and unavoidable,
economic policies. NAFTA was designed to both alleviate capitalism's
invariable overproduction crises by opening up the Mexican market to
US-subsidized agribusiness, while also creating investment outlets freed
from environmental, labor and other regulations impeding foreign trade and
profit. While reactionaries such as Ross Perot were correct in predicting
that NAFTA would accelerate US de-industrialization and lead to massive
job losses, its defenders were equally correct to condemn nationalist
capitalists like Perot as nave isolationists ignoring that capitalism's
quintessence is perpetual expansion. NAFTA's adoption less reflected a
political decision than a bilateral response to increased economic
competition within post-1973 capitalism, that is, falling rates of profit
combined with decreasing areas of investment.

One irony of present-day capitalism is that the deleterious effects of its
insatiable rapaciousness are, via one manner or another, increasingly
boomeranging on the imperial powers. NAFTA assuredly devastated Mexico,
condemning myriad peasant farmers to poverty. Unable to compete in a
market flooded with US-subsidized cheap grains, rural farmers overwhelmed
the cities. In the north, the brutal anti-union maquiladoras resulted in
heavily polluted, crime-ridden towns left for dead by the ravages of
capital departed for yet cheaper markets across the Pacific. This
declining standard of living led increased numbers of Mexican workers,
combined with refugees of the earlier Central American killing fields, to
migrate to the US.

In Working the Boundaries, Nicholas De Genova describes the manner in
which the inflow of Latino/a migrant workers benefits the US economy, as
it is able to assault labor as a whole through making vulnerable an
underpaid racialized subclass by, rather than deporting it, legally
designating it perpetually "deportable." Though benefiting the economy,
the stable political basis required for capitalism is being undermined by
job loss amid the persistent decline in the standard of living. US fascist
movements like the so-called Minutemen have astutely diverted growing
hostility associated with worsening labor and living conditions through
obfuscating economic realities while decrying the effects of a degraded
"culture." Composed of and aided by neo-Nazi organizations, they, like
liberals, accept borders, states and capitalism as natural givens, while
seeking to "defend" white supremacy against the Latino/a "aliens."
Notably, the Minutemen and other fascist organizations are increasingly
disdainful of George W. Bush, himself the helpless captive of corporate
and state exigencies. The negative effects of furthering capitalism within
an ideological context that precludes mass dissemination of the radical
critique of capitalism has resulted in tendencies so potentially powerful
they threaten to subordinate material state economic interests to
ideological ones.

That this fascist threat is occurring after the end of the Cold War
indicates that if the US's pro-freedom language of the Cold War-years was
rhetoric and bluff, sometimes called, the loss of an apparent ideological
foe within the context of advancing capitalist crises relegates
present-day declarations of "freedom" an anachronistic folly. Apart from
the present and future domestic victims of an increasingly racist and
aggressive US, the collapse of an "American" ideology premised on
perpetually expanding borders and "freedom" harms the long-term health of
a state needing though doggedly avoiding reform, as Eric Hobsbawm foresaw
in his Age of Extremes. The US appears to have played its last hand, and
brute force is a prescription for, if not total collapse a la the USSR,
precipitous and inevitable decline.

Joshua Sperber lives in New York. He can be reached at:
jsperber4 [at] yahoo.com

[Now if the US ruling class that has lost Latin America would only go on
to lose North America as well. We could relocate them on a moon of an
outer planet and let them "win" it. -ed]


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