Progressive Calendar 11.13.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 17:18:49 -0800 (PST)
               P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     11.13.06

1. MN labor v war    11.13 7pm

2. KFAI/spirit/Venez 11.14 11am
3. Iraq              11.14 11:30am
4. Science/politics  11.14 12.15pm
5. CCHT housing      11.14 4:30pm
6. SciFollies        11.14 5:30pm
7. IRV victory party 11.14 5:30pm
8. GMOs              11.14 6pm
9. MAP/peace/econ    11.14 6pm
10. 9-11-Truth/film  11.14 6:30pm
11. Farmworker union 11.14 7pm
12. Invest/justice   11.14 7pm
13. 21C genocide     11.14 7:30pm
14. Cuban Five/CTV   11.14 8pm

15. K&B Christison - 110th Congress to screw Palestine
16. PC Roberts     - The Democrats and civil liberties

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From coreymattson [at] Mon Nov 13 17:15:00 2006
From: Corey Mattson <coreymattson [at]>
Subject: MN labor v war 11.13 7pm

It's probably too late for this announcement, but I thought I'd give it a
try. Corey

MN Labor Against War Meeting
Strategies to Build a Strong Labor Contingent for the Antiwar Actions in
March 2007: the 4th Anniversary of the Iraq War!

7pm Monday November 13
St. Paul Labor Center 411 Main (Mahoney) St., St. Paul
(Look for directions to Basement Conference Room on arrival)

It is not too early to plan for March 2007, the 4th Anniversary of the
Iraq War. Demonstrations and other actions of protest are sure to be
carried out across the country around March 17-19. To that end, we should
begin discussion on the best strategies to mobilize Labor's resources in
building a strong contingent. Please come prepared with your thoughts for
any campaign plans that will lead us to realize our hope for a large and
powerful contingent at the protests on the weekend of March 17-19 and

It may be hard to work out any details but at the very least, we can come
up with areas of focus, broad strategies and finding out what are the
unknown variables and the next steps in figuring them out.

Contact Info:
Corey Mattson 612-298-0920 or Teddy Shibabaw 612-807-3196

--------2 of 16--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: KFAI/spirit/Venez 11.14 11am

Tue.11/14: Venezuela/Spritual Progressives  KFAI/11am

Tune into "Catalyst" to hear conversations with activists for two upcoming
conferences (Sat.Nov.18):the Venezuela Solidarity Committee and the
Network of Spiritual Progressives.

Venezuela continues to be an inspiration under the leadership of Hugo
Chavez--while the Bush Adminstration also continues to threaten that
nation with "regime change" (by interfering with Venezuelan elections or
more coupe atttempts).

The Network of Spiritual Progressives are an emerging counter to the
religious right in the U.S. Led by people like Sojourners editor,
evangelical Jim Wallis, Rabbi Michael Lerner and African-American
scholar-activist and minister Cornel West.

For info about Venezuela, check out: For
informaiton about the Minnesota chapter of the Network of Spritual
Progressives and their conference, see: "Catalyst" airs
Tuesdays, 11am, hosted by Lydia Howell, on KFAI Radio:90.1 fm Mpls,
106.7fm St. Paul.All shows archived for 2 weeks at

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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Iraq 11.14 11:30am

Tuesday, 11/14, 11:30 am, YSA presentation on "The Case Against the
Occupation of Iraq," Christenson Center lounge of Augsburg College, Mpls.
anathoth [at]

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From: lawvalue <lawvalue [at]>
Subject: Science/politics 11.14 12.15pm

The Lunch Series on the Societal Implications of the Life Sciences will
present Prof. Holly Doremus, JD, PhD (University of California, Davis
School of Law, Member Scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform) on
Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at the Coffman Memorial Union Theater from

Prof. Doremus will lecture on "The Relationship of Science and Politics in
Environmental Policy Making:  Can This Marriage Be Saved?" Continuing
education credit is offered (see below).

About the Lecture:
Controversial environmental policy decisions require a complex mix of
technical and value judgments.  Although both science and democracy have
legitimate roles to play in making these decisions, the two are frequently
perceived to be at odds.  This talk will explore the sources of the
tension between science and politics, and examine strategies for combining
sound science with sound politics.

About Prof. Doremus:
Holly Doremus is a Professor of Law at the University of California Davis
and a Member Scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform.  She also
teaches in the Ecology graduate program, and has taught at Boalt Hall
School of Law, the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley, and at the
Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara.
She received her BS in biology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT; PhD
in plant physiology from Cornell University; and her JD from the
University of California, Berkeley.  Prior to joining the faculty at UC
Davis, Doremus clerked for Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and practiced law in Corvallis, Oregon. She
has written extensively about environmental and natural resources law and
policy, with particular emphasis on biodiversity conservation and on the
interplay of science and policy.  She is currently engaged in
collaborative, cross-disciplinary research and training projects regarding
the use of science in natural resource policy, adaptive management in
hydropower licensing, and responses to biological invasions.

The event is free and open to the public.  Reservations are strongly
encouraged. Lunches are provided to those who RSVP by November 10, 2006 to
lawvalue [at] or 612-625-0055 (please indicate if vegetarian/vegan).
Registration is required if you wish to receive continuing education
credits (CLE , CME, CNE). Those without reservations are welcome to
attend, but should bring a lunch.  Coffman Union parking is available in
the East River Road Garage on Delaware Street behind Coffman Union. Maps
may be found at  The theater is
located on the 1st floor of Coffman Union.

Continuing Education Information:
This lecture is intended for students, faculty, researchers, scientists,
policymakers, and interested community members.  Following this lecture,
participants should be able to:

*Understand current issues in environmental policymaking.
*Discuss the methods and limitations of economic evaluation of
environmental regulations.

Application for CME and CNE Credits filed with the University of Minnesota
Office of Continuing Medical Education.  Determination of credit is
pending. Continuing legal education credit (CLE) for attorneys will be
requested (1.0 hours).

This lecture is the second lecture in the 2006-07 Lunch Series.  This
year's Lunch Series focuses on "Science and Politics:  Controversies in
Regulation and National Security."  For more information on upcoming
events, visit

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From: Philip Schaffner <PSchaffner [at]>
Subject: CCHT housing 11.14 4:30pm

Learn how Central Community Housing Trust is responding to the affordable
housing shortage in the Twin Cities. Please join us for a 1-hour Building
Dreams presentation.

Minneapolis Sessions: Nov 14 at 4:30p; Nov 30 at 7:30a
St. Paul Sessions: Nov 15 at 7:30a; Dec 6 at 4:30p

We are also happy to present Building Dreams at your organization, place
of worship, or business. Space is limited, please register online at: or call Philip Schaffner at 612-341-3148 x237

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From: Sarah Caflisch <scaflisch [at]>
Subject: SciFollies 11.14 5:30pm

Tuesday, November 14, 5:30 p.m.
Follies of Science
Kieran's Irish Pub, 330 2nd Ave S, downtown Minneapolis

Promises for the future were made; some sadly broken and some
unfortunately honored. While we didn't get household jetpacks and personal
serving-drinks-by-the-pool robots, or even our orgasmatrons, we did get
things like the super-fantastic building materials of the future-asbestos,
lead, and foam.

So just what was the utopian master plan for future households during the
early twentieth century? Follies of Science is the keeper of such
knowledge, offering glimpses into sparkling, smooth lead paint covering
our living room walls, dazzling DDT foggers killing mosquitoes dead,
alchemists transforming atoms into gold and diamonds, homeowners living in
"The Foam House of the Future," and, of course, commuters blasting away on
their jet packs to work. Utopian indeed.

Aptly illustrated with full-color and black-and-white classic imagery, the
visions of the future spread across page after page, pulling the reader in
to what could have been and what shouldn't have been.

Eric Dregni has written nine books including Midwest Marvels, The Scooter
Bible, Ads that Put America on Wheels, and Grazie a Dio non Sono
Bolognese. As a 2004 Fulbright Fellow to the Norwegian University of
Science and Technology in Trondheim, Eric researched Scandinavian culture
and roots for a forthcoming book. His time is divided between Italy,
Norway, and Minneapolis where he is the curator for El Dorado Conquistador
Museum and guitarist for the mock-rock trio Vinnie & the Stardüsters.

Jonathan Dregni is a futurist and sci-fi enthusiast, raising a family
midway between the soon-to-be domed cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul


--------7 of 16--------

From: Darrell Gerber <darrellgerber [at]>
Subject: IRV victory party 11.14 5:30pm

The IRV Victory Celebration Party.
Please try to RSVP before hand so we can have an idea of the number of
people coming.

Minneapolis Voters Choose Instant Runoff Voting! Instant Runoff Voting
sailed to victory in Minneapolis yesterday by a vote of 65 to 35 percent.
Thank you all for helping make this grassroots campaign such an enormous
success!  You have devoted your time, talent, money and support and now
it's time to celebrate!  

Tuesday, November 14, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Van Dusen Mansion, 1900 LaSalle Ave
info [at]; 612-850-6897

We are not alone! Instant Runoff Voting passed in three other places where
it was on the ballot yesterday: Pierce County, WA - 53 to 47% Oakland, CA
- 68 to 32% Davis, CA - 55 to 45%

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From: Shanai Matteson <matt0423 [at]>
Subject: GMOs 11.14 6pm

Genetically Modified Organisms
Tuesday, November 14, 6 p.m.
Varsity Theater, Dinkytown
$5 suggested donation

This month Cafe Scientifique explores the science and politics of
genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. What is a GMO? How and why have
researchers been modifying the genetic makeup of plants and animals, and
what are the possible risks and benefits of this type of research?
Speakers from the University of Minnesota will discuss the science as well
as the policy concerns of genetically modified orgranisms.

With Guest Speakers:
 Professor Anne R. Kapuscinski, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Department
of Fisheries and Conservation Biology, Sea Grant Extension Specialist in
Biotechnology and Aquaculture.
 Jennifer Kuzma, Ph.D., Interim Director and Assistant Professor at the
Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy, Humphrey Institute,
University of Minnesota.

Cafe Scientifique is a happy hour forum for science and culture hosted by
the Bell Museum of Natural History.  For more information or to see a list
of scheduled events visit

Shanai Matteson Cafe Scientifique / Film Program Coordinator Bell Museum
of Natural History 612.624.3808 shanai.matteson [at]

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From: Jane Powers <janepow [at]>
Subject: MAP/peace/econ 11.14 6pm

Event:  11th Annual Peace Celebration & The People Speak 2006:  Jack
Nelson-Pallmeyer speaking on the "Economics of Peace"

Tuesday, November 14
6:00 to 9:30 pm
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church,  511 Groveland Ave.
(at Lyndale Ave.), Mpls
Tickets:  $5, students FREE  (tickets available online at or at the door).

The Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers (MAP) explores the interdependence
of peace and economics at its 11th Annual Peace Celebration.  This year's
event is co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of Minnesota and
The United Nations Foundation and will host "The People Speak 2006," a
town hall forum on working together to achieve the United Nations'
Millennium Development Goals. The program will begin at 7:30 pm.  Keynote
speaker, Jack Nelson- Pallmeyer, will address the topic, "Economics of
Peace."  Doors open at 6:00 pm with the Millennium Village, a gathering
space for learning about the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals
and for talking with individuals from MAP's member organizations while
dining on La Loma tamales and snacks. Tickets, $5, are available for
purchase on line at or at the door on the night of the event.
Students with ID may get a free ticket at the door.

NOTE:  Keith Ellison, the newly elected US Congressman for the Minnesota
5th District and Mark Ritchie, the newly elected Minnesota Secretary of
State had been originally scheduled to speak at the celebration, but after
winning the election, both, regrettably, need to be out of town this

For more information:

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From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at]>
Subject: 9-11-Truth/film 11.14 6:30pm

Conversational Salon

At the salon this Tuesday, Nov. 14, we will be showing the documentary,
9-11 Press for Truth.  This film is 88 min. in length, so we will begin at
6:30 so we can discuss it a bit.  It is the story of the four 9-11 widows
who call themselves The Jersey Girls whose quest for answers made the Bush
Administration create a commission of inquiry into 9-11.  Despite their
work, and the insistence on answers, the commission failed them, and their
work continues.

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

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

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From: Brian Payne <brianpayneyvp [at]>
Subject: Farmworker union 11.14 7pm
Workshop: Farmworker Poverty, Fast Food Profits and You

Workshop: Fast Food Profits, Farmworker Poverty, and You
Jack Pine Collective, 2815 E. Lake St
November 14, 7pm

Farmworkers who pick tomatoes for McDonald's work in sweatshop conditions:
sub-poverty wages, no right to overtime pay, no right to organize, and no
benefits of any kind. The workers have organized the Coalition of
Immokalee Workers (CIW) to demand a change.

People all around the world are organizing to pressure McD's into working
with the CIW to make a change. Come learn about this historic struggle to
end sweatshops and slavery in the fields.

For more information, contact: Brian Payne, brianpayneyvp [at],
612-859-5750 Fair food that respects human rights, not fast food that
exploits human beings.

--------12 of 16--------

From: Cynthia Moothart <cynthia [at]>
Subject: Invest/justice 11.14 7pm

Headwaters Foundation for Justice will host the final in its series of
facilitated discussions for people interested in exploring how to invest
and give strategically to advance movements for justice. Participants will
be helped to identify their priorities and use tools to align spending,
giving and investing in accordance with their values.

Attendance at previous sessions is not a prerequisite for participation.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006, 7­9:30 PM

What kind of legacy do you want to leave? How will you provide for your
loved ones and your community? We¹ll discuss how to translate our values
into legal directives for estate planning. We'll explore the nuts and
bolts of estate planning to meet the unique needs of all our families.

No matter what your financial resources, you can have a powerful impact
through your giving, spending and investment choices. This is an
opportunity to share your experiences and learn from other progressive

Location: Twin Cities Friends Meeting Hall 1725 Grand Ave., St. Paul (3
blocks west of Snelling Avenue)
Cost: $15, payable by check or credit card at the door

Email Carol Mollner at carol [at]
<mailto:carol [at]>  or call 612-879-0602 x12

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From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at]>
Subject: 21C genocide 11.14 7:30pm

Amnesty International at the University of Minnesota presents:
From the Holocaust to Darfur: Genocide in the 21st Century
Tuesday, November 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the West Bank Auditorium

The conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan has led to some of the worst
human rights abuses imaginable, including systematic and wide-scale
murder, rape, torture, abduction and displacement. Over 200,000 civilians
have been killed by both deliberate and indiscriminate attacks, and over
2.5 million civilians have been displaced.

Join us for a presentation featuring two short films followed by a
discussion led by faculty experts Dr. Stephen Feinstein and Dr. Michele

Dr. Stephen Feinstein is the director of the Center for Holocaust and
Genocide studies at the University of Minnesota. He specializes in the
history of the Holocaust as well as human rights, immigration, Jewish
studies, and genocide.

Dr. Michele Wagner is a professor of History and African American &
African Studies at the University of Minnesota. She specializes in African
history, contemporary Africa, colonialism, and human rights, and has
written extensively about the genocide in Rwanda.

A reception with light refreshments will follow the event.

Contact Diana Heim at heim0115 [at] for further information.

--------14 of 16--------

From: Joan Malerich <joanmdm [at]>
Subject: Cuban Five/CTV 11.14 8pm


Tuesday, Nov. 14, MTN, Channel 16 at 8:00 PM  (Minneapolis area)
Thursday, Nov. 16, SPNN, Channel 15 at 8:30 PM (St. Paul area)
Thursday, Nov. 23, SPNN, Channel 15 at 8:30 PM  (St. Paul area)

Attorney Weinglass spoke at William Mitchell Law School last month.

Attorney Weinglass worked on the Pentagon Paper trial, Angela Davis trial,
Chicago 7 trial and other well-known cases.  He now represents Antonio
Guerrerro, one of the Cuban Five unjustly imprisoned for eight years.

The Five are in Five different federal prisons from California to Miami.
Three have life sentences based on "*conspiracy* to commit espionage."
Gerardo has a second life sentence based on "*conspiracy* to commit
murder."  Fernando has 19 years and Rene 15 years.

The Five ANTI-terrorists entered the US with no weapons.  They did not
seek nor obtain any classified information.  Their only intention was to
infiltrate the Cuban-American Mafia terrorists groups in Miami, so they
could report back to Cuba about planned terrorism against Cuba.  _The Five
stopped at least 170 acts of terrorism against Cuba._ These Cuban-American
terrorist groups have killed over 3400 people in Cuba, have maimed for
life over 2000 more, have used biochemical warfare against Cuba's
agriculture products and have introduced viruses to Cuban livestock. They
have also killed and/or maimed many people within the US--those who
supported normalized relations with Cuba.

When the Five were arrested, they were held for 33 months without bail and
held in ISOLTATION for 17 months.

In 2005, a three-judge panel in Atlanta, Georgia, agreed that they
deserved a new trial in a venue outside of Miami.  This was in agreement
with the UN HRC working groups on arbitrary detentions. _This was the
first time in legal US history that an appellate court overturned a trial
court decision on the issue of venue._ However, the US appealed this to
the full-panel of judges in the 11th Circuit.  Last August, the 12 judges
reversed the three-judge panel decision.  Now, the Five have to go back to
the three-judge panel on remaining issues, as the first hearing was only
on the issue of venue.

Rene and Gerardo have not been allowed to visits from their wives.  Olga
and her young daughter have not been allowed to visit Rene since she
returned to Cuba two years after the arrest, and Adriana has not been
allowed to visit since the arrest.  This is over eight years.

A good book on Cuba and the Cuban Five is */Superpower Principles:  U.S.
Terrorism Against Cuba/*.  It includes submission by the following: Noam
Chomsky---Howard Zinn--William Blum--Michael Parenti--Piero
Gleijeses--Ignacio Ramonet--Salim Lamrani--Leonard Weinglass--Wayne
Smith--Saul Landau--Michael Steven Smith--James Petras--Jitendra
Sharma--Ricardo Alarcon--Gianni Mina and Nadine Gordimer.

For more information, go to

--------15 of 16--------

The Democrats Don't Care
Screw the Palestinians, Full Steam Ahead
November 13, 2006

At a panel on the defense and foreign policy impact of the midterm
election, sponsored two days after the election by Congressional
Quarterly, Steven Simon, late of the Clinton administration and still a
member of the Democratic, pro-Zionist mainstream at the Council on Foreign
Relations, pronounced on prospects for Palestinian-Israeli peace and
essentially declared it not worth anyone's effort. Using words, a tone,
and a body language that clearly betrayed his own disinterest, he said
that Hamas is "there" (exaggerated shrug), that the Israeli government is
in turmoil after its Lebanon "contretemps" (dismissive wave of the hand),
that both sides are incapable of significant movement, and that therefore
there is no incentive for anyone, Democrat or Republican, to intervene
(casual frown indicating an unfortunate reality about which serious people
need not concern themselves). There is simply no prospect for more
unilateral Israeli withdrawals and therefore for any progress toward
peace, Simon said in conclusion - signaling not only a total lack of
concern but an utter ignorance of just what it is that might bring
progress, as if Israeli unilateralism were truly the ticket to peace.

Thus spake the Democratic oracle. Not that anyone who knows the
Palestinian-Israeli situation from other than the selective focus of the
Zionist perspective had any expectations in the first place. No one ever
thought the new Democratic Congress would hop to and put pressure on
Israel to make peace. Just remember John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, to say
nothing of Bill Clinton, when any question of the Democrats' stance
arises. And don't forget Nancy Pelosi, who rushed to condemn Jimmy Carter
for using the word "apartheid" in the title of his new book and for whom,
according to a Jewish Telegraphic Agency profile, support for Israel is
personal and "heartfelt." One Jewish activist and long-time friend
described her as "incredibly loyal" (interesting term) and as feeling
Jewish and Israeli issues "in her soul."

But Simon's brief disquisition on the futility of even making an effort
was particularly striking for its profound dismissiveness and its profound
blindness to what is and has been going on on the ground. Simon's
"contretemps" in Lebanon was no mere embarrassing misstep but a murderous
rampage that killed 1,300 innocent Lebanese and dropped over a million
cluster bomblets in villages across the south, left to be discovered by
returning residents. But the Democrats don't care, and Steven Simon
considers this hardly worth a second thought. Israel gets itself in
trouble, showing its true brutal nature in the process, and this gives
Simon and the Democrats a handy excuse to avoid doing anything.

Eighteen Palestinian innocents in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip
were murdered while sleeping in their beds a day before Simon spoke,
killed by Israeli shellfire, round after round fired at a residential
housing complex -- 16 members of one extended family and two others who
came to help them after the first round exploded. The Democrats don't
care. Steven Simon considers this not worth a mention.

In the six days preceding this incident, Israel assaulted Beit Hanoun the
way it assaulted Jenin and Nablus and other West Bank cities in 2002 -- a
murderous assault reminiscent of Nazi sieges or of the Russian siege of
Chechnya, in which in these six days 57 Palestinians were killed, to one
Israeli soldier. The dead include Palestinian fighters and a large number
of civilians, including children and including two women shot down in the
street while attempting to lift the Israeli siege of a mosque. The mosque
was leveled. The Democrats don't care. Steven Simon considers this not
worth a mention.

In the four months preceding this six-day siege, the Israelis killed 247
Palestinians in a prolonged attack on Gaza. Of the dead, two-thirds are
civilians, 20 percent children. Of nearly 1,000 injured, one-third are
children. The Democrats don't care. Steven Simon considers this not worth
a mention.

Israel is planning a larger siege of Gaza, concentrating not just on Beit
Hanoun in the north but on Rafah in the south, ostensibly to unearth
arms-smuggling tunnels. This has been going on for years; Rafah has been
the scene of Israel's murderous pummeling periodically since the intifada
began -- in 2003 when Rachel Corrie was killed trying to protect the home
of an innocent family from demolition, in 2004 when hundreds of homes were
demolished in multiple sieges and a peaceful protest demonstration was
strafed from the air. But the Democrats don't care. Steven Simon considers
this not worth a mention.

Gaza, of course, is not the only Palestinian territory being raped and
pillaged. Its 1.4 million residents are the most distraught -- living
imprisoned in a territory with the highest population density in the
world, walled in with no exit except as Israel sporadically allows, being
deliberately starved by the official policy of Israel, which dictates to
the U.S., which dictates to Europe, vulnerable to constant Israeli
assault. But the West Bank's 2.5 million Palestinians are not much better
off. They continue to be killed by Israelis and squeezed by Israel's
separation wall, by settlement expansion, by movement restrictions, by
theft of agricultural land, by diminishing economic opportunity, and by
massive Israeli-fostered unemployment. Their death toll is only minimally
less than Gaza's.

This obscenity of oppression and murder does not faze the Democrats or any
of Israel's Zionist supporters in the U.S. Whatever Israel wants is all
right with the Democrats. The 110th Congress will screw the Palestinians
just the way the Republican 109th did.

Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and has worked on
Middle East issues for 30 years. She is the author of Perceptions of
Palestine and The Wound of Dispossession.

Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National
Intelligence Officer and as Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and
Political Analysis. They spent October 2006 in Palestine and on a speaking
tour of Ireland sponsored by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

--------16 of 16--------

Will They Turn a Blind Eye to the Destruction of the Bill of Rights?
The Democrats and Civil Liberties
November 13, 2006

Unless November's new blood improves the Democratic Party's civil
liberties pedigree, the Democrats will have failed even before they are
sworn in next January.

In its disregard for truth, public opinion, the separation of powers, the
Geneva Conventions, the US Constitution and statutory law, the Bush
administration has been more of a regime than an administration. The
Bush/Cheney executive branch has operated independently of all the
constraints that provide accountability and prevent despotism.

The Bush regime was able to evade these restraints, because Republicans
controlled both houses of Congress and because Republicans wielded 9/11 as
a weapon to forestall political opposition.

With signing statements and other unilateral declarations of presidential
authority, the Bush regime asserted executive branch powers beyond the
reach of Congress and the judiciary.

The Bush regime was a coup d'etat against the Bill of Rights and the
jurisdictions of Congress and the courts. Unless Democrats roll back this
coup, Americans have seen the last of their civil liberties.

Judging by Democrats' statements in the flush of their electoral victory,
Democrats have little, if any, awareness of this critical fact. Democrats
are anxious to get on with their agendas and have shown no recognition
that the first order of business is to repeal the legislation that permits
torture, warrantless detention and domestic spying.

If Bush threatens to veto the resurrection of US civil liberty, the
Democrats can impeach Bush as a tyrant as well as for pushing America into
an illegal and catastrophic war on the basis of lies and deception.

Bush is the most impeachable president in American history. However, the
incoming Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has declared impeachment to
be "off the table." Obviously, this means that Bush will not be held
accountable and that the Bill of Rights is a casualty of the vague,
undefined, and propagandistic "war on terror."

Do Pelosi and the incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have the
intellect and character to deliver the leadership required for Americans
to remain a free people? Instead of bemoaning the damage Bush has done to
civil liberty, Democrats are up in arms over one child in five being
raised in poverty. The more important question is whether children are
being raised as a free people protected by civil liberties from arbitrary
government power.

Do Democrats share the delusion of Bush supporters that it is only Middle
Eastern terrorists who are deprived of the protection of the US
Constitution? One can understand the reluctance of Americans to extend
constitutional protection to terrorists who are trying to kill Americans.
However, without these protections, there is no way of ascertaining who is
a terrorist.

Currently, a "terrorist" is anyone given that designation by any of a
large number of unaccountable government officials and military officers.
No evidence has to be provided in order to detain a designated suspect.
Moreover, designated suspects can be convicted in military tribunals on
the basis of secret evidence not made available to them or to any legal
representation that they might be able to secure. In other words, you are
guilty if charged.

As the case of US citizen Jose Padilla makes clear, these gestapo police
state proceedings apply to Americans. Padilla was declared to be an "enemy
combatant." He was held in a US prison for three and one-half years with
no charges and no warrant. He was kept in isolated confinement, tortured,
and denied legal representation.

In order to avoid US Supreme Court jurisdiction over the case, the Bush
regime filed charges after stealing three and one-half years of Padilla's
life. However, the charges have no relationship to the Bush regime's
original allegations that Padilla, an Hispanic-American, was an al Qaeda
operative who was going to set off a radioactive dirty bomb in an American
city. The US government no longer designates Padilla as an "enemy
combatant." The dirty bomb charge has disappeared, and US Federal District
Judge Marcia Cooke has criticized the government's indictment as vague
with sketchy evidence "weak on facts."

The reason that the Bush regime wants to detain people indefinitely
without evidence is that it has no evidence. The reason the Bush regime
passed torture legislation is in order to produce the missing evidence by
torturing a suspect into self-incrimination. "Evidence" procured by
torture has been illegal in civilized societies for centuries. But the
Bush regime has resurrected the medieval rack and substituted it for the
Bill of Rights.

If Democrats cannot bring themselves to rectify the inhumane and barbaric
practices that now pass for US justice, then they, too, have failed the
American people.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan
administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal
editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor
of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at:
paulcraigroberts [at]


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