|Progressive Calendar 11.13.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|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 --------1 of 16-------- From coreymattson [at] mn.rr.com Mon Nov 13 17:15:00 2006 From: Corey Mattson <coreymattson [at] mn.rr.com> 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 beyond. 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] visi.com> 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: www.handsoffvenezuela.org For informaiton about the Minnesota chapter of the Network of Spritual Progressives and their conference, see: www.nspmn.org "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 www.kfai.org --------3 of 16-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> 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] lakeland.ws --------4 of 16-------- From: lawvalue <lawvalue [at] umn.edu> 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 12:15-1:30pm. 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] umn.edu 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 http://onestop.umn.edu/Maps/index.html. 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 http://www.lifesci.consortium.umn.edu/conferences/. --------5 of 16-------- From: Philip Schaffner <PSchaffner [at] ccht.org> 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: www.ccht.org/bd or call Philip Schaffner at 612-341-3148 x237 --------6 of 16-------- From: Sarah Caflisch <scaflisch [at] loft.org> Subject: SciFollies 11.14 5:30pm Tuesday, November 14, 5:30 p.m. HAPPY HOUR BOOK CLUB RAKING THROUGH BOOKS ERIC DREGNI AND JONATHAN DREGNI 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 Minnesota. Free --------7 of 16-------- From: Darrell Gerber <darrellgerber [at] earthlink.net> 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] betterballotcampaign.org; 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% --------8 of 16-------- From: Shanai Matteson <matt0423 [at] umn.edu> Subject: GMOs 11.14 6pm CAFE SCIENTIFIQUE 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 bellmuseum.org Shanai Matteson Cafe Scientifique / Film Program Coordinator Bell Museum of Natural History 612.624.3808 shanai.matteson [at] bellmuseum.org --------9 of 16-------- From: Jane Powers <janepow [at] earthlink.net> 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 www.mapm.org 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 www.mapm.org 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 Tuesday. For more information: www.mapm.org/annual2006.htm. --------10 of 16-------- From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> 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 ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) 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. --------11 of 16-------- From: Brian Payne <brianpayneyvp [at] gmail.com> 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] gmail.com, 612-859-5750 Fair food that respects human rights, not fast food that exploits human beings. www.sfalliance.org --------12 of 16-------- From: Cynthia Moothart <cynthia [at] headwatersfoundation.org> 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. LEGAL MATTERS AND LEGACY 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 donors. 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 Register: Email Carol Mollner at carol [at] headwatersfoundation.org <mailto:carol [at] headwatersfoundation.org> or call 612-879-0602 x12 --------13 of 16-------- From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] umn.edu> 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 Wagner. 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] umn.edu for further information. --------14 of 16-------- From: Joan Malerich <joanmdm [at] iphouse.com> Subject: Cuban Five/CTV 11.14 8pm CORRECTION TO CABLE PRESENTATIONS OF ATTORNEY LEONARD WEINGLASS ON THE CUBAN FIVE CASE. THE CORRECT TIMES ARE AS FOLLOWS: 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 www.freethefive.org. --------15 of 16-------- The Democrats Don't Care Screw the Palestinians, Full Steam Ahead By KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON November 13, 2006 CounterPunch 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 By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS CounterPunch 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] yahoo.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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.