Progressive Calendar 11.16.06
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2006 01:42:44 -0800 (PST)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     11.16.06

1. Gitmo/rights       11.16 12noon
2. NProf Webinars     11.16 1pm
3. Eagan peace vigil  11.16 4:30pm
4. Smoke-Out          11.16 4:30pm
5. Northtown vigil    11.16 5pm
6. Small is beautiful 11.16 5pm
7. Lerner/Spiritual   11.16
8. Impeach/royalism   11.16 7pm
9. Last election      11.16 7pm
10. Darfur diary      11.16 7pm Marshall MN
11. Degenerate music  11.16 7:30pm

12. SOA protest/seats 11.17 7am
13. Lerner/open talk  11.17 10am
14. Surveillance art  11.17 6pm
15. Algerian writer   11.17 7pm
16. Venezuela conf    11.17-19 7pm
17. Trujillo/film     11.17 7:30pm
18. War/poem/music    11.17-18 9pm
19. DixieChicks/film  11.17

20. James Rothenberg - Unimpeachable; a brief argument why
21. Walden Bello     - New challenges for the anti-war movement
22. John V Walsh     - The Korea, Vietnam, Iraq syndrome
23. Phil Rockstroh   - To hell with centrism; go for the inspired edge
24. ed               - Bird flips

--------1 of 24--------

From: "Human Rights Center @ the U of MN" <humanrts [at] UMN.EDU>
Subject: Gitmo/rights 11.16 12noon

November 16, 2006 - From Darfur to Guantanamo: Human Rights for All.
Cost: free and open to the public.
Lecture by William Schulz, former executive Director of Amnesty
International; From Darfur to Guantanamo: Human Rights for All.

Pre-forum concert: 11:30 A - noon; program: Noon - 1:00 P; public
reception and post-forum discussion l:00 - 2:00 P

Westminster Presbyterian Church, located on Nicollet Mall at 12th Street.
Parking available at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Nicollet Mall at 13th
Street; and Orchestra Hall ramp, Marquette Avenue at 11th Street

Cost:  Free and Open to the Public; NO REGISTRATION NECESSARY!
Location: Westminster Presbyterian Church, located on Nicollet Mall at
12th St.


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From: Stephanie Haddad <shaddad [at] mncn.org>
Subject: NProf Webinars 11.16 1pm

Dear Nonprofit Colleague:

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is pleased to announce the launch of
our all-new Webinars.

Webinars combine two technologies - the Internet and the telephone - to
provide an integrated workshop experience while sitting at your desk!
Webinars are easy to join and provide valuable learning while saving you
time and money. You don't need to be technology savvy, just have an
available Internet connection (high-speed or dial-up will do) and a phone
line. For more information on MCN's Webinar programs, visit
http://www.mncn.org/event_webinars.htm
<http://www.mncn.org/event_webinars.htm> .

Upcoming Webinars

State Budget Basics - Thursday, November 16
<http://www.mncn.org/event_policy.htm#WebinarBudget>

This Webinar provides an overview of the State of Minnesota's budget,
including how it is divided into different funds, major sources of
revenues, major categories of expenditures, and how the state's tax system
is structured.

Starting a Nonprofit I: Laying the Foundation for Success - Tuesday,
November 28 <http://www.mncn.org/event_management.htm#webStartOne>

This Webinar will explore reasons to start a nonprofit, as well as the
role of the Board of Directors, mission/vision statements and business
plans. (Registered participants will receive a digital version of the
Handbook for Starting a Successful Nonprofit.)

Starting a Nonprofit II: Setting the Framework for the Future - Thursday,
November 30 <http://www.mncn.org/event_management.htm#webStart2>

Build upon the foundation started in Starting a Nonprofit I: Laying the
Foundation for Success by learning about the state and federal
requirements for incorporation.

(Please note that completion of Starting a Nonprofit I: Laying the
Foundation for Success is required prior to attending this Webinar.)

Writing Your First Grant Proposal - Thursday, December 14
<http://www.mncn.org/event_fundraising.htm#Web1stGrant>

In one hour we will cover many of the basic things that you need to know
to get started in your grant writing efforts. This session is geared
towards people who are very new to grant writing.

Webinar Details:
Time: All Webinars are offered from 1 - 2 p.m., CDT
Location: From any online computer!
Fee: $35 for MCN members/ $50 for nonmembers

To register: Register online
<http://nonprofityellowpages.org/cgi-bin/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CT
GY&Store_Code=MCONOS&Category_Code=WAT>

We hope you will take advantage of this new time- and cost-effective
training option. Please contact MCN with any questions or concerns you
have about participating in a Webinar!

Stephanie Haddad Program Director Minnesota Council of Nonprofits 2314
University Avenue West, Suite 20 Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114-1802 Phone:
651- 642-1904 Ext. 227 Fax: 651-642-1517 Greater MN: 1-800-289-1904


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From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 11.16 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.


--------4 of 24--------

From: d-hill [at] umn.edu
Subject: Smoke-Out 11.16 4:30pm

Celebrate the Great American Smoke-Out Thursday, November 16 at Dixie's on
Grand!

This year marks the 30th annual Great American Smoke-Out. Did you stop
smoking during the Smoke-Out or do you plan to? If you quit smoking, or you
never started, come and celebrate smoke-free air with the Association for
Nonsmokers-Minnesota at Dixie's on Grand, which is located at 695 Grand
Avenue in St. Paul. A tasty assortment of appetizers is on us between 4:30
and 6:OO pm. We hope to see you there!

Call the Association for Nonsmokers - Minnesota at 651-646-3005 for more
information or visit our website at www.ansrmn.org.

Dennis Hill
West 7th Street


--------5 of 24--------

From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 11.16 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com.


--------6 of 24--------

From: Jesse Mortenson <jmortenson [at] Macalester.edu>
Subject: Small is beautiful 11.16 5pm

First and third Thursdays of the month
11.16 5pm
Cahoots coffeehouse
Selby 1/2 block east of Snelling in StPaul

Limit bigboxes, chain stores, TIF, corporate welfare, billboards; promote
small business and co-ops, local production & self-sufficiency.

http://www.gpsp.org/goodbusiness


--------7 of 24--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Lerner/spiritual 11.16 7pm

THUR,NOV. 16. 7pm: "The Spiritual Transformation of American Society" talk
Rabbi Michael Lerner, founder of Tikkun magazine
FFI: Institute for Advanced Study, www.ias.umn.edu, 612-626-5054 Media
contact: Kelly O'Brien, College of Liberal Arts, 612-624-4109,
obrie136 [at] umn.edu

Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 4th Street South, U of M west bank
  Free and open to the public

In his talk, titled "The Spiritual Transformation of American Society,"
Rabbi Michael Lerner will discuss the path to a progressive spiritual
politics in an age of materialism and selfishness. Lerner proposes a
universal spirituality and values not tied to any particular religion but
foundational to all religions - recognizing that taking seriously the
demand for love, caring, generosity, gratitude, and celebration of the
sacred in other human beings and in nature could actually lead to a social
transformation.

About Rabbi Michael Lerner:Princeton professor Cornel West describes Rabbi
Michael Lerner as "the most significant prophetic public intellectual and
spiritual leader of our generation." J. Edgar Hoover, when announcing
Lerner's indictment as one of the Seattle Seven for organizing anti-war
demonstrations, described him as "one of the most dangerous criminals in
America."

[Then he can't be all bad. -ed]

In 2001 Rabbi Lerner was awarded a special PEN Award for his stance in
breaking the censorship that effectively exists around Israel-Palestinian
matters in the U.S. media. Lerner is editor of Tikkun Magazine: A
Bimonthly Jewish Critique of Politics, Culture and Society. In 2002 he
founded the Network of Spiritual Progressives, an international interfaith
organization dedicated to peace, justice, non-violence, generosity,
caring, love and compassion which he chairs with Cornel West and Sister
Joan Chittister.  Lerner is the author of eleven books including Healing
Israel/Palestine and the N.Y. Times best-seller The Left Hand of God:
Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right.


--------8 of 24--------

From: Michelle Lee <michelle [at] angrypeanut.org>
Subject: Impeach/royalism 11.16 7pm

Critically-acclaimed political author John Nichols will discuss his new
book, "The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism," at
Arise Bookstore on Thursday, November 16 at 7pm. The event is free -- and
there will also be free apple pie to underscore the idea that impeachment
is as American as apple pie.

John Nichols writes about politics for The Nation magazine as its
Washington correspondent. He is a contributing writer for The
Progressive and In These Times and the associate editor of the Capital
Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. His articles have
appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and dozens of other
newspapers.

Nichols is a frequent guest on radio and television programs as a
commentator on politics and media issues. He was featured in Robert
Greenwald's documentary, "Outfoxed," and in the documentaries Joan
Sekler's "Unprecedented," Matt Kohn's "Call It Democracy" and Robert
Pappas's "Orwell Rolls in his Grave." The keynote speaker at the 2004
Congress of the International Federation of Journalists in Athens,
Nichols has been a featured presenter at conventions, conferences and
public forums on media issues sponsored by the Federal Communications
Commission, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Consumers
International, the Future of Music Coalition, the AFL-CIO, the
Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the Newspaper Guild [CWA] and dozens of other
organizations.

Nichols is the author of the critically-acclaimed analysis of the
Florida recount fight of 2000, "Jews for Buchanan," a best-selling
biography of Vice President Dick Cheney, "Dick: The Man Who is
President," and "Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars,
Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy." Nichols is the co-founders of
Free Press, the nation's media-reform network, which organized the 2003
and 2005 National Conferences on Media Reform.

Of Nichols, author Gore Vidal says: "Of all the giant slayers now afoot
in the great American desert, John Nichols's sword is the sharpest."

Arise is a collectively-run progressive bookstore and resource center
located in Uptown Minneapolis at 2441 Lyndale Ave S. For further
information, please go to www.arisebookstore.org or contact Michelle
Lee at 612.327.9115.


--------9 of 24--------

From: Joe Schwartzberg <schwa004 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Last election 11.16 7pm

THIRD THURSDAY GLOBAL ISSUES FORUM
Free and open to the public
Thursday, November 16, 700-9:00 P.M.
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis
Parking in church parking lot.

Topic: MAKING SENSE OF THE PAST ELECTION. The campaigns and outcomes in
the Minnesota elections will be examined in the context of emerging
national patterns in both the House and the Senate. This will afford an
opportunity to discuss the impact of the election on U.S. policies at home
and abroad. In particular, an attempt will be made to sort out the
interplay of events in Iraq and the war on terrorism in the electoral
results.

Presenter: WILLIAM FLANIGAN. Professor Flanigan, who earned his Ph.D. at
Yale University, has been a member of University of Minnesota's Department
of Political Science since 1961. His specialty is American politics with
an emphasis on public opinion and voting behavior. He has been analyzing
the Minnesota Senate race and the House race in the 6th District as part
of a national survey of competitive elections. His text, The Political
Behavior of the American Electorate, co-authored with his wife,


--------10 of 24--------

From: Write On Radio <writeonradio [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Darfur diary 11.16 7pm Marshall MN

Thursday November 16th

7:00 P.M. The Difficult Dialogues Initiative in collaboration with the
Visiting Writers Series at Southwest Minnesota State University presents
a reading by Jen Marlowe, from Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival. There
will be a Q & A session afterwards followed by a book signing and
reception. All events are free and open to the public. For more
information, call 507-537-7692 or e-mail wilsonj [at] southwestmsu.edu.
Southwest Minnesota State University , CH 201, 1501 State St, Marshall.


--------11 of 24--------

From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Degenerate music 11.16 7:30pm

C o n c e r t   N o t i c e :
Burning and Never Growing Cold: The Music of Hanns Eisler
David Jordan Harris, baritone
Craig Randal Johnson, piano

Thursday, November 16, 2006/ 7:30 PM
Landmark Center, Gallery 205 St. Paul, Minnesota

Presented by The Schubert Club and *TRACES* Center for History and Culture
Degenerate Music Series: ?Concerts of Forbidden Music from the Nazi Eraš
Free Admission

Call 651-292-3267 or visit www.schubert.org. for further information

About Hanns Eisler
Arguably one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century, the
German composer Hanns Eisler (b.1898, Leipzig) is almost totally forgotten
in the United States, a consequence of his left-wing political views and
affiliations, and of his philosophy that music has a distinct social
function. Eisler, schooled by Arnold Schönberg and a long term
collaborator with Bertolt Brecht, composed chamber music, stage and film
music, choral works, and above all, Lieder and "workers" songs. Difficult
to categorize, Eisler's style is unmistakable. Eisler, leaving Europe
ahead of the Nazi march, lived and worked in the United States from 1938
to 1948, writing much of his best music in this country. He became an
early target of what became the Hollywood "witch hunt," appearing before
the House Subcommittee for Un-American Activities in September 1947.
Eisler was forced to leave the United States for life.
 From 1949 to his death in 1962, Eisler was a leading musical figure in
East Germany. The most important music conservatory in Berlin still
carries his name, the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler.

The Music
The program features works from the ?Hollywood Liederbuchš, or Hollywood
songbook, a large group of songs Eisler composed in California during
World War II, as well as songs from Eisleršs late period, and theater
songs set to Brecht texts. English language material has been translated
by playwright and translator Eric Bentley, who worked closely with Bertolt
Brecht and knew Hanns Eisler as well. Several songs will be sung in German
and French. The program also features the Eisler first piano sonata.

About the Performers
 David Harris and Craig Johnson have performed Eisleršs music on theater
and concert stages in the Twin Cities, at Carleton College, the
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Gustavus Adolphus College, as well as
in two hour-long broadcasts on WNYC radio in New York. Craig Johnson
has played solo works of Eisler in New York, Los Angeles, Helsinki,
Hannover, and on several college campuses. David Harris has worked
closely with Eric Bentley in developing English language translations
of many Eisler songs. Harris and Bentley co-created "To Those Who Come
After: The Voice of Bertolt Brecht," which was produced locally at the
Southern and Illusion Theaters.

This concert will feature an 8-foot Bechstein concert grand piano, built
in Berlin in 1878. The marvelous concert pianist Margaret Baxtresser , who
lived and worked in Minneapolis for several years, gave the instrument to
the Schubert Club Museum. The piano has been played by Anton Rubinstein,
Gustav Mahler, Johannes Brahms, Gina Bachauer, Rudolph Firkusny and Lorin
Maazel, just to name a few of the great musicians who have known and
played this instrument.


--------12 of 24--------

From: Jess Sundin <jess [at] antiwarcommittee.org>
Subject: SOA protest/seats 11.17 7am

Last minute protest opportunity!!! Join members of the Anti-War Committee
and Anti-War Organizing League this weekend as we travel to Ft. Benning,
Georgia to protest the School of the Americas - a U.S. army school that
has trained thousands of Latin American soldiers to wage war against their
own people.  We're leaving this Friday morning at 7am from Meredith Aby's
house (respond to this email if you need the address) and will be
traveling to La Crosse, WI by car.  There we'll join some college students
from UW-La Crosse and head down to Georgia on a coach bus.  We'll return
to the Twin Cities by 1 pm on Monday.  Cost is $175.

We know it's last minute but it's an important cause and a powerful
experience.  We've got 4 spots open so feel free to bring a friend!  See
www.soa.org for more info about the weekend's events.  Contact Katrina
Plotz for specifics about the trip - krplotz [at] yahoo.com or call
952-888-0961.


--------13 of 24--------

From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] UMN.EDU>
Subject: Lerner/open talk 11.17 10am

This is an additional event recently added by Center for Jewish Studies
and IAS:
A Changing Judaism for a Changing World - A conversation with Rabbi
Michael Lerner

Friday, November 17, 2006
10-11 a.m.
125 Nolte Center
Rabbi Michael Lerner

Faculty and students are invited to join Rabbi Michael Lerner in an
open conversation
Moderator: Leslie Morris, Director of the Center for Jewish Studies
Cosponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study


--------14 of 24-------

From: Mary Turck <mturck [at] americas.org>
Subject: Surveillance art 11.17 6pm

Friday, November 17, 6 p.m. Opening Reception-Rites of Passing Works by
Aaron Johnson-Ortiz. Artist's statement: "My current work explores
surveillance and resistance. The artwork is informed by several pressing
concerns: racial profiling in public spaces, the theatricality of war news
coverage, the warmongering rhetoric of 'terrorism,' and the growing
corporate and governmental scrutiny in search engines and online networks.
My Passing Series is composed of movie stills from Gillo Pontecorvo's 1966
film 'The Battle of Algiers,' interpolated with my own photographs. The
carefully selected stills present my fictitious autobiography. The film
took on new political meaning in 2003 when the Pentagon screened the film
to military officers to discuss insurgency and counterinsurgency tactics
in Iraq."

Lower level gallery, Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha
Avenue, Minneapolis. October 25-December 1. FREE NOCHE CULTURAL. 6 p.m.
Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis 55406
FFI: 612-276-0788.


--------15 of 24--------

From: Mizna <mizna-announce [at] mizna.org>
Subject: Algerian writer 11.17 7pm

Algerian French Writer Ahmed Zitouni
Friday, November 17th
7:00 pm
Mizna
2205 California Street NE
Minneapolis , MN
612-788-6920

Join us for a reading, discussion and reception with Ahmed Zitouni.

Born in Saďda, Algeria, in 1949, Ahmed Zitouni has lived in France since
1973. He has dedicated more than 30 years of his life to analyzing and
writing about the struggle of immigrants in Western societies and the
politics of human dignity in a multicultural world. Zitouni has published
8 novels and 1 essay with some of the most prestigious publishing
companies in France

Ahmed Zitouni's fictional writing delves into the unique experience of
being a foreigner, dramatizing the personal, political and intellectual
turmoil specific to the Maghrebi Arab experience in France. Concerned with
both obvious and subtle prejudices that foreigners experience and that
mark their psyches, Ahmed Zitouni's writing offers a stark social
criticism of contemporary France, but also a profound artistic and
philosophical meditation on an astonishing range of social and political
practices that transcend national borders.

Visit our website at http://www.mizna.org or email us at Mizna [at] Mizna.org


-------16 of 24--------

From: Debbra <debbramyers [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Venezuela conf 11.17-19 7pm

Venezuela Solidarity Conference
http://www.venezuelasolidarityconference.org/

The Venezuelan people have defeated, through mass mobilizations by workers
and peasants, three attempts to overthrow the government of Hugo Chavez.
They succeeded because of the greater space, since Chávez came to the
presidency, to fight for land, jobs, and democratic rights. Yet, the
intensifying campaign of the US government and the mainstream media to
demonize the government of Venezuela as a "destabilizing force in Latin
America", "authoritarian populism", and all sorts of name calling is a
prelude to a future attempt for US intervention and "regime change" in
Venezuela.

Defenders of Venezuelan sovereignty are calling on all supporters of basic
democratic rights to join us in building an International Venezuelan
Solidarity Conference, as we say "No" to US intervention in Venezuela and
"Yes" for all sovereign nations to be able to decide their own future.

We welcome all organizations and individuals willing to build this
conference on the platform of defending Venezuelan sovereignty and
opposing any US intervention.

Friday, November 17, 7-10pm, Opening Night - Kagin Ballroom
Jorge Valero, Venezuela Ambassador to Organization of American States
Angela Davis, Long-time African-American leader (tentative)
Elegguá - Afro-descendant Venezuelan Women's Music Group

Saturday, November 18, 10am - 1pm - John Davis Lecture Hall, Campus Center
2-4pm, and 4:30 - 6:30pm Workshops in Old Main Building

_Workshops_
The Internal Bolivarian Process - Its Significance for Historically
Oppressed Layers of Society
The Regional and Global Significance of the Bolivarian Process
U.S. interventionism
 Cuba and Venezuela - A special relationship
The Future of the Bolivarian Process - Different Perspectives

7pm  Dinner - Traditional Caribbean food, Music by Elegguá, Pachamama,
Thank You
in Olin Rice Hall, Smail Gallery

Sunday, November 19 Mass with Fr. Luis Barrios, 10:30am - Weyerhauser
Chapel
1- 5 pm - John B. Davis Lecture Hall, Campus Center
A Day of Action ; What Conference Participants Can Do When They Return
to their Communities
Workshop Panelists

 *Jorge Valero, Venezuela Ambassador to the Organization of American
States
 *Adina Bastidas, Venezuela and Panamá representative of the Interamerican
Bank of Development
 *Martin Sánchez, Venezuela General Consul in Chicago
 *Father Luis Barrios - Professor of psychology and ethnic studies
 *Argenis Delgado, Afro-relations, Youth National Institute
 *Manuel Urbina, Cimarrones Movement, Afro descendants for the Revolution
 *Heisler Vaamonde, Director of the Gay Revolutionary Movement of
Venezuela
 *Christian Zerpa, Professor of Political Science-Bolivarian University of
Venezuela
 *Sergio Sanchez, Director of Utopia Group
 *Omar Sierra, Venezuela First Consul in Chicago
 *Williams Camacaro - Founder of Bolivarian Circle Alberto Lovera, New
York City

Suggested donation for conference - $10
Dinner donation - $10
 Macalester map - http://www.macalester.edu/about/mapbynumber.html
 For more information: 612-724-6150 or e-mail
info [at] venezuelasolidarityconference.org
<mailto:info [at] venezuelasolidarityconference.org>


--------17 of 24--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Trujillo/film 11.17 7:30pm

Friday, 11/17, 7:30 pm, flim "Feast of the Goat" about the bloody fight to
end dictator Trujillo's reign in the Dominican Republic, $8, Walker Art
Center Cinema, 1750 Hennepin Ave, Mpls.  www.walkerart.org


--------18 of 24--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: War/poem/music 11.17-18 9pm

11/17 and 11/18, 9 pm, play "It is the Seeing," a retrospective of war
illustrated through poetry, music, movement, Pillsbury Community Center
Theater, 3501 Chicago, Mpls.  $5 to $8. 612-825-0459.


--------19 of 24--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: DixieChicks/film 11.17

11/17 to 11/23, film "Shut Up and Sing" about bruhaha following Dixie
Chicks criticism of George W, Lagoon Cinema, 1320 Lagoon Ave, Mpls.
www.landmarktheaters.com


-------20 of 24--------

A Brief Argument Why
Unimpeachable
By JAMES ROTHENBERG
CounterPunch
November 15, 2006

"The question now is whether it is simply too late to achieve President
Bush's goal of a stable and democratic Iraq ", this from a NY Times
November 12 article by David Sanger and Scott Shane. The thought is
presented not as conjecture but as fact, his goal not professed, but held.
It is hard to think of a more flattering compliment to pay the President,
worthy of a sycophant but not a watchdog. Coming as it does at the
President's lowest ebb makes it all the more puzzling.

Then we have the about-face from Representatives Pelosi and Conyers,
taking impeachment "off the table". Quoting from Cindy Sheehan's open
letter of November 12 addressed to them:

"BushCo have openly committed egregious crimes which they have all
admitted to. The question really isn't: should they be impeached, but why
haven't they been impeached, removed from office and criminally charged
and tried for these crimes, yet?....The investigation and eventual rubber
stamp to begin impeachment proceedings against Nixon was a bi-partisan
effort and Nixon wasn't even investigated for the level of crimes that
BushCo should be investigated for."

And we can certainly adduce the Clinton impeachment proceedings as not
rising to the level of offense that we witness from the present
administration. The apparent contradiction may be explained by an
about-face of another kind - it can be argued that it is precisely the
egregiousness of the present crimes that insulates them from official
scrutiny.

The Nixon and Clinton cases had a "housecleaning" aspect to them. Both
were guilty of inside jobs, Clinton's being the coarser. As with any
housecleaning it was possible to go on feeling good about yourself
afterwards. Using the jargon of the banal commercial, "what happens here
stays here."

This is not the case if the Bush/Cheney administration is thoroughly
investigated. Planning, preparing, initiating, or waging of a war of
aggression reaches the Nuremberg standard. It is a Crime against Peace,
the supreme international crime "differing from other war crimes only in
that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole". That
would be torture. Humiliation. Terror. This would most certainly not "stay
here".

Instead, such an admission of guilt would sully not just the guilty
parties but the abstraction known as the United States of America, its
cloak stained for all time. There is immense pressure, much of it
self-felt, not to let this happen. Politicians are around to the next
election cycle and merely inherit the structure of establishment policy
set firmly in place. There will be little collective energy for an
upheaval that will shake this establishment. Sadly, for those seeking
justice, it was all done in our name.

James Rothenberg can be reached at: jrothenberg [at] taconic.net


--------21 of 24--------

New Challenges for the Anti-War Movement
Iraq After November 7
By WALDEN BELLO
counterPunch
November 15, 2006

The recent U.S. election was an exercise in redemption. At a time when
many throughout the world had written off the American electorate as
lifeless putty in the hands of Karl Rove, the voters woke up to deliver
the Republican Party its worst blow in the last quarter of a century. Not
only independents and centrists voted to repudiate Republican candidates,
but a third of evangelicals-Bush's fundamentalist Christian base-voted for
Democrats.

I, too, was pleasantly surprised. In the aftermath of the 2004
presidential elections, I predicted that the Republicans would rule for
the next quarter century owing to the formidable grassroots machinery that
they had forged-a "juggernaut" with a fundamentalist base in the so-called
"red states." Fortunately, I was wrong.

                             Two Roads

Of course, many voted Democrat because they could no longer take the daily
scandals engulfing the Republicans in Congress. But poll after poll showed
that the two key reasons animating voters were the Iraq War and the strong
feeling that Bush was leading the country down the wrong path. In terms of
the national direction, the choice in the minds of voters on November 7
was presciently articulated by Jonathan Schell in his 2003 book The
Unconquerable World:

For Americans, the choice is at once between two Americas, and between two
futures for the international order. In an imperial America, power would
be concentrated in the hands of the president, and checks and balances
would be at an end; civil liberties would be weakened or lost; military
spending would crowd out social spending; the gap between rich and poor
would be likely to increase; electoral politics, to the extent that they
still mattered, would be increasingly dominated by money, above all
corporate money, whose influence would trump the people's interest; the
social, economic, and ecological agenda of the country and the world would
be increasingly rejected.

In contrast to this path of an "Imperial America" was that of a
"Republican America"

dedicated to the creation of a cooperative world, [where] the immense
concentration of power in the executive would be broken up; power would be
divided again among the three branches, which would resume their
responsibility of checking and balancing one another as the Constitution
provides; civil liberties would remain intact or be strengthened; money
would be driven out of politics, and the will of the people would be heard
again; politics, and with it the power of the people, would revive; the
social, economic, and ecological agendas of the country and the world
would become the chief concern of government.

On November 7, the American electorate clearly rejected the imperial path.

But one cannot say with confidence that they were very clear about what
alternative path they were choosing. It is the role of leadership to
illuminate signposts, and the big question at the moment is whether the
exultant Democrats can provide that leadership.

                       Iraq: Bad Options All

Iraq is the test case. As many have pointed out, the Democrats have no
unified strategy on Iraq. The situation in Iraq has deteriorated to the
point where only bad choices are available.

The current Bush strategy is to shore up the Shiite-dominated government
militarily, and that isn't working. Bringing in more troops temporarily to
stabilize the situation, then leaving - a plan originally endorsed by John
Kerry - won't work since the civil war has progressed to the point where
even a million troops won't make a difference. Partitioning Iraq into
three entities - the Sunni center, the Shiite South, and the Kurdish
North - will simply be a prelude to even greater conflict tying down more
U.S. troops. Withdrawing to the bases or to the desert to avoid casualties
will simply raise the question: why keep troops there at all?

Getting Iran, Turkey, and Syria to come in to create a diplomatic solution
- one that the bipartisan Iraq Study Group headed by James Baker and Lee
Hamilton may propose - is not going to work because no foreign-imposed
settlement can counteract the deadly domestic dynamics of a sectarian
conflict that has passed the point of no return.

Bush, of course, remains the boss when it comes to Iraq policy. It is not
likely that this stubborn man has ceased to believe in victory, which he
restated as his goal at the same press conference where he announced
Donald Rumsfeld's resignation. The more Machiavellian Republican
strategists like Karl Rove will probably want to enmesh the Democrats in a
protracted bipartisan exit strategy that will cost more Iraqi and American
lives so that by the time the 2008 presidential elections come around, the
mess in Iraq will be bipartisan as well.

As of now, the Democrats have the moral weight of the country behind them.
They have an opportunity not only to eliminate a foreign policy millstone
but to open the road to a new relationship between America and the world
if they take the least worst route out of Iraq - that espoused by Rep.
John Murtha, who, perhaps among the key Democrats, knows the military
realities on the ground: immediate withdrawal. With all their inchoate
feelings about wasted American lives, "our responsibility to Iraqis," or
being seen as "cutting and running," many of those who voted for the
Democrats may have some difficulty accepting the reality that immediate
withdrawal is the least worst of all the options. But that is the function
of leaders:  to articulate the bitter truth when the times demand it.

It is not likely that most Democratic politicians will embrace immediate
withdrawal of their own accord. Without more sustained pressure, the
likely course they will take is to come with a plan that will compromise
with Bush, which means another unworkable patchwork of a plan.

                        A Military Strike?

One source of pressure could be the military. It is well known that the
top brass are in a state of extreme disaffection with the civilian
leadership because they feel that Iraq is destroying U.S. military
credibility. When Major General William Caldwell, the senior U.S. military
spokesman in Iraq, pronounced on October 19 that the results of the
Pentagon's strategy of focusing troops in Baghdad to assist the Iraqi
military in containing the runaway violence was "disheartening," he drove
the nail in the coffin of the Republicans' electoral chances. Most likely,
the civilian leadership did not clear his statement.

The U.S. military in Iraq may not have yet experienced significant cases
of mutiny, but the deterioration of morale is evident in the growing
incidents of civilian killings, rape, and prisoner abuse for which an
increasing number of marines and soldiers are undergoing trial or have
been sent to prison. Unlike during the Vietnam War, the U.S. military is
not a conscript military. But the high command knows that even
professional militaries have their limits and that at some point the rank
and file will balk at being sent to a pointless war. Nobody wants to die
for a mistake. Nobody wants to be in the last body bag sent from Baghdad.
This is what Murtha, a decorated Vietnam veteran who has been hawkish on
most other military issues, has been telling his Democratic Party
colleagues.

Nevertheless, a de facto military mutiny like the one that swept the U.S.
Army in the last years of the Vietnam War is not likely. As Democrats and
Republicans bicker over a plan for an "honorable exit," the brass will
more likely place U.S. units in an increasingly defensive posture to cut
down on the casualty rate, leaving the mercenary Iraqi security forces to
fend for themselves. The troops might even be ordered to hole up on the
bases, with increasingly infrequent patrols meant not to ensure security
but simply to show the flag. This would be the military equivalent of
going on strike.

                 The Challenge to the Anti-War Movement

So it comes down to the anti-war movement.

The movement is to be congratulated for its role in the titanic struggle
to turn the tide of American public opinion on Iraq. Cindy Sheehan's
campout at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, the many acts of protest and
civil disobedience engaged in by so many others, the big protest rallies
and demonstrations, all this made a difference - a big difference.

But the movement cannot even think about relaxing for a second. The moment
is critical. Now - the immediate post-election period - is the time to
raise the ante. Now is the time for the U.S. anti-war movement to escalate
its efforts - to mount demonstration after demonstration - to effect
immediate withdrawal. Electoral choice has created the momentum that can
be translated into street action that can, in turn, translate into strong
pressure on the Democrats not to agree to a protracted exit strategy. The
movement cannot afford to squander this momentum, for the price of
stepping back and letting the Democrats come up with the strategy will be
more Iraqis and Americans dead, sacrificed for a meaningless war with no
real end in sight.  [Dems will do only what we *force* them to do. -ed]

Walden Bello is executive director of Focus on the Global South and
professor of sociology at the University of the Philippines.


--------22 of 24--------

Alive, Well and Gaining Strength
The Korea, Vietnam, Iraq Syndrome
By JOHN V. WALSH
CounterPunch
November 14, 2006

"Two, Three, Many Vietnams"! was Che Guevara's famous call to arms. Today
we remain in the throes of our third Vietnam, Iraq. This is the third time
since World War II that hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops have been
sent abroad in a neo-colonialist war (1).

The first "Vietnam" was in fact Korea. And it was the first war to be
televised to the relatively few TV sets then in existence. Americans saw
the bloody battles in black and white with American soldiers killed day
after day. At the end of it all about 50,000 Americans and a million
Asians were dead, at the hands of Harry S. Truman who was deeply reviled
as the result of the war. Truman was unexpectedly defeated in the first
New Hampshire primary and withdrew from the presidential race, which
Eisenhower won on the promise of "going to Korea" and ending the war -
which he did, much to his credit. Today we do not hear much about
Eisenhower; but the bloodthirsty Truman, the only human being to order the
incineration of hundreds of thousands with nuclear weapons of mass
destruction, is hailed by the likes of Democrat neocon Peter Beinart and
other Democratic neocons as a model for Democrats today. However, at the
time of Korea organized, antiwar sentiment was miniscule and there was
little to no protest over the draft.

Next was Vietnam itself where our historical memory often seems to begin
when most pundits discuss war, apparently because their knowledge of
history only springs from their own personal memories. Kennedy and the
rest of "the best and the brightest" Democrats started this war and by its
ending another 50,000 Americans and two million Southeast Asians, by
Robert McNamara's count, had been killed. Kennedy was another "tough"
Democrat, decrying a supposed missile gap and promising to send troops
anywhere in the world for "freedom." But this time a massive opposition
grew, slowly at first and then gaining in speed. By 1968, Johnson had
suffered the same fate as Truman in New Hampshire and he was driven from
office. By 1964 there were sizable campus and street demonstrations
against the war, driven by Old Left and New, and by 1969 the
demonstrations had grown to hundreds of thousands. The draft became
untenable and was abolished. From now on the empire builders would have to
make do with an "all-volunteer" army recruited mainly from the ranks of
those who were strapped for cash or mesmerized by the culture of war.

Now we have Iraq. And in this last election, the President who brought it
upon us was handed a resounding defeat - just as were Truman and Johnson
before him. But this time millions in the U.S. marched against the war
before it started, and 23 Senators refused to rubber stamp Bush's call to
arms. Even the military was reluctant, and it took enormous exertions of
deception and manipulation, like calling for a vote a month before the
2002 elections, leading most politicians to vote their careers and
ambitions instead of stopping the unnecessary slaughter that knew lay
ahead. Once again the United States has left its signature in Iraq,
killing around 500,000 so far and probably more than that due to the
Clintonian sanctions leading up to the war. It seems that a consistent
U.S. strategy, its signature, is to level any third world country and
visit mass murder on its population if that country is considered an
enemy. The hope is obviously that those who displease the American Empire
will know that there is a great price to pay. Although American deaths
have fallen far short of those in Korea and Vietnam, the tens of thousands
of injuries would have been deaths in those earlier wars.

Vietnam generated more opposition than Korea and now Iraq has generated
more opposition and earlier opposition than Vietnam - despite the absence
of the draft, which did so much to mobilize opposition to the war on
Vietnam. (Now we have Max Boot, resident neocon at the LA Times calling
for an army of foreign-born mercenaries who can be rewarded for their
fighting with U.S. citizenship.) And opposition to this war does not come
mainly or principally from students but from all segments of the
population. It was a grown-up opposition, symbolized by Lila Lipscomb and
Cindy Sheehan, whose sons were taken from them by the machinations of the
neocons. (The drawback to the lack of youth has been a dearth of militancy
and radicalism and uncompromising idealism.) The opposition has sprung not
only from the Left, but from Libertarians and the non neocon Right which
has returned to its anti-imperial roots, largely abandoned after WWI(2).
This stance is routinely smeared with the "isolationist" label to no
avail, and I soon expect to see bumper stickers proclaiming "Isolationist,
and Proud of It."

The fact is that we have come a long way. The American people are
increasingly dissatisfied with war and Empire - in fact we are sick to
death of it. The Vietnam syndrome is no longer adequate to describe the
phenomenon since it is now the product of three colonial wars. Properly it
should be called the "Korea, Vietnam, Iraq Syndrome." The masters of
Empire, both Democrat and Republican, will try to "cure" us of this
sentiment, and we must be wary of this, but in the end they will not
succeed. They have lost the battle in Iraq, and they have lost the battle
for the hearts and minds of Americans to sustain an empire.

So we stand on the threshold of a full-blown Anti-imperial movement if we
can pull it off. We need to consolidate this now before the Empire decides
that it must wage war on China - which was part of the motivation for Iraq
in the first place and is now finding its way into the screed of the
propagandists of empire (3). We have the forces, from Left and Right, to
generate such a movement. We must do it - or with the advance of
technology, we may all perish by accident if not by design.

John V. Walsh can be reached at johnendwar [at] gmail.com.

This article is prepared from unprepared remarks at a demonstration of the
Antiwar League (AntiwarLeague.org) in Boston on Veterans Day.

Notes

(1) The numerous imperial wars fought by proxy armies for the U.S. from
Angola to El Salvador to Afghanistan to Iran, which killed untold
millions, do not qualify as "Vietnams" in Che's definition. No one has yet
adequately tallied the toll in lives and destruction claimed by these
cruel wars.

(2) Justin Raimondo. Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the
Conservative Movement.

(3) Thomas Friedman. "China: Scapegoat or Sputnik." NYT, Nov. 10, 2006.


--------23 of 24--------

To Hell with Centrism: We Must Reclaim the Inspired Edge
by Phil Rockstroh
www.dissidentvoice.org
November 15, 2006

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act."
  - George Orwell

"I don't want to be part of your revolution if I can't dance."
  - Emma Goldman

Rumsfeld is gone. Mehlman is gone. Delay is gone. Yet let's not have our
progressives' version of a strutting on the flight deck of an aircraft
carrier moment. Because mission has not been accomplished.

For those who haven't noticed, while we were busy with other concerns,
many of our rights and liberties went missing. Moreover, along with them
have went or are going fast: our planet's polar ice caps; accountability
of the corporate sector (our nation's true power brokers); as well as, a
sense of place, history, and even a cursory understanding, among a large
percent of the populace of the US, of the precepts of civilization and of
democratic discourse.

These circumstances, like the melting of the polar ice caps, have
transpired, incrementally, and have been going on for longer than that
Reign of Terror in Tiny Town known as the Bush presidency. For example,
regarding the increasingly authoritarian terrain we negotiate our way
through daily: In American work places, bosses routinely snoop into
underlings' personal e-mails and monitor our web-surfing practices. How
did it come about that so many Americans have grown to accept such
demeaning intrusions into our privacy?

In such a repressive societal milieu, there is no need to threaten
would-be dissidents with old school totalitarian measures such as forced
deportment to Siberian labor camps. Threats, overt and covert, to one's
economic security and social standing serve to dissuade most of us from
political and social dissent. In the class stratified structure of the US
work force, where the personal consequences borne of financial upheaval
are swift, punitive and severe, the implicit threat of being deported to
America's urban gulag archipelago of homelessness renders most of us
compliant to the exploitive dictates of corporate oligarchy.

Where did this all begin? How did it all get away from us? Furthermore,
why do we stand for it, when these practices are antithetical to
everything we claim to believe in as a nation?

In part, the proto-fascistic transgressions of corporate rule have made
these circumstances all but inevitable, because our concept of what it
means to be a human being has been incrementally defined downward. There
has been much discussion of the dumbing down of American life. And these
assessments are accurate and unnerving. (How else does one explain that
37% of those Connecticut voters who cast ballots for Joe Lieberman did so
believing he was the peace candidate?) But there has been little discourse
given to the pervasive corporate blandification of American life - the
manner in which its criteria both numbs out the personality of an
individual and renders the nation's landscape monotonous and ugly.

The effects of corporatism are insidious. In such an environment, there is
no need for mass rallies replete with bonfires blazing against the
totalitarian darkness: Corporatism establishes an authoritarian order by
way of a series of overt bribes and tacit threats. This social and
cultural criterion causes an individual to become fearful and cautious -
and, after a time, flattens out one's inner drives and longings. As a
result, a Triumph of the Bland comes to pass, internally and externally.

Ergo, the oligarchs atop the present order have no need for reeducation
camps or the ever vigilant gaze of neighborhood block captains. We have
become our own, ever-vigilant minders; within us, we have in place vast
networks of secret police informers - our own personal bully boy enforcers
of blandness who leave us as passionless and empty as the architecture of
the corporate nothingscape that surrounds us.

In addition, corporatism demands employees render themselves fecklessly
pleasant. One doesn't want to be caught being "negative" or be accused of
the treachery of not being "a team player." Such accusations bring to an
individual a similar decree of ignominy as being denounced as a
counterrevolutionary under the fallen regime of the former Soviet Union.

Accordingly, despite their midterm election victory, this problem remains
mirrored in the leadership of the Democratic party - most of whom are the
bought and sold products of corporatist rule and, therefore, have been
trained to act with the kind of ersatz public congeniality demanded of all
underlings in the corporate state. Apropos, the odd combination of
fecklessness and smugness they delude themselves into believing is
conducive to steering a course of "sensible centrism." From refusing to
fight stolen elections - right up to the present Democratic leadership of
congress stating they will not press for the impeachment of the most
corrupt president in the history of the republic - we bear constant
witness to it.

In this regard, it's very considerate of congressional Republicans who, in
synergy with the Bush cartel, perpetrated one of the most vicious,
vindictive and exclusionary reigns in congressional history to now want to
play nice and "reconcile." It's very magnanimous of them to forgive us
leftists for being right on all fronts - and generous of them to forgive
the majority of their Democratic peers in congress for cowering before
them, day in and day out, for the past four years of one party rule.

Moreover, it was we leftist outsiders - not reasonable, accommodating
liberals - who were right about the disastrous consequences that would
befall an invasion of Iraq; as we were and remain right in our revulsion
to the fascistic fraud that is the Patriot Act and the War on Terror.

This is the reason we're not let into the closed club of mainstream
punditry. Although, to avoid being cruel, such an event might prove to be
unfair to the slow children therein. We'd be hurling our ninety
mile-an-hour progressive fast balls past them - while they're playing
tee-ball . . . Only the insularity inherent to a life of privilege can
render folks as outright slow to the realities of the outside world as
evinced by our present day pundit class. Is it any wonder they've enabled
Duyba for so long. He's on their tee-ball team. The little Beltway
Oligarchs.

In short, mainstream Democrats and self-proclaimed centrist pundits have
adapted the mandatory mode of being that is demanded of corporate
underlings: self-annihilation by habitual amiability. It remains to be
seen whether this habit can be broken or modified. I have my doubts.

Yet, one aspect of Election Day 2006 was indisputably salubrious for us:
the powerless rabble crushed beneath the corporate class: Owing to the
fact, that, at least, for one day, the act of voting served to pry our
sagging asses off our sofas and out of our office cubicles - and into the
soul-reviving vastness of life.

And this point gets to the heartless center of the tragedy of corporate
hegemony: The manner in which the system's monomaniacal drive for
excessive profits and the habitual consumerism mandatory to sustain it
serves to usurp our essential longings and passions. The absence, in
contemporary life, of (non virtual) public space, wherein human to human
discourse can flourish has created the social conditions inherent to the
rise and pernicious influence of anti-democratic institutions such as
so-called megachurches. This loss of communal connection, in confluence
with consumerism and the influences of American Puritanism and Calvinism,
has wrought, within the US populace, a desperate longing for group
involvement - even for those ecstatic states involving the immersion of
one's rational mind found within the excesses of a totalitarian mob.

Likewise, the phenomenon plays into the pernicious sin/shame continuum,
psychologically, at the root of the present genus of Protestant
fundamentalism arising from the toxic soil of the corporate state.

Huge, corrupt and bloated out, like Elvis in his final years, this is how
religions die. As was the case with Elvis, Christian Fundamentalists
believe they're bigger than ever, but the course they've taken begets
self-destructive behavior: Given the fact that being a consummate
consumer/religious zealot implicitly demands one be prone to excess (from
their enormous, Graceland-gaudy churches to their over-the-top myths of
world-wide, time-ending wars) - a scenario plays out, time and time again
- whereby a Saved*Mart devotee breaches the rigid moral code of the group,
then, overwhelmed by shame must submit and surrender to public confession
and other exhibitionistic displays of phony redemption.

Within this paradoxical dynamic, the corporate/consumer/quasi-theocratic
state compels one to live excessively, yet, simultaneously, dictates one
suppress one's lusts and passions, hence creating an unbridgeable
psychological splitting process. As a consequence, many are bound to stray
into the realm of the forbidden (because almost everything is forbidden)
and with this comes the aforementioned need for a come-to-Jesus
repentance. Conveniently, the whole sick symmetry serves as a means by
which the individual can be controlled by the unscrupulous personalities
at the head of fundamentalist organizations - who play Colonel Tom Parker
to the hapless flock's Elvis.

These ruthless phonies, in combination with the cunning apparatchik of the
UberCulture, have become adroit at controlling any untidy outbursts of
freedom of expression that might threaten their cultural hegemony. They
have far too much at stake - too much money and power might be lost, if
freedom's voice were to be heard unfettered; hence, they serve up the
spurious ecstatic states proffered by both pop culture and megachurch
hucksterism.

These are the regions of the national soul we on the left must reclaim.
Traditionally, music has aided progressives in the struggle. Accordingly,
Woody Guthrie believed all songs are political. Songs take up residence in
our hearts and in the non-verbal areas of our minds where we harbor our
deepest longings. There, they inform our perceptions of the world. It is
this sublime terrain, existing beyond the material that progressives have
abandoned to the frauds and flimflammers.

Lost, in our retreat, has been our affinity with the spirit of defiant
longing for release from hard labor beneath the unforgiving Mississippi
sun that found voice in the late night, crossroads barroom freedom of
Delta Blues - or the likes of our finding refuge from the dehumanizing,
daylight demands of mid-twentieth century, industrial, urban existence in
the midnight transcendence of Bebop and Free Jazz. Also missing has been
an atmosphere (cultural and personal) of creative risk and abandon,
whereby Jimi Hendrix would conjure and fuse the urban and rural spirits of
Robert Johnson and John Coltrane, plus toss some Malcolm X into the mix
and, a short time later and further down a southbound road, Duane Allman
would resurrect a redneck hippie, guitar Jesus who fed the post-honky tonk
multitudes Orange Sunshine as he delivered an electric guitar Sermon On
The Georgia Red Dirt Mount fusing the spirits of Tim Leary, Martin Luther
King, and the Carter Family. Then, a few years later, across the gray
Atlantic, the Sex Pistols would howl like Post-Industrial Age demons,
trapped within the detritus of the crumbling British Empire . . . much
like, nearly a decade and a half later, Kurt Cobain would have his short,
Icarian flight across the flaming-out sun of the American Empire.

In addition, the realm of sexuality has been claimed and exploited by
moralizing hypocrites and opportunists. Hence, it's high time, we
progressives ceased to be such priggish ninnies - and challenged the
Puritan/Calvinistic delusion that the worst aspects of sinfulness can be
traced to the fleshy theme parks of the human genitals. It's time we
addressed and confronted the (mundane but far more deadly) sin of
obliviousness to the larger world existing beyond one's immediate shallow,
self-serving needs, concerns, and compulsions - the outright careless
disregard of anything on this living earth that does not serve the
cravings of a culture overrun by overgrown infant tyrants dropped from the
poisonous womb of corporatism. Possibly, in this light, the words sin and
sinners are too loaded with cretinous religious connotations and,
accordingly, their meanings should be reinterpreted more along the lines
of "self-centered fuck-ups."

In order to bring freedom and its full range of ecstasies and excesses
back to American life, we must not only wrest back ecstatic states from
the bible-brandishing, brown shirt-prone class - but the very definition
of what constitutes spirituality, passion and sin as well. We're not
talking about so-called blue states or red states here, but states of
inspiration. Very few folks are ever moved to change their lives by the
promulgating of wonky statistics or even well reasoned arguments. That's
not how human beings are made up - Praise be! - to the happenstance of
evolutionary grace.

In conclusion, we must strive to live with the same degree of passion and
fervor as fundamentalist Christian preachers do . . . when they're seeking
out converts and hookers.

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.


--------24 of 24--------

 Authority. In
 your day, flip it the bird. We'll
 all be glad you did.


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