Progressive Calendar 11.18.06
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 06:40:17 -0800 (PST)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    11.18.06

1. SpiritProgs        11.18 8:30am
2. Oaxaca revolt      11.18 10am
3. Green Xmas gifts   11.18 10am
4. No Knollwood army  11.18 10:30am
5. NW vigil           11.18 11am
6. Northtown vigil    11.18 1pm
7. Turkey-free Thx    11.18 2pm
8. ASL/puppet/kids    11.18 2pm
9. Deep space news    11.18 7pm
10. Nonpartisan party 11.18 7pm
11. Lerner speaks     11.16 7pm
12. Fure/Nelson conc  11.18 7:30pm

13. Mpls Green Party  11.19 12noon
14. MnSOAWatch vigil  11.19 1pm
15. IRV for StPaul    11.19 2pm
16. Are we free?      11.19 3pm
17. Amnesty Intl      11.19 3pm
18. KFAI/Indian       11.19 4pm
19. Mac garden        11.19 5pm

20. Greg Grandin - Milton Friedman and the economics of empire

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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: SpiritProgs 11.18 8:30am

Saturday, 11/18, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Midwest Conference of Spiritual
Progressives "Igniting a Culture of Love, Peace and Justice" with Rabbi
Michael Lerner, then 6 concurrent afternoon workshops, Plymouth
Congregational Church Rev James Gertmenian and activist Farheen Hakeem,
$45 advance registration ($20 for activists), lunch included, Wesley
Church, 101 E Grant, downtown Mpls.  www.nspmn.org


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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Oaxaca revolt 11.18 10am

Saturday, 11/18, 10 to 11:30 am, Resource Center of the Americas coffeehour
on "Uprising in Oaxaca," 3019 Minnehaha Ave, Mpls.  www.americas.org


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From: snyde043 <snyde043 [at] tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Green Xmas gifts 11.18 10am

Kick off the Holiday Season in the Twin Cities by Being `Green'!
Do It Green! Gifts Fair

On Saturday, November 18th from 10am-5pm local businesses and artisans
will showcase recycled, organic, fair-trade and environmentally-friendly
gifts. This event will be held in south Minneapolis along Lyndale Avenue
from Franklin to 35th streets and will also be inside Lyndale Church 810
West 31st Street.

Participating locations will be marked by a `green' gift box on the
boulevard. In addition, there will be music, food, and workshops inside
the church on `greening your holidays' for adults and children. This is a
free event sponsored by the Twin Cities Green Guide, Intermedia Arts and
Ecopolitan

MORE DETAILS:
Do It Green! Gifts Fair
Shop for all of your green gifts in one place!
Do It Green! Gifts Fair - Saturday, November 18th
10am-5pm
Uptown, Minneapolis

* Green Gifts Fair and Workshops inside Lyndale Church, located at
31st and Aldrich
* Green Gifts Crawl with Local Green Businesses along Lyndale Avenue
in Uptown, Minneapolis
* Silent Auction with Gift Baskets, Gift Certificates and other
Goodies
* Kick-off Event for Do It Green! Magazine available for $7
* Green Your Holidays Workshops
* Music, Food, and Warm Drinks

GREEN GIFTS
To view all of the vendors and green gifts available visit:
http://www.doitgreen.org/article/events/giftsfair

FREE WORKSHOPS
Free workshops for adults and children will be offered to help you
to reduce your waste over the holidays (waste can increase by 1/3
per household over the holidays!) and offer gifts and décor ideas in
the spirit of being `green'. Workshops include:

- Coffee Tasting with organic, fair-trade coffee from Peace Coffee.
- ArtStart Children's Reuse - projects kids can take home to
decorate the holiday table.
- Waste-Free Holiday Tips for your home by Carolyn Smith of Anoka
County.
- Holiday Feng Shui - workshop by Dianna DiCristiana of Wind Water
Harmony.
- Local Chef Jenny Breen will help you with ideas for creating a
local and seasonal holiday food spread, with a tasting.
- Learn How to Sew reusable cloth gift bags with the American Sewing
Guild. Bring your children too!
- Make Recycled Holiday Gift Tags & Greeting Cards - get your
creative juices flowing with your friends or kids.
- Giving Energy for the Holidays- learn about LED holiday lights,
fluorescent light bulbs and energy audits as gifts!


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From: "Murphy, Cathy" <CMurphy [at] analysts.com>
Subject: No Knollwood army 11.18 10:30am

Army opening "Career Center" in Knollwood Mall
Knollwood is a community meeting place. Our kids spend time there,
sometimes alone or with friends. Army recruiters, who are increasingly
desperate, aggressively target them, using lies & coercive tactics.

What can we do about it?

ProtectAction is a group of local folks working to protect our kids. You
can help.

Raise awareness in the community:
Join us - Every Saturday  -  10:30 a.m.
Meet under the large Knollwood Mall sign (Hwy7 & Aquila), where we put
on white shirts with ProtectAction on the back.
We walk into the mall via several entrances and meet at the recruiting
center, each carrying a sign with the name of a Minnesotan killed in
Iraq or Afghanistan since 2003 (49 so far)
We stand briefly in front of the recruiting center and then depart
(total time commitment = 20 minutes)

www.ProtectAction.blogspot.com <http://www.protectaction.blogspot.com/>


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From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: NW vigil 11.18 11am

NW Neighbors for Peace will have our weekly demonstrations every Saturday
between 11 AM and noon along Vinewood, near Rockford Rd. (also known as
42nd Avenue or Cty. Rd. 9) and just east of 494.  This is the entrance to
Target, Rainbow, and other stores.


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From: Lennie <major18 [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Northtown vigil 11.18 1pm

Mounds View peace vigiling EVERY SATURDAY from 1-2pm at the at the
southeast corner of the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE
in Blaine, which is the northwest most corner of the Northtown Mall area.
This is a MUCH better location.

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

For further information, email major18 [at] comcast.net or call Lennie at
763-717-9168


--------7 of 20--------

From: Gil Schwartz <gil [at] exploreveg.org>
Subject: Turkey-free Thx 11.18 2pm

Compassionate Action for Animals, in conjunction with Women's Student
Activist Collective, is holding their Fourth Annual Turkey-Free
Thanksgiving Potluck. Over a hundred vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores
from across the Twin Cities will gather together to share Tofurky, vegan
gravy and stuffing, and dozens of other delicious animal friendly foods.
Before vegetarians head home to unsympathetic family members and meals
where bland mashed potatoes are the only food they can eat, CAA will
provide an inviting and welcoming atmosphere, some great food, games, and
prizes to celebrate the holiday. Bring friends and a veg dish to share
with 5-8 others.

Fourth Annual Turkey-Free Thanksgiving Potluck
Saturday, November 18, 2006
2-4:30pm
1219 University Ave SE (Dinkytown) University Baptist Church, Minneapolis
[Note: The event is not affiliated with the church]

For more information on the Thanksgiving Feast please visit
www.ExploreVeg.org or call 612-626-5785

Sponsors include: Compassionate Action for Animals and Women's Student
Activist Collective


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From: paulino brener <email [at] paulino.info>
Subject: ASL/puppet/kids 11.18 2pm

Boats, circles and ogres: stories for young ones and young at heart!
"paper boats" with paulino brener

Paulino travels around the world on paper boats and brings back many
folktales and languages from distant countries. Make your own paper boat
and join Paulino in this entertaining, multicultural and multilingual
storytelling feast!

"fool circle"  with margo mccreary and shari aronson

"Fool Circle" is a story about a puppet character's search for where he
came from . All people have a desire to find their place in the world, and
to know that they belong.  Ollie McNutt, a 7' tall puppet, makes his way
foolishly around boulders, bees, and badgers into a circle of his own. The
circles that we place ourselves expand over our lives as we understand
more and more how much we share with all other beings.

Date: Saturday, Nov. 18th**, 2006
Time: 2:00 PM
Tickets: $6 - $12 sliding scale for TWO SHOWS!
Location: Walker Church
3104 16th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
** This performance is ASL interpreted

To buy tickets online or for more information about this and upcoming
shows visit www.paulino.info or call 612-246-4623


--------9 of 20--------

From: jojane [at] juno.com
From: Karen Hering <khering [at] sbcglobal.net>
Subject: Deep space news 11.18 7pm

In celebration of its 125th anniversary
The First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis presents
The Unfolding Universe - finding design

A lecture by Dr. Lawrence Rudnick Distinguished Teaching Professor of
Astronomy University of Minnesota
With responding comments from Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons First Unitarian
Society of Minneapolis

Saturday, November 18, 2006
7-9pm program
6:30pm, refreshments
Free and open to the public

Join us as we examine some of the latest discoveries in astronomy and
explore their profound implications for our spiritual lives and
communities of faith. Dr. Rudnick will discuss the newest information from
ground and space-based telescopes studying our universe.  Rev. Dr. Gibbons
will reflect on the significance of these discoveries within a faith
perspective that takes science seriously.

First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis
900 Mount Curve Avenue
www.firstunitariansociety.org                     612-377-6608


--------10 of 20--------

From: Elizabeth Dickinson <eadickinson [at] mindspring.com>
Subject: Nonpartisan party 11.18 7pm

THE FOURTH ANNUAL NONPARTISAN PARTY

From: Carleton Crawford
 Elizabeth Dickinson
 Lee Eklund
 Darrell Gerber
 Brian Melendez
 David Weinlick

You and your friends are cordially invited to the fourth annual
"Nonpartisan Party" on Saturday 18 November, from 7 p.m. until Whenever,
at Brian Melendez's home, 1777 Dupont Avenue South, Minneapolis. (Please
see below for directions.) The Concept

The inaugural Nonpartisan Party was held in 2003, when - for the first
time in many years - there were neither federal, state, legislative, nor
municipal elections scheduled in Minneapolis. The first Tuesday after the
first Monday in November came and went without a general election.

The co-hosts - then as now - were volunteer activists in different
political parties. We spend practically all our volunteer time around
politics, helping get our candidates elected. But some of the most decent
and interesting folks that we have met in local politics are not
necessarily members of the same party as we are. Unfortunately, those
folks seldom deal with each other outside the partisan political context,
so building relationships and actual friendships with each other is tough.
But local politics would be much more civil, and perhaps focused more on
issues and less on personalities, if there were more opportunities for
building relationships and friendships among volunteers across party
lines.

To that end, we threw the first Nonpartisan Party as an opportunity for
volunteer leaders in all the political parties to meet and mingle outside
partisan politics. The event was a success, so we have turned it into an
annual event - a chance for coming together after an actual election,
taking off our hats as partisans for a moment and looking at the
candidates and at each other as neighbors and fellow citizens. The Rules

There will be a few ground rules:

1. The party is a private event, hosted by individuals and not by
political parties, organizations, or titles. Everyone who cares about
local politics, regardless of partisan affiliation (or lack of
affiliation), is welcome.

2. No agenda or program.

3. No handouts, leaflets, or other propaganda. It's a party, ya know?

4. The party is mostly in honor of volunteer activists. Publicly elected
officers are more than welcome. So are candidates for those offices. But
nobody gets a soapbox or a formal introduction.

5. No campaigning allowed. (Gossip and speculation are okay.)

6. No speeches!

We will supply some beverages and munchies (and maybe even some Krispy
Kreme donuts). You don't need to bring anything. But if you do want to
bring something, you can bring a favorite beverage or snack for sharing.
The Directions

1777 Dupont Avenue is a red-brick house with white trim, in Lowry Hill,
three blocks west of Hennepin Avenue, between Summit and Douglas (three
blocks north of Franklin). You can park on the street in front. Brian's
phone number is 612.377.1777.

We hope that you can come! Please write or call any co-host if you have
any questions:

Brian Melendez brian.melendez [at] usa.net
Carleton Crawford carleton [at] c3homedesign.com
Elizabeth Dickinson eadickinson [at] mindspring.com
Darrell Gerber darrellgerber [at] earthlink.net
Lee Eklund leeboy1 [at] peoplepc.com
David Weinlick weinlick [at] gmail.com


--------11 of 20--------

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

THUR.NOV.16, 7pm: "The Spiritual Transformation of American Society"
talk by Rabbi Michael Lerner, founder of Tikkun magazine(Rabbi Lerner is
also one of the KEYNOTES at the Sat.Nov.18 Conf.of Network of Spiritual
Progressives--info below)

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

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

Rabbi Michael Lerner, founder of Tikkun magazine, will speak at the
University of Minnesota on Thursday, November 16 at 7:00 p.m. The talk
will take place at Ted Mann Concert Hall and is free and open to the
public.In his talk, titled "The Spiritual Transformation of American
Society," Rabbi 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.


--------12 of 20-------

From: Rachel Nelson <bardlive [at] usfamily.net>
Subject: Fure/Nelson concert 11.18 7:30pm

Tret Fure/Rachel Nelson Concert
Sat., Nov. 18   7:30 p.m.
Jeanne d'Arc Auditorium, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul
Tickets $15 in advance     $18 at the door     $12 student

Tret Fure will appear in concert this Saturday with Rachel Nelson on
fiddle and mandolin and Michael (Stix) Kiley on percussion.  Nelson will
also do an opening set.

Both Fure and Nelson include songs about peace, community, and the
environment in their repertoire.

We externd our warmest invitation to the progressive community to join us
for this concert!


--------13 of 20--------

From: neil <gathersplainpebbles [at] excite.com>
Subject: Mpls Green Party 11.19 12noon

Greetings Fifth District Folks,
Please join us for the next membership meeting at the Park House at 2120
Park Avenue in Minneapolis. Also, please note there is a social hour to
gather and meet. Hope to see you.

For a glimpse of the agenda, visit the 5cd website at
http://5cd.mngreens.org/
Neil Cunningham
5cd Steering Committee Co-Chair


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From: MnSOAWatch <MnSOAW [at] circlevision.org>
Subject: MnSOAWatch vigil 11.19 1pm

MnSOAWatch Twin Cities Area Vigil
Sunday, November 19 - 1 PM
Lake Street/Marshall Ave Bridge
Stand in Solidarity -

As thousands gather at the front gates of Fort Benning to honor and
commemorate the six Jesuit priests, their co-worker and her teenage
daughter, who were massacred in El Salvador on November 16, 1989. You can
stand with them in spirit as a litany of names of those killed or
disappeared by graduates of the School of the Americas is read. Meet on
the St. Paul side of the bridge. Please bring signs or crosses and a short
poem or prayer, if you'd like.

The folks at the National Catholic Reporter have created a web page
dedicated to this year's vigil at Ft. Benning . The NCRcafe provides on
line coverage of the vigil including pod cast interviews, blogs,
discussion forums, updates and columns. This is a great tool for folks who
will not be able to make it to this year's Vigil and for those who want to
express their views and experiences while participating in the events and
actions in Ft. Benning, GA <>http://www.ncrcafe.org/node/613

Veterans for Peace still has 4 seats left on their memorable bus trip to
Fort Benning. Call Jim as soon as possible to get a seat. 612.722.1112

Twin Ports SOAW is organizing a photo of Minnesotans at the SOAW vigil in
Columbus next weekend to send to our congress people. They might be
surprised how many Minnesotans take part in this important vigil. We plan
on taking it at 3:30 on Saturday. We will meet near the entrance
checkpoint. Last year we had a photo with 25 from Duluth. What will we
have this year from Minnesota? Watch for a crowd and a sign! MaryB Newcomb
of Twin Ports SOAW

http://www.soaw.org/new/ Navigate yourself through the many articles,
resources that SOAWatch has prepared for our benefit.

To keep on top of this year's schedule and all the activities in Georgia
go to http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=1357 and print yourself a
schedule and read more about what's happening.

This year's funeral procession will culminate in a joyous celebration of
remembrance as we make the transition from somber reflection to the
celebration of life and resistance. We need you to help us make this
happen! Bring flowers of all kinds (fresh, plastic, paper, cloth). Bring
trumpets, drums, conch shells, and anything else you can think of to help
us make a joyful noise. Join us as we incorporate a "second line" into
this year's vigil and celebrate the Return to Life by spreading beauty and
music where it otherwise might not be found.

Media outreach is one of the pillars of the movement to close down the
SOA/WHINSEC. The more people know about the history and actions of the
SOA/WHINSEC the closer we are to shutting it down. Taking a few minutes of
your time to carry out a few media-related tasks can make a big
difference. Click on http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=266 to get
suggestions and resources for your media work.

<http://www.mnsoaw.org>


--------15 of 20--------

From: Mike Whelan
Subject: IRV for StPaul 11.19 2pm

Green Party for IRV meeting on Sunday Nov 19 th at 2 PM
951 Iglehart in St Paul
Info call Mike 651 645-9506


--------16 of 20--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Are we really free? 11.19 3pm

IMPACT hosts a public discussion:

"Are We Really Free?  Cogs in the Economic Machine: A Guided Discussion on
Social Control"

Sunday, Nov 19, 3 pm

MAYDAY BOOKSTORE, 301 Cedar Avenue
Below Midwest Mountaineering, corner of Cedar and 3rd
One block north of Cedar and Riverside Aves, Mpls

The modern world has left many feeling insignificant and powerless. Often,
this is due to the dominant-submissive relationships between an individual
and the ever industrializing world engulfing them. Sunday, IMPACT will
hold a guided discussion about a citizen's path to powerlessness as shaped
by our civilization and what can be done to reclaim our personal
sovereignty in a world in which the average person is guided towards
consumerism.


--------17 of 20-------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 11.19 3pm

GROUP 37 NOVEMBER MEETING REMINDER: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH - 3 TO 5 P.M.

Join Group 37 for our regular meeting on Sunday, November 19th, from 3:00
to 5:00 p.m.

This month we catch up with the work of our various sub-groups and take a
bit of a breather after a successful 30th anniversary event (see report
below). Come to learn about our projects protecting human rights at points
around the globe.

All are welcome at the meeting, and refreshments will be provided.

Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis
(corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot
behind the center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn).

A map and directions are available on-line:
http://www.twincitiesamnesty.org/meetings.html.


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From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org>
Subject: KFAI/Indian 11.19 4pm
Uprising for November 19th

KFAI's Indian Uprising for November 19th

CENSORSHIP, THE OTHER GENOCIDE, KILLING OF THE SPIRIT, as said by Brenda
Norrell, Sept. 28, 2006.

I was just terminated by Indian Country Today. Since I began this effort
as a news reporter in Indian country 23 years ago in pursuit of justice
and truth, I feel I owe the readers an apology for allowing ICT to censor
the truth in articles I have written. I did protest the censorship, but no
retractions were published.  Officially, my position is being eliminated
on Friday. This comes after I repeatedly complained of censorship at the
newspaper. During the past the following and plus issues were censored:

Censored: After all reporters were told to write about the bird flu, I
wrote about how Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is profiteering by
millions from the sale of the drug Tamiflu, receiving profits from a
company where he holds shares. The article included information on the
earlier attempts of companies to profiteer from the sale of ribavirin
during the Navajo hantavirus outbreak. My article was censored in ICT and
turned into an advertisement for the medication Tamiflu.

Censored: Raytheon Missiles on Navajo farm (NAPI) in the recent NAPI/Cuban
contract story; I was told not to include in the article the fact that
Raytheon is located on the Navajo farm and is responsible for spills
leading to cancer in South Tucson, where Chicanos and Indians live.
Raytheon produces missiles for the Department of Defense

Censored: The fact that Ben "Nighthorse" Campbell is Portuguese and grew
up in California. His mother is full-blooded Portuguese and his story
changed about his father through the years. One Northern Cheyenne medicine
man asked ICT who Campbell is. Campbell first claimed to have some Apache
blood and later changed it Northern Cheyenne. The Denver Post reported
that Campbell is at least 7/8th non-Indian. Campbell did not respond for a
request to comment.  And more... see attached.

Brenda Norrell, a journalist/reporter, has worked for 23 years covering
Indian news, including five years as a correspondent for Associated Press
and seven years freelancing for USA Today.  She was a regular
correspondent for Indian country Today.  Her articles have also appeared
the UN Observer and International Report, and the Farmington Daily Times.

TIPS ON CONSERVATION & MINIMIZING GLOBAL WARMING.  Read/buy the book, An
Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We
Can Do About It by Al Gore.  The book is well done with color photographs,
charts and very useful information you most likely didn't know about.
Climate change worldwide means we're all in this together, the need to be
respectful of Turtle Island, our Mother Earth.  To calculate your impact
on the climate in terms of the total amount of greenhouse gasses you
produce, visit www.climatecrisis.net.

Note: The Native American Press/Ojibwe Newspaper is now being published on
the lst and 15th of each month, rather then weekly.

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


--------19 of 20--------

From: Julia Eagles <julia.eagles [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Mac garden 11.19 5pm

Dear friends of MULCH,

Greetings at the end of yet another season of growing in the MULCH garden.
As many of you may know, MULCH (Macalester Urban Land & Community Health-
the campus community gardening student organization) is losing our space
this year as Macalester is building a new and improved athletic facility.

After over a decade of growing in our little plot of land tucked in
between the Field House, we bid farewell to that garden and embrace a new
one. With the support of administrators and dedicated students, the
organization broke ground this fall in a new space on Vernon Street (on
the southside of campus) between two of the language houses. While the new
garden offers many opportunities for design, expansion and collaboration,
our old space will be sorely missed by many. The work of several
generations of Macalester students and community built the MULCH garden to
its current capacity- at more than twice its original size and growing
over 80 different species. My involvement with MULCH and work in that
garden was formative to my experience at Mac and beyond, and many of you
may share your own attachments to the garden.

With that in mind, we are extending a special invitation to each of you to
this year's MULCH Harvest Festival, as an opportunity to remember and
celebrate the garden and your various connections to it. I encourage people
to attend with their stories and memories of the garden, or if you can't
make it, send them along to us at mulch [at] macalester.edu. Feel free to pass
this message on to other alumni and friends:

Join MULCH in celebrating the season and a decade of harvests from the
garden, with food, Contra Dancing and live music by Flying Fingers. The
event is free, but donations for local hunger prevention efforts are
welcome.

Sunday, November 19th, 5-7 PM
Weyerhause Board Room, Macalester College

DIRECTIONS: From I 94 take the Snelling Avenue exit. Go South on Snelling
(a right turn from I94 W) until you hit Grand Avenue. Turn right on Grand
and then take your first left on to Macalester Street. Weyerhaueser will
be on your left.

Julia Eagles Class of 2006 julia.eagles [at] gmail.com


--------20 of 20--------

Milton Friedman and the Economics of Empire
The Road from Serfdom
By GREG GRANDIN
CounterPunch
November 17, 2006

Milton Friedman had no idea that his six-day trip to Chile in March 1975
would generate so much controversy. He was invited to Santiago by a group
of Chilean economists who over the previous decades had been educated at
the University of Chicago, in a program set up by Friedman's colleague,
Arnold Harberger. Two years after the overthrow of Allende, with the
dictatorship unable to get inflation under control, the "Chicago Boys"
began to gain real influence in General Augusto Pinochet's military
government. They recommended the application of what Friedman had already
taken to call "shock treatment" or a "shock program" - immediately halting
the printing of money to finance the budget deficit, cutting state
spending twenty to twenty-five percent, laying off tens of thousands of
government workers, ending wage and price controls, privatizing state
industries, and deregulating capital markets. "Complete free trade,"
Friedman advised.

Friedman and Harberger were flown down to "help to sell" the plan to the
military junta, which despite its zealous defense of the abstraction of
free enterprise was partial to corporatism and the maintenance of a large
state sector. Friedman gave a series of lectures and met with Pinochet for
45 minutes, where the general "indicated very little indeed about his own
or the government's feeling." Although he noted that the dictator,
responsible for the torture of tens of thousands of Chileans, seemed
"sympathetically attracted to the idea of a shock treatment."

Friedman returned home to a firestorm of protest, aggravated by his
celebrity as a Newsweek columnist and ongoing revelations about
Washington's and corporate America's involvement in the overthrow of
Allende. Not only had Nixon, the CIA, and ITT, along with other companies,
plotted to destabilize Allende's "democratic road to socialism," but now a
renowned University of Chicago economist, whose promotion of the wonders
of the free market was heavily subsidized by corporations such as Bechtel,
Pepsico, Getty, Pfizer, General Motors, W.R. Grace, and Firestone, was
advising the dictator who overthrew him on how to complete the
counterrevolution - at the cost of skyrocketing unemployment among Chile's
poor. The New York Times identified Friedman as the "guiding light of the
junta's economic policy," while columnist Anthony Lewis asked: if "pure
Chicago economic theory can be carried out in Chile only at the price of
repression, should its authors feel some responsibility?" At his
university, the Spartacus Youth League pledged to "drive Friedman off
campus through protest and exposure," while the student government,
replicating their own version of the Church Commission hearings that was
just then investigating US crimes in Chile, convened a "Commission of
Inquiry on the Friedman/Harberger Issue." Everywhere in the press the name
Friedman was paired with the adjectives "draconian" and "shock," with
small but persistent protests dogging the professor at many of his public
appearances.

In letters to various editors and detractors, Friedman downplayed the
extent of his involvement in Chile, fingering Harberger as more directly
involved in the mentoring of Chilean economists. While defensive, he
nevertheless reveled in the controversy and the frisson of being ushered
into speaking engagements via kitchens and back doors to avoid
demonstrators. He enjoyed exposing the double standard of "liberal
McCarthyism," pointing out that he was never criticized for giving similar
advice to Red China, the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia. In recounting an
episode when a man was dragged out of the Nobel award ceremony after
shouting "down with capitalism, freedom for Chile," Friedman delighted in
noting that the protest backfired, resulting in his receiving "twice as
long an ovation" than any other laureate.

Friedman defended his relationship with Pinochet by saying that if Allende
had been allowed to remain in office Chileans would have suffered "the
elimination of thousands and perhaps mass starvation . . . torture and
unjust imprisonment." But the elimination of thousands, mass hunger,
torture and unjust imprisonment were what was taking place in Chile
exactly at the moment the Chicago economist was defending his protge.
Allende's downfall came because he refused to betray Chile's long
democratic tradition and invoke martial law, yet Friedman nevertheless
insisted that the military junta offered "more room for individual
initiative and for a private sphere of life" and thus a greater "chance of
a return to a democratic society." It was pure boilerplate, but it did
give Friedman a chance to rehearse his understanding of the relationship
between capitalism and freedom.

Critics of both Pinochet and Friedman took Chile as proof positive that
the kind of free-market absolutism advocated by the Chicago School was
only possible through repression. So Friedman countered by redefining the
meaning of freedom. Contrary to the prevailing post-WWII belief that
political liberty was dependent on some form of mild social leveling, he
insisted that "economic freedom is an essential requisite for political
freedom." More than his monetarist theorems, this equation of "capitalism
and freedom" was his greatest contribution to the rehabilitation of
conservatism in the 1970s. Where pre-New Deal conservatives positioned
themselves in defense of social hierarchy, privilege, and order, post-WWII
conservatives instead celebrated the free market as a venue of creativity
and liberty. Such a formulation today stands at the heart of the
conservative movement, having been accepted as commonsense by mainline
politicians and opinion makers. It is likewise enshrined in Bush's
National Security Strategy, which mentions "economic freedom" more than
twice as many times as it does "political freedom."

While he was in Chile Friedman gave a speech titled "The Fragility of
Freedom" where he described the "role in the destruction of a free society
that was played by the emergence of the welfare state." Chile's present
difficulties, he argued, "were due almost entirely to the forty-year trend
toward collectivism, socialism and the welfare state . . . a course that
would lead to coercion rather than freedom." The Pinochet regime, he
argued, represented a turning point in a protracted campaign, a tearing
off of democracy's false husks to reach true freedom's inner core. "The
problem is not of recent origin," Friedman wrote in a follow-up letter to
Pinochet, but "arises from trends toward socialism that started forty
years ago, and reached their logical - and terrible - climax in the
Allende regime." He praised the general for putting Chile back on the
"right track" with the "many measures you have already taken to reverse
this trend."

Friedman understood the struggle to be a long one, and indeed some of the
first recruits for the battle of Chile were conscripted decades earlier.
With financial funding from the US government's Point Four foreign aid
program and the Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Chicago's
Department of Economics set up scholarship programs in the mid-1950s with
Chile's Catholic and public universities. About one hundred select
students between 1957 and 1970 received close, hands-on training, first in
an apprenticeship program in Chile and then in post-graduate work in
Chicago. In principle, Friedman and his colleagues opposed the kind of
developmental largesse that funded the exchange program as a market
distortion, yet they took the cash to finance their department's graduate
program. But they also had a more idealistic purpose.

Starting in the 1950s, Latin America, particularly the southern cone
countries of Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, had become a laboratory for
developmentalist economics. Social scientists, such as the Argentine Ral
Prebisch from his position as head of the UN's Economic Commission on
Latin America, expanded Keynesianism - after John Maynard Keynes, who
elaborated the dominant post-WWII economic framework that envisioned an
active role for the state in the workings of the market - beyond its
focus on managing countervailing cycles of inflation and unemployment to
question the terms of international trade. Chronic inflation, according to
Prebisch and other Latin American economists, was understood not to be a
reflex of any given country's irresponsible monetary system but a symptom
of deep structural inequalities that divided the global economy between
the developed and the undeveloped world. Volatile commodity prices and
capital investment reinforced first world advantage and third world
disadvantage. Economists and politicians from across the political
spectrum accepted the need for state planning, regulation, and
intervention. Such ideas not only drove the economic policies of
developing nations, but echoed throughout the corridors and conference
rooms of the UN and the World Bank, as well as in the non-aligned
movement's 1973 call for a New International Economic Order.

It was the Chicago School's vision of hell, the New Deal writ large across
the world stage. These ideas "fell like a bomb" on those who had long
stood against Keynesianism at home only now to see its authority spread
globally. The Chilean scholarship program was intended to counter such a
vision. "University of Chile economists have been followers of Keynes and
Prebisch more than of Marx," wrote former University of Chicago president
and State Department director of overseas education programs William
Benton, and "the Chicago influence" will "introduce a third basic
viewpoint, that of contemporary 'market economics.'"

Students returned to Chile not just with a well-rounded education in
classical economics but with a burning dedication to carry the faith to
benighted lands. They purged the economics departments of their
universities of developmentalists and began to set up free-market
institutes and think tanks - the Center for Social and Economic Studies,
for example, and the Foundation for Liberty and Development - funded, as
their counterparts in the US were, by corporate money. They understood
their mission in continental terms, committed, as Chicago alum Ernesto
Fontaine put it, "to expand throughout Latin America, confronting the
ideological positions which prevented freedom and perpetuated poverty and
backwardness."

The program, which brought up students from universities in Argentina as
well, is an example of the erratic nature of both public and private US
diplomacy, conforming as it does to competing power interests within
American society. At the same time that Kennedy was promoting Alliance for
Progress reform capitalism, he was training and funding the men and
institutions that would constitute the continent's dense network of death
squads. At the same time that Chase Manhattan, Chemical, Manufacturers
Hanover, and Morgan Guaranty were promoting, through the establishment of
the Trilateral Commission, a more conciliatory economic policy in the
third world, they were cutting off credit to Chile, making, in accordance
with Nixon's directive, its economy "scream." And at the same time that
every American president from Truman to Nixon was embracing Keynesianism,
the University of Chicago's Economics Department, with financial support
from the US government, had turned itself into free-market madrassa that
indoctrinated a generation of Latin American economists to spearhead an
international capitalist insurgency.

Throughout the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, though, the revolution seemed to
be forever deferred. In the late 1960s, the Chicago Boys had drawn up the
platform of Allende's nationalist opponent in the 1970 election, which
included many of the proposals that eventually would be implemented under
Pinochet. But Allende won, so Chile had to wait. In the meantime, the
military junta in Brazil, which took power in 1964, had invited Friedman
in 1973 down for advice, which it took for awhile. A severe recession and
skyrocketing unemployment followed. Friedman pronounced this first
application of "shock therapy" an "economic miracle." But the generals,
wisely it seems, demurred, returning to its state-directed program of
industrialization that, while failing to curb inflation, did lower
unemployment and lay the foundations for Brazil's current economic
dominance of Latin America. Richard Nixon too, early in his first term,
showed promise, but then he raised tariffs, introduced wage and price
controls and, with an eye to the 1972 election, declared himself a
Keynesian and opened up the money spout. Nixon was an "enormous
disappointment," reflected Friedman.

That left Pinochet, not the most reputable of characters but willing to go
the distance. Chile became, according to Business Week, a "laboratory
experiment" for taming inflation through monetary control, carrying out,
said Barrons, the "most important modifications implemented in the
developing world in recent times." American economists may have been
writing "treatises" on the "way the world should work, but it is another
country that is putting it into effect."

A month after Friedman's visit, the Chilean junta announced that inflation
would be stopped "at any cost." The regime cut government spending
twenty-seven percent, practically shuttered the national mint, and set
fire to bundles of escudos. The state divested from the banking system and
deregulated finance, including interest rates. It slashed import tariffs,
freed prices on over 2000 products, and removed restrictions against
foreign investments. Pinochet pulled Chile out of a number of alliances
with neighboring countries intended to promote regional industrialization,
turning his country into a gateway for the introduction of cheap goods
into Latin America. Tens of thousands of public workers lost their jobs as
the government auctioned off, in what amounted to a spectacular transfer
of wealth to the private sector, over four hundred state industries.
Multinationals were not only granted the right to repatriate one hundred
percent of their profits, but were given guaranteed exchange rates to help
them do so. In order to build investor confidence, the escudo was fixed to
the dollar. Within four years, nearly thirty percent of all property
expropriated not just under Allende but under a previous Alliance for
Progress land reform was returned to previous owners. New laws treated
labor like any other "free" commodity, sweeping away four decades of
progressive union legislation. Health care was privatized, as was the
public pension fund.

GNP plummeted thirteen percent, industrial production fell 28 percent, and
purchasing power collapsed to forty percent of its 1970 level. One
national business after another went bankrupt. Unemployment soared.

Yet by 1978 the economy rebounded, expanding thirty-two percent between
1978 and 1981. Though salary levels remained close to twenty percent below
what they were a decade previously, per capita income began to climb
again. Perhaps even a better indicator of progress, torture and
extrajudicial executions began to taper off. With hindsight, however, it
is now clear that the Chicago economists, despite the credit they received
for three years of economic growth, had set Chile on the road to near
collapse. The rebound of the economy was a function of the liberalization
of the financial system and massive foreign investment. That investment,
it turns out, led to a speculative binge, monopolization of the banking
system, and heavy borrowing. The deluge of foreign capital did allow the
fixed exchange rate to be maintained for a short period. But sharp
increases in private debt - rising from $2 billion in 1978 to over $14
billion in 1982 - put unsustainable pressure on Chile's currency. Pegged
as it was to the appreciating US dollar, the value of the escudo was kept
artificially high, leading to a flood of cheap imports. While consumers
took advantage of liberalized credit to purchase TVs, cars, and other
high-ticket items, savings shrank, debt increased, exports fell, and the
trade deficit ballooned.

In 1982 things fell apart. Copper prices plummeted, accelerating Chile's
balance of trade deficit. GDP plunged fifteen percent, while industrial
production rapidly contracted. Bankruptcies tripled and unemployment hit
30 percent. Despite his pledge to hold firm, Pinochet devalued the escudo,
devastating poor Chileans who had either availed themselves to liberalized
credit to borrow in dollars or who held their savings in escudos. The
Central Bank lost forty-five percent of its reserves, while the private
banking system collapsed. The crisis forced the state, dusting off laws
still on the books from the Allende period, to take over nearly seventy
percent of the banking system and reimpose controls on finance, industry,
prices and wages. Turning to the IMF for a bailout, Pinochet extended a
public guarantee to repay foreign creditors and banks.

But before the crisis of 1982, there were the golden years between 1978
and 1981. Just as the international left flocked to Chile during the
Allende period, under Pinochet the country became a mecca for the
free-market right. Economists, political scientists, and journalists came
to witness the "miracle" first hand, holding up Chile as a model to be
implemented throughout the world. Representatives from European and
American banks poured into Santiago, paying tribute to Pinochet by
restoring credit that was denied the heretic Allende. The World Bank and
the Inter-American Development Bank extolled Chile as a paragon of
responsibility, advancing it 46 loans between 1976 and 1986 for over $3.1
billion.

In addition to money men, right-wing activists traveled to Chile in a show
of solidarity with the Pinochet regime. Publisher of the National Review
William Rusher, along with other cadres who eventually coalesced around
Reagan's 1976 and 1980 bids for the Republican nomination, organized the
American-Chilean Council, a solidarity committee to counter critical press
coverage in the US of Pinochet. "I was unable to find a single opponent of
the regime in Chile," Rusher wrote after a 1978 pilgrimage, "who believes
the Chilean government engages" in torture. As to the "interim human
discomfort" caused by radical free-market policies, Rusher believed that
"a certain amount of deprivation today, in the interest of a far healthier
society tomorrow, is neither unendurable nor necessarily reprehensible."

Friedrich von Hayek, the Austrian emigre and University of Chicago
professor whose 1944 Road to Serfdom dared to suggest that state planning
would produce not "freedom and prosperity" but "bondage and misery,"
visited Pinochet's Chile a number of times. He was so impressed that he
held a meeting of his famed Socit Mont Plrin there. He even recommended
Chile to Thatcher as a model to complete her free-market revolution. The
Prime Minister, at the nadir of Chile's 1982 financial collapse, agreed
that Chile represented a "remarkable success" but believed that Britain's
"democratic institutions and the need for a high degree of consent" make
"some of the measures" taken by Pinochet "quite unacceptable."

Like Friedman, Hayek glimpsed in Pinochet the avatar of true freedom, who
would rule as a dictator only for a "transitional period," only as long as
needed to reverse decades of state regulation. "My personal preference,"
he told a Chilean interviewer, "leans toward a liberal dictatorship rather
than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism." In a letter to
the London Times he defended the junta, reporting that he had "not been
able to find a single person even in much maligned Chile who did not agree
that personal freedom was much greater under Pinochet than it had been
under Allende." Of course, the thousands executed and tens of thousands
tortured by Pinochet's regime weren't talking.

Hayek's University of Chicago colleague Milton Friedman got the grief, but
it was Hayek who served as the true inspiration for Chile's capitalist
crusaders. It was Hayek who depicted Allende's regime as a way station
between Chile's postwar welfare state and a hypothetical totalitarian
future. Accordingly, the Junta justified its terror as needed not only to
prevent Chile from turning into a Stalinist gulag but to sweep away fifty
years of tariffs, subsidies, capital controls, labor legislation, and
social welfare provisions - a "half century of errors," according to
finance minister Sergio De Castro, that was leading Chile down its own
road to serfdom.

"To us, it was a revolution," said government economist Miguel Kast, an
Opus Dei member and follower of both Hayek and American Enterprise
Institute theologian Michael Novak. The Chicago economists had set out to
affect, radically and immediately, a "foundational" conversion of Chilean
society, to obliterate its "pseudo-democracy" (prior to 1973, Chile
enjoyed one of the most durable constitutional democracies in the
Americas).

Where Friedman made allusions to the superiority of economic freedom over
political freedom in his defense of Pinochet, the Chicago group
institutionalized such a hierarchy in a 1980 constitution named after
Hayek's 1960 treatise The Constitution of Liberty. The new charter
enshrined economic liberty and political authoritarianism as complementary
qualities. They justified the need of a strong executive such as Pinochet
not only to bring about a profound transformation of society but to
maintain it until there was a "change in Chilean mentality." Chileans had
long been "educated in weakness," said the president of the Central Bank,
and a strong hand was needed in order to "educate them in strength." The
market itself would provide tutoring: When asked about the social
consequences of the high bankruptcy rate that resulted from the shock
therapy, Admiral Jos Toribio Merino replied that "such is the jungle of .
. . economic life. A jungle of savage beasts, where he who can kill the
one next to him, kills him. That is reality."

But before such a savage nirvana of pure competition and risk could be
attained, a dictatorship was needed to force Chileans to accept the values
of consumerism, individualism, and passive rather than participatory
democracy. "Democracy is not an end in itself," said Pinochet in a 1979
speech written by two of Friedman's disciples, but a conduit to a truly
"free society" that protected absolute economic freedom. Friedman hedged
on the relationship between capitalism and dictatorship, but his former
students were consistent: "A person's actual freedom," said Finance
Minister de Castro, "can only be ensured through an authoritarian regime
that exercises power by implementing equal rules for everyone." "Public
opinion," he admitted, "was very much against [us], so we needed a strong
personality to maintain the policy."

Jeane Kirkpatrick was among those who traveled to Chile to pay respect to
the pioneer, lauding Pinochet for his economic initiatives. "The Chilean
economy is a great success," the ambassador said, "everyone knows it, or
they should know it." She was dispatched by Reagan shortly after his 1981
inauguration to "normalize completely [Washington's] relations with Chile
in order to work together in a pleasant way," including the removal of
economic and arms sanctions and the revocation of Carter's
"discriminatory" human rights policy. Such pleasantries, though, didn't
include meeting with the relatives of the disappeared, commenting on the
recent deportation of leading opposition figures, or holding Pinochet
responsible for the 1976 car bomb execution of Orlando Letelier, Allende's
ambassador to the US, in Washington's Dupont Circle - all issues
Kirkpatrick insisted would be resolved with "quiet diplomacy."

Setting aside the struggles surrounding religion, race, and sexuality that
give American politics its unique edge, it was in Chile where the New
Right first executed its agenda of defining democracy in terms of economic
freedom and restoring the power of the executive branch. Under Pinochet's
firm hand, the country, according to prominent Chicago graduate Cristin
Larroulet, became a "pioneer in the world trend toward forms of government
based on a free social order." Its privatized pension system, for example,
is today held up as a model for the transformation of Social Security,
with Bush having received advice from Chilean economist Jos Piera, also a
Chicago student, on how to do so in 1997. Pinochet "felt he was making
history," said Piera, "he wanted to be ahead of both Reagan and Thatcher."

Friedman too saw himself in the vanguard. "In every generation," he is
quoted in his flattering New York Times obituary, which spares just a
sentence on his role in Chile, "there's got to be somebody who goes the
whole way, and that's why I believe as I do."

And trailblazer both men were, harbinger of a brave and merciless new
world. But if Pinochet's revolution was to spread throughout Latin America
and elsewhere, it first had to take hold in the United States. And even as
the dictator was "torturing people so prices could be free," as Uruguayan
writer Eduardo Galeano once mordantly observed, the insurgency that would
come to unite behind Ronald Reagan was gathering steam.

Today, Pinochet is under house arrest for his brand of "shock therapy,"
and Friedman is dead. But the world they helped usher in survives, in
increasingly grotesque form. What was considered extreme in Chile in 1975
has now become the norm in the US today: a society where the market
defines the totality of human fulfillment, and a government that tortures
in the name of freedom.

Greg Grandin teaches Latin American history at NYU and is the author of
the Empire's Workshop: Latin America, The United States, and The Rise of
the New Imperialism, from which this essay has been excerpted. He can be
reached at: gjg4 [at] nyu.edu


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