Progressive Calendar 12.06.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 16:56:31 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    12.06.06

1. MetroIBA/small biz 12.07 11am
2. Eagan peace vigil  12.07 4:30pm
3. Northtown vigil    12.07 5pm
4. Small is beautiful 12.07 5pm
5. Youth media        12.07 5pm
6. Green Scare        12.07 6pm/7pm
7. AIDS/music         12.07 7pm
8. Battered women     12.07-08

9. Stephen Lendman - The withering of the Bush dynasty  [2 of 2]
10. David Shove    - Antiques Show & Tell - tp

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From: Tim Dykstal <tim [at]>
Subject: MetroIBA/small biz 12.07 11am

Mayor Coleman and Councilmember Benanav to Promote Local Businesses
Coleman, Benanav join MIBA to encourage shoppers to Saint Paul retailers

(Saint Paul, MN) - On Thursday, Dec. 7 at 11 a.m., Saint Paul Mayor Chris
Coleman will join City Councilmember Jay Benanav and the Metro Independent
Business Alliance to remind holiday shoppers to put Saint Paul's unique
array of independent retailers on their holiday shopping list.  Join the
mayor to meet Saint Paul retailers at Choo-choo Bob's Train Store, 2050
Marshall Ave., Saint Paul, at Cleveland, including Legacy Chocolates,
Izzy's Ice Cream, Trotter's Cafe, Wet Paint, The Fine Grind and a variety
of other St. Paul entrepreneurs represented by Metro IBA.

"Our great city is home to a variety of independent retailers that enhance
Saint Paul's business climate and unique sense of place," said Mayor
Coleman.  "I encourage folks to put Saint Paul stores first on their

"Once train enthusiasts - from kids to grown-up hobbyists - find Choo-choo
Bob's Train Store in Saint Paul's Merriam Park, they're sold,"  said
Benanav.  "We want to make sure they can find Choo-Choo Bob - in time for
Christmas and a strong holiday shopping season - and to keep this great
business chugging along."

Tim Dykstal, executive director of the Metro Independent Business
Association, cites statistics of how cities benefit from local businesses.
For every dollar spent at a locally owned business, he said, 68 cents
flows back into the community. That number drops to 43 cents for chain
stores, he said.  For details, contact Tim Dykstal at Metro IBA,
651/340-5788, or Jane Prince at 651/266-8641 or 651/308-4984.

WHO:  Mayor Chris Coleman; Councilmember Jay Benanav; Metro Independent
Business Alliance WHERE:  Choo-Choo Bob's Train Store, 2050 Marshall Ave.,
Saint Paul, MN WHEN:  Thursday, December 7th, 11am

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From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 12.07 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.

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From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 12.07 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]

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From: Jesse Mortenson <jmortenson [at]>
Subject: Small is beautiful 12.07 5pm

First and third Thursdays of the month
12.07 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.

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From: Raquel Simoes <raquelsusan [at]>
Subject: Youth media 12.07 5pm


On December 7, 2006, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Phillips Community Television (in
partnership with KFAI and the Midtown Global Market) will be holding a video
screening and celebration event at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis to
celebrate over thirteen years of youth journalism and filmmaking.

│How has PCTV impacted my life?  It taught me a lot about cameras and all
the other stuff we do here.  It kept me out of trouble and I never really
realized that until I found out the hard way.  When people say that being in
community programs help you I never believed them. Now I know it does.▓   -
A 15-year-old girl in the PCTV after school program.

There will be guest speakers from the local media community sharing the
stage with young people from the PCTV youth media program.

The highlight of the evening will be a three-part presentation of excerpts
from many of PCTV╣s award winning work. The 2004 election year documentary,
Battleground Minnesota, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Media That Matters
Film Festival in New York City, earlier this year. One of the Our Turn
shows, Teen Pregnancy, won the best special program award at Youth Channel's
The Best of Spring 2005 in New York City, and was shown at the screening.
Other youth-produced works have been screened at the Girls In The Director╣s
Chair Festival at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Do It Your Damn
Self video festival in Boston, The Hamptons Video Festival in New York, and
at the Taos Talking Pictures Festival.

A reception featuring food and drink from the Midtown Global Market will
begin at 5:00 pm. The program will begin at 5:30pm and last for
approximately an hour. Afterwards join us at the Riverview CafÚ and Wine Bar
for some great jazz and flamenco music and dancing featuring Collette and

Suggested donation for this event is $20.00.

│I think that PCTV is a great program that gives a kid who is interested a
chance to learn and utilize media skills.  It has for sure impacted my life
by opening new doors to not only the skills I can have and make in the media
arts, but also how important this type of program is for people.▓  - A
16-year-old girl in the PCTV after school program.

Contact:  John Gwinn 612-821-3938

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From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Green Scare 12.07 6pm/7pm

Thur.Dec.7, 7pm, GREEN SCARE
Investigative journalist Will Potter and former Earth Liberation Front
spokesperson Leslie James Pickering to speak about "Green Scare"

Jack Pine Community Center, on East Lake St(btwn 28th Ave & 29th Ave
South), Minneapolis Investigative journalist Will Potter and former Earth
Liberation Front spokesperson Leslie James Pickering to speak about "Green

The Twin Cities Eco-Prisoner Support Committee will be hosting former
Earth Liberation Front Spokesman Leslie James Pickering and investigative
journalist Will Potter on a moderated panel at the Jack Pine Community
Center (2815 East Lake St., Minneapolis) on December 7th as part of a
nationally coordinated Day Of Solidarity against the Green Scare.

On December 7, 2005, the FBI made the first arrests of "Operation
Backfire," a multi-state sweep targeting alleged Earth Liberation and
Animal Liberation Front activists with charges of conspiracy and arson.
This sweep would ultimately lead to over a dozen arrests.  Three months
later, in March of 2006, the government convicted seven organizers of the
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) campaign. The SHAC 7 are currently
serving up to 6 years in a landmark First Amendment case involving the
"Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act," for alleged involvement in running a
controversial website.

Mr. Potter and Mr. Pickering will discuss the background on these cases,
the larger "War on Dissent" underway in the United States, discuss the
erosion of Civil Liberties, and answer questions from the audience.

The 7:00 p.m. panel will be preceded by a 6:00 p.m. dinner and
letter-writing table. We are asking for a sliding scale donation of
$10-$25, which will go to support those facing these charges or
sentencing. As with all of our events, no one will be turned away for lack
of funds.

Will Potter is an award-winning reporter based in Washington, D.C., who
focuses on how the "War on Terrorism" affects civil liberties. He has
tracked how lawmakers and corporations have labeled animal rights and
environmental activists as "eco-terrorists." Further, he has closely
followed the trial of the SHAC 7, has testified before the U.S. Congress
on his reporting, and frequently speaks with journalists and in public
forums about efforts to roll back civil liberties in the name of "fighting
terrorism." He has written for many publications, including: The Chicago
Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, Legal Affairs, The Chronicle of Higher
Education, In These Times, The Texas Observer, The Washington City Paper,
Z and Counterpunch.

Leslie James Pickering served as spokesperson for the North American Earth
Liberation Front Press Office, from early 2000 until the summer of 2002.
During this period, the Press Office sustained two raids by the FBI, the
ATF, and local law enforcement. He has handled countless local, national,
and international media inquires, resulting in articles in the New York
Times, the Washington Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Christian
Science Monitor, Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, and many other
newspapers and magazines. He has conducted interviews with ABC, NBC, CNN,
FOX, CBC, BBC, National Geographic TV, and various other outlets.

Mr. Potter and Mr. Pickering are available for interviews.

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From: isis <isis [at]>
Subject: AIDS/music 12.07 7pm

World AIDS Day was Fri., Dec. 1.

Grassroots organizations, AIDS nonprofit and health agencies held
exhibits, marches and community events to highlight this global tragedy
affecting thousands right here in Minnesota.

Tripple Sul is continuing the awareness at:
Campaign Music: Recognizing World AIDS Day
Thurs., Dec. 7 @ 9 p.m.
500 Washington Avenue South

Hosted by Comedian Boima Freeman and critically acclaimed poetic emcee
isis, along with local music artists, Campaign Music: Recognizing World
AIDS Day will help us party for a good cause as we share pertinent
information and promote increased awareness.

Some stats from the Minnesota Department of Health:
 In Minnesota alone, a new case of HIV disease is reported every 29 hours.
 Experts estimate approximately 2,500 Minnesotans are believed to be
living with HIV disease but do not know they are infected.
 29% of the newly reported cases of adult and adolescent HIV disease in
Minnesota during the past year were among women.
 74% of new HIV cases among females occurred in women of color.
 22% of cumulative cases of adult & adolescent HIV disease in Minnesota
are among African Americans.

CAMPAIGN MUSIC: Recognizing World AIDS Day will feature some of the Twin
Cities' best spoken word, hip hop and performance artists, including
reggae sensation Jawbreaker, V-Styles (the personification of soul) and
hip-hop diva Prot├ęg├ęe.

DJ Enferno will be on the 1s and 2s spinning a mixture of Hip-Hop, Funk
and Old school R&B.

As there will be no cover charge, we are encouraging free will donations
of money, toys, clothing, shoes, etc. to go to Wake Up, We're Affected - a
local AIDS nonprofit benefiting families infected and affected by

For more information, visit or e-mail
info [at]

Campaign Music: Recognizing World AIDS Day
Thurs., Dec. 7 @ 9 p.m.
500 Washington Avenue South

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From: erin [at]
Subject: Battered women 12.07-08

December 7 & 8: Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women Domestic Violence 101
Training in St. Paul. This training is especially suited for new advocates,
systems workers, board members and volunteers who seek basic advocacy
skills, but those with experience who need an advocacy refresher are
encouraged to attend as well. Fee for both days is $25 for MCBW members and
$50 for non-members. For more info and the registration form visit or call 651/646-6177 ext. 14.

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The Price of Imperial Overreach
The Withering of the Bush Dynasty  [2 of 2]
December 4, 2006

      Cheerleading 101 - It's What the Dominant Corporate-Controlled
               Media Does Best, and They're At It Again

When in trouble, as the Bush administration clearly is, it can count on
its corporate media allies to step up and help out just as they did it
during the Johnson-Nixon years when they backed their "stay the course"
and "Vietnamization" agendas. They're always out in front delivering the
"proper message" and leading the cheerleading as they are now for what's
highlighted above and the new Bush rhetoric of "success" however Henry
Kissinger and others define it. It's highlighted in a November 16 article
by media critic and columnist Norman Solomon titled The New Media
Offensive to Prolong the Iraq War posted on Counterpunch. In it, he says
the pro-war cheerleading is being featured on the front page of the New
York Times (as it always is) by columnist Michael Gordon just like it was
in the run-up to March, 2003 by the now-disgraced Judith Miller in her
daily hawkish screeds practically pleading for hostilities and echoing the
propaganda handed her by the White House and Pentagon.

This is the same Michael Gordon today who was the lead reporter on the
Times front page in the lead-up to the Iraq war who wrote the false and
discredited story (he never apologized for) about the threat of Saddam's
aluminum tubes. Michael's back now and again doing what's expected of him
as a paid propagandist for "the newspaper of record" that never met an act
of US aggression it didn't support even when it turned out to be a
hopeless debacle as is true now.

The Gordon piece on November 15 is certain to be followed by more. It's
another in a long line of thinly-veiled NYT empire-supportive kinds of
"journalism" leading the media pack with its cheerleading even when war
crimes are committed or the public interest is being ignored or harmed.
The Times, as always, knows what it's role is, and no journalist need
apply for work there without being willing to be part of the same dirty
business that includes supporting all imperial wars the nation pursues. So
it is now. And Solomon goes on to say many other journalists are joining
the chorus against the pullout option in Iraq the same way they did during
the Vietnam era. They go even further warning Democrats that, despite
strong public opinion to the contrary, not to go that far "if they know
what's good for them," and, right or wrong, it's the president's call in
all cases whether to go to war or continue one, and the Congress should
stay out of it - even if they have lie to the public to do it the way the
New York Times does.

These journalists need a lesson in constitutional law as that view is
fraudulent on it face and contradicts what the founders stood for and put
in the Constitution for those who care to read it. It's a further reckless
endangerment of a democratic republic scarcely able to draw breath
anymore. It's the result of corrupted government officials and complicit
corporate media journalists ignoring what Thomas Jefferson helped codify,
teach us, believed in passionately and said: "The most effectual means of
preventing the perversion of power into tyranny are to illuminate, as far
as practicable, the minds of the people....Light and liberty go
together.....Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions
of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."

Jefferson added no nation can ever be free if it's kept ignorant, and no
part of the corporate-controlled media is more guilty of that sin than the
"paper of record" that's the closest thing in the country to an official
ministry of information and propaganda that's leading the way for all the
others. It functions to serve the interests of wealth and power violating
the Jeffersonian spirit and the constitutional law of the land he helped
draft in 1787.

It allows George Bush to sell his war agenda knowing it'll be supported in
the echo chambers of major front page dailies and headlined on TV
newscasts. It may be his last gasp, but he's at it again calling for a
"last push" strategy for victory in Iraq in a futile attempt to refurbish
his image and give Republicans time to regroup from their drubbing in the
mid-term elections and prepare for the 2008 presidential campaign. It's
hard to imagine how continuing what hasn't worked up to now and won't will
accomplish anything more than raise the level of public anger wanting
change and not getting it.

    The Real State of Things in Iraq the Corporate Media Won't Report

To learn what's really happening in Iraq just read unembedded independent
journalist Patrick Cockburn's November 28 column in the London Independent
(and all his others there) called Slaughter House Iraq. In it he says
"Iraq is rending itself apart. The signs of collapse are everywhere. In
Baghdad, the police often pick up more than 100 tortured and mutilated
bodies in a single day. Government ministries make war on each other." He
goes on to explain the country is in an "ominous stage of disintegration"
and may be approaching what the Americans call "the Saigon moment" when
it's plain as day "the government is expiring."

Covering the region, freelance journalist and author Nir Rosen is just as
ominous in his latest article in the Boston Review on November 27, 2006
called Anatomy of a Civil War - Iraq's descent into chaos. Rosen says:
"Shia religious parties such as the Iran-supported Supreme Council for the
Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) controlled the country, and Shia
militias had become the Iraqi police and the Iraqi army, running their own
secret prisons, arresting, torturing, and executing Sunnis in what was
clearly a civil war. And the Americans were merely one more militia among
the many, watching, occasionally intervening, and in the end only making
things worse."

Almost everyone in Washington and Whitehall know all this except Bush and
Blair and their most loyal acolytes who've lost all touch with reality and
are in a state of denial that the longer the occupation continues the
worse things will get. The human toll, according to Cockburn, is 1000
Iraqis killed each week and 1000 US forces killed or wounded every month,
and these may be low estimates of even greater numbers unknown or
carefully concealed preventing people at home from knowing how desperate
things really are, what the human cost is, that the war in Iraq is lost,
and the longer US forces stay in the country the worse things will get.

And consider what publisher and editor Bob Chapman writes in his November
29 edition of his long-running, well-respected online publication The
International Forecaster. He says "the insurgency in Iraq is now
self-sustaining financially, raising millions of dollars a year from oil
smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, connivance by corrupt Islamic
charities and other crimes the occupation has been unable to prevent." He
believes they raise $70 - $200 million a year from these activities and
concludes with the dramatic observation that the resistance groups can
hold off the most powerful military in the world with that amount of money
compared to $100 billion or more spent by the Pentagon with all their
super-weapons trying and failing to defeat them. It can't and won't no
matter how many more billions are spent or for how long.

That's the dilemma mandarins like Jim Baker and the heavyweights on his
Commission have to deal with. The spillage of six disastrous years under
the younger Bush is so immense, and the fallout from it so beyond repair,
that two years from now or sooner the rule and influence of a family
dynasty will end and whatever succeeds it will inherit less power than any
US administration since WW II as the American empire heads into an
irreversible decline that didn't begin under George Bush but was
measurably accelerated under his discredited leadership that turned out to
be none at all.

                  The Price of Imperial Overreach

After a mediocre start to his presidency, fate, or more likely a sinister
master-plan, handed George Bush and his allies their chance to be
untethered from any restraint and be able to go for the big prize they
wanted all along but needed public support to do it. It was the gift of
the 9/11 tragedy his administration ruthlessly exploited as a launching
platform to pursue an imperial agenda of permanent war against enemies
invented for the enterprise including former CIA asset against the Soviets
in Afghanistan Osama bin Laden in the lead role.

With the help and complicity of round-the-clock daily corporate media fed
invented terror threat warnings, color-coded on television for added
impact, it scared the public enough and made the Congress willing enough
to go along with the scheme the administration had in mind all along and
had envisioned from the work of the right wing Project for the New
American Century think tank (PNAC) document called Rebuilding America's
Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century. Conceived by
future key Bush administration officials, it was a grand imperial plan for
US global dominance to extend well into the future to be enforced with
unchallengeable military power - a blueprint for the current "war on
terror" now rebranded as a "long war" against "Islamic fascism" with goals
spelled out in the May, 2000 Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Vision 2020
calling for "full spectrum (world) dominance" that was code language
meaning total control over all land, sea, air, outer space and information
with enough overwhelming power to defeat any potential challenger or
adversary with no restraint on the use of any weapons, including nuclear

This "Vision" was one of several imperial documents looking ahead that
included the Nuclear Policy Review of 2001, the FY 2004 Air Force Space
Command Strategic Master Plan, the Pentagon's 2006 Quadrennial Defense
Review and the National Security Strategy of 2002, updated in 2006.
Together they laid out a "grand imperial strategy" that included the
notion of "preventive war" updated to a "long war" against
"Islamofascists" that was set in motion by the trigger of the 9/11 tragedy
to target those parts of the world of greatest strategic value like the
oil-rich Greater Middle East including Central Asia and its Caspian Basin

These plans were embellished on October 6, 2006 when George Bush quietly
signed the National Space Policy superceding a September, 1996 version of
the same directive. The plan lays out US space policy goals that include
implementing an "innovative human and robotic exploration program" to
extend the presence of humans in space. It calls on NASA to "execute a
sustained and affordable human and robotic program of space exploration
and develop, acquire, and use civil space systems to advance fundamental
scientific knowledge of our Earth system, solar system, and universe." It
supports the use of nuclear power systems and implies without so stating
that includes nuclear weapons that will be deployed there to use when and
if necessary. That's very much the message from the language that this
policy is designed "to ensure space further US national
security, homeland security, and foreign policy objectives (that include
defending) our interests there....(and having The Director of National
Intelligence) provide a robust foreign space intelligence collection and
analysis support national and homeland security."

With all the pieces of its grand imperial scheme in place, the best-laid
plans, nonetheless, don't always go as designed especially when they
encompass more than can be digested and the forces against them are
determined enough to resist and do it effectively. What began with world
support for a global "war on terror" began to unravel in the wake of the
Bush administration's notion of endless wars and its unilateral intent to
invade and occupy Iraq in spite of growing opposition to it that was
ridiculed, spurned and arrogantly defied. Even the world's only superpower
should have known no nation, no matter how powerful, can challenge the
rest of the world and get away with it without enough support, especially
when the two adventures it undertook in Iraq and Afghanistan unravelled so
fast and the economic and political costs incurred from them are so
enormous and increasing they've made visible fissures in the hegemon's
superstructure making it vulnerable.

The cost of Bush administration go-it-alone adventurism accelerated a
decline of US imperial power that began, according to some astute
observers, with its futile losing gambit in Vietnam. It's now repeating it
and then some in the Greater Middle East and as a result lost its stature
as a failed model of a once democratic state flaunting the rule of law and
ignoring the values it claims to stand for while doing just the opposite
in reckless pursuit of its own interests. It's now seen for what it is -
an out-of-control rogue state threatening all others wanting no part of it
and a growing number of them willing to challenge its supremacy in the

This behavior fits the definition of what Noam Chomsky calls a "failed
state" in his 2006 book titled Failed States while explaining the notion
of what this means, in fact, is imprecise at best. It may be a nation
unable to protect its citizens from violence or destruction but could also
be one that flaunts the rule of international law and acts as an
aggressor. The US uses this term for nations seen as potential threats to
our security we feel justified intervening against in self-defense.
Chomsky says if we evaluate our own agenda by that definition "we should
have little difficulty in finding the characteristics of 'failed states'
right at home."

Blame much of it on how noted historian and author Gabriel Kolko
characterizes the Bush administration - "the worst set of incompetents
ever to hold power in Washington. It 'shocked and awed'....itself."
Winston Churchill called himself an optimist and once remarked that "the
United States invariably does the right thing, after having exhausted
every other alternative." Not a chance as long as George Bush is president
and neocons are in charge. That's a hurdle even Churchill's optimism
couldn't have cleared.

It shows how a once proud country lost its legitimacy and with it the
power to face down a growing number of nations willing to confront its
authority and get away with it, even small players that once wouldn't have
dared. In the hemisphere, Cuba has been joined by Venezuela, Bolivia,
Nicaragua on November 7 with the reelection of Sandinista FSLN leader and
former US nemesis Daniel Ortega, and now in Ecuador on November 26 with
the impressive election of populist candidate Rafeal Correa in the run-off
presidential election against the Washington-backed billionaire oligarch.

Elsewhere in Asia, China and North Korea have defied US authority as has
Russia in Eurasia and Iran and Syria in the Middle East. Resistance groups
everywhere have now learned the lessons from Iraq, Afghanistan and
Hezbollah in Lebanon. These groups have asymmetrical guerrilla-tactic
power that when used effectively can hold their own against the most
powerful nation on earth beating it at its own game by outlasting it or
rendering its super-weapons useless against an opponent that can't be seen
until its bombs go off and bullets start flying and often not even then.
They've also inspired the courageous people of Mexico and their epicenter
of resistance in Oaxaca taking to the streets in their courageous fight
against electoral fraud and an end to decades of abuse and injustice and
doing it with little more than their bodies and a redoubtable spirit that
won't quit.

Add to this the growing unease and discontent of an aroused and angered
public at home. It sent a powerful message of disgust and contempt for six
failed years of imperial madness and corrupted right wing neocon
Republican rule by drubbing its candidates in the mid-term elections. It
wants change in Washington even though there's little chance to get it
when the new leadership takes control of the Congress in January. Beyond
the usual post-election continuation of campaign-style rhetoric, already
it's clear the Democrat party mission is to move the ship of state forward
with its agenda largely intact but with them in charge including in the
White House if they can prevail in the 2008 election. It's the way things
always work in the nation's Capitol where those holding power owe their
allegiance to the interests of wealth and power that put them there, and,
in the end, the people be damned and "let 'em eat cake" but the language
is more subtle.

It won't work for the new congressional leadership any more than it did
for the president who brought down the house of Bush ending the family
dynasty's reign while turning the nation's imperial dreams into its death
throes by his arrogance and ineptness. He'll now live in infamy as the man
who accelerated the American empire's decline. His imperial madness buried
it in the caves and rubble of Afghanistan and the burning sands of the
Middle East financing it with an unrepayable mountain of Federal
Reserve-created debt in an age of aberrant capitalism gone wild and
transformed into a fiscal weapon of mass-destruction that may end up
throttling the US and world economies. It's what out-of-control greed and
delusions of grandeur always lead to - self-aggrandizing excess that
eventually undermines the "irrationally exuberant" dreams of fools and
despots that go well beyond the limits of reason or any hope for success.

If George Bush lasts another two years, it'll be thanks to the kindness of
his dwindling number of hard core friends and strangers who still think
they can pick something from the bones of his tenure before payment for
his imperial overreach comes due. When it does, it'll be high, painful and
inevitable just like it always is the way it was for that French queen of
"let em eat cake" fame who along with her husband, King Louis XVI, lost
their heads for their misdeeds. "King" George may keep his, but the family
dynasty has been undone and defrocked by the sins of the unworthy scion
ill-chosen to carry its reign forward to pass on to the next in line after
him. It wasn't to be as the dominance of another powerful family passes
into history, never to be trusted again with the seat of power in a nation
accelerating in decline in the new century that was planned to be an
American one but already is not six years into it.

Whereto from here with a disgraced head of state and unindicted war
criminal already an artifact or relic of an era past, his power ebbing and
marking time going through the motions despite the same bravado, smirk and
all, that resonates less with each public appearance. It's intended to
keep his weakened presidency from collapsing that may just take one more
good shove to do it. Despite desperate efforts to save it, in the end who
but the family will care if it does and who will ever again believe a
serial liar once exposed and disgraced making him unwelcome in the halls
of power that once embraced him. Success, as they say, has many parents
and friends, but failure is an unwanted orphan, and it's showing up as
some of the hard core faithful voice their displeasure openly and walk

It now remains for his final exit that can't come soon enough for most who
want him out now and may act to force it if the Congress won't act as a
majority of the public demands. Whatever happens from here, the king is
dead (even with his head in place), and with it the power and influence of
a family dynasty brought down by the poisoned chalice of its ill-chosen
successor, unworthy and unable to wear the crown and pass it to the next
in line. Henceforth, all will know what should have been clear all along.
Behind every "Bush," there's a crime, and some of them are too great to
hide, make up for or overcome. So it is with the lesson of George Bush, a
very bad seed and a president only a mother can love. And even that's in
doubt in a family that doesn't take defeat very well. Give them time,
they'll acclimate.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
lendmanstephen [at]
Also visit his blog site at

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Antiques Show & Tell - tp
by David Shove

Antiques Show & Tell, into our tenth big year, comes to you this evening
from Columbia Heights Minnesota, gateway to Fridley.

Our first guest this evening is Matilda Mackintosh, of Orono Minnesota,
with her collection of early American toilet paper rolls. Judging them is
Steven "BM" Smyth, of Hoary Toilet Accessories Inc. Steven?

Miz Mackintosh I..

It's Mrs Mackintosh, thank you.

Yes, Mrs Mackintosh. Well, how long have you been interested in toilet

Oh, all my life. My earliest memory is of cleaning up after my pet poodle,
FiFi. FiFi refused to be housebroken - her gesture of defiance to a world
she never made - so if I wanted to keep her I had to clean up after her.
And that meant toilet paper, lots and lots of toilet paper.

So that's how you got started.

Yes. But I soon found some brands better than others, and in different
ways. So I embarked on a quest for the best-all-around tp.


Toilet paper. We toilet paper buffs call it tp for short. As an expert you
should know that.

Oh, I do. I was just checking to make sure you did. And then there's the
audience to consider. Some of them might not get that reference.

Yes, if they were born on Mars, maybe. Anyway, I collected all the brands
they sold in my town. Then I subjected them to tests - stretch, tear,
absorb, feel, smell, tensile strength, aesthetic appeal, price,
biodegradability, and so on.

It made you quite the little scientist.

It made me quite the little scientist. And collector/pack rat. But most of
all, tp guru.

Quite amazing.

So I read up on the history of toilet paper. That's how I discovered the
joys of Early American tp, or Toilette Papere as some hoity-toity folks
like to say. The best is hand-made, individual, irregular, variable in
thickness width composition and hue.
  Here, for instance us a roll of tp which I believe was stolen from the
White House by the British in the War of 1812. A truly presidential roll.

Fascinating, Matilda. We at my company, Hoary Toilet Accessories Inc, have
determined it was made in August of 1811, in Biffield Maine, by Frank &
Son, installed in the White House sometime in December, probably late
December, 1811, but left to one side dues to its irregularities,
irregularities which we today find charming.

Thank you for that history, Steven. Have you made an estimate of its
worth? That's really why I came here, you know.

Indeed. Were this roll in pristine condition - intact unbent wrapper, dry,
unsoiled, never gotten wet, and so on, an original Frank & Son can bring
$8000 to $10,000 in today's market.


If you and the viewers will note, the wrapper is slightly torn, as if
someone, say a child, peeked inside to check the contents. A smudge,
probably a finger print. A certain waviness of the paper on the bottom of
the roll, as if some time in the past it got wet, say from an overflowing
toilet bowl. And the mustiness associated with being wet for weeks and
mildewing just a bit. So the value is lower. Would you mind telling me,
Mrs Mackintosh, how much you paid for it?

$500. I figured they didn't know what a treasure they had.

Oh. Well, it's my sad duty to inform you that, given its unideal
condition, its value is less than you paid for it.

Less? How much less?

Considerably less.

How much less?

Well, if you're dealing with a tp novice, and you're in very good form,

Yes? Yes?

Ten dollars. Fifteen tops.

I took a whole day off and drove down here just to hear this?

Well, it doesn't always work out for the best, Mrs Mackintosh.


Actually, most of the stuff people bring down here is worth only a few
dollars - less than what they paid for it. It's only the exception where
the item is worth thousands, but those are the ones that get on to
the show,

That's really misleading! If I'd known that, I probably wouldn't have
come! Maybe I never would have paid $500 for this crappy role of toilet
paper! God, how degrading!

Who would watch the show if we showed the usual? Mr Jones, it's worth
$2.98. Miss Smith, it's selling for between $4 and $6 on the Hong Kong
market. Mrs Johnson, perhaps you should sell your collection and buy a few
lottery tickets. And so on. Would you watch a show like that?

Before today, no. But now, it would give me great satisfaction to see
other people's stupid hopes dashed to the ground. Misery loves company.
I'd have fun jeering at them. Bring it on.

I'll take it up with the show's producers. Meanwhile, I need some toilet
paper, and I could save you the time and expense and embarrassment of
finding a buyer.

What'll you give me?

25 cents.


Thanks for that, Matilda and Steve! Very interesting!
                                  * * *


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