|Progressive Calendar 12.09.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 03:36:35 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 12.09.06 1. Child labor 12.09 9am 2. Stevens art sale 12.09 10am 3. "Fair trade" 12.09 10am 4. Vs recruiting 12.09 11am 5. NW V4P vigil 12.09 11am 6. Northtown vigil 12.09 1pm 7. Islam conflict 12.10 10am 8. Impeach! 12.10 1pm 9. AI writes 12.10 2pm 10. Papa John plays 12.10 3pm 11. KFAI Indian 12.10 4pm 12. Rights rally 12.11 4:30pm 13. Spirit progs 12.11 7pm 14. Matt Pascarella - Congresswoman McKinney files Articles of Impeachment 15. Ray McGovern - Senate Democrats give Gates a free pass 16. David Shove - Antiques Show & Tell - decoy gophers --------1 of 16-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Child labor 12.09 9am Saturday, 12/9, 9 to 11:30 am, program "Buried Hope - Child Labor in Bolivia" by Unity's Mano a Mano Bolivia Outreach Team, Unity Church, 732 Holly Ave, St Paul. 651-228-1456. --------2 of 16-------- From: Curt Lund <curt [at] trueenough.com> Subject: Stevens art sale 12.09 10am EVENT: Holiday Art Sale at Stevens Square Center for the Arts November 28, 2006 Contact: Stevens Square Center for the Arts, 612-879-0200 Stevens Square Center for the Arts (SSCA) will be having a Holiday Art Sale and Gift Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 9th, from 10am to 5pm. This is an opportunity to find one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays. See a wide variety of artwork, photography, cards, handmade crafts and gift items at great prices. Over 20 exhibitors, including members of Stevens Square Center for the Arts co-op. Concessions will also be available. Also at SSCA: Secret Handshake is the 4th annual members' exhibit at SSCA, showcasing the work of 14 of its members in a variety of media: photography, painting, sculpture, screenprinting, cartoon, collage and more. This year's members show will feature the latest work of SSCA artists who make SSCA possible. Gallery hours are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 1pm-5pm. Exhibit runs through December 17. Stevens Square Center for the Arts 1905 3rd Ave South, Minneapolis MN 55404 For more information visit www.stevensarts.org or call 612-879-0200. --------3 of 16-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: "Fair trade" 12.09 10am Saturday, 12/9, 10 to 11:30 am, Tomas Johnson talks about "Fair Trade," Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave, Mpls. www.americas.org --------4 of 16-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Vs recruiting 12.09 11am Cookies, Cocoa and the Constitution! Protect Against Recruiting Saturday, December 9, 11:00 a.m. Knollwood Mall (in front of the big sign), Highway 7 and Aquila, St. Louis Park. The Army has opened a "career center" in Knollwood Mall, come help eat, drink and defend our young people from recruiters, while exercising your right to free speech! Sponsored by: Protect Action. Endorsed by WAMM. --------5 of 16-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NW V4P vigil 12.09 11am The NW Neighbors for Peace weekly demonstrations every Saturday between 11am 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. --------6 of 16-------- From: Lennie <major18 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Northtown vigil 12.09 1pm Mounds View peace vigil 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 16-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Islam conflict 12.10 10am Sunday, 12/10, 10 am, breakfast buffet ($10) with the Critical Thinking Club of MN as retired U of M classics prof Eva Keuls presents "Islam and the West: The Essentials of the Conflict," the Kelly Inn, just off Marion St exit from I-94 near downtown St Paul. RSVP to criticalthinkingclub [at] gmail.com --------8 of 16-------- From: admin <lists [at] impeachforpeace.org> Subject: Impeach! 12.10 1pm Impeachment Day Protest Sunday, December 10, 2006 [at] 1:00pm for 2 hours. Informal Rally for Presidential Accountability Rally and demonstration to show that not all people in this Bush neighborhood are OK with our loss of freedoms and the war crimes being committed based on the lies of Cheney and Bush being spread about Iraq. Purgatory Recreational Area SW corner Prairie Center Drive and Technology Drive, Eden Prairie, MN. Directions >From highway 5 go south on Prairie Center Drive to Technology Drive. Parking is available in the back of the park off of Prairie Center drive by the Health Club. Sign up for this event, or just show up that day. http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizations/ADS/event/distributedEvent.jsp?event_KEY=19259 Questions? Email the host. http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/api/event/email.jsp?event_KEY=19259 --------9 of 16-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: AI writes 12.10 2pm GROUP 37 HOLIDAY WRITE-A-THON REMINDER: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10TH - 2 TO 4 P.M. Join us from 2 to 4 p.m. on December 10th at the Center for Victims of Torture for our holiday write-a-thon! Each December, Group 37 moves our monthly meeting to correspond with International Human Rights Day and joins thousands of other AI members around the world in letter-writing: To protect human rights, to encourage human rights defenders, and to bring hope to prisoners of conscience. Everyone is welcome, and refreshments will be provided. You may wish to bring a pen and clipboard, and Group 37 members are encouraged to bring treats to share. Please note that this event will take the place of our regular meeting for December - There will be no regular meeting on December 17th. 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. --------10 of 16------- From: Mill City Music <sk [at] millcitymusic.com> Subject: Papa John plays 12.10 3pm December 10, 3:00 PM Ginkgo Coffeehouse. 721 N Snelling Ave St Paul CD Release Concert. Papa John and Clint --------11 of 16-------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org> Subject: KFAI Indian 12.10 4pm KFAI's Indian Uprising for December 10th LOUISE ERDRICH, novelist and poet. In a 1985 interview with Laura Coltelli, Karen Louise Erdrich was asked if she considered herself to be a poet or a storyteller. Erdrich replied, "Oh, a storyteller, a writer." Her own life story, as well as her novels and poems, are what make Louise Erdrich so widely known. Erdrich, the oldest of seven children, was born in Little Falls, Minnesota, on June 7, 1954. The daughter of French Ojibwe mother and German American father, Louise Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. Erdrich's large extended family lived nearby, affecting her writing life from an early age. Her father introduced Louise to William Shakespeare's plays and encouraged Louise and her sisters to write their own stories. Erdrich comments in a 1991 Writer's Digest interview, "The people in our families made everything into a story. They love to tell a good story. People just sit and the stories start coming, one after another. You just sort of grab the tail of the last person's story: it reminds you of something and you keep going on. I suppose that when you grow up constantly hearing the stories rise, break and fall, it gets into you somehow". The exposure to storytelling had a prodigious influence on Louise's shaping and creation of plot; it was as important as literary influences if not more ~ by Amy Leigh McNally and Piyali Nath Dalal. "My father used to give me a nickel for every story I wrote.... So at an early age I felt myself to be a published author earning substantial royalties." ~ Louise Erdrich. http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/a_f/erdrich/about.htm. Erdrich owns a small independent book store, BirchBark Books, in Minneapolis. "BirchBark Books and Native Arts is a joint venture of local book lovers, writers, Native American artists, neighborhood artisans, carpenters, and painters. We are an independent bookstore, with all of the accompanying quirks and non-corporate eccentricities. As the malling of America continues, it is our mission to be other" ~ http://www.birchbarkbooks.com/ * * * * 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. --------12 of 16-------- From: awcmere <meredith [at] antiwarcommittee.org> Subject: Rights rally 12.11 4:30pm Human Rights Day Rally Monday, 12/11 @ 4:30pm @ May Day Plaza, 301 Cedar Avenue, Mpls Come commemorate Human Rights Day and demonstrate against policies of war, torture and injustice. Take a stand for human rights and peace! Join us to protest U.S. attacks on human rights in Iraq, Palestine, and at home. Following the demonstration, we will go to the Mapps Coffeeshop nearby at Cedar and Riverside Avenues for political poetry. --------13 of 16------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Spirit progs 12.11 7pm Monday, 12/11 (and each month's 2nd Monday), 7 pm (socialize 6:30), Network of Spiritual Progressives meeting (and potluck this month), Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet, Mpls. brucelissem [at] aol.com or www.nspmn.org --------14 of 16------- Congresswoman McKinney Files Articles of Impeachment By Matt Pascarella t r u t h o u t | Report Friday 08 December 2006 On Monday, gathering in a conference room in Washington, DC, Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and her advisors worked on a draft copy of articles of impeachment against President Bush. At the heart of the charges contained in McKinney's articles of impeachment is the allegation that President Bush has not upheld the oath of presidential office and is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. Article I states that President Bush has failed to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. Specifically cited in this article is the charge that Bush has manipulated intelligence and lied to justify war: "George Walker Bush - in preparing the invasion of Iraq, did withhold intelligence from the Congress, by refusing to provide Congress with the full intelligence picture that he was being given, by redacting information - and actively manipulating the intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons programs by pressuring the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies." This manipulation of intelligence was done, the charge continues, "with the intent to misinform the people and their representatives in Congress in order to gain their support for invading Iraq, denying both the people and their representatives in Congress the right to make an informed choice." Article II, "Abuse of office and of executive privilege," states that President Bush has disregarded his oath of office by "obstructing and hindering the work of Congressional investigative bodies and by seeking to expand the scope of the powers of his office." The president has "failed to take responsibility for, investigate or discipline those responsible for an ongoing pattern of negligence, incompetence and malfeasance to the detriment of the American people." This article continues by indicting Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in their actions to manipulate or "fix" intelligence and mislead the public about Iraq's weapons programs. Ultimately, this article calls not only for Bush's impeachment and removal from office but also asks the same actions to be taken against Cheney and Rice. Article III states that President Bush has failed to "ensure the laws are faithfully executed" and that he has "violated the letter and spirit of laws and rules of criminal procedure used by civilian and military courts, and has violated or ignored regulatory codes and practices that carry out the law." Specifically, McKinney cites illegal domestic spying as a result of failing to obtain warrants thereby subverting Congress and the judiciary in the process: " by circumventing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act courts established by Congress, whose express purpose is to check such abuses of executive power, provoking the presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to file a complaint and another judge to resign in protest, the said program having been subsequently ruled illegal; he has also concealed the existence of this unlawful program of spying on American citizens from the people and all but a few of their representatives in Congress, even resorting to outright public deceit." The article continues by citing public statements Bush has made that were blatantly contradictory to his policy and actions regarding domestic spying. While the staff was editing the document, one advisor told me, "As we sat down and worked on this, a pattern became very clear - a pattern to specifically undermine the Constitution and establish a unitary presidency." The charges addressed in McKinney's resolution are nothing revelatory or new. Rather, they are issues which have been in the public eye for quite some time and have increasingly been covered in the media over the last year. Despite winning the Congressional majority, the Democrats have yet to put forth a plan to investigate what have become somewhat ubiquitous allegations. Speaker-Elect and Congresswoman Pelosi dismissed any possibility of impeachment, saying it is "off the table" and that it is "a waste of time - making them lame-ducks is good enough for me," although, in the November election, 60 percent of the voters in her own district cast ballots in favor of Proposition J, a measure calling for the impeachment of President Bush. In 2005, Congressman John Conyers sponsored a resolution, HR 365, to create a special committee to investigate allegations against the Bush administration - a move that would likely lead to the discovery of impeachable offenses. This resolution was passed to the House Committee on Rules and was never brought up for a vote. At that time it was widely believed that if the Democrats took control of Congress, Conyers would reintroduce the resolution since he would have subpoena power if selected as leader of the House Judiciary Committee. A few days after the Democrats won control, Conyers echoed Pelosi's statement, saying, "I am in total agreement with her on this issue - impeachment is off the table." Last week, a spokesperson from Conyers's office said that the resolution would not be reintroduced and that the congressman had no intention to pursue the matter. Will other members of Congress support the action Congresswoman McKinney has brought forth? At the table in what could be considered her impeachment "war room," the question is brought up a number of times. Mike, an advisor to McKinney, mentions, "Conyers was supposed to have investigations. They were chomping at the bit 6 months ago to do subpoenas." McKinney quietly replies, "Now they say they aren't even going to issue subpoenas." Looking up from her papers, she takes a deep breath, "I'm going in alone on this one because now it is all about them playing majority politics." This is McKinney's last week as a member of Congress and this act, to impeach the president, is the final resolution she will enter into the Congressional record. For those who know anything about Cynthia McKinney, it may come as no surprise that she would file this resolution as her parting gift to Congress. McKinney is no stranger to being attacked by the media and has been isolated from her own party. >From her inquiries into election fraud in 2000 to her calls for a transparent and thorough investigation into 9/11, not to mention the widely covered run-in she had with the Capitol Hill Police, the congresswoman is aware that this resolution will likely be ignored and that she will be ruthlessly attacked upon its filing. "What do you think they are going to do to me this time?" she asks her staff. Everyone uncomfortably shifts in their seats, and after no answer comes, McKinney explains: "We have to do this because this is simply the right thing to do. The American people do want to hold this man and his office accountable for the crimes they have committed, and if no member of Congress is willing to do it, than I will." It is questionable as to how effective this move could be in gaining support because of her reputation as a firebrand congresswoman and because, ultimately, she is on her way out of office. The congresswoman and her staff realize this, but hope that by filing the articles of impeachment it will, at the very least, open up a discussion on whether or not President Bush and key members of his administration have committed impeachable offenses and whether our officials should be held to account. "My duty as a member of Congress is merely to uphold and preserve the Constitution and to represent the will of my constituency. Ultimately, it isn't up to me or any other member of Congress - it is up to the American people to decide." Matt Pascarella is a freelance journalist & producer who was present during the drafting of the Articles of Impeachment that Congresswoman McKinney filed today. [Sen McKinney is frequently suggested by national Greens as a possible 2008 GP presidential candidate. If she ran Green, would you vote for her, or for "lesser-evil" Hillary? -ed] --------15 of 16-------- And the Constitution Takes Another Body Blow Senate Democrats Give Gates a Free Pass By RAY McGOVERN Imagine December 8, 2006 At Tuesday's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the nomination of Robert Gates to be secretary of defense, it felt like I was paying last respects to the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution, though, was not the recipient of the praise customarily heaped on the deceased. Rather, the bouquets were fulsomely shared back and forth among the nominee and the senators - all of them "distinguished," but none more so than the very reverend John Warner, gentleman from Virginia and departing chair of the committee, who presided at the wake. Distinguished? The Warner committee is indeed distinguished for the obsequious way it keeps genuflecting to the executive branch. Beneath the pomposity lies a dearth of courage. Led by gentleman Warner, the committee allowed itself to be co-opted by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputies Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith and sat silently as they disregarded and even ridiculed those few generals with the courage to testify truthfully - Gen. Erik Shinseki, for example, the Army Chief of Staff who warned that more troops would be needed for Iraq. In effect, the committee abnegated its constitutional responsibility to prevent misadventures like launching a war of aggression on Iraq based on transparently false pretences and feckless planning. The Nuremberg Tribunal defined war of aggression as "the supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes only in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." Think kidnapping, "extraordinary rendition," torture, for example. When such abuses came to light, and the election of 2004 approached, the gentleman from Virginia deferred unconscionably to the Pentagon and CIA and let them investigate themselves. In the Past, "Distinguished" Meant Something As I sat at the hearing, truly distinguished Virginia statesmen rushed to mind-men like Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Mason who gave their life's blood to ensuring that checks and balances, and protections of individual rights, were embedded in the U.S. Constitution. And I thought about how those patriots must be rolling over in their graves, weeping at the flaccid timidity of their 21st Century counterparts. I was on the verge of weeping myself, when the thought struck me that in less than a month another Virginian, plain-speaking Senator-Elect James Webb, may be able to apply the brakes to the more recent tradition of substituting mutual fawning for the exercise of senatorial responsibility. With a son fighting with the Marines in Iraq, it seems a good bet that Webb will be able to inject some reality and urgency - and a dose of appropriate anger - into Senate deliberations. But on Tuesday, it was a sorry spectacle, as pretentiousness and patrician etiquette trumped courage and vitiated the advise-and-consent prerogative granted to senators by the framers of our Constitution. In other news, "A series of particularly brutal attacks across Baghdad Tuesday resulted in at least 54 Iraqis killed and scores wounded," according to the New York Times. The U.S. military announced that three more American soldiers were killed Monday, adding to the 13 killed over the weekend. Three more were killed on Tuesday; ten more on Wednesday; eleven more Thursday. And five Marines are about to be formally charged with the killing of 24 Iraqis, many of them women and children, in the village of Haditha in Nov. 2005. No such bothersome details were allowed into evidence Tuesday by the stuffed shirts sitting in stuffed Senate seats in a hearing room stuffed with 80 stenographers from our domesticated press. Real life - and death - were kept out of earshot, but the room served well as a kind of funeral parlor for the late Constitution. There was a surfeit of bouquets, but none smelled genuine. A Free Pass That Gates would be given a free pass without serious probing was already clear in ranking member Carl Levin's (D, MI) deference to lame-duck chairman John Warner's (R, VA) plan for a one-day, carefully scripted hearing, at which senators could disregard new, documentary evidence of Gates' deception of both Congress and the Iran-Contra independent counsel. Expediting the proceeding squandered the leverage given to senators by the confirmation process, had any of them wished to put that leverage in play. Moreover, Gates was often able to say, in effect, "Gosh, I just got here; didn't know about that; haven't read that, but I'll put that on the top of my reading pile." Fully expecting that Levin's Democratic colleagues would join him in acquiescing in this charade, antiwar activists told me before the hearing began that they had come prepared with a rhyming chant: "You won the elections. Now ask real questions!" I later learned that the activists left after only an hour, unable to stomach the pompous pretence, as American troops and Iraqi civilians get blown up in Baghdad. The activists started feeling queasy after Sen. Warner's introductory remarks raised a brief ray of hope, which was dashed a moment later. Warner alluded to what he called the "moral obligation that our government, the executive and legislative, has to the brave men and women of our armed forces." Moral obligation; sounds good! But he quickly explained what he meant by "moral obligation" - merely that the president should "privately consult with the bipartisan leadership of the new Congress" before making his "final decisions" on Iraq. It gets worse: witness the hypocrisy shining through the distinguished chairman's admonition to Gates: "In short, you simply have to be fearless, I repeat, fearless in discharging your statutory obligations." Fearless? It was far from fearless to cede responsibility to the Pentagon to perform the kind of "full and thorough investigation" reminiscent of the one President Richard Nixon asked then-Attorney General John Mitchell to conduct on Watergate. At the hearing the only thing fearless was the fawning. It doesn't matter how many times Warner and Levin claim to have dropped into the hermetically sealed Green Zone in Baghdad. There is always the "In other news...." And despite the affectation at Tuesday's hearing, none of those senators are affected in any immediate way by the carnage before the Green Zone gate. It is James Webb's Marine son and Iraqi civilians who are Lazarus at the gate. And, as Benjamin Franklin warned, "Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are." From Gates: Candor or Disingenuousness? On weapons of mass destruction: Little attention is being given to the disingenuous response Gates gave to this question from Sen. Mark Dayton (D, MN): "Given what we know today about the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, given the predicament that we're in today, with the benefit of hindsight, would you say that invading Iraq was the right decision or the wrong decision?" Gates left it to "historians" to decide. Defending his early support for the invasion, he resorted to the well tested, fair-and-balanced FOX Channel red herring: "I thought he [Saddam] had weapons of mass destruction...just like every other intelligence service in the world, apparently, including the French." Now, please, Dr. Gates: You know that to be false confirmation - and anything but fair and balanced. You know better than most where other intelligence services get information on strategic weapons in denied areas like Iraq. From the CIA. Independent-minded intelligence analysts in Australian and Danish intelligence were able to see through the subterfuge and warn their government leaders of the peril in taking at face value the intelligence shared by the U.S. On links between Iraq and al-Qaeda: Sen. Levin reminded Gates that he recently told the senator that he saw no "evidence of a link between Iraq under Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda." Why then, asked Levin, did Gates say publicly in Feb. 2002 that: "We know that at least one of the leaders of the September 11 hijackers met twice in Prague with Iraqi intelligence officers in the months before the attack." Levin wanted to know the source of that information. "Strictly a newspaper story, sir," said Gates. Odd. For Robert Gates is not used to relying on newspaper stories to make unconfirmed assertions on such neuralgic issues. It seems altogether likely he would have gotten "confirmation" from his successor as CIA director, arch-neoconservative James Woolsey, who cooked up and-together with Vice President Dick Cheney-promoted that cockamamie story to a fare-thee-well. In a formal report on Sept. 8, 2006, after two and a half years of investigation, the Senate Intelligence Committee refuted that story once and for all. Fresh Eyes But No New Ideas In one moment of genuine - perhaps unintended - candor, Gates indicated he thought there were no new ideas to be had in addressing the conflict in Iraq. How about old ideas? Like dispatching more training teams to work with the Iraqi army and security forces. Gates said, "That certainly is an option." And he vowed to show "great deference to the judgment of generals." New emphasis on the training mission is what Gen. John Abizaid told the committee less than three weeks ago is a "major change." Is that the "new" strategy? It is, in any case, a feckless exercise, as we know from Vietnam. Been there; done that; should have known that. The subject of training came up very early in the Vietnam war. Three months after John Kennedy's death, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara sent President Lyndon Johnson a draft of a major speech McNamara planned to give on defense policy. What follows is a segment of an audiotape of a conversation between the two on Feb. 25, 1964: Johnson: Your speech is good, but I wonder if you shouldn't find two minutes to devote to Vietnam. McNamara: The problem is what to say about it. Johnson: I'll tell you what to say about it. I would say we have a commitment to Vietnamese freedom. We could pull out there; the dominoes would fall and that part of the world would go to the Communists...Nobody really understands what is out there...Our purpose is to train [the South Vietnamese] people, and our training's going good." McNamara: All right, sir. It wasn't "going good" then and - as countless middle-grade American officers have recently conceded - it's not going good now, despite our having thrown our best generals at the problem. Hewing to this misguided approach reeks of the "woodenheadedness" of which historian Barbara Tuchman writes in From Troy to Vietnam: The March of Folly. It is almost always a forlorn hope that unwelcome occupation troops can succeed in training indigenous soldiers and police to kill their countrymen. That the British, who certainly should know better, have also forgotten that lesson does not excuse the woodenheadedness. Speaking Truth to Power? Ironically, Tuesday's charade at the Senate Armed Forces Committee included repeated allusion to the biblical injunction to "speak truth to power." This has never been Robert Gates' forte. Rather, his modus operandi has always been to ingratiate himself with the one with the power, and then recite - or write memos setting forth - what he believes that person would like to hear. Thus, while CIA Director Bill Casey's "analysis" suggested that the Soviets would use Nicaragua as a beachhead to invade Texas, Gates pandered by writing a memo on Dec. 14, 1984 suggesting U.S. air strikes "to destroy a considerable portion of Nicaragua's military buildup." This makes me wonder what may be in store for Iran, should Cheney solicit Gates' help in making a case for bombing Iran's nuclear facilities. Gates may have "fresh eyes," but if past is precedent he will add only marginally to the flavor of the self-licking ice cream cone that passes for Bush's coterie of advisers. What Bush has done is replace Sugary Gates for Rumsfeldian Tart. Otherwise, the Cheney/Bush recipe is likely to remain the same as the U.S. draws nearer and nearer to the abyss in Iraq. Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990 and Robert Gates' branch chief in the early 1970s. McGovern now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). He is a contributor to Imperial Crusades, edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. He can be reached at: rrmcgovern [at] aol.com An earlier version of this article was posted on Truthout.com --------16 of 16-------- Antiques Show & Tell - decoy gophers by David Shove Well if you thought our last antique was interesting, our next should keep you glued to your public TV station! And here's Jake LaBlott and his rare assemblage of late nineteenth century decoy gophers. Hiya. And here to do the assessment is Mr Reginald Van Smyth, of Masters of Deception Decoys. Mr Van Smyth? Thank you. This is quite a grouping you have here, Mr LaBlott. Thanks. Call me Jake. Jake, I'm sure everyone wants to know, why decoy gophers? You're a struggling young farmer; gophers are eating up your profits. You need them gone, but they're clever little devils. When they smell danger, like you with a rifle, no way will they come out of the hole. You wait for hours, and then as soon as you walk away, up they come, eating. Sometimes just to piss you off. They even seem to be laughing. Frustrating. Yeah. But if other gophers are up and out, they figure it's safe. That's where the decoy gophers come in. Like decoy ducks. That's where the idea came from. If you've got five or ten decoy gophers standing around the hole, the guys figure it's ok to hang out. That's when you blast the little bastards. Oh - can I say that? A little salty talk raises ratings - so yes, you can. You have to fire fast, or use a shotgun, because it doesn't take long for the little buggars to dive for cover - those who are still able. A good gopher guy can cause quite a carnage in just two or three seconds. Gopher genocide. You could look at it that way if you want. I do, and I'm for it. The only good gopher is a dead gopher. That's a charming bit of Americana, Jake. Thanks. What most people don't know is that for a few years it was legal to use Gatling guns on gophers. I can just imagine the joy of killing, the bloody gopher parts flying helter skelter through the air. But then some namby-pamby gopher-lovers outlawed that. Sigh. And I can tell you, Jake, we have verified that these decoys are from the Gatling period, their rarity considerably raising their value. Thanks. I was never sure of that. But of course I hoped. Each one of the decoys has at least one proven Gatling bullet lodged in it; some have more. Parts of most of the decoys are blasted away - with other antiques a bad thing, but here, a badge of authenticity. And, DNA analysis of the numerous brown blotches shows them to be authentic gopher blood, many decades old. That's good to know. But has this been a problem, so that you have to check it out like this? Oh indeed yes, Jake. You have no idea how many of these very desirable artifacts are faked by contemporary forgers, just to cash in on the huge market. Really? Oh yes. We've found blood from pigs, cats, raccoons, badgers, even from hamburger or ground pork or chicken parts from the grocery story, whatever was handy. These counterfeiters have a shocking lack of ethics. Shocking. Jake, I understand you're part of an interest group. Yeah, the Go For Gophers Guys. Clever, huh? We meet every month on one members' farm, and have at it. In just a few meetings we managed to wipe out all his gophers. So we set up a gophery on his farm, to breed and raise the next generation of gopher targets. Otherwise we'd be out business. Interesting. Uh huh. We're into breeding various grades of gophers - from the fat and stupid easy-kill variety, to the sleek and smart die-hard super-gopher. I understand some of these super-gophers have gotten out and are terrorizing the farm countryside - crops vanishing wholesale, fields cribbage-boarded full of holes. Well, yeah, that's how it is. But this should bring back the glory days of gophering. Already you can't go out into the countryside any time of day or night without hearing people blasting away at the little bastards. It does my heart good. I hear stray bullets have killed a large number of farm animals, and that there's hardly a car in the county without a few bullet holes. Yeah, we're pretty proud of that. Just a few forward-looking people, with a dream, have brought about this gopher hunter's heaven. A lesson for us all, Jake. And your reward - each of your decoy gophers would bring $10,000 to $12,000 on today's market. You're a rich man, Jake. That's Mr LaBlott to you, Reggie. * Well, Antiques Show and Tell audience, wasn't _that_ interesting? And now, Antiquers, it's time to raise money for public TV... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8
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