|Progressive Calendar 01.25.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 13:50:54 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 01.25.07 1. Euro welfare state 1.25 3:30pm 2. Europe invents race 1.25 4pm 3. Mil kill/play 1.25 8pm 4. Women soldiers 1.26 3:30pm Moorhead MN 5. Palestine vigil 1.26 4:30pm 6. Golden impeachment 1.26 7pm 7. Mexico/educ/film 1.26 7pm 8. Zip 55408 art 1.26 7pm 9. WWII resistence/f 1.26 7:15pm 10. Citizen action 1.27 9am Duluth MN 11. IRV 1.27 11am 12. LGBT families 1.27 11am Rochester MN 13. NWN4P peace demos 1.27 11am 14. Religion/war/peace 1.27 12noon 15. Northtown vigil 1.27 1pm 16. Library opening 1.27 1pm 17. Peace/precincts 1.27 1pm 18. End the war 1.27 1pm 19. US genocide/TV 1.27 8pm 20. Sharon Smith - Health care reform for the insurance industry 21. Joshua Frank - Hillary Clinton and the Israel lobby 22. PC Roberts - Your local police force has been militarized 23. - President's IQ's ranked --------1 of 23-------- From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Welfare state 1.25 3:30pm THE RISE AND TRANSFORMATION OF THE EUROPEAN WELFARE STATE Prof. Max Preglau, Institute of Sociology, University of Innsbruck Thursday, January 25, 2007 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM Ford Room 710 Social Sciences Building Minneapolis Campus There has been much debate over whether in fact the "welfare state" which developed in most of Western Europe after World War II has been significantly dismantled or changed in recent years. Prof. Preglau will examine the recent changes in European social policy and welfare programs in their historical context. He is a senior member of the Institute for Sociology at the University of Innsbruck and has written extensively on critical theory and sociological methodology, social structure and change in contemporary societies, work and organization, as well as on the sociology of tourism. --------2 of 23-------- From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Europe invents race 1.25 4pm Thurs. Jan 25, 4:00 pm, "Thursdays at Four" presentation by Geraldine Heng, "The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages," Institute for Advanced Study, 125 Nolte Center, 315 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis. http://events.tc.umn.edu/event.xml?occurrence=398478 --------3 of 23-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Mil kill/play 1.25 8pm Don't miss this insightful look inside the U.S. military mindset. It reveals the training and outlook that's taught to soldiers before they ever see a battlefield. My review and info is below. Lydia Howell The Riot Group: 'Pugilist Specialist',January 25-27, Walker Art Center Theatre can take the audience places someplace they've never been--and if governments had their way, citizens would remain ignorant of. Walker Art closes the annual Out There performance art series with one of the best plays you'll see this year - and yes, even at the beginning of 2007, I'm convinced of this prediction. 'Pugilist Specialist' by San Francisco theatre ensemble The Riot Group, delving deep into the internal military machine propelling the current 'war on terrorism'. It's stark, bone-chilling drama with gritty humor. An assassination team prepares to take out a Middle Eastern leader. They're a mix of swagger and secrecy, ethical oblivion and obedience, that is militarism, underneath its lauded 'code'. Resident playwright Adriano Shaplin, (who also plays Lt. Freud, the team's sniper), has a razor for a pen. This 75 minute piece is part Marine jarhead private journal, part Stanley Kubrick, with a dash of Sartre - if he'd been a covert operative. Drew Friedman plays Stoddard, communicatoins specialist, a man clinging to neutrallity and following orders. Paul Schnable is Col. Johns, the commanding officer, whose motives remain murky almost to the last moment. This dangerous crew is completed by Stephanie Viola as Lt. Emma Stein, a bomb specialist, with something to prove, who says, "Success is my feminism". Riot Group grips you from the first moment and leaves you limp at the end. British audiences were stunned by 'Pugilist Specialist', while few American audiences have had a chance to see it. Pugilist means a boxer and Riot Group's performance is a total knockout. Tickets are $20 general audience and $16 for Walker members. Performances are Thursday, January 25 through Saturday, January 27th at 8pm at Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Avenue, (next to the Sculpture Garden) near downtown Minneapolis. For more information, call (612)375-7600 or see http://www.walkerart.org --------4 of 23-------- From: erin [at] mnwomen.org Subject: Women soldiers 1.26 3:30pm Moorhead MN More on January 26: Minnesota State University Moorhead- Women's Studies Programs Women in Action "Confronting Controversy: Finding Common Ground." Moorhead State University Comstock Memorial Union. $10. Panel One: 3:30PM to 4:40PM- The Human Face of War; Sexuality; Gendered Soldiers. Panel Two: 4:50PM to 6:00PM- Female Soldiers Coming Home; Reproductive Rights; Sexual Assault and Battery. Dinner at 6PM. For more information visit www.womeninaction2007.net/register.asp. www.mnstate.edu/women. --------5 of 23-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Palestine vigil 1.26 4:30pm Friday, 1/26, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end the occupation of Palestine, Snelling & Summit Aves, St Paul. Karen, 651-283-3495. --------6 of 23-------- From: Impeach For Peace <minneapolis [at] impeachforpeace.org> Subject: Golden impeachment 1.26 7pm In case Fridays in Golden Valley are more convenient for you... GOLDEN VALLEY Impeach Bush January Meetup <http://impeachbush.meetup.com/367/calendar/5322442/> RSVP now First meeting Friday, Jan 26, 2007, 7:00 PM 240 King Hill Road Golden Valley, MN 55416 (go west a half mile from Glenwood Exit off of Hwy. 100 in Golden Valley, MN) Sid Sherman (612) 802-6631 sidinc [at] comcast.net --------7 of 23-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Mexico/educ/film 1.26 7pm Friday, 1/26, 7 pm, film "Granito de Arena" (Grain of Sand) about the grassroots, nonviolent resistance of thousands of Mexican teachers against dismantling of public education, Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave, Mpls. www.americas.org --------8 of 23-------- From: Jim Pounds <jim [at] intermediaarts.org> Subject: Zip 55408 art 1.26 7pm Intermedia Arts presents MINNEAPOLIS 55408 A Celebration of Minneapolis' Most Creative Zip Code Opening Night Reception - 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 26, 2007 WHAT: Called the "artiest city west of the Mississippi" by USA Today, Minneapolis is a Mecca for artists and art lovers. This year's Minneapolis 55408, the 11th annual exhibition of multimedia, multi-artist works, proves that 55408 is Minneapolis' most creative zip code. Minneapolis 55408 will surprise and delight audiences, as they discover the unique artistic voices this neighborhood has to share! For over 10 years, Intermedia Arts has proudly opened its galleries to 55408 artists of all levels of experience. Minneapolis 55408 creates a sense of community for many artists who may not have an opportunity to show work in more traditional gallery settings. This annual exhibition of work by artists who live or work in the 55408 zip code serves an avenue for neighborhood artists to connect to each other, share experiences and sell their work. More than 40 artists have come together for this year's eclectic exhibition: painting, sculpture, photography, film, web art, and new media will be collected in Intermedia Arts' gallery for our community to explore and celebrate. Join us for an opening night reception at Intermedia Arts on Friday, January 26th featuring former 55408 curator MIKE HOYT as DJ and host of the first-ever Karaoke Blowout. Food, wine and beer will be provided and all artwork will be for sale. "To have this unique and nurturing venue for showing work means so much to non-professional artists like myself, for whom art - even if not our living - is so vital. - Florence Brammer, Minneapolis 55408 artist WHEN/WHERE: Opening Night Reception - Friday, January 26, 2006 7:00-11:00 PM @ Intermedia Arts 2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis Free and open to the public PHOTO/INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: Digital photos, audio, video, interview and photo opportunities are available upon request. MEDIA CONTACT: Jim Pounds, Marketing and PR Manager Phone: 612.874.2817 Email: jim [at] intermediaarts.org ABOUT MINNEAPOLIS 55408 Minneapolis 55408 is Intermedia Arts' annual inter-active community celebration of our neighborhood artists and their diverse art forms. Minneapolis 55408 is where art and community intersect; it creates a space for dialogue, community-building and understanding. Minneapolis 55408 answers the questions: What do artists bring to a community? and How does art create community? Minneapolis 55408 features 2-dimensional art of any media; freestanding or pedestal mounted 3-dimensional work; web art; film; video and new media. For co-curator Sergio Vucci: Minneapolis 55408's geographic focus serves to highlight some of the invisible threads that bind this community, both public and private. Works from professional, amateur and first-time artists are placed side-by-side, activating each other and interacting in exciting ways. As co-curator Bridgette Rongitsch explains, Minneapolis 55408 is more than an art show: After ten years as a neighborhood exhibition, Minneapolis 55408 continues to be a vital forum for the exchange of ideas through visual art. The exhibition has evolved into a point of connection between artists and their diverse community. WORKSHOPS FOR ARTISTS To further support the development of artists at all levels, Intermedia Arts offers public workshops in partnership with Springboard for the Arts on site throughout the run of the exhibition. MARKETING FOR ARTISTS Wednesday, Feb 7th, 6-8 pm SIMPLE BUSINESS PLANS FOR ARTISTS Wednesday, Feb 21st, 6-8 pm FUNDING YOUR WORK Wednesday, March 7th, 6-8 pm To register, call Springboard for the Arts at 651-292-4381 or visit: www.springboardforthearts.org. Workshops cost $45 each or $125 for all three. Intermedia Arts is a catalyst that builds understanding among people through art. MEDIA CONTACT: Jim Pounds, Marketing and PR Manager Phone: 612.874.2817 Email: jim [at] intermediaarts.org --------9 of 23-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: WWII resistence/film 1.26 7:15pm Twelve national critics named a restored classic film about the WWII French resistance their top 2006 pick. "Army of Shadows" features Lino Ventura, most known as a ;'tough guy', playing an ordinary man going underground during the Nazi Occupation, with another resister, played by the always extraordinary Simone Signoret. Who are the traitors among them who might betray their fight for freedom? Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, this is a rare treat to see on the big screen and quite timely, in terms of seeing an occupation from the 'insurgent' persepctive. Tickets are $8 for general audience, $6 for students and seniors and $5 for Film Society members. Screening 7:15 from Friday, January 26 through Thursday, February 1st, with weekend matinee screenings at 4:30pm. nightly (no screening Wednesday, January 31) Oak Street Cinema at 309 Oak Street, off Washington Ave. SE on the East Bank campus of Univeristy of Minnesota in MInneapolis. For more information call (612)341-3134 or see http://www.mnfilmarts.org --------10 of 23-------- From: Debbie <ddo [at] mchsi.com> Subject: Citizen action 1.27 9am Duluth MN Citizens in Action 2007 "How to Make a Difference" Saturday, January 27, 2007 9:00am to 2:00pm UMD - Kirby 3rd Floor Rafters 1120 Kirby Drive, Duluth Free and open to the public with refreshments provided. MN State Senator Scott Dibble and MN State Senator Yvonne Prettner Solon will be the keynote speakers. Workshops include: Steps for Citizen Involvement;Advanced Advocacy; and Issue Workshops - Public Health, Education, Health Care, Housing, Discrimination, Environment. Many elected officials will be there including State Legislators, County Commissioners, City Councilors, School Board Members, Mayor of Duluth Herb Bergson and Duluth Public School Superintendent Keith Dixon. Sponsored by League of Women Voters of Duluth along with over 30 co-sponsoring organizations. For more information contact 722-8557 or email rkemp [at] cleanwater.org. --------11 of 23-------- From: Troy Trooien <ttrooien [at] AeroSysEngr.com> Subject: IRV 1.27 11am You can promote IRV in St. Paul, and elsewhere in Minnesota, by telling Take Action Minnesota that this issue is important to you. If we can push IRV to the top of TAM's agenda they may be more willing to assign full time staff to promoting this important alternative voting method. One of the better opportunities to make this case will be at their membership meeting next weekend. If you are a member, please consider attending: Take Action MN Membership meeting - Saturday, Jan. 27, 11 am - 2:00 pm at South High School. Potluck lunch. If you are not able to attend, email Dan McGrath and Ryan Greenwood with your input. dan [at] takeactionminnesota.org ryan [at] takeactionminnesota.org If you are not a member and do not want to join, what the heck, contact them anyway! If you don't have email, try the phone or go primitive and send them a card. 1821 University Ave. W. Suite S-137 Saint Paul, Mn 55104 Tel : 651-641-6199 Fax : 651-645-1311 --------12 of 23-------- From: Rainbow Families <connect [at] rainbowfamilies.org> Subject: LGBT families 1.27 11am Rochester MN Rainbow Families Rochester Area Gathering Saturday, January 27, 11:00am - 12:30pm, First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1727 Walden Lane SW, Rochester, MN LGBT prospective parents, parents, and their children are all invited to attend a Gathering of Rainbow Families! Come and meet with staff of Rainbow Families, enjoy the company of other LGBT families, and celebrate the LGBT family community in the Rochester area. We invite you to share your story, your family, and your experiences in an informal setting. This is a great opportunity to meet other families in the area, and build connections. RSVP by Thursday, January 25, 2007 to Abby Switkin... --------13 of 23-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P peace demos 1.27 11am Believe it or not ... There are now two NWN4P weekly demonstrations as follows: 1. NWN4P-Plymouth demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, along Vinewood, just north of 42nd Ave. and one block east of 494 in Plymouth. Drive toward the Rainbow and Target Greatland on Vinewood, turn right by Bakers Square and right again into the parking lot near the sidewalk. Bring your own sign or use ours. 2. NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7 and 101. Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the entrance fountain. Bring your own signs or use ours. --------14 of 23-------- From: Burt Berlowe <bberlowe [at] comcast.net> Subject: Religion/war/peace 1.27 12noon Does religion cause war or peace? That question will be addressed on the next Spirit Road radio show this coming Saturday, January 27 at noon on Air America Minnesota 950AM, the first of a year00 year-long series on interfaith dialogue and social change. Our guests will be Muslim activist Fareen Hakeem, and Stanley Goldberg, a Jewish scholar and activist. We will also discuss the Season of Nonviolence that begins this month and runs for 64 days around the world, and will go live to the scene of the Minneapolis peace demonstration that will be part of the national day of antiwar marches. You can listen to us on your radio or live on the internet at the Air America Minnesota website. For further information contact Burt Berlowe, co-host at 612-722-1504 or go to www.spiritroadradio.net --------15 of 23-------- From: Lennie <major18 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Northtown vigil 1.27 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 --------16 of 23-------- From: Write On Radio <writeonradio [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Library opening 1.27 1pm Saturday January 27th 1:00 P.M.-6:00 P.M. North Regional Library Grand Opening Celebration. Ribbon cutting and activities for all ages. North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave. N., Mpls;www.mplib.org. --------17 of 23-------- From: scot bol <earthmannow [at] usgo.net> Subject: Peace/precincts 1.27 1pm Sat, 1/27 1-4pm Peace in the Precincts Grassroots Strategy Meeting to "PLAN THE PEACE" (social hour and dinner to follow) First Congregational Church of MN 500 Eighth Av SE Minneapolis, MN 55414 (Just NW of the intersection of 35W and University/4th St exit) We've been working for several months on a plan to help all of us make peace the candidate in 2008. Now we need you -- for while the Steering Committee has outlined the strategic plan for success, YOU, the grassroots, are the source of our standards. Come on Jan 27 to set the standard for candidates and their endorsers. Phil Steger will also give an information session on the situation in Iraq. Santwana Dasgupta has promised to make some of her incomparable southern Indian food for dinner, you won't want to miss it. Please RSVP to <mailto:info [at] peaceintheprecincts.org>info [at] peaceintheprecincts.org or call Bettina at 651-917-0383. --------18 of 23-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: End the war 1.27 1pm Protest U.S. War on Iraq: Bring the Troops Home Now! No to Escalation! in solidarity with national anti-war march on Washington, D.C. Saturday, January 27, 1:00 p.m. Bannering. Franklin & 26th Ave. South, Minneapolis. 2:00 p.m. Speak out. Bethany Lutheran Church, 2511 East Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. In Minneapolis and in cities across the nation people will march in solidarity with the tens of thousands who will converge on Washington, D.C. to demand an end to the war in Iraq, against the escalation and for U.S. troops to be brought home. Be part of a massive presence of anti-war signs and banners by participating in a "Human Billboard" against the war. Then join us at the church for a speak out. Our short statements at an open microphone will be videotaped and sent to the Minnesota Congressional delegation members. We say, "Stop funding the war! Funds for housing, health care and human needs, not war in Iraq!" If you never attended a rally, come out now. Sponsored by Iraq Peace Action Coalition. This is also national call-in day: Even as they criticize the Bush war, many Minnesota representatives in Washington have not committed to cut off funding and bringing the troops home now. Also, there are frightening implications to some of legislation and other legislation that is superior. --------19 of 23-------- From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: US genocide/TV 1.27 8pm Sat. Jan. 27, 8:00 p.m. Gerald Vizenor,*"American Genocide and Justice"* broadcast on TPT-Channel 17 , Minneapolis. http://events.tc.umn.edu/event.xml?occurrence=399378 --------20 of 23-------- The Massachusetts Model Health Care Reform for the Insurance Industry By SHARON SMITH CounterPunch January 24, 2007 "Affordable healthcare for all" has become a bipartisan rallying cry, echoing from governors' mansions around the nation, while members of the new Congress have already introduced ambitious proposals for healthcare reform. On January 22, the Wall Street Journal observed that corporations represented by the Business Roundtable have responded positively to the recent reform proposals, noting that businesses complain they are "unable to compete in a global economy when companies from other countries don't have to pay for healthcare." Even the White House is jumping on the bandwagon. After assuring listeners in his January 20th radio address that "Americans are fortunate to have the best health care system in the world," Bush unveiled his plan to forcibly wean workers away from so-called "gold-plated" health insurance policies that were the mainstay of union contracts during the post-World War Two era and into "basic" bare-bones plans that are rapidly becoming the model for the non-union twenty-first century. Bush will implement income tax penalties for non-compliance, while his plan will force workers to use fewer healthcare services - because they will be paying for them out-of-pocket due to their "basic" plans' enormous deductibles. At first glance, Bush's punitive proposal seems to bear little in common with the "Healthy Americans Act" introduced by Oregon's Democratic Senator Ron Wyden or the "bold plans" of Republican governors Mitt Romney and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the Chicago Tribune described them, to mandate universal coverage in Massachusetts and California. But don't be fooled. These bipartisan plans aim to provide a cash cow for the insurance industry, while demanding nothing in return: no curtailing of the obscene profits of healthcare conglomerates and no caps on skyrocketing insurance premiums or deductibles that sharply increase out-of-pocket costs. Instead, these plans will be financed by further bleeding workers. Since 2001, workers have already endured a 58 percent increase in costs for family plans and 63 percent for single policies. According to the Economic Policy Institute, 58 percent of U.S. workers had an average wage of less than $15 per hour in 2005 - and only 39 percent of these were covered by employer-provided insurance benefits. Millions of these workers-including the healthy and profitable twentysomethings the insurance industry is yearning to enroll - will be forced by law to purchase insurance that they cannot reasonably afford or face steep financial penalties. And the only plans on offer are those with high deductibles, leaving covered services unused-to the delight of insurers. Finally, employers will be encouraged to drop healthcare benefits for their workers by making it cheaper for employers to pay penalties than to provide health benefits. Wyden's proposal actually requires employers to terminate their existing health coverage - delivering the final blow to employer-provided insurance with nothing to replace it. Every healthcare reform package under serious consideration, including Schwarzenegger's, is modeled on Massachusetts legislation enacted in April 2006. The Massachusetts model is therefore worth examining, as it shines light on how bipartisan healthcare reform looks once it is implemented. Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney plans to stake his 2008 campaign on the agreement he reached with Massachusetts Democrats to enact sweeping healthcare mandates last year. As BusinessWeek Online remarked in April, "Romney, a moderate Republican expected to run for the White House in 2008, champions this as a conservative victory that leads residents to take responsibility for their own health insurance." Indeed, Massachusetts law now requires the following: "Massachusetts's residents, age 18 and older, [must] obtain and maintain health insurance coverage beginning July 1, 2007. Residents will confirm that they have maintained heath insurance coverage for the previous year on their state income tax returns beginning in 2008. Non-compliance with the individual mandate will result in a loss of personal tax exemption for the tax year 2007. Beginning with the 2008 tax year, penalties will increase up to 50% of the premium individuals would have paid if they had purchased health insurance The Bureau will maintain a database of all health plan membership to confirm who in the Commonwealth has health insurance coverage and during what time frames." [The decorum-whipped will sit and take it, but for the rest of us it's cause for rebellion. Throw the tea in the harbor. -ed] BusinessWeek noted that in 2005, "coverage for an individual ran about $4,000 a year, and nearly $11,000 for a family, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation." Massachusetts residents could thus pay a penalty of between roughly $2,000 and $5,500 per year for failing to purchase health insurance. As the consumer advocate group MassCare argued, "The Bill includes provisions requiring that uninsured families purchase at least stripped-down, poor quality health insurance through the private market, or face stiff penalties on their tax forms." How much will employers pay for flouting the new law? According to BusinessWeek, "The bill would require companies with 11 or more employees that don't provide health insurance to pay up to $295 a year per worker." Small wonder that "there's strong support in the business community for this measure," as Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation, observed: the $295 per worker annual penalty on employers who fail to provide health benefits dwarfs in comparison to the thousands of dollars in yearly penalties the IRS will force on taxpayers who cannot afford to buy individual plans. Even some insurance conglomerates have thrown their weight behind Schwarzenegger's plan that, like Massachusetts', would require all California residents to purchase health insurance. The plan would "present real possibilities for our business," UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley commented. Although UnitedHealth took in $1.2 billion in net earnings during the fourth quarter alone - a 38 percent increase from a year earlier - its new enrollment has been waning of late. "The California proposal could expand the industry's market to four million to five million currently uninsured Californians," the Wall Street Journal remarked. "Shared responsibility" and "personal responsibility" are the watchwords of the new trend. Schwarzenegger advocates "an approach that supports cost containment and recognizes the shared responsibility of individuals, employers and government. That promotes personal responsibility and builds on existing private and public systems." Brookings Institution Senior Fellow M. Gregg Bloche wrote in the Los Angeles Times on January 21 that the California plan is expected to tie individual insurance rates to positive health choices: "The trim and the fit, [Schwarzenegger] said, 'should be treated differently' from the obese and the inactive. California should 'reward healthy lifestyles,' not just compliance with recommended care." Schwarzenegger, however, has no plan to rein in the California insurance industry, which rejected one out of every five people who applied for individual coverage according to a 2006 consumer survey. In a speech to the Commonwealth Club last July, Schwarzenegger declared candidly, "I don't believe in universal healthcare." On December 31, the Times reported that minor ailments such as varicose veins, ear infections, previous psychological counseling and even "expectant fatherhood" have been grounds for rejection by California insurers. "Sometimes the reasons can seem absurd," the Times observed. "In a letter to an otherwise healthy recent college graduate, for instance, Blue Cross listed among the reasons it denied coverage a past bout of jock itch, 'successfully treated with cream.'" With 47 million uninsured and many millions more underinsured, the current batch of bipartisan reform proposals brings the U.S. no closer to addressing its healthcare crisis than the Clintons' disastrous plan in the 1990s - and for the same reasons. Instead of challenging the industry's never-ending quest for profits, these proposals dangle the possibility of yet more profits. If anything, as Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, predicted, "You're going to see the number of the underinsured grow enormously in the years ahead," while those with illnesses will be those most affected. Yet, by a margin of 88 percent, respondents to a Harris Interactive poll in November and December 2006 regarded "expand[ing] health insurance coverage for the uninsured as "absolutely essential" or "very important"; 81 percent strongly supported "reforms to moderate rising health care costs; 75 percent wanted to ensure that "families don't pay excessive out-of-pocket costs relative to income; and 64 percent want to "reduce racial/ethnic disparities in care." These goals can only be achieved by eliminating the unremitting drive for profits that has maintained the status of healthcare in the U.S. as a privilege rather than a human right, in stark comparison to the rest of the industrialized world. This is the only way to explain why the U.S., the richest society in the world, has the highest infant mortality rate and nearly the lowest life expectancy among the world's industrial economies. In September, Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 840, passed overwhelmingly by both Houses of the California legislature, that would have brought California one step closer to truly universal healthcare in a single-payer system modeled on Canada's. In his veto remarks, Schwarzenegger stated, "Socialized medicine is not the solution to our state's healthcare problems." On the contrary, it is the only viable solution. --------21 of 23-------- Turning Silence Into Gold Hillary Clinton and the Israel Lobby By JOSHUA FRANK CounterPunch January 23, 2007 George W. Bush's position on Iran is "disturbing" and "dangerous," reads a position paper written in late 2005 by American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). One year ago the Bush administration accepted a Russian proposal to allow Iran to continue to develop nuclear energy under Russian supervision. Needless to say, AIPAC wasn't the least bit happy about the compromise. In a letter to congressional allies, mostly Democrats, the pro-Israel organization admitted it was "concerned that the decision not to go to the Security Council, combined with the U.S. decision to support the 'Russian proposal,' indicates a disturbing shift in the Administration's policy on Iran and poses a danger to the U.S. and our allies." Israel, however, continues to develop a substantial nuclear arsenal. In 2000, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that Israel has likely produced enough plutonium to make up to 200 nuclear weapons. So it is safe to say that Israel's bomb-building technologies are light years ahead of Iran's budding nuclear program. Yet Israel still won't admit they have capacity to produce such deadly weapons. Meanwhile, as AIPAC and Israel pressure the U.S. government to force the Iran issue to the UN Security Council, Israel itself stands in violation of numerous UN resolutions dealing with the occupied territories of Palestine, including UN Resolution 1402, which in part calls on Israel to withdraw its military from all Palestinian cities at once. AIPAC's hypocrisy is nauseating. The Goliath lobbying organization wants Iran to cease to procure nukes while the crimes of Israel continue to be ignored. So who is propping up AIPAC's hypocritical position? None other than Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York. As one of the top Democratic recipients of pro-Israel funds for the 2006 election cycle, pocketing over $83,000, Clinton now has Iran in her cross hairs. During a Hanukkah dinner speech delivered in December 2005, hosted by Yeshiva University, Clinton prattled, "I held a series of meetings with Israeli officials [last summer], including the prime minister and the foreign minister and the head of the [Israel Defense Forces], to discuss such challenges we confront. In each of these meetings, we talked at length about the dire threat posed by the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran, not only to Israel, but also to Europe and Russia. Just this week, the new president of Iran made further outrageous comments that attacked Israel's right to exist that are simply beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptability. During my meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, I was reminded vividly of the threats that Israel faces every hour of every day. It became even more clear how important it is for the United States to stand with Israel." As Clinton embraces Israel's violence, as well as AIPAC's fraudulent posture on Iran, she simultaneously ignores the hostilities inflicted upon Palestine, as numerous Palestinians have been killed during the continued shelling of the Gaza Strip over the past year. Clinton's silence toward Israel's brutality implies the senator will continue to support AIPAC's mission to occupy the whole of the occupied territories, as well as a war on Iran. AIPAC is correct even President Bush appears to be a little sheepish when up against the warmongering of Hillary Clinton. * * * Hillary and her husband paid a visit to Israel in the fall of 2005. The former president was a featured speaker at a mass rally that marked the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It was Hillary's second visit to Israel since she was elected to office in 2000. The senator did manage to take time out of her tour to meet with the then semi-conscious Ariel Sharon to discuss "security matters." Hillary also made her way to the great apartheid wall, which separates Palestine from Israel. As the barrier is nearing completion, the monstrosity will ultimately stretch to over 400 miles in length. Palestinians rightly criticize the obtrusive wall on the grounds that it cuts them off from occupied land in the West Bank. Thousands more will be cut off from their jobs, schools, and essential farmland. Hillary and her pro-Israel buds don't get it. When you put powerless Palestinians behind a jail-like wall where life in any real economic sense is unattainable, you wreak pain and anguish, which in turn leads to more anger and resentment toward the Israeli government's brutal policies. Indeed, the wall will not prove to be a deterrent to resistance, but an incitement to defiance. "This is not against the Palestinian people," Clinton said as she gazed over the massive wall. "This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the attitudes about terrorism." The senator's comments seem as if they were taken word-for-word from an AIPAC position paper. They may well have been, as the lobby packs her coffers full of cash. In May 2005, Clinton spoke at an AIPAC conference where she praised the bonds between Israel and the United States: "[O]ur future here in this country is intertwined with the future of Israel and the Middle East. Now there is a lot that we could talk about, and obviously much has been discussed. But in the short period that I have been given the honor of addressing you, I want to start by focusing on our deep and lasting bonds between the United States and Israel." Clinton went on to address the importance of disarming Iran and Syria, as well as keeping troops in Iraq for as long as "it" takes. It was textbook warmongering, and surprise, surprise Hillary got a standing ovation for her repertoire. It is no matter that Iraq will never see true democracy. The U.S. won't allow that. Our government will never allow a free Iraq to form that embodies even the slightest disgust toward Israel or America. Democracy in Iraq, like democracy in Israel, has clear limitations. Similar to her husband and the current president, Hillary Clinton will never alter the U.S.' Middle East policy that so blatantly favors Israeli interests. Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush and edits http://www.BrickBurner.org --------22 of 23-------- Your Local Police Force Has Been Militarized The Empire Turns Its Guns on the Citizenry By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS CounterPunch In recent years American police forces have called out SWAT teams 40,000 or more times annually. Last year did you read in your newspaper or hear on TV news of 110 hostage or terrorist events each day? No. What then were the SWAT teams doing? They were serving routine warrants to people who posed no danger to the police or to the public. Occasionally Washington think tanks produce reports that are not special pleading for donors. One such report is Radley Balko's "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America" (Cato Institute, 2006). This 100-page report is extremely important and should have been published as a book. SWAT teams (Special Weapons and Tactics) were once rare and used only for very dangerous situations, often involving hostages held by armed criminals. Today SWAT teams are deployed for routine police duties. In the US today, 75-80% of SWAT deployments are for warrant service. In a high percentage of the cases, the SWAT teams forcefully enter the wrong address, resulting in death, injury, and trauma to perfectly innocent people. Occasionally, highly keyed-up police kill one another in the confusion caused by their stun grenades. Mr. Balko reports that the use of paramilitary police units began in Los Angeles in the 1960s. The militarization of local police forces got a big boost from Attorney General Ed Meese's "war on drugs" during the Reagan administration. A National Security Decision Directive was issued that declared drugs to be a threat to US national security. In 1988 Congress ordered the National Guard into the domestic drug war. In 1994 the Department of Defense issued a memorandum authorizing the transfer of military equipment and technology to state and local police, and Congress created a program "to facilitate handing military gear over to civilian police agencies." Today 17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear and armored vehicles. Some have tanks. In 1999, the New York Times reported that a retired police chief in New Haven, Connecticut, told the newspaper, "I was offered tanks, bazookas, anything I wanted." Balklo reports that in 1997, for example, police departments received 1.2 million pieces of military equipment. With local police forces now armed beyond the standard of US heavy infantry, police forces have been retrained "to vaporize, not Mirandize," to use a phrase from Reagan administration defense official Lawrence Korb. This leaves the public at the mercy of brutal actions based on bad police information from paid informers. SWAT team deployments received a huge boost from the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program, which gave states federal money for drug enforcement. Balko explains that "the states then disbursed the money to local police departments on the basis of each department's number of drug arrests." With financial incentives to maximize drug arrests and with idle SWAT teams due to a paucity of hostage or other dangerous situations, local police chiefs threw their SWAT teams into drug enforcement. In practice, this has meant using SWAT teams to serve warrants on drug users. SWAT teams serve warrants by breaking into homes and apartments at night while people are sleeping, often using stun grenades and other devices to disorient the occupants. As much of the police's drug information comes from professional informers known as "snitches" who tip off police for cash rewards, dropped charges, and reduced sentences, names and addresses are often pulled out of a hat. Balko provides details for 135 tragic cases of mistaken addresses. SWAT teams are not held accountable for their tragic mistakes and gratuitous brutality. Police killings got so bad in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for example, that the city hired criminologist Sam Walker to conduct an investigation of police tactics. Killings by police were "off the charts," Walker found, because the SWAT team "had an organizational culture that led them to escalate situations upward rather then de-escalating." The mind-set of militarized SWAT teams is geared to "taking out" or killing the suspect-- thus, the many deaths from SWAT team utilization. Many innocent people are killed in night time SWAT team entries, because they don't realize that it is the police who have broken into their homes. They believe they are confronted by dangerous criminals, and when they try to defend themselves they are shot down by the police. As Lawrence Stratton and I have reported, one of many corrupting influences on the criminal justice (sic) system is the practice of paying "snitches" to generate suspects. In 1995 the Boston Globe profiled people who lived entirely off the fees that they were paid as police informants. Snitches create suspects by selling a small amount of marijuana to a person who they then report to the police as being in possession of drugs. Balko reports that "an overwhelming number of mistaken raids take place because police relied on information from confidential informants." In Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, 87% of drug raids originated in tips from snitches. Many police informers are themselves drug dealers who avoid arrest and knock off competitors by serving as police snitches. Surveying the deplorable situation, the National Law Journal concluded: "Criminals have been turned into instruments of law enforcement, while law enforcement officers have become criminal co-conspirators." Balko believes the problem could be reduced if judges scrutinized unreliable information before issuing warrants. If judges would actually do their jobs, there would be fewer innocent victims of SWAT brutality. However, as long as the war on drugs persists and as long as it produces financial rewards to police departments, local police forces, saturated with military weapons and war imagery, will continue to terrorize American citizens. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at] yahoo.com --------23 of 23-------- President's IQ's ranked [Several years old, this was just sent to me again -ed] A report published Monday, by the Loventein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania, detailed its findings of a four month study of the Intelligence quotient (IQ) of President George W. Bush. Since 1973, the Lovenstein Institute has published its research to the educational community on each president, which includes the famous "IQ" report among others. There have been twelve presidents over the past 50 years, from F.D.Roosevelt to G.W.Bush, who were rated based on scholarly achievements: 1. Writings that they have produced without aid of staff. 2. Their ability to speak with clarity, and several other psychological factors, which were then scored using the Swanson/Crain System of Intelligence Ranking. The study determined the following IQs of each president as accurate within five percentage points. In order of IQ ranking: 182 William Jefferson Clinton 175 James Earle Carter 174 John F. Kennedy 155 Richard M. Nixon 147 F.D. Roosevelt 132 Harry S. Truman 126 Lyndon B. Johnson 122 Dwight D. Eisenhower 121 Gerald R. Ford 105 Ronald W. Reagan 098 George H.W. Bush 091 George W. Bush [GW's would have been lower, but they averaged George's pet hamsters IQ's in with GW's -ed] Among comments made concerning the specific testing of G. W. Bush, his low ratings are due to his apparently difficult command of the English Language in public statements, his limited use of vocabulary 6500 words for Bush versus an average of 11000 words for other presidents), his lack of scholarly achievements other than a basic MBA, and an absence of any body of work which could be studied on an intellectual basis. The complete report documents the methods and procedures used to arrive at these ratings, including depth of sentence structure and vice stress confidence analysis. The Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania think tank includes high caliber historians, psychiatrists, sociologists, scientists in human behavior and psychologists. For more information on the Lovenstein Institute, go to http://lovenstein.org//. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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
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