Progressive Calendar 01.25.07
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//.


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