|Progressive Calendar 01.26.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 21:46:21 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 01.26.07 1. Out of Iraq 1.27 1pm St Cloud MN 2. Islam 1.27 2pm 3. Social liberation 1.27 3pm 4. David Rovics/CTV 1.27 10pm 5. Bhutan/justice 1.28 9:15am 6. Single payer/KFAI 1.28 3pm 7. Asian music/food 1.28 3pm 8. KFAI/Indian 1.28 4pm 9. Antarctic lesbians 1.28 7pm 10. Welfare rights 1.29 12:30pm 11. AI Augustana 1.29 7pm 12. Rights trials 1.29 7:30pm 13. Bad Albright 1.29 7:30pm 14. Missy Beattie - Inside Bush's criminal mind 15. Jim Fuller - The amazing success of George W Bush 16. PC Roberts - The evils of escalation: Bush's state of deception 17. Joe DeRaymond - Paying for health care and not getting it --------1 of 17-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Out of Iraq 1.27 1pm St Cloud MN St. Cloud 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 to 3:00 p.m. Highway 15 and Division Street, St. Cloud. Stand with those locally and nationally who protest the escalation of the War on Iraq. Signs will be available or bring your own. --------2 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Islam 1.27 2pm Alternate Saturdays, 1/13 to 6/9, 2 to 4 pm, interfaith dialogue organization Northern Lights Society presents series Understanding Islam, 2469 University Ave, Suite 110 E. St Paul. bilgin [at] nlight.org Series includes topics the virtues of prayer on 1/27, Mary on 2/10, Jesus on 2/24, Islam and Democracy on 3/10, necessity of interfaith dialogue on 3/24, farewell sermon of prophet Muhammad on 4/14, terror and suicide attacks on 4/28, other faiths according to Islam on 5/12, diversity in Islam on 5/26 and Islamic art on 9/9. RSVP to rsvp [at] nlight.org --------3 of 17--------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Social liberation 1.27 3pm Saturdays, 1/27 to 3/17, 3 to 5 pm, 8-week Work Peoples College class "Imagination and Social Liberation" by Industrial Workers of the World, Central Library, downtown Mpls. Register at twincities [at] iww.org or 612-339-1266. --------4 of 17-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: David Rovics/CTV 1.27 10pm "Our World In Depth" has begun cablecasting weekly in Minneapolis on MTN! At the moment, the Minneapolis cablecasts are on Channel 17 Saturdays at 10pm: 1/27, 10 pm "David Rovics in Concert: Haliburton Boardroom Massacre Tour". Includes post-concert interview. "Our World In Depth" features analysis of public affairs with consideration of and participation from Twin Cities area activists. The show is mostly local and not corporately influenced! For information about future programming of "Our World In Depth", please send an e-mail to eric-angell [at] riseup.net. (PS It might be better than PBS.) --------5 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Bhutan/justice 1.28 9:15am Sunday, 1/28, 9:15 to 10:15 am, Westminster Presbyterian's social justice team presents "A Success Story from Bhutan: A Justice Orientation in government," Meisel Room, Westminster Presbyterian Church 12th St and Nicollet Ave, Mpls. --------6 of 17-------- From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> Subject: Single payer/KFAI 1.28 3pm For this Sundayıs edition of Truth to Tell on KFAI (3:00 PM, 90.3, Minneapolis/106.7, St. Paul, streaming at KFAI.org), co-hosts Andy Driscoll and Craig Cox examine why Minnesota still struggles with its growing health care crisis. What are the arguments supporting universal and single-payer health systems? Which public and private interests are supporting or opposing either one or both? What political and economic dynamics could bring major change. Our guests include Kip Sullivan, veteran advocate and author of the book, The Health Care Mess, State Senator Linda Berglin, chair of the Senateıs Health and Human Services Division of Finance, Dr. Katja Rowell, a physician in private practice, Dr. Steven Miles, Professor of Medicine and Bioethics at the University of Minnesota, and, by phone, pharmacist and health economist Joel Albers. These professionals will bring their differing perspectives on the issue of and prospects for single-payer health care, and weıll ask listeners for questions and comments. Later, Driscoll, Cox, free-lance editor/writer David Brauer, writer/commentator Lynnell Mickelsen will again analyze the weekıs key news developments. Truth to Tellıs music director, Larry Long, selects our interludes. Support Public Affairs on Community Radio KFAI! Truth to Tell - Sunday, Jan. 28, 3:00 PM, on KFAI (90.3, Minneapolis/106.7, St. Paul, streaming at KFAI.org) Andy Driscoll, Producer/Host Truth to Tell KFAI Radio, Minneapolis/St. Paul --------7 of 17-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Asian music/food 1.28 3pm JAN. 28: Macalester College students are hosting a Festival of Music and a Feast of Central Asian Food on Sunday January 28 from 3-6pm at the Weyerhaeuser Chapel. The event is a collaboration of volunteers - musicians, students and parents and local restaurants. Featured performers are guitarist Dean Magraw and vocal and instrumental ensembles from St. Paul Central High School^Òs award-winning music program and Drumheart from the Women^Òs Drum Center. Following the concert, food will be served provided by Afghani restaurant The Crescent Moon, the Holy Land Bakery and Café Brenda chef Nick Schneider. All proceeds will benefit Fifty Lanterns Hazara Project Admission is $10 Adults and $5 students. Reserve tickets at http://www.50lanterns.org/News_Events.html Sponsered by the Macalester Unitarian Universalists FFI: Marita Bujold 651-646-0851 --------8 of 17-------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org> Subject: KFAI/Indian 1.28 4pm KFAI's Indian Uprising for January 28, 2007 #198 THE INDIAN TRUST PATTERN: LEGALIZED TAKING AND PATERNALISM, Friends Committee on National Legislation (www.fcnl.org) newsletter, FCNL Indian Report, Second Quarter 2005. European and early colonial law held that the nation which "discovered" the land in America became the owner of the land, and the Indian natives only retained the right to live on it. In addition, the prevailing view... natives were not capable of looking after their own affairs and needed to take care of much as trustees do for their wards. COBELL V. NORTON: AN OVERVIEW. Cobell v. Norton is a class-action lawsuit filed on June 10, 1996, in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to force the federal government to account for billions of dollars belonging to approximately 500,000 American Indians and their heirs, and held in trust since the late 19th century. http://www.indiantrust.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Overview.Home. OPEN LETTER FROM ELOUISE COBELL (Blackfeet), Jan. 24, 2007. The summer of 2006 has been an extremely volatile one for our cause. On July 11 the U.S. Court of Appeals removed U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth from our case. In so doing, we lost the services of a dedicated and fair jurist who had presided over our case since its inception in 1996. For complete letter, see http://www.indiantrust.com/ AMERICAN INDIAN HOMELANDS: Matters of truth, honor and dignity-immemorial, a documentary on DVD, hosted by Sam Donaldson and produced by Vanbar Productions in association with The Indian Land Tenure Foundation. See www.indianlandtenure.org to order the DVD. "The film... seeks to educate the public about effects of federal law on Indian land ownership. It's stories of land theft by government swindle, by legislative action and by abdications of trust responsibilities should make you angry." - Art Coulson, St. Paul Pioneer Press. KEEPING UP WITH NIGERIA, an Op-Ed by Karin Lissakers, The New York Times, Jan. 23, 2007. In the last six months, media coverage, Congressional hearings, lawsuits by private citizens and a scathing report by the Interior Departmentıs inspector general have exposed a litany of failures in the departmentıs management of oil and gas leases on public lands and waters. http://www.indiantrust.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Editorials.ViewDetail&Editor ial_id=83&Month=1&Year=2007 SCIENTISTS PREDICT GLACIERS WILL VANISH FROM ALPS BY 2050 by William J. Kole (AP), Star Tribune, Jan. 23, 2007. Glaciers will all but disappear from the Alps by 2050, scientists warned Monday, basing their bleak outlook on mounting evidence of slow but steady melting of the continental ice sheets. http://www.startribune.com/789/story/953131.html PSA's: First Nations Composers Initiative grant opportunities, Georgia Wettlin-Larsen 651-251-2825 gwettlinlarsen [at] composersforum.org; Camp Sheila Wellstone for Indian Country, Feb. 27-28 (re domestic violence and sexual assault), Lonna Stevens, 651-645-3939, lonna [at] wellstone.org. Note: KFAI's website is currently undergoing changes involving temporarily shutting down the Program Archives section whereby listeners could play programs at their leisure. This section should be available again this spring or earlier. Programs can be heard through live audio streaming using a computer as the program is broadcast. Click "Listen Live!" on KFAI's home page. See www.kfai.org. * * * * 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 volunteer Chris Spotted Eagle. KFAI Fresh Air Radio, www.kfai.org, is located at 1808 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55454, 612-341-3144. --------9 of 17-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Antarctic lesbians 1.28 7pm Saturday, January 28, 7 p.m. Amazon Books 4755 Chicago Ave.S. Minneapolis 612-821-9630 http://www.amazonbookstorecoop.com Lesbians, Scientists, Explorers, Nature, and Love-In Antarctica Gretchen Legler reads from and talks about her new book On the Ice: An Intimate portrait of Life at McMurdo Station, Antarctica Negative 120-degree weather forecasts, the abandoned huts, and heartbreaking stories of exploration-these are the things one expects to find in Antarctica. What most don't expect is modern-day Antarctica: warehouses of canned food, decaying computers stacked to the ceiling, and one of the largest lesbian communities on earth. Gretchen Legler was sent south by the National Science Foundation Artists and Writers Program to observe both sides of Antarctica. Having recently divorced, come out as a lesbian, and broken up with her first partner, she was more than happy to leave for the frozen south. Upon arrival Legler quickly falls in love with everything about Antarctica: the land, the stories, and the people-especially Ruth, a woman she meets there. The result of her adventures is On the Ice: An Intimate Portrait of Life at McMurdo Station, Antarctica-a sociological study, historiography, and love story that reveals the most unexplored place on earth and the people who are drawn to it. This panoramic view is totally unique among the volumes of travelogues and histories about the frozen continent. On the Ice will give any reader fascinated by the "farthest away place on earth" a whole new way to think about Antarctica --------10 of 17-------- From: Welfare Rights Committee - Alt Email <welfarerights [at] qwest.net> Subject: Welfare rights 1.29 12:30pm Monday, January 29, 2007 Join the Welfare Rights Committee for Testimony for Senate file 154, in the committee on Health, Housing and Family Security, on Monday, January 29 2007 at 12:30PM, Room 15 at the Capitol. Welfare Rights Committee will testify in Favor of Senate File 154, which does the following; Undoes the $50 Housing Cut! Undoes the $125 SSI Cut! Restores Child Care Co pays for poor parents back to the 2003 level! Raises the MFIP cash Grants that have not been raised in 21 years! Undoes the Family Cap! Undoes the MA Co-pays! Eliminates the 20-hour work requirement to get Post secondary Education while on MFIP! Gives More Extensions for families who come up on the 5-year live time limit while on MFIP!. PROHIBITS WORKFARE/SLAVE LABOR IN THE STATE OF MINNESOTA! Please come join and support the Welfare Rights Committee at the Capitol, in room 15, on Monday, January 29th, at 12:30PM If you have any questions please call the Welfare Rights Committee At 612-822-8020. --------11 of 17-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: AI Augustana 1.29 7pm Augustana Homes Seniors Group meets on Monday, January 29th, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the party room of the 1020 Building, 1020 E 17th Street, Minneapolis. For more information contact Ardes Johnson at 612/378-1166 or johns779 [at] tc.umn.edu. --------12 of 17-------- From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Rights trials 1.29 7:30pm Mon. Jan. 29, 7:30 pm, New Regents Professor Kathryn Sikkink "Globalizing Justice: Do Human Rights Trials Really Work?" reception in honor of being named Regents Professor. Institute for Advanced Study, 125 Nolte Center, 315 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis. http://events.tc.umn.edu/event.xml?occurrence=398494 --------13 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Bad Albright 1.29 7:30pm Monday, 1/29, 7:30 pm, Madeleine Albright speaks on "Telling It Like It Is," Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. www.smarttalkwoman.com (Just in case you would like to tell Ms Albright like it is; she, of course, is famous for saying that the huge death toll of children in the Balkans was "worth it.") --------14 of 17-------- He Thinks; Therefore, It is So Inside the Criminal Mind By MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE CounterPunch January 26, 2007 Not "cogito ergo sum," but "I think; therefore it is so." Let's see now. What was that guy's name, the psychologist whose area of expertise was the criminal personality? I attended his lecture a couple of decades ago when I was working on my master's. He presented a fascinating study of convicts and the way their minds operate. Stanton. Yes, Stanton, but Stanton what? I had not thought of him in years, yet when George Bush was delivering his State of the Union speech, the quote, "I think; therefore it is so," kept appeared in my head, especially, when the president said, "On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle. Let us find our resolve and turn events toward victory." Especially when George talked about Iraq, terrorism, and the enemy. So, I did what any inquisitive person would do-I used "The Google." I typed Stanton+criminal+mind and clicked "search." This yielded Samenow-Stanton Samenow, Ph.D and plenty of sites. "I think; therefore it is so." This, according to Samenow, characterizes the mind of a criminal. "I think; therefore it is so" characterizes the mind of George W. Bush. It is a cognitive error that compels the president to inflict his will even after the electorate has spoken in loud repudiation. He is resolute, a quality we could admire if his actions produced great gains for humanity. But they don't. Instead, Bush has unleashed chaos across this country and in the Middle East. Samenow says: 'Criminals often function on the basis of assumptions. They see themselves as the hub of the wheel around which all else revolves. There is no need to seek facts or weigh alternatives if a person believes he or she already knows it all.' That's an accurate assessment of George Bush. And so is this: Thinking something is what matters. The criminal does not see any need to justify this. He operates on the basis of his own premise without checking it out. Of course, if he were to do this while committing a crime, he would likely jeopardize himself. So, he is fully capable of ascertaining facts when it suits his purpose. The 'I think; therefore it is so' is part of his attempt to impose his will upon others, to exercise power, and control. It provides graphic evidence of his failure to put himself in the place of others and to empathize. The costs of this thinking error are often devastating to innocent people. Certainly, the thinking errors of George Bush have been devastating. My family's loss of Marine Lance Cpl. Chase Comley in Iraq makes us a casualty of the president's criminal mind. But all of us here at home are his casualties. . Think about military families, the people of New Orleans, the poor and middle class. Even those who haven't realized it yet are casualties. Bush's domestic hit list is long. And so is his foreign; the Iraqi population and the Iraqi culture. Additional, appropriate Samenow findings: 'Most criminals have idealist visions. They long for large cash retirements and dream of going to heaven. Many, too, are religious, and look at themselves as better people because of it. However, these visions all exist on their own terms.' There's more: 'Despite having a decent self-concept, the criminal's self-image is very tenuous. His self-esteem is veritably frail. When he is not immediately gratified, he is likely to become irate.' We might as well substitute the proper noun Bush for the pronouns 'his' and 'he' and the common noun 'criminals.' He feels no obligation to anyone except his own interests. He has no understanding of responsible decision making, having prejudged situations. He has a daily struggle with "Murphy's Law". That is, where something is bound to go wrong, it probably will. Criminals cannot cope with this obstacle well. Yep, this is G. W. Bush. Things were bound to go wrong in Iraq. Over and over, wrong has prevailed. But, now, George Bush wants another opportunity for his "new" strategy which, in reality, is his old strategy. "I think; therefore it is so." We must remove this criminal from our house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and charge him with breaking and entering. He has broken everything he's touched during his tenure as president. And his plan is to continue breaking and entering. Iran is in his sights. Nonbinding resolutions won't stop George Bush. He's told us this. "I think; therefore it is so." "Book him, Dano." Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,'05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat [at] aol.com --------15 of 17-------- The amazing success of George W. Bush by Jim Fuller http://www.jamesclayfuller.com/ There are so many mouths blowing so much hot air about King George's State of the Union speech that if they were all facing east, the continent might shift halfway to the Sandwich Islands, and Alaska and Siberia could be reunited. For the moment, I'll refrain from joining the chorus, though a couple of issues about which George lied may bring me to eruption before long. A few independent thinkers, such as my friend Lydia Howell in her Tuesday commentary on KFAI radio in the Twin Cities (yes, before the speech was delivered), have gleaned what truth could be found in the situation. Something you'll notice among the more widely distributed spoutings, is the fact that many of those given license to shill by either the right or left - otherwise known as "oh, ohs" - now are openly calling Bush & Co. "incompetent." The use of that word to describe our rulers has been growing like sunflowers on the prairies since the November election. Great courage hath our talking heads and syndicated columnists, once they're sure it's safe to be brave. Increasingly, the mad king is described by professional analysts as "the worst president in American history." In coming to that conclusion, the brave columnists are only a year or so behind a majority of the citizenry. And, as usual, the "mainstream" babblers are many degrees off course. There is another, very different assessment of Bush's presidency that is entirely valid from a certain point of view, and I'm not talking about the views of Pat Robertson or the many right-wing "think tanks" (called that because all independent and/or original thought goes quickly into the tank.) Most of us believe George W. Bush is both incompetent and a skunk, the center of the most corrupt government ever seen in this country, and probably a war criminal. However, at the Billionaires' Club, which is where the only public he cares about gathers, George W. Bush is the greatest president ever, a giant equal to the the legendary rulers of history. Next to him, Hannibal was a small-time adventurer and Hadrian a builder of garden walls. In the place where martinis cost $35, and the members smoke $22 genuine Cohibas after $250 dinners (laws against importing Cuban cigars, like almost all laws, are void in the Billionaires' Club) and Grace, the waitress who's worked the dining room for 37 years, still makes $8.30 an hour, George is a hero, almost a god. In the view of the people who now own America, Mount Rushmore should be scraped down and the old faces replaced with his smirking image. He is far from incompetent. He and the rest of the White House crew have done exactly what was wanted and expected of them and much more. They have done it done it smoothly and brilliantly and with a stunning ability to con the dim American public into supporting the very people who are robbing them blind and turning the world into a perpetual battlefield. It's a mark of their professionalism that Bush and his cohort captains kept from giggling into the television cameras Tuesday evening. Halliburton Co. - which we all know as the biggest but far from the only war profiteer - reported a net profit of $2.4 billion in fiscal 2005, up from a reported loss of $1.1 billion in its previous fiscal year. Anybody who believes those figures show the full extent of the money Dick Cheney's company has sucked out of our pockets is more naïve than young Heidi romping through Alpine fields. Halliburton has been caught several times flat-out stealing billions - uh, that is, it "can't account" for the missing money - and was punished by being forced to accept huge bonuses from the Pentagon. Don't worry; indications are that the profits of Halliburton and other war profiteers will be up substantially for fiscal 2006. Oil companies were given billions of dollars in tax breaks to encourage them to exploit (and create environmental havoc in) off-shore oil fields, and that despite the fact they already were piling up profits at levels never before seen in history. A new drug program for Medicare users, now being improved in rather minor ways by the Democratic Congress, was written by and for the giant pharmaceutical companies, guaranteeing them major new profits and assuring older Americans of financial stress and, in many cases, real poverty. Nobody has counted how many people have fallen into the doughnut hole, never again to emerge into solvency. Most of you know about those things, but there are so many others it would take 20 researchers six weeks to list and briefly summarize the gifts to billionaires and abuses of our citizens and our government in just the last two months, let alone the past six years. The Bush assaults on honesty, decency and democracy continue to come at an astonishing rate - often several a day, almost none reported in the corporate "news media." One very recent example: On Jan. 18, as reported by Michelle Chen of The NewStandard, the White House changed a previously existing executive order, to give the president far greater power to control (that is, undermine) federal agencies that enforce health, safety and environmental protections. Under the new order, the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs was given substantial new powers to screw with warning labels on medicines and safety standards in work places and a whole lot more. The Bush-controlled agency can bypass Congressional oversight on things such as enforcement of pollution and public health rules. Among other things, and this is specifically written into the order, it can decide that something that obviously is hurting the public can be ignored because "market forces" eventually will bring about a correction of the problem. You betcha. Incidentally, the original executive order, the one that didn't go far enough for the billionaires, was issued by Bill Clinton, that icon of the inside-the-Beltway Democrats. So why the sneak attack on public health and safety now? You know why. "Industry" wanted the change and demanded it, because regulations aimed at protecting you and me from corporate-caused pain and suffering sometimes negatively affect profits. Such gifts to the uncaring rich pour like a mountain stream from the Bush White House. Yet the war remains Bush's biggest success, the achievement that brings billionaires worshipfully to their knees. The profits are beyond anything ever produced before - and they are likely to go on building for years, despite the opinions of the country's citizens as made clear in the November election, and despite the fact that virtually the entire world is set against us. (A BBC poll taken within the past few weeks, shows that almost 75 percent of the citizens of the 25 countries surveyed oppose Bush's policies in Iraq, and more than two thirds believe the American presence in the Middle East destabilizes the region. (In addition to the sanely negative view of the war itself, "the thing that comes up repeatedly is not just anger about Iraq,- said Steven Kull, director of the the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, which participated with the BBC in the poll. "The common theme is hypocrisy. The reaction tends to be: 'You were a champion of a certain set of rules. Now you are breaking your own rules, so you are being hypocritical.'" Robert Scheer of Truthdig.com was the author of the report on the poll that I saw.) This is difficult to comprehend for Americans who have never seen such corrupt and cruel actions on such a scale, but the fact seems clear: In addition to being a totally unnecessary war created for the sake of profit, and despite all the Bush/Cheney yammering about how we must "win," the mess in Iraq was designed to go on and on, not to end with some sort of "victory." Endless war means endless profits and an endless "emergency" that requires the strength of an all-powerful president to guide us. There is much evidence to support that conclusion. The most obvious is this: Before this country invaded Iraq in 2003, Donald Rumsfeld gave orders that no military strategists were to give any thought to planning for a post-war Iraq. Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid, recently retired commander of the Army Transportation Corps, said Rumsfeld declared "he would fire the next person" who so much as mentioned the need for a post-war plan. In fact, Gen. Eric Shineski, Army chief of staff in 2003, got the boot from Rumsfeld after the general told Congress that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed to "secure" Iraq after the invasion. There never was an intention of "victory." By his own standards, and those of the billionaires, George W. Bush has succeeded beyond anything they could realistically have hoped. They want this success to go on forever. In that light, think about this: In October, shortly before the Republicans lost their total control of Congress, they slipped another of their "stealth moves" into law. The action revised the Insurrection Act, which limits, or limited, the president's power to deploy our military within our borders. It was designed to severely limit use of the military for domestic law enforcement. The changes, sponsored by the ever-so-moderate Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, give the president the power to declare a "public emergency" and use federal troops anywhere in the country, and also to take control of National Guard units without consent of the states' governors in order to "suppress public disorder." Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said in a statement ignored by most or all of the corporate news outfits that the law, signed by Bush on Oct. 17, a few hours after he signed the infamous "Military Commissions Act, will "encourage" the president to declare martial law. Gee, ya think? Of course the press ignored more than Leahy. There has been very little - almost no - notice of the new law in our newspapers or news broadcasts, but then they've given short shrift to the Military Commissions Act. Most Americans don't know it exists, let alone what it does. I learned of the Warner law, which was hidden in a routine bill on military appropriations and related matters, from a report on Towardfreedom.com forwarded to me by a friend. I later found another, comfirming report in Information Clearing House. Yup. George & Co. could decide they don't want to leave in January 2009 and simply declare a national emergency and martial law. Now that's success. Sleep tight tonight. posted by James @ 8:15 PM --------16 of 17-------- The Evils of Escalation Bush's State of Deception By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS CounterPunch January 25, 2007 Bush's state of the union address did not describe the deplorable state of the union. The speech's importance consists of Bush's plea to Congress to please let him fool them one more time in order that he can attack Iran and start a bigger war that Congress will have to support in order to support Israel. That is all the president had to say. The "surge" of US troops for Iraq is another deception. The surge's purpose has nothing to do with achieving victory in Iraq. Its purpose is to counter the pressure from the American public, Congress, and the US military to withdraw US troops from Iraq. Once a withdrawal begins, the neoconservative misadventure in the Middle East is at an end before its goals can be achieved. Delaying the withdrawal by proposing an escalation and provoking a debate gives Bush and Israel time to orchestrate an attack on Iran. No one in Congress or print and TV media is prepared to call Bush on this transparent deception. Instead, critics focus on the fact that the surge cannot succeed. For example, in the Democratic response to Bush's address, Senator Jim Webb, who served as Secretary of the Navy under President Reagan, stressed the recklessness and cost of Bush's invasion of Iraq: "The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable and predicted disarray that has followed." Sen. Webb is the best that the Democrats have and with Ron Paul the best that Congress has. Yet, not even Webb can cut to the chase. Consequently, while Congress wastes time with non-binding resolutions against the surge in Iraq, Bush proceeds to implement plans to start war with Iran. I have said that the only hope of stopping Bush from initiating war with Iran is for the leadership of both parties in both houses of Congress to make unequivocally clear that Bush will be impeached if he attacks Iran without the approval of Congress. Even this might not be enough. The Bush Regime is capable of orchestrating an incident, such as an attack on a US aircraft carrier, that can be blamed on Iran and, in that way, sweep Congress along on a patriotic outburst against "Iranian aggression against US forces." Many of the people who have come to oppose Bush's war in Iraq mistakenly believe that Bush is a good person who is trying to protect America, but that he is going about it in the wrong way and is too inflexible to learn from his mistakes. They have no clue as to the evil agenda that guides the Bush Regime. The Bush Regime is the first neoconservative regime in US history. Bush hides the neoconservative agenda behind "the war on terror," which essentially is a hoax. The main purpose of the neoconservatives' "war on terror" it to eliminate any effective Muslim opposition to Israel's theft of Palestine and the Golan Heights. To silence Muslim opposition to Israel's theft of Arab lands, the US must eliminate or intimidate Middle Eastern governments that are not under US control - Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah which governs southern Lebanon. The US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have failed to establish US control, but they have left both countries in a destructive civil war. Israel's invasion of Lebanon appears to have renewed civil war in that country. Bush is not going to be forthright about the neoconservative agenda, because he knows it is one that Congress and the American people must be manipulated and maneuvered into accepting. However, neoconservatives themselves are very forthright about their war plans. Let's listen to their most recent pronouncements. On January 23, former Republican Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, a leading neoconservative, told a conference in Herzliya, Israel, that the United States and Israel were in danger of nuclear attack from Iran. The crazed Gingrich, who is considering a run for the US presidency in 2008, said: "Our enemies are fully as determined as Nazi Germany, and more determined than the Soviets. Our enemies will kill us the first chance they get. There is no rational ability to deny that fact." Gingrich says: "We don't have the right language, goals, structure, or operating speed, to defeat our enemies. My hope is that being this candid and direct, I could open a dialogue that will force people to come to grips with how serious this is, how real it is, how much we are threatened." Who are "our enemies?" Why, Iran, of course. Iran is such a dangerous determined enemy that "the threat of a nuclear Holocaust" hovers over the US and Israel. "Israel is in the greatest danger it has been in since 1967." The US could "lose two or three cities to nuclear weapons, or more than a million people to biological weapons. Freedom as we know it will disappear." Another American presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, told the Israeli audience that Islamic jihadism was "the nightmare of this century." Israel, Romney declared, "is facing a jihadist threat that runs through Tehran, to Damascus, to Gaza." Hezbollah, he declared, is not fighting for a Palestinian state but for the destruction of Israel. The world has not experienced this level of warmongering since Hitler. Also at the Israeli conference was US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, who added fuel to the fire by alleging without any evidence that "Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon, there's no doubt about it. There's no debate among experts. It's seeking a nuclear weapon at its plant at Nantz." A truthful statement, which no one any longer expects from any member of the Bush Regime, would be that the weapons inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency have poured over Iran's nuclear program and have found no evidence of a weapons program. A number of experts, such as Gordon Prather, have fiercely disputed the propagandistic claims of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. What concerns experts is that once Iran has succeeded with a nuclear energy program, it could go on, in the absence of inspections, to develop nuclear weapons in about 10 years. However, as a signatory nation to the non-proliferation treaty, Iran would undergo the inspections, as it was doing prior to the recent provocations orchestrated by the Bush Regime. In contrast, Israel has not signed the non-proliferation treaty and has a large number of nuclear weapons, the existence of which Israel has denied for years. Burns told the Israeli conference that the US will not allow Iran to go nuclear. This is an extraordinary statement, because every signatory country to the non-proliferation treaty has the right to develop nuclear energy. Some people speculate that an oil-producing country doesn't need nuclear power. However, oil is Iran's only significant export. The less Iran uses its own oil, the greater its exports. Burns told the Israelis that "We are committed to our alliance with Israel. We are committed to being Israel's strongest security partner. I can't remember a time when the relationship between our two countries was stronger than it is today." Chief US neoconsevative Richard Perle told the Israeli conference that President Bush would give the green light if US military involvement was needed for a successful strike on Iran. According to the Israeli press, "Perle hypothesized a nightmare scenario, saying: 'In possession of nuclear weapons, or even in possession of nuclear material, Iran is perfectly capable of using its terrorist networks to enable others to inflict grievous damage.'" Former Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz, who met privately with Burns prior to their joint appearance at the Herzliya conference, said that 2007 would decide the future of the Middle East. Mofaz declared, "The year of 2007 is a year of decisiveness. Iran of 2007 has all the components to threaten us existentially, and the whole of the region." Any expert or knowledgeable person who examines these statements sees nothing but unsupported assertions, paranoid speculations, fear-mongering and blatant lies. It is on this basis, and this basis alone, that the Bush Regime will initiate war with Iran. Iran is being set up by the identical propaganda machine that set up Iraq with fearful imagery of "mushroom clouds over American cities" and nonexistent "weapons of mass destruction." After years of blaming al-Qaeda for the Iraqi insurgency, the Bush Regime propagandists have suddenly switched gears and now are blaming Iran for the failure of the US occupation in Iraq and for the deaths of US troops. The Bush Regime recently arrested Iranian diplomats in northern Iraq and made charges so preposterous that the charges were even rejected by Bush's Kurdish and Iraqi allies. Powerful US naval attack fleets have been stationed off Iran's coast, and attack aircraft have been moved to Turkey and other locations on Iran's borders. Meanwhile, Iran has done nothing. Iran has refrained from arming and encouraging its Iraqi Shi'ite allies to join the insurgency against US troops. Iran could deliver the weapons that can knock out US tanks and helicopter gunships, thus eliminating the US military advantage from the conflict. Neoconservative and Israeli propagandists have spread the lie that the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has declared Iran's intention "to wipe Israel off the map." This lie is today regularly repeated even by such formerly careful newspapers as the New York Times and London Times. A number of experts have examined the speech by the Iranian president. What Ahmadinejad actually said was a direct quote from the deceased Ayatollah Khomeini: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time." The experts explain that in the context of the text of the speech, what is being said is that peace in the Middle East requires regime change in Israel. In place of a Zionist regime hell bent on stealing more land from Muslims, Zionism will pass away and Israel will cease its aggressive policies and live at peace with its neighbors. A great number of Western experts agree that the problem in the Middle East is neither Islamic jihad nor Israel per se, but Zionism, which keeps Israel on a land expansionist course at the expense of Arab peoples. The failure of US policy in the Middle East is the failure to deter Israel from this Zionist policy. A large number of Israelis are opposed to this policy and recognize that Zionism is the cause of Israel's conflict with Arabs. The real problem that Americans face is that the Zionist influence on US policy is so powerful that instead of dealing with the real cause of strife in the Middle East, the US is about to join Zionism in attempting to eliminate all Muslim opposition to Zionist expansion. Bush's "war on terror" and Iran's alleged nuclear weapons are just propagandistic cover for the real agenda, which is to silence opponents of Zionist expansion. The fanaticism of Zionists has been made clear by their ferocious attack on President Jimmy Carter, who stated in his current book both clearly and reasonably that the only path to peace in the Middle East is for Israel to accept a viable Palestinian state. Carter has done more for peace between Israelis and Arabs than anyone. Moreover, Israel, as opposed to Zionism, has had no greater friend or stronger supporter than Carter. But because Carter pointed out Zionism's role in the conflict, America's most decent and truthful president was demonized. The unjustified Zionist attack on Carter should tell everyone where the real problem lies. 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 --------17 of 17-------- Single Payer: Too Expensive for Whom? Paying for Health Care and Not Getting It By JOE DeRAYMOND CounterPunch January 26, 2007 In 2003, the United States spent $1.679 trillion dollars on health care. In 2006, the estimated spending was $1.937 trillion (Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, Office of the Actuary, from California Health Care Foundation 2005). This includes government spending, private insurance payments, and, in 2003, $779 billion in out of pocket payments by individuals. On a per capita basis, in 2006, each United States citizen will spend over $6000 on medical care. 15 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) goes to health care. This is more than twice any other nation's per capita health care spending, or GDP spending. Unfortunately, this spending does not deliver health care to many of our citizens. As a nation, the US fares worse in comparison to other nations spending far less in health care categories such as life expectancy, infant mortality, and doctor and nurse/patient ratio. We are all aware of our health system's flaws. We read of the uncovered procedures, of the uninsured population of 45 million, of the inability of many elderly people to both pay for needed drugs and essential heating oil, of those who stay in hated jobs in order to maintain health insurance, of rising health care premiums that are literally bankrupting the flagship corporations of capitalism, Ford and General Motors. We note that half of all bankruptcies are caused by debt incurred by medical expenses. The individual case histories of people unable to obtain needed services are heartbreaking. (See "Uninsured in America, Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity" by Susan Starr Sered and Rushika Fernandapulle, 2005, University of California Press.) It is a system badly in need of an overhaul. Yet, it is a system that has resisted overhaul time after time. Reforms, such as the Bush drug program for Medicare recipients, only lead to more expenditure, more profits for hospital corporations and drug companies. The health care consumer or recipient, each one of us, remains paying for a new Cadillac while receiving a beat up junker that won't pass inspection. Those of us who support a single payer, universal healthcare program for all US citizens, are often told that it would be too expensive. However, when we analyze the current national expenditures for healthcare, we see that we are already paying for healthcare for everyone and just not getting it. The taxpayer, through the US government payment of 60% of the total healthcare budget, is already footing the bill. By going to a single payer system, we would immediately eliminate $300 billion in duplicated administrative costs in our current multi-layered private insurance system. By adding these numbers and factoring in the cost savings for drugs and services that would accompany such a huge single buyer, we could fund healthcare for all. The estimated added taxpayer cost would be equivalent to one year of the Bush tax cut program. (See "Paying for National Health Insurance - and Not Getting It", by Steffie Woolhandler and David U. Himmelstein, 2002, Project HOPE, The People-to-People Health Foundation.) The change to a new, more efficient, single payer system could be accomplished by a gradual extension of the one healthcare insurance provider with a proven track record, Medicare. The societal benefit to this approach is obvious. Healthcare is not a choice for anyone. We all need it, as surely as we need nutrition, education and housing. It is a crucial element in the lives of the citizens of a free nation. It is an element of government neglect in the lives of the citizens of the United States. I read, recently, some analysis by Robert Fist, the chronicler of Middle East events and history, in which he noted that if the United States had provided Iraqis with a decent health care system after the invasion, it would have created much good will, and avoided the rise of resistance against the occupation. This was, and is, impossible. As noted above, the United States is woefully short of doctors and nurses, in the United States. It is not capable of providing medical care to populations, even in the United States, let alone Iraq. The Empire neglects its own citizens, and is only capable of abusing conquered populations, as events on the ground in Iraq have shown. The health care system of the United States is hostage to the enormous profits distributed to insurance companies, hospital corporations, and drug purveyors. They swarm over the Congress, plying the legislative system with money, "expertise", and favors. Congressmen leave their seats to take jobs with pharmaceutical companies, as did Jim Greenwood of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Billy Tauzin of the 3rd District of Louisiana. The healthcare corporate lobbies will not give up their piece of this $2 trillion dollar goldmine, for reasons of social equity. It is a lobby as venal and predatory as the arms procurement lobby, trading human lives straight up for money. The US healthcare system now forces each citizen to scrabble for a little piece of security, as we pay exorbitant amounts for health insurance, and then more out of pocket. We cannot freely change jobs, for fear of "losing benefits". For those without insurance, it means fear of illness, neglect of your health, and a shortened life span.(See "The Moral Hazard Myth - The bad idea behind our failed health-care system", by Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker, 8/29/2005.) The January 24 Sharon Smith article in these pages, "Healthcare Reform for the Insurance Industry" notes a key problem with all the new State and Bush administration solutions to the "healthcare crisis". Each "solution" involves more money from the citizenry that is already shelling out with their lives and income to support the current predatory system. It makes one remember that phrase from the Declaration of Independence: "Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed; That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness". [Ie, rebellion, tea into the harbor, general strike to shut it all down. It looks like nothing less will do it. If this doesn't prove capitalism and the ruling class are bad for humanity, nothing will. -ed] Joe DeRaymond can be reached at: jderaymond [at] rcn.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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