Progressive Calendar 02.04.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2007 03:27:41 -0800 (PST)
           P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R      02.04.07

1. Persian dance     2.04 3pm
2. KFAI Indian       2.04 4pm

3. Marriage equality 2.05 12noon
4. Ford site         2.05 5:30pm
5. Bolivia/water war 2.05 7pm
6. Iraq/boots/shoes  2.05

7. CCHT housing      2.06 4:30pm
8. Water rights      2.06 5:30pm
9. Peace/liberation  2.06 6pm
10. Water/Bolivia    2.06 7pm
11. uhcan-mn health  2.06 7pm
12. IRV training     2.06 7:30pm

13. Mitchel Cohen   - Some inconvenient truths about Al Gore
14. Jeffrey StClair - The withering of the American environmental movement
15. Chris Ketcham   - Die, TV!
16. Internet X      - Bushcronium: new element in periodic table

---------1 of 16--------

From: leilipritschet [at]
Subject: Persian dance class 2.04 3pm

As the temperature drops, the best way to stay warm is DANCE up a sweat.
Feel the heat & learn PERSIAN DANCE a sizzling, sensual & graceful romp
with famed Iranian artist Leili T. Pritschet!

Mark your calendar & join us!
Every Sunday from 3:00 - 4:30 PM 2007.

At the Ritz Theater Dance Studio, located at
343 13th Avenue North East
Minneapolis, MN 55409
The Ritz Theater Dance Studio entrance is around the corner, in the alley.

**FREE trial class on the Sunday of your choice!
Cost: $14.00 per class, or 10 classes for $12.00 per class.
Refunds CANNOT be made after the first week.  Sorry, no exceptions.

What is this class about?
This is a fun and non-intimidating dance experience for all ages and
levels of skill. Leili's technique emphasizes the pleasure of moving, and
healing with simple movements.

What can I learn from this class?
These classes will improve your flexibility, strength and tone. Class
begins with a gentle warm up and then you'll learn posture, basic dance
techniques, rhythms, arms, hands, and finger styling, as well as visual
expression. YouÒll learn about Persian culture and language as you take a
trip to one of the world's oldest and unique civilizations through the
timeless dances of Middle East.

Who is this class for?
Everyone is welcome and we encourage you to bring your friends and explore
this beautiful art form. You'll receive individualized instruction and you
can learn at your own pace. New students will learn set choreographies
with music from the beginning, and experienced students can apply more
challenging details to the dances. You may even have the opportunity to
polish your performance and appear onstage!

What do I need to bring to class?
Wear loose, comfortable clothing or dancewear. Please bring a veil or
pieces of fabric approximately 2 ½ to 3 yards long and approximately 36-45
inches wide.

Who teaches this class?
Leili is an Award-winning artist whose productions have been presented off
and on Broadway in New York, at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London,
International Festivals of Antalya and Izmir in Turkey, Karachi in
Pakistan, Munich, Bonn, Koln, and Hamburg in Germany, Cairo in Egypt,
Mexico, and the National Opera House of Iran.

-Royal Academy of Dancing and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing - London
-BA in Educational Dance - London College of Dance and Drama
-MA in Education - Michigan State University
-MFA in Theater Management- Columbia University- New York

For more information, e-mail to: leilipritschet [at]

--------2 of 16--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at]>
Subject: KFAI Indian 2.04 4pm

KFAI's Indian Uprising for February 4, 2007 #199

Congressional hearings by the House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee were held this week regarding allegations that the White House
interfered with disseminating scientist's findings and reports about
climate change and global warming.  Witness's testimony said that the Bush
Administration altered, suppressed, censored and manipulated information
to mislead the public.  See attached.

Here's a replay of Jan. 21st Indian Uprising program on global warming -

WORLD GONE CRAZY, song by Shelley MorningSong (Northern Cheyenne), Silver
Ware Records,

Jan 3, 2007



NEW WARNINGS ON CLIMATE CHANGE, The New York Times, Jan. 20, 2007

Council, Sept/Oct. 2006

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, Indian Country Today, Jan. 3, 2007

* * * *
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,, is located at
1808 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55454, 612-341-3144.

--------3 of 16--------

From: Douglas Benson <dugby3 [at]>
Subject: Marriage equality 2.05 12noon

Join me in demanding marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples in
Minnesota, Monday, February 5 at the Capitol at noon in front of the House
chamber.  The protest will last for just 30 minutes.  Signs will be on
hand or you can bring your own.  No sticks allowed because it is inside
the Capitol.

This is an ongoing protest that carries a marriage equality demand to
Minnesota legislators at the Capitol.  Upcoming protests are announced on
my blog, and it contains
same-day reports on Capitol protests.

Doug Benson Gay Activist Network 763-232-6639 dugby3 [at] "latex on vinyl activism"

--------4 of 16--------

From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at]>
Subject: Ford site 2.05 5:30pm

Ford Site Planning
Task Force Meeting Kick-off
Monday, February 5th
5:30-7:30 PM

UAW Local 879 Hall
2191 Ford Parkway, Saint Paul

Parking - along the street, or in the upper left half of the lot, across
the street at the Ford Training Center.

A few words from: Mayor Coleman, Councilmember Harris & others
Introduction of Ford Site Planning Task Force Members
Planning Process Overview & Schedule
Background Information

--------5 of 16--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Bolivia/water war 2.05 7pm

Monday, 2/5, 7 pm, Oscar Olivera, leader of "water wars" in Cochabamba,
Bolivia, speaks on developments there, Jane Addams School for Democracy,
Humboldt Senior High, 30 E Baker St, St Paul.

--------6 of 16--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Iraq/boots/shoes 2.05

2/5 and 2/6, Eyes Wide Open Minnesota exhibit of boots from MN members of US
military killed in Iraq and shoes from civilians, St John's Univ,
Collegeville.  320-363-5221.

--------7 of 16--------

From: Philip Schaffner <PSchaffner [at]>
Subject: CCHT housing 2.06 4:30pm

Learn how Central Community Housing Trust is responding to the
affordable housing shortage in the Twin Cities. Please join us for a
1-hour Building Dreams presentation.

Minneapolis Sessions: Feb 6 at 4:30p; Feb 22 at 7:30a
St. Paul Sessions: Feb 28 at 4:30p

We are also happy to present Building Dreams at your organization, place
of worship, or business. Space is limited, please register online at: or call Philip Schaffner at 612-341-3148 x237

Central Community Housing Trust 1625 Park Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 341-3148

--------8 of 16--------

From: Lisa Ledwidge <lisa.l [at]>
Subject: Water rights 2.06 5:30pm

Is water a fundamental human right, or a privilege afforded only to those
who can pay? Right now, 1/6 of the world lives without clean water, and
that number is only expected to grow in coming decades. Meanwhile,
corporations are turning the growing water crisis into profit, bottling up
this precious resource and selling it back to us at sometimes thousands of
times its regular cost. What does this mean for environmental, economic,
and social justice? What can we do here in the Twin Cities to protect
water access as a human right, both here and abroad?

Corporate Accountability International's Think Outside the Bottle Campaign
was launched to address just these urgent questions. Join us as we kick
off our campaign, along with fellow community leaders, advocates, and
activists, mobilizing here the Twin Cities to challenge corporate control
of water! Planning sessions, action workshops, food, and great people! All
are welcome; bring your family and friends.

Carnegie Hall, Room 404
Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
Tuesday, February 6th, 2007
     5:30pm- refreshments and social
     6pm- Community Water Action Kick-off!
     7pm- adjourn next door for lecture from Oscar Olivera, leader of
Bolivian water democracy movement- "Agua! Globalization and the Power
of the People!" Sponsored by International Studies Department at

For more information, please contact Annie Weinberg, Minnesota Organizer,
cell-703-350-3778, or office-612-379-5745, annie [at];

--------9 of 16--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Peace/liberation 2.06 6pm

Two non-credited, free courses taught by Ray Tricomo will be available at
Macalester College for the winter semester. Below is a brief description
of the courses, more info is available by calling Ray directly at

The Great Law of Peace - Past, Present and Future
Includes the role of indigenous people in inventing a new nation on
this continent. Tuesday nights starting January 30th from 6-8pm


Black Folk:  Culture Defeats Holocaust
The liberation of the black people and the rest of us Wednesday nights
from 6-8pm

--------10 of 16--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Water/Bolivia 2.06 7pm

Tuesday, 2/6, 7 pm, Oscar Olivera speaks on "Agua! Globalization and the
Power of the People," Macalester College, Kagin Commons Ballroom, 1600
Grand Ave, St Paul.

--------11 of 16--------

From: joel michael albers <joel [at]>
Subject: uhcan-mn health 2.06 7pm

UHCAN-MN meeting
Tuesday February 6, 2007, 7PM,
Walker Church basement, 3104 16th ave s (in Mpls, near Lake st. and
Bloomington ave).

Agenda items so far:

1.Welcome, intros, background,  updates

2. Press Release; and Possible Press Conference ? Minnesota Medicine
Journal to publish Joel Albers and U of MN rschers MN physician survey,
available free online Feb. 8. at MN Medicine. Results: nearly 2/3s favor
Single-Payer health care.

3. Support Janitors
Local 26 has authorized a strike to obtain HC benefits. The Targets,Wells
Fargo Bldg Mgrs pay so little for their employees (janitors) HC that,
nearly all of the 4200 janitors are priced out of HC benefits. Support
daily actions, organize a forum ?

4. Outreach/Networking
Last month we talked about a phone script for calling organizations to
build the Single-Payer network and movement.

5. MN Legislative session update
John Schwarz

6. Update: Twin Cities HC Fund,
Good first step toward Single-Payer.
People need help, can't depend on legislature,
Governor, insurers who have worsened the crisis in MN.

--------12 of 16--------

From: Troy Trooien <ttrooien [at]>
Subject: IRV training 2.06 7:30pm

The Instant Run-off Voting training
TUESDAY, FEB. 6 at 7:30 pm at the RONDO COMMUNITY LIBRARY (University Ave
& Dale St).

For those not at the last meeting, we have recognized that we all need to
learn much much more about IRV, how it works, and how it will affect
elections in St. Paul.  Based on this need to TRAIN OUR SUPPORTERS or at
least those interested in the concept, it is this reason that we are
having this training.  Again, please feel free to pass this invitation on
to others.

The location of the training (the new Rondo Library) will have wi-fi
capabilities AND a projector with a large screen so we can show many demos
online and walk people through how IRV works.  We encourage you all to
come if you can so you can better speak to others about IRV and get all
your own questions answered.

Also, to let you know, the Leadership Committee has decided on the name
"Saint Paul Better Ballot Campaign" as our official name.  This is for
various reasons:
- a well thought-out debate has previously taken place that led to this
- the domain name and 'identity' has already been established
- the name is much more descriptive of the campaign than "IRV"
- the name "Better Ballot" creates a great slogan in "Better
Representation.  Better Participation.  Better Choices.  Better Voting."
If anyone has strong opinions about this either in favor of or against,
please let us know.  With as fast as we need to organize our efforts, we
felt this decision did not warrant excessive time spent on the issue.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns.  And
as always, if you would like to be removed from this list, please let me

Kathleen Murphy 612-709-6350 Ward 4 St Paul

--------13 of 16--------

Some Inconvenient Truths About the Politics of Environmental Crisis
Listen Gore
February 2, 2007

Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth," raises the issue of global
warming in a way that scares the bejeezus out of viewers, as it should
since the consequences of global climate change are truly earth-shaking.
The former Vice-President does a good job of presenting the graphic
evidence, exquisite and terrifying pictures that document the melting of
the polar ice caps and the effects on other species, new diseases, and
rising ocean levels.

But, typically, the solutions Gore offers are standard Democratic Party
fare. You'd never know by watching this film that Gore and Clinton ran
this country for 8 years and that their policies - as much as those of
the Bush regime - helped pave the way for the crisis we face today.

Gore never critiques the system causing the global ecological crisis. At
one point, he even mourns the negative impact of global warming on U.S.
oil pipelines. Oh, the horror! What it all comes down to, for Gore and the
Democrats, is that we need to shift away from reliance on fossil fuels and
tweak existing consumption patterns.

Even there, Gore and Clinton did nothing to improve fuel efficiency in the
U.S. - a topic which Gore talks about in the movie without any hint that
he'd once actually been in a position to do something about it. The
question Gore poses is, Who can best manage the relatively minor solutions
he recommends, the Democrats or Republicans? For Gore, it's sort of "trust
US, not THEM, to deal with this situation because they are liars and we're
not." Well, should we trust him?

As Joshua Frank writes, during the campaign for president in 1992 Gore
promised a group of supporters that the Clinton-Gore EPA would never
approve a hazardous waste incinerator located near an elementary school in
Liverpool, Ohio, which was operated by WTI. "Only three months into
Clinton's tenure," Frank writes, "the EPA issued an operating permit for
the toxic burner. Gore raised no qualms. Not surprisingly, most of the
money behind WTI came from the bulging pockets of Jackson Stephens, who
just happened to be one of the Clinton-Gore's top campaign

But failing to shut down toxic incinerators is just the tip of their great
betrayal. In the film, Gore references the Kyoto Accords and states that
he personally went to Kyoto during the negotiations, giving the impression
that he was a key figure in fighting to reduce air pollution emissions
that destroy the ozone layer. What he omits is that his mission in going
to Kyoto was to scuttle the Accords, to block them from moving forward.
And he succeeded.

The Clinton-Gore years were anything but environment-friendly. Under
Clinton-Gore, more old growth forests were cut down than under any other
recent U.S. administration. "Wise Use" committees - set up by the lumber
industry - were permitted to clearcut whole mountain ranges, while
Clinton-Gore helped to "greenwash" their activities for public

Under Clinton-Gore, the biotech industry was given carte blanche to write
the US government's regulations (paltry as they are) on genetic
engineering of agriculture, and to move full speed ahead with implementing
the private patenting of genetic sequences with nary a qualm passing
Gore's lips.

You'd think watching this film that Gore is just some concerned professor
who never had access to power or held hundreds of thousands of dollars of
stock in Occidental Petroleum (driving the U'wa off their lands in
Colombia), let alone was the Number Two man actually running the U.S.

"Gore, like Clinton who quipped that 'the invisible hand has a green
thumb,' extolled a free-market attitude toward environmental issues,"
writes Frank, who goes on to quote Jeffrey St. Clair: "Since the mid-1980s
Gore has argued with increasing stridency that the bracing forces of
market capitalism are potent curatives for the ecological entropy now
bearing down on the global environment. He is a passionate disciple of the
gospel of efficiency, suffused with an inchoate technophilia."(2)

Before Kyoto, before the Clinton-Gore massive depleted uranium bombings of
Yugoslavia and Iraq, before their missile "deconstruction" of the only
existing pharmaceutical production facility in northern Africa in the
Sudan (which exacerbated the very serious problems there, as we're seeing
in Darfur today), there was NAFTA, the North American Free Trade
Agreement. The task of Clinton-Gore was to push through this legislation
which not even strong Republican administrations under Reagan or Bush Sr.
had been able to do. Since its inception, NAFTA has undermined U.S.
environmental laws, chased production facilities out of the U.S. and
across the borders, vastly increased pollution from Maquilladoras
(enterprise zones) along the U.S./Mexico border and helped to undermine
the indigenous sustainable agrarian-based communities in southern Mexico
- as predicted by leftists in both countries, leading to the Zapatista
uprising from those communities on January 1, 1994, the day NAFTA went
into effect.

Clinton-Gore also approved the destructive deal with the sugar barons of
South Florida arranged by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, which doomed
the Everglades. (In fact, Clinton was on the phone with Alfonso Fanjul,
Jr., the chief of the sugar barons, while Monica Lewinsky was busy doing
her thing in her famous blue dress under Clinton's desk.)

Early in Clinton-Gore's first administration, they pledged they would stop
the plunder of the Northwest forests, writes former Village Voice
columnist James Ridgeway. "They then double-crossed their environmental
backers. Under Bush Sr., the courts had enjoined logging in the Northwest
habitats of the spotted owl. Clinton-Gore persuaded environmentalists to
join them in axing the injunction. The Clinton administration went before
a Reagan-appointed judge who had a record as a stalwart environmentalist
and with the eco toadies in tow, got him to remove the injunction, and
with it the moratorium on existing timber sales."(3) Then Gore and Clinton
"capitulated to the demands of Western Democrats and yanked from its
initial budget proposals a call to reform grazing, mining, and timber
practices on federal lands. When Clinton convened a timber summit in
Portland, Oregon, in April 1994, the conference was, as one might expect,
dominated by logging interests. Predictably, the summit gave way to a plan
to restart clear-cutting in the ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest
for the first time in three years, giving the timber industry its get rich

Gore and Clinton sent to Congress the infamous Salvage Rider, known to
radical environmentalists as the "Logging without Laws" bill, "perhaps the
most gruesome legislation ever enacted under the pretext of preserving
ecosystem health." Like Bush's "Healthy Forests" plan, the Clinton-Gore
act "was chock full of deception and special interest pandering. 'When
[the Salvage Rider] bill was given to me, I was told that the timber
industry was circulating this language among the Northwest Congressional
delegation and others to try to get it attached as a rider to the fiscal
year Interior Spending Bill,' environmental lawyer Kevin Kirchner says.
'There is no question that representatives of the timber industry had a
role in promoting this rider. That is no secret.'"(5) What the Salvage
Rider did was to "temporarily exempt ... salvage timber sales on federal
forest lands from environmental and wildlife laws, administrative appeals,
and judicial review," according to the Wilderness Society - long enough
for multinational lumber and paper corporations to clear-cut all but a
sliver of the U.S.'s remaining old growth forests.

"Thousands of acres of healthy forestland across the West were rampaged.
Washington's Colville National Forest saw the clear cutting of over 4,000
acres. Thousands more in Montana's Yak River Basin, hundreds of acres of
pristine forest land in Idaho, while the endangered Mexican Spotted Owl
habitat in Arizona fell victim to corporate interests. Old growth trees in
Washington's majestic Olympic Peninsula - home to wild Steelhead,
endangered Sockeye salmon, and threatened Marbled Murrieta - were chopped
with unremitting provocation by the US Forest Service."(6)

The assault on nature continued with Gore's blessing.

Around the same time, Clinton-Gore appointee Carol Browner, head of the
EPA, was quoted in the NY Times as having said that the administration
would be "relaxing" the Delaney Clause (named after its author,
Congressman James Delaney, D-NY). Congress had inserted this clause into
section 409 of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in 1958. It
prohibited FDA approval of any food additive found to cause cancer in
humans or animals. Alone among all food-related directives, this
legislation put the onus on the manufacturers to demonstrate that their
products were safe before they were allowed to become commercially
available. (7) A federal appeals court in July 1992 expanded the
jurisdiction of the Delaney Clause, ruling that it was applicable to
cancer-causing pesticides in processed food. Browner retracted her
comment, claiming she'd never said it, but the proof was in the pudding.
The ban on cancer-causing additives (the "Precautionary Principle") that
had held through the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter,
Reagan and Bush, Sr. administrations was finally removed, not by the
Republicans but by the Clinton-Gore administration. Instead of expanding
the Delaney clause to protect produce and other unprocessed foods, the new
Food Quality Protection Act legislation permitted "safe" amounts of
carcinogenic chemicals (as designated by the Environmental Protection
Agency) to be added to all food. (According to Peter Montague, editor of
Rachel's Weekly, "no one knows how 'safe amounts' of carcinogens can be
established, especially when several carcinogens and other poisons are
added simultaneously to the food of tens of millions of people.)
Nevertheless, the Clinton-Gore administration spun this as "progress."

The Clinton administration, with guidance from Gore's office, also cut
numerous deals over the pesticide Methyl Bromide despite its reported
effects of contributing to Ozone depletion and its devastating health
consequences on farm workers picking strawberries.

Much is being made these days about the need to save the Arctic Wildlife
Refuge. But Clinton-Gore opened the National Petroleum Reserve " 24
million untouched acres adjacent to the refuge, home to a large caribou
herd and numerous arctic species " to oil drilling. The chief beneficiaary
of this was Arco, a major ($1.4 million) contributor to the Democratic
Party. At the same time, writes James Ridgeway, "Clinton dropped the ban
on selling Alaskan oil abroad. This also benefits Arco, which is opening
refineries in China. So although the oil companies won the right to
exploit Alaskan oil on grounds that to do so would benefit national
development, Clinton-Gore unilaterally changed the agreement so that it
benefits China's industrial growth."(8)

Not once in the entire film does Gore criticize this awful environmental
record or raise the critical questions we need to answer if we are to
effectively reverse global warming: Is it really the case that the vast
destruction of our environment that went on under his watch and,
continuing today, is simply a result of poor consumer choices and
ineffective government policies? Is the global environmental devastation
we are facing today rectifiable with some simple tuning-up, as Gore

Neither he - as point man for the Clinton administration on environmental
issues - nor Clinton-Gore's Energy Secretary Bill Richardson (with major
ties to Occidental Petroleum), nor the Democratic Party in general offer
anything more than putting a tiny Band-Aid on the earth's gaping wounds,
which they themselves helped to gash open.

Clearly, the vast destruction of the global ecology is a consequence not
just of poor governmental policies but of the capitalist system's
fundamental drive towards Growth and what passes for Development - Grow
or Die. Environmental activists won't find in Gore the kind of systemic
analysis that is needed to stop global warming. Instead, we need to look
elsewhere for that sort of deep systemic critique.

Mitchel Cohen is co-editor of "G", the newspaper of the NY State Greens.
He can be reached at: mitchelcohen [at]


1. Joshua Frank, Counterpunch, May 31, 2006, Frank is the author of Left
Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, and edits

2. Jeffrey St. Clair, Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: The
Politics of Nature, Common Courage Press, 2004.

3. James Ridgeway, "Eco Spaniel Kennedy: Nipping at Nader's Heels,"
Village Voice, Aug. 16-22, 2000.

4,5,6 Joshua Frank.

7. The battle over the Delaney Clause has been ably documented by Rachel's
Weekly, at

8. Ridgeway, op cit.

[Let us hear no more about how Dems are going to save America, when they
have been key to its trashing. This leaves us without a major party to
turn to - which is why so many live in denial as they turn to the Dems.

--------14 of 16--------

The Withering of the American Environmental Movement
The Thrill is Gone
February 3 / 4, 2007

"The Dark Ages. They haven't ended yet."
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

A kind of political narcolepsy has settled over the American environmental
movement. Call it eco-ennui. You may know the feeling: restlessness, lack
of direction, evaporating budgets, diminished expectations, a simmering
discontent. The affliction appears acute, possibly systemic.

Unfortunately, the antidote isn't as simple as merely filing a new lawsuit
in the morning or skipping that PowerPoint presentation to join a road
blockade for the day. No, something much deeper may be called for: a
rebellion of the heart. Just like in the good old days, not that long ago.

What is it, precisely, that's going on? Was the environmental movement
bewitched by eight years of Bruce Babbitt and Al Gore? Did it suffer an
allergic reaction to the New Order of Things? Are we simply adrift in a
brief lacuna in the evolution of the conservation movement, one of those
Gouldian (Stephen Jay) pauses before a new creative eruption?

Perhaps, the movement, such as it was, experienced an institutional
uneasiness with the rules of engagement during the long cold war in
Clinton time. A war (War? Did someone say war?) where hostilities, such as
they were, remained buried beneath graceful gestures at meaningful
discourse-where the raw passions for rare places are, at the insistence of
lawyers and lobbyists, politically sublimated or suppressed altogether.

Environmentalism has never thrived on an adherence to etiquette or quiet
entreaties. Yet, that became the mode of operation during Clinton and it
has continued through the rougher years of Bush and Cheney. Direct
confrontation of governmental authority and corporate villainy was once
our operation metier. No longer. None aggression pacts have been signed,
an unofficial dtente declared. Was it sealed in the spring of 1993 on the
lawn of Blair House, perhaps, while the cherry blossoms where in bloom?
Did the late Jay Hair, CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, forge a
deal in the fall of that year to green light the logging of the last
ancient forests in the Pacific Northwest? (What was the late Vince
Foster's role in all of this? He had one, you know, but that's another
story.) Cold wars, naturally, engender such paranoid perambulations.

More than a decade later, this much is clear: the vigor of the
environmental movement has been dissipated, drained by the enforced
congeniality displayed in our disputes with Clinton and Bush, the
Democrats in congress, and the grim, green-suited legions of the Forest
Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Despite the rampages of the
Bush administration, the big green groups can't even rouse themselves into
much more than the most reflexive kind of hysteria, fundraising letters
printed in bold type.

Like so many vacant-eyed victims of Stockholm Syndrome, most professional
environmentalists find themselves conscripts to the conference room and
the consensus table, situations about as satisfying as computerized chess
or phone sex. (I'll sign up for one jolt of Electro-shock over four years
of group therapy any day.)

Accusations of elitism, hurled at us like political creampies, from the
property right jihadis, hit their targets more often than not these days.
Once highly regarded (and deeply reviled) as fierce advocates of the
"public interest," environmentalists now are largely dismissed in the
living rooms of America as merely another "special interest" group (weaker
than most), peddling its meager influence on the Hill, angling for access
to the anterooms (never the control room) of power, or, at least, a line
item in the federal budget.

What's worse, our best efforts these days hardly seem to even raise a
hackle on the hierophants of industry. After okaying the logging of
ancient forests, signing off on anti-wilderness legislation in Oregon,
Idaho and Montana, pampering the whims of Bruce Babbitt (and Dick Cheney),
endorsing NAFTA and GATT, the failure to stand up for high level
whistleblowers like former BLM head Jim Baca, the mainstream environmental
groups don't scare anyone anymore. Except maybe their own members. Yes,
they may scare them a great deal, indeed.

                        Something Happened

The surest sign of decadence in a social/political movement is its
engagement in the suppression of internal dissent: such decadence now
erodes the moral core of the environmental movement. Stray beyond the
margins of permitted discourse, publicly critique the prevailing
"strategy," strike out in an authorized new direction and the overlords of
the environmental movement crack down. They enfilade the insurgents with
legalistic maledictions, gag orders, and accusations of sedition.

Witness the Sierra Club's threats to sue renegade chapters that publicly
opposed anti-wilderness bills proposed by the Club's political favorites
in Montana. Or its attacks on anti-war protesters in the Club's ranks in
Utah. Or NRDC's attempt to squelch the filing of endangered species
petitions, for on-the-run critters such as the Queen Charlotte's goshawk.
Or the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund's arm-twisting of its own clients in
the spotted owl cases. Or the Environmental Defense Fund's betrayal of
at-risk communities across America when it endorsed Dow Chemical's
proposed "revamping" of the Superfund Act. (Col. Fred Krupp, EDF's CEO,
was once overheard telling Carol Browner, Clinton's head of the EPA, "You
are our general. We are your troops. We await your orders.") Or the
sado-masochistic pleasure that NRDC (yes, them again) displayed while
boasting about "breaking the back of the environmental opposition to

You don't have to be versed in the works of Hannah Arendt or Michel
Foucault (although Madness and Civilization ought to be required reading
for all activists and other "eccentrics") to understand the dynamics of
power and repression at work here. Activists are now aliens on the
political landscape; their relationship to the lawyers, lobbyists,
economists, marketing agents, PR flaks and CEOs that management the
environmental movement parallels that of welfare mothers to the welfare
bureaucrats: abusive indifference.

To quote Jospeh Heller: Something happened. Somewhere along the line, the
environmental movement disconnected with the people, rejected its
political roots, pulled the plug on its vibrant and militant tradition. It
packed its bags, starched its shirts and jetted to DC, where it became
what it once despised: a risk-aversive, depersonalized, hyper-analytical,
humorless, access-driven, intolerant, centralized, technocratic,
dealmaking, passionless, direct-mailing, lawyer-laden monolith to
mediocrity. A monolith with feet of clay.

The environmental movement didn't so much go awry as it simply flatlined,
cruise-controlled right into an entropic cooldown-the ultimate
thermodynamic fate of all closed systems. The Group of Ten (aka: Gang
Green) now manifest all the intensity of an insurance cartel; their
executives and administrative underlings are much more likely to own
dog-eared copies of Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal or (god forbid)
Kissinger's Diplomacy, than Donald Worster's Rivers of Empire, Jack
Turner's The Abstract Wild, Bill Kittridge's Hole in the Sky or Doug
Peacock's Grizzly Years. Forget the eyes, a person's bookshelf is the real
window to their soul.

National environmental policies are now engineered by an Axis of Acronyms:
EDF, NRDC, WWF: groups without voting memberships and little
responsibility to the wider environmental movement. They are the
undisputed mandarins of technotalk and lobbyist logic, who gave us the
ecological oxymorons of our time: "pollution credits," "re-created
wetlands," "sustainable development."

In their relativistic milieu, everything can be traded off or dealt away.
For them, the tag-end remains of the native ecosystems on our public lands
are endlessly divisible and every loss can be recast as a hard-won victory
in the advertising copy of their fundraising propaganda. Settle and move
on, is their unapologetic mantra. And don't expect them stick around to
live with the consequences of their deals and trade-offs.

Into this political vacuum rough beasts have already been loosed and
others are bound to follow. The decline of a militant environmental
movement has been countered by the rise of a militant anti-environmental
movement, unrestrained, and all to often encouraged by, the agents of
federal and state governments. The new anti-environmental movement, a
strange hybrid of Aryan Nationists, gun-fetishists and the loonier
incarnations of the Wise-Use crowd, have used arson, muggings and deaths
to intimidate local environmental activists across the West.

The ranks of this malicious melange continue to expand up and down the
spine of the Rockies and across the Great Basin. Like deranged Deadheads
on tour, these neo-militians follow roving weapons bazaars (some of which
were reportedly backed by arms merchant and Iran/contra star Richard
Secord) across the rural backwaters of the American West, from Libby,
Montana to Tonopah, Nevada.

At these moveable conclaves of righteousness, the blonde, blue-eyed
penitents can purchase enough firepower to call forth the Second Coming-a
state goal of some attendees. Here's the Defense Dividend we've all been
waiting for, where the Pentagon largesse of the Cold War is offered for
sale on the homefront at discount prices: tanks, armor-piercing bullets,
APCs, night-vision gunsights, Humvees. It's all there for the bidding.

Living embodiments of the quaint cultural traditions of the West
memorialized at places like Wounded Knee and Sand Creek, these characters
are preparing to defend what's theirs and what they think ought to be
theirs. By force if necessary-perhaps preferably.

What do they want? Simply unfettered rights to grazing, mining and logging
on public lands, the federal lands themselves revested to the states or
private corporations and, to quote one Arly Gruder, a rancher from
somewhere near Salmon, Idaho, arguably America's most inhospitable town:
"To run all the damn feds, Jews, Spics and homo-enviros the hell out of
here." Run them back across the 100th Meridian, no doubt. But how far?
Back to Brooklyn? Back to Juarez? Back to Buchenwald?

Listen to Hugh McKeen, a rancher and former commissioner in Catron County,
New Mexico, who told reporter Tony Davis that his neighbors and friends
are arming themselves, preparing for a new range war, against greens and
their sidekicks, the illegal immigrants: "The people have fought for this
land in the past. There have been killings over water. It runs in the
genes. You have very independent people here. They want to be left alone.
But the government oppresses them. And the environmentalists come in here
and want to oppress their life." Apparently, the West is theirs to waste
by virtue of the Doctrine of Manifest Genetics.

The absence of a forceful opposition from progressive greens and the
appearance/reality of collaboration with the federal government by Beltway
groups, only strengthens the cause of the extreme right. As the left
migrates toward the center, the right repels further to the right-and the
government follows suit. This a recipe for a future in which things, to
crib from Thomas Pynchon, will not be quite so amusing.

                Toward a Resolute Clarity of Place

Still there's no reason to beginning strumming a threnody just yet.
Beneath the six-figure salaries, limo-driven executives, and glossy
magazines clotted with ads for SUVs, there's a flickering pulse to the
grassroots environmental movement, in the hinterlands and barrios, in the
secret gardens of the Bronx and amid the toxic detritus of New Orleans.
Foucault and Tom Paine sang the same refrain: the more pervasive the
repression, the more profound the rebellion to come. Well, the rebellion
has started.

In the southwest, a small outfit called Living Rivers is campaigning to
decommission Glen Canyon Dam and restore the Colorado River. In Montana,
the Alliance for the Wild Rockies remains the grizzly bear's most
unflinching ally and advocate. In the Pacific Northwest, the Western Land
Exchange Project is nearly alone in challenging the disposal of public
lands to private concerns and the Center for Environmental Equity is
chasing the big gold mining companies out of Oregon.. In the Midwest,
Heartwood is defending the incredibly diverse hardwood forests of the Ohio
Valley and waging an intense campaign against the proliferation of noxious
and inhumane confined animal feeding operations or CAFOs. In the heart of
cancer alley, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (aka LEAN) is
taking on chemical and oil companies, as well as the toxic sludge left
behind by Katrina. In South Dakota, the Lakota Student Alliance is waging
a courageous battle to have the Black Hills and other sacred lands
returned to the Sioux Nation. Deep in Appalachia, Save Our Cumberland
Mountains is fighting the most destructive form of mining ever devised by
man or satan: mountain top removal.

Like snowpeaks sprouting from a far horizon, these scattered pockets of
resistance can help us triangulate our way back home, entrench with a
resolute clarity of place. And that move, as Terry Tempest Williams
suggests in her shimmering book The Unspoken Hunger, may be the most
radical act of all.

Environmentalism was once a people's cause, unaligned with any political
party and independent from the demands of the shadowy syndicate of
mega-foundations (Pew, Rockefeller, Ford) that now hold the mortgage on
the movement-those high priests of what Foucault called "condescending
philanthropy." Environmentalism was once driven by a desire for social
justice and an unremitting passion for the wild. We need to tap back into
those populist currents. Let the vision attract the money and don't allow
it to be refracted through the ideological prism of neoliberal

The power of the environmental movement derives from its essential and
shared imagery, its sensual tangibilities. Simply put: the destruction of
the wild sparks militancy in the heart. At least it does for me. Wild
places communicate their own passion and power, sensations that are the
antithesis of political abstractions.

It's all about the singular sense of openness on the Snake River plains.
The way light plays across ancient petroglyphs on the canyon walls of
Navajo sandstone outside Moab. The smell of sagebrush in the high desert
on the north slope of the Ruby Mountains. A cool rush of wind unleashed by
distant storms hammering the Gallatin Range. The bluegray fogbanks that
sleeve up the North Santiam River canyon on an August morning in Oregon.
The crisp shock of being busted out of a raft by a rapid on the Selway
River. The carcass of a grizzly-clean salmon annealed by the Alaskan sun
to a granite boulder along the MacNeil River. The surrealistic explosion
of October color from dense forest of oaks, poplars and maples on Nebo
Ridge in southern Indiana. The cry of a lone coyote trembling across the
sepia sky in the predawn badlands of South Dakota. These are the
threatened images that haunt my nights, the green fires that burn in my
soul. You have your own. Nearly everyone does. Everyone with a heartbeat.

The power of the people can still overwhelm the influence of big money.
Look at Chiapas. Read Edward Abbey. Listen to Mandela and Evo Morales.
Anything is possible. Find your place, take a stand. People will join you.

Jeffrey St. Clair is the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green
to Me: the Politics of Nature and Grand Theft Pentagon.

--------15 of 16--------

Notes from a Super Bowl Sunday with the TV B-Gone
Die, TV!
February 1, 2007

The TV-B-Gone, which fits in the palm of the hand, is a universal remote
whose sole purpose and power is to shut down televisions. During last
year's Super Bowl Sunday, it resulted in at least one thrown bottle, two
near fist-fights, twenty-seven (by my count) disappeared Hail Marys,
touchdowns, and tackles, one half-time show half-seen (or seen, rather, in
a kind of slow motion shutter effect--I with TV-B-Gone closing the screen,
the bartender mashing finger into the on-button like a man poking out
eyes), and one near-hammering-into-pulp of a writer waving a TV-B-Gone. I
deployed across Brooklyn that fateful Super Bowl 2006 with a single unit
for a test run, assaulting mostly sports bars and taverns and also one
restaurant (where no one in the crowd, not even the staff, noticed the
quieting of the television--for me, a key indicator). I have since been
terrorizing televisions almost daily. I go nowhere without the TV-B-Gone.
I have killed televisions in Charles de Gaulle Airport, in Heathrow, on
the streets of Paris, in the restaurants of small Utah towns, in a Virgin
Megastore on Manhattan island, and in countless Brooklyn bars.

Mitch Altman, the 50-year-old inventor of the TV-B-Gone, tells me that
when he feels depressed he arms himself and heads into the streets. "It's
almost a compulsion for me. When I see a TV going in a public place, I go
out of my way to turn it off," he says. "Imagine a room where there's an
uptight person wearing really bright clothing and jumping up and down and
yelling. It's hard to be relaxed when that person is present. When a TV
goes off, I notice people's shoulders and arms relax - the body language
changes completely. When I'm feeling blue, I turn off a television or two
and life just seems a whole lot better."

Altman is a California technophile, a computer whiz, a self-described
"geek." He pioneered virtual reality technologies in the 1980s and early
versions of voice-recognition software. He built disk drives that were
always smaller and faster, and eventually co-founded a company called
3Ware, which perfects disk drive "controllers." He was also a television
addict. "I used to collect TVs off the street," he says. "I had 50 TVs in
my mom's basement. She was very patient with me. I watched TV every waking
moment of my life. But even as a little kid, I remember watching TV and
telling myself, 'I don't like this, why am I watching this?' I was five
years old when I asked that question. But I kept watching. The one show
that I really hated was Gilligan's Island. But it delivered just enough to
keep me coming back for more. That is the process of addiction."

Then, in 1980, Altman was watching TV as always, and the question came up
that had been dogging him since he was five years old, and suddenly TV was
over for him. "I was watching Gilligan's Island--nothing against Bob
Denver, but I just couldn't handle it anymore. I went cold turkey. And
I've never had a TV since."

It wasn't just Gilligan's Island. It was the physical and psychological
awfulness of the experience of watching television. It was the fact that
Altman one day sat down in a restaurant with old friends he hadn't seen in
years, "but there was a television playing nearby and we found ourselves
watching the TV--unable not to watch the television--instead of talking to
each other, being with each other."

TV is unique in the EEG activity it summons in the human brain, and unique
as well in that it drastically reduces the metabolic rate of the human
organism. When you sleep, you use more energy than when you watch TV. When
you stare at a painting or read a book or knit or fart in bed, you use
more energy. EEG activity during television-watching is marked by alpha
waves, those dreamy, spacey waves that also exist between sleeping and
waking--a passive state in which sustained intense critical thought is
pretty much impossible. Alpha waves are also associated with coma.

The technology that Altman devised to counteract this horror was simple.
The TV-B-Gone consists of a computer chip programmed with a database of
all the power codes of televisions in existence that Altman could track
down from the public domain. The diode eye uses infrared light, which
makes it felicitous to zap through clothing or across window panes or from
a distance. "The chip speaks 214 power codes that work on thousands of
different television sets," Altman says. "The power code for a Panasonic
is the same as for a RCA. The TV industry made it so easy on me! I'd love
to have a Cell-Phone-B-Gone, a Bush-B-Gone. But those things aren't so
easy to get rid of." I suggested a unit that expands and clarifies the
purpose, a unit that permanently disables the offending television.
"There's no remote control code for 'blow up the tv,'" Altman tells me.
"You can always buy a brick. Certainly a bomb is a technology that's been
around for a while." One possible avenue is the use of a concentrated
electromagnetic pulse that would burn out the circuits. "But how," Altman
asks, "do you make it directional enough that it wouldn't harm the
button-pusher? That's the question." Researchers should get to work.

Since Oct. 19, 2004, when Altman launched his product, more than 112,000
units have been sold in every state and territory of the US, and worldwide
in over 80 countries. In 2005, Altman traveled on a TV-B-Gone tour across
Europe, appearing on BBC TV sixteen times in two days--ironic enough. "My
main reason for going to Europe," he says, "was for field-testing on
European TVs." In January, a host on New York's WBAI talk radio, which was
giving away TV-B-Gones for its winter fundraiser, noted that enthusiasts
are now suggesting ingenious modifications. For example, one might mount
the tv-killing diode eye in a hat, with the clicker device linked by cable
in one's pocket. Or you might build an amplification unit with multiple
flood-eyes that literally, as Altman put it, "turn off televisions any
direction you look."

Super Bowl 2006 was effectively my own field test. Why go after the Super
Bowl? The Super Bowl by its attraction of those scores of millions of
human eyes brings to bear what is arguably the most expensive and
sophisticated marketing and propaganda apparatus in history, and therefore
it represents television's awfulness par excellence. Also, there is the
issue of the essential but unspoken pathologic weirdness of men who never
exercise gathering to peer at other grown men who run around on a screen
in a plastic box chasing a piece of leather and smack each other on the
ass when they catch the leather (at which sight the men watching the ants
on the screen in the plastic box clap and jump up and down and touch each
other as well).

When employing the TV-B-Gone among lunatics such as this, immense care
must be taken. Here are suggested rules for terrorizing the upcoming event
on February 4.

First off, when the TV goes out, the TV-B-Goner should scream the loudest
in protest to deflect suspicion. This makes strategic comrades of
strangers who otherwise will want to smash your TV-B-Gone to bits.

Second, order your drink before you strike; otherwise, the bartender will
be too busy fending off the apes protesting the darkness at noon on the

Third, be drunk, even if you're not; everyone else is.

Fourth, frequently throw up your hands in cheers; you can also, to look
normal, produce a steady black-pantherish fist to celebrate "your team"
(pick one); this allows innumerable angles to grab the eye of the target

Fifth, and most importantly, do not stand up in the midst of the horror of
the evening to announce, after too many drinks, that you and the TV-B-Gone
are the source of the trouble and that the TV-B-Gone is just wonderful and
you can buy it anytime at

Christopher Ketcham is a freelance journalist who has written for
Harpers', Penthouse and He can be reached through his website:

[A wonderful device. What so noxious as the blaring big screens that
invade the private spaces in your head? Now if only there were a similar
device to turn off loud acid rock in coffeehouses. Another that would
cause freeway billboards to spontaneously combust... -ed]

--------16 of 16--------

Bushcronium: New Element in Periodic Table
Internet X

A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the
densest element yet known to science. The new element has been named
"Bushcronium." Bushcronium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75
deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic
mass of 311. These particles are held together by dark forces called
morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles
called peons.

The symbol for Bushcronium is "W."

Bushcronium's mass actually increases over time, as morons randomly
interact with various elements in the atmosphere and become assistant
deputy neutrons in a Bushcronium molecule, forming isodopes. This
characteristic of moron-promotion leads somescientists to believe that
Bushcronium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in
concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical

When catalyzed with money, Bushcronium activates Foxnewsium, an element
that radiates orders of magnitude, more energy, albeit as incoherent
noise, since it has 1/2 as many peons but twice as many morons.

[Reports are that Bush is "tickled pink" at being so honored.  "Gosh -
I've gone nukular!" -ed]


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