Progressive Calendar 02.05.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2007 20:58:13 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     02.05.07

1. Anti-war league   2.06 4:30pm
2. Tom T sells out   2.06 5pm
3. Salon/open talk   2.06 6:30pm

4. Nutrigenomics     2.07 11:3Oam
5. Haiti/bridge      2.07 4:30pm
6. Women/politics    2.07 5pm
7. Uncivil discourse 2.07 5:30pm
8. Public health     2.07 5:30pm
9. Sudan DPs         2.07 6pm
10. TACSR/stadium    2.07 7pm
11. Microfinance     2.07 7pm

12. Rights/security  2.08 12noon
13. Activist theater 2.08 4pm
14. Black identity/f 2.08 6:30pm
15. Somali writer    2.08 7pm
16. Mil recruit/bias 2.08 7pm
17. Palestine/film   2.08 8pm

18. Ralph Nader on Why he might run in 2008

--------1 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Anti-war league 2.06 4:30pm

Tuesday, 2/6, 4:30 pm, intro meeting of Anti-War Organizing League, 302
Coffman Union, U of M East Bank, Mpls.  umnawol [at]

--------2 of 18---------

From: tom [at]
Subject: Tom T sells out 2.06 5pm

or at least I am trying to.

On that first frigid Friday of February folks filled the California Street
Gallery and walked home with much art but I have so much stuff that the
walls are now again full and waiting for you to come visit me and keep it
all of it out of the landfill.

There are over 200 drawings, prints, posters, zines, various objects
d'arte and the vast majority of it all priced between 5 and 100 bucks.
Aldo Moroni has on display and for sale sculptures and drawings too so I
know theres gotta be something here that would suit your discriminating
taste and not so fat wallet.

I am sitting the California Street Building Gallery (conveniently located
in lovely lower northeast Minneapolis at 2205 California ST - 22nd AVE and
California ST NE)Tuesday from 5 to 8 and Wed - Fri from noon to 8:PM. On
Saturday the 10th there will be a closing party starting at 7:PM where we
will try and recreate the happy hoo-haa that happened on Friday.

So come on down and see what I am selling and why I am dreaming so
passionately about South Dakota.

I hope you will brave the freekin' freeze and come see me and please feel
free to share this with any and all, tt 612-788-4252

The skinny: Affordable art for sell at the CA Street Gallery - 2205 California 
(22nd and California) in NE MPLS.

Duration - This show will hang from Tuesday, February 6th till Saturday,
February 10th. The gallery hours are noon to 8:PM. On Tuesday I will be
there from 5 to 8:PM

The Occasion - Loving homes are needed to keep art from the garbage burner
and I want to go west.

--------3 of 18--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Salon/open talk 2.06 6:30pm

Hope the cold won't keep you away from coming and thawing out w/some
hot tea or coffee and having some open discussion about whatever you want.
Tuesday, Feb 6.

Next Tuesday, the 13th , we will be having some poetry w/the theme of
Valentine's Day.

Pax Salons ( ) are held (unless otherwise
noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943
W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call
651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------4 of 18--------

From: lawvalue <lawvalue [at]>
Subject: Nutrigenomics 2.07 11:3Oam

2006-07 Lecture Series on Law, Health, & the Life Sciences
Prof. David Castle, PhD (University of Ottawa)

Genomic Nutritional Profiling: The Ethics of Nutrigenomics
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
St. Paul Student Center Theater

Hippocrates advised us to let food be our medicine, but he could not have
anticipated the quagmire of ethical and legal issues that would arise with
the advent of nutritional genomics.  Nutrigenomics straddles a
food-medicine distinction and is encumbered with many questions about the
strength and uncertainties associated with the science.  Prof. Castle will
discuss how the public should respond to offers of direct-to-consumer
nutrigenomic tests and how regulators can identify and mitigate risks
arising from this new science.

Dean Allen Levine, PhD (College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural
Resources Sciences) and Kristin Oehlke (Coordinator of the State of
Minnesota's Chronic Disease Genomics Project) will offer commentary after
Prof. Castle's talk.

The event is free and open to the public.  Registration is required if you
wish to receive continuing education credits (CLE, CME, or CNE)--RSVP to
lawvalue [at] or 612-625-0055.  St. Paul Student Center parking is
available in the Gortner Ramp.  Maps may be found at

About Prof. Castle:
David Castle is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ottawa. His
research focuses on the philosophy of the life sciences, with emphasis on
evolutionary biology and ecology, environmental philosophy, and the
ethical implications posed by biotechnology.  He is the Principal
Investigator of the "Canadian Program on Genomics and Global Health"
funded by Genome Canada and "Legal Models of Biotechnology Intellectual
Property Protection: A Transdisciplinary Approach," supported by the
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Allen Levine, PhD is Dean of the University's new College of Food,
Agriculture, and Natural Resources Sciences.  Until being appointed dean,
he was Professor and Head of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition.
He holds joint appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry,
Neuroscience, and Medicine.  Prior to joining the University, he was the
Associate Director of Research and a Senior Career Scientist at the
Minneapolis VA Medical Center. He is also Director of the Minnesota
Obesity Center, a National Institutes of Health-funded collaborative
research group.  His research focuses on neural regulation of food intake
and he has received two major awards for his efforts: the Mead Johnson
Award from the American Institute of Nutrition and the Grace A. Goldsmith
Award from the American College of Nutrition. Dean Levine has served on
the advisory groups of various food and pharmaceutical corporations
including the Dannon Institute, Best Foods, and the International Life
Sciences Institute.  He received his PhD in Nutrition from the University
of Minnesota.

Kristin Peterson Oehlke is Coordinator of the State of Minnesota's Chronic
Disease Genomics Project.  She has worked in genetics in a variety of
positions across the U.S., from Washington to Georgia.  Ms. Oehlke
received her MS in Genetic Counseling from the University of Colorado
Health Sciences Center.

Continuing Education Information:
This lecture is intended for students, faculty, researchers, scientists,
policymakers, and interested community members.  Following this lecture,
participants should be able to:

* Identify ethical issues arising from nutritional genomic profiling
affecting the public and the medical community.
* Discuss the risks and benefits of using genetic testing to develop a
personalized profile from which to base health-related decisions.

Applications for CME and CNE credits have been filed with the University
of Minnesota Office of Continuing Medical Education.  Determination of
credit is pending.  Continuing legal education credit (CLE) for attorneys
has been requested (1.5 hours).

This event has been designated by the University of Minnesota's Office of
the Vice President for Research to satisfy the Awareness/Discussion
component of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) continuing
education requirement.

This is the second lecture in the 2006-07 Lecture Series on Law, Health &
the Life Sciences.  This year's Lecture Series focuses on nutrigenomics,
nutraceuticals, and direct-to-consumer marketing of genomic nutritional
profiling.  For more information on upcoming events, visit

--------5 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Haiti/bridge 2.07 4:30pm

Wednesday, 2/7, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, demonstration in solidarity with Haiti
(end US/UN occupation, free political prisoners, stop the killings),
Lake/Marshall bridge across the Mississippi River, Twin Cities.
biego001 [at]

--------6 of 18--------

From: erin [at]
Subject: Women/politics 2.07 5pm

Also February 7: Center on Women and Public Policy UofM. Women & Politics
Book Group Spring 2007: Candidate: The Truth Behind the Presidential
Campaign by Emily O'Reilly. 5 PM. 612/625-7176 for location.

--------7 of 18--------

From: Darrell Gerber <darrellgerber [at]>
Subject: Uncivil discourse 2.07 5:30pm

Uncivil Discourse and the Rise of the Outrage Industry
Wednesday, February 7
Registration - 5:30 p.m.
Program - 6:30 p.m.
Reception - 7:30 p.m.

Join Citizens League board member, Nate Garvis, vice president for
Government Affairs at Target Corporation, for an engaging discussion
entitled "Uncivil Discourse and the Rise of the Outrage Industry" at 6:30
p.m. on Wednesday, February 7 in the McGuire Theater at the Walker Art
Center. Nate will offer his perspective on the forces shaping society
today, and examine the ways outrage is becoming an industry in and of
itself, intent on keeping us angry. The resulting polarization has become
a powerful force with social and economic consequences. Going beyond a
statement of the problem, Nate will suggest ways to weave ourselves back
together so we can tackle today's complex issues with sustainable results.

Presented in partnership with the Walker Art Center and sponsored by
Phillips Distilling Company, this event is free. Intended as an
opportunity for people to get to know the Citizens League, we ask that
members who plan to attend bring a nonmember as your guest. Since space is
limited and to aid planning, we ask that you register in advance. Click
<> here
to register online, or call (651) 293-0575, extension 16.

[I'm a bit dubious on this one: Target? Phillips? Their "uncivil" may just
mean "anti-establishment", masking an ideological difference under a mask
of decorum. -ed]

--------8 of 18--------

From: Jeanne Weigum <jw [at]>
Subject: Public health 2.07 5:30pm

Community Forum:
Policymakers and Public Health!

Join Senator Ellen Anderson,
Representative Alice Hausman,
and County Commissioner Janice Rettman for
a Conversation about Public Health Policy!

Possible Topics Include:
    Universal Healthcare, Active Living and
    Fitness, Freedom to Breathe Act, and Obesity Prevention

Forum Moderator will be former
Commissioner of Health- Jan Malcolm

February 7, 2007  5:30 to 7:00 pm

Law-Graduate School, Room 106
Hamline University, Saint Paul
(Just west of Pascal between Hewitt and Englewood)
Light refreshments

Contact Bob Hulteen at 651-379-0753 with Questions
4th District MN Nurses Assn

--------9 of 18--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]> fwd
Subject: Sudan DPs 2.07 6pm

The amount of challenges faced by African communities is astonishing.
Africa Today is committed towards inspiring displaced African communities
into a meaningful level of self-sufficiency. Our goal is to connect,
educate, and engage the public about regions in need of health, education,
and economic development. Through our programs and activities, we believe
that combining the experience and determination of the stakeholders, an
anticipated and sustainable change will follow.

Learn more about the Displaced People of Sudan
Join us for our first monthly forum at the Minneapolis Central
Library on
February 7th, 2007
from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

Guests Speakers:
- John Ukec Lueth Ukec, Sudanese Ambassador to the United States
- Ladu Jada Gubek, Human Rights Activist
- Oliver B. Albino, Sudan Historian
- Senator Terri Bonoff, Author to MN Bill - Policy for State
Investment in Sudan

Special Guests:
- Manute Bol, Former NBA Player

Call for details and registration call Agwua Omot at 612-812-2252

--------10 of 18--------

From: Ron Holch <rrholch [at]>
Subject: TACSR/stadium 2.07 7pm

Taxpayers For an Anoka County Stadium Referendum

Wednesday February 7, at   7:00 PM
Centennial High School Red Building - Room 104 4704 North Road Circle
Pines, MN
The red building is on the east end of the high school complex, and is set
back furthest from North Road.  Enter on the East side of the building.
The largest parking lots are near this building.

Our work is not over yet and it is important for us to remain vigilant.

Anoka County Officials claim they have taken back their more than generous
offer to Zygi Wilf for stadium in Blaine.  However the County Board has
not had a vote to rescind the offer to the Vikings.  The 2007 legislative
session has now convened.  No One has said that Anoka County Taxpayers
will not pay for a Vikings Stadium no matter where it is located. Nor has
anyone yet offered us a chance to vote on a tax increase.  This means a
Hennepin County Vikings Stadium can still increase taxes for us in Anoka
County.  There is now talk of a new metro-wide sales tax.

We are waiting for word from the legislature of a new Stadium Bill.

Now would be a good time to think about what you will write to your newly
elected representatives to tell them we do not need to waste more money on
stadium giveaways to Billionaires.  Please continue to tell them we want a
vote as required by state law for any tax increase to pay for a stadium.
Write letters to your local paper too.  If you have done these things once
already please do it again.

Lawn Signs for sale!
What is happening in the 2007 Legislative Session?
Any Questions, comments contact me at: Ron Holch rrholch [at]

--------11 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Microfinance 2.07 7pm

Wednesday, 2/7, 7 pm, Microfinance Alliance kick-off with documentary
"Awakenings" and insights from Susan Cornell Wilkes and Jim Klobuchar,
co-authors of "Miracles of Barefoot Capitalism," Coffman Union Theater, 300
Washington Ave SE, Mpls.

[Another one I am unsure of. -ed]

--------12 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Rights/security 2.08 12noon

Thursday, 2/8, noon to 1, Human Rights First international legal director
Gabor Rona speaks on "Human Rights and National Security," Fredrikson &
Byron, US Bank Plaza, 200 S 6th St, suite 4000, Mpls.  RSVP by noon on 2/6
to jkashaeva [at] or 612-341-3302, ext 127.

--------13 of 18--------

From: Kelly O'Brien <obrie136 [at]>
Subject: Activist theater 2.08 4pm

Performing Polarities: Activist Theater in Israel-Palestine
Chen Alon, Tel Aviv University
Thursday, February 8, 4:00 p.m.
Institute for Advanced Study, 125 Nolte Center, University of
Minnesota east bank campus
Free and open to the public
FFI: 612-626-5054, <>

Israeli Theater Artist Chen Alon to Speak at U of M will address theater
as a tool of political healing.

Israeli theater artist Chen Alon will describe his use of theater as a
tool of political and cultural healing during a talk on February 8 at the
University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Study.

Chen Alon teaches and directs in the community performance program at
Tel-Aviv University. Alon also works as professional actor, director, and
political activist. After graduating with a BA in theater and comparative
literature and MA in theater studies, he turned to activist-therapeutic
theater following Augusto Boal's work in Theatre of the Oppressed. As part
of his research examining group processes within community theater-making,
Alon has been conducting a long-term project within a state prison
connecting theater students with prisoners. Alon also works with an
Israeli/Palestinian group of artists-the only joint Palestinian-Israeli
project in the region-developing interactive theater for the Peretz Center
for Peace. Their production, "Viewpoints," has toured to thousands of
students in Israeli and Palestinian high schools. Alon co-founded two
political groups, Courage to Refuse and Combatants for Peace, both groups
of reservist soldiers committed to a just and peaceful solution to the
Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

--------14 of 18--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Black identity/film 2.08 6:30pm

NOTE: Marlon Riggs was an extraordiunary documentary filmmaker who
explored with equal eloquence his identities as an African-American and
Gay man. He also used film in intersting ways - including 'created scenes'
to communicate with humor or horror or the survivor's spirit,his
double'identitites, in films like "Tongues Untied"( a FIRST, exploring
being a Black, Gay man). He also made an amazing film at the end of his
life about dying from AIDS (but, I can't recall the title). Dont miss this
chance to see his exploaration of Black images - steroptypes by both the
dominant culture & by African-Americans themselves. Much food for thought!
Lydia Howell,Mineapolis

"Black Is...Black Ain't" - Film & Discussion. Join us as we screen the
thought-provoking documentary about Black identity by filmmaker Marlon
Riggs. "White Americans have always stereotyped African Americans, but the
rigid definitions of 'Blackness' that African Americans impose on each
other, Riggs claims, have also been devastating. Is there an essential
Black identity? Is there a litmus test defining the real Black man and
true Black woman?" Post-film discussion facilitated by Keith Mayes,
Assistant Professor, Dept. of African American and African Studies,
University of Minnesota. Refreshments served. Thursday, February 8, 6:30
p.m., Walter Library 402 (Minneapolis Campus, East Bank).  FREE, but space
is limited. RSVP or Questions: women [at] or at 612-625-9837.

--------15 of 18--------

From: Mary Matze <matze [at]>
Subject: Somali writer 2.08 7pm

On Thursday, February 8th at 7:00 PM, Nuruddin Farah, internationally
acclaimed novelist will read at The Loft Literary Center (1011 Washington
Ave S, Minneapolis, MN / 612-215-2575). Free and open to the public. The
College of St. Benedict will host the author February 5th-8th at the
Literary Arts Center.

Winner of the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature,
Nuruddin Farah is often praised as Africa's greatest contemporary
novelist. The trilogy Variations on the Theme on an African Dictatorship ,
in particular, has earned him enormous critical acclaim and is considered
"the centerpiece of Farah's achievement" by The Guardian. First published
in the US by Graywolf in 1992, each volume - Sweet and Sour Milk,
Sardines, and Close Sesame - continues to be highly relevant to this day.

"Nuruddin Farah is one of the real interpreters of experience on our
troubled continent." -Nadine Gordimer

Farah often states that his intention is to "keep his country alive by
writing about it." And his remarkable novels, at the cost of exile from
Somalia for over twenty-five years, strip bare the political and social
horror of a country wrought by civil war. Loosely linked through
reoccurring characters, each novel brings forth the inescapable reality of
those who live in an atmosphere where the distinction between public and
private justice is always obscured.

"A chilling exploration of corruption and terror - Farah has given us a
powerful political statement that moves constantly toward song." - The New
York Times Book Review

"Farah is in control of his enormous talents as a novelist, writing in the
best tradition of Solzhenitsyn and Gabriel García Márquez." -World
Literature Today

Nuruddin Farah is the winner of the 1998 Neustadt International Prize for
Literature. He is the author of eight novels, including most recently
Maps. Farah, who was exiled from his native Somalia twenty-five years ago,
lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with his family.

Review copies, author photos, and interviews available upon request. News
from GRAYWOLF PRESS Contact: Mary Matze, 651-641-0077 /
matze [at] Graywolf Press - 2402 University Avenue, Suite
203, St. Paul, MN 55114

--------16 of 18--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: Mil recruiter bias 2.08 7pm
Press release for Feb. 8th event from NW Neighbors for Peace

The Northwest Neighbors for Peace appreciates your assistance in
publicizing the following event:

"What Military Recruiters Don't Tell You" will be presented by two members
of Veterans for Peace on Thursday February 8, 7 PM., at the Parish
Community of St. Joseph.

Chante Wolf, twelve year member of the U.S.Air Force and a Gulf War
veteran, and Patrick Wright, honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in
2005 as a conscientious objector, will share their experiences with all
who attend this free public forum.  St.  Joseph's is located at 8701-36th
Avenue North, New Hope, at the SW corner of Boone and 36th.  Federal law
requires that military recruiters have access to our schools; Veterans for
Peace and others do not have that same opportunity.  Northwest Neighbors
for Peace is sponsoring this program as a service to those who desire
balance.  For further information please contact Lois Swenson,
612-588-5572 or swenson2206 [at]

--------17 of 18--------

From: hrfellow [at]
Subject: Palestine/film 2.08 8pm

The University of Minnesota Human Rights Center is proud to announce the
third screening and panel discussion in the 2006-2007 Human Rights Film

Film: On the Objection Front
February 8, 2007
Room 25, University of Minnesota Law School, 229 19th Ave S., Minneapolis,
MN 55455
Free and Open to the Public

On the Objection Front

How does a soldier grapple with the human rights of individuals under

On the Objection Front, Shiri Tsur's award-winning documentary, explores
the controversy in Israel over soldiers who refuse to serve in the
Occupied Palestinian Territories. The film focuses on six Israeli
reservist officers who felt they could no longer serve conscientiously in
the Occupied Territories. These soldiers speak of the memories that haunt
them, the soul-searching that led to their decision, and its impact on
themselves, their families, and their society.

The film introduces a complex moral dilemma, but according to the The
Jerusalem Report, it is neither heavy-handed nor polemical, and
acknowledges the real disagreement that exists even within the left over
the principle of refusing duty in the Occupied Territories.

The film will be introduced by (Res.) Major Chen Alon, one of the officers
interviewed in the film, and followed by a discussion with him and another
speaker (to be determined).

--------18 of 18--------

Monday, February 5th, 2007
Ralph Nader on Why He Might Run In 2008, the Iraq War & the New
Documentary "An Unreasonable Man"


AMY GOODMAN: In a moment, we'll take a look at a new documentary about a
different kind of presidential candidate. The documentary has just been
released. It's called An Unreasonable Man. It's about the longtime
consumer advocate, lawyer, author and two-time presidential candidate,
Ralph Nader. He is also the author of a new book about his own life titled
The Seventeen Traditions. Ralph Nader joins us today from Washington, D.C.
We welcome you to Democracy Now!

RALPH NADER: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Ralph, before we talk about the movie and your book, I wanted
to ask you about the latest news, the devastating numbers of deaths in
Iraq - I think it's a thousand believed over the last week killed - and
about today's debate on the nonbinding resolution around war.

RALPH NADER: Well, the nonbinding resolution is really a very tepid
tiptoe, which will serve the purpose of getting Congress off the hook in
the following weeks and months, saying, well, they did what they could do.
There's got to be much more aggressive moves by Congress, maybe reflected
in Congressman Jim McGovern's bill, which will deal with the
appropriations process and protect the soldiers, as they withdraw. If we
don't withdraw on a timetable, our military and corporate occupation of
Iraq, including the oil industry, the bottom will never fall out of the
insurgency. In the process of withdrawing, we develop what can be called
the Iraq reconciliation plan that Dal Lamagna and CODEPINK initiated with
members of the Iraqi parliament, tribal leaders and victims of torture in
Amman last year. The Iraqi hierarchy is still in place. I mean, the place
is in chaos in terms of explosions, but the tribal leaders, the religious
leaders, the political leaders still command the kind of cohesive
authority in the three distinct groups that could provide for a
reconciliation plan with international peacekeepers for an interim period,
while we continue hiring Iraqis for reconstruction of their devastated
homeland, compliments of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you think of Russ Feingold saying he is going to vote
against the non-binding resolution, because he doesn't believe that it
will lead to the withdrawal of US troops in Iraq?

RALPH NADER: Well, I think he's correct. And George W. Bush has in effect
said it's not going to affect him at all. This is outraging Republican
Senator Specter from Pennsylvania. So there are other currents on Capitol
Hill that may flow from this, but this is basically an escape resolution
from congressional responsibility over the White House for this war.

AMY GOODMAN: Are you planning to run for president again?

RALPH NADER: Too early to say. I think we need more voices and choices. I
think the speech by former Senator Mike Gravel indicates there's going to
be a wider debate in the primaries of the Democratic Party, along with
Congressman Dennis Kucinich. There are lots of people in this country
urging Bill Moyers to run in the Democratic primary. He would certainly
give it more depth. And I hope more independent candidates and third-party
candidates run. We've got to break this two-party elected dictatorship
that's being measured by how much money it raises.

AMY GOODMAN: You said on Wolf Blitzer's show yesterday that if Hillary
Rodham Clinton got the Democratic nomination, you would consider running?

RALPH NADER: Well, there would be more need for a broader spectrum of
views by more candidates. I don't think she has the fortitude to stand up
to corporate power, whether it's ripping off Washington by corporations or
the bloated military budget or corporate crime, fraud, and abuse. It has a
lot of roots right in her backyard, in Wall Street, Spitzer prosecution
land. I don't think she has it. And she has this increasingly distasteful
habit of pandering and flattering in her public appearances. And she
panders to special interest groups that need to be given the straight
truth, and she flatters people in her audience. And I think that is a sign
that she thinks she's a frontrunner and she can play cautious.

AMY GOODMAN: So if she were to win the Democratic nomination and the other
candidates were to concede and drop out of the race, would you run?

RALPH NADER: Well, there would be more important need to run, but I
haven't decided. And I won't decide until later this year.

AMY GOODMAN: What would determine it for you?

RALPH NADER: Well, that factor, one, and whether we can get enough
petitioners to get on the streets to overcome the likely harassing
lawsuits and attrition by the Democratic Party in places like Pennsylvania
and Ohio. But, basically, you can't run a campaign like this unless you
get a lot of young people who are contacting you all over the country and
who want a new politics in America and who want to develop the skills for
future campaigns in their own right. That's really what we're looking for

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go right now to the clip of the documentary that's
just come out about Ralph Nader. And when we come back from break, we'll
be joined not only by Ralph Nader, but by one of the producers of the
film. It's called An Unreasonable Man.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: .when he's always right, when he's prefabricated in
purity. This is Ralph Nader's understanding of the world.

ERIC ALTERMAN: The man needs to go away. I think he needs to live in a
different country. He's done enough damage to this one. Let him damage
somebody else's now.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: In the late '60s and early '70s, Ralph would be in
national polls as one of the most famous admired Americans.

HENRIETTE MANTEL: People would write to him thinking that he could solve
their problem. I think Ralph got more mail than the Beatles.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 3: Ralph had decided to do six or eight teams attacking
different agencies.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 4: Members of the press have referred to you as Nader's

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 5: We were going to make the country what it ought to be
by working and pressing the system to work.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 6: He had built a legislative record as a private citizen
that would have been the envy of any modern president.

JIM MUSSELMAN: Imagine if you got in a car and the airbag said "Ralph
Nader," or if the seat belt said "Nader," or you look at the air and it's
cleaner and it says "Nader" on it. If people would see that on a
day-to-day basis, they'd understand the effect that this guy has had on
their daily life.

ERIC ALTERMAN: Thank you, Ralph, for the Iraq war. Thank you, Ralph, for
the tax cuts. Thank you, Ralph, for the destruction of the environment.
Thank you, Ralph, for the destruction of the Constitution.

RALPH NADER: I do think that Al Gore cost me the election.

GENE KARPINSKI: That I used to work for that guy. I was so proud of all
that, and now, every time I - you know, what's that crazy guy up to?

RALPH NADER: Maybe if we started talking about civic globalization instead
of corporate globalization, the world would move forward.

We don't have a government of, by and for the people. We have a government
of the Exxons, by the General Motors, for the Duponts.

PHIL DONAHUE: They killed him for saying that there's not a dime's worth
of difference between the two parties. And then the Democrats spent the
next four years proving that he was right.

JIMMY CARTER: Ralph, go back to examining the rear end of automobiles.

PAT BUCHANAN: I think our democracy is a fraud. It's a consumer fraud.

JAMES RIDGEWAY: He actually believes in the legal system, and he believes
in the marketplace. He believes in all these really American things, and
he's trashed for it.

RALPH NADER: When I was ten, my father said, "Well, Ralph, what did you
learn in school today? Did you learn how to believe or did you learn how
to think?"

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 3: I wouldn't want this to hurt his legacy.

RALPH NADER: I don't care about my personal legacy.

AMY GOODMAN: Excerpt of An Unreasonable Man. When we come back from break,
the director of the film, Henriette Mantel, and Ralph Nader. Stay with us.


AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to the co-director of An Unreasonable Man,
Henriette Mantel. Ralph Nader still in studio with us in Washington, D.C.
Henriette, why did you decide to do this film?

HENRIETTE MANTEL: We just - Steve and myself - wanted to inform people
who Ralph is and what happened. I was kind of sick of all the stories
going around without people being informed, as to the way the story came
down, to who Ralph was all through the '60s and '70s and who he still is.

AMY GOODMAN: And talk about how you researched this film, and talk about
the different views that you bring out - for example, Eric Alterman.

HENRIETTE MANTEL: Well, this film originally became what it is, because we
started on a sitcom idea. We're both comedy writers. And Steve had a
development deal. And we had discussed this over the years - Ralph's
story - and we started to write it as a sitcom, but the more we
interviewed people, everybody that had worked around Ralph for years and
years, the more it just became obvious that we had to tell the story in
documentary form, especially after 2000.

AMY GOODMAN: And the different reactions you got from people you were

HENRIETTE MANTEL: Well, we would have loved to get more reactions of
people that were, you know, adamantly spreading rumors about Ralph and
everything else, but Eric Alterman and Todd Gitlin, my hat's off to them,
because they would go on camera and voice their opinion opposing Ralph. A
lot of people would not go on camera. They just wouldn't. Like, they
would talk, you know, to us, but then when we turned on the camera, "Oh,
I'm not going to be on camera."

AMY GOODMAN: Ralph Nader, your reaction to the film?

RALPH NADER: Well, I react functionally to it. I think it's a very
compressed and adroit film over forty years of activity, which really
takes a lot of talent to get in there and keep people's attention. And
it's going to inform tens of millions of younger people, certainly under
forty years. And I hope it will stimulate some of them, and some of the
people who watch it in their teen years and their twenties, to say, "You
know, we can improve this country and the world. What are we waiting for?
Let's stop rationalizing our own futility and get to work."

AMY GOODMAN: Ralph Nader came to prominence in the early '60s, when he
began to take on powerful corporations and work with local activists on
their campaigns. Let's go to another clip of the film, An Unreasonable

JIM MUSSELMAN: Once I got everybody going forward on an issue, Ralph would
come in and give a speech to really empower them more and say, "You guys
aren't alone here."

DAVID BOLLIER: When the community of Poletown in Detroit was going to be
condemned so that General Motors could build a new Cadillac plant there,
Ralph provided direct [inaudible] for them to physically resist the

JIM MUSSELMAN: In Van Nuys, there were a lot of children coming down with
leukemia in a neighborhood, and a General Motors plant was there, and they
put benzene in the paint, which was causing cancer and leukemia. We got
them to change the way that they manufactured the paint.

AMY GOODMAN: An excerpt of An Unreasonable Man. Ralph Nader, can you
expand on that, on the early activism and your work around GM, how you
started the PIRGs and your organizations?

RALPH NADER: Well, those are the days when the antiwar movement, women's
rights, civil rights movements, provided a backdrop for what we were
doing. I mean, they made us look rather modest. And we were working in the
environmental, worker, consumer areas. And the Congress opened its doors
to hearings. There were members of Congress who actually went to
Washington to represent people for a change. And Lyndon Johnson, even
Nixon, were willing to sign many of those basic bills, like OSHA and EPA
and auto safety, Product Safety Commission legislation.

And, obviously, after time, we realized that there needs to be thousands
of young activists, so we formed these teams, not only on federal agencies
to expose them and push them to higher heights of performance for folks,
like the Food and Drug Administration or the Department of Agriculture. We
also went out into the field, and we started student public interest
research groups based on student referendums at colleges and putting $4,
$5, $6 check-offs on their tuition bill to support these nonprofit groups,
which would be run by an elected student board of directors. So you have
NYPIRG now in New York City and the rest of the state. You have MASSPIRG
- PIRG standing for "public interest research group" - in Massachusetts.
There are about twenty of them all over the country. And over the years,
they really generate a lot of civic leaders who are now working in their
communities - some of them are elected to office - to strengthen our
democratic society.

AMY GOODMAN: Ralph Nader, at the same time that An Unreasonable Man has
been released, you have a new small book out called The Seventeen
Traditions, which is different from the other books that you have written.
It's very much about your family life, how you grew up in Winsted,
Connecticut. Can you talk about what the seventeen traditions are?

RALPH NADER: Well, there are seventeen ways my mother and father raised
their four children - two girls and two boys - in this factory town
crossed by two rivers and highlighted by a wonderful lake in northwest
Connecticut. And I call them "traditions," because I would like to
encourage other families to look into their own wisdom and insight and
experience in their generation line - say, grandparents and great aunts
and uncles and parents - because if those traditions are lost, they're
lost forever, and they're not transferred to young people who often are
adrift in periods of change. So, we have the tradition of learning, was
the first one in the book. My mother said you have to learn to listen, and
if you learn to listen, then you'll listen and learn, something I wish
George Bush was raised to do. We have a tradition of history. They would
always immerse us in history at the dinner table, and we'd have books
about history. So, we have stamp collections to teach us geography.

Then there are traditions of charity, traditions of business. My father
had a restaurant, where they said for a nickel you got a cup of coffee and
ten minutes of politics. So it was a big restaurant with a lot of politics
from the workers in the textile mills, of the jurors on the lunch break
from the courtroom, and salespeople and doctors and carpenters, you name

Traditions like the tradition of scarcity; they never overloaded us with
things so we wouldn't appreciate them. There was a tradition of simple
enjoyments, not commercial enjoyments today, like a $100 Nintendo toy. We
had bicycles. We had puzzles. We had hiking in the woods and the fields,

There were tradition of civics. We watched our parents, while they took us
to the town meetings and the courtroom. But we watched them active in the
community and absorbed that kind of family value. Civic values, they saw,
were family values. And so, there were these kinds of traditions of
health, for example, and teaching us to take care of ourselves. These are
the traditions that raised us.

The other day, watching George W. Bush, it occurred to me that if mother
raised George W. Bush, we wouldn't be in the Iraq war at the present

AMY GOODMAN: Both your parents were born in Lebanon?


AMY GOODMAN: And you went back to Lebanon with your brothers and sisters
when you were little? Your mother took you there for about a year?

RALPH NADER: Yes. I was about three and a half.

AMY GOODMAN: And how does that influence your worldview today?

RALPH NADER: Well, obviously, it gave us a bigger arc of concern and
interest in the world. I mean, we went to the ancient ruins in Baalbek in
Lebanon. We obviously were immersed in the culture there. We learned the
language. We learned the lore of our background, our great great
grandparents. You know, there was an oral tradition there. We learned how
to ride donkeys, too.

AMY GOODMAN: The bombing of Lebanon this past summer and the Iraq war,
what does your being an Arab American - how do you feel that informs your

RALPH NADER: Well, you don't have to be an Arab American. You just have to
be interested in understanding historical precedence. For example, Iran's
prime minister was overthrown by our country in 1953. The US government
under Reagan encouraged and supplied Saddam Hussein with the materials to
invade Iran and slice it off for - part of it off for Iraq. We have
labeled Iran an axis of evil. That has a tremendous impact, especially
since we did it to Iraq and invaded them next door, has a tremendous
impact on a proud Persian history. I mean, there was a time when they were
the dominant force in the world, and they remember those things. And they
feel humiliated.

George W. Bush came to the presidency. I think he had been abroad once or
twice. He didn't know anything about world history. And he was proud of
saying he didn't read newspapers. He was proud of his ignorance. And we're
paying the price for that. It's not just his obsession. It's not just his
messianic militarism. It's his profound ignorance.

AMY GOODMAN: Ralph Nader, your father used to ask you, "What did you learn
in school today?"

RALPH NADER: Yeah. One day I went home and in the backyard, and he said,
"Ralph, what did you learn in school today? Did you learn how to believe
or did you learn how to think?"

Another event I remember in the backyard - a beautiful spring day, my
parents were there with my siblings - and my mother said, "How much is a
dozen eggs?" We knew all the prices, because we were restauranteurs'
children. And so, she said, "How much is a bushel of apples? How much is a
pound of butter?" And then she stopped and she looked up, and she said,
"Nice cool breeze, isn't it? How much is that? What's that sunshine worth?
Look at those birds. Hear those birds singing those beautiful songs. What
price should we put on that?" That really at an early age taught me that
there are certain things that should be never for sale. And that's, in our
democracy, elections should never be for sale. Politicians should never be
for sale. Teachers should never be for sale.

So, from those seventeen traditions, I developed a linkage with the civic
advocacy and things that I wrote and spoke about as an adult. And I think
that people are very interested in this book, because it's personal, it
has good stories about life in New England at that time, which will
resonate with parents and children in terms of their own recollections. I
think people have to recollect more. They have to rebuild the solidarity
of their family line in a period of great tumult and change, when they
think that everything is out of control around their lives, their jobs and
their children.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Ralph Nader, as you were taught to question, I want to
go back to the documentary, An Unreasonable Man. This was at the time when
you were being shut out of the presidential debates, and it was also the
time of your mega-rallies of thousands, of more than 10,000 people. It
begins by talking about how the press virtually ignored your Madison
Square Garden rally, which drew some 20,000 people in 2000.

JASON KAFBURY: I expected us to be on the front page of the New York
Times. And we had a story, but it was buried, you know, twenty pages in.
No other political person, Bush or Gore, hadn't gotten 20,000 people to
pay money to hear them speak all campaign. Ralph was the only guy doing
it. And yet the establishment media froze us out.

THERESA AMATO: And the kind of coverage that we did get was all about the
horse race: how are you going to affect Al Gore? From the very beginning
months of the campaign, we knew in 2000 and in 2004 we would have to try
to get into the presidential debates.

PHIL DONAHUE: Ralph Nader could visit every city and town in this nation
personally and not reach 10% of the people who watch the debates.

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, that last speaker, Phil Donahue, and that is from An
Unreasonable Man. Henriette Mantel is the co-director, writer and producer
- executive producer of An Unreasonable Man. You also were Ralph's office
manager, and you're in this film.

HENRIETTE MANTEL: Right. Yeah. The reason I'm in the film, though, is
because we were practicing trying to use the camera, and then it ended up
that I had said a few things. Yes. But I was his office manager. That was
my first job in the real world, I guess, when I was twenty-one.

AMY GOODMAN: And what was that like?

HENRIETTE MANTEL: It was interesting, because it was 1979 when Three Mile
Island blew up, and so it was very, very, very busy there. And that's a
part of the movie that, in fact, will be on the DVD extra. So many parts,
stories that we had to tell - the original version of the movie was
three-and-a-half hours, and we had to get it down to about two hours, so
that it could be in theaters. And the No Nukes years are a story that we
told that will be on the DVD extras.

AMY GOODMAN: You're a well-known comedian now, Henriette. Why take the
time out to do this?

HENRIETTE MANTEL: Because other comedians were yelling at me about Ralph,
and I got sick of them. No, I just wanted to inform people as to who the
Ralph I knew and why he did what he did and what he had done in the '60s
and '70s, because it felt like so many people just knew Ralph from 2000,
and all these, you know, myths and rumors that weren't true about Ralph.
So I just wanted to tell a story. I actually - you know, they can decide
whatever they want to decide after they see the movie. I just want them to
be informed as to what the story is.

RALPH NADER: And I think they saw some of the political bigotry against
third-party candidates and how shallow the analysis of people like Eric
Alterman were. You don't measure the impact of one candidate against
another after Election Day. It's the dynamics in the weeks and months
before. Pushing Gore more to the left to criticize big corporations
actually got Gore far more votes than whatever, quote, "I took from him."
Look at that, "I took from him," like a third-party candidate is a
second-class citizen, when in the 19th century it was third parties -
anti-slavery, women's right to vote, labor, farmer - that provided the
new ideas for the great social justice movements that finally one of the
major parties or the other adopted. Now, that's another benefit of the

I think Henriette and Steve should really be gratified, Amy, by the
reviews. The reviews have almost been uniformly positive: New Yorker, New
York Magazine, New York Times, Village Voice, LA Times. It opened in New
York on 31st January, and I hope more people see it, and I hope more films
are done on many leading activists in our past, like Saul Alinsky and
Chavez and others, because we need to put these models, these activities
in front of younger people who get very demoralized and give up too early
in their lives from changing the country and world for the better.

AMY GOODMAN: Ralph Nader, I wanted to go back to the campaign of 2008 and
campaign finance issues, because now the presidential campaign of 2008 -
we have just entered 2007 - is in full swing. What does that mean for
campaign finance and public financing of campaigns?

RALPH NADER: It's going to blow it through the roof. I mean, where it is
considered incredible that George W. Bush from his corporate buddies
raised $140 million in '04, now the press is talking about Hillary and
McCain and Giuliani raising $200 million, $300 million. If Mayor Bloomberg
gets in the race - and let me tell you, they're talking about it in his
circles - he'll spend half-a-billion dollars from his own fortune, which
means that the press not only deals largely with the horse race instead of
the substantive issues and the records of the candidates, it deals with
like a bar graph. You know, how much did Hillary raise this last week
compared to McCain? It's so rancid. It's so disrespectful of the voters in
this country. We've got to urge the press to wake up to its own
responsibilities here and cover the substance, the necessities of the
American people, the access to the electoral process by candidates, the
participation of voters during the campaign in auditoriums around the

AMY GOODMAN: Hillary Clinton has pulled out of public financing?

RALPH NADER: Oh, yeah. All the majors are going to pull out. It's not
enough for them.

AMY GOODMAN: And your thoughts on Barack Obama?

RALPH NADER: Well, he's got more to prove. He's sprouting a lot of
antennas of caution and concern, because when you're a viable candidate,
as he is, they don't become bolder, they become more cautious. He's
certainly got the intellectual capacity. He was a community organizer
among the poor in Chicago. He actually worked with NYPIRG for a short time
in New York. But whether he has those personality and characters -
characteristics that provide the definition of a real leader, speaking
truth to power and really taking those solutions in our country off the
shelf and putting them to work, even though the auto companies and the
drug and oil companies may squeal and squawk, that is yet to be
determined. But he's got an opportunity to determine it.

AMY GOODMAN: John Edwards taking on the issue of poverty in this country
and healthcare?

RALPH NADER: Yeah, very good. Very good, taking on - you know, he's not
just talking about the middle class, which Clinton and Gore always did and
ignored tens of millions of poor Americans, not to mention people in the
middle class falling into that category these days, as more and more
people are pauperized. But he's got a problem of fortitude, too, on some
issues. He's not that good on some foreign policy issues, like the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Iraq war, he was late on. He's got to
raise the whole corporate crime fraud and abuse and the bloated military
budget and the misallocation of priorities to a much higher level in his

AMY GOODMAN: Now that you have said you could run against Hillary Rodham
Clinton if she gets the nomination, have her people approached you in the
last twenty-four hours?

RALPH NADER: Oh, no. No. I mean, she's very aloof. And when it comes to
me, there's probably even a hyperbole of aloof. She wouldn't debate
Jonathan Tasini in the New York run. He got 17% of the vote with no money
in the primary against her. She wouldn't debate her own Republican
opponent more than once, I think, and very reluctantly. She wouldn't
debate Howie Hawkins. She wouldn't let him on the debate, the Green Party
out of Syracuse, a wonderful community organizer and a person who would
have broadened the debate. She is not an example of democratic
campaigning. She is a big business example of cash register campaigning.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you, Ralph Nader, for joining us from
Washington, D.C. - we'll say "possible" presidential candidate in 2008 --
and Henriette Mantel, comedian, co-director and producer with Steve
Skrovan of this new film called An Unreasonable Man. She also played Alice
in The Brady Bunch: The Movie. Thanks, both. Ralph Nader's book is called
The Seventeen Traditions.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
                     over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02
              please send all messages in plain text no attachments

  • (no other messages in thread)

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.