Progressive Calendar 02.17.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2007 12:08:51 -0800 (PST)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    02.17.07

1. Media/sprawl      2.19 9:30am
2. Vs Iraq war       2.19 12noon
3. Ground truth/f    2.19 6:30pm
4. Vs empire/film    2.19 8pm

5. Queer youth fest  2.20 9am
6. Labor choice act  2.20 12noon
7. Cuba/MN Leg       2.20 4pm
8. NVpeace carnival  2.20 5:30pm
9. Anti-recruit/YAWR 2.20 5:45pm
10. Ford site plan   2.20 6:30pm
11. Palestine        2.20 6:30pm
12. War tapes/film   2.20 7pm
13. Disobey/peace    2.20 7pm
14. News war/PBS     2.20 9pm

15. Terpstra/Thorstad - Killers in the classroom
16. PC Roberts        - How the world can stop Bush: dump the dollar!
17. Ron Jacobs        - March on the Pentagon, chief symbol of warmaking
18. Michael Parenti   - Mystery: how wealth creates poverty in the world
19. Albers et al      - MN health care

--------1 of 19--------

From: erin [at]
Subject: Media/sprawl 2.19 9:30am

Monday, February 19: American Association of University Women, Minneapolis
Branch Programs: 9:30-10:30 AM - Who Owns the Media?; 10:45-11:45 - Public
Policy and the Arts; Noon-1:15 - Luncheon; 1:15-2:15: Urban Sprawl and the
Environment. 612/870-1661 for more information or luncheon.

--------2 of 19--------

From: Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace <web [at]>
Subject: Vs Iraq war 2.19 12noon

As the Iraq War begins its fifth year, take time to honor those who have
died, and to contemplate the human cost of war.

Eyes Wide Open Minnesota
Monday, March 19, 2007
Noon-p4:30 p.m.
Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda

Come anytime during the afternoon; stay as long as you are able.

The Eyes Wide Open Minnesota <> exhibit presents
a memorial to those who have fallen and a witness to our belief that no
war can justify its human cost. It includes a pair of boots for each
Minnesota soldier killed in Iraq, shoes representing Iraqi civilian
casualties, and a visual display showing the human costs of war to our

Noon - Opening ceremony (speaker to be announced)
12:30 - Reading of the names of all 3,000+ American casualties, as well as
Iraqi civilian casualties
4:00 - Closing ceremony (speaker to be announced)

Watch for details as they become available at

Sponsored by Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace <>
and Crocus Hill/West 7th Neighbors for
Peace<>. Co-sponsored by
Women Against Military Madness (WAMM)<>,
Veterans for Peace - Chapter 27 <>, and
Military Families Speak Out Minnesota <>.

Flyers Download/Print a Color Flyer
Download/Print a BW Flyer (PDF)

More Information march19 [at] - Anne (651) 647-0580

--------3 of 19--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Ground truth/f 2.19 6:30pm

FREE WAMM Monday Night at the Movies: "The Ground Truth: After the Killing

Monday, February 19, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Hospitality Hall,
4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. Hear and witness U.S. soldiers in
this penetrating film which takes an unflinching look at the training and
dehumanization of U.S. soldiers, and how they struggle to come to terms,
when they come back home, with the position U.S. foreign-policy makers put
them in. While America's poor treatment of veterans is not news to most,
The Ground Truth makes it so personal and real, it is impossible to
dismiss its characters simply as war statistics. The film gives us
glimpses into a Marine Corps boot camp and then combat footage in Iraq
that shows routine, indiscriminate killing. Their jobs over, the
confusion, guilt and shame that comes home with their participation is the
tip of the iceberg. Foulkrod's graphic footage and still-photographs of
the ground conflict in Iraq, should forever shatter the sanitized images
found on the nightly news and provide a much needed wake-up call for all
of us. Sponsored by: WAMM Third Monday Movies.

--------4 of 19--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Vs empire/film 2.19 8pm

Monday, 2/19, 8 to 10 pm, RNC Welcoming Committee presents film "We
Interrupt This Empire" about direct actions that shut down the San Francisco
financial district following the US invasion of Iraq, Jack Pine Community
Center, 2815 E Lake St, Mpls.

--------5 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Queer youth fest 2.20 9am

February 20: Family and Children Services 2nd Annual Q-Quest Youth Fest!
Invitees include Minnesota high school students - lesbian gay bisexual,
transgender, queer, questioning, intersexed youth and straight allies ages
18 and under. Youth aged 19-21 are also invited to join the event and
share their experiences, but the conference focuses on high school

9 AM-7:30 PM. Free and includes workshops, lunch, dinner and
entertainment. Perpich Center for Arts Education, 6125 Olson memorial
Highway, Golden Valley.

--------6 of 19--------

From: Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council <betsy [at]>
Subject: Labor choice act 2.20 12noon

The Employee Free Choice Act:
Tools for Engaging Members around this Legislation

The Employee Free Choice Act has been reintroduced in Congress, providing
an opportunity to engage and mobilize members around organizing. The
University of Minnesota Labor Education Service has organized a brown bag
lunch discussion on this topic scheduled for Tuesday, February 20, Noon to
1 p.m. at 312 Central Avenue, room 550 (the CLUC conference room).

This is a free event, and dessert will be provided. Bring your lunch (good
food is available across the street at the union-represented Lund's store
and deli). Parking is available at meters or in the St. Anthony ramp,
across University Avenue from the Labor Centre.

--------7 of 19--------

From: Minnesota Cuba Committee <mncuba [at]>
Subject: Cuba/MN legislature 2.20 4pm

The Minnesota House of Representatives Commerce and Labor committee has
confirmed the date for hearing a bill urging the Congress and the
President to end the U.S. embargo of Cuba. The bill is scheduled to be
heard at 4:00, Tuesday, February 20 (originally tentatively scheduled for
February 22), in the Basement Hearing Room of the State Office Building.

The bill (HF 828) supersedes a previously introduced resolution (H.R. 2).
HF 828 can be found at

The bill now has 16 authors, both Republican and Democrat, and has a
senate companion authored by Senator Jim Vickerman.

We urge you to contact members of the Commerce and Labor committee to ask
them to support this bill. A list of the members can be found at

You can also ask your representative to support the bill. You can find
your representative using the following link:

Please think about attending the hearing if you can. A significant
turn-out will send a strong message to the legislature and the public. In
addition, there may be an opportunity for members of the audience to
testify.The State Office Building is located southwest of the Capitol.
Directions to the Capitol can be found at

--------8 of 19--------

From: Sue Ann [mailto:mart1408 [at]]
Subject: NVpeace carnival 2.20 5:30pm

Nonviolent Peaceforce Invites you to a
Carnival for Peace

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
5:30 Social Hour
6:30 Festive Dinner
Silent & Live Auction
Dancing to the Resistors

The Cedars Hall 602 University Avenue NE Minneapolis MN 55413

$45 per person/$25 is tax deductible
Seating is Reserved
For more information or to make reservations, call Tinka at NP, 612-871-0005
or email
tkurth [at]

Checks payable to Nonviolent Peaceforce
Mail to NP Dance, 425 Oak Grove, Minneapolis MN  55403

--------9 of 19--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Anti-recruit/YAWR 2.20 5:45pm

Support St. Paul Students' Anti-Recruitment Efforts

Tuesday, February 20, 5:45 p.m. Administration Building, 360 Colborne
Street, St.Paul. Support Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR) and other
students as they voice their opinions on military recruitment in their
high schools. These courageous students are justly demanding that visits
from military recruiters be restricted to career centers instead of the
cafeteria, scheduled in advance and no more frequent than post-secondary
schools. The St. Paul School Board of Education will meet on February 20
at 5:45 p.m. to discuss this matter. Open to the public, so come fill the
room in support!

--------10 of 19--------

From: Merritt Clapp-Smith [mailto:Merritt.Clapp-Smith [at]]
Subject: Ford site plan 2.20 6:30pm

Notice of Mtg # 2 - Ford Site Planning Task Force

Tuesday, 2/20/2007
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Training Center on the Ford site
(Enter at Ford Parkway and Mt Curve)

Merritt Clapp-Smith Planner, City of St. Paul 651-266-6547

--------11 of 19--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Palestine 2.20 6:30pm

Tuesday, 2/20, 6:30 to 7:30 pm, Hillel sponsors Israel-born history prof
Arie Zmora and Palentinian Lou Kanavati from Hamline Univ's College for
Reconciliation and Development, speaking on "Peace through Education,"
President's room, Coffman Union, 300 Washington Ave SE, Mpls.
hillel [at] or 612-379-4026.

--------12 of 19--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: War tapes/film 2.20 7pm

Tuesday, February 20th- NW Neighbors for Peace is screening the award
winning film, "The War Tapes" at the Parish Community of St. Joseph, SW
corner of 36th and Boone in New Hope, 7 PM.  Free and open to the public.
For more information, Carole Rydberg, nwn4p [at]

--------13 of 19--------

From: awcmere <meredith [at]>
Subject: Disobey/peace 2.20 7pm

Civil Disobedience Training
Tuesday, February 20th at 7 pm @ May Day Books
301 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis

Come learn the skills necessary to commit and plan acts of civil
disobedience. Learn how to stop this war using creative tactics. Organized
by the Anti-War Committee (, 612.379.3899).

--------14 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: News war/PBS 2.20 9pm

Frontline/ News War: Secrets, Sources & Spin
tpt2 and tpt2 Part 2: Tuesday, February 20 at 9PM
        President Bush
tpt17Part 2: Wednesday, February 21 at 9PM

America's mainstream media are under siege, facing unprecedented
challenges from the Bush Administration, the courts, corporate owners, and
the Internet. Frontline traces the recent history of American journalism
and examines how the war on terror and other global forces are changing
the role of the press in our society.

--------15 of 19--------
Killers in the Classroom
By Dr. June Scorza Terpstra

02/15/07 "ICH <>"

During a heated debate in a class I teach on social justice, several US
Marines who had done tours in Iraq told me that they had "sacrificed" by
"serving" in Iraq so that I could enjoy the freedom to teach in the USA.
Parroting their master's slogan about "fighting over there so we don't
have to fight over here", these students proudly proclaimed that they
terrorized and killed defenseless Iraqis. They intimated that their Arab
victims are nothing more to them than collateral damage, incidental to
their receipt of some money and an education.

A room full of students listened as a US Marine told of the invasion of
Baghdad and Falluja and how he killed innocent Iraqis at a check point. He
called them "collateral damage" and said he had followed the "rules". A
Muslim-American student in front of him said "I could slap you but then
you would kill me". A young female Muslim student gasped "I am a freshman;
I never thought to hear of this in a class. I feel sick, like I will pass

I knew in that moment that this was what the future of teaching about
justice would include: teaching war criminals who sit glaring at me with
hatred for daring to speak the truth of their atrocities and who, if paid
to, would disappear, torture and kill me. I wondered that night how long I
really have in this so called "free" country to teach my students and to
be with my children and grandchildren.

The American military and mercenary soldiers who "sacrificed" their lives
did not do so for the teacher's freedom to teach the truth about the
so-called war on terror, or any of US history for that matter. They
sacrificed their lives, limbs and sanity for money, some education and the
thrills of the violence for which they are socially bred. Sacrificing for
the "bling and booty" in Iraq or Afghanistan, The Philippines, Grenada,
Central America, Mexico, Somalia, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, or any of
the other numerous wars and invasions spanning US history as an entity and
beginning with their foundational practice of killing the Indians and
stealing their land.

Many of the classes that I teach now include students who "served" in the
US military and security corporations. There are also many students who
intend to join the US military upon completion of a degree because with
the degree they get a bigger "sign on" bonus of ten to fifty thousand
dollars. Their position is supported by many of the student body, who,
vegetating according to the American Plan, believe they should "support
their troops". The excuses that they give for joining or intending to join
the US military terrorist training camps are first and foremost motivated
by a desire for money. One student proudly said that he is willing to kill
for money, a better standard of living and an education. Another student,
who had done two tours of duty to the Empire in Iraq, justified killing
and torture, citing the importance of staying on top as the world's number
one super power so that his family could have the highest standard of
living and unlimited access to the world's oil supplies.

Yet another soldier-student said that there would always be wars and
someone had to do it. The "it" is killing, rape, and plunder for profit.
Some of the soldier-students agreed that military terrorism was thrilling.
Stopping and killing people at checkpoints in order to maintain a
comfortable lifestyle in the USA was worth the risk of being killed or
maimed. Little did they know that the very education they would kill for
could include a course on social justice in which they would be compelled
to examine their motives, beliefs and actions in an evil, illegal, immoral
and unjust invasion and occupation of a people who never hurt or harmed
them or any of their fellow citizens.

To be fair, in this week's discussion in class there was some mention
that some of the student's intentions had been honorable at the time
that they joined the military. They wanted to "help other people".
A few woman students who want to join the military commented that they
would be working to "free and defend" people here and abroad.
However, for the most part and by their own admission, personal financial
gain was their main focus in signing on. Their bottom line was getting the
money and their thrills by joining and belonging to the biggest terrorist
organization in the world, the USA.

What appears to trouble the soldier-student is that the rhetoric of
fighting for freedom and democracy is a lie that cannot blanket the horror
and guilt of their terrorism. They do not want to hear that participation
in invasion and occupation, murder and pillaging, is logically
inconsistent with any legitimate concept of freedom or liberation. They
know the greed and programmed lust for violence that motivates them. They
expect that if they can make it out alive, they get some money, a
comfortable lifestyle and an education. Their plan is to secure the oil,
the diamonds, the gold, the water, the guns, the drugs, and the bling for
their masters, who they hope will cut them in on the swag. They say that
someone has to be on top and they want to be on the side of the strong,
not the weak. Robbing Hoods, not Robin Hoods.

And now, here they sit in my course on social justice, terrorist war
criminals, wanting high paying "criminal justice" jobs in a university
Justice Studies program. They want approval, appreciation and honors for
terrorism, torture, and murder. They want a university degree so they can
get an even higher salary terrorizing more people around the world with
security companies such as Blackwater or Halliburton. They want that
appropriately named "sheepskin" so they can join the CIA, FBI, and other
police and track down and terrorize US residents here.

These military and mercenary terrorist-students are trained in terrorist
training camps all under the USA, funded by American taxpayers. In fact,
people under the USA are "sacrificing" their health care and their
children's educations while donating their tax dollars to these terrorist
training camps. These terrorist camps train money-hungry working class
stiffs to murder, steal and plunder for the power-hungry US corporate war

There is a saying that "if you do the crime, you do the time". My response
is that "If you do the war crimes, you will do time in hell," whether the
hell of war trauma and shock, of diseases such as those caused by depleted
uranium, the old-fashioned traditional hell, fire and brimstone assigned
to malefactors - or the hell of sitting in a social justice class and
discovering what the hell you are in hell for, or are about to be.

Please visit Dr Terpstras' website

Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 15:59:41 -0600
From: David Thorstad <binesi [at]>
Subject: [Fwd: Tr: America's Iraq Warriors in the Classroom]

It's hard to believe that American youth/aka war criminal wannabes would
actually join the imperialist military "to help people," as some state in
this report. A friend of mine teaches a history course at an Eastern
university whose students are almost all U.S. military war criminals
learning about "terrorism" and how to combat it.  The idea that U.S.
soldiers are part of a "poverty draft," as too many left groups glibly put
it, flies in the face of the many one sees on the evening news, wounded,
missing a limb, who can't wait to go back to Iraq to do more dirty work
for Wall Street.

The slogan "Bring the troops home now!" from the Vietnam War period seems
increasingly irrelevant.  U.S. soldiers are part of a killer war machine
for which they are responsible.  The antiwar movement should support the
Iraqi resistance instead of cozying up to Democrat politicians whose
criminal war policies these soldiers are implementing.  Even most U.S.
left groups these days take what can only be characterized as a
"social-patriotic" approach to imperialist war.  The U.S. should get the
fuck out of Iraq and everywhere else in the world NOW.  The U.S. war
machine is no better than the Nazi war machine. And the American people
are no better than Germans who supported, or acquiesced in, Nazi war
crimes. -- David Thorstad

--------16 of 19--------

Dump the Dollar!
How the World Can Stop Bush

What would be the consequences of a US or Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear
energy sites?

At the 2006 Perdana Global Peace Forum, Australian medical scientist Dr.
Helen Caldicott provided an authoritative analysis of the devastating
impact on human life that would result from the radiation release from
such an attack.

Dr. Caldicott described the catastrophic deaths that would result from a
conventional attack on nuclear facilities and the long-term increase in
cancer deaths from the radiation release.

Should the attack be made with nuclear weapons - as some of Bush's
criminally insane neoconservative advisers advocate - the populations of
many countries would suffer for generations from radioactive particles in
air, water, and food chains. Deaths would number in the many millions.

Such an attack justified in the name of "American security" and "American
hegemony" would constitute the rawest form of evil the world has ever
seen, far surpassing in evil the atrocities of the Nazi and Communist

Dr. Caldicott detailed the horrible long-term consequences for the Iraqi
population from the US military's current use of depleted uranium in
explosive ammunition used in Iraq. Caldicott explained that "depleted"
does not mean depleted of radiation. She explained that each time such
ammunition is used, radioactive particles are released in the air and are
absorbed into people's lungs. We are yet to see the horrific civilian
casualty rate of the American invasion - or the true casualty rate among
US troops.

Dr. Caldicott expressed bewilderment why the rest of the world does not
stand up to the US and force a halt to its crimes against humanity.

One man heard her - Vladimir Putin, President of Russia.

On February 10 at the 43rd Munich Security Conference, President Putin
told the world's assembled political leaders that the US was trying to
establish a "uni-polar world," which he defined as "one single center of
power, one single center of force and one single master."

This goal, Putin said, was a "formula for disaster."

"The United States," Putin said, truthfully, "has overstepped its borders
in all spheres" and "has imposed itself on other states."

The Russian leader declared: "We see no kind of restraint - a
hyper-inflated use of force."

To avoid catastrophe, Putin said a reconsideration of the entire existing
architecture of global security was necessary.

Putin's words of truth fell on many deaf ears. US Senator John McCain,
America's most idiotic and dangerous "leader" after Bush and Cheney,
equated Putin's legitimate criticism of the US with "confrontation."

America's new puppets - the states of central and Eastern Europe and the
secretary general of NATO, no longer a treaty for the defense of Europe
but a military force enlisted in America's quest for empire - lined up
with McCain's argument that Russia was in fundamental conflict "with the
core values of Euro-Atlantic democracies."

Even the BBC's defense and security correspondent, Rob Watson, jumped on
the American propaganda bandwagon, tagging Putin's speech a revival of the
cold war.

No delegate at the security conference stood up to state the obvious fact
that it is not Russia that is invading countries under pretexts as false
as Hitler's and setting up weapons systems on foreign soil in order to
achieve military hegemony.

The reception given to Putin's words made it clear to Russia, China, and
every country not bribed, threatened or purchased into participation in
America's drive for world hegemony that the US has no interest whatsoever
in peace. Intelligent people realize that American claims to be a moral
and democratic force are mere pretense behind which hides a policy of
military aggression.

The US, Putin said, has gone "from one conflict to another without
achieving a fully-fledged solution to any of them."

Putin has repeatedly stressed Russia's peaceful intentions and desire to
focus on its economy and to avoid a new arms race. In his speech on the
60th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, Putin said: "I am
convinced that there is no alternative to our friendship and our
fraternity. With our closest neighbors and all countries of the world,
Russia is prepared to build a kind of relationship which is not only based
on lessons of the past but is also directed into a shared future."

In his 2006 state of the nation speech, Putin noted that America's
military budget is 25 times larger than Russia's. He compared the Bush
Regime to a wolf who eats whom he wants without listening. Putin is being
demonized by US propagandists, because he insists upon Russia being a
politically and economically independent state.

The Bush Regime has taken the US outside the boundaries of international
law and is acting unilaterally, falsely declaring American military
aggression to be "defensive" and in the interests of peace. Much of the
world realizes the hypocrisy and danger in the Bush Regime's justification
of the unbridled use of US military power, but no countries except other
nuclear powers can challenge American aggression, and then only at the
risk of all life on earth.

The solution is nonmilitary challenge.

The Bush Regime's ability to wage war is dependent upon foreign financing.
The Regime's wars are financed with red ink, which means the hundreds of
billions of dollars must be borrowed. As American consumers are spending
more than they earn on consumption, the money cannot be borrowed from

The US is totally dependent upon foreigners to finance its budget and
trade deficits. By financing these deficits, foreign governments are
complicit in the Bush Regime's military aggressions and war crimes. The
Bush Regime's two largest lenders are China and Japan. It is ironic that
Japan, the only nation to experience nuclear attack by the US, is banker
to the Bush Regime as it prepares a possible nuclear attack on Iran.

If the rest of the world would simply stop purchasing US Treasuries, and
instead dump their surplus dollars into the foreign exchange market, the
Bush Regime would be overwhelmed with economic crisis and unable to wage
war. The arrogant hubris associated with the "sole superpower" myth would
burst like the bubble it is.

The collapse of the dollar would also end the US government's ability to
subvert other countries by purchasing their leaders to do America's will.

The demise of the US dollar is only a question of time. It would save the
world from war and devastation if the dollar is brought to its demise
before the Bush Regime launches its planned attack on Iran.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan
administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal
editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor
of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.  He can be reached at:
PaulCraigRoberts [at]

--------17 of 19--------

Confronting the Chief Symbol of Warmaking
Marching on the Pentagon
February 16, 2007

The first time I remember going inside the Pentagon was in 1969 when I was
14. My dad was coming back from Vietnam and his next assignment was
Germany. For some reason we had to go to the Pentagon for something having
to do with our upcoming trip. The thing I remember most was its vastness.
It was the largest building I had ever been in. In fact, it remains the
largest building I have ever been in. A year or two earlier, I was in the
locker room at the junior high I attended in suburban Maryland getting
ready for gym class. A friend of mine was talking about his sister coming
home from college for the weekend. Apparently, his parents were a little
upset because the real reason she was leaving her school in New York was
to attend the October 27, 1967 protest against the war in Vietnam at the
Pentagon. I asked him what he thought and all he said was that he wished
he could go. So did I.

History tells us that that march in 1967 made a bit of a difference, if
not to the warmakers, at least to the war protesters. One could easily
argue that the October 1967 March on the Pentagon was a quantum leap
forward for that movement. The publicity it garnered created a situation
that pushed the numbers and the credibility of the movement into the
mainstream of US society. If one wants to read about that march, they
should read Norman Mailer's Armies of the Night. This book is not only
some of the best reportage of the 1960s, it is some of the best reportage
ever. In my mind, there are three or four journalistic scrolls that
encompass the essence of the 1960s: Mailer's Armies of the Night, Tom
Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and
Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972, and Raymond Mungo's Famous Long Ago.
These books stand out not only because they describe essential events,
personalities and consciousnesses of that period of time, but because they
extract the intrinsic properties of the period's' zeitgeist.

But, let's get back to the Pentagon. For those unfamiliar with the 1967
march, let me provide a few fundamentals. The march was originally called
by the New Mobe (New Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam), a loose
coalition of 150 groups ranging from pacifists to socialists. The March
was sure to become something more when David Dellinger, Mobe co-ordinator
and radical pacifist, asked future Yippie Jerry Rubin to be project
director. From there, it became something more. Rubin, originally a
relatively straight New Leftist influenced by the Berkley-San Francisco
counterculture picked up on an idea being spread by folks like Beat poet
and leader of the iconoclastic New York rock band the Fugs Ed Sanders,
included in the permit request a request to surround the Pentagon. The
reason for this was because, according to various legends of the occult,
the ultimate demon--the demon of war--lived inside a Pentagon and the only
way to exorcise that demon was by completing a circle around the pentagon
the demon was enclosed. Only then would the demon be released and leave
the earth. Whether one believes this or not, it is interesting to note
that the government refused to grant a permit to encircle the Pentagon.

All that being as it is, my intention here is not history, but to
encourage those opposed to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan (and the
looming war in Iran) to attend the March on the Pentagon this March 17,
2007. Sure, there are other protests planned around the country that day,
but this march on the Pentagon is the most important of them all. Without
going into the petty squabbles (and genuine ideological differences)
between the two organizations calling for the March 17th protests (ANSWER
and UFPJ), let it suffice to say that the ultimate symbol of Washington's
warmaking power must be confronted by as many people as possible. After
all, who cares who gets the permits, which is really the primary function
of these topdown coalitions?

The military leadership has been able to avoid its complicity in the mass
murder occurring in Iraq and Afghanistan for too long. Unlike their
troops, the military and civilian leadership that work in the Pentagon are
not just following orders. They are calling the shots. It is their
computer programs that plan wars and send troops off to kill and die. It
is their planning sessions and contingency plans that determine how, where
and when the men and women enlisted in the military for whatever reason
will be deployed to carry out their design for conquest. It is their
callous disregard for the individual humanity of not only their designated
enemies but their own troops that has created the rising death toll in
Iraq and Afghanistan. They are as complicit as the civilians they conspire
with. It is time that they be called to task for their complicity.

Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather
Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs' essay on Big Bill
Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch's collection on music, art and sex,
Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is
forthcoming from Mainstay Press. He can be reached at:
rjacobs3625 [at]

--------18 of 19--------

Mystery: How Wealth Creates Poverty in the World
By Michael Parenti
Published on Friday, February 16, 2007 by

There is a "mystery" we must explain: How is it that as corporate
investments and foreign aid and international loans to poor countries have
increased dramatically throughout the world over the last half century, so
has poverty? The number of people living in poverty is growing at a faster
rate than the world's population. What do we make of this?

Over the last half century, U.S. industries and banks (and other western
corporations) have invested heavily in those poorer regions of Asia,
Africa, and Latin America known as the "Third World". The transnationals
are attracted by the rich natural resources, the high return that comes
from low-paid labor, and the nearly complete absence of taxes,
environmental regulations, worker benefits, and occupational safety costs.

The U.S. government has subsidized this flight of capital by granting
corporations tax concessions on their overseas investments, and even
paying some of their relocation expenses - much to the outrage of labor
unions here at home who see their jobs evaporating.

The transnationals push out local businesses in the Third World and
preempt their markets. American agribusiness cartels, heavily subsidized
by U.S. taxpayers, dump surplus products in other countries at below cost
and undersell local farmers. As Christopher Cook describes it in his Diet
for a Dead Planet, they expropriate the best land in these countries for
cash-crop exports, usually monoculture crops requiring large amounts of
pesticides, leaving less and less acreage for the hundreds of varieties of
organically grown foods that feed the local populations.

By displacing local populations from their lands and robbing them of their
self-sufficiency, corporations create overcrowded labor markets of
desperate people who are forced into shanty towns to toil for poverty
wages (when they can get work), often in violation of the countries' own
minimum wage laws.

In Haiti, for instance, workers are paid 11 cents an hour by corporate
giants such as Disney, Wal-Mart, and J.C. Penny. The United States is one
of the few countries that has refused to sign an international convention
for the abolition of child labor and forced labor. This position stems
from the child labor practices of U.S. corporations throughout the Third
World and within the United States itself, where children as young as 12
suffer high rates of injuries and fatalities, and are often paid less than
the minimum wage.

The savings that big business reaps from cheap labor abroad are not passed
on in lower prices to their customers elsewhere. Corporations do not
outsource to far-off regions so that U.S. consumers can save money. They
outsource in order to increase their margin of profit. In 1990, shoes made
by Indonesian children working twelve-hour days for 13 cents an hour, cost
only $2.60 but still sold for $100 or more in the United States.

U.S. foreign aid usually works hand in hand with transnational investment.
It subsidizes construction of the infrastructure needed by corporations in
the Third World: ports, highways, and refineries.

The aid given to Third World governments comes with strings attached. It
often must be spent on U.S. products, and the recipient nation is required
to give investment preferences to U.S. companies, shifting consumption
away from home produced commodities and foods in favor of imported ones,
creating more dependency, hunger, and debt.

A good chunk of the aid money never sees the light of day, going directly
into the personal coffers of sticky-fingered officials in the recipient

Aid (of a sort) also comes from other sources. In 1944, the United Nations
created the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Voting
power in both organizations is determined by a country's financial
contribution. As the largest "donor," the United States has a dominant
voice, followed by Germany, Japan, France, and Great Britain. The IMF
operates in secrecy with a select group of bankers and finance ministry
staffs drawn mostly from the rich nations.

The World Bank and IMF are supposed to assist nations in their
development. What actually happens is another story. A poor country
borrows from the World Bank to build up some aspect of its economy. Should
it be unable to pay back the heavy interest because of declining export
sales or some other reason, it must borrow again, this time from the IMF.

But the IMF imposes a "structural" adjustment program. (SAP), requiring
debtor countries to grant tax breaks to the transnational corporations,
reduce wages, and make no attempt to protect local enterprises from
foreign imports and foreign takeovers. The debtor nations are pressured to
privatize their economies, selling at scandalously low prices their
state-owned mines, railroads, and utilities to private corporations.

They are forced to open their forests to clear-cutting and their lands to
strip mining, without regard to the ecological damage done. The debtor
nations also must cut back on subsidies for health, education,
transportation and food, spending less on their people in order to have
more money to meet debt payments. Required to grow cash crops for export
earnings, they become even less able to feed their own populations.

So it is that throughout the Third World, real wages have declined, and
national debts have soared to the point where debt payments absorb almost
all of the poorer countries. export earnings - which creates further
impoverishment as it leaves the debtor country even less able to provide
the things its population needs.

Here then we have explained a "mystery". It is, of course, no mystery at
all if you don't adhere to trickle-down mystification. Why has poverty
deepened while foreign aid and loans and investments have grown? Answer:
Loans, investments, and most forms of aid are designed not to fight
poverty but to augment the wealth of transnational investors at the
expense of local populations.

There is no trickle down, only a siphoning up from the toiling many to the
moneyed few.

In their perpetual confusion, some liberal critics conclude that foreign
aid and IMF and World Bank structural adjustments "do not work"; the end
result is less self-sufficiency and more poverty for the recipient
nations, they point out. Why then do the rich member states continue to
fund the IMF and World Bank? Are their leaders just less intelligent than
the critics who keep pointing out to them that their policies are having
the opposite effect?

No, it is the critics who are stupid not the western leaders and investors
who own so much of the world and enjoy such immense wealth and success.
They pursue their aid and foreign loan programs because such programs do
work. The question is, work for whom? Cui bono?

The purpose behind their investments, loans, and aid programs is not to
uplift the masses in other countries. That is certainly not the business
they are in. The purpose is to serve the interests of global capital
accumulation, to take over the lands and local economies of Third World
peoples, monopolize their markets, depress their wages, indenture their
labor with enormous debts, privatize their public service sector, and
prevent these nations from emerging as trade competitors by not allowing
them a normal development.

In these respects, investments, foreign loans, and structural adjustments
work very well indeed.

The real mystery is: why do some people find such an analysis to be so
improbable, a "conspiratorial" imagining? Why are they skeptical that U.S.
rulers knowingly and deliberately pursue such ruthless policies (suppress
wages, rollback environmental protections, eliminate the public sector,
cut human services) in the Third World? These rulers are pursuing much the
same policies right here in our own country!

Isn't it time that liberal critics stop thinking that the people who own
so much of the world - and want to own it all - are "incompetent" or
"misguided" or "failing to see the unintended consequences of their
policies"? You are not being very smart when you think your enemies are
not as smart as you. They know where their interests lie, and so should

Michael Parenti's recent books include The Assassination of Julius Caesar
(New Press), Superpatriotism (City Lights), and The Culture Struggle
(Seven Stories Press). For more information visit:

--------19 of 19--------

Single-Payer, Health Savings Accounts, or Managed Care?
Minnesota Physicians' Perspectives

By Joel M. Albers, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Breanna Peterson Lathrop, Kirk C.
Allison, Ph.D., Charles N. Oberg, M.D., and James F. Hart, M.D.

February 13, 2007, Volume 90, p.36-40
Published monthly by the Minnesota Medical Association


The United States is facing a health care crisis with the number of
uninsured Americans exceeding 46 million and health care premiums and
overall costs increasing at 3 to 4 times the rate of inflation. Proposed
solutions include continuing managed care, moving to a single-payer
financing system with universal coverage, and replacing traditional health
plans with high-deductible policies that allow patients to draw from
health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay out-of-pocket costs. Despite
physicians' vital role in health care, few studies have assessed their
preferences regarding health care financing systems. We surveyed a random
sample of licensed Minnesota physicians to determine their preferences
regarding health care financing systems. Of 390 physicians, 64% favored a
single-payer system, 25% HSAs, and 12% managed care. The majority of
physicians (86%) also agreed that it is the responsibility of society,
through the government, to ensure that everyone has access to good medical
care. Less than half (41%) said that the private insurance industry should
continue to play a major role in financing health care.  The accumulating
knowledge about physicians' preferences for various health care financing
mechanisms merits widespread inclusion in policy debates.

In 2001, the Institute of Medicine reported that the U.S. health care
system is failing both clinicians and patients, that their frustration
levels have never been higher, and that fundamental changes are needed.1
By 2005, more than 46 million Americans, including 400,000 Minnesotans,
were uninsured, and health insurance premiums and overall costs were
rising at a rate 3 to 4 times that of general inflation and wages.2-4
Employers have been forced to eliminate or cut back on health benefits,
often increasing employee out-of-pocket costs beyond many households'
ability to pay. In 2004, the average Minnesota household spent $11,000 on
health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs; that figure is
projected to reach $22,000 by 2010 if current trends continue.4

For those reasons, the consensus among most observers is that urgent
reform is needed. Proposed solutions to the health care financing crisis
include continuing with the current managed care system, moving to a
single-payer system, or moving toward one in which individuals rely on
high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts (HSAs).
Minnesota has one of the most established managed care systems in the
United States, with 4 managed care companies insuring or handling
administrative duties associated with insuring more than 90 percent of
Minnesotans who have health coverage. These organizations often group
physicians into price-tiered, competitive networks. Recent physician
surveys document significant concerns about managed care including concern
about ethical issues, physician satisfaction, effects on the
physician/patient relationship and on the profession itself, quality of
care, and cost-effectiveness.5-10

A Medline search produced 4 randomized studies published between 1993 and
2005 that examined physicians' health care financing preferences. They
indicate growing support for a single-payer model that is publicly
financed and administered by a single, public payer.11-14 Such systems
lower costs through economies and efficiencies of scale and streamlined
administration yet still allow physicians to work in private practices and
preserve quality care. State and national studies comparing financing
models increasingly suggest the potential for a single-payer system to
achieve universal, comprehensive coverage without increasing total health
care spending.15-17

Health savings accounts, enacted by the 2003 Medicare Part D drug law, are
tax-free savings accounts to which individuals and employers contribute.
The money can be drawn out to pay for approved medical expenses.
Individuals and families with high-deductible health insurance plans are
eligible to open HSAs. Proponents of HSAs argue that patients with health
insurance policies that require little or no deductible or co-pay perceive
health care as being "free" and become insensitive to price. The belief
is that these individuals overuse health care and drive up costs. The idea
behind what is being called "consumer-directed health care" is that
having a high-deductible health plan with an HSA forces consumers to spend
their own money, prompting them to cut back on frivolous health care
usage. This type of financing system is also designed to encourage
physicians and hospitals to compete on price, theoretically lowering
costs. Despite health care over-utilization by consumers being greatly
overstated and the lack of evidence that consumer-directed health care
actually lowers costs or improves quality, high-deductible plans with HSAs
have been heavily marketed across the United States and in Minnesota.18,19

To date, no one has compared Minnesota physicians' attitudes toward
single-payer, consumer-directed, and managed care systems. Thus, we
developed and conducted a survey to probe which financing system
physicians believe will provide the best care to the most people for a
given amount of money.


Despite the prevalence of managed care in Minnesota, our study finds only
12% of sampled physicians favor such systems as a way to finance health
care; 25% prefer HSAs, and 64% support a single-payer system.

Eighty-six percent believe it is the responsibility of society through
government to ensure access to good medical care for all. Only 41% say the
private insurance industry should continue to play a major role in the
financing and delivery of medical care, suggesting support for
comprehensive public-sector initiatives rather than private-sector

Our findings are consistent with those of others who have seen a growing
trend toward U.S. physicians saying they favor a single-payer health care
system. In 1993, Millard et al. found only 25% of surveyed North Carolina
physicians supported a single-payer system over managed competition.13 In
1996, Scanlan et al. compared the opinions of U.S. and Canadian physicians
and concluded that U.S. physicians might not easily accept a
Canadian-style system because of reticence toward a central government
role or centralized planning.12 By 1999, a national survey of medical
school residents and faculty by Simon et al. found 56% favored a
single-payer system over managed care.14 A 2004 survey by McCormick et al.
concluded that 64% of surveyed Massachusetts physicians believed
single-payer financing would provide the best care for the most people.11

In our study, we found that physicians' views on health care financing
reflect their experience with Minnesota's concentrated oligopoly of 4
managed care insurers that either enroll or administer benefits for more
than 90% of insured Minnesotans.21 In a 1997 report, Borowsky et al. found
fewer than 20% of physicians in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area rated
3 managed care plans as either excellent or very good on 7 quality-of-care
items.9 Such findings are consistent with less favorable views of managed
care and more favorable views of other systems, including those that
haven't been tried.


Our survey suggests that the majority of Minnesota physicians have grown
weary of the current managed care health system that places a huge
administrative layer between them and their patients.

Because physicians play a central role in health care, their experience
with and views on system financing have the potential to significantly
inform those heading reform initiatives. With more than 46 million
Americans lacking health insurance and premiums and health care costs
rising at 3 to 4 times the rate of inflation, reform is inevitable and
necessary. Our survey shows that nearly two-thirds of Minnesota physicians
favor a single-payer health care financing system. Such a majority view
could be influential in public debate and in the movement of practitioners
and patients toward implementing a universal health care system in
Minnesota and the United States.  MM

Joel Albers is a clinical pharmacist and a health economics researcher
with the Minnesota Universal Health Care Action Network. Breanna Peterson
Lathrop is a graduate student in health care policy at Emory University.
Kirk Allison is director of the program in human rights and health,
Charles Oberg is an associate professor in and chair of Maternal and Child
Health, and James Hart is director of the executive program in public
health practice at the University of Minnesota.

Funding and administrative support for this study was provided by the
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of
Minnesota; Center for Integrative Research, St. Olaf College; and Jan
Pearson, Research Assistant, University of Minnesota.

References available upon request. The full article can be obtained free

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