Progressive Calendar 02.20.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 02:37:23 -0800 (PST)
              P R 0 G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     02.20.07

1. Health care salon 2.20 6:30pm

2. Produce/peace     2.21 8am
3. Women/color/media 2.21 8:30am
4. Darfur/women      2.21 12noon StCloud MN
5. Thirst/film       2.21 7pm

6. CCHT housing      2.22 7:30am
7. Foreign Policy    2.22 12noon
8. USSR/US/Latvia    2.22 12noon
9. Eagan peace vigil 2.22 4:30pm
10. Northtown vigil  2.22 5pm
11. Birch/WAMM       2.22 5pm
12. Iraq for Sale/f  2.22 7pm
13. Maxed$ out/film  2.22 7pm
14. War tapes/film   2.22 7pm
15. Black pioneers/t 2.22 8pm

16. Karen Kwiatkowski - Can a US war with Iran be prevented?
17. Robert Jansen     - The problem of bi-partisan empire-building
18. Mickey Z          - Top 10 ways Democrats differ from Republicans

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

From: patty <pattypax [at] EARTHLINK.NET>
Subject: Health care salon2.20 6:30pm

Tuesday, Feb. 20, the salon guest will be John Schwarz to give us a brief
overview of the major issues of health care and explain and compare major
proposals and issues.  Universal coverage will be explained as will single
payer and consumer driven health care.  John is a long time advocate for
single payer and other progressive health reforms and is the director of
United Health Systems.  There will be much time for discussion and

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.

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

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Produce/peace 2.21 8am

"Produce for Peace" North Country Co-op donates 5% to WAMM

Wednesday February 21 and Wednesday, February 28, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
North Country Co-op, Riverside and 20th Avenue on the West Bank in
Minneapolis. Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) will be the beneficiary
of North Country Co-op's "Produce for Peace" campaign.

In recognition of the importance of the coming months for our country's
involvement in the Iraq War, North Country Co-op is donating 5% of all
produce sales to a group working for peace. North Country Marketing &
Membership Manager Erik Esse."More than ever, we need WAMM's energy to
bring some sense back to our national priorities." North Country, the Twin
Cities' oldest food co-op, has a tradition of supporting the peace
movement from its inception in 1971 to today. More information:

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

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Women/color/media 2.21 8:30am

The Women's Foundation of Minnesota's UpStart Lecture Series
by Simon Anderson

The Women's Foundation of Minnesota's UpStart Lecture Series continues
on Wednesday morning February 21. The event features KFAI Radio's
executive director, Janis Lane-Ewart, speaking on the topic "Increasing
the Number of Women of Color in Public Broadcasting." UpStart, brings
together diverse women leaders from across the state and around the
globe to talk about the issues that matter most to women and their

The lecture takes place from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Midtown YWCA in
Minneapolis, located at 2121 E. Lake Street.

To RSVP call 612-236-1858 or email heidi [at] For more information

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

From: erin [at]
Subject: Darfur/women 2.21 12noon StCloud MN

Wednesday, February 21: St. Cloud State University Women's Center Women on
Wednesday "Dafur Crisis: The Unbearable Burden Women Carry." Noon-1PM at
Atwood Theatre. Free and open to the public. More info: or 320/308-4958.

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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Thirst/film 2.21 7pm

Wednesday, 2/21, 7 pm, free film "Thirst" examining whether safe drinking
water should be a common right or a private commodity, Lakes & Plains
Regional Council of Carpenters, 700 Olive St, St Paul.

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

From: Philip Schaffner <PSchaffner [at]>
Subject: CCHT housing 2.22 7:30am

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

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

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

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

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

From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at]>
Subject: Foreign Policy 2.22 12noon

The Foreign Policy Disconnect: Multilateral Public, Unilateral Officials

Benjamin Page, Gordon S. Fulcher Professor of Decision Making,
Northwestern University

Thursday, February 22, 2007
Noon - 1:00pm
Room 215, Humphrey Center
301 19th Ave S., Minneapolis
Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance,
University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

Foreign policy has often been designed to serve the nation's interests
even if it runs counter to what majorities of Americans prefer. The result
is that decades of American foreign policy have been at odds with strong
and sustained public opinion. Although some discrepancies may be
unavoidable, large and consistent gaps endanger the sustainability and
democratic underpinnings of American foreign policy.

Ben Page, Gordon S. Fulcher Professor of Decision Making at Northwestern
University, will discuss the growing gap between the American public and
policymakers on the issue of foreign policy. His talk is based on the book
he recently co-wrote with Marshall M. Bouton, /The Foreign Policy
Disconnect: What Americans Want from Our Leaders but Don't Get/. Professor
Page's research interests include public opinion and policy making, the
mass media, empirical democratic theory, political economy, policy
formation, the presidency, and American foreign policy. Professor Page
received a PhD from Stanford University and a JD from Harvard Law School.

The Center for the Study of Politics and Governance works to develop
practical solutions to pressing political and policy challenges. CSPG
provides non-partisan research and forums to foster more effective and
efficient governance, increase the transparency of government processes,
and rebuild public trust in order to counteract negative influences that
threaten our democracy.

RSVPs requested to cpsg [at] <mailto:cpsg [at]> or 612-625-2530.

To request disability accommodations, please call 612-625-2530 or email
cpsg [at] <mailto:cpsg [at]>

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

From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at]>
Subject: USSR/US/Latvia 2.22 12noon

Feb. 22 - Ieva Zake, Rowan University, "The Dark Side of the USSR-US
Cultural Contacts during the Cold War--the Perspective of Latvian
Immigrants", 12-1 pm, 308 Andersen Library

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

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 2.22 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.

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

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 2.22 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

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

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Birch/WAMM 2.22 5pm

Birch Clothing (Fair Made, Fair Trade) Donates 15% to WAMM

Thursday, February 22, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. 2309 West 50th Street (at Penn
Avenue), Minneapolis. Fair-made, fair-trade clothing. Birch Clothing is
donating 15% of sales to WAMM. Birch Clothing sells apparel and
accessories made from sustainable fabrics and recycled materials that are
constructed under fair labor conditions. The clothing Birch carries is
made from natural fibers and sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton
and linen, hemp, silk, bamboo, wool, tencel and soy. Located in
Minneapolis, Birch is a boutique for consumers seeking to shop their
values. Classic and contemporary styles made from high-quality fabrics.
FFI: Call Birch Clothing, 612-436-0776.

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

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: Iraq for Sale/film 2.22 7pm

The film, "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers" will be shown, free of
charge, at the Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn
Center on Thursday February 22nd, 7 PM sharp.

This film addresses two vital questions: Who's getting killed? Who's
making a killing? Sponsored by NW Neighbors for Peace; all are welcome.
For more information, please contact Art Bjorngjeld at bjorngjeld [at]
or at 763-566-8255.

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

From: Jordan Ash <financialjustice [at]>
Subject: Maxed$ out/film 2.22 7pm

On Thursday, February 22, there will be a free premiere of the acclaimed
film Maxed Out which shows how the modern financial industry really works.
Maxed Out, which presents a compelling, eye-opening examination of debt in
America and the lending industry that profits, opens in select cities
nationwide on March 9.

Filmmaker James Scurlock will be on hand for a question and answer

Maxed Out veers from comic absudity to tragedy as it shows how current
lending practices are wreaking havoc upon the lives of ordinary Americans.

After the film, members of Minnesota ACORN will discuss how they fought
back and won against predatory mortgage lenders, unscrupulous real estate
agents, and ruthless scam artists, and will talk about their current
efforts to pass a state bill against predatory lending.

The film will be at 7 p.m. at the Lagoon Theater, 1320 Lagoon Avenue in

Seating is limited, please RSVP to (651) 644-5061 or
financialjustice1 [at]
For more information about the film, visit

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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: War tapes/film 2.22 7pm

Thursday, 2/22, 7 pm, free documentary "The War Tapes" made by Iraq
soldiers, County Library, 123 Main St, Hopkins.

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

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: MN black pioneers/TV 2.22 8pm

North Star: Minnesota's Black Pioneers
tpt17 Thursday, Feb. 22 at 8PM

This tpt -produced documentary traces the history of African Americans
in Minnesota through 12 individual stories that take us from George
Bonga, a voyageur and trader, to Frederick McGhee, the state's first
black attorney and one of the founders of the NAACP, to the 1963 March
on Washington. First broadcast in September 2004, this program has
already become a tpt classic.

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

Can a US War With Iran Be Prevented?
LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D.

< [at]>*

Even after a long winter of orchestrated chanting and battlegroup
repositioning springtime American attacks on Iranian territory are not
written in stone. Such a war is not predetermined, except in the minds of
neoconservatives in this country and some politicos in Tel Aviv

We should remember that these people do not run the country, ostensibly
still a Republic. True, this mindset of war-economics and benign
super-dominance of the world is appealing to many in Congress. Those with
the ability to deliver votes, and take them away, seem to want this next
iteration of creative destruction. More dangerously, this mindset grips
the military-industrial complex and even many diplomats for reasons of
self-actualization. War makes them relevant, prosperous, significant.

If we were a kingdom, George W. Bush would be our King. If George W.
Bush were our King, a war with Iran would indeed be inevitable. To stop
that war, we would need to stop the king himself - and stopping a king
is often something that requires bold action on the part of those with
access to him.

If we were a kingdom trying to stop a troublesome king, we might look to
the person closest to him. For us, this would be the vice president, Dick
Cheney. However, if we were a kingdom today, we would be witness to a
power behind the throne in the form of a well-placed civilian with a
mystical reputation for force of personality, and a posse of loyal samurai
willing to kill and die for him. Other empires have had their Grigori
Rasputins, their Agrippinas, their de Richelieus. If we were a kingdom, we
would have Dick Cheney.

If we were a kingdom, a key source of power with excellent access to a
wayward or delusional king would be the head of the king's army. Marine
General Peter Pace has recently stated that he "believes" Iran is involved
in Iraq against our troops, but he sees no need for "kinetic action
against Iran." Well, I suppose that's comforting. In a kingdom, the top
military officer would be exceptionally loyal to his king. In a republic,
he would be loyal to the Constitution, or perhaps, the "people." The jury
is out on Perfect Peter, but somehow I think he will be of little
assistance this time.

If we were a kingdom, we might seek the help of trusted advisors to the
king, and call on their persuasive skills to realign the kingdom towards
fiscal sanity, peace, and civility. The modern American serfs might set
their hopes on the lovely Condi Rice, ostensibly holding an important
position and personally close to the president. However, her latest
obfuscations to the Congress should leave the serfs less than inspired.

If we were a kingdom, those who speak for the serfs might truly be our
salvation. In a republic, a congress may represent the people, and in
ours, holds the sole charter to declare wars and to impeach incompetent
and corrupt officials. If we were a kingdom, we would have something
similar, perhaps a parliament that exists to advise the king, but rarely
if ever overrule him. It might be called a parliament of whores to borrow
a moniker popularized by P.J. O'Rourke. Not much help, if we were a

If we were a kingdom, we would be in dire straits. We would be saddled
with a crazed and warlike fantasist as king, a powerful warlike
fantasist as his right hand man, a perfect peter as top military man, an
/über/-loyal diplomatic advisor, and a parliament of whores standing
alert and ready like trained dogs.

Are we not a republic? A republic would, in response to the desires of a
supermajority, turn back our carrier battle groups, and bring our troops
home from Iraq and elsewhere in the world where they occupy unwanted
garrisons. A republic would seek constitutional inspiration and hard
truth in order to make foreign policy. A republic would take action to
impeach corrupt officials, and remove from power those who have proven
to be both criminal and grossly incompetent in their public duties.

If we were still a republic, reversing the stupidity and hubris of this
administration and bringing troops home, much less avoiding this so-called
inevitable attack on Iran, would be achievable, and even normal.

If we are still a republic, I am not justified in advocating harsher and
more radical action.

But if we are no longer a republic, then more radical action by
individuals and groups is surely appropriate. Today, those who wish for
good government and a wise foreign policy charitably march on Washington
during the weekend, disrupting no traffic, and seeing few lawmakers. If we
are not a republic, it is legitimate to act in a less charitable manner,
perhaps by shutting down traffic around the White House Monday through
Friday, and disrupting the everyday activities of our monarchy and their
lackeys in other creative ways.

If we are not a republic, we have already lost a great deal of that for
which we fight as a nation - and thus we ought to feel no obligation to
fight solely for an unpopular king. If we are no longer a republic, we
should be supporting the troops not by sending sunscreen and love
letters but by encouraging desertion, insubordination, and rebellion at
every turn.

If we are a kingdom, or an empire ruled by our own special Nero, then we
have nothing to gain by following the rules of republican citizenship,
and everything to gain by ignoring them.

I don't know if we will attack Iran or other countries from the sea, the
air, and our lily-pads in puppetized post-Saddam Iraq and post-Taliban
Afghanistan. I don't believe it is inevitable, exactly. If we were a
republic, we would not do it.

Sadly, habit and evidence both point in a different direction, one of more
murder, more death, more destruction - and it demands that each of us
begin to learn and practice new and more frightening ways to be patriots
and republicans.

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

The Problem of Bi-Partisan Empire-Building
Liberal Icons and War
February 19, 2007

In a political culture defined by a centrist-to-reactionary political
spectrum, Paul Wellstone was a breath of fresh air when he brought his
progressive politics to the U.S. Senate in 1991. His death in 2002 robbed
the country of a humane voice on the national political stage.

I lived for a time in Minnesota and followed Wellstone's career closely.
The last time I saw him speak was December 1998 when I was part of a peace
group that conducted a sit-in at his office to protest his support for a
U.S. attack on Iraq and force a meeting to challenge the former anti-war
activist's hawkish turn. Yes, that's right - a group sat in at
Wellstone's St. Paul office when he supported Bill Clinton's illegal 1998
cruise missile attack on Iraq, which was the culmination of a brutal and
belligerent U.S. policy during that Democratic administration.

It might seem odd to recall such a small part of contemporary history when
the United States is mired in a full-scale occupation of Iraq, but there's
an important lesson in this little bit of history - one that's is often
difficult for many liberals and Democrats to face:

Illegal and immoral U.S. aggression is, and always has been, a bipartisan
affair. Democrats and liberals are responsible for their share of the
death, destruction, and misery caused by U.S. empire-building along with
Republicans and conservatives. I mention the Wellstone incident not to
suggest he and George W. Bush are equally culpable, but to make the point
that even politicians with Wellstone's progressive politics can be twisted
by the pathology of power and privilege.

Precisely because we face such crucial policy choices in Iraq, the Middle
East, and the world, we must remember that while W. and the neocons are a
problem, they are not the problem. Sweep this particular gang of thugs and
thieves out of office, and what? A kindler-and-gentler imperial policy
designed by Democrats is still an imperial policy, and imperial policies
always have the same result: The suffering of millions - others that are
too often invisible to us - in support of policies that protect the
affluence of us.

Name a politician at the national level today who has even come close to
acknowledging that painful reality. Go ahead, think about it for a minute
- I can wait.

I'm reminded of a meeting that a group of Austin activists had with our
congressman, liberal Democrat Lloyd Doggett, as part of a national
grassroots organizing effort in the late 1990s to end the punishing
embargo on Iraq that the Clinton administration imposed for eight long
years. Those economic sanctions were killing an estimated 5,000 Iraqi
children a month, and it's likely that as many as a million people died
during the Clinton years as a result of this aspect of the U.S. policy of
dominating the politics of the region. We asked Doggett - who had
courageously spoken out against U.S. aggression in the past - to
challenge this policy of his Democratic leadership, which he declined to
do. One of us mentioned our opposition to this in the context of a larger
critique of U.S. empire. Doggett's response: "That was never my analysis."

In other words, even though the United States has been pursuing imperial
policies since it was founded - first on the continent it eventually
conquered and later around the world - that wasn't his analysis. In other
words, his analysis was apparently to deny the reality of how the United
States became the most powerful nation-state in the history of the world.
In other words, his analysis required obscuring difficult truths, which
might be called a I'll leave that sentence for you to complete.

Again, my purpose in pointing this out is not to suggest that there is no
difference in the policies of Doggett and Bush, but rather to point out
the disease at the heart of conventional politics in the United States:
The willingness to lie about the history and contemporary policies that
have made us the most affluent society in the history of the world.

The political elites of the United States of America are united in their
acceptance of these historical fabrications and contemporary obfuscations.
Whatever their particular policy proposals, they all lie about the nature
of the system that has produced U.S. power and affluence. They all invoke
mythical notions of the fundamental decency of the United States. And
because of that, they all are part of the problem.

Here's a gentle corrective: People can be decent, and many in the United
States - just as everywhere in the world - are incredibly decent, but no
imperial nation-state has ever had any fundamental decency. The rich First
World nations of this world got rich through violence and theft. That
doesn't mean there's nothing positive about the U.S. system, but is simply
a reminder that if we start with a lie, we end up telling lots of lies and
doing lots of damage.

So, let's tell the truth, not only about our political opponents but about
our alleged allies. Let's tell the truth about the so-called "human
rights" president, Jimmy Carter, a man who has accomplished some good
things since leaving office and lately has been brave in standing up to
critics who denounce him for telling part of the truth about the
Israel/Palestine conflict (the part that ignores his own contributions
while in office to the entrenchment of Israeli power and control, and
hence to contemporary policy failures).

But Jimmy Carter as president - the person he was when he held power -
was a person who backed the brutal rule of the Shah of Iran and, after the
Iranian people has overthrown that dictatorship, allowed the shah to come
to the United States. Carter continued to support and arm the military
dictatorship of Indonesia through the worst of the genocidal atrocities in
its illegal occupation of East Timor. Not exactly human-rights kinds of

Nor was a concern for human rights in evidence in Carter's policy toward
El Salvador. By coincidence, yesterday (February 17) was the 27th
anniversary of a letter that Archbishop Oscar Romero wrote to Carter,
pleading with him to support human rights by ending U.S. funding and arms
transfers to the authoritarian government of El Salvador. Romero wrote to
Carter that "instead of favoring greater justice and peace in El Salvador,
your government's contribution will undoubtedly sharpen the injustice and
the repression inflicted on the organized people, whose struggle has often
been for respect for their most basic human rights." Carter's response was
to continue support for the brutal military dictatorship that put guns in
the hands of death squads, including one that would assassinate Romero a
month later.

And then there is the famous "Carter Doctrine" proclaimed in his 1980
State of the Union address, in which he made "absolutely clear" his
position on the oil-rich region: "An attempt by any outside force to gain
control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the
vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will
be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."

In other words: Control over the flow of Middle East oil must remain in
U.S. hands. Hmm, does that seem familiar? There was, of course, no outside
force attempting to gain control of the region. But plenty of forces
within the region - then and now - have wanted to break decades of U.S.
domination, and those forces have been the real targets of the doctrine of
Carter, and every other post-WWII president before and since. While the
primary responsibility for the mess we have created in Iraq should be laid
on the doorstep of Bush and the neocons, there's a lot of responsibility
left to go around.

Let me be clear one more time: I am not saying that there is no difference
between Paul Wellstone, Lloyd Doggett, Jimmy Carter on one hand, and
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell on the other. There is, and
sometimes those differences make a difference.

But ask yourself: Are the victims of these bipartisan policies around the
world likely to be so concerned about the differences? When Lloyd Doggett
and many other Democrats in Congress were supporting Clinton's sanctions
policy - fully aware that children in Iraq were dying by the thousands
due to a lack of clean water, medical supplies, and adequate nutrition -
should we have expected those children to be grateful that the Democrats
had a better record on the minimum wage? When Jimmy Carter shipped weapons
for death squads in El Salvador, should the campesinos murdered with those
weapons have been grateful that Carter wasn't as reactionary as the Reagan
gang that would come next?

Yes, Paul Wellstone was in many ways an inspirational progressive figure
at a time of right-wing backlash, and he often was politically courageous.
But if we ignore the ways that politicians - even the best of them - can
come to accept the illusions of the powerful that so often lead to
pathological delusions and disastrous policies, how can a
peace-and-justice movement hope to hold power accountable?

I'm not arguing for a holier-than-thou purism on all doctrine at all
times; we have to be strategic in offering support to politicians with
whom we inevitably will have some disagreements. Instead, I'm arguing for
an honest assessment of politicians, and of ourselves. If we are willing
to excuse so quickly the pro-imperial policies of our so-called
progressive leaders, might that be in part because we haven't broken with
the imperial mindset ourselves?

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan crumble under the weight of this
imperial madness, we owe it to the people there not only to critique the
policies of the psychotically self-righteous madmen of the Bush
administration, and not only to point out that the current Democratic
leadership is too timid in its opposition to these wars. We owe it to
Iraqis and Afghans - and to all the people living in places that our
empire targets - to critique the allegedly more humane and liberal face
of empire.

If we look in the mirror, whose face is that?

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at
Austin and a member of the board of the Third Coast Activist Resource
Center. He is the author of The Heart of Whiteness: Race, Racism, and
White Privilege and Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our
Humanity. He can be reached at rjensen [at]

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

Top Ten Ways Democrats Differ from Republicans
by Mickey Z

1. They tell different lies to get elected
3. They tell different lies to get elected
5. They tell different lies to get elected
7. They tell different lies to get elected
9. They tell different lies to get elected


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
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