|Progressive Calendar 02.28.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 23:36:08 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 02.28.07 1. N Giovanni 2.28 SOLD OUT 2. Iran/US 3.01 12noon 3. Rally v WalMart 3.01 3pm 4. Eagan peace vigil 3.01 4:30pm 5. Northtown vigil 3.01 5pm 6. Food forum 3.01 6:30pm 7. Rights/diversity 3.01 7pm 8. Ecology/films 3.01 7pm 9. Peace candidates 3.01 7pm 10. TortureMedEthics 3.01 7pm 11. ChanteWolf/photo 3.01 12. Ffunch 3.02 11:30am 13. Palestine vigil 3.02 4:30pm 14. Women/rights 3.02 5:30pm 15. WaterDay/HOBT 3.02 7:30pm 16. Death row/play 3.02 8pm 17. Chris Hedges - Nader: pariah or prophet? 18. Jeff Leys - How Democrats are buying the Iraq war 19. Charles Sullivan - American plutocracy and the war on workers 20. Ed Garvey - Hillary coronation wanted by 'the Bigs' 21. ed - Butts of gold (poem) --------1 of 21-------- From: hold0115 [at] umn.edu Subject: N Giovanni 2.28 SOLD OUT fyi this event has been sold out for weeks From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Nikki Giovanni 2.28 7:30pm At Institute for Advanced Study: Subject: Poet, Activist, Nikki Giovanni at Ted Mann Feb 28!! --------2 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Iran/US 3.01 12noon Thursday, 3/1, noon, NPR producer Davar Ardalan presents "Beloved Homelands: Iran and America" at Westminster Town Hall, Westminster Presbyterian, 1200 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. www.ewestminster.org --------3 of 21-------- From: stpaulunions.org <llwright [at] stpaulunions.org> Subject: Rally v WalMart 3.01 3pm NO PAID SICK DAYS AND A HEALTH CARE CRISIS Rally at the Midway Wal-Mart in St Paul March 1 at 3:00 pm No Paid Sick Days? *41% or 1,082,909 workers, of Minnesota workers are not allowed to stay home with pay when they're sick *Hourly workers at Wal-Mart do not have any paid sick days *No one wants to be served by someone with the flu regardless of whether or not they are hourly or salaried employees *Wal-Mart workers are penalized if they are absent to take care of a sick child or relative *Every worker should have the right to care for a sick family member without fear of penalty from their employer Health Care Crisis? *By not giving many employees paid sick days, Wal-Mart prevents people from obtaining preventive care and from catching serious illness early, which leads to higher health care costs (which Wal-Mart often passes on to the government) *Over $30 million spent paying for Wal-Mart employees' (and dependents') health care ($16 million from federal taxpayers and 14 million from state taxpayers) *People should disclose who their employer is when receiving public health care so that the public can see how much they are spending to pay for corporate welfare (support HF525 and SF439) Minnesota ACORN and UFCW Local 789 have teamed up address health issues in Minnesota. Both groups call on state legislators to support legislation requiring that companies give employees at least 7 paid sick days a year, and to support legislation requiring disclosure of an individual's employer when receiving public health care. MN ACORN - 757 Raymond Avenue Suite #200 - St Paul, Minnesota 55114 Phone: 651-642-9639 United Food and Commercial Workers Local 789 - 266 Hardman Avenue, South St Paul, Minnesota 55075 Phone: 651-451-6240 --------4 of 21-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 3.01 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. --------5 of 21-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 3.01 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] aol.com. --------6 of 21-------- From: snyde043 <snyde043 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: Food forum 3.01 6:30pm Eastside Food Co-op's Food Forum Series Bobby King from the Land Stewardship Project Northeast Library, 2200 Central Ave NE MPLS March 1st, 6:30 to 8:00 PM WHY: We all eat, no? The Eastside Food Co-op will be holding a series of educational evenings that will be exploring our food systems, how they are shaped and influenced and our places in them. The first presentation in this series will be by the Land Stewardship Project on March 1st. Ever wonder why some of Minnesota's family farms and small towns are having such a hard time of it? Aren't family farms just inefficient attempts at antiquated lifestyles anyway? Why is it so important to purchase locally produced peas, pork chops and potatoes instead of the ones that are a fraction of the cost and from who knows what or where? What the heck is "Local Control" and why should I care? Well then you should come hear the Land Stewardship Project¹s Bobby King at the Eastside Food Co-op's Food Forum. Bobby will let us know what is happening in Minnesota¹s family farm landscape, at our State Capitol, shed a little light on the 2007 Federal Farm Bill and answer questions. This first Food Forum will take place at the Northeast Library, located at 2200 Central AVE NE MPLS on Thursday, March 1st from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. The Library is located on the number 10 bus line. We will have light refreshments, stimulating information and a future of good local food to help sustain and enjoy. Come with questions (there are no stupid ones), an open, inquisitive mind and bring a friend. We hope you can make it and please spread the word by forwarding this on to anyone that may be interested, wants to learn about local food from sustainable family farms and the challenges involved and anybody that eats. The Land Stewardship Project is a statewide family farm advocacy organization that thinks we should stop treating our soil like dirt. http://www.landstewardshipproject.org/ Questions? Call the East Side Food Co-op - 612-788-0950. http://www.eastsidefood.coop/ --------7 of 21-------- From: Golden Valley Human Rights Commission <HumanRightsFSD [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Rights/diversity 3.01 7pm Golden Valley encourages youth, community to "share the dream" Commission to celebrate voices of yesterday, today and tomorrow GOLDEN VALLEY -- The Golden Valley Human Rights Commission (HRC) invites the community to its annual Families Sharing the Dream celebration, Thursday and Friday, March 1 and 2 at Golden Valley City Hall. This year's theme, Voices of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, will celebrate the important contributions made by individuals to better their communities and show. The two-day event will feature performances and showcase art presentations by area middle and high school students and recognize them for their time and talent. Voices of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow will also feature a guest appearance by Miss Shannan of B96 and performances by local artists, including storyteller Beverly Cottman, vocalist Jamela Pettiford and spoken word performers Toki Wright, Jain Doe and Ashawnti. "This is a great opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the Golden Valley community and highlight the historical contributions made by people of color," said Golden Valley HRC chair, Ronald Brandon, II. Families Sharing the Dream brings people of varying cultural and ethnic backgrounds together to share, preserve, and celebrate their uniqueness. "As part of the Human Rights Commission, we develop and sponsor activities that promote racial and social understanding and raise cultural awareness," said Brandon. The Golden Valley HRC is charged with advising, recommending and assisting the City Council "in matters of equal opportunity and elimination of unfair discriminatory practices." Voices of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow takes place March 1 and 2, 7-9 p.m. at Golden Valley City Hall, located at 7800 Golden Valley Road. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments provided. For more information, call 763.593.3989 or visit www.myspace.com/ FamiliesSharingTheDream ï¿¼ --------8 of 21-------- From: Curt McNamara <mcnam025 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Ecology/films 3.01 7pm Minneapolis College of Art and Design 2501 Stevens Ave. S. Thursday, March 1 7 p.m. Free! http://www.mcad.edu/showPage.php?pageID=1119&eventID=172 The Ecological Footprint: Accounting for a Small Planet Dr. Mathis Wackernagel introduces the Ecological Footprint, a resource accounting tool that measures human demand on the earth. (2005, 30 min.) What Life Knows: New Ideas from Biology That Could Change the World. Janine Benyus shows how biology is informing design, and easing our impact on the planet. (2005, 33 min.) --------9 of 21-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Peace candidates 3.01 7pm Been looking for a meaningful way to promote peace? Learn about two wonderful opportunities by coming to the Peacemakers meeting on Thursday March 1st at 7:00 PM at Ascension Episcopal Church at 214 N 3rd St. Stillwater. [ next to Stillwater Library ] Sharon Sudman of Peace in the Precinct will present the Peace Roots Project which is an exciting grassroots effort to ensure a Minnesota peace candidate in the 08 U.S. Senatorial race. Also, Marie Braun will speak on Minnesota's participation in the Occupation Project which is an on-going national effort to have a peace presence at the offices of all our federal House and Senate representatives asking for an end to funding for the Iraq occupation. 15-20 hardy peacemakers were at the Stillwater bridge for a vigil last Sunday afternoon from 1-2. We plan to meet there each Sunday so please join us whenever you can. Mary and Wayne --------10 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Torture/MedEthics 3.01 7pm Thursday, 3/1, 7 pm, bioethicist and U of M Med School prof Steven Miles and Law School prof Oren Gross speak on "Torture, War and Medical Ethics," Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Institute, 301 - 19th Ave S, Mpls. --------11 of 21-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Chante Wolf/photo 3.01 Chronicles of Our American Conscience "Faces of Commitment" Chante Wolf, photographer, veteran of the 1991 Gulf War and member TC chapter of Veterans for Peace. Her photographs, in black and white and color, are portraits of peacemaking: at the annual protest to close the torutre training Ft. Benning,Ga. School of the Americas and local vigils and protests. Exhibit is all of March 2007.Free.Coffee News Café 1662 Grand Ave St Paul 651.698.3324 --------12 of 21-------- From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: Ffunch 3.02 11:30am Meet the FFUNCH BUNCH! 11:30am-1pm First Friday Lunch (FFUNCH) for Greens/progressives. Informal political talk and hanging out. Day By Day Cafe 477 W 7th Av St Paul. Meet in the private room (holds 12+). Day By Day has soups, salads, sandwiches, and dangerous apple pie; is close to downtown St Paul & on major bus lines --------13 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Palestine vigil 3.02 4:30pm Friday, 3/2, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end the occupation of Palestine, Snelling & Summit Aves, St Paul. Karen, 651-283-3495. --------14 of 21-------- From: erin [at] mnwomen.org Subject: Women/rights 3.02 5:30pm Friday, March 2: Women's Programs, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. House Party/Fundraiser with special guest: Maria Jose Alcala, UNFPA from 5:30-7:30 PM. Details coming soon or check out www.mnadvocates.org --------15 of 21-------- From: David Strand <mncivil [at] yahoo.com> Subject: WaterDay/HOBT 3.02 7:30pm Thanks for all you do to protect, restore and sustain our community's resources! In anticipation of World Water Day (Mar 22nd), In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre cordially invites you to attend the world premiere of INVIGORATE THE COMMON WELL, March 2 - 25, 2007. This participatory and inventive show combines science, civics and puppet theatre to explore issues of water quality, quantity, and ownership. Is water a privilege, or a right? Who owns our water? Featuring performance installations, video, and a quirky practical "lab", it's sure to engage and inspire curious citizens, student groups and families. For ages 6 yrs and up. "Invigorate" is created in partnership with the Tomales Bay Institute and other community organizations. For more info, visit www.hobt.org. Please join Mpls Mayor Rybak and City Councilmembers on Opening Night, Friday, March 2nd. March 2 - 25, 2007 Thursdays @ 7.30pm (pay-as-able) Fridays @7:30pm Saturdays @ 2.30pm and 7.30pm Sundays @2:30pm Tickets : Adults $20 ; students, seniors and groups of 10+ are $15 per person. To book : contact HOBT at 612 721 2535/ info [at] hobt.org, or try our NEW online ticketing at www.hobt.org. Tracy KS Yue Marketing Director In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre 1500 East Lake St, Mpls MN 55407 Office 612 721 2535 (voicemail box 26) Cell 612 770 4488 Www.hobt.org --------16 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Death row/play 3.02 8pm 3/2 to 3/18, Thur-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm, Frank Theater presents "The Exonerated," the true story of 6 people who spent 2 to 22 years on death row before being proven innocent, $19-21, Mixed Blood Theater, 1501 S 4th St, Mpls. 612-338-6131. --------17 of 21-------- Pariah or Prophet? by Chris Hedges Published on Monday, February 26, 2007 by truthdig I can't imagine why Ralph Nader would run again. He has been branded as an egomaniac, blacklisted by the media, plunged into debt by a Democratic Party machine that challenged his ballot access petitions and locked him out of the presidential debates. Most of his friends and supporters have abandoned him, and he is almost universally reviled for throwing the 2000 election to George W. Bush. I can't imagine why he would want to go through this one more time. But when Nader hinted in San Francisco that he might run if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton became the Democratic Party nominee, I knew I would be working for his campaign if he indeed entered the race. He understands that American democracy has become a consumer fraud and that if we do not do battle with the corporations that, in the name of globalization, are cannibalizing the country for profit, our democratic state is doomed. I spent the last two years reporting and writing "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America." The rise of the Christian right - the most dangerous mass movement in American history - can be traced directly to the corporate rape of America. This movement, which calls for the eradication of real and imagined enemies, all branded as "satanic," at home and abroad, is an expression of rage. This rage rises out of the deep distortions and dislocations that have beset tens of millions of Americans shunted aside in the new global marketplace. The massive flight of manufacturing and professional jobs overseas, the ruthless slashing of state and federal assistance and the rise of an unchecked American oligarchy have plunged many Americans into deep economic and personal despair. They have turned, because of this despair, to "Christian" demagogues who promise magic, miracles, angels, the gospel of prosperity and a fantastic Christian utopia. And the Republicans and the Democrats are equally culpable for this assault. There are only two solutions left. We must organize to fight the corporate state, to redirect our national wealth and resources to fund a massive antipoverty campaign and curb the cycle of perpetual war that enriches the military-industrial complex and by extension the two political parties that dominate Washington, or we must accept an inevitable Christo-fascism backed by these corporations. Don't expect glib Democratic politicians such as John Edwards, Sen. Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama to address these issues. They are, as Nader understands, hostage to corporate money. Nader, perhaps better than anyone else, has grasped the long, disastrous rise of the corporate state. He and his small army of activists helped write citizen legislation in the 1960s and 1970s that gave us, among many bills, the Clean Air Act, the Mine and Health Safety Act and the Freedom of Information Act. He worked with and was courted by sympathetic Democrats. Presidential candidate George McGovern saw him as a potential running mate, but Nader refused to be enticed directly into the political arena. He was a skilled Washington insider, one of the greatest idealists within the democratic system. But the corporations grew tired of Nader's activism. They mounted a well-oiled campaign to destroy him. These early attempts were clumsy and amateurish, such as General Motor's use of private detectives to try to dig up dirt on his private life; they found none. The campaign was exposed and led to a public apology by GM. Nader was awarded $425,000 in damages, which he used to fund citizen action groups. Lewis Powell, who was the general counsel to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and would later be appointed to the Supreme Court, wrote a memo in August 1971 that expressed corporate concerns. "The single most effective antagonist of American business is Ralph Nader," the memo read, "a legend in his own time and an idol to millions of Americans. ... There should be no hesitation to attack [Nader and others]." Corporations poured hundreds of millions into the assault. They set up pseudo-think tanks, such as the Heritage Foundation, which invented bogus disciplines including cost-benefit and risk-management analysis, all geared to change the debate from health, labor and safety issues to the rising cost of big government. They ran sophisticated ad campaigns to beguile voters. These corporations wrenched apart, through lavish campaign donations and intensive and shady lobbying, the ties between Nader's public interest groups and his supporters in the Democratic Party. Washington, by the time they were done, was besieged with 25,000 corporate lobbyists and 9,000 corporate action committees. When Ronald Reagan, the corporate pitch man, swept into office he set out to dismantle some 30 governmental regulations, most put into place by Nader and his allies, all of which curbed the abuse of corporations. The Reagan White House worked to gut 20 years of Nader legislation. And, once a fixture on Capital Hill, Nader became a pariah. Nader, however, did not give up. He turned to local community organizing, assisting grass-roots campaigns around the country such the one to remove benzene, known to cause cancer, from paint in GM car plants. But by the time Bill Clinton and Al Gore took office the corporate state was ascendant. Nader and his citizen committees were frozen out by Democrats as well as Republicans. Clinton and Gore never met with him. "We tried every way to get the Democrats to pick up on issues that really commanded the felt concerns and daily life of millions of Americans," Nader says in the new documentary about his life, "An Unreasonable Man," "but these were issues that corporations didn't want attention paid to, and so when people say why did you do this in 2000, I say I'm a 20-year veteran of pursuing the folly of the least worse between the two parties." The Clinton administration pushed through NAFTA, gutted welfare, gave up on universal healthcare, deregulated the communications industry and abolished federal aid to families with dependent children. It further empowered the growing corporate state and exacerbated the despair that has fueled its allies in the Christian right. "For 20 years," Nader says in the film, "we saw the doors closing on us in Washington, on our citizen groups and a lot of other citizen groups, and what are we here for? To improve the country. We couldn't get congressional hearings, even with the Democrats in charge." There is a fascinating rage - and rage is the right word - expressed by many on the left in this fine film about Nader. Todd Gitlin, Eric Alterman and Michael Moore, along with a host of former Nader's Raiders, spit out venomous insults toward Nader, a man they profess to have once admired, the most common charge being that Nader is a victim of his oversized ego. This anger is the anger of the betrayed. But they were not betrayed by Nader. They betrayed themselves. They allowed themselves to buy into the facile argument of " the least worse" and ignore the deeper, subterranean assault on our democracy that Nader has always addressed. It was an incompetent, corporatized Democratic Party, along with the orchestrated fraud by the Republican Party, that threw the 2000 election to Bush, not Ralph Nader. Nader received only 2.7 percent of the vote in 2000 and got less than one-half of 1 percent in 2004. All of the third-party candidates who ran in 2000 in Florida - there were about half a dozen of them - got more votes than the 537-vote difference between Bush and Gore. Why not go after the other third-party candidates? And what about the 10 million Democrats who voted in 2000 for Bush? What about Gore, whose campaign was so timid and empty - he never mentioned global warming - that he could not carry his home state of Tennessee? And what about the 2004 cartoon-like candidate, John Kerry, who got up like a Boy Scout and told us he was reporting for duty and would bring us "victory" in Iraq? Nader argues that there are few - he never said no - differences between the Democrats and the Republicans. And during the first four years of the Bush administration the Democrats proved him right. They authorized the war in Iraq. They stood by as Bush stacked the judiciary with "Christian" ideologues. They let Bush, in violation of the Constitution, pump hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into faith-based organizations that discriminate based on belief and sexual orientation and openly proselytize. They stood by as American children got fleeced by No Child Left Behind. Democrats did not protest when federal agencies began to propagate "Christian" pseudo-science about creationism, reproductive rights and homosexuality. And the Democrats let Bush further dismantle regulatory agencies, strip American citizens of constitutional rights under the Patriot Act and other draconian legislation, and thrust impoverished Americans aside through the corporate-sponsored bankruptcy bill. It is a stunning record. Bush is the worst president in American history. If Gore, or Kerry, had the spine to take him on, to challenge corporate welfare, corporate crime, the hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate bailouts and issues such as labor law reform, if either had actually stood up to these corporate behemoths on behalf of the working and middle class, rather than mutter thought-terminating clichés about American greatness, he could have won with a landslide. But Gore and Kerry did not dare to piss off their corporate paymasters. There are a few former associates in the film who argue that Nader is tarnishing his legacy, and by extension their own legacy. But Nader's legacy is undiminished. He fights his wars against corporate greed with a remarkable consistency. He knows our democratic state is being hijacked by the same corporate interests that sold us unsafe automobiles and dangerous and shoddy products. This is a battle not for some unachievable ideal but to save our democracy. "I don't care about my personal legacy," Nader says in the film. "I care about how much justice is advanced in America and in our world day after day. I'm willing to sacrifice whatever 'reputation' in the cause of that effort. What is my legacy? Are they going to turn around and rip out seat belts out of cars, air bags out of cars?" These corporations, and their enraged and manipulated followers in the Christian right, tens of millions of them, if left unchecked will propel us into despotism. The corporate state has rigged our system, hollowed out our political process and steadily stripped citizens of constitutional rights, federal and state protection and assistance. This may be the twilight of American democracy. And it is better to stand up and fight, even in vain, than not to fight at all. Chris Hedges' latest book is "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America." --------18 of 21-------- Doing the Markey Two Step How Democrats are Buying the Iraq War By JEFF LEYS CounterPunch February 26, 2007 Last week, members of the Smedley Butler Brigade of Veterans for Peace organized an office occupation of Representative Ed Markey's office in Massachusetts. Their demand was simple: refuse to continue funding the Iraq war and vote against the $93 billion supplemental spending request submitted to Congress by President Bush on February 5. Their action was one of a growing number of office occupations taking place during the Occupation Project campaign of civil disobedience to end Iraq war funding. Markey adroitly launched into song and dance, agreeing to meet and promising, in writing, to vote against President Bush's request. The next day, he pivoted and swirled, doing the finest two step you'll ever see. He pronounced that he will most definitely vote against President Bush's request. He also pronounced that he will wait to decide whether to vote for or against the final supplemental spending bill being crafted by Representatives John Murtha and David Obey in the House Appropriations Committee. Talk about having your cake and eating it too. Let there be no mistake. The Democrats are buying the Iraq war lock, stock and barrel. Indeed, fewer votes may be cast against continuing Iraq war funding this year than last year (or the year before) if so-called, erstwhile antiwar Democrats follow the logic of Markey. The Democrats, led by Murtha and Obey, must be told in no uncertain terms that they cannot simultaneously be against the Iraq war and continue to fund the war. Murtha's proscription is aptly dubbed a "slow bleed" strategy, as reprehensible as the "slow bleed" strategy of the Bush administration. The Bush administration made a clear and coldly calculated decision that, so long as deaths of U.S. soldiers were kept to a "minimum" and spread out amongst communities across the U.S., his administration could continue to wage this war without arousing active opposition to this war from middle America. Similarly, Murtha seems to be calculating that he and the Democrats will survive a "slow bleed" of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi citizens while he nibbles at the edges of ending the war in and occupation of Iraq. Murtha's proposals to end stop loss and stop move orders should be supported. A grave injustice is done to members of the U.S. military when they are forced to serve beyond the end of their enlistment contract or forced to extend their tour of duty in Iraq. His proposal to require that U.S. service members should also be at home for a minimum of one year before being deployed back to Iraq is also worthy of support. Indeed, I and three others were arrested at the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command here in Illinois last July pressing those demands. Murtha fiddles on the edges of using the power of the purse to end the Iraq war while Rome - Baghdad - is burning to the ground. The situation is not all that much brighter on the Senate side of the Congress. Senators are posturing to be the most antiwar Senator, especially those who are running for President. None is yet showing the political courage of their predecessors in the Senate - to actually vote against any additional funding for the Iraq war. The end of the U.S. war in Vietnam began in 1965 when three Senators voted against funding the war. Senator Feingold introduced S. 448, "The Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007", which calls for the cessation of most funding for U.S. military operations in Iraq 180 days following passage of the act. Senator Obama introduced S. 433, "The Iraq De-Escalation Act of 2007", which, in excessively convoluted language, moves towards calling for the withdrawal of U.S. combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008. However, if you read S. 433, enough loopholes exist to drive a Mack truck through, which ensure continuation of the Iraq war, most notably the provision that the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq can be suspended with the simple certification by Bush to Congress that Iraq is achieving the benchmarks spelled out in the legislation. Neither S. 448 nor S. 433 contain any kind of enforcement language if the President decides to ignore the resolutions. Senator Feingold and Senator Obama, will you dare take the requisite steps to end the war by cutting war funding? Senator Bernie Sanders, I'm calling you out on this one too. And you too, Senator Sherrod Brown. Each of you voted against funding the Iraq war while in the House. But you both conveniently lost your principles and your conscience when you voted for Iraq war funding last year when you were running for the Senate. If you can't bring yourself to vote against this supplemental spending bill on its face, will you at least commit to the intermediate step? Will you commit to introducing an amendment to the supplemental spending bill, as well as to the regular Department of Defense Appropriations bill (which contains another $142 billion for the war next year), which will specify that any and all funding for the war will be ended by a specific date and that all U.S. service members will be withdrawn from Iraq by that date? Will you further commit to voting against any supplemental spending bill and / or regular appropriations bill which does not contain such a provision? If not, Senators Feingold, Obama, Sanders and Brown and Representatives Obey and Murtha - and all other erstwhile antiwar Senators and Representatives - allow me to introduce you to Representative Markey. I'm sure we can arrange ball room dance lessons so you can refine the Markey Two Step as you sway to the Chattanooga Choo Choo train of war funding. Jeff Leys is Coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and a national organizer for the Occupation Project campaign of sustained nonviolent civil disobedience to end Iraq war funding. He can be reached via email at jeffleys [at] vcnv.org. Information on the Occupation Project campaign can be found at www.vcnv.org. --------19 of 21-------- American Plutocracy and the War on Workers by Charles Sullivan www.dissidentvoice.org February 27, 2007 During the height of chattel slavery in America, the plantation owners did not allow their slaves to be educated. An educated slave, they knew, was a dangerous slave who posed a threat to the status quo. Knowledge is power in the hands of an oppressed people. The ruling clique has always found mass ignorance to their benefit. An ignorant public, they know, is an easily deceived and easily controlled citizenry created to do the bidding of Plutocratic rulers. Thus we have the commercial media, the church, and the public education system in all their incarnations, not as public servants, but as the tools of Plutocracy and empire. Their purpose is not to inform but to dominate and propagandize, which they do only too well. We must continue to tell our own story in our own words or the official authors of history will tell it for us and render its accounts falsely. The history of working people is that of class struggle and oppression; a fight for equal footing and social justice against the owner merchant class of old, and the ruling clique of today. The American workplace is a strange and foreboding environment in which the worker enjoys few freedoms and protections. It is a decidedly undemocratic place where, strangely, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights hold but little sway. Anyone who doubts this should take a job at Target or Wal-Mart and openly discuss forming a union. I have been escorted from more than one workplace for attempting to organize the workers. I speak from experience. Typically, the American workplace has a hierarchal structure, usually with a white male presiding at the top of the organization, dictating policy and issuing orders. The workers, who produce the wealth by manufacturing a product or performing services, have little or no say in company policy or how the work is performed. While few workers are willing to view the workplace in such austere terms for reasons that should be obvious, the American place of work is essentially a plantation, a dictatorship, with a master and a bevy of slaves following orders in exchange for subsistence wages. The vast majority of American workers are "at will" employees, which effectively makes them the disposable property of their employers. At will employees can be terminated without just cause or provocation. If the employer does not like one's clothes or the cut of one's hair, or the employee's politics, they can be terminated. The worker has little, if any, recourse to the courts for redress of their grievances; unless the workplace is unionized, as so few of them are these days. Workers with strong union representation are not relegated to being at will employees, and they enjoy rights that at will employees do not, including greater job security, better working conditions, higher wages and more benefits. The American workplace is sharply divided by class, like society as a whole, as part of the organizational hierarchy. The chain of command consists of owners, managers, and workers. The higher one is placed within the hierarchy, the greater his/her socio-economic status. The pecking order can be further subdivided into two broad categories: White collar jobs and blue collar jobs. White collar jobs typically require more refined skills than blue collar jobs. They tend to offer better pay and more benefits, but also result in more stress, greater responsibility, and longer hours. The lowest level in the hierarchy are the drones, the workers - the producers of nearly all of the wealth. It is with this group that I am most concerned in this essay. Under this arrangement, workers receive only a small percentage of the wealth they create for their employers, which is why capitalists created the private ownership of economic production. Such an arrangement provides inordinate power to property holders and leaves non property owners with little besides their labor to sell to the lowest bidder. Social cooperatives, while imperfect and still forced to compete in capital markets, have provided considerable improvement and a measure of relief for workers over more conventional business models. The largest and most widely known example is the Mondragon cooperative in Spain. The American worker, like the chattel slave before him, is kept in a state of perpetual ignorance by the Plutocracy for fear that he/she might awaken and rebel. Rebellion was the greatest fear that haunted the dreams of the plantation owners, and the uprisings led by Nat Turner and John Brown continues to trouble the dreams of the ruling clique, which explains why we are under constant surveillance by the government. They are looking for signs of trouble, the tell-tale smoke of social upheaval born of organization. Students of American history, especially labor history, cannot help but come to the realization that we have been had, sold a defective bill of goods that can never work for us or the rest of the world. The American dream is a myth that was fabricated in the corporate board rooms of America and perpetuated in the corporate media. Ninety-five percent of the people will never have pie in the sky, no matter how long and hard they work. A life of ease is something that is reserved for the privileged few who do not work and produce nothing. The myth was created to keep the workers striving, and to keep the rabble in line. It is a myth with the power of a paradigm and it has been extremely effective as a method of control and motivation. If the people ever earnestly study labor history, they are in for an awakening. They will learn about events that transpired in places like Haymarket Square, in Chicago; at Ludlow, Colorado, and in the hills of Matewan, West Virginia; the steel mills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the knitting mills of Massachusetts, and the rail yards at Martinsburg, West Virginia. The blood of striking workers was spilled at each of these sites by hired thugs - Baldwin-Felts detectives, or state and federal militias and in thousands of other locations across this nation. These events are curiously omitted from the curriculum in our public schools because they might empower the people. We owe something to those courageous souls and we should never allow their remembrance to lapse into an Orwellian memory hole created by historical revisionists. Through their example, we know that America was not always so tame, so indifferent, cowardly, or complacent in the face of injustice. Because of the fierce resistance of workers, we know that we have origins born of struggle and a fighting spirit to be free; a spirit that mostly lies dormant, but is not wholly dead. It is a history that might be re-awakened and taken to heart if we have the courage and the wisdom to embrace it, and to be as strong and tenacious as were our ancestors. You see, the working people - the men, women, and children who built America's railroads and highways, who harvested our crops and rendered our meat, and created the economic infrastructure, who fought and died in our imperial wars, have never enjoyed the same rights and privileges as the economic elite and property owners who paid their wages. They were never meant to, not even by the framers of the Constitution. The struggles of the working people were immortalized in the songs of Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and many others. They deserve to be remembered because the stories they tell were based upon actual events. They are as relevant today as the day they were written, but they are no longer widely known. Matewan, West Virginia, and downtown Baghdad share more in common than one might think. The economic, social, and environmental costs of corporate globalization are felt by workers around the world. Corporate profits and CEO compensation have risen to record levels, while poverty and economic hardship have followed a similar, but downward arc, for the producers. The wealthiest people on earth are enjoying obscene profits by exploiting workers worldwide, especially in war torn parts of the world. Just as it did in America, capitalism is not eradicating poverty and raising living standards in the rest of the world, as its proponents so boldly proclaim; it is spreading deepening poverty, environmental degradation and economic and social disparity, while it intensifies socio-economic class divisions, and foments war after imperial war in its quest for profits and hegemony. As championed by the captains of industry, capitalism has always waged class war on the workers. The war on workers has resulted in a permanent war economy in the U.S., the demonization of revolutionary labor unions by corporate America and its media whores, and a steady supply of cannon fodder for imperial wars and occupations. Working people must realize that foreign wars are an extension of the class war at home and refuse to take up arms in them. Current events, including the occupation of Iraq, are the result that the ignorance of history condemns us to repeat, until we have finally learned its lessons and say, "No More!" As we look to the democrats in Congress to end the occupation of Iraq and to divert another impending disaster in Iran, we must recognize that, like the commercial media, these people are working for the Plutocracy, not for the public good. Will funding continue for the occupation? The answer is a resounding "yes" as long as workers allow themselves to be the pawns of the ruling clique and maintain a slavish mentality toward their oppressors in government and the Military Industrial Complex. All hell broke loose in the streets of France when employers attempted to place at will tags on its workers last year\. The worker's retribution was swift and fierce. In America, where the people always bow their heads to illegitimate authority, hardly a whimper of protest was heard. Each year the American worker cedes more ground to the ruling clique without offering resistance. That ground was hard won with the blood and guts of our ancestors in organized labor - a lesson we seem to have forgotten in this age of capitulation and moral cowardice. Thus we find ourselves as a class, and as a nation, falling deeper into the throes of darkening corporate and state fascism. It is time to reclaim the fighting spirit that once characterized the American worker. It is time to bring back Revolutionary Unionism and the radical advocacy of worker's rights, including the public ownership of the mechanisms of production. If we are serious about democracy in America, the workplace would be a good place to start. But we prefer to talk about democracy rather than to actually implement it. We have yet to learn the songs of Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger - songs that are deeply rooted in the class struggles of working people against their oppressors. And we have yet to learn the lessons of history, which condemns us to repeat them in an endless cycle of want and waste, war and famine. Until we do, nothing much is going to change. Charles Sullivan is an architectural millwright, photographer, free-lance writer and social agitator residing in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. He welcomes your comments at: csullivan [at] phreego.com. --------20 of 21-------- Hillary Coronation Wanted by 'the Bigs' by Ed Garvey Published on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 by the Madison Capital Times (Wisconsin) A billion dollars will be spent on this race. By whom? The bigs. Why will they cough up the money? Because of a burning desire for good government? The race for president is in full swing, but feel no need to get excited, contribute to a candidate or watch the debates. Selecting the "American Idol" will be a more democratic process than nominating the Republican and Democratic candidates for president. You, my friends, are not needed. Big media conglomerates, pollsters, consultants, big drug and insurance companies, and other captains of industry will take this burden from your shoulders. You have plenty to keep you busy just making a living, so you can let the big boys ("bigs") and their bagmen make the decision for you. Rather comforting, wouldn't you say? The bigs want a close race between the Democrat and the Republican, so that both must beg them for big bucks in their Faustian bargain. The Democratic Leadership Council bigs decided five years ago to nominate Hillary Clinton in 2008. Sure, Barack Obama is a rising star with charisma Hillary would kill for, but he won't get the big money he needs. You say, "But people like him." So what? Too unpredictable. The bigs don't know enough about him. You will be told, "not enough experience." Translated, that means "he might have his own agenda." He might pursue peace in the Middle East while pushing for universal single-payer health care or proposing that the bigs pay Social Security taxes on all income coupled with a progressive tax system. Yikes! Better stick with Hillary. The bigs know her game, and she plays well. Remember NAFTA? John Edwards? Hell no. He is way too serious about poverty, and that could bring more money and smaller classes to public schools but less for the military-industrial complex. What if Edwards pushes through a living wage, health care, fewer prisons, and decent housing? One can almost hear the bigs yelling, "What about us?" Iraq? Bring 'em home. Iran? Leave it to the U.N. Besides, Edwards thinks corporations should be responsible for their misdeeds. What is he a commie? Tom Vilsack? Too late. He dropped out because of money. Shame on him. Why didn't he select wealthy parents or join the DLC, or both? I must admit, he is a quick study. Lack of money stopped two other Iowans who should have been president, John Culver and Tom Harkin. Vilsack had the quaint notion that a person with executive experience, good values and good ideas could run for president and let the people decide. I'm not kidding; he thought this was a democracy. His Field of Dreams campaign build it and the money will come collapsed before he could locate the cornfield. Vilsack was told that he needed $20 million by June of this year to be taken seriously. Face it, Tom. The bigs don't like you very much. I like Vilsack. How about Bill Richardson? He is a popular governor, a former ambassador to the U.N., a seven-term member of Congress, and former secretary of energy! The man is smart, experienced, gutsy, and knows about energy needs. He was elected governor with 69 percent of the vote; he has negotiated on the international scene. He, like Vilsack, is a good man with executive experience, solid values and plenty of good ideas. Bye-bye, Bill. Bye-bye. He might make it until Easter. Al Gore? Way too independent, and this global warming stuff please! Good for Hollywood but not for our economy. He is needlessly scaring folks into finding alternatives to our comfortable way of life. Indeed, his truth is inconvenient for the bigs. The utilities don't like him, the oil boys can't stand him, and the auto industry is more than a little suspicious. Hell, he even opposed the invasion of Iraq! The bigs don't like any of it. "Thanks anyway, Al. Good movie." Now then, how about Joe Biden? I don't think so. So long, Joe. Take a break, folks. They will let you know the names of the chosen ones by July. But wait. I didn't write anything about the Republican race. Could it be that Tommy has the nomination in the bag? He says he will shake every hand in Iowa good start. He is not burdened with ideology or new ideas. He is clear about Iraq. He said the other day that they could have a civil war if they aren't careful. Back to reality. A billion dollars will be spent on this race. By whom? The bigs. Why will they cough up the money? Because of a burning desire for good government? Remember when we had a democracy and people like us played a role in nominating our candidates? Whom do you favor for "American Idol"? Our democracy has been hijacked. Might as well watch TV. Copyright 2007, Capital Newspapers. [Is it democracy when we get to vote for one of two puppets picked by the ruling-class? We like to think so, because otherwise we might have to do something. Doing something would piss off the ruling class, and what could possibly be worse? Just who do we peons think we are? -ed] --------21 of 21-------- The super-rich have butts of gold. It rubs off on your lips. Pucker up. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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