Progressive Calendar 03.29.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 04:01:01 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    03.29.07

1. CCHT/housing       3.29 7:30am
2. Eagan peace vigil  3.29 4:30pm
3. Northtown vigil    3.29 5pm
4. MetroIBA           3.29 6pm
5. Arab film festival 3.29 6pm
6. US social forum    3.29 7pm
7. Ethiopia/film      3.29 7pm
8. Women/science/film 3.29 7pm
9. AWC new members    3.29 7pm
10. Jesus/real?       3.29 7pm
11. War tapes/film    3.29 7pm
12. Zen peace walk    3.29 7pm
13. Jay Shadidi/Iran  3.29 7pm
14. Music benefit     3.29 7:30pm

15. Animal protest    3.30 1pm
16. FinnRuss war/film 3.30 7:15pm
17. Help SASE         3.30-4.14
18. Nader film/Lagoon 3.30

19. Dan DiMaggio  - Review of new film about Ralph Nader
20. Ty Moore      - My letter to StarTrib on the Ellison vote
21. Larry Everest - Another $100 billion to continue the war
22. ed            - Tales of two households
23. ed            - Lexi-con

--------1 of 23--------

From: Philip Schaffner <PSchaffner [at]>
Subject: CCHT/housing 3.29 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 Session:  Mar 29 at 7:30a

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

--------2 of 23--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 3.29 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.

--------3 of 23--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 3.29 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]

--------4 of 23--------

From: Tim Dykstal <tim [at]>
Subject: MetroIBA 3.29 6pm

Metro Independent Business Alliance
MetroIBA Annual Members' Meeting
Thursday, March 29
6 pm
at Magers and Quinn Booksellers
3038 Hennepin Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Talk by Bill McKibben
State of MetroIBA, by Board, ED
Refreshments by Lucia
Good cheer by all
Bring a friend! Interested small business owners welcome

 * David Unowsky introduces Bill McKibben.
 * Author, Bill McKibben speaks for 15-20 minutes.(new book -"Deep
 * Tim Dykstal presents last year's accomplishments:  slide show,
 * Tim D. introduces new Board members, with a short bio.
 * Nancy Breymeier recognizes old Board members.
 * Nancy presents Comprehensive Plan, asks for volunteers for specific
 * Nancy presents By-laws change, and asks for vote.
 * Adjourn for social and refreshments.  Meet and talk with current small
business members and other small business owners with like needs and
problems.  Find out that we are not without things that we can do to help
ourselves and others.

 Lucia's is providing  food for the recption.  Good stuff!

--------5 of 23--------

From: Mizna  <mizna-announce [at]>
Subject: Arab film festival 3.29 6pm

Mizna's presents the Twin Cities Fourth Arab Film Festival
March 29th through April 1st, 2007
Heights Theater, 3952 Central Ave NE, Columbia Heights, MN

Thursday: Opening night reception 6PM
Heaven's Doors 7PM Introduced by guest Ali Selim (Sweet Land)

Friday:  Showtimes 4PM-9PM

Saturday:  Showtimes 10AM-9PM

Sunday: Showtimes 10AM-7PM Closing night reception 9PM

The following directors will be present for discussions after the
screening of their films: Saeed Taji Farouky (I See the Stars at Noon);
Annie Sundberg (The Devil Came on Horseback); Nida Sinnokrot (Palestine

Film Festival Passes $40 available before festival begins:

Through the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, it is our hope to present our
local, diverse communities with a space to share and celebrate quality,
alternative, and enjoyable cinematic experience. An important outcome of
this experience is the exposure of American audiences to the breadth and
depth of the current cultural and artistic production from the Arab world
and of Arabs in America. This serves to counter the daily stereotypes of
Arabs that bombard Americans on a daily basis.

--------6 of 23--------

From: Susan Raffo <raquelsusan [at]>
Subject: US social forum 3.29 7pm

Another world is possible ­ especially with involvement from Minneapolis
and St. Paul! Twin Cities mobilization for the US Social Forum ­ Come to a

Are you already thinking of attending the US Social Forum in June this
year? Do you have no idea what the US Social Forum is but you are drawn to
the idea that another world is possible?

Well, it is. The US Social Forum is more than a conference, more than a
networking bonanza, more than a reaction to war and repression. The USSF
will provide space to build relationships, learn from each other's
experiences, share our analysis of the problems our communities face, and
bring renewed insight and inspiration. It will help develop leadership and
develop consciousness, vision, and strategy needed to realize another

The USSF sends a message to other peoplešs movements around the world that
there is an active movement in the US opposing US Policies at home and

We must declare what we want our world to look like and begin planning the
path to get there. A global movement is rising. The USSF is our
opportunity to demonstrate to the world Another World is Possible!

Please come to a meeting on Thursday, March 29th at the Walker Community
Church, 3104 16th Avenue South, from 7 until 9pm.

Here is some of what we plan to talk about: What is the US Social Forum?
How is the Midwest involved in the Forum? Who is already organizing to go
and what are they doing? How do we get more folks from the Twin Cities and
Minnesota to go, demonstrating the richness of our radical history and
present time? What does it cost to get there? How are we going to make
going happen as cheaply, accessibly and easily as possible? Plus, we will
talk about whatever you want to add to our conversation.

For information about the US Social Forum, go to:

--------7 of 23--------

From: Human Rights Events Update <humanrts [at]>
Subject: Ethiopia/film 3.29 7pm

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

Betrayal of Democracy: Ethiopia
March 29, 2007
7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Room 25, University of Minnesota Law School, 229 19th Ave S., Minneapolis
*Free and Open to the Public*

Betrayal of Democracy: Ethiopia

This film is a must-see documentary that depicts the brutal repression of
human rights in Ethiopia. It contains accounts and footage of the 2003
Anuak massacre, as well as other political oppression and human rights
violations in Ethiopia. It also features interviews with prominent
Ethiopians, human rights activists, and political leaders.

The screening of Betrayal of Democracy: Ethiopia will be followed by a
panel discussion with:
.  Obang Metho, Executive Producer of Betrayal of Democracy: Ethiopia;
Executive Director, Anuak Justice Council
.  Solomon Gashaw, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of
.  Laura Provinzino, Former Wellstone Legal Fellow, Minnesota Advocates
for Human Rights

For more information on the film, please visit

--------8 of 23--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Women/science/film 3.29 7pm

Films:Women in Science. Mar.  29, Bell Auditorium, Minneapolis

The Bell Museum's Science on Screen series on Thursday evenings honors
Women's History Month by looking at women's contributions. Thur. Mar. 29
is "The Gender Chip Project". Disover five amazing women breaking through
in mathematics, engineering and the sciences. Screenings at 7pm $7
general/$5 students, seniors and Bell members, Bell Museum, 17th
Ave.SE/University Ave., U of M, east Bank campus, Minneapolis

--------9 of 23--------

From: awcmere <meredith [at]>
Subject: AWC new members 3.29 7pm

New Members Meeting

Thursday, 3/29 @ 7pm @ the UTEC building (1313 5th St. SE in conference
room 102A). Interested in joing the AWC and organizing against the war?
New members are always welcome at our meetings, but this meeting is
designed for folks coming to check out the AWC to see what they could do
to help build the local anti-war movement.

--------10 of 23-------

From: August Berkshire <augustberkshire [at] GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Jesus/real? 3.29 7pm

Robert M. Price to visit Minnesota, March 29-31, 2007

Robert M. Price, a fellow of The Jesus Seminar and a member of The Jesus
Project, will be visiting Minnesota March 29-31, 2007.  Price is among the
small but growing number of scholars who question whether Jesus ever
existed.  His website is:

A prolific writer, Price is the author of Deconstructing Jesus; The
Incredible Shrinking Son of Man; The Da Vinci Fraud (a response to Dan
Brown's The Da Vinci Code); The Reason-Driven Life (a response to Rick
Warren's A Purpose-Driven Life); and The Pre-Nicene New Testament.  He is
also the editor of The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.  All of these
books are available through Minnesota Atheists
( and will also be for sale at the March
29 and 31 events.

Robert M. Price's schedule in Minnesota is:

Thurs., March 29, 7:00 p.m.  Debate: "Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?" A
debate between Robert M. Price and Dwight Knight, co-founder and executive
director of Challenge Ministries International.  Smith Hall 100, 207
Pleasant St. S.E., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus (East Bank,
close to Coffman Memorial Union).  Immediately following the debate there
will be a moderated Q & A session.  After the debate, audience members are
invited to attend individual breakout sessions with either of the debate
participants in nearby classrooms (Smith 111 and Smith 121).
Co-sponsored by Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists (CASH) (
and Christian Believers on Campus.

Fri., March 30, 7:00 p.m.  Presentation and book-signing for The Da Vinci
Fraud.  Borders Books, 1390 W. University Ave., St. Paul.

Sat., March 31, 3:30-4:45 p.m.  Presentation on "Pagan Parallels to the
Christ Story" followed by book sales and signing. Roseville Public
Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. N. (Hamline Ave. & Co.  Rd. B), Roseville
Co-sponsored by Minnesota Atheists, Humanists of Minnesota, and Campus
Atheists and Secular Humanists (CASH).

For more information on any of these events or books for sale, contact
August Berkshire, Public Relations, Minnesota Atheists, pr [at]
or 612-588-7031.

--------11 of 23--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: War tapes/film 3.29 7pm

Thursday, 3/29, 7 pm, NW Neighbors for Peace hosts film "The War Tapes,"
Brookdale Library room C, 6125 Shingle Creek Prkway, Brooklyn Center.

--------12 of 23--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Zen peace walk 3.29 7pm

Thursday, 3/29, 7 to 8:30 pm, come help plan an upcoming Mindful Peace Walk,
Inter-Sangha Peace Group, Minnesota Zen Center, 3rd Floor, 3342 E Calhoun
Parkway, Mpls.  jbowers [at]

--------13 of 23--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Jay Shadidi/Iran 3.29 7pm

Thursday, 3/29, 7 pm, just returned from his home in Iran, Jay Shahidi
speaks on history and politics of Iran and the region, MN International
Center, 717 E River Rd, Mpls.  $15, please register at

--------14 of 23--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Music benefit 3.29 7:30pm

FINE LINE MUSIC CAFE downtown Minneapolis


6:30:VIP RECEPTION ($100)
7:30pm Doors open for general audience ($25)

PROCEEDS GO TO the NONprofit LEARNING THROUGH MUSIC, supporting music in
the public schools

--------15 of 23--------

From: Isaac Peter <minnesotaprimatefreedom [at]>
Subject: Animal protest 3.30 1pm

Protest these company's connection to the animal killers at Huntingdon
Life Sciences.

When: March 30th
1:00-2:00 - Piper Jaffray 800 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis
2:00-5:00 - Morgan Stanley 333 SOUTH SEVENTH ST. Minneapolis
5:00-6:00 - Piper Jaffray 800 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis
Please come and join us at any times. Even if you can only make it for
an hour or whatever, PLEASE COME.

If you have any questions, please send an email to
minnesotaprimatefreedom [at]

If your not able to make and and still want to help out, please contact
the two companies listed below tell them you are disgusted with their
connection to the animal killers at Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Piper Jaffray 612 303-6000
Morgan Stanley 612-340-6700 OR 612-340-1773

Please keep all correspondence with the two companies listed above polite
and informative.
Want more information about HLS? Visit

--------16 of 23--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Finn-Russ war/film 3.30 7:15pm

Friday, 3/30, 7:15 pm, film "Fire & Ice: The Winter War of Finland & Russia"
about November '39 invasion and the total war for the Finns' existence as a
people, Bell Museum, 10 Church St, W Bank U of M, Mpls.

--------17 of 23--------

From: Julie Bates <julie [at]>
Subject: Help SASE 3.30-4.14

Dear Community,
I need your help!

SASE's Poetry Library needs some love and attention. In order to create a
warm, welcoming space for community members to read, research and spend
time, I am going to be giving our poetry library a bit of a facelift. But
I can't do it alone!

I'm looking for volunteers to help me move books and furniture out of the
library, paint the floor and an accent wall, and then put everything back
in and update our shelves with new donations. This is a project that could
be done with a few dedicated souls, or many volunteers giving as little as
two hours each!

This is Minnesota's only poetry library, and the more care we can give it,
the more it will grow. It is a resource for those who read as well as for
those who write - our library features a great deal of work by local

Please take a look at the schedule below, and let me know how you can
help. Thank you in advance for giving back to SASE Literary Programs and
Intermedia Arts! You are a fantastic community of supporters!

-Julie Bates, Literary Programs Manager

March 30: Empty contents of PLB & prep for paint - DAY/EVE (Fri)

April 1: Poetry Library Painting Crew! - Sunday 5PM to 10PM

April 2-5: Anyone who might want to come in for a couple of hours during
the day or evening to help put things back

April 11: Intake volunteers begin recording new donations - Wednesday, 9AM
to 7PM
April 12: Intake volunteers record new donations - Thursday, 9AM to 4PM
April 13: Intake volunteers record new donations - Friday, 9AM to 7PM
April 14: Intake volunteers record new donations - Saturday, 12PM to 7PM

Willing to give a whole day? Can you fill a two-hour time slot? Every
little bit helps!! Please contact me via phone or email ASAP!!

Julie Bates, SASE Literary Programs Manager Intermedia Arts 2822 Lyndale
Ave S, Mpls MN 55408 Tel: 612.874.2815 Fax: 612.871.6927

--------18 of 23--------

From: A WS < [at]>
Subject: Nader film/Lagoon 3.30

Don't miss An Unreasonable Man, a new documentary about one of the most
important and controversial political figures of the century. Premieres
Friday, March 30, at the Lagoon Cinema in Minneapolis . Click here to
<>watch a quick
preview .

Here is what the critics are saying...

"Grade A! Thrilling, haunting, perceptive and beautifully made."
  -Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

"Excellent! An Unreasonable Man is, like The Fog of War, one of those
opportunities to step back, take a breath, and remember the seething power
of recent history."
  -David Poland, Movie City News

An Unreasonable Man taps rare archival footage and more than forty diverse
interviews to paint a complex portrait about the storied career of Ralph
Nader. This two-hour film (which has garnered wide critical acclaim in
recent weeks) uses Nader's harshest critics and most eloquent supporters
to create a compelling and inspirational interpretation of Nader's life
and of our times. Movie information, a preview, and downloadable flyers
are available on the website
<> . See below
for how to help promote the film.

An Unreasonable Man plays at the Lagoon Cinema, located at 1320 Lagoon
Avenue. Ticket information, show times, and directions are available
online or by phone at 612-825-6006. Don't miss Q&A with co-director Steve
Skrovan on opening night!

How to help:

Promoting the film is a major grassroots effort and we need many committed
volunteers to make it successful by:

* Getting your friends to come
* Flyering events
* Postering campuses/communities

Can you help us out?
Contact Danene Provencher at PRO826 [at]>

--------19 of 23--------

Review of An Unreasonable Man - A New Documentary About  Ralph Nader
by Dan DiMaggio
Mar 17, 2007

Anyone concerned about the challenges - and possibilities - of building a
movement against Corporate America and their two-party system will be
interested in An Unreasonable Man, an excellent new documentary about
Ralph Nader.  The film opens with a quote from George Bernard Shaw: "The
reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists
in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends
on the unreasonable man."

Nader's "unreasonable man" status stems from his challenge to corporate
power through decades of consumer activism and above all his independent,
left-wing campaigns for president, which have earned him the lasting
hatred of the political establishment.

The film follows Nader's rise to public prominence, beginning with his
successful campaigns for auto safety in the late 1950s and 1960s. Out of
these campaigns, he launched a consumer advocacy movement made up of
thousands of young volunteers known as "Nader's Raiders." These
organizations researched corporate crimes and government corruption and
lobbied for stronger regulations.  According to Nader, "our goal was to
show that it is possible to make change within the system."

However, in the film Nader recognizes that a crucial factor for his
success was the climate created by the mass antiwar, civil rights, labor,
and women's movements of the 1960s and early 1970s, which "made our
efforts appear less extreme." These movements generated enormous pressure
on the ruling class to grant reforms in order to maintain the legitimacy
of their system and prevent the development of a revolutionary challenge
to the two-party system and capitalism.

It was this context together with the post-war boom, which gave big
business the economic room to grant concessions, that enabled Nader's
citizens' groups to win a number of important reforms despite their
limited, reformist strategy. These included the Clean Air Act, the Freedom
of Information Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and
the Mine Health Safety Act.  Nader was hopeful that more far-reaching
reforms could be achieved after Democrat Jimmy Carter was elected
president in 1976. But the mass movements that had propelled earlier
reforms were in decline - in many cases co-opted into the Democratic Party
- and Corporate America had regrouped. The end of the post-war boom in
1973-75 ushered in a period of global capitalist economic crisis, forcing
U.S. corporations to relentlessly cut costs. Since then, we have witnessed
a global neo-liberal offensive against previous gains won by workers and
the oppressed.

                       Capitalism with a Human Face?

In this period, Nader's consumer groups steadily lost political influence
and were unable to stop the rollback of countless reforms, revealing
serious shortcomings in Nader's consumer-activist political strategy.

This strategy is based on the idea that by educating and organizing
consumers, they could stand on equal footing with the big corporations.
But the capitalists' control over the productive forces of society - the
factories, raw materials, and labor power - gives them the decisive upper
hand and allows them to control the political system, the media, the
schools, and the courts.  Central to Nader's political outlook is the
utopian idea of "returning" to a friendly, democratic form of capitalism
based on small businesses. He views the massive concentration of capital
as flowing from bad government and corrupted politicians, rather than the
logic of the capitalist system itself.

The reformist idea that the current system of capitalism dominated by huge
multinational corporations can be replaced by a system of small-scale,
consumer- and worker-friendly businesses is impossible. The profit system
inevitably gives rise to huge, global monopolies like Wal-Mart, GM, GE,
and McDonalds, which use their vast economic power and resources to
dominate the political system. They are compelled by competition to
attempt to do away with any reforms that cut into their profits.

To put an end to corporate domination requires a socialist strategy of
mobilizing the collective power of the working class to bring the
corporations into public ownership and democratically use their resources
to serve society's needs rather than the profit system.

               Nader's Challenge to the Two-Party System

Despite these political weaknesses, Nader's overriding strength over the
past period has been his willingness to challenge the two-party system. He
is the only prominent progressive figure in the U.S. who has been willing
to step into the national electoral arena and provide a left-wing
alternative to the Democrats.

In the context of a global neo-liberal offensive and the Democratic
Party's swing to the right, many former left-wing leaders have followed
suit and lowered their demands to what is acceptable to the Democrats and
big business.

Nader, in contrast, has been largely unwilling to retreat and has drawn
the conclusion that to achieve the reforms he previously fought for now
requires challenging the corporate domination of politics. He explains in
the film that the Democrats steady march to the right led him to grow
increasingly disenchanted with the two-party system. In contrast to media
portrayals of Nader as an egomaniac, he says, "I waited and waited for
someone else to run [for President], but no one did."

In 1996, he agreed to let the Green Party stand him as their presidential
candidate. But in 2000, inspired by the mass protests that shut down the
WTO and the emergence of the anti-globalization movement, Nader decided to
run an all-out campaign for President.

Nader ran on an anti-corporate, pro-worker platform that included: a
national minimum wage of $10 an hour; universal, single-payer healthcare;
abolishing the death penalty and ending the "war on drugs"; the repeal of
NAFTA and the WTO; repealing the Taft-Hartley Act; strong environmental
and consumer protections; and a massive public works program to provide
jobs for all.  Nader's denunciations of the corporate-dominated two-party
system and these radical demands resonated with tens of millions
increasingly fed up at big business. Hundreds of thousands attended
"super-rallies" that packed Madison Square Garden and other venues
throughout the country.

Despite this massive support, Nader's campaign was blacked out in the
corporate media. He was excluded from the presidential debates run by
corporate lobbyists and former heads of the Democratic and Republican
National Committees, even though two-thirds of Americans wanted him
included in the debates.  Yet even with all these obstacles, Nader was
polling 6-7% one month before the election. However, in the last few weeks
of the campaign the Democratic Party and their allies in the leadership of
the labor, environmental, women's, and civil rights movements launched a
massive campaign against the Nader campaign. With Bush and Gore in a very
tight race, Nader's support got cut in half as many of his supporters
reluctantly voted for Gore to stop Bush. In the end, Nader got nearly 3
million votes, 2.7% of the total, the highest vote for any independent
progressive presidential candidate since the 1920s.

Unfortunately, Nader failed to use this momentum to build a wider
left-wing political party that would draw together the forces that
supported him, including Greens and activists from the labor,
anti-globalization, women's, and civil rights movements, and would build
mass struggles outside of elections as well as continuing to build up
support in local and national elections.

                            Lies about Nader

After the elections, the Democratic Party and their allies in the media
launched a vicious smear campaign, blaming Nader for Bush's victory. They
willfully ignored the fact that Gore actually won the election, but
refused to fight the racist disenfranchisement of African Americans in
Florida and the cold coup carried out by the right-wing Supreme Court. It
is also worth recalling that Gore's vice presidential candidate in 2000
was Senator Joe Lieberman, who continues to call for more troops to be
sent to Iraq and has been one of Bush's biggest allies in Congress.

The filmmakers include interviews with some of the most ferociously
anti-Nader liberals, such as Eric Alterman of The Nation, who literally
foams at the mouth as he blames Nader alone for six years of Bush's
right-wing policies.  But it is the Democrats who are to blame, as they
have done hardly anything to prevent Bush from carrying out his attacks.

As former talk-show host and prominent Nader supporter Phil Donohue says
in the film, "The Democrats nailed him for saying, "[There's] not a dime's
worth of difference [between the two parties]", then spent the next four
years proving him right," voting for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the
Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, and tax cuts for the rich.

Nader stood up to tremendous, unprecedented pressure to run again in 2004.
He faced hostility from nearly the entire liberal left, including many who
supported him in 2000. In the film, Nader reveals that Democratic donors
attempted to bribe him not to run, offering to "lavish money on his
organizations" if he would drop out of the race or "strangle them" if he

Despite the massive Anybody But Bush mood, it was absolutely correct for
Nader to run in 2004 and again provide an alternative to those workers and
youth who were sickened by Kerry and the Democrats' pro-war, Bush-lite
politics.  Once Nader declared he was running, the Democrats launched a
ruthless and undemocratic campaign to prevent him from getting on the
ballot in many states, hiring lawyers to tie up his campaign with legal
challenges to prevent him from getting his anti-corporate, antiwar message
out.  Unfortunately, the majority of the Green Party leadership buckled to
this pressure and refused to endorse Nader, instead choosing to run an
unknown candidate in a "safe states" campaign. Regrettably, in an attempt
to get on the ballot Nader mistakenly accepted the Reform Party ballot
line in a few states. In the end, Nader appeared on the ballot in only 34
states, and was excluded from certain big states like California.

Given these obstacles, Nader received just under 500,000 votes in 2004.
However, millions supported his campaign and seriously debated voting for
him.  For example, in the summer of 2004 12% of young voters, 10% of
blacks, and 8% of women said they were planning on voting for Nader.

The debate stirred up by Nader's campaigns for president on the character
and role of the Democratic Party and whether or not to break from them are
unavoidable, key issues for any politically-active worker or activist.
Nader's campaigns, despite political and organizational limitations, have
helped legitimize the idea of independent, left-wing politics, paving the
way for further antiwar and working-class challenges to corporate
politics. Anyone interested in this debate and this cause should see this

--------20 of 23--------

From: Ty Moore <tytymo [at]>
Subject: My letter to StarTrib on Ellison vote

Voting $124 billion for war: shame on you, Keith

A lot of people were confused by the "antiwar" $124 billion war
appropriations bill Congress passed Friday, including, it seems, Keith
Ellison. Actually this bill is consistent with the Democratic Party's
long-standing approach to Iraq: rhetorically oppose the war while dumping
hundreds of billions into the bloodbath.

Far from a serious effort to end the war, as Ellison portrayed it in his
Tuesday letter to the Star Tribune, the Democrat's $124 billion war
spending bill, with its September 2008 deadline for withdrawal, is a naked
political maneuver. The Democratic leadership has no genuine intention of
ending the war before the 2008 elections. If they used their power of the
purse to force Bush to withdraw troops before the elections, they would
have to share responsibility for the mess left behind in Iraq, hurting
their electoral prospects. It's a cynical calculation which will mean more
dead soldiers, further horrors for Iraqis, and less money for schools,
healthcare, and other social needs.

Luckily the Democrats have figures like Keith Ellison, ready to use their
progressive credentials to shore-up the Party's fraying "antiwar"
credibility. This was the worst part of Ellison's letter. Addressing
antiwar activists, Keith says: "Some of us disagreed on strategy this
time." But his letter offers not a hint of criticism of the political
strategy of the Democratic leadership.

The job of real antiwar leaders today is to expose and oppose the
Democratic Party's maneuvers, not to cover up for its funding of the war.
Shame on you, Keith.

Ty Moore, antiwar organizer for Socialist Alternative, Minneapolis

--------21 of 23--------

Quit Trying to Make the Democrats Something They'll Never Be
Another $100 Billion to Continue the War
March 28, 2007

On Friday, March 23, the Democrats in the House of Representatives pushed
through the "U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq
Accountability Act" by a vote of 218-212. The bill gives the Bush
administration some $100 billion to continue the Iraq and Afghanistan
wars, while calling for U.S. combat troops to leave Iraq by September 1,

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi hailed this as a vote "to bring an
end to the war in Iraq." But it is no such thing. This bill (and a similar
Democratic Party bill under consideration in the Senate) is not a step
towards ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq or the larger "war on terror"
it is part of. This bill doesn't represent a condemnation of - or
accountability for - the U.S.'s unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq.
Rather the bill's stated goal is to "help fight the war on terror." And
the bill certainly doesn't call for U.S. forces to leave the Middle
East/Central Asian region.

Instead of ending the war, this bill is an effort to pressure the Bush
regime to adjust its strategy in Iraq and the region to better preserve
U.S. imperialist hegemony and stamp out anti-U.S. resistance, Islamic
fundamentalism in particular. It's also designed to rein in and paralyze
the millions who are increasingly angry and disillusioned with the war and
the Bush regime, and channel these feelings into support for a different
(Democratic Party) strategy and tactics in waging that war. So while
talking of ending the war , the Democrats offer a plan to continue the war
in Iraq, expand the war in Afghanistan, and give Bush a green light to
attack Iran!

               Retooling U.S. Strategy - Not Ending the War

The Democrats' bill reflects the deep concern of many ruling class
strategists that the situation in Iraq is deteriorating and the Bush
strategy must be changed to head off even greater disasters for the
empire. The interests of the peoples of the Middle East don't enter into
their cold-blooded, imperial calculations. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former
National Security Advisor under Jimmy Carter who has been advising the
Democrats, testified before the Senate earlier this year:

"If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody
involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is
likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of
Islam at large [plunging] a lonely America into a spreading and deepening
quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan."

So the Democrats (following in the vein of the Baker-Hamilton Study Group
- see "The Baker Report on Iraq: Desperate Straits, Deep Divisions,
Dwindling Options") are proposing a number of measures to try to stabilize
the situation in Iraq, limit further U.S. losses (including the enormous
stresses on the U.S. military), and shore up U.S. efforts across the
region - while refocusing the U.S.'s "war on terror." (This war, as the
wars in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate, is in essence a war for greater
empire.) The measures proposed by the Democrats include:

1. Fully funding the war:

Congress has the power to end the war by cutting off funding. Instead, the
Democrats chose to give Bush $100 billion, enabling him to continue the
war as he sees fit for the immediate future. This is more money than Bush
originally asked for!

2. Enforcing "benchmarks":

These are the same benchmarks for the Iraqi government that Bush himself
spelled out in his January 10 speech. The Democrats want to more
aggressively impose them by threatening funding cutoffs and troops
redeployments (from combat operations to training and/or out of the
country). These benchmarks have nothing to do with liberating the Iraqi
people - just the opposite. They're aimed at heading off a strategic
defeat in the region by forcing the various factions in the Iraqi
government to subordinate their agendas to the U.S.'s overall goal of
creating a more stable regime capable of ending the anti-occupation
insurgency and the ongoing civil war, holding Iraq together, and acting in
concert with U.S. goals in the region. So the Bush-Democrat benchmarks
include passing a bill that divides oil revenues among Iraq's different
national and religious groups, reining in sectarian militias, and taking
frontline responsibility to fight anti-U.S. forces. The U.S.-backed oil
bill also opens Iraq's enormous oil reserves up to direct and open control
by foreign capital for the first time in over 30 years, potentially giving
global powers like the U.S. a stranglehold over this key Iraqi resource.

3. Agreeing with Bush and blaming Iraqis for their suffering:

Many top Democrats spout the ugly chauvinist lies of the Bush regime,
portraying the U.S. invasion as a noble effort to liberate Iraq, and
claiming that the Iraqis have now screwed things up with a persistent
civil war. "We have lost over 3,000 people. We have lost over 25,000
wounded. The Iraqis have had Saddam Hussein taken out. They have had two
elections," Tennessee Democrat John Tanner declared on the Lehrer Newshour
(March 22). "They have had a government now for over a year. And we see no
progress on them - it's time for them to step up." But this turns reality
upside down.  It is the U.S.'s unprovoked war of aggression that has led
to the death of an estimated 650,000 Iraqis, the forced displacement of
another 3.2 million (over one in ten Iraqis!), and widespread destruction.
Tanner's lie also covers up the fact that the U.S. helped trigger and
continues to fuel a civil war by empowering some reactionary forces,
barring others and encouraging sectarian divisions.

4. "Redeployment" - not withdrawal:

The Democrats are not demanding that U.S. forces immediately leave Iraq -
the only just solution - or that they ever leave Iraq. Both Bush and the
Democrats envision that thousands of U.S. troops will be in Iraq for years
to come - just not on the frontlines of combat in the same way or in the
same numbers. Nancy Pelosi's website states: "Following redeployment, U.S.
troops remaining in Iraq may only be used for diplomatic protection,
counterterrorism operations, and training of Iraqi Security Forces." These
open-ended commitments, and the Democrats' refusal to renounce permanent
U.S. military bases in Iraq, mean that thousands of American troops could
be stationed in Iraq for decades to come.

5. Escalating in Afghanistan:

Many of the "redeployed" troops could well be used in other countries in
the region. According to Pelosi, "The bill significantly increases funding
to defeat al Qaeda and terrorists in Afghanistan." She also called it an
effort to concentrate on Afghanistan "where the war on terrorism is."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the House bill "maximizes our
chances for success in Iraq and redeploys our troops so we can more
effectively wage the war on terror." Afghanistan is not a "good war," with
Iraq a "diversion" from the "real war on terror," as the Democrats often
argue. Both are parts of the Bush regime's war for greater empire, and the
strikingly similar outcomes in both countries - the deepening suffering
and anger of the people, the empowering of brutal reactionaries, the
strengthening of oppressive, feudal relations - illustrate this reality.

6. Preserving the U.S. imperialist military:

Another goal of the redeployment is preserving and rebuilding the U.S.
military - the U.S.'s main weapon for enforcing its global hegemony. "The
war in Iraq has produced a national security crisis," Pelosi warned, "with
military readiness at its lowest level since the Vietnam War." In
supporting the House bill, Brzezinski stated, "The United States cannot
afford an open-ended commitment to a war without end. A means must be
devised to end the U.S. combat role in Iraq and reduce our troop levels,
so that we can begin to rebuild our military and reclaim our position of
leadership in the world."

7. Giving Bush a green light to attack Iran:

The Democrats removed a stipulation that Bush had to get Congressional
approval before attacking Iran. With the U.S. openly threatening Iran and
with war preparations at an advanced stage, and given the Bush regime's
track record of launching pre-emptive wars based on lies - this amounts to
giving Bush a bright green light to attack Iran.

8. Pressuring Bush, without unraveling the war:

The Democrats are trying to walk the fine line of pressuring Bush while
continuing to give him freedom to wage the war as "commander-in-chief,"
and not provoking a political crisis which could also contribute to a U.S.
defeat. That's why the Democrats have continued funding the war and why
there are no means in their bill for enforcing their demands. In terms of
the benchmarks, all Bush has to do is periodically "certify" in public
that the Iraqi government is meeting them. And California Democrat Lynn
Woolsey said on Democracy Now! (March 22), "There are virtually no
enforcement measures in this legislation that will make the President do
anything that we're telling him to do when we get to the end of August
2008 and the war is still going on, we're going to say to the President,
'Alright, now you have to bring them home.' The only way we can force him
to do that in this bill is to sue him." (Of course, whether a political
crisis will be averted is another matter. Bush has threatened to veto the
Democrats' legislation and is demanding a bill with no stipulations - or
"strings" - at all. Overall the possibility for geopolitical disaster in
Iraq - or as a result of war with Iran - has made tensions within the
ruling establishment very, very sharp.)

All these steps flow from the Democrat Party's agreement with the Bush
regime's basic goal of maintaining and strengthening U.S. imperialist
global dominance - even as they have deep disagreements over how to
realize it. An insightful column in the Washington Post noted the striking
similarity between the strategic visions of Democratic "neo-liberals" and
Republican "neocons":

"[T]he fact is that prevailing Democratic doctrine is not that different
from the Bush-Cheney doctrine. Many Democrats, including senators who
voted to authorize the war in Iraq, embraced the idea of muscular foreign
policy based on American global supremacy and the presumed right to
intervene to promote democracy or to defend key U.S. interests long before
9/11, and they have not changed course since. Even those who have shifted
against the war have avoided doctrinal questions....without a coherent
alternative to the Bush doctrine, with its confidence in America's
military preeminence and the global appeal of 'free market democracy,' the
Democrats' midterm victory may not be repeated in November 2008. Or, if
the Democrats do win in 2008, they could remain staked to a vision of a
Pax Americana strikingly reminiscent of Bush's." ("It's Uphill for the
Democrats," Tony Smith, Washington Post, March 11, 2007)

                    What is Needed to End the War

In November, millions voted for the Democrats to protest Bush and the war,
and in hopes they would end it. Today, many - including people who worked
energetically to elect Democrats and who've been lobbying them to cut off
war funding - feel bitter, betrayed, and outraged.

They should be outraged.

The lesson is not that the Democrats "sold out" or are "spineless." The
lesson is that the Democrats are a ruling class party (and this is deeply
institutionalized, regardless of the desires or intentions of its
supporters or even some elected Democrats), acting to advance the
interests of a capitalist-imperialist system they're part of and
represent. These interests are directly antagonistic to the interests and
sentiments of billions of people globally and the vast majority in the

The content of the "Iraq Accountability Act" and the way it was pushed
through (including by threatening and strong-arming Democrats who said
they wanted to vote against war funding and refusing to allow a vote on an
amendment to only fund a withdrawal of U.S. forces) show this. Neither the
Democrats nor the Republicans make decisions on the basis of elections or
public opinion. They make decisions based on the needs and interests of
the imperialist system.

How can anything good for the people possibly come from decisions based
not on ending an unjust war, but "winning" it? Not on ending a
neo-colonial occupation, but stabilizing and continuing it? Not on
supporting real liberation and self-determination, but on controlling
countries and resources half way around the globe, and ensuring that the
corporate-financial rulers of a country with some three percent of the
world's population can dominate and determine the destinies of the other

And the problem isn't only that the Democrats are betraying people's
hopes. They're also actively and aggressively trying to channel and
confine people's hopes into pro-war, pro-imperialist politics. These are
the only choices offered (in elections generally, especially important
ones), and the only choices deemed "realistic" by the powers-that-be. Take
a "poll" conducted by, an activist group closely tied to the
Democratic Party, right before the war funding vote. Moveon gave its
members the "choice" of voting for Pelosi's bill - or not. Voting to end
funding for the war wasn't a choice, even though the head of Moveon
admitted its membership would have supported it .

This is one way millions of anti-war people end up voting for one pro-war
candidate vs another. And this is already being "programmed" into the 2008
elections - and into the minds of anyone who remains confined by these
choices. This will happen unless and until the entire political calculus
is upended by massive upheaval from below.

But such an outpouring cannot and will not happen as long as millions are
putting their hopes in the Democrats - either passively by waiting for
2008, or even actively, by focusing their energy, efforts, hopes, and yes
money into pressuring the Democrats to "do the right thing" instead of
putting them where they can really count for something: into mobilizing
the one force that can stop the war and drive out the Bush regime - the
millions, from all walks of life, who oppose them. Inspiring and
organizing these millions to take independent mass political action based
on the just demands of ending the war and turning back all the outrages of
the Bush regime from torture to spying to theocracy, is the only realistic
option and the only way these crimes will be stopped. It will never happen
by hoping the Democrats become something they're not, and never have been.

Larry Everest is the author of Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S.
Global Agenda, (Common Courage), a correspondent for Revolution
( and a contributor to Impeach the President: The Case
Against Bush and Cheney (Seven Stories). He can be reached via

--------22 of 23--------

Tales of two households

John Bizguy comes home at 3am, covered with lipstick and perfume. Mary is
upset. He tells her, "O, I was trying out our company's new promotional
women's products." She sighs with relief "What a great job you are doing
for your company. Come to bed, big guy."

John Dempol comes home at 3am, covered with money and blood. Mary is
upset. He tells her, "This is to end war. It is the best I could get.
Trust me. Don't worry your pretty little head about it." Mary sighs with
relief as her head gets prettier and littler. "What a great job you are
doing for your country. What would we ever do without you? I need you in
bed, big fella."

--------23 of 23--------

 Lexi-con for those who buy the Dem explanation of the vote:

 Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary?

 You have been granted an Indian name: "Owa Tagoo Siam". Say it over
several times, quickly, loudly, preferably in public, for the full meaning
of the name to sink in.


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