Progressive Calendar 04.05.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 15:37:13 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   04.05.07

1. Racial profiling 4.05 6pm
2. War injuries     4.05 7pm

3. African leaders  4.06 9am
4. Thomas R Smith   4.06 7pm
5. Activist-actor   4.06 7:30pm
6. PlanParent rally 4.06

7. Lenni Brenner - Soros kicked AIPAC. Obama kicks Soros. Let's kick all 3

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Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2007 00:40:10 -0500
From: Michelle Gross, CUAPB-Sponsored Event 4/5/07
Subject: Racial profiling 4.05 6pm

The Minneapolis Urban League, The Council On Crime And Justice, The NAACP,
African American Family Services, Jewish Community Action, Council on
Black Minnesotans, African American Men's Project, Micah-OPACC, American
Immigration Lawyers Association, Chicano Latino Affairs Council,
Communities United Against Police Brutality, Community Justice Partners,
Sabathani Community Center, Women Planting Seeds, Organizing
Apprenticeship Project and the Barbara Schneider Foundation present:

Reframing the Immigration Debate & Uniting Communities of Color!

Join community activists & neighbors from across the state as they:
* Outline new strategies to combat racial profiling!
* Discuss current immigration policies & plans for change!
* Promote shared interests in racial justice!

April 5, 2007
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (really tasty supper @ 5:30 PM)
Minneapolis Urban League
2100 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis

This will be an incredible Minnesota Pipeline Experience! Please plan
to attend.  Bring everyone you know who wants to work on uniting our

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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: War injuries 4.05 7pm

Thursday, 4/5, 7 to 8:30 pm, V.A. Rehab Dr Barbara Sigford and MN Brain
Injury Association director Ardis Sandstrom speak on "The New Wounded: The
Evolution of War-Related Injuries and their Medical and Economic Impact,"
Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Institute, 301 - 19th Ave S., Mpls.

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From: Human Rights Events Update <humanrts [at]>
Subject: African leaders 4.06 9am

The University of Minnesota Hubert H. Humphrey Center of Public Affairs, the
Law School, and the Human Rights Center present a special panel discussion

The "New Breed" of African Leaders and the Future of Human Rights and
Democracy in Africa

Friday, April 6, 2007
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Room 25 Mondale Hall
University of Minnesota Law School
229 19th Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Free and open to the public, but registration required

Event website - information and registration:

The Humphrey Institute, the Law School and the Human Rights Center are
proud to present a panel discussion event on Africa, Democracy, Human
Rights, and U.S. Foreign Policy. Framed in the context of the phrase "the
new breed of African leaders," coined by U.S. President Bill Clinton, the
discussion will critically examine the challenges and obstacles to
democratization and respect for human rights that persist in African

The collapse of the Communist Bloc in late 1980s and early 1990s was
considered by many scholars and policy makers to be the dawn of democracy
and respect for human rights in Eastern Europe and Africa. Many African
rebel leaders came to power after long and bloody civil wars promising
democracy and respect for human rights.

Unfortunately, this "New Breed of African Leaders" failed to achieve the
intended goals and wishes of its own citizens and the international
community. Their countries remain mostly one-party states with autocratic
leaders who are often hostile to differing political opinions and
criticism. Many of them are now best known for their gross violations of
human rights, corruption, and repression of political opposition, as well
as repression of civil society associations and the free media.  While
framed in the broader context of the "New Breed" concept, one of the
panels will also focus on the Ethiopian Election of May 2005 as a case

Panels and Issue Highlights

Panel 1 (9:10 - 10:15 AM):  U.S. Foreign Policy in Africa

Panel 2 (10:30 - 11:35 AM):  Africa Country Conditions, Part 1:
Human Rights and Rule of Law

Panel 3 (12:35 - 1:40 PM):  Africa Country Conditions, Part 2:
Democracy, Civil Society, and Governance

Panel 4 (1:55 - 3:00 PM):  Case Study: Ethiopian Elections of 2005

Conclusion (3:15 - 3:50 PM): Concluding Remarks: Rethinking U.S. Policy

Confirmed Speakers and Moderators Include:

.  Michael Clough (Former Director of Africa Advocacy, Human Rights

.  Keith Ellison (U.S. Representative, 5th Congressional District,

.  Christopher Fomunyoh (Senior Associate and Regional Director, Central
and West Africa Programs, National Democratic Institute);

.  Alemayehu G. Mariam (Professor, Department of Political Science,
California State University-San Bernardino);

.  Peter Takirambudde (Executive Director, Sub-Saharan Africa Program
Human Rights Watch)

Event Co-sponsors:

The panel discussion event is co-sponsored by the African News Journal,
the African Student Association, Amnesty International Law Student Group,
Amnesty International-University of Minnesota Student Chapter, Books for
Africa, the Ethiopian-American National Alliance, the Humphrey Fellowship
Program, the International Leadership Institute, Minnesota Advocates for
Human Rights, Minnesota African Women's Association (MAWA), the
Oromo-American Citizens Council, and the Oromia Student Union.

University of Minnesota Department and Program Co-sponsors: The African
American & African Studies Department, the Department of History, the
Department of Political Science, the Institute for Global Studies, and the
Human Rights Program.

For Further Information: Visit the program website (listed above) or contact
the Human Rights Center at 612-626-0041 or humanrts [at]

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From: Write On Radio <writeonradio [at]>
Subject: Thomas R Smith 4.06 7pm

Friday April 6th

7:00 p.m. The Loft's Local Motion Reading Series showcases writers who
teach at the Loft. Featuring Jude Nutter and Thomas R. Smith. Loft
Literary Center.1011 Washington Avenue S. Mpls,

From: Sarah Caflisch <scaflisch [at]>

Jude Nutter's book Curator of Silence was the winner of the 2007 Ernest
Sandeen Prize in Poetry.  The title poem-about a group of schoolchildren
illustrating Shelley's "Ode to a Skylark"-ends with the following
assertion: "these are the only / lessons they will ever need to learn:
that life / is not artifact, but aperture-a stepping into / and a falling
away; that to sing is to rise / from the grave of the body. And still /
say less than nothing."

This idea of the aperture, the gap, the silence that exists between what
we want to say and what we actually do say pervades The Curator of
Silence. The paradox, of course, is that the creation of art itself makes
this gap, as there is always a gulf between the impulse and the gesture,
the vision and the poem.

"These astonishing poems take my breath away with their beauty and deeply
held knowledge. Not only are they wedded to the earth as they emerge from
the poet's personal mythology, but-like a shawl thrown over the
shoulders-they give comfort as they explore the fragile balance between
life and death, gain and loss. Here is a poet who speaks subtle truths; I
know I'll want to return to her poems again and again." -Judith Minty

Jude says of her work and teaching: "I live by Raymond Carver's maxim--
'Use it up: Don't save anything for later.' It's a gift and a
responsibility to be a writer. It's a gift to be a teacher, to bear
witness as others struggle to record their lives. My responsibility is to
teach the 'tricks of the trade;' to encourage other writers and to
celebrate with them when the hard work pays off."

Jude Nutter's poems have been widely published and received several
national and international honors and awards. Her first book-length
collection, Pictures of the Afterlife, was published by Salmon Poetry,
Ireland, in 2002. The Curator of Silence, her second collection, was
published by University of Notre Dame Press. In 2004-2005 she spent time
in Antarctica as a participant in the National Science Foundation's
Writers and Artists Program.

>From "As the Sun Finds You:" In a time when consumerism and media keep us
effectively asleep to the impact of our ways and wars on the rest of the
world, how can we awaken? In Waking Before Dawn, Thomas R. Smith confronts
the challenge and responsibility of moral awareness in some of the best
and most varied poems he has written.

These poems bridge the personal and the political, from love poems and
elegies to a suite of poems powerfully indicting the bankrupt Iraq war. On
the home front, Smith witnesses the hope and suffering of ordinary lives
diminished by a wounded democracy, while maintaining faith, with Walt
Whitman, that "South, North, East, West, inland and seaboard, we will
surely awake."

A respected poet, essayist, and editor, Thomas R. Smith's work has
appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in the U.S., Canada, and
abroad. His poems were included in Editor's Choice II (The Spirit That
Moves Us Press), a selection of the best of the American small press, and
in The Best American Poetry 1999 (Scribner). Garrison Keillor has featured
his poetry on his national public radio show Writer's Almanac. He is
author of four previous books of poems, Keeping the Star (New Rivers
Press, 1988), Horse of Earth (Holy Cow! Press, 1994), The Dark Indigo
Current (Holy Cow! Press, 2000), and Winter Hours (Red Dragon?y Press,
2005). His poetry criticism has appeared in the Pioneer Press, the
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Great River Review, Ruminator Review, and other
periodicals. He teaches poetry at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.
-Red Dragonfly Press

"Thomas R. Smith is a high-spirited poetry horse riding over the hills of
emotion." --Robert Bly

Thomas R. Smith says of his teaching: "Like many teachers, I teach what I
myself would like to learn. Fear causes us to close and shield our hearts.
Poetry can be a powerful counterforce to fear, but there is no formula for
making it so. Together we explore the way, poem by poem."


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From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Activist-actor 4.06 7:30pm

For immediate release: Mike Farrell, B.J. on MASH, discusses and signs his
April 6 at Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

>From its opening pages, Mike Farrell's new memoir reveals the distinctive
voice of a man for whom life is an ongoing odyssey of self-discovery,
personal commitment, and uncompromising social engagement.

With deep insight and disarming candor, Farrell describes his early years
as a timid but restless teenager in West Hollywood, delivering groceries
to the homes of Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Jimmy Stewart, and countless
other celebrities, while dreaming of having his own career as an actor. In
stark but riveting language, he relates his formative years as a Marine
recruit, confused, conflicted, and eager to prove himself as a man.
Farrell humorously portrays his professional development from a young soap
opera player on Days of Our Lives to the amiable star of two popular
television series, M*A*S*H and Providence, to the respected producer of
successful motion pictures like Dominick and Eugene and Patch Adams.

At the heart of his story, Farrell narrates his public struggle to be a
responsible citizen of the world. From his first-hand accounts of the
ravages of war and oppression in Cambodia, El Salvador, Somalia, Bosnia,
Rwanda, and the Gaza Strip, to his tireless advocacy against capital
punishment, to his deep commitment to environmental causes, Farrell
portrays each of these experiences with passion, outrage, and stubborn

Mike Farrell is best known for his eight years on M*A*S*H and five seasons
on Providence. He is also a writer, director, and producer. He serves as
cochair emeritus of Human Rights Watch in Southern California, and
cofounded Artists United to Win Without War. As president of Death Penalty
Focus, he speaks, writes, and coordinates efforts to stop executions. He
lives in Los Angeles.

For further information, contact: David Unowsky 612/822-4611
davidu [at]
Publisher contact: Aaron Petrovich 718-643-9193 info [at]
55408 612-822-4611

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From: jen <awhall [at]>
Subject: PlanParent 4.06


Almost 1,000 protesters will descend upon Planned Parenthood's Highland
Park clinic in a day-long effort to intimidate and harass our patients and

It is important to let our patients and the larger community know that
there is support for Planned Parenthood and the services we provide.

Sign-Up TODAY to take part in our Good Friday Solidarity event. The
purpose of this event is to provide a peaceful, pro-choice presence at our
Highland Park facility.

Planned Parenthood has been providing quality, affordable health care
services for the men and women of Minnesota for almost 80 years; we have
no intention of letting anyone intimidate us or close our doors.

We need all the support we can muster for this very important day!

Sign up for a shift to counter the protestors and or pledge a certain
amount of money per protestor (I pledged a nickel). This happens on April
6th, Good Friday.  -Linda Mann

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Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2007 20:39:13 EDT
From: BrennerL21 [at]
Subject: Soros Kicked AIPAC. Obama Kicks Soros. Let's Kick All Three.

"In this world, the follies of the rich pass for wise sayings."

Soros Kicked AIPAC. Obama Kicks Soros. Let's Kick All Three.
By Lenni Brenner

It is a sign of the changing political times that the 3/12 American Israel
Public Affairs Committee Washington conference received much more candid
journalistic treatment than AIPAC events have ever received. The NY Times
3/14 report, "Clinton and Obama Court Jewish Vote," got right to the

"As Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama compete for Jewish
donors and voters, Mrs. Clinton is following a tried-and-true rule of hers
from New York - support Israel to the last - while Mr. Obama is trying a
more delicate strategy that hit some bumps this week."

Clinton never stops pandering to New York's ultra-right Zionists. In an
age when most young educated Jews escape from Judaism and marry gentiles,
the 'feminist' candidate is constantly in sex-segregated Orthodox Jewish
synagogues, telling them of her great love of Israel, which of course
comes from her heart, not from their check books. Her same ol' same ol'
speech was remarked on, but Obama is the new comet in the Democratic sky
and the Times focused on what was different in his "I am pro-Israel"

"Several Jewish conference-goers said they were concerned by Mr. Obama's
remark Sunday in Iowa where ... he said, 'Nobody is suffering more than
the Palestinian people'.... Obama put the blame on the stalled peace
efforts with Israel and on the refusal of the Palestinian government to
renounce terrorism."

Obama represents Illinois, "the land of Lincoln." But he models himself
after the state's other great philosopher, Al Capone. Chicago's Mafia
leader proclaimed and proved that "kind words and a machine gun will get
you more than kind words alone." Obama has a history of telling
Arab-Americans that he 'feels the pain' of the Palestinians - while he
supports giving billions in weapons to their oppressors.

The Times coverage of Obama was distinctive for the paper, in giving
competition "for Jewish donors and voters" as the purpose of both leading
wannabe Democratic candidates. Since Hitler, for good and bad reasons,
writing about Jewish political money has been the great 'no-no' of
America's capitalist media. In 1991, I interviewed Harold Seneker, editor
of the "Forbes 400" issue of the magazine, for an article in the 2/11
Nation. I estimated that Jews, about 2.5% of Americans, were consistently
circa 20% of the 400 richest Americans. He wanted to write a story on it.
"Its a success, both for the Jews and capitalism."  But publisher Malcolm
Forbes wouldn't let him. He remembered the period after Hitler's 1933
victory inspired American anti-Semitic propaganda about 'Jewish money.' He
agreed with Seneker's thesis, but didn't want responsibility for even a
slight possible rise in anti-Semitism resulting from an article.

The taboo's negative has been mass media silence about the impact of
Zionist money on US domestic and foreign policy since Harry Truman,
wanting Jewish campaign contributions, supported Israel's creation in the
run up to the 1948 presidential election. But today many journalists, Jew
and gentile, are critical of Israel re the Palestinians, zealotry for Bush
staying in Iraq and threats of bombing Iran. For them, not talking about
Jewish money means not dealing with capitalist America's massive political
corruption. Thus the March 2 Forward, New York's prestigious 'Jewish
community' weekly, had no hesitation in running "How Many, How Much?," a
graph estimating Jews as 24% of the current Forbes 400 listing of the
"nation's richest."

Most Jews aren't rich. And among the rich, the most famous political
donor, George Soros, isn't a Zionist. The 3/23 Forward declared that he
just dropped a political bomb of "near-nuclear force" on American Zionism.
The billionaire's article in the post-dated 4/12 New York Review of Books,, argues that the US does Israel a
disservice in ritually backing it:

"While other problem areas of the Middle East are freely discussed,
criticism of our policies toward Israel is very muted indeed .... One
explanation is to be found in the pervasive influence of the American
Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which strongly affects both the
Democratic and the Republican parties .... Politicians challenge it at
their peril because of the lobby's ability to influence political

He long ago left Judaism behind, but he kept quiet about this because he
"did not want to provide fodder to the enemies of Israel." But now its
time for the American Jewish community "to rein in the organization that
claims to represent it."

Soros is a Tory reformist. He funds narcotics law reformers and other
worthy-issue groups. But the Drug Policy Alliance, which got 30% of its
funds from Soros, welcomed Republican conventioneers to New York in 2004,
even as a massive anti-war march protested against Bush and his party's
war. Now he wants Israel to negotiate with Hamas. "Fortunately Saudi
Arabia, whose position is also precarious, has a genuine interest in
promoting a settlement based on two states." He wants the Saudis to lean
on Hamas while the US pressures Israel into negotiating itself out of the
West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Never mind that Saudia is a vicious despotism. Ignore US arms to it and
Israel. Forget that the American people have absolutely no interest in
arming either criminal government. If Soros got his wishes fulfilled, the
result would be "Bantustine," guarded by Israel and America's Arab

Many Americans also want Israel to deal with Hamas, concerned for horrific
Palestinian living conditions, without sharing the billionaire's naive
imperial mentality. But nuking AIPAC was too much for Obama. His campaign
immediately announced that

"Mr. Soros is entitled to his opinions. But on this issue, he and Senator
Obama disagree. The US and our allies are right to insist that Hamas - a
terrorist organization dedicated to Israel's destruction - meet very
basic conditions before being treated as a legitimate actor. AIPAC is one
of many voices that share this view."

Soros is modern proof of Sancho Panza's proverb. He told Don Quixote that
"in this world, the follies of the rich pass for wise sayings," and Soros
gave the Democrats $28 million in 2004, knowing his party to be demagogues
pandering after Zionist cash, vainly hoping that they would beat Bush. The
3/21 Sun, New York's Zionist daily, was 'right on the money' when it
explained Obama's problem. Even if we presume that he really is troubled
by the Palestinians' wretched conditions.

"The Soros article puts Democrats in the awkward position of choosing
between Mr. Soros, a major funder of their causes, and the pro-Israel
lobby, whose members are also active in campaign fund-raising."

Soros cash would buy Obama media ads in Democratic primaries. But taking
it means AIPAC billionaires buying ads for Clinton. On the other hand,
denouncing Soros doesn't mean him running ads against Obama. And, if he
gets nominated, he can reasonably expect Soros to fund him against the
Republican. Soros's guileless reformism has ended him up with less, not
more, influence in inner circles of his lesser evil.

Democrats hustling Zionist money reaches surreal proportions. Party
leaders rage against Jimmy Carter - their own ex-president! - for
denouncing Israeli apartheid. Obama distances himself from his party's
biggest funder. But now the party may have to pay a liberal price for its
money chasing. Liberal Jews and gentiles see Obama as anti-Iraq war. But
many dislike Israeli policies. If anti-war lefts Keep the
AIPAC/Soros/Obama affair in front of their eyes, Obama dumping on Soros
can operate to make them suspicious of their party as a real anti-war
lesser evil. It doesn't take a high tech crystal ball to see Obama's
crisis as our opportunity. If we get our own act together, the anti-war
movement can move out of the wings and into the center of the America's
political stage.

Soros has more money than educated anti-war Democrats but they don't have
more brains than him. For now, they would still vote for any hawk the
Democrats pick in 08, as a lesser evil to any Republican. But if we start
an internet convention, ASAP, to pick a genuine anti-war presidential
candidate by the end of 2007, committed to running against the bipartisan
hawk-parties, many will sign on as they come to understand that the US
military isn't going to get out of the Middle East, whether the Democrats
win or lose.

In 2000 and 2004 they worried that voting for Nader meant electing Bush.
But now Democrats run Congress, and they aren't kicking Bush out of Iraq.
Working for a Democratic victory as a lesser anti-war evil is no longer
axiomatic for such types. In fact, if a left party came to life and drew
enough votes from the Democrats to elect a Republican, every pundit, right
to left, would understand this to mean that the anti-war movement was
growing in number and determination to end all of America's wars, once and
for all and forever.

Liberals voted Democrat in 1968 and 1972, fantasizing that their party
would end the Vietnam war. It lost. But Nixon's Attorney General stared
out of the White House at a gigantic march. While most demonstrators were
liberal Democrats, he knew the parade was called and organized by
Trotskyists, Stalinists, left Black nationalists, unions, pacifists and
such: "It looks like the Russian revolution." Determined Marxist
organizing cadre, only a few thousand at most, not Democratic politicians,
mobilized the hundreds of thousands that forced "bipartisan" Washington
out of Indochina. Nixon read the handwriting on the wall: Get out - or
get more radical explosions at home.

We have a better and worse situation. Bush is losing the confidence of
millions of Americans and the Democrats aren't gaining it. But neither are
the divided anti-war demonstrators. Nevertheless, we have the same task in
2007 and forever more: We must build a massive united street movement to
get US imperialism out of the Middle East and everywhere else, from now to

Henceforth, no one can talk intelligently about US Middle Eastern policy
without discussing AIPAC, Obama and Soros. We must shout from the rooftops
about Zionist campaign contributions. Anti-Semitism is "a fire that has
burned itself out" in modern America. It won't spring up from the ashes if
we take care.  Lecture audiences laugh when I rhetorically defend our

"Rich Zionists can't just walk in on a Democrat and bribe him! No way!!
They must sit in his waiting room with all the other bribe-givers until
its their turn!!!"

US politics is the story of unending corruption since New York's Tammany
Hall and other 19th century political machines, when Jews, rich or poor,
were a minuscule percentage of the population, and Zionists were
non-existent. We cannot seriously educate the public about the 'legalized
bribery' of Zionist campaign contributions to the modern Republicratic
Washington machine without putting it in its matrix of general grafting.
We won't persuade most Americans to end Zionist buying of our rulers,
alone. Nor should we try, when we certainly can mobilize millions who
already want abolition of private election contributions, with publicly
funded elections taking their place. In context, documented exposure of
Zionism's perfidious role is not only legitimate, it is a perfect
educational example of America's government of the rich, by the rich, for
the rich, which must perish from the earth.


Lenni Brenner is the author of Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, and
editor of Jefferson & Madison On Separation of Church and State: Writings
on Religion and Secularism. He blogs at, and can be reached at
BrennerL21 [at]


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