|Progressive Calendar 04.09.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2007 07:08:10 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 04.09.07 1. RNC "welcome" 4.09 1pm 2. 2008 Green conv 4.09 7pm 3. Zapatista coffee 4.09 7pm 4. Sami/Iraq 4.09 7pm 5. Spirit progs 4.09 7pm 6. Labor v war 4.09 7pm 7. Climate crisis 4.09 7:30pm 8. Impeachment/KFAI 4.10 11am 9. Sami/Iraq 4.10 1:30pm Marshall MN 10. Sheehan/CTV 4.10 5pm 11. YAWR/recruiters 4.10 6pm 12. NO levees/film 4.10 6:30pm 13. S Africa 4.10 8pm 14. Housing rights 4.10 15. Johann Hari - Big Oil's vendetta against the electric car 16. Mike Adams - Big Pharma: heroin, LSD, meth, Ecstasy and speed 17. Ivan Lajara - Nader in Rhinebeck 18. Marc Levy - A Beginner's Guide to Combat --------1 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC "welcome" 4.09 1pm Monday, 4/9, 1 to 3 pm (potluck at noon), RNC Welcoming Committee meeting, Jack Pine Community Center, 2815 E Lake St, Mpls. www.rncwelcomingcommittee.org --------2 of 18-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: 2008 Green conv 4.09 7pm Fellow Greens, I am writing to you to give you an important "heads up" about local discussions that are occurring about whether Minneapolis should be the site of the GPUS's 2008 Presidential Nominating Convention. The next meeting of the exploratory committee will be on Monday, April 9, 2007, 7:00 PM at the 2nd Moon Cafe on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. All interested Greens are welcome to attend. --------3 of 18-------- From: david miller <spiritwell.shiatsu [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Zapatista coffee 4.09 7pm A Rebel's Dream Zapatista Autonomous Education and Medical Projects supported by Coffee Project Cafe Para la Vida Digna, www.cafeparalavidadigna.com, would like to invite everyone to a Seward Cafe event on April 9th, 2007, as they host a community potluck, presentation, Zapatista coffee cupping, and more. Monday, April 9th 7:00pm Seward Community Cafe 2129 East Franklin Ave. (Minneapolis) 612-332-1011 kitchen [at] sewardcafe.com 7:00pm Community Potluck 7:30pm Zapatista Coffee cupping 8:00pm Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc The Coffee Project, Autonomous Education, Medical Clinics & More This project began here in Minnesota as a modest effort to support Zapatista communities by selling what they produce. Years later a larger-scale project has emerged across the United States and is designed to fully fund the autonomous education system of the Zapatista Municipality in Rebellion Ricardo Flores Magon as well as their medical clinics and anything else that they deem critical to creating and maintaining their automomy. Join us as we share the story behind the project and how this project is a movement with autonomy at its foundation and unique from the larger Fair Trade Movement. for more information please contact the Seward Cafe 612-332-1011 kitchen [at] sewardcafe.com or Cafe Para la Vida Digna (612) 388-0552 --------4 of 18-------- From: "[iso-8859-1] katherine" <katherine [at] deltove.com> Subject: Sami/Iraq 4.09 7pm IRAQ TODAY: A FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF WAR & OCCUPATION Monday, April 9, 2007, 7:00 pm St. John Neuman 4030 Pilot Knob Road, Eagan Sami Rasouli will share his day-to-day experiences in Iraq and his insights about the role of the U.S. military, the resistance, the political climate, social conditions and the aspirations, hopes, and dreams of ordinary Iraqi people. Sami Rasouli is an Iraqi-American who grew up in Najaf. He left Iraq in the late 1970s and eventually moved to the United States, living in the Twin Cities area for more than 17 years. In November, 2004, nearly 30 years after leaving Iraq, Sami returned home to Iraq to help rebuild his country. Since returning to Iraq, Sami has worked with the Karbala Human Rights Organization in Najaf and has started several Muslim Peacemaker Teams, groups dedicated to the principles of nonviolence. Sami returns to this country for 2-3 months each year to help build bridges between the peoples of his two homes. For information, contact Katherine at 612-483-6041. Katherine Wojtan katherine [at] deltove.com 612-483-6041 --------5 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Spirit progs 4.09 7pm Monday, 4/9 (and each month's 2nd Monday), 7 pm (socialize and new member orientation at 6:30), Network of Spiritual Progressives meeting, Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet, Mpls. brucelissem [at] aol.com or www.nspmn.org --------6 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Labor v war 4.09 7pm Monday, 4/9, 7 pm, US Labor Against War,, Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marchall Ave, St Paul. Thomas Dooley at 651-645-0295. --------7 of 18-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Climate crisis 4.09 7:30pm Regular meeting of the Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities (3CTC). EVERY 2nd and 4th Monday at 7:30 pm. The Freight House Dunn Brothers, 201 3rd Ave S, next door to the Milwaukee Road Depot, Downtown Minneapolis. Stop global warming, save Earth! In solidarity w/people and the planet, Eric 651-644-1173 --------8 of 18-------- From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Impeachment/KFAI 4.10 11am For your information, KFAI Fresh Air Radio 90.3 FM in Minneapolis and 106.7 FM in St Paul has Mikael Rudolph of Impeach For Peace and myself [Green Party candidate Michael Cavlan] on the Show Catalyst with Lydia Howell, last Tuesday at 11 am as wll as the next two Tuesdays speaking on Impeachment of both Cheney and Bush. for those in greater Minnesota you can google KFAI Fresh Air and listen to the last show which is saved on archives. If interested, you can also listen live for the next two tuesdays at 11 am. --------9 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Sami/Iraq 4.10 1:30pm Marshall MN Tuesday, 4/10, Muslim Peacemaker Team founder Sami Rasouli speaks in Marshall: 1:30 intro to sociology class, 5:30 to 6 picket against the war, 6 pm dinner, 7 pm talking on WMDs and Contemporary Terrorism at Charter hall 217, MSU. For details write brockman [at] southwestmsu.edu or 507-537-7012. --------10 of 18-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Sheehan/CTV 4.10 5pm Dear St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts at 5 pm and midnight each Tuesday and 10 am each Wednesday in St. Paul. All households with basic cable can watch. 4/10 and 4/11 "Cindy Sheehan" Talk by Cindy Sheehan given in Mpls 1/30. Introduction by Becky Lourey. (Apologies for tape issues) "Our World In Depth" features analysis of public affairs with consideration of and participation from Twin Cities area activists. The show is mostly local and not corporately influenced! For information about future programing of "Our World In Depth", please send an e-mail to eric-angell [at] riseup.net. (PS It might be better than PBS.) --------11 of 18-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: YAWR/recruiters 4.10 6pm Board Rejects Student Demands on Military Recruitment YAWR Calls for Action on April 10th By Ty Moore Last November students from Central High Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR) sent an open letter to the St. Paul Board of Education demanding substantial restrictions on military recruitment in all district schools. Central YAWR gathered hundreds of student signatures on petitions demanding military recruiters, who regularly set up elaborate lunch-room tables, be restricted to school career centers; that all contact with students be supervised by school officials to combat the well documented pattern of deception and manipulation recruiters use to fill their monthly recruitment quotas; and that the military be barred from visiting schools more frequently than other post-secondary institutions. Students were careful to craft their demands within the legal framework established by No Child Left Behind, so the Board could substantially restrict recruiters without risking loss of federal funds. YAWR mobilized over 60 community supporters, carrying signs reading "Demilitarize Our Schools," to the December Board of Education meeting. Teachers, parents, veterans, military families, and students themselves flooded the public comment period, providing powerful testimony against military recruiters' manipulative tactics and lies, and against the unjust war that Minnesota youth are being recruited to kill and be killed for. In January Central High students met with Board members and, in a room packed with military recruiters, provided added testimony during a special Board committee meeting. Board members showered the students in praise for their professionalism, and gave the impression their demands were being taken seriously. But after two months of "investigations," the Board of Education met on March 27th and chose to ignore student demands. "Essentially they did very little," said Sean Foltin, a senior with Central High YAWR. "They just referred the issue [of military recruiters' heavy presence in schools] back to school principals." Attempting to frame the decision as a "compromise" the Board agreed to allow minors to sign their own opt-out forms to prevent their personal information being turned over to the military. "They took the issue of opt-out forms, which had been a very small part of our demands, and blew it out of proportion," explained Sean. "I'm definitely disappointed with the results." Brandon Madsen, a full-time organizer with YAWR, responded angrily to the decision: "This is a slap in the face - I hope they don't think this means we'll just walk away. The truth is that going into this campaign last fall, we didn't have a lot of hope the Board would actually pass our demands. But we wanted to go through the official process and see what happened. Now we know that walkouts and more serious direct action by students will be needed to get the military out of our schools... It seems that aggressively confronting the recruiters every time they show up is the only thing that works" to get recruiters to leave school lunch rooms. Take Action! Join YAWR and community supporters for a protest at the next St. Paul Board of Education meeting. Tuesday, April 10th, 6:00 PM 360 Colborne St, St Paul, 55102 Sign up for public comment: 651-767-8149 --------12 of 18-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: NO levees/film 4.10 6:30pm Tuesday, April 10 the salon will finish watching the dvd film "When the Levees Broke" the Spike Lee film that was on HBO. It is the film he made in New Orleans after Katrina. We will start right at 6:30 so we can finish it. Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. --------13 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: S Africa 4.10 8pm Tuesday, 4/10, 8 pm, South Africa's Witwatersrand University prof Xolela Mangcu talks about "Which Way South Africa after Thabo Mbaki?" about top-down technocratic approach versus community participation methods for change, Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Institute, 301 - 19th Ave SE, Mpls. 612-626-5054. --------14 of 18-------- From: farheen [at] farheenhakeem.org Subject: Housing rights 4.10 National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty Center on Housing Rights and Evictions and St. Stephens Human Services presents... Housing as a Human Right Conference Tuesday April 10, 2007 Training Workshop: Promoting and Defending the Human Right to Housing in Minnesota. To be held at St. Stephens Human Services 2211 Clinton Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55404 This workshop will be a unique opportunity to connect the inter-related issues of housing, social justice and the human right framework. It is designed to engage grassroot activists, housing and homeless advocates, legal aid lawyers, community service providers, students, and others interested in learning more about the human right to housing - especially those that are experienced homelessness. Registration will be open shortly! Cost $25 per person. Free and reduced rate for homeless and low income participants. For more information, please contact: Mayra Gomez at Mayra [at] cohre.org or Josh Lang at jlang [at] ststephensmpls.org --------15 of 18-------- Big Oil's Vendetta Against the Electric Car by Johann Hari Published on Saturday, April 7, 2007 by The lndependent/UK Somewhere out there, in the dusty basements of the Chevron-Texaco corporate headquarters, there is a technology that can - in one swoop - slash global warming emissions, save millions of people from respiratory illnesses, and stop us trashing the Middle East to seize its oil. Yet it is being deliberately left to rot, in the hope we will all forget about it. This sounds like the plot to a bad retro-episode of the X-Files, but an award-winning documentary released this week on DVD in Britain reminds us this technology is real and it is still there, waiting to save us. The film is called "Who Killed the Electric Car?" Its story begins in the smogged-out state of California in the early 1990s. The people of the Sunshine State were waking up with a cough to a crisis: one-quarter of all 18-25 year olds in LA County had severe lung lesions or chronic respiratory diseases caused by air pollution. The state government realized they had to act - so they seized on news of a dramatic new technology. General Motors (GM) had developed a prototype of an electric car with swelling consumer potential. It was a sleek, silver car that could drive at the same speed as a fossil-fueled hunk of metal - only with no exhaust fumes and no carbon emissions. You simply plugged it in at night, like a mobile phone, and drove off in the morning. The electricity costs the equivalent of 30p for a gallon's worth of travel, as opposed to the 4 Brits pay at the petrol pump. But GM seemed reluctant to push this extraordinary product onto the consumer market. So the California State Senate decided to give them a nudge. They passed a law that said if you want to sell cars for California's roads, a proportion of them have to be electric cars: 2 percent in 1998, 5 percent in 2001, and 10 percent in 2003. The state senators envisaged a day when electric cars would turn the old fossil fuel beasts into relics. They argued that since it took a law to get seatbelts, airbags and catalytic converters into cars, we also need a law to get toxic fumes and surplus global warming gases out of the atmosphere. The car companies were immediately and irreparably enraged. They began a two-pronged strategy: the most grudging and stuttering possible compliance with the law, while lobbying fiercely alongside Big Oil to have the law scrapped. The first electric cars appeared on California's roads nonetheless, and a slew of celebrities like Tom Hanks, Ted Danson and Mel Gibson snapped them up and plugged them at every opportunity. But the people working on selling the electric cars noted something odd: GM was deliberately underselling them. Chelsea Sexton, one of the company's electric car specialists, explains that the team had to fill in vast questionnaires for every customer, only for most to be inexplicably rejected: "I had to fill in a resume for Mel Gibson listing his accomplishments and achievements, because they said he didn't warrant a car." Instead of marketing them with sexy women draped over the cars, GM's ads had odd opaque graphics and the voice of an elderly woman. Big Oil speedily joined this anti-advertising campaign. Exxon-Mobil followed its standard operating practice of setting up fake consumer groups to spread disinformation about the products, saying they were bad for the environment. This corporate coalition finally succeeded in repealing the law - and GM immediately called in all their electric cars and sent them to the scrap heap. The drivers offered over $1.9m to keep the last remaining models - but the company preferred to destroy them. A bemused Sexton says, "There's no precedent for a car company rounding up every particular kind of car and crushing them, as if they're afraid one will get away." Their campaign almost complete, Chevron-Texaco came in with a final blow. The biggest drawback to the electric car had been its limited range: one charge lasted around 60 miles, then the car stopped. So the distinguished engineer Stan Ovshinsky created a battery that could run up to 300 miles at 70mph on a single charge - enough to get from London to Scotland, and make the car extremely popular. The oil companies bought the technology. It has not been seen since. Why? Why would a string of corporations turn down cash and scrap a potentially extremely profitable technology? Isn't that contrary to everything we are taught about how market economies work? The oil companies had an obvious interest in stopping an alternative to fossil fuels. There is $100 trillion of oil left in the earth, and they plan to mine it - even if doing so will make the planet uninhabitable. Anything that could divert that cash away from them is a threat to be crushed. But why did the car companies collaborate? Electric cars have no combustion engine - and it is in maintaining and replacing those engines that makes up a hefty chunk of Detroit's profits. A transition to batteries, which require little maintenance, would be a disaster for their balance sheets. Besides, marketing clean electric cars would mean admitting that their core product is dirty. Tom Everhart served on the board of GM for more than a decade, and he explains how the conversation about the electric car went there: "We said that [using the electric car] we can meet the zero emissions requirements. Then we said, 'Do we want to show we can meet them? That means all our other cars.'" Thatcho-Reaganites are always lecturing about how unregulated markets are the best way to stimulate innovation. The story of the electric car is a parable about how, to the contrary, unregulated markets often quickly descend into a corporate oligopoly that smothers new technologies in their cot. Only tough, democratic regulations - which they mock as "red tape" - keeps markets from devouring themselves. The California government's regulations spurred innovation, until they were scrapped. Out here in the smog, we have never needed the electric car more. The Royal Commission of Environmental Pollution warned this week that the air pollution in London is now as damaging as the low-level radiation Chernobyl survivors were exposed to, knocking an average of eight months off your life. The daily carnage in Iraq is the result of our burning thirst for oil. And more important still, global warming is acting like a slow-mo carbon bomb dropped on the planet, destabilizing the climate in ways we cannot control and cannot predict. But however much we cry for it, the electric car will remain moth-balled in the vaults of Chevron-Texaco - until we change our economic system to put the needs of people before the unhindered, unhinged preservation of profits. 2007 Independent News and Media Limited [ed: Capitalism is the sociopath to destruction. Those really really nice people at the country club are making life worse for all the rest of us. What insanity leads us to look up to them? There is a place the sun doesn't shine and we could tell them to go there. -ed] --------16 of 18-------- The secret history of Big Pharma's role in creating and marketing heroin, LSD, meth, Ecstasy and speed by Mike Adams NewsTarget.com Originally published April 3 2007 Most consumers think that street drugs are in an entirely different class than prescription drugs, and they believe that pharmaceutical companies would never manufacture or sell street drugs. But guess what? As you'll read here, drug companies actually invented many of the street drugs now considered to be the most devastating, including heroin and meth ("ice"). Here are seven facts you probably never knew about the connection between street drugs and pharmaceutical companies: 1. Heroin was launched as a medicine by Felix Hoffman, an employee of Bayer, only a few days after he invented aspirin. Bayer immediately applied for a trademark on the term "heroin," then began marketing the drug as a cure for morphine addiction. It was also marketed as cough syrup for children. 2. Parke-Davis, a subsidiary of Pfizer, promoted and sold cocaine. It even produced a "cocaine injection kit" complete with a syringe for shooting up. Skeptical? You can view the picture yourself by clicking www.NewsTarget.com/gallery/articles/ParkeDavisInjection.jpg 3. A subsidiary of Novartis, Sandoz Laboratories, introduced the world to LSD in 1938, marketing it as a psychiatric drug named Delysid. This same drug company also created saccharin, the artificial chemical sweetener. 4. Drug giant Merck pioneered the commercial manufacture of morphine from opium and was a heavy pusher and marketer of cocaine. Merck also patented MDMA (Ecstasy, the rave drug). After World War II, Merck also began producing pesticides and food preservatives. 5. Ritalin is "speed" for children. A chemical amphetamine, Ritalin is made of controlled substances that would land you in prison if you sold them to a kid on the street, yet the drug is currently prescribed to millions of schoolchildren in the United States to treat a "brain chemistry condition" that was invented by the drug companies. 6. In the 1930's, drug companies marketed amphetamines as over-the-counter inhaler medicines for treating nasal congestion. Tablet amphetamines were also widely available in tablet form and frequently abused by students, truck drivers and other groups. 7. Meth was originally synthesized by chemists and later refined by drug companies. During WWII, "meth" was actually prescribed to soldiers by the U.S., Germany and Japan. Even Hitler was known as a "meth head" by his own staff. By the end of the war, millions of military personnel were addicted to the drug. Today, meth ("crank") is made from ingredients found in over-the-counter cold medicines. While a meth epidemic sweeps America, destroying entire communities and even threatening some states (Hawaii in particular), drug companies insist their cold medicines should remain over the counter and not be classified as controlled substances. There is currently no legislative effort whatsoever to ban over-the-counter cold medicines containing the chemicals used to create meth. Also related: Coca-Cola really did contain cocaine during its first few decades on the market (it also contained kola nut extract, hence the name). Cocaine was later removed from the formula and replaced with caffeine, a substance that is similarly addictive and serves much the same purpose. Once you realize the connection between street drugs and prescription drugs, it's easy to figure out why Big Pharma is such a strong supporter of the Partnership For A Drug-Free America -- because they don't want consumers getting their drugs from street dealers, they want people buying their drugs from drug companies! Drug companies' attempts to outlaw street drugs are little more than a way of eliminating the competition and monopolizing the drug market. Ultimately, Big Pharma is just another drug pushing cartel that has the same goals as any drug dealer: Convince customers they need your drug, get them hooked on it, and eliminate the competition. The only difference is that Big Pharma has been so successful at dealing drugs that it has enough funds to buy off Congress, the Food and Drug Administration and practically the entire psychiatric industry (not to mention medical schools and mainstream media outlets). Today, more than 40 percent of the U.S. population ingests FDA-approved synthetic chemicals manufactured and marketed by drug companies. Drug companies think this number is too low. Their goal is to have 100 percent of the U.S. population taking not just one drug per day, but multiple drugs every day, for life. --------17 of 18-------- Nader in Rhinebeck Nader, in local visit, scoffs at political machine but won't commit to running again By Ivan Lajara, Life Editor 04/08/2007 <http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?brd=1769> RHINEBECK [NY] - Consumer advocate, political activist, lawyer and four-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader continues to rage against the political machine, but he isn't sure if he'll run for president again in 2008. "It's too early," Nader, 73, said to about 160 people on Saturday after a sold-out screening of the documentary "An Unreasonable Man" at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck. "You need thousands of volunteers to answer that question." During the hourlong question-and-answer session after the two-hour documentary film about his life, Nader leveled harsh criticisms at the current U.S. political system, President Bush, the Iraq war, the lack of civics education and activism, and even iPods. NADER SAID the political system is America is "like a business now. You get quarterly reports of how much money (Senators Barack) Obama and (John) McCain have raised" for their presidential campaigns. The system "should concentrate on voter participation" instead, he said. "It's an absurd situation," Nader said. "You have candidates running around, getting money, making promises, making deals - quietly and explicitly." Then, he said, the candidates use that money to buy advertising. "And we own the airwaves," he said. "It's collective capitalism. ... Control what you own." NADER CALLED Bush "a runaway president" and the war in Iraq "a horrendous tragedy." "He sent us to war on false pretenses," Nader said, adding that Congress - especially the Democratic Party - has been too timid about curbing the president's powers. "The presidency is working outside of the law," he said. "The future of the Democratic Party is one of critical decision," Nader said. "Do you want to be a corporate party or the party of the people?" He said presidents need to address important domestic issues like health care and employment, as Hyde Park native Franklin Roosevelt did in the 1930s and '40s. ASKED IF he had any regrets, Nader said he wished he could have organized watchdog groups in every congressional district in the country during the 1960s, "when we were winning fights in Washington." "It was easier to do in the '60s than now - the iPod age," he said. He said the country "grossly underestimated the impact of electronic gizmos," which he believes have caused a "paralysis" of participation and activism in America. "That was a huge miss," he said. "We should have paid more attention." NADER ROSE to prominence in the mid-1960s after leaving a job in the U.S. Department of Labor and publishing his now-famous book about auto safety, "Unsafe at Any Speed." His book and activism led to the implementation of the 1966 National Traffic And Motor Vehicle Safety Act, in which the federal government mandated the inclusion of seat belts in motor vehicles. NADER RAN for president as a write-in candidate in 1992 and was the Green Party nominee in 1996, 2000 and 2004. His 2000 run angered Democrats who viewed the votes he got in Florida and other closely contested states as helping Bush defeat Al Gore. Bush edged Gore by 537 votes in Florida after a monthlong recount and secured the remaining electoral votes he needed to take the White House. Nader received 97,488 votes in the Sunshine State. MARGARET Feldman of Rhinebeck said she came to see the Nader documentary with a blank slate. "I was angry at him," she said, referring to the 2000 election. "Now I have a new look." Feldman said she views Nader as an inspiration and that "the jury is still out" about his legacy. Russ Austin of Rhinebeck said he, too, was angry at Nader over the 2000 election but that the film "revitalized his image." He also said, though, that the cynic in him makes him believe that's what the filmmakers wanted. STEVE Leiber, who runs Upstate Films - a small, independent, non-profit moviehouse - with his wife, Dede, said the documentary is favorable toward Nader but "not a glorification." "It's somewhat critical," Leiber said. Leiber said he initially wanted to have the filmmaker as the guest speaker on Saturday, but when that didn't pan out, it was suggested he call Nader instead. Leiber thought getting Nader would be a longshot but said he was "thrilled" when he learned on Monday that Nader was available. NADER arrived at Upstate Films about 3 p.m. Saturday, just as the screening ended, accompanied by a bodyguard and two aides. "Isn't there a movie going on here?" Nader quipped as he entered the theater. "Yeah, you're in it," Dede Leiber said. After the screening and Q&A, Nader made his way across U.S. Route 9 to Oblong Books to sign copies of his new book, "The Seventeen Traditions." CDaily Freeman 2007 --------18 of 18-------- [Serious humor] A Beginner's Guide to Combat "Oh, Boy, I Don't Think They Like Us!" By MARC LEVY CounterPunch April 7 / 8, 2007 There was no one like 'im, 'Orse or Foot, Nor any o' the Guns I knew; An' because it was so, why, o' course 'e went an' died, Which is just what the best men do. --Rudyard Kipling Disclaimer This guide is intended solely for personal use. It is not meant to cure, diagnose or treat war or its symptoms. If you are new to Afghanistan or Iraq and have experienced fire fights, ambushes, rocket, mortar or ground attacks for more than two weeks, see your sergeant, lieutenant or company commander for useful advice. If you are an American civilian, however, it is likely that you have scant knowledge of how recruits train for war, what soldiers actually do in combat, or how the returning veteran adapts to civilian life. Below, these topics are discussed in full and truthful detail. Recruiters Contrary to numerous reports depicting recruiters as bottom feeders, vultures, flim flam artists, used car salesmen, carney barkers, swindlers, grifters, gutless outlaws, sniggering ne'er-do-wells, heartless card sharps and the like, these honorable men and women offer prompt and accurate guidance to those who wish to serve our country in the present War on Terror. In spite of it being impossible to invade and occupy a concept (On War, Clausewitz , 1832); despite the "coalition of the willing" having nearly dried up; and given that a majority of Americans and Iraqis want the US out of Iraq, such concerns are of minor consequence to those who have full faith in our Commander in Chief. The fact that desperate recruiters routinely waive criminal convictions, turn a blind eye to physical health limitations and disabling mental states, accept near substandard test scores and are happy to cough up flashy bonuses to naive potential recruits, merely shows the generosity of our noble government. To think otherwise is to invite the curse of critical inquiry. Although lawful under the Constitution, to question the integrity of avid recruiters or the democratic halo of our present campaign is a vile, scrofulous, immoral act without a scintilla of merit or hope of redemption. War is hell but war is good. That is all there is to it. Basic Training Each morning at 9am, after a blissful nights sleep, caring drill instructors, schooled in diplomacy, coax future warriors awake by humming arias from Bach, or calling softly, "Wakey...wakey." The tinny reveille bugle a thing of the past. Associate Drill Instructors (ADI's) help dress the recruits in stylish uniforms made of ring spun Egyptian cotton and choice Chinese silk. Thereafter, reclining on Louis XIV wing back chairs, recruits, snacking from Steuben glass bowels plump with grapes and figs, watch tenured professors teach bed making skills. Next, the ADI's hail Rolls Royce limos which transport the budding paladins to five star restaurants. Under crystal chandeliers, troops sit at rare teak tables adorned with fine linen cloths, upon which rest individual settings of antique cutlery, fresh cut flowers, silver pitchers of glacial water, and warmed moist napkins to cleanse the hands or pamper the face. In minutes, French chiefs deliver an exquisite meal of eggs Benedict, Canadian bacon, Guatemalan fruit cups, and Costa Rican coffee. After leisurely table talk, the sated recruits begin the day with a round of golf, horseback rides, or a brisk, guided, trail excursion to a nearby mall. The latter perfects martial shopping skills, which are essential in urban combat. At precisely 11AM drill instructors permit male recruits a one hour nap. Females may elect aroma therapy and/or pedicure. A gourmet lunch is served at 1PM. Afternoons are spent on tennis, badminton, or handball courts. At the 7PM. dinner (jacket and tie or cocktail dress and heels required) appetizers of Cajun Double Seared Shrimp, entrees of Escargot de Bridget, and hefty slices of Black Forest Brownies drizzled with organic fudge flakes are much in demand. Whiskey, wine or champagne are served, as are post dinner mints and Cuban cigars. Evening lecture topics include: an unexpurgated history of home decor, introduction to erotic astrology, and technical advances in grooming three legged cats. On week ends recruits consult with stock- brokers, real estate or literary agents. Lights out at 11PM. Two months of AIT, (or Advance Infantry Training) follow the six week rigors of Basic. Soldiers participate in armed spelling bees, combat quilt making, and night vision yoga. Deployment All troops fly Business Class to Bagdad. Second, third and fourth tour vets are issued Very Frequent Flyer Cards. Arrived in Iraq, the new soldiers are awed at the sight of vermillion rose petals which dot the landscape as far as the eye can see. After greeting the troops, squads of eager First Sergeants shlep the soldiers' eighty pound duffles on the short walk to the historic Baghdad Bar and Grill. These fine career NCO's decline all tips. After a two week orientation at Paul & Jay's Hotel Fallujah, located twelve miles beneath the Green Zone, the troops roller blade the secure one mile black top back to the airport. Sleek executive jets transport them to the appropriate base. Weapons In a senseless 2001 report, "M4A1 5.56mm Carbine and Related Systems Deficiencies and Solutions: Operational and Technical Study with Analysis of Alternatives" the Army's Special Operations Command wrote that the M4 automatic rifle, has an "obsolete operating system," and recommended a "redesign/replacement of current gas system." Thankfully, Col. Robert Radcliffe, Director, Combat Developments, US Army Infantry Center plans to buy 100,000 M4s in fiscal 2008. It is irrelevant that three years ago, Delta Force junked their M4s in favor of the HK 416, an automatic rifle said to be the best in the world. Even if the M4 jams, locks up, or misfires, American soldiers must and will continue to carry it into battle. Depleted Uranium Much the same can be said for Depleted Uranium, a critical component used in munitions by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. DU is what is left after natural uranium has been enriched, either for weapons-making or for reactor fuel. In solid form it's mildly radioactive there is no cause for concern. Yet having twice the density of lead, the instant a DU shell hits a tank, it burns straight through it, then erupts in a white hot vapor cloud, which neutralizes (i.e. incinerates) the occupants. Sadly, unfounded reports suggest that after the vapor turns to dust it is chemically poisonous and radioactive and destructive when inhaled or makes contact with skin. Hippies, peace-niks and rouge scientists say this wonderful weapon causes radiation poisoning which makes soldiers sick. Yet since 1993 well-known activist and Gulf War vet Dan Fahey has completely failed to convince consecutive federal committees and politicians that DU is toxic. "I've just given up hope," he says. In effect, Mr. Fahey's noble but futile efforts bolster the fact that DU is wholly harmless. Indeed, many Gulf War and Iraq vets feel that moderate to extreme DU exposure dramatically boosted their self-confidence, libido, and credit ratings. Four out of five dentists surveyed agree that DU effectively treats dandruff, halitosis and frostbite, and increases telepathy by an average 37%. However, to safeguard the Homeland, at this time DU is not available in stores or on TV. The Rules of Engagement and the Language of Combat If confronted by insurgents, American soldiers are trained to ask "comfort questions" and fire their weapons as a last resort. "Comfort questions" may include but are not limited to: 1. Excuse me, sir. Can I offer you a cold glass of water? 2. Hi there! Can I borrow your cell phone? I left mine back at the base. 3. Aloha! May I trouble you for a light? 4. I beg your pardon, do you have any spare M16 ammo? I'm all out. 5. Hello! Is there a nearby sushi bar you can recommend? In the event of attack by automatic weapons fire, mortars or rockets, road side explosions, or sophisticated ambushes designed to confuse, disorient and overwhelm American forces, the use of profanity by American troops is strictly prohibited. Only appropriate terms may be used while engaging the enemy. For example: 1. Boy, oh boy, I don't think they like us! 2. Gee whiz, that sure was close! 3. Hey, dude, you missed! Now it's my turn! 4. Oh gosh, will you look at that! 5. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Soldiers who violate the engagement rules and/or cuss the enemy will be promoted in rank. Limit, one promotion per month. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion. Offer expires April 1, 2020. Sex Periodically, soldiers may have the urge to fornicate. All fornicatory requests must be put in writing and submitted in triplicate to the Battalion Medical Officer, who will issue one Combat Condom per request. Upon completing the fornicatory act and placing the used Combat Condom in a UCCC (Used Combat Condom Convoy), the soldiers will stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Contrary to reports of male soldiers sexually harassing, molesting, assaulting or raping female soldiers (see below) the Army permits only authorized fornication, with a maximum of twelve fornicatory acts per year. Marines may fornicate thirteen times per combat tour. Navy and Air Force personnel do not have sex. Recently, journalist Amy Goodman interviewed three female combat veterans on her show Democracy Now! Also interviewed was Columbia University professor Helen Benedict. Discussed at length were allegations of a climate of fear, of male soldier's harassment, control, intimidation, rape or attempted rape, the indifference to female soldiers petitioning their military commanders, either stateside or in war zones. But in fact, male soldiers in all branches of the military take pride in treating their female counterparts with honor and respect. To advance as fact the fantasy of male domination, entrenched female inferior status, or to doubt the principle of gender equality in the US military is to question a basic precept of our armed forces. It is essential to put such heretical thoughts to rest: male and female service members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, whether in peace time or at war, live, work, play and when necessary fight in perfect tandem and fraternal harmony. Drugs Although the UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that the 2006 opium harvest in Afghanistan will be 6,100 tonnes, more than thirty times 2001 production levels under the Taliban government, there is absolutely no illicit drug use by American soldiers in that country. Instead, during and after combat missions, American troops drink mocha lattes or vanilla frappuccinos to slake thirst, assuage fatigue and increase peer status. In Iraq, soldiers caught smoking hashish are subject to Sharia law. Racism There is no racism among American troops in Afghanistan or Iraq. Spics, micks, whops, spooks, kikes, polacks, krauts, japs, yids, chinks, wet backs and red necks view each other in identical high regard. The same can be said of fairies, dykes, punks, bimbos, addicts, greasers, sluts and peanut puffers. As well, American combat troops never refer to Iraqis or Afghanis as rag heads, towel heads, hadjis, dune coons, scum bags or pieces of amphibian shit. Such epithets may be used only by officers above the rank of Colonel. Morale Despite rumors that Iraqi's hate the U.S. occupation, the truth is they love it, and vie for the chance to offer troops cold beers, pork ribs, the latest issue of Penthouse. In consequence, our soldiers' morale is skyrocketing. Any day of the week in Afghanistan or Iraq, troops on convoy duty or foot patrol are smiling from ear to ear. Due to superior battle tactics, advanced equipment, and clear mission goals, re-enlistment rates are surging. Indeed, many veterans are shouting, "Iraq! Iraq! I want to go back!" Coming Home Returning soldiers are thoroughly evaluated by skilled mental health staff. Prior to release or furlough, troops must correctly answer a variety of questions to assure intact mental health. Such questions may include but are not limited to: 1. Did you have a good time at war? Do you plan to keep in touch with the enemy? 2. Did you miss any reruns of 'The Soprano's?' 3. How often do you have thoughts of peace on earth? A: Once a day. B. Twice a day. C: All the time. 4. Did you enjoy fraternizing with the friendly people of Afghanistan or Iraq? A: Yes. B: Of course. C. You bet'cha! 5. When do you think democracy will come to these countries? A: Very soon. B: Very, very soon. C: It's here! Upon satisfactorily answering these questions the combat troop is honorably discharged or given two months leave, $9,000 in unmarked one dollar bills, and a chance to appear on American Idol. Medical Care In addition to the 2003 reports filed by Mark Benjamin on salon.com, a great deal has been written about the woeful treatment of wounded veterans, the dreadful failures at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Department of Veterans' Affairs. It is true that oversights have occurred, yet on balance they are acceptable shortcomings: inconvenient but petty grumblings, modest in scope and of limited value. To put the matter in perspective, after a recent visit to Walter Reed, William J. Richardson, Jr., head of the famed First Cavalry Association, recalled fondly, "The system is working there should be nothing too good for these soldiers and their families." Furthermore, he stated, "Once again I heard loud and clear the news media got it wrong, the good things are never reported." (The Saber, January/February 2007). Mr. Richardson's words are in direct contrast to the daily diatribes initiated by the quixotic reports from the Washington Post, new revelations by Benjamin, and concomitant incendiary blasts from VAWatchDog.org. This encyclopedic web site, overseen by the zealous Larry Scott, issues a continuous drumbeat of carefully documented editorials, wire service dispatches, credible interviews, streaming videos, pod casts, and all manner of up-to-date, fact- checked, balanced and clearly written information on the VA. Here is a recent sampling of what the scrupulous Mr. Scott has on offer: o Veterans Suffer as VA Delays Disability Claims Some veterans have died while their claims...were unresolved for years at VA. o Sen. Larry Craig Moves to Dismantle VA Healthcare SystemWants to offer private healthcare to service-connected veterans. o New British Test Can Detect Depleted Uranium Exposure after 15 YearsScientists have found no DU in the 350 Gulf War veterans they have tested. o Podcast: Larry Scott Radio Interview on American Legion and VA Panic ModeWith Thom Hartmann. But surely this dutiful, well-intentioned man, this industrious and prolific writer, must know the lamentable effects his original and aggregated articles, however well sourced, however accurate, however credible, have on American citizens and soldiers. There is, quite frankly, no need for lively and candid discussion on the emerging scandal of Personality Disorder discharges, the erratic quality of medical care for active duty personnel or the narrowing VA services offered to our vagabond heroes. More precisely, the simple truth is this: the courageous men and women who have fought with distinction on the battlefield, should continue their bravery off of it by suffering in dignified silence. Yes, despite horrific wounds, seen or unseen, irrespective of battle stars bestowed for gallantry in action, no matter the number of combat tours in Afghanistan or Iraq, citizens or soldiers who dare to speak of VA failings, of our military's elemental decay, corruption, loss of leadership, and overall impoverishment, should be civilly disciplined or promptly discharged for citing legitimate concerns and demanding redress. Indeed, the use of torture, indefinite detention or deportation should not be ruled out. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder The disabling effects of PTSD are well known to combat veterans and mental health providers: flashbacks, heightened startle reflex, intrusive thoughts of killing one's self, thoughts of killing others, depression, rage, despair, sadness, aggression, isolation, are just a few of its symptoms. However, according to a news story detailing a report in the March 2007 issue of Playboy magazine, the respected Dr. Sally Satel, a psychiatrist and mental health adviser to President Bush and a member of the American Enterprise Institute, sees PTSD this way: "I'm not saying PTSD doesn't exist, but it's gotten out of hand. I mean, if you see a lot of action and then you come home, you have a hard time walking your dog by the bushes at night, maybe you just avoid the bushes." (PRNewswire-USNewswire). Despite the fact that post combat stress has lead to countless ruined marriages, homelessness, drug abuse, and a gamut of intolerable sufferings, here are three simple cost effective ways to deal with it: 1. Unpublished medical reports indicate that in controlled studies, male Iraq/Afghanistan combat vets who watched reruns of 'I Love Lucy' nine hours per day over a three month period reported improved eyesight, three hour erections, and lower cable bills. Female veterans reported less spam, higher SAT scores, and faster service when dining out. 2.The energetic application of enemas prior to sleep has been shown to diminish nightmares in officers below the rank of colonel. 3. In a White House medical study held at an undisclosed location, nine hundred Iraq/Afghanistan combat veterans were ordered en mass to write the phrase "I will not kill anything that moves or breathes," on 20 x 20 foot slate chalk boards, ten thousand times in two hours. The chorus of screeching chalk sticks, the monotonous drone of men and women mouthing the indelicate phrase, and the inevitable stench rising from the mob of sweaty uniforms, resulted in a paradoxically soothing effect which lasted from three to six weeks. Participants also reported improved penmanship, lower cholesterol and faster drying times at the laundromat. Post War Employment for Veterans Due to the robust health of the US economy the unique skills of Humvee mechanics, tank drivers, artillery crews and infantry soldiers are much in demand. Starting salaries, commensurate with experience, include outstanding health care benefits, full pension plans, stock options, tuition reimbursement, union membership, paid maternity leave and subsidized childcare. Qualified veterans should send their resumes to the White House ASAP. The fax number is 202-456-2461. Summary Books like Cobra II (Gordon and Trainor, Pantheon, 2006 ), The Freedom (Christian Parenti, The New Press, 2005), and others of this ilk purport to objectively examine the Global War on Terror but merely serve to confound the populace, displease the President, and discomfort our fighting troops. The unexamined life is better. To pair and paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld and Hippocrates, "Life is short, war is long." Indeed, war builds character, strong bodies and sound minds. Though it may damage, ruin or scar the soldier, in the end, when we victors survey the beautiful wreckage of plundered landscape, the multitude lost and broken lives, still we lift our heads to inhale the acrid scent of battle, awed by our great endeavors. To be otherwise disposed would invite disaster. Yes, we who are triumphant must hold dear the belief that old soldiers never die but fade away, and we must trust that those younger will shortly follow. Marc Levy can be reached at silverspartan [at] gmail.com , but please note: the above piece is satirical in purpose. Do not waste your time informing Vietnam Vet Levy that his description of Army life does not conform with reality. He is describing a deeper reality. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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