|Progressive Calendar 04.15.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2007 05:56:27 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 04.15.07 1. Protest Ellison 4.15 12:30pm? 1pm? 2. Stillwater vigil 4.15 1pm 3. AI 4.15 3pm 4. Corp personhood 4.15 3pm 5. Protest Wilmar 4.15 6:30pm 6. Sami/Iraq 4.15 7pm 7. US crossroads/TV 4.15 8pm 8. Algerian writer 4.16 4:30pm 9. Wine/land 4.16 5:30pm 10. Women/rad art 4.16-22 6pm 11. Killing zone/f 4.16 6:30pm 12. Cam/schools 4.16 7pm 13. US satirized 4.16 7:30pm 14. Dave Marsh - Rudy Giuliani, a racist with real power 15. Fidel Castro - The terrorist walks 16. Joe Bageant - Hang the professors, save the eunuchs for later --------1 of 16-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Protest Ellison 4.15 12:30pm? 1pm? [Protest Ellison's pro-war vote and his even worse "justification" of it; Betty McCollom's recent statement on MPR in favor of sending more troops; Amy Klobuchar's pro-war position; etc. IS there an opposition party, a party of the people, an anti-war party - or just another facile tool of the bloody ruling class? Fed up. -ed] Sunday, 4/15, 12:30 to 2:30 pm, Keith Ellison holds town hall on "The Iraq War: Steps Toward Peace," Powderhorn Park Rec Center, 3400 - 15th Ave S, Mpls. andrea [at] mplscluc.com Sunday, 4/15, 1 to 6 pm, the Network of Spiritual Progressives sponsors "Generosity Sunday" to change the security paradigm from domination to generosity, with speakers like Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison (perhaps canceled, due to above conflict) plus panelists like Arlen Erdahl and Jim Klobuchar, Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave (at Franklin), Mpls. www.nspmn.org --------2 of 16-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 4.15 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------3 of 16-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: AI 4.15 3pm GROUP 37 APRIL MEETING REMINDER: SUNDAY, APRIL 15TH - 3 TO 5 P.M. Join Group 37 for our regular meeting on Sunday, April 15th, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. This month's presenter will be Kay Yanisch, who will discuss human rights and other conditions in Guatemala. Kay is active locally in LAGOS (Lakes Area Group Organizing in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala). Her presentation will begin promptly at 3:00. In our second hour, we will catch up with the work of our various sub-groups and other Amnesty International news and campaigns. Everyone is welcome, and refreshments will be provided. Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis (corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot behind the center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn). A map and directions are available on-line: http://www.twincitiesamnesty.org/meetings.html. --------4 of 16-------- From: eric-angell [at] riseup.net Subject: Corp personhood 4.15 3pm A community discussion hosted by IMPACT: "What Peace Activists Need to Know About Corporate Personhood" Sunday, April 15, 3pm Mayday Bookstore (Below Midwest Mountaineering) On Cedar Ave, a block north of Riverside Ave 301 Cedar Ave, Mpls Economist and activist Karen Redleaf leads the discussion. Is peace possible under capitalism? How do corporations use "personhood" protections to undermine our efforts to create a just world? How can human beings reclaim our sovereignty and create a lasting peace and meaningful democracy? Feel free to read something on this not-well-known topic. Below are a few suggested, but not required, links: 1. Article: "Is Peace Possible Under Capitalism?": http://wmom.typepad.com/karen/2006/05/is_peace_possib_1.html 2. "A Force That Gives Us Meaning": http://www.poclad.org/articles/ferner07.html 3. Corporate Personhood talk: http://www.wilpf.org/docs/ccp/corp/ACP/Personhood_Talk.pdf --------5 of 16-------- From: Brad Sigal <bradsigal [at] gmail.com> Subject: Protest Wilmar 4.15 6:30pm COMMUNITY GATHERING AND CANDLE VIGIL TO STOP DEPORTATIONS. KEEP OUR FAMILIES TOGETHER. Dear Immigrant Rights Advocates and new Minnesotans, Come to a community gathering and candle night vigil to call for a moratorium on deportations and raids in our Minnesota communities like the one that just occurred in Wilmar. Bring stuffed animals, family photos, flowers and candles to value our families and bring hope to the children and people who have been torn apart by recent immigration raids. Let's stand together for humane immigration reform and against terrorizing ICE activity. Sunday, April 15, 2007. 6:30 pm. In front of the Ramsey County Jail, Ramsey County Jail, 425 Grove Street, Saint Paul, MN 55101 Everyone is invited; let's stand together in the public light against these injustices. Various community leaders, legislators, and solidarity groups will be present. Community gathering and candle night vigil to end deportations and keep families together. Live solidarity music and speakers will address the participants. This event is being organized by Jewish Community Action (JCA), Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition (MIRAC) and Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network (MIFN). To build unity, dignity and hope with the families who are being torn apart by racial profiling and terrorizing ICE tactics. To call for an end to raids and deportations. To advocate for the passage of an immigration bill with a clear path to legalization for our nation's new families and workers. To come out of the shadows and silence to help our legislators know these injustices are happening and that they must be immediately stopped. For more information, please call 612-250-5926. Alondra Kiawitl Espejel Communications Organizer aloespejel [at] yahoo.com 651.287.0660 x4 Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network 2500 University Avenue, Suite C8 St. Paul, MN 55114 www.mnfr.org --------6 of 16-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Sami/Iraq 4.15 7pm Sunday, 4/15, 7 pm, Muslim Peacemaker Team founder Sami Rasouli speaks at Prospect Park United Methodist Church, 22 Orlin Ave SE, Mpls. Kelly Jewett, 612-729-5814. --------7 of 16-------- To: mizna [at] mizna.org, MPC <MinnesotaProgressiveCaucus [at] yahoogroups.com> Subject: US crossroads/TV 4.15 8pm America at a Crossroads tpt2 Sunday, April 15 through Thursday, April 19 from 8-10PM tpt2 Friday, April 20 from 9-11PM America at a Crossroads Distinguished journalist Robert MacNeil introduces 11 documentaries that explore the challenges confronting the world after 9/11, including the war on terrorism; the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; the experience of American troops; the struggle for balance within the Islamic world; and Muslim life in America. Visit the companion web site for details on the films in the series. -------8 of 16-------- From: Joelle Vitiello <vitiello [at] macalester.edu> Subject: Algerian writer 4.16 4:30pm Macalester College Monday, April 16 at 4:30 PM in Humanities 401 Rachid Boudjedra "Faulkner et la littérature maghrébine" Rachid Boudjedra (born in 1941) is a prolific Algerian writer who has published numerous poems, essays, plays and novels. Boudjedra's fiction is written in a difficult, complex style, reminiscent of Faulkner. "La Répudiation" (1969) brought him sudden attention, both for the strength with which he challenged traditional Muslim culture in Algeria and for the strong reaction against him. Sponsored by The Department of French and Francophone Studies, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, and the Wells Fargo Foundation. --------9 of 16-------- From: tom [at] organicconsumers.org Subject: Wine/land 4.16 5:30pm Next Monday, April 16th, there is a great opportunity to support the organization doing more in MN to keep factory farms in check and support sustainable, family farms, the Land Stewardship Project (LSP). The Wine Company (http://www.twcwines.com/index2.cfm) is hosting Taste of the Earth where over 60 organic, biodynamic, or wines from sustainable farms will be available to sample. All proceeds go to the LSP and if you purchase any wine from a participating retailer a portion of those dollars will also be donated to LSP. Taste For the Earth A wine tasting benefit for the Land Stewardship Project Monday April 16, 2007 - 5:30 - 7:30 pm Old Arizona Theater - Minneapolis You are invited to attend The Wine Company's Taste For the Earth, a wine tasting event celebrating environmental stewardship. Attendees will have the opportunity to choose from over 50 different organic, biodynamic and sustainably produced wines from some of the most environmentally sound and innovative wineries in the world. You will be able to order sampled wines at the event from your preferred wine shop using forms provided at the event. In recognition of Land Stewardship Project's 25th anniversary, The Wine Company is generously donating 100% of ticket sales and all of their profits from wine sales proceeds to the Land Stewardship Project. The tasting will be held on Monday, April 16, from 5:30 - 7:30 at the Old Arizona Theater in Minneapolis (2821 Nicollet Avenue). Tickets are $23 and are required for the event. They can be purchased online at www.localwineevents.com/Twin-Cities-Wine/event-121149.html. If you have any questions please contact Mike McMahon at 612-722-6377. --------10 fo 16-------- From: wsac [at] umn.edu Subject: Women/rad art 4.16-22 6pm [NOTICE: This schedule is printed here JUST THIS ONCE - if interested, SAVE this notice -ed] The Women's Student Activist Collective Proudly presents our annual week long event Revolutionary Art Thing (RATH): Community Art Building April 16-22 RATH is the Women's Student Activist Collective's annual spring event that promotes art as an expression of social change. Past years' focus has been on music, fabric art and hip hop/street dance. 2007's theme is Community art building in all its diverse shapes and forms. We are excited to offer so many diverse and exciting events- from DIY workshops to performances! Please check out our schedule below and let us know if you have any questions or concerns on wsac [at] umn.edu or 612 625-1611 Many events are held at the of University of Minnesota and Coffman Memorial Union (CMU), 300 Washington Av SE. Monday April 16th Workshop on Global Resistance through Art in the Zapatista Movement. Learn and discuss! Zapatista coffee will be served with snacks 6-7.30 pm in WSAC space, CMU 202 Tuesday April 17th Community Clothing Swap! Bring all the clothes that you never wear anymore and exchange them for "new" clothes. This can include scarves/hats, purses, belts and shoes, etc. Even if you find stuff that doesn't fit- you can use our fancy sewing machine and make it fit! And this is not just for women, men can come too! Snacks and a good time guaranteed!!! 12-5 pm Come and go as you please in WSAC space, CMU 202 Wednesday April 18th Movie Screening and facilitated discussion: "Black and White" by Kirsty MacDonald "shines a sensitive light on a subject that is too often either shunned or sensationalized: the experience of intersex people." This beautiful and stylish film artfully explores the potent creative collaboration between Mani Bruce Mitchell and the acclaimed photographer Rebecca Swan. Snacks provided! 7 pm in WSAC space, CMU 202 Thursday [two events!] April 19th 1) Do It Yourself Pad Workshop! Come and learn how to make your own pad- environmentally sounds and super fun! We'll also be talking about alternatives to store bought tampons and pads. Snacks provided! 2.30 pm in WSAC space, CMU 202 2) "Underground Transit" performance by Scott Turner Schofield! FREE and VERY FUN! Thursday, April 19, 6:00 p.m. "Underground Transit" performance Nolte Center Room 140, University of Minnesota, east bank of the Minneapolis campus (315 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55455) Directions, map and parking info: http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/maps/NCCE/ Cost: FREE! ABOUT UNDERGROUND TRANSIT: Transgressing, undressing, digressing: go underground with an almost-Homecoming Queen turned gender renegade. This edgy yet accessible spoken word roll through one Southerner's budding trans identity set against the cityscape of the New York City subway features rock n' roll with a touch of drag, and incredible poetry that draws you in for the ride. See some clips at: http://www.undergroundtransit.com/movies.html ABOUT SCOTT TURNER SCHOFIELD: Scott Turner Schofield is a performance artist from Atlanta. Even more improbably, he's a Female-to-Male (FTM) transsexual with a queer, transgender identity living and working in the South. Aside from producing the fabulous work of other gender-focused artists (S. Bear Bergman, Athens Boys Choir, TEAM GINA) Schofield tours two original solo performances "Underground Transit" and "Debutante Balls" to colleges, festivals, and theaters nationwide, and has lectured on living realities of gender theory at over 30 universities since 2001. To learn more, please visit www.undergroundtransit.com or www.myspace.com/s_turner_s Friday April 20th UPCC Dinkytowner Concert Friday April 20th @ 9pm --> save the date Friday April 20th; 9pm Dinkytowner Bar UPCC benefit concert featuring GENA, The Battle Royale, Parallax and Dessa from Doomtree! To celebrate a fabulous first year of the University Pro-Choice Coalition $3.00 cover, all proceeds helping UPCC organize events you've been hearing about all year. 18+ Co-sponsored by WSAC Saturday [two events!] April 21st: 1) Book Making Workshop! Be creative and learn how to collaboratively make a book together through unconventional materials and with a theme to work around. Snacks provided! 2-4 pm in WSAC space, CMU 202 2) Witness for Peace: An evening of celebration against neo-liberal globalization! Art, politics and food! Saturday, April 21st at 6:00PM at the Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406-1931 Join us for an evening of art, music, food, and drink while we welcome Gloria Andina and celebrate the on-going creation of an international community, united against the forces of neo-liberal globalization. Gloria is a Nicaraguan community-leader who has been at the forefront of the anti-globalization movement for decades and has continuiously resisted the changing faces of US intervention in Latin America throughout the years. Gloria will share her experiences in an evening that also highlights the work of local artists combining art and politics, locally-made foods from Latin America, refreshments, and live local-music. Co-sponsored by WSAC Sunday April 22nd Revolutionary Performance Art! The last RATH event of the week that you just can't miss! Get revolutionized by the Twin Cities local performance art scene and have a good time with friends and allies! Performers: Desdamona with Il Chemistry, Finest B-Girls in the Cities [i.e. from the Rhytm Queens], Dancing Dave, Spoken Word with Verse, Genesys, Lady Lite, October, Songs with Mosun Rap with Nancy Drew and the Case of the Friendship Elephants The Whole Music Club, Coffman Basement B-52 Sunday April 22nd 6-8 pm This is an absolutely FREE event The mission of the Women's Student Activist Collective is to empower women and transpeople to make positive changes in society through the elimination of racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, classism, and all interrelated forms of inequality. wsac [at] umn.edu, www.tc.umn.edu/~wsac, 612.625.1611 300 Washington Ave. SE, Suite 202 --------11 of 16-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Killing zone/film 4.16 6:30pm FREE Third Monday Movie and Discussion: "The Killing Zone" Monday, April 16, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Hospitality Hall, 4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. British report on Israeli violence in Gaza against not only Palestinian civilians but international aid volunteers and foreign reporters, as well. Sponsored by: WAMM Third Monday Movies. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364. --------12 of 16-------- From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at] msn.com> Subject: Cam/schools 4.16 7pm You are invited to a roundtable discussion with me, Council Member Cam Gordon, and Minneapolis Public School District Parent Advisory Council Area B Representatives Kate Towle and Craig Nelson, on the future of our schools: Monday, April 16, 7-9pm, Van Cleve Park, 901 15th Ave SE. The meeting will offer us a chance to gather after The Minneapolis School Board's recent decision to close six neighborhood schools, including Tuttle School in Southeast Como. The bulk of the Tuttle program will be merged with Pratt School in Prospect Park. The discussion will be open and the meeting will offer a chance for all of us to debrief and share our feelings and thoughts about the recent decision and the intensity of the past few weeks. I also hope we can begin to address questions about the future. How can we, as a community, prepare for the closing of Tuttle? How can the facility remain a strong, healthy community asset for the Como neighborhood? Are there ways we can make sure in continues to serve children and families? Could it potentially be reused as a school outside of the Minneapolis Public School system? How can I, as a City Council Member, participate most effectively in responding to this blow to the community and positively influence what happens next? How can we, as a community, do more to support each other, across jurisdictions and across neighborhood boundaries, to strengthen our schools and all our community assets that serve children and families? We will be joined by representatives of District Parent Advisory Council Area B Kate Towle and Craig Nelson, who probably know and care about our schools as much as anyone in the community. District Councils are groups pulled together to provide parents and community members an opportunity to express their opinions and concerns with one another, as well as with district staff. Area B covers Central, Longfellow, Near North, Nokomis, Phillips, Powderhorn and University neighborhoods. While Tuttle is not actually in Ward 2, but in Ward 1, this is certainly a matter of concern to the entire Southeast community as well as the larger community. There are three Minneapolis Public Schools in Ward 2: Pratt Elementary, Seward Montessori, and Sullivan Communication Center. The meeting is open to everyone. Please spread the word. Cam Gordon Minneapolis City Council Member, Ward 2 --------13 of 16-------- From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at] gmail.com> Subject: US satirized 4.16 7:30pm Mike Palecek brings his national driving tour for *THE AMERICAN DREAM * (CWG Press) to Magers and Quinn Booksellers 7:30 pm Monday April 16. "Mike Palecek writes with passion, wit, and always with a profound social conscience."--Howard Zinn "The American Dream" is a satirical novel about life in a small town during the reign of George Bus - a town asleep in time of war--asleep at work, asleep at church, asleep at the wheel. The bus is headed toward a gigantic cliff and nobody is aware or seems to care. The people sleep, through the alarm, the house afire. It follows the path of anti-hero Michael M., after he is taken to a gulag in the corn after ramming his moped into the war memorial in the city park. M wants nothing more than to be on "The Home Helper Show" to be able to fix up his little house and make his family happy. He runs into an unusual set of circumstances, obstacles, dangers. He is seen by his neighbors as The Evil One. He is running around his own home town, down the alleys, maybe like The Fugitive if you remember that TV show--really unable to fathom what is going on, while around him the world burns. Mike Palecek is a peace activist and an anti-war protestor. He has been a seminarian, teacher, writer, editor-publisher of a small prize-winning newspaper in southeast Minnesota, prisoner, social worker, construction worker, janitor and Democratic candidate for Congress. Mike lives in Sheldon, Iowa. For further information, contact: David Unowsky 612/822-4611 davidu [at] magersandquinn.com Publisher website: www.cwgpress.com Author website: www.iowapeace.com --------14 of 16-------- Rudy Giuliani, a Racist With Real Power The Imus Affair, Hip Hop and Politics By DAVE MARSH CounterPunch April 14 In the immediate aftermath of the Don Imus scandal - before there was a resolution, in fact - respectable folks turned their sights on what I guess is the real threat to social harmony in this country: rap music. "A line has been drawn as to what is acceptable and what will not be tolerated," huffed Today show weatherman Al Roker. "A dialog has been started about race in our country. An opportunity has been created to start holding responsible those who produce and broadcast offensive music lyrics, both rap and rock, that denigrate and marginalizes women." Even more nauseating was the assault - you can't describe it better - by Kansas City Star columnist, Jason Whitlock, whose position is basically that Imus should have been left alone until the scourge of bad music and out-of-line musicians was repelled. The liberals and progressives I talked to and read mostly thought this a nifty keen thought, though of course Imus had to go, too. Presumably Roker and Whitlock are merely the warmup acts for the nation's chief hater of rap, rock and black youth: Bill Cosby, who must have been out making pudding or something during last week's contretemps. And where was that harridan against hip-hop excess, Oprah Winfrey, all week? The Imus mess certainly has given us a chance to observe the priorities of rich and powerful African-Americans - Cosby, Winfrey, Whitlock and Roker are all black. Somehow, maybe it would be hard for you to understand why, I found much more frightening than the last Busta Rhymes album (arguably, the best of his career) this New York Times headline: In Alabama, Giuliani Calls Confederate Flag a Local Issue (from the Wednesday May 11 paper, buried at the back of the A section; you can read it here.) That is, the leading Republican Presidential candidate is making a naked appeal to states' rights. If you're too young to remember, states rights was the pretext for the Civil War and a hundred years of Jim Crow and lynching after it. According to the deaf, dumb and blind boys who run the Washington and national political press corps, Giuliani is electable partly because he's a Northerner and not a "social conservative." (According to Imus, who hung with all those pundits, Giuliani's candidacy was appealing because he's "somebody who's willing to take three big ones and drop one on Mecca, one on Jeddah, and one onRiyadh." He said this about eight weeks before his "slip of the tongue" about the women who lost a basketball game for Rutgers.) Rudoph Giuliani has a history very similar to Don Imus, on whose show he was sometimes a guest, and more pertinently, to the last disgraced NYC talk show mouth, Bob Grant, an even more unapologetic racist. Rudy appeared quite frequently on Grant's show before Bob got bounced off WABC for celebrating the death of Clinton's African-American commerce secretary, Ron Brown, on the air. I'd say Rudy's considerably worse than either Imus or Grant, though. Grant used to refer regularly on his show to Mayor David Dinkins, Giuliani's immediate predecessor, as "the washroom attendant," and got away with it. But Giuliani empowered the racism of the New York Police Department in a special way. Giuliani used Grant's bigot rhetoric to help make himself mayor. In the midst of his 1992 campaign against Dinkins, Rudy cheerfully appeared at a demonstration (which came closer to the description "riot") of NYPD officers on the steps of City Hall. The cops were outraged that Dinkins had proposed a police review board run by civilians. Sure enough, one of the angry cops referred to Dinkins as "The Washroom Attendant." Giuliani stepped to the mic, and said nothing about the slur. So he didn't actually say the words but his unreserved support for the cops was endorsement enough. During Rudy Giuliani's terms as mayor, Amadou Diallo was murdered with 41 shots from gun-crazy cops. While Rudy Giuliani was mayor, Abner Louima was raped with a broomstick by Rudy's police. During his mayoralty, Rudy Giuliani slashed the budget of the Civilian Complaint Review Board that was established over his protests. In its first five years, during all of which Giuliani was mayor, the CCRB received 20,000 complaints - 4,000 a year. One cop lost his job - until the Louima rape. Then several went to jail. And having learned its lesson, the system allowed the Diallo cops to be tried upstate, instead of by a jury of New York City citizens. After the Louima rape, Giuliani characterized as "shameful" his opponents efforts to publicize and politicize it. We can probably count on him to do the same if his endorsement of states' rights in the form of the traitor's flag of the Confederacy is raised in the Presidential race. That's exactly why it needs to be raised, raised again and again. And when Jason Whitlock writes a column on this, he'll get some respect from me. Until then, he can kiss Busta Rhymes ass, maybe. I wouldn't have him near mine. Dave Marsh is editor of Rock & Rap Confidential. Marsh's definitive and monumental biography of Bruce Springsteen has recently been reissued, with 12,000 new words, under the title Two Hearts. He can be reached at: marsh6 [at] optonline.net Rock and Rap Confidential, one of the few newsletters both editors of CounterPunch read from front to back the moment it arrives, is edited by Lee Ballinger and Dave Marsh and now it's available to you for FREE simply by sending an email to: rockrap [at] aol.com. --------15 of 16-------- A Brutal Reply The Terrorist Walks By FIDEL CASTRO CounterPunch April 14 / 15, 2007 George W. Bush is undoubtedly the most genuine representative of a system of terror forced on the world by the technological, economic and political superiority of the most powerful country known to this planet. For this reason, we share the tragedy of the American people and their ethical values. The instructions for the verdict issued by Judge Kathleen Cardone, of the El Paso Federal Court last Friday, granting Luis Posada Carriles freedom on bail, could only have come from the White House. It was President Bush himself who ignored at all times the criminal and terrorist nature of the defendant who was protected with a simple accusation of immigration violation leveled at him. The reply is brutal. The government of the United States and its most representative institutions had already decided to release the monster. The backgrounds are well-known and reach far back. The people who trained him and ordered him to destroy a Cuban passenger plane in midair, with 73 athletes, students and other Cuban and foreign travelers on board, together with its dedicated crew; those who bought his freedom while the terrorist was held in prison in Venezuela, so that he could supply and practically conduct a dirty war against the people of Nicaragua, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and the devastation of a country for decades to come; those who empowered him to smuggle with drugs and weapons making a mockery of the laws of Congress; those who collaborated with him to create the terrible Operation Condor and to internationalize terror; the same who brought torture, death and often the physical disappearance of hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans, could not possibly act any different. Even though Bush's decision was to be expected, it is certainly no less humiliating for our people. Thanks to the revelations of "Por Esto!" a Mexican publication from the state of Quintana Roo later complemented by our own sources, Cuba knew with absolute precision how Posada Carriles entered from Central America, via Cancun, to the Isla Mujeres departing from there on board the Santrina, after the ship was inspected by the Mexican federal authorities, heading with other terrorists straight to Miami. Denounced and publicly challenged with exact information on the matter, since April 15, 2005, it took the government of that country more than a month to arrest the terrorist, and a year and two months to admit that Luis Posada Carriles had entered through the Florida coast illegally on board the Santrina, a presumed school-ship licensed in the United States. Not a single word is said of his countless victims, of the bombs he set off in tourist facilities in recent years, of his dozens of plans financed by the government of the United States to physically eliminate me. It was not enough for Bush to offend the name of Cuba by installing a horrible torture center similar to Abu Ghraib on the territory illegally occupied in Guantnamo, horrifying the world with this procedure. The cruel actions of his predecessors seemed not enough for him. It was not enough to force a poor and underdeveloped country like Cuba to spend 100 billion dollars. To accuse Posada Carriles was tantamount to accusing himself. Throughout almost half a century, everything was fair game against our small island lying 90 miles away from its coast, wanting to be independent. Florida saw the installation of the largest station for intelligence and subversion that ever existed on this planet. It was not enough to send a mercenary invasion on the Bay of Pigs, costing us 176 dead and more than 300 wounded at a time when the few medical specialists they left us had no experience treating war wounds. Earlier still, the French ship La Coubre carrying Belgian weapons and grenades for Cuba had exploded on the docks of Havana Harbor. The two well synchronized explosions caused the deaths of more than 100 workers and wounded others as many of them tool part in the rescue attempts. It was not enough to have the Missile Crisis of 1962, which brought the world to the brink of an all-consuming thermonuclear war, at a time when there were bombs 50 times more powerful than the ones dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was not enough to introduce in our country viruses, bacteria and fungi to attack plantations and flocks; and incredible as it may seem, to attack human beings. Some of these pathogens came out of American laboratories and were brought to Cuba by well-known terrorists in the service of the United States government. Add to all this the enormous injustice of keeping five heroic patriots imprisoned for supplying information about terrorist activities; they were condemned in a fraudulent manner to sentences that include two life sentences and they stoically withstand cruel mistreatment, each of them in a different prison. Time and again the Cuban people have fearlessly faced the threat of death. They have demonstrated that with intelligence, using appropriate tactics and strategies, and especially preserving unity around their political and social vanguard, there can be no force on this earth capable of defeating them. I think that the coming May Day celebration would be the ideal day for our people, - using the minimum of fuel and transportation - to show their feelings to the workers and the poor of the world. Havana, April 10, 2007. --------16 of 16-------- Hang the Professors, Save the Eunuchs for Later A Feral Dog Howls in Harvard Yard By JOE BAGEANT CounterPunch April 14 / 15, 2007 It is time to close America's universities, and perhaps prosecute the professoriat under the RICO act as a corrupt and racketeering-influenced organization. American universities these days have the moral character of electronic churches, and as little educational value. They are an embarrassment to civilization. -- Fred Reed, American expatriate writer and "equal-opportunity irritant." If there is one bright spot in the bleak absurdity of slogging along in our new totalist American state, it is that ordinary working Americans are undisciplined as hell. We are genuine moral and intellectual slobs whose consciousness is pretty much glued onto an armature of noise, sports, sex, sugar and saturated fats. Oh, we nod toward the government bullhorns of ideology, even throw beer cans and cheer when told we are winning some war or Olympic sports event. But when it comes right down to it, we could generally give a rat's ass about government institutions and are congenitally more skeptical of government than most nations, especially nations that get things like good teeth and free higher education for their tax dollars. Surely, there are governmental facts of life no working American can escape, like the IRS, but no ordinary person is dumb enough to actually trust political parties, banks, the courts or the news media. Born with the organizational instincts and global awareness of a box turtle, we take the most torpid political path - we call it all bullshit, pay lip service, vote occasionally, then forget about our government altogether until April 15th of the next year. As inhabitants (you couldn't really call what we practice citizenship) of a nation that is essentially one big workhouse/shopping compound, American life is simultaneously both easy for us and rather dangerous to the rest of the world. For instance, when the corporate state's CBS-ABC-CBS-FOX-NBC-XYZ television bullhorns told us some warthog named Saddam Hussein blew up the World Trade Center and probably fixed the NFL ratings too, Tony the electrician said, "Well, OK then. Sure, go ahead and bomb the fucker." Then he flicked to the Home and Garden Channel, where the guy in the plaid shirt is explaining how to get a skylight installed without leaking. Thanks to American industrial molecular science, there's yet another new sticky stuff miracle from Dupont, a tube of which costs about as much as the entire friggin roof. After the obligatory Dupont public relations sponsored tour of the plant where the goo is cooked up, plaid shirt guy gives "application instructions," meaning he tells you how to squirt it out of the tube. And somewhere along the line, between the plant tour and watching the goo dry, Tony gave "informed consent" to the war in Iraq without even knowing it, or for that matter, giving a shit. This sort of life has its advantages, such as never having to analyze the institutions that manage us - not that we'd know how even if we cared to. That's what television is for. Right? Given our short attention spans, compliments of the business state's 100-channel national nerve system (three minutes into the show and the blonde hasn't taken her bra off or killed anybody yet, CLICK!) diversion fills the void of understanding as a nation of clueless mooks knocks around the new American emptiness, wandering the mall food courts, and maybe half-heartedly looking for a pair of size XXXL 50-inch waist long wicking NBA shorts (they actually make'em), but generally is just bored. But hold yer drawers there, hoss, because we nevertheless do possess a seed of existential angst, however tiny, this despite the liberal intellectual managing class' and leftist profs' claims to the contrary. And that makes us potentially unmanageable politically speaking, potentially dangerous even (it's the length of the fuse that is deceiving.) We may be being lead around by our stomachs and our dicks with our eyes taped shut, but we're not total ideological slaves yet. Because even the worst ideology requires at least a modicum of thought, and as a people with no authentic intellectual culture, we haven't enough collective intellect or education these days to pull it off. Meanwhile, when it come to pulling off, that small American class in charge of all things intellectual are doing just that, jerking off a whole nation. Admittedly, it's an unenviable job, but there are people selfless enough to do it. These poor intellectual bastards constitute the most servile class in America - the Empire's house niggers. It is their job to maintain the semblance of ideological control over the pizza gobbling herd (America eats 126 acres of pizza a day!) for the Corporate States of America, which entertains no breach of official ideology, that collection of cliches and things that sound as if they ought to be true, according to our mercantile mythology and conditioning. So it is the American intellectual's gig to weave some philosophical and ideological basket of American Truth out of mercantile folklore and smoke in such a way as to appear to hold water when viewed at great distance by the squinting millions out there in the burboclaves, office campuses, construction sites and fried chicken joints. If the result were not so abysmally eye glazing, tedious and predictable, it would be an act of pure alchemy, truly spinning gold from chaff, turning mud bricks into bullion. Like we said, somebody's gotta do it, but the question remains as to why anyone would choose to. Answer: It beats working. "Blessed are the thinking classes, for theirs is the kingdom of tenure." -- Jesus to the Boston University Philosophy Department Though they never admit it, and especially to each other, these professors, book editors, intellectual critics, and social and economic "theorists" are very class conscious, privileged and understand that they occupy their desk chairs at the pleasure of The Corporation. You don't have to stand back very far to see they have been the spin masters of the business class from the outset, and have either held America together, or kept the fuck job going from the beginning, depending upon the class from which you are viewing American history. Of course they are only human. Like any group of people with a class advantage, they prefer to keep on drinking cognac and pissing it out upstream from the rest of the Pepsi swilling herd destined for bladder cancer. So this class sticks together, despite its prissy intellectual disputes in journals and critical publications. They produce "criticism" for the for the New York Times Book Review, or The National Review, etc., which, though it may even be lively at times, and often full of that vacuous wit that garden variety liberals so love because it revolves around a few threadbare names and dead ideas they learned during their college days or masters degree indoctrination. But the thinking classes' main job is to serve as intellectual hit men for the ruling elites, the business class, which doesn't come all that hard for them, having been all stamped out of the same dough on the Corporate system's university conveyor belt. Most are utterly convinced they are original and thinking for themselves, which in the university scheme of things means absorbing vast amounts of text, fermenting it in some sort of a second stomach and regurgitating it as a concentrated cud, supposedly unique because they alone coughed it up. The few who understand that this in no way resembles original thought usually keep mum, and keep their jobs in publishing or academia. Or flee screaming in despair once they figure out what is going on. Then too, there is a huge number for whom America's university system is a sheltered workshop; people who simply could not survive in the real working world, which, miserable as it may be, nevertheless demands a modicum of practicality and some scant ability to socialize. I once dated a university professor with a doctorate in linguistics who, honest to god, let her Irish wolfhound shit all over the house and completely destroy every piece of furniture in her place until she was forced to sleep in the attic crawlspace in a sleeping bag, and actually did not understand why nobody ever accepted her dinner party invitations. She was not, by the way, brilliant or eccentric. Just completely helpless and out of it in her own little corner of academic goo-goo-land. Yet out there on the plains of Washington State University hers was a reasonably respected intellect. Now you can skin the cat (or that goddamned wolfhound) any way you choose, but if you want to be a really respected intellectual, you must serve business and power. You must serve the only apparatus capable of allowing you exposure enough to make a lunge at respect, which after all, merely amounts to being allowed to create something scientifically useful to the Empire's goals, or in other cases, achieve that weird localized hothouse plant celebrity as an intellectual one finds on every campus. Either way, you'll never make as much money as say, Ann Coulter, who is infinitely more useful to the Empire and the business class that runs it than any intellectual can ever hope to be. Pistol whipped with the "business end" of a good education The United States has the most obsessive business class in the world. This would be no big deal if it did not direct the minds of the nation's population thorough its public relations indoctrination industry. This is a matter of life and death for the financial pickle vendors, sub-prime mortgage shysters and CitiBank, Morgan Stanley and other high financiers who have come to actually own this country. There is only one threat to their empire of debt: people acting in the interests of ordinary society - which in the rest of the world is known as socialism. Consequently, we have no socialist politicians and no socialist journalists in our entire press and media, which is simply unimaginable in most civilized places like Europe. It is important that the working class thinks it has the self-determination they learned about in high school civics classes designed in the universities, that they feel any kind of individual power at all, which basically comes down the tepid power of consumer choice, which makes them malleable, and intolerant of any voice that suggests otherwise. But if even one iota of class awareness were allowed to flourish here, well, much of the American business class and the entire Yale University faculty would be hiding out in Argentina. Without class interests and class awareness there can be no genuine politics or political parties. So, to the everlasting relief of the business classes, and with thanks to our university system's poli-sci, history and social science departments, we have neither. Despite all the media's political white noise, we have a depoliticized society. It may be that the Internet is changing things. It surely is the most refreshing opportunity to come along maybe in all of modern American history, and it does put heat on some political campaigns. No arguing that it influences certain influencers in society, to the degree that anything besides advertising influences anybody in the consumer republic. Problem is though, how do you create critical political mass in a depoliticized society? Most people don't vote and when it comes to actual participation in politics, opportunity is zilch. If you are not from the relatively privileged political and business segments, what the hell access is there for the individual to participate, except in one of the two business based and supported parties offered? Even at the local level. Anyone who has tried to affect one of these parties locally knows you either play entirely by the party line or stand isolated, over in the corner of the Holiday Inn meeting room with your paper plate of stale salami and Triscuits and keep your mouth shut and let the Rotary Club's big dogs bark. "Save the class dissidence bullshit for your next Al-Qaeda cell meeting, buddy!" It is 1958 and I am twelve years old, living on the edge of niggertown in Winchester, Virginia and hiding out in the Handley Public Library from the redneck bully kids. I am reading a somewhat pompous but erudite biography of a Harvard dean and wondering how such a mythical magical being could possibly exist in the same country and on the same planet as me. A place where my dad came home from the gas station every night, skin penetrated by and forever smelling of motor oil and cigarettes. Yet this man in this book, this Harvard dean who apparently ate fish eggs called caviar (I looked it up in the dictionary,) was a bulwark against something called McCarthyism, hated some people called communists and was friends with a fellow named John Kennedy. His name was McGeorge Bundy, which meant absolutely nothing to me, neither at the time, nor even later when he became one of the Kennedy administration's gurus who launched the Bay of Pigs and the cranked up Vietnam War. Still, reading about him beat the hell out of being bloodied by the red-faced inbred yokels who plagued the 10-block walk home from school. That same year I read Allen Ginsberg's "Howl," a copy of which was given me by am older kid, a fellow habitue of the decaying old Southern library, the queer son of the local insurance agent. It changed my life forever: "America when will you be angelic? When will you take off your clothes? When will you look at yourself through the grave?" Learning is a fickle thing. You never know which parts of it will turn out to be important and you don't really need any credential or even much literacy to begin the journey. After reading Howl I was pretty sure I was a class dissident, even though the word was not even in use yet. Before a word is born, there is a mumbling in the heart that cries for a name. All these years later I find great comfort in that there are any number of genuine class dissidents and original thinkers still nested within the university system, nursing happy-hour pitchers, writing poetry, formulating perfectly rational antidotes to our national delusions, even though they serve now as mere manikin proof of the great academy's tolerance for diverse ideas. They have been rendered eunuchs, but at least they are dissident eunuchs with health insurance. But I have always enjoyed living in or visiting major university communities. Just last week I had one of the most meaningful evenings in ages with the dissident crowd at the University of Pennsylvania in Philly. Thankfully, such dissidents prefer to congregate there instead of, say, Bob Jones Cult College or wearing the secret Mormon underwear of Brigham Young University. It felt like old times. It felt free. Sort of. Still though, there was a nagging feeling that these people were an endangered species. And also that they were actually philosophers and bards and artists, noble pursuits once esteemed by universities and the intellectual class, but somehow now fall under the category of dissents - which in America is code for terrorist sympathizing malcontents. >From the viewpoint of university administrators, my puny philosophy department, and even the entire humanities division, looks rather like some vestigial organ. The business school is the heart, the natural sciences are the brain, and we, who read Plato and Descartes, Homer and Montaigne, are the appendix, just waiting to be excised once and for all. -- Justin E. H. Smith, Concordia University philosophy professor. Meanwhile, until appendectomy happens, there are the nation's intellectual hall monitors to deal with. Most of America's intellectual class, like any privileged one that expects to maintain privilege, the intellectual class must be self-policing. So real dissidents and original thinkers are ignored and we watch B. F. Skinner's extinction behavior practice put into action. Smile and ignore the dissident to death professionally. Sometimes though, in spite of the best pest eradication efforts in the garden of academe, there sprouts a weed so completely antithetical to the great lie that he or she cannot be ignored. And if the offending party is particularly unlucky, he or she may be discovered by one of the political hacks sponsored to "elected office" by the Corporation, usually a Republican congressman looking for threats from within this very republic of eagles under god. Then all hell breaks loose. First the dissident is publicly discredited and demonized by an organized media lie campaign. After that, an appointed academic committee somehow discovers that his or her credentials, even after 25 years in the university system, are fraudulent and that there are some serious questions about his or her sexual appetites, not to mention his or her whereabouts on September 11. I once thought I understood the ways in which America removes those who would point to the essential global criminality by which all Americans draw their ration of bread. But as I watched this process be conducted on my friend Ward Churchill, I realized how the extraction of these people from society has become an exquisitely brutal form of public surgery, certainly chilling on the face of it, but even more horrifying for the entertainment value it provided for the cheap seats in the Coliseum. I've known Church for over 30 years and though I've never completely agreed with what I considered his somewhat violent take on things, I agree with him now. Not simply because the system took out another of my dissenting friends, but because for the first time I could see how the dismemberment of a thinking citizen's identity and life is conducted, tissue by tissue, through carefully sharpened lies and fraudulent moral and intellectual charges. In his starkest truth telling about the genocide perpetrated upon indigenous peoples, and in his now infamous description of the Empire's "little Eichmanns" occupying the World Trade Center towers, Church came too close to the truth about the kind of psychic violence that underpins The American Way, the unacknowledged kind that is executed by America's most servile class, the bureaucratic, managerial and intellectual classes that maintain a system which could never survive the light of truth or anything resembling real justice. It is because of guys like Church that the American intellectual establishment must conduct the self-policing of their own class. So a carefully nurtured and sustained system of intellectual critics finds faults, finds problems in the basic thesis or critical thinking or premise of any writer or thinker whose observations do not match the national hallucination being sold by the system's elites (to whom they must cater without appearing to cater.) Even the supposed intellectual left does this. In fact, probably does it best of all through its staunch assertions of the evils of free market capitalism, even though free market capitalism does not even exist and has never been practiced (more on that later). Most born into the establishment's intellectual class are born blind, rather like kangaroos or possums inside safe dark middle or upper middle class marsupial pouches where they experience nothing except what feels good as defined by the moist darkness of their nurture. And when they emerge they feel entitled to be where they are and honestly cannot see the system itself, never giving it a thought until they go off to college and, between spring breaks and beer parties, learn to experience and define reality through texts. Those who do see the system for what it is are either worn down by the sheer mass of our institutions, or construct elaborate mental architecture to bridge over and avoid the truth. While their efforts are often applauded taken up by fellow intellectuals - post modernism has been the latest of these, and like all such constructions, contains a maybe one or two fly-shit sized specks of truth - they are utterly lost in the national machinery of fabrication. Text is not reality. Hell, reality isn't even reality in this country. It is not too hard to grasp why unlettered but intuitive - and not a little bit vengeful - Chinese peasants in their revolution killed, humiliated and imprisoned the intellectuals. If Mao got one thing right it was that those intellectuals who pretend to ignore the existence of class, or refuse to live at the level of the most common class, are actually class exploiters, and entertain the pretense at their own eventual peril. No amount of text, no amount of ideology or pretense can ultimately protect us from reality, something which Americans are about to learn the hardest way possible. When it comes to the state sanctioned American intellectual establishment's support of charade and pretense, the biggest fraud of all has been the notion of capitalism and free markets. There never was a free market, and, as Howard Zinn has so often demonstrated, every single industrialized nation was built on protectionism from the beginning. Even a cursory study of economic history shows that not a single developed nation in the world has ever followed the rules of free market capitalism. Not one. Early America built its textile industry on protectionism from the British. A hundred years later our steel industry came about the same way. That is not to say the rules of free market capitalism are never observed. The rules of free market economics are for ramming down the throats of Third World or otherwise uncooperative peoples. Especially those tracking crude oil through the marketplace on the soles of their sandals. Yet there is scarcely a college or university, or business or school of that mumbo jumbo ritual called "economics" in this nation that does not teach "free market history" and free market "solutions" to such problems as the devastating eco collapse in progress, or that millions of babies shit themselves to death from dysentery or die for lack of a plain old drink of clean water. Watching doomsday on HBO Free market capitalism may have been a fraud from the git-go, but at least there was once a version which accepted the notion that any market needed customers. Once upon a time business in the industrialized world needed its citizen laborers as customers, as consumers, which implied they be paid at least enough to buy the products of the businesses and corporations that beat their asses into submission along America's assembly lines and hog slaughtering plants. That was called American opportunity and prosperity and it looked pretty damned good to millions of war ravaged Urpeen furiners trying to decide whether to eat a wharf rat or the neighbor's cat for dinner. As for the Third World, they could eat dirt and do native dances for what few tourists existed then (otherwise called the rich), but mainly they should stay out of the way of "our" natural resources in their countries. At any rate, when the citizen labor force, by their sheer numbers, held most of the dough in their calloused mitts, there was no avoiding them by the business classes. But now that so much of not just this nation's, but the world's wealth, has become concentrated in the hands of so few, that is no longer a problem for the rich. People are cheaper than ever and getting more plentiful by the minute. So work'em to death, kill'em, eat'em if you want to. Who the fuck cares? The international rich, the managers and controllers of the new financial globalism and the world's resources and the planet's labor forces, whether they be Asian "Confucian capitalists," masters of Colombian Narco state fortunes or Chinese Tongs, New York or London brokerage and media barons, or Russian oligarchs, hold increasing and previously unimaginable concentrated wealth. They look to be a replacement for the mass market, indeed even a better one with fewer mass distribution problems, higher grade demand and at top prices. Until then however, the real dough is still in the energy game, the big suckdown of hydrocarbons, that plus convincing Americans to burn up their own seed corn. Academics, economists and scientists offer "free market solutions," such as ethyl alcohol from corn - which most readers here know requires more petroleum to grow than energy it produces, and will deprive the rest of the world of much needed food - just so Americans may continue motoring the suburban savannah lands, grazing on Subway Cold Cut Combos and Outback's Kookaburra Chicken Wings. But even when the last Toyota Prius is forever moldering in the globally warmed deserts of Minneapolis, we proles will not be totally unprofitable creatures. Yesterday I read a gem of an economic paper asserting that in the emerging information, amusement, service, and "experience and attention economy," it is vital that "private business capture ownership and control of the public's knowledge and its attending rent streams." Apparently it's not bad enough that we become a third rate gulag of impoverished nitwits. They are going to charge us for the privilege. Oh, dammit to hell anyway. Like a lady in Philly told me last week, "Joe, you're always so grim about these things." She's right. It's not the end of the world. Just the opening act. There is still quite a bit of this ugly little drama to be played out. But I can say one thing with certainty: This may be, as the economic intellectuals assert, the new American "attention economy," but I sure as hell ain't gonna to pay to watch. Joe Bageant is the author of a forthcoming book, Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War, from Random House Crown about working class America, scheduled for spring 2007 release. A complete archive of his online work, along with the thoughts of many working Americans on the subject of class may be found at: http://www.joebageant.com. Feel free to contact him at: joebageant [at] joebageant.com. Copyright 2007 by Joe Bageant -------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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