|Progressive Calendar 04.28.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 23:27:03 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 04.28.07 1. Cupcakes/Arise 4.28 1pm 2. Save some dogs 4.28 2pm 3. SpanCivilWar/film 4.28 7pm 4. Colombia 4.29 9:30am 5. Stillwater vigil 4.29 1pm 6. RNC "welcome" 4.29 1pm 7. Luxton Park arts 4.29 3pm 8. Blind/play/TV 4.29 9:30pm 9. Ryan Blethen - Big media's assault on democracy 10. Bennis/Jensen - Moving beyond anti-war politics 11. Michael Parenti - Mystery: how wealth creates poverty in the world --------1 of 11-------- From: "amanda [at] pinkslipmedia.org" <amanda [at] pinkslipmedia.org> Subject: Cupcakes/Arise 4.28 1pm CUPCAKE FUNDRAISER Support Arise! by stopping in and purchasing delicious cupcakes on Sat. April 28., 1-4pm. A good old-fashioned bake sale to raise money for your favorite independent bookstore. Vegan and gluten-free cupcakes will be available along with cupcake paraphernalia. Reasonable prices. Arise! Bookstore - 2441 Lyndale Ave. S. - Mpls http://www.arisebookstore.org --------2 of 11-------- From: Jeanne Weigum <jw [at] ansrmn.org> Subject: Save some dogs 4.28 2pm http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=252271 http://www.kare11.com/video/player.aspx?aid=46456&bw Animals get second chance Just last year Humphrey was an overweight pooch with allergies and a few other problems. The shelter he was at thought he was unadoptable so they called another organization called Second Chance Animal Rescue. A volunteer took Humprhey in, put him on a diet and socialized the little guy. Now, one year later, Humphrey is ready to go to a loving home. Second Chance Animal Rescue is a completely volunteer organization that takes in and fosters animals that can't seem to get adopted at a regular shelter. Now Second Chance needs your help. Saturday, April 28 there is a fundraiser at Dog Days in St. Paul. Dog Days is located at 2120 Myrtle Avenue and the event runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be lots of stuff to do including a silent auction. Bring along your favorite furry friend too! --------3 of 11-------- From: "amanda [at] pinkslipmedia.org" <amanda [at] pinkslipmedia.org> Subject: SpanCivilWar/film 4.28 7pm Film Screening: Diego, Sat. April 28, 7pm Arise! Bookstore - 2441 Lyndale Ave. S. - Mpls presented by Arise! Bookstore & Black Dog Cafe FREE Diego (Dir. Frédéric Goldbronn, 1999) is a documentary about the Spanish Civil War as told through the recollections of Diego Camacho, a.k.a. Abel Paz. On July 19, 1936, General Francisco Franco led an attempt to overthrow the democratically elected Republic of Spain. In Barcelona forces from the trade unions quickly defeated Franco's forces and went on to take direct control of the city. Though only just fifteen, Diego Camacho participated in this fight and went on to join the anarchist Durruti Column at the Aragon Front. After the war, he was exiled to France where he fought in the French Resistance and continued his struggle with the Spanish anarchists against Franco's rule. Writing under the name Abel Paz, Diego Camacho is the author of many works, including Durruti in the Spanish Revolution, which has just been released in the first-ever complete English translation by AK Press. This biography of Buenaventura Durruti is the story of a principle revolutionary leader told against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil war. Discussion to follow. --------4 of 11-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Colombia 4.29 9:30am Sunday, 4/29, 9:30 to 10:30 am and 11 to noon, lawyer and Colombian human rights advocate Irma Rodrigues shares her story about talking with both paramilitaries and guerillas, at All Saints Lutheran Church's "Blessed are the Peacemakers" series, 15915 Excelsior Blvd (corner with Woodland), Minnetonka. randerson5356 [at] comcast.net --------5 of 11-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 4.29 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 --------6 of 11-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: RNC "welcome" 4.29 1pm MTG:Sunday, 4/29, 1 pm, Republican National Convention Welcoming Committee meeting, Jack Pine Community Center 2815 E Lake St, Mpls. www.nornc.org --------7 of 11-------- From: Mary S Schieffer <magicmary2 [at] juno.com> Subject: Luxton Park arts 4.29 3pm Luxton Park Painters Annual Art Show and Sale Sunday, April 29th, 2007 3:00 - 5:00 pm Luxton Park 112 Williams SE, Mpls Drawings, Paintings, Prints Cards, Jewelry, Watercolors [Both of my sisters will have works on display for you to oh and ah over (and under). You may also comment on how two _relatively_ normal sisters could have such an odd brother. They will smile and laugh that curious little laugh that they're known for in five states. "Did two sisters e'er have such a lugubrious cross to bear?" they will not so quietly lament. This is your cue to say, slowly with great feeling, "No way, Jose". -ed] --------8 of 11-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Blind/play/TV 4.29 9:30pm RISING STARS is a video made with blind and visually impaired students at Minnesota State Academy for the Blind. This stellar show will play on public television on The Minnesota Channel, TPT-17, on Sunday April 29 at 9:30pm. To see some really cool clips, zoom to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DRiVLc6ZlY Directed by Media Mike with audio description by Mari Griffin and support from Young Audiences and V S A arts of Minnesota, this film shines in the dark wasteland we call television. For more, call 651.227.2240. Zoom, Media Mike http://www.thecie.org --------9 of 11-------- Big Media's Assault on Democracy by Ryan Blethen Published on Friday, April 27, 2007 by The Seattle Times "Enough" is a word that means little to corporate media. The few bloated companies that remain atop the media food-chain have crossed the line from growing profits to actively pushing rule and law changes that will wound our nation. These mega-companies move from one industry to the next in the name of consolidation, driven by a Wall Street appetite that demands more every quarter. Companies once devoted to a particular sector are now behemoths that have control over almost everything read, watched or listened to. Time Warner is a prime example. A magazine publisher and a movie studio is now a leviathan made up of Time Inc., AOL, HBO, Time Warner Cable, New Line Cinema, Turner Broadcasting Systems and Warner Bros. Entertainment. Each part comprises a number of other companies. Time Inc. consists of 130 magazines. It is Time Warner that is responsible for the latest assault on a mechanism set up to promote democracy and innovation. I am not talking about the Internet, but the U.S. Postal Service. That's right, old snail mail. Our postal system is written into the Constitution and was set up in a way that all publications, regardless of size or influence, could reach the public. James Madison even said that publications should be sent free. "It is really one of the great build-outs of democracy in our country," said Bob McChesney, professor of communication at the University of Illinois and president of Free Press. The mail system faces new challenges in an electronic world, but it is still vital, and democracy will suffer if the new rates instituted by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) are allowed to stand. The Postal Service sought a modest increase that was acceptable for magazines and periodicals. Then Time Warner got the ear of the PRC, which thrust an incredibly convoluted pay metric written by Time Warner on the Postal Service. The new rates are good for Time Warner because it will be cheaper for them to send out their 130 titles, while smaller and independent publications will be paying crippling rates. McChesney believes this change, scheduled to go into effect July 15, is dangerous for the nation because it will silence voices that are the bedrock of original reporting. "The crucial point here is that most of the original material online and most of the articles that bloggers are blogging about come from ink on paper," said McChesney, who is fighting the PRC's decision. Time Warner is hardly the only Biggie to cozy up to a regulatory agency. The consolidation of the press has been going strong for nearly three decades. Radio contracted like an imploding sun after the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The act allowed companies to own an obscene number of stations in the same market, while the Federal Communications Commission did little. This push to collect and condense has now infringed on the Internet. Cable and telecommunications companies such as Comcast and Verizon are fighting the network-neutrality effort. There are currently no permanent rules stopping these companies that supply the pipes through which the Internet flows from tinkering with different pay scales. Without a neutrality law and strict oversight by the FCC, companies and Web sites would have to pay additional fees to the network provider so Web pages could load at the speed they should. The American consumer - who already pays more than consumers in other countries for broadband service - would pay an even larger bill. Progress has been made on the net-neutrality front. Late last year, AT&T accepted a net-neutrality rule so its merger with BellSouth would be approved by the FCC. Problem is, AT&T is only held to the rule for two years. Net neutrality has not seemed to hurt AT&T. The company posted a first-quarter profit of $2.8 billion, up from $1.4 billion. Radio on the Internet is now also under attack. If a recent ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board stands, small and independent Internet radio stations will have to pay royalty fees so onerous that many might not survive. The aggression directed at democratizing systems that have long served - and should continue to serve - our nation is worrisome. The institutions charged to protect the public have failed. Americans have had enough. Now is the time to get active. Ryan Blethen's column appears regularly on editorial pages of The Times. His e-mail address is rblethen [at] seattletimes.com Copyright 2007 The Seattle Times Company [How long are we going to take this from the bastard ruling class? How long are we going to vote lesser-evil - and have the Dems screw us just like the Reps do? -ed] --------10 of 11-------- What Comes After Withdrawal? Moving Beyond Anti-War Politics By PHYLLIS BENNIS and ROBERT JENSEN CounterPunch April 27, 2007 As Congress sends its bill requiring partial troop withdrawals from Iraq to the White House for a certain veto, it has never been clearer that mobilizing against this war is necessary, but not enough. Congressional Democrats may be willing to stop there, but demanding the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq is only the first of our obligations to help create the conditions for real justice and peace in the Middle East and around the world. It's crucial that we also advocate for an entirely new foreign policy based on opposition to the long U.S. drive toward empire. That first step is, of course, crucial. When 78 percent of the Iraqi people oppose the presence of U.S. troops and 61 percent support attacks on those troops, it's clear that our presence in the country is causing - not preventing - much of the violence. Pulling out U.S. troops (including the 100,000-plus mercenaries who back the U.S. military) won't eliminate all Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence, but it will remove the reason many Iraqis are fighting. That would take away the protective umbrella that the widely supported anti-occupation violence currently gives the real terrorists - those engaged in killing civilians for political or sectarian reasons. Once U.S. forces are gone and the reason for the legitimate resistance to foreign occupation is eliminated, the ugly terrorist violence will be exposed for what it is and it will be possible for Iraqis themselves to isolate the terrorists and eliminate them as a fighting force. But what comes after a U.S. withdrawal? We clearly owe the Iraqi people massive reparations for the devastation our illegal invasion has brought. Only in the United States is that illegality questioned; in the rest of the world it's understood. Equally obvious around the world is that the decision to launch an aggressive war was rooted in the desire to expand U.S. military power in the strategically crucial oil-rich region, and that as a result the war fails every test of moral legitimacy. As we organize against the occupation, we also must work to end U.S. support for Israeli occupation and try to prevent an aggressive war against Iran. But all of this is part of a larger obligation of U.S. citizens: We must challenge U.S. empire. The U.S. troop withdrawal and reparations should be accompanied by a declaration of a major change of course in U.S. foreign policy, especially in Iraq and the Middle East. We need a new foreign policy based on justice, relying on international law and the United Nations, rather than the assertion of might-makes-right. This takes us beyond a critique of the mendacity of the Bush administration, to recognize that similar dreams of conquest and domination have animated every administration, albeit in different forms. >From the darling of the anti-communist liberal elite (John F. Kennedy) and the champion of so-called "assertive multilateralism" (Bill Clinton), to the crude Republican realist (Richard Nixon) and the patron saint of the conservative right (Ronald Reagan), U.S. empire in the post-World War II era has been a distinctly bi-partisan effort. In his 1980 State of the Union address, President Jimmy Carter called for domination of the Middle East: "An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force." In other words: We run the region and control the flow of its oil. George W. Bush took earlier administrations' power plays to new heights of reckless militarism and unilateralism, seizing the moment after 9/11 to declare to all nations: "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." In other words: We demand global capitulation. The only way to transcend this ugly history is through an honest national dialogue and a promise of a sea change in U.S. policy. Look around the world at the results of U.S. strategies. Rhetoric about democracy and free trade has masked the enforcement of political and economic subordination to the United States and U.S.-based multinational corporations. The people of Latin America, much of Africa and the Middle East, and many parts of Asia can offer compelling testimony to the impact of those policies, enforced now through more than 700 U.S. military bases spread across the globe in over 130 countries. Such empires are typically brought down from outside, with great violence. But we have another option, as citizens of that empire who understand how this pathology of power damages our country as well as the world. Imagine what would be possible if we - ordinary citizens of this latest empire - could build a movement that gave politicians no choice but to do the right thing. Imagine what would be possible in the world if an anti-empire movement were strong enough to make it clear that ending military violence requires a just distribution of the resources of this world. Imagine what is possible if we work to make inevitable one day what seems improbable today - the justice that makes possible real peace. Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies and author of Challenging Empire: How People, Governments and the UN Defy U.S. Power. She can be reached at pbennis [at] ips-dc.org. Robert Jensen is a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. He can be reached at rjensen [at] uts.cc.utexas.edu. --------11 of 11-------- Mystery: How Wealth Creates Poverty In The World by Michael Parenti April 26, 2007 Countercurrents.org Printer Friendly Version There is a "mystery" we must explain: How is it that as corporate investments and foreign aid and international loans to poor countries have increased dramatically throughout the world over the last half century, so has poverty? The number of people living in poverty is growing at a faster rate than the world's population. What do we make of this? Over the last half century, U.S. industries and banks (and other western corporations) have invested heavily in those poorer regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America known as the "Third World". The transnationals are attracted by the rich natural resources, the high return that comes from low-paid labor, and the nearly complete absence of taxes, environmental regulations, worker benefits, and occupational safety costs. The U.S. government has subsidized this flight of capital by granting corporations tax concessions on their overseas investments, and even paying some of their relocation expenses - much to the outrage of labor unions here at home who see their jobs evaporating. The transnationals push out local businesses in the Third World and preempt their markets. American agribusiness cartels, heavily subsidized by U.S. taxpayers, dump surplus products in other countries at below cost and undersell local farmers. As Christopher Cook describes it in his Diet for a Dead Planet, they expropriate the best land in these countries for cash-crop exports, usually monoculture crops requiring large amounts of pesticides, leaving less and less acreage for the hundreds of varieties of organically grown foods that feed the local populations. By displacing local populations from their lands and robbing them of their self-sufficiency, corporations create overcrowded labor markets of desperate people who are forced into shanty towns to toil for poverty wages (when they can get work), often in violation of the countries' own minimum wage laws. In Haiti, for instance, workers are paid 11 cents an hour by corporate giants such as Disney, Wal-Mart, and J.C. Penny. The United States is one of the few countries that has refused to sign an international convention for the abolition of child labor and forced labor. This position stems from the child labor practices of U.S. corporations throughout the Third World and within the United States itself, where children as young as 12 suffer high rates of injuries and fatalities, and are often paid less than the minimum wage. The savings that big business reaps from cheap labor abroad are not passed on in lower prices to their customers elsewhere. Corporations do not outsource to far-off regions so that U.S. consumers can save money. They outsource in order to increase their margin of profit. In 1990, shoes made by Indonesian children working twelve-hour days for 13 cents an hour, cost only $2.60 but still sold for $100 or more in the United States. U.S. foreign aid usually works hand in hand with transnational investment. It subsidizes construction of the infrastructure needed by corporations in the Third World: ports, highways, and refineries. The aid given to Third World governments comes with strings attached. It often must be spent on U.S. products, and the recipient nation is required to give investment preferences to U.S. companies, shifting consumption away from home produced commodities and foods in favor of imported ones, creating more dependency, hunger, and debt. A good chunk of the aid money never sees the light of day, going directly into the personal coffers of sticky-fingered officials in the recipient countries. Aid (of a sort) also comes from other sources. In 1944, the United Nations created the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Voting power in both organizations is determined by a country's financial contribution. As the largest "donor," the United States has a dominant voice, followed by Germany, Japan, France, and Great Britain. The IMF operates in secrecy with a select group of bankers and finance ministry staffs drawn mostly from the rich nations. The World Bank and IMF are supposed to assist nations in their development. What actually happens is another story. A poor country borrows from the World Bank to build up some aspect of its economy. Should it be unable to pay back the heavy interest because of declining export sales or some other reason, it must borrow again, this time from the IMF. But the IMF imposes a "structural adjustment program" (SAP), requiring debtor countries to grant tax breaks to the transnational corporations, reduce wages, and make no attempt to protect local enterprises from foreign imports and foreign takeovers. The debtor nations are pressured to privatize their economies, selling at scandalously low prices their state-owned mines, railroads, and utilities to private corporations. They are forced to open their forests to clear-cutting and their lands to strip mining, without regard to the ecological damage done. The debtor nations also must cut back on subsidies for health, education, transportation and food, spending less on their people in order to have more money to meet debt payments. Required to grow cash crops for export earnings, they become even less able to feed their own populations. So it is that throughout the Third World, real wages have declined, and national debts have soared to the point where debt payments absorb almost all of the poorer countries' export earnings - which creates further impoverishment as it leaves the debtor country even less able to provide the things its population needs. Here then we have explained a "mystery". It is, of course, no mystery at all if you don't adhere to trickle-down mystification. Why has poverty deepened while foreign aid and loans and investments have grown? Answer: Loans, investments, and most forms of aid are designed not to fight poverty but to augment the wealth of transnational investors at the expense of local populations. There is no trickle down, only a siphoning up from the toiling many to the moneyed few. In their perpetual confusion, some liberal critics conclude that foreign aid and IMF and World Bank structural adjustments "do not work"; the end result is less self-sufficiency and more poverty for the recipient nations, they point out. Why then do the rich member states continue to fund the IMF and World Bank? Are their leaders just less intelligent than the critics who keep pointing out to them that their policies are having the opposite effect? No, it is the critics who are stupid not the western leaders and investors who own so much of the world and enjoy such immense wealth and success. They pursue their aid and foreign loan programs because such programs do work. The question is, work for whom? Cui bono? The purpose behind their investments, loans, and aid programs is not to uplift the masses in other countries. That is certainly not the business they are in. The purpose is to serve the interests of global capital accumulation, to take over the lands and local economies of Third World peoples, monopolize their markets, depress their wages, indenture their labor with enormous debts, privatize their public service sector, and prevent these nations from emerging as trade competitors by not allowing them a normal development. In these respects, investments, foreign loans, and structural adjustments work very well indeed. The real mystery is: why do some people find such an analysis to be so improbable, a "conspiratorial" imagining? Why are they skeptical that U.S. rulers knowingly and deliberately pursue such ruthless policies (suppress wages, rollback environmental protections, eliminate the public sector, cut human services) in the Third World? These rulers are pursuing much the same policies right here in our own country! Isn't it time that liberal critics stop thinking that the people who own so much of the world - and want to own it all - are "incompetent" or "misguided" or "failing to see the unintended consequences of their policies"? You are not being very smart when you think your enemies are not as smart as you. They know where their interests lie, and so should we. Michael Parenti's recent books include The Assassination of Julius Caesar (New Press), Superpatriotism (City Lights), and The Culture Struggle (Seven Stories Press). For more information visit: www.michaelparenti.org. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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 To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8
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