Progressive Calendar 05.09.07
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Wed, 9 May 2007 15:28:18 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    05.09.07

1. Chipotle/Mixed Blood 5.09 4pm
2. Community bridges    5.09 4:30pm
3. Utopia               5.09 6pm
4. TACSR/stadium        5.09 7pm
5. Medical ethics       5.09 7pm

6. Treaty rights        5.10 8am
7. Picket Pawlenty      5.10 9am
8. Community engagement 5.10 10am
9. NWN4P New Hope       5.10 4:30pm
10. Eagan peace vigil   5.10 4:30pm
11. Northtown vigil     5.10 5pm
12. Architecture4Human. 5.10 6pm
13. Food/organic garden 5.10 6:30pm
14. Lake pollution      5.10 7pm
15. Library labor       5.10 7pm

16. Bruce Gagnon  - The Dems don't own the antiwar movement
17. CorpCrimeRptr - Snuff politics/Dems escalate attack on single payer
18. Ralph Nader   - The people's crusade of Mike Gravel
19. Fitrakis etal - Media silence on Kent State revelations
20. ed            - Dialing for doldrums (story)

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From lhowell [at] visi.com Tue May  8 19:55:43 2007
Subject: Chipotle/Mixed Blood 5.09 4pm

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 - 4 to 7pm.  Join us at the Seven Corners Chipotle
(Washington & Cedar) for a fundraiser dinner.  Mixed Blood will receive
the proceeds from all sales during this period!

Call (612) 338-7959 or visit our website (
http://mixedblood.pmailus.com/pmailweb/ct?d=DBL4cwDKAAEAAACWAAEt6A ) for
more information!

Mixed Blood Theatre 1501 S. Fourth Street Minneapolis, MN
55454www.mixedblood.com (
http://mixedblood.pmailus.com/pmailweb/ct?d=DBL4cwDKAAEAAAMgAAEt6A )


--------2 of 20--------

From: Anne R. Carroll <carrfran [at] qwest.net>
Subject: Community bridges 5.09 4:30pm

If you have a few minutes Wed 5/9 between 4:30 and 8 pm, please stop by
and see what one of my teams of Humphrey Institute graduate students has
been doing this semester to help build community bridges in
Thomas-Dale/Frogtown and Summit-University neighborhoods. They interviewed
lots of community people, the police chief, and the City Council member,
and also had the privilege of working with several classes of students
from Maxfield and Jackson Elementary Schools -- the kids' stories,
interviews, and clay models about what community means to them are
amazing!

You are invited to the CONN-ECT Community Event!
Wednesday May 9, 2007
4:30-8:00 p.m.
Brownstone Building Conference Room
849 University Avenue
Snacks and refreshments will be provided

This community event is brought to you by CONN-ECT, a group of graduate
students from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public
Affairs. In collaboration with the District 7 and Summit-University
District Planning Councils, CONN-ECT has spent the past several months
speaking with area residents and youth about what community means to them.
Their voices reveal a rich fabric of community life that CONN-ECT would
like to share with you.


--------3 of 20dx--------

From: Karen Engelsen <Karen [at] afors.org>
Subject: Utopia 5.09 6pm

TC Green Drinks & Sustainability Book Club Wed, May 9, Green Drinks
6-7:30, Book Club Discussion 7:30 - 9. New Dehli Bar & Restaurant 1400
Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis.

Topic? Utopia! Dreams of an ecologically sustainable society continue to
arise. In a post-modern era, what are the new operating rules of Utopia?
To answer this question, we'll delve deeper into the newest issue of What
Is Enlightenment magazine, available at Orr Books and Barnes & Nobles.


--------4 of 20--------

From: Ron Holch <rrholch [at] attg.net>
Subject: TACSR/stadium 5.09 7pm

Taxpayers For an Anoka County Stadium Referendum

Is the Viking Stadium Proposal coming back from the dead?

Last week we learned of the Vikings' latest offer at the state
legislature. It seems that after closing numerous schools and libraries,
Minneapolis will now be asked to pay the bill for yet another new stadium
or the tax could be metrowide.  Mr. Wilf the owner of the team has decided
to reduce his share of the cost from 1/3 (Anoka plan) to  (Mpls plan),
while the cost of his building has increased by 50% in just one years
time.  The only question left is: when will our representatives stop
entertaining these giveaway welfare schemes to the richest men at the
expense of our children's future.

Please join us for chapter two of "WHO WILL PAY FOR ZYGI'S STADIUM?". This
could just as well mean a metro wide sales tax, including the 30 year
mortgage, for 2 billion dollars!  Can someone calculate how many text
books that could buy?

WE WILL HAVE LAWN SIGNS AVAILABLE AT THE MEETING.
Wednesday May 9, at 7:00 PM
Centennial High School
Red Building - Room 104 4704 North Road Circle Pines, MN
The red building is on the east end of the high school complex, and is set
back furthest from North Road.  Enter on the East side of the building.
The largest parking lots are near this building.

Now would be a good time to think about what you will write to your
representatives to tell them we do not need to waste more money on stadium
giveaways to Billionaires.  Please continue to tell them we want a vote as
required by state law for any tax increase to pay for a stadium.  Write
letters to your local paper too.  If you have done these things once
already please do it again.

AGENDA ITEMS INCLUDE:
Website
Lawn Signs for sale!
What is happening in the 2007 Legislative Session?
Will we join our friends to the south metro to stop this, the newest
welfare scheme?
Any Questions, comments contact me at: Ron Holch rrholch [at] attg.net


--------5 of 20--------

From: BethMarie Ward <ward0080 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Medical ethics 5.09 7pm

"Torture, War, and Medical Ethics"
7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9
Humphrey Institute 301 19th Ave. S. Minneapolis

In the wake of the unspeakable acts of Nazi doctors during the Holocaust,
modern governments adopted a series of international conventions that
declared doctors' participation in torture to be unethical. In August
2004, Steven H. Miles, a bioethicist and professor of medicine at the
University of Minnesota, reported in the British medical journal the
Lancet that in Iraq and Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, doctors
were collaborating in the design and implementation of coercive
interrogations. Dr. Miles new book, Oath Betrayed, details these
allegations.

"Torture, War and Medical Ethics" will examine this issue in detail when
Dr. Miles is joined by Professor Oren Gross, Irving Younger Professor of
Law and the Director of the Center for Legal Studies at the University of
Minnesota Law School. Professor Gross' most recent book, Law in Times of
Crisis: Emergency Powers in Theory and Practice, argues that the terrorist
attacks of September 11, 2001, and the ensuing 'war on terror' have
renewed interest in legal issues that previously lurked on the fringes of
the legal universe. Also joining the panel is international human rights
advocate Barbara Frey, director of the Human Rights Program at the
University of Minnesota.


--------6 of 20--------

From: Susu Jeffrey <susujeffrey [at] msn.com>
Subject: Treaty rights 5.10 8am

Support Dakota Treaty Rights & the U.S. Constitution
Thursday, May 10, 2007   8 AM (rally)
Federal Court in St. Paul
180 East 5th Street (between Jackson & Sibley St.s)

The United States of America versus: Jim Anderson, Cultural Chair, Mendota
Mdewakanton Dakota Community; Susu Jeffrey, founder, Friends of Coldwater;
& Chris Mato Nunpa, Indigenous Nations & Dakota Studies professor,
Southwest MSU at Marshall MN.

Court begins at 9 AM

Judge Arthur Boylan decided that the 1805 treaty is not valid. The trial
on petty misdemeanor charges has twice been postponed at the last moment.

Please go to the website for any last minute changes. Thanksgiving
ceremony after court at Coldwater Spring. www.friendsofcoldwater.org


--------7 of 20--------

From: Welfare Rights Committee - Alt Email <welfarerights [at] qwest.net>
Subject: Picket Pawlenty 5.10 9am

EMERGENCY ACTION ALERT!!!!!!!!!!
COME PICKET WITH THE WELFARE RIGHTS COMMITTEE
BREAKFAST WITH GOVERNOR PAWLENTY
AND HOUSE AND SENATE LEADERSHIP
TOMORROW, THURSDAY MAY 10TH 2007
9AM-11AM AT THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION

The Welfare Rights Committee is disturbed, insulted and outraged that
Governor Pawlenty has once again used poor women and children as
scapegoats for why he has vetoed the Health and Human Services Omnibus
Bill. Governor Pawlenty and many other Minnesota Politicians have and are
continuing to be obstructionist to giving poor people in this state some
type of justice and relief from the devastating cuts made in 2003.

Pawlenty says the bill costs too much, but in fact all of the welfare
changes use federal TANF dollars and comprise only a tiny percentage of
the cost of this bill.  Federal TANF dollars are for spending on Welfare!
But Pawlenty wants to steal the TANF dollars to spend on other things!!!

Pawlenty says the Democrats are trying to roll back welfare reform.  But
in fact, the changes in this bill undo the devastating cuts to welfare
that Pawlenty imposed in 2003! The fact is Pawlenty is the Real King of
Roll Back because in 2003 he rolled back Health Care, Child Care, and
Welfare By stealing money for poorest of the poor in this state to stuff
holes in the state budget, and continue to give money to the richest in
this state instead of making them pay their fair share!

We are also disgusted and insulted with the rhetoric by Governor Pawlenty
and many other Minnesota Politicians because they have done nothing this
session but demonize poor and working people in Minnesota, steal money
from TANF which is for poor families on welfare, obstruct families from
getting the health care that they need, and promote slave labor that
forces parents on welfare to work for free! Governor Pawlenty is on
notice! The Poor and working people in Minnesota are not buying into the
rhetoric of poor bashing from Governor Pawlenty and many other Minnesota
Politicians who continue to following this agenda.

Come Join the Welfare Rights Committee and Tell the DFL legislators to
KEEP TANF dollars for TANF to UNDO Welfare Cuts and Prohibit Workfare
(forced free labor).

DO NOT give Pawlenty even ONE DIME of TANF!
DO NOT let PAWLENTY force poor mothers and fathers to work for FREE!

AND MOST OF ALL TELL PAWLENTY TO KEEP HIS DIRTY HANDS OFF TANF MONEY! TANF
MONEY IS FOR TANF FAMILIES!

Come Join The Welfare Rights Committee in Picketing the Early Morning
Breakfast from 9-11AM, at Governor Pawlenty's Mansion Located at 1006 Summit
Avenue In St. Paul.

Any Questions Call the WRC 612-822-8020

[Pawlenty is a perfect representative of capitalism and the ruling class.
We condemn Pawlenty, yet still fall to our knees for capitalism and the
ruling class. But they're all cut from the same shoddy cloth. -ed]


--------8 of 20--------

From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at] msn.com>
Subject: Community engagement 5.10 10am

Community Engagement in the City of Minneapolis

On April 26, 2007 the Minneapolis City Council Committee of the Whole
heard a presentation by City staff on the City's Community Engagement
Report and a summary of public feedback received on the report. The
Committee also discussed the proposed next steps toward improving the
City's community engagement system, including its relationship with
neighborhood, cultural and community organizations and with the
Neighborhood Revitalization Program.

The Committee of the Whole approved a work plan that outlines a
three-track approach with target dates for community input opportunities,
reporting, and updates throughout this ongoing discussion. In addition the
Committee approved staff direction to begin implementing consensus
recommendations from the Community Engagement Report related to improving
the City's internal community engagement systems (see Track 1).  On May
11, 2007 the Committee's recommendation will go before the full Council.

The work plan calls for a discussion related to Task Force charge and
membership recommendations (see Track 2) and the scope of background
information useful to a discussion about the focus, funding and governance
of NRP (see Track 3).  The target date for this discussion is Thursday,
May 10, 2007 at the Committee of the Whole meeting.  The dates in this
work plan are target dates.  Exact dates will be communicated in the
committees' official agenda available online typically two to three days
prior to a meeting.

To keep informed about the progress through this discussion and work plan
click here and sign up to receive email updates related to Community
Engagement and here to receive emails of official agendas.

Minneapolis City Council Committee of the Whole
Open to the public
May 10, 2007
10 a.m.
City Council Chambers, Room 317 City Hall
350 South 5th Street
Minneapolis, MN  55415

Meetings are open to the public.  Additionally you can view the
proceedings live on your computer via the City's Webcast service, live on
City Cable Channel 79 (Minneapolis Comcast Cable), or on Cable Channel 79
rebroadcasts. For more information about the City's work toward improving
its community engagement system visit the City's Web site or contact
Jennifer Amundson, the City's Community Engagement Coordinator.

Jennifer Amundson, Community Engagement Coordinator; 301M City Hall; 350
S. 5th St.; Minneapolis, MN 55415 e-mail:
jennifer.amundson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us phone: (612) 673-3163


--------9 of 20--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: NWN4P New Hope 5.10 4:30pm

NWN4P-New Hope demonstration every Thursday 4:30 to 6 PM at the corner of
Winnetka and 42nd.  You may park near Walgreens or in the larger lot near
McDonalds; we will be on all four corners.  Bring your own or use our
signs.


--------10 of 20--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 5.10 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.


--------11 of 20--------

From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 5.10 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com.


--------12 of 20--------

From: Chris Berger <chris [at] bergerbrands.com>
Subject: Architecture4Humanity 5.10 6pm

ARCHITECTURE FOR HUMANITY & ODEGARD
Invite you to an inspiring evening with
Architect, philosopher and author Travis Price, AIA
For a talk and slide show from his new book
The Archaeology of Tomorrow: Architecture & the Spirit of Place

Visiting from his practice in Washington DC, Travis Price is an
architectural and environmental pioneer and known for coining the term
"passive solar". His thirty years in architecture has inspired
state-of-the-art environmental design and his work demonstrates that green
design and culturally diverse inspirations are leading determinants in
today's modern global architecture. Mr. Price's presentations are an
intellectual and visually robust experience, where the past is
reinvigorated and renewed into the present.

Thursday, May 10th
Wine and hors d'oeuvres at 6 pm
Presentation at 6:30

http://www.odegardinc.com/email_images/arch_evite.htm
ODEGARD www.ODEGARDINC.com
210 N 2nd St Minneapolis MN 612.455.6100
Please be our guest and bring a friend
RSVP to stephenf [at] odegardinc.com or 612.455.6100


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From: tom [at] organicconsumers.org
Subject: Food/organic garden 5.10 6:30pm

Come break bread with us and learn how to take care of your garden
organically.

Eastside Food Co-op's (http://www.eastsidefood.coop/) May Food Forum and
pot luck. Tracy Dee Cook and Students and Friends from The U of MN's
Cornercopia Farm ((http://sof.cfans.umn.edu/)

Creative Electric Studios (who was AGAIN selected BEST TWIN CITES GALLERY
for 2007 by City Pages http://www.creativeelectricstudios.com/) 2201, 2nd
Street NE MPLS (located on the #11 bus line)

Thursday, May 10th from 6:30 to 8:00 PM

Since it IS spring and in anticipation of and preparation for the Eastside
Food Co-op's annual plant sale beginning May 12th, the Co-op's May Food
Forum will focus our attention to our backyards, boulevards, community
garden plots and what we try to grow there.

How can I keep those varmints, voles and voracious insects away from my
garden without using chemicals? What are those brown spots that keep
showing up on my tomato plants? What do I need to do to get ready to plant
asparagus? What are some drought tolerant flowers that will do well in my
yard? What effect does the winter city street maintenance have on my
boulevard and what I try to grow there? Now is your chance to ask any
nagging questions you may have before your garden goes in.

Tracy Dee Cook, a garden enthusiast and certified permaculture designer,
will shed some light on edible perennials and bring home the idea of Food
NOT Lawns. Also on hand, to help us take the experiment out of our
agricultural experiment stations that are so often our gardens, will be
students and friends from Cornercopia Farm (http://sof.cfans.umn.edu/),
the student driven and run transitioning to organic farm on the U of MN
St. Paul Campus.

Come ask questions (there are NO stupid ones [He hasn't heard mine -ed])
and make that connection from our forks to the fields and farms that
raise our food.

Nothing builds community like breaking bread together so some people think
of these evenings as potluck affairs and YOU CAN TOO! Just bring something
you would like to share, any needed serving and eating utensils for
yourself and a plate.  Weather permitting May's Forum will be held in
Creative Electic's yard that holds their ambitious vegetable garden.

Please feel free to spread the word by forwarding this on to anyone that
may be interested, wants to learn about local food from sustainable family
farms, the challenges involved and anybody you know that eats AND grows
their own food and flowers.

Questions? Call the East Side Food Co-op - 612-788-0950.
http://www.eastsidefood.coop/
We hope you can make it and remember . . . Just because it's educational
doesn't mean it can't be fun!

Tom Taylor tom [at] organicconsumers.org Eastside Food co-op
http://www.eastsidefood.coop/


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From: Sen.Scott Dibble <Sen.Scott.Dibble [at] senate.mn
Subject: Lake pollution 5.10 7pm

Minneapolis state legislators Senator Scott Dibble and Representative
Frank Hornstein invite the public to a town hall meeting for area
residents to discuss recent contamination concerns in the city's Chain
of Lakes.

The meeting is scheduled:
7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, May 10, 2007
The Terrace Room of St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church,
3450 Irving Avenue South in Minneapolis

Members of the community are invited to hear informational presentations
and ask questions of officials from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
(PCA), the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Minnesota Department of
Natural Resources (DNR) regarding the recent discovery of chemical
contamination in Minneapolis' Chain of Lakes. Staff from the Minneapolis
Park and Recreation Board, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, and the
Minneapolis Departments of Health and Environmental Management will also
be present at the meeting to answer questions.

The chemical of concern is Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), one in a
group of perfluoro-chemicals (PFC's), has been found in high
concentrations in bluegill fish in Lake Calhoun.  It is one of the same
chemicals, manufactured by 3M, that have been found in ground water in the
East Metro.  In response to this recent discovery, the Department of
Health has issued a fish consumption advisory for fish caught in the
Minneapolis Chain of Lakes.

The meeting is being co-hosted by Speaker of the Minnesota House of
Representatives Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL-Minneapolis), Minneapolis
Mayor R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis City Council members Betsy Hodges and Ralph
Remington, Minneapolis Park Board Members Bob Fine and Tracy Nordstrom,
and Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board Member Pam Blixt.

This is a public meeting and all interested citizens are encouraged to
attend. For more information, contact Sen. Dibble's office at 651-296-4191
or sen.scott.dibble [at] senate.mn <mailto:sen.scott.dibble [at] senate.mn>.

D. Scott Dibble State Senator-District 60 State Capitol, Room 111 75 Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55155 651-296-4191
www.senate.mn/senatordibble <http://www.senate.mn/senatordibble> fax:
651-225-7575


--------15 of 20--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Library labor 5.10 7pm

[The agony... the ecstasy... the sweat... the tears...   -ed]

In honor of the Saint Paul Public Library's 125th anniversary in 2007,
Untold Stories presents a look at labor in the library on Thursday, May
10 at 7 p.m., at the St. Anthony Park Branch Library, 2245 Como Ave.,
Saint Paul.

Join Saint Paul Public Library associate Robin Madsen, of Local 1842, and
Jan DeSirey, president of AFSCME Local 2864 and a Teen Services librarian
at the Southdale Public Library, as well as Urban Library Program
administrator Regina Harris, for a program that looks at over 125 years of
labor history at the library, and toward the changing face of library
workers in the future.


--------16 of 20--------

Remaking the Peace Movement
The Democrats Don't Own the Antiwar Movement [.. they have disowned it]
By BRUCE K. GAGNON
CounterPunch
May 7, 2007

South Korean peace activists recently held a protest during U.S.-South
Korean military exercises in their country. The U.S. is now expanding
military bases, taking over farm lands in South Korea, and dramatically
increasing its military presence throughout the Asian-Pacific region. The
island of Guam is now undergoing major military expansion of U.S.
operations there. All of this is intended to surround, and ultimately
provoke, the Chinese government to enter into an escalating arms race.
U.S. military industrial complex is counting on major profits from the
process. The Democrats are silent about this military strategy.

Italian activists are also outraged and organizing opposition to U.S.
plans to expand its military base in Vicenza. In February 200,000 Italians
protested in Vicenza against the base expansion. The Democrats in
Congress, with the exception of a few like Rep. Dennis Kucinich, are
silent about this.

In our local Portland, Maine newspaper on May 6 the editorial page editor
explained why the paper had last week announced they had decided to come
out against the war in Iraq after long supporting Bush's shameful and
illegal occupation. The editor said, "We've not renounced our belief in
American exceptionalism. Speaking for myself, I've withdrawn my support
for the war for pragmatic reasons, not because my underlying world view
has changed. I believe we should use our strength as the world's only
military superpower with great caution, but I do believe we should use
it.....Our nation has a unique role in the world, and with it come unique
responsibilities and unique privilege."

In other words he supports U.S. empire and all that comes with it. The
bases, the killing, the domination of cultures is all acceptable. In this
case he is "withdrawing" his support for Bush's Iraq operation primarily
because "this war has been mismanaged by the president to the point where
turning things around is impossible."

This is largely the Democratic Party position as well. The war is not
necessarily bad, the U.S. has the right and responsibility to take out
anyone that we decide should be eliminated, but it must be handled well so
that world opinion and the American people do not turn against the policy.
(You might call it Winning Without an unpopular War.) In this case Bush
and his crew "mismanaged" the operation. It reminds me of the 2004 debates
between Bush and John Kerry when Kerry said he'd do a better job of
"killing terrorists" than Bush would and that he'd spend "$100 billion
more on the military" than Bush would. Kerry would do the war/occupation
better than the Republicans.

The New York Times ran a story May 6 called With New Clout, Antiwar Groups
Push Democrats. In the first sentence of the story the Times reports that,
"Every morning, representatives from a cluster of antiwar groups gather
for a conference call with Democratic leadership staff members in the
House and the Senate."

The "anti-war" groups the article refers to are not your standard,
every-day peace group, that have long been working to end the war. They
are talking about more recently formed groups, funded with more than $7.1
million since January, to go out and take control of the anti-war message
and to capture the bulk of mainstream media coverage about the anti-war
movement. Thus groups like Win Without War, Americans Against Escalation
in Iraq, National Security Network, MoveOn, and others are being heavily
funded by foundations close to the Democratic Party and are being largely
directed by Democratic Party strategists.

The Times reports, Rodell Mollineau, a spokesman for Senate Democratic
Majority Leader Harry Reid's office, "said the coalition amplifies what
Democrats are trying to do in Washington to end the war." "It helps us
reverberate a unified message outside the Beltway." "These groups give
voice to a message we're trying to get outside."

The unified message that the Democrat leaders are talking about is that
the mess in Iraq is all the fault of George W. Bush and the Republicans in
Congress. This theme is now dominating the work coming out of these
Democratic Party front groups and their job is to make sure that no one
points any fingers of responsibility at the Democrats in Congress who
continue to fund the occupation. We are not supposed to talk about that
unsettling fact.

To their credit the Times did mention that there is currently some
controversy surrounding this Democratic led effort. They write, "There's a
dividing line between those groups who feel the most important thing is to
be clear on bringing the troops home as soon as possible, and the groups
that feel that unity within the Democratic Party is most important and the
most important thing is for the Democrats to win the White House," said
Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of Code Pink, an antiwar group that is not
part of the alliance. "So the groups who feel the most important thing is
to win the White House would naturally be more inclined to listening to
Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she says the only way we can get a vote through
is if we water it down."

When Tom Andrews, a former Democratic congressman from Maine and the
national director of Win Without War, recently came to our state to
organize protests in Bangor and Portland he made no attempt to contact one
existing peace group in Maine. Now isn't that a bit strange? You go into a
state to organize protests against the war and you contact not one group -
Peace Action Maine, Maine Veterans for Peace, Peace and Justice Center of
Eastern Maine. None were invited to be involved, to offer a speaker, to
help with planning, nothing.

Instead Andrews contacted the Maine People's Alliance (MPA) which does do
not anti-war work and had them serve as his base to organize the events.
MPA works on social justice issues at the state level. They are strongly
linked to the Democratic Party. Andrews also had the Maine Democratic
Party send out emails on his behalf and then did expensive robo-calls to
people in the Portland area - likely with lists provided by the Democrats
and their allied organizations.

Why this particular strategy by Andrews and Win Without War? Could it be
because the two rallies he organized were done in order to attack Sen.
Susan Collins, our Republican senator? Andrews blistered Collins for
supporting Bush's war and for voting against the Democratic Party bill
calling for an "optimal" withdrawal from Iraq.

Andrews did not contact existing peace groups in Maine because he knew
that our work in the state has been bi-partisan in recent years. We have
been critical of our two Republican senators for their positions on the
occupation. We've occupied their offices. We've been arrested in their
offices. But we've also been critical of our Democratic Congressman Tom
Allen who has voted eight times to fund Bush's occupation of Iraq. But
Andrews does not want to talk about that fact because Rep. Tom Allen is
now planning to run against Sen. Susan Collins in the next election. Thus
the only politician that can be criticized publicly, according to the
strategy coming out of the Democrats in Washington, is the Republican.

This is a contemptuous rewriting of reality for purely political purposes.
It is arrogant and must be publicly challenged - something I have been
doing in recent weeks. Sadly some loyal Democrats have accused me, as you
can imagine they would, for "attacking" other peace activists. But the
truth is that I have not attacked any person or any organization. In fact,
all I have done is to talk publicly about the blatant manipulation that is
now going on of the peace movement and the public for purely political
purposes. When you come into a state and sweep aside existing groups and
the work of dedicated activists you can't be shocked when they take
offense and speak up.

But frankly, I see little difference between U.S. imperialism around the
world and the arrogant political imperialism of Democratic Party
operatives who are well-funded and well-connected and who believe that the
world is their oyster. They believe that because they have been anointed
by the powerful elites within the Democratic Party they can push people
aside with impunity. Like the citizens of Iraq, Guam, South Korea, or
Italy one is not supposed to speak out when they are being taken over by
the privileged American elites.

But the days of American exceptionalism are over. People are reacting
around the world to arrogant imperialism. They are reacting in Maine and
across America as the Democrats try to take over the peace movement for
their 2008 electoral purposes.

In the end the Democrats will fail in their conquering mission. The peace
movement belongs to no political party. It belongs to the hard-working
local activists who stand on street corners day in and day out and who
have built the political outrage against the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Trying to steal that prize reveals the arrogance of the Democrats.

Bruce K. Gagnon is Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons &
Nuclear Power in Space. He can be reached at: globalnet [at] mindspring.com


--------17 of 20--------

Snuff Politics
Democrats Escalate Attack on Single Payer
By CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER
CounterPunch
May 8, 2007

The Corporate Democratic Party is into snuff politics.

The target this month - single payer, Medicare for all.

The motive - protect the corporate health insurance industry.

Democratic snuff politics was on display yesterday on Capitol Hill.

Senator Ron Wyden was on the Hill surrounded by his corporate supporters -
Steve Burd, CEO, Safeway Inc., Art Collins, CEO of Medtronic, Inc, H.
Edward Hanaway, CEO, CIGNA, Steve Sanger, CEO, General Mills, and Ronald
Williams, CEO, Aetna, Inc.

Wyden has introduced legislation that is similar to that introduced by
Republican Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Republican California
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

All claim to create universal health care.
None can, do or will.

What's the common denominator between Wyden-care, and Romney-care and
Schwarzenegger-care?
Individual mandates.
The individual must get insured or the individual is violating the law.

As opposed to single payer.
Which says to the health insurance companies - get out.
We will take care of our people.
If you sell basic health insurance, you are violating the law.
Everyone is in one insurance pool.
Nobody is out.
All are covered.
No bills, no co-pays, no deductibles.
No losing your health insurance when you change jobs.
No escalating premiums when you get sick.
Cheaper than the current system.
With better outcomes.

One approach sets up a system that outlaws individual wrongdoing.

The other sets up a system that outlaws corporate wrongdoing.

The corporate executives were at the press conference to support Wyden's
plan and to push their own newly created Coalition to Advance Healthcare
Reform.

The key element focused on by the CEOs - market-based healthcare system.

The goal - derail publically funded single payer legislation that will cut
administrative waste.

The single payer bill has 70 sponsors in the House of Representatives and
is supported by 52 percent of the American people.

When asked why he doesn't support single payer when 52 percent of the
American people do, Wyden didn't blush.

"The people of my state, not a poll, but at the ballot box in 2002, they
voted by about 3-1 against a single payer proposal," Wyden said.

Well yeah, after the insurance industry dumped millions to scare people
into believing the government was going to take over their lives.

"If you go to a community meeting and take a poll in my state, what people
want is coverage like their member of Congress gets," Wyden said. "They
want benefits like their members of Congress. They want the quality of
care that their members of Congress get."

But can't single payer deliver exactly that?

Mildly irritated by this question, Wyden reminds reporters in the room
that single payer is not the topic of this press conference.

(No, the topic is snuffing out single payer.)

"My guess is that single payer is more government than Americans want,
number one," he says. (The CEOs nod their heads in approval.)

"And number two - how do you get there from here?" he asks.

How do you get there from here?

Pass single payer.

Wyden actually means - how do you get there from here if you anger the
CEOs of Aetna and CIGNA and all of the other CEOs standing behind him at
the press conference by supporting single payer?

Well, one way you get there from here is by building political support for
single payer.

Hold a press conference with ordinary Americans and announce an attack on
the corporate health care system that results in 31 percent of healthcare
spending on administrative costs, that triggers half of all personal
bankruptcies, that leaves 45 million uninsured and 16 million
underinsured.

None of this by the way was a surprise to long-time Wyden watchers.

Greg Kafoury is a public interest lawyer based in Portland.

"That Wyden would host a health care news conference surrounded by
corporate CEOs is typical of his career in politics," Kafoury told
Corporate Crime Reporter. "Most of his public life has been dedicated to
serving big money. With his constituency in Oregon, he could be a hero of
the people and support single payer. The tragedy is that there is no need
for him to serve power rather than confront it."

So that's one tragedy - the corporate Democrats.

The other tragedy is the so-called progressive Democrats.

They held a one day conference in Washington, D.C. last week - titled -
The Big Con - The Failure of American Conservatism.

It was sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future - the outfit
directed by Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey - and The American Prospect
magazine.

The day-long event featured a debate between American Prospect editor
Robert Kuttner and neocon William Kristol.

The title - Can Conservatives be Trusted to Govern?

Everyone in the room understood the answer to be no.

The unanswered question, only touched on by Kuttner, was whether Democrats
could be trusted to govern.

Kuttner grazed by it when he said the $64,000 question was whether the
Democratic Party could throw off its corporate funders.

"As the income distribution becomes more concentrated, so does the
distribution of political power," Kuttner said. "For the Republicans,
that's not a contradiction. Wealthy Republicans pay Republicans to be
Republicans and to carry out conservative ideology. Wealthy Democrats for
the most part, except on social issues, pay Democrats to be less like
Democrats. So, one party starts out with one hand tied behind its back.
The cure for that is leadership."

Which was severely lacking at the conference.

Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg told the conference that one recent
poll of likely voters showed that 52 percent want a Canadian-style single
payer system. And fully 70 percent of Democratic primary voters want such
a system.

If that's true, how come even the progressive leaders at the conference
who work on health care, like Hickey and Yale University Professor Jacob
Hacker, don't support single payer?

"The problem is that you can't just tell people - you are going to have to
change all of your arrangements overnight," Hickey told Corporate Crime
Reporter. "The problem is telling people that have good health insurance -
you have to shift to something else."

The other problem with single payer, Hickey says, is that the insurance
companies would fight it tooth and nail.

Hickey says that if you take a pro-single payer stance, "you will be
relegated to the sidelines and you won't have any leverage over the
political debate that goes on this year."

"The question people have to ask is - are we going to get the political
debate heading in a single payer direction, or do we abdicate the field
and let Hillary and Edwards and the best of them end up with something
like Schwarzenegger's plan, which is all private insurance, or Romney's
plan."

But if Edwards had come out for single payer, he would have energized the
70 percent of Democratic Party primary voters who want it, right?

"And if elephants could fly, you would have a flying circus," Hickey says
dismissively.

Hacker is the progressive Dems academic guru on health care.

At the conference, we asked him - why not single payer?

"I am someone who is quite appreciative of single payer," Hacker said.
"But countervailing that political story, which is certainly a true story,
are the political risks of displacing the private insurance of highly paid
workers and the fiscal costs of creating the system in one fell swoop."

"The seventy House Democrats who support single payer are a powerful force
for major reform," Hacker says. "They should keep pressing for bold
action. They only should be willing to talk about compromise at a point in
which they think something could really happen and be valuable. My role as
a policy analyst is to try and craft something that could be that
compromise, something that could be Medicare for many. Keep in mind,
nearly 60 percent of all Americans would be in this Health Care for
America plan. And projections show at least ten more percent within a
decade. So, we are talking about 70 percent of Americans."

Hacker says that insurers and employers will initially resist anything
that reduces their role entirely.

"But once you get the system in place, both actors will see incentives to
work with it instead of against it," Hacker said. "With insurers, it's a
little more iffy."

So, the political reality of health care in America can be summed up as a
tale of Two Big Cons.

Big Con One - the conservatives offering prosperity for all and delivering
cronyism and favoritism for the rich.

And Big Con Two - the progressive Democrats, promising universal health
care, and then joining with corporate Democrats and corporate America to
snuff out single payer.

[So we have to look elsewhere. No more "mature pragmatic compromises"
with Dem HMO stooges. All who want single payer must DEMAND it NOW.  Any
pol against it - vote 'em out. We've waited for decades and gotten less
and less. Stop waiting and demand it all. -ed]

Corporate Crime Reporter is located in Washington, DC. They can be reached
through their website.


--------18 of 20--------

More Like Cicero Than Quixote
The People's Crusade of Mike Gravel
By RALPH NADER
CounterPunch
May 8, 2007

Like a fresh wind coming down from Alaska - the state he represented as a
U.S. Senator from 1969-1981, Mike Gravel is determined to start a debate
about the fundamentals of democracy in his quest for the Democratic
Party's nomination for President.

People who heard his address before the Democratic National Committee a
few weeks ago and his brief statements during the first debate between the
Democratic aspirants last month may be getting the idea that this is no
ordinary dark horse politician.

For over a decade, given the failures of elected politicians, Mike Gravel
has been engaged in some extraordinary research and consultations with
leading constitutional law experts about the need to enact another check
to the faltering checks and balances - namely, the National Initiative for
Democracy, a proposed law that empowers the people as lawmakers.

Before you roll your eyes over what you feel is an unworkable utopian
scheme, go to http://nationalinitiative.us to read the detailed
constitutional justification for the sovereign right of the people to
directly alter their government and make laws.

Among other legal scholars, Yale Law School Professor, Akhil Reed Amar and
legal author, Alan Hirsch, have argued that the Constitution recognizes
the inalienable right of the American people to amend the Constitution
directly through majority vote. What the Constitution does not do is spell
out the procedures for such a sovereign right.

The right of the People to alter their government flows from the
Declaration of Independence, the declared views of the founding fathers
and the framers of the Constitution, its Preamble ("We the People of the
United States.do ordain and establish this Constitution,"), Article VII
and other provisions, including the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

Very briefly, The Democracy Amendment asserts the Power of People to make
laws, creates an Electoral Trust to administer the national elections,
limits the use of money in National Initiative elections to natural
persons (e.g. not corporations), and enacts the National Initiative
through a federal ballot, when fifty percent of the voters (equal to half
of the votes cast in the most recent presidential election) deliver their
votes in its favor. Voting can be through traditional and electronic
modes.

The Democracy Statute establishes deliberative legislative procedures
vital for lawmaking by the people, administered by the Electoral Trust, in
an independent arm of the U.S. government.

Mike Gravel points out that the initiative authority to make laws now
exists in 24 states and more than 200 local communities. However, the
national initiative, which he envisions would have deliberate legislative
procedures and would be generically independent of any curtailment by the
"officialdom of government," except a judicial finding of fraud.

With the National Initiative, the people acting as lawmakers, will be able
to address healthcare, education, energy, taxes, the environment,
transportation, the electoral college, the Iraq war, and other neglected,
delayed or distorted priorities. Legal scholar, Alan Hirsch, believes "a
more direct democracy could be an important means of promoting civic
maturation."

Of course these initiatives, if enacted, would still be subject to
existing constitutional safeguards such as the First Amendment, equal
protection, due process and the like.

No doubt, you may have many questions to be answered. If you are
interested, the entire text of The Democracy Amendment and The Democracy
Act are on both the above-mentioned websites.

Mr. Gravel's political positions place him high on the progressive wing of
the Democratic Party. Cong. Dennis Kucinich will find that he is not alone
during the forthcoming debates scheduled by the Democratic Party.

Don't expect Mike Gravel to show up in the money-raising sweepstakes. For
he really believes in a government of, by and for the People.

This proposal is not exactly a magnet for Fat cat money. No candidate for
President from the two major parties has ever demonstrated such a detailed
position regarding the sovereign power of People to amend the Constitution
and make laws.

Will soundbite debates and horserace media interviews allow for such a
public deliberation over the next year? Only if the People take their
sovereignty seriously and take charge of the campaign trail with their
pre-election, pre-primary participation in city, town and country
throughout the country.

Over 2000 years ago, the ancient Roman lawyer and orator, Marcus Cicero,
defined freedom with these enduring words: "Freedom is participation in
power." That could be the mantra for Mike Gravel's 2008 Presidential
campaign.

Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions


---------19 of 20--------

When the Gun Smokes and the Press Doesn't Smell It
Media Silence on Kent State Revelations
By BOB FITRAKIS and HARVEY WASSERMAN
CounterPunch
May 7, 2007

The 1970 killings by National Guardsmen of four students during a peaceful
anti-war demonstration at Kent State University have now been shown to be
cold-blooded, premeditated official murder. But the definitive proof of
this monumental historic reality is not, apparently, worthy of significant
analysis or comment in today's mainstream media.

After 37 years of official denial and cover-up, tape-recorded evidence,
that has existed for decades and has been in the possession of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has finally been made public.

It proves what "conspiracy theorists" have argued since 1970 - that there
was a direct military order leading to the unprovoked assassination of
unarmed students. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents show
collusion between Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes and the FBI that aimed to
terrorize anti-war demonstrators and their protests that were raging
throughout the nation.

It is difficult to overstate the political and cultural impact of the
killing of the four Kent State students and wounding of nine more on May
4, 1970. The nation's campuses were on fire over Richard Nixon's illegal
invasion of Cambodia. Scores of universities were ripped apart by mass
demonstrations and student strikes. The ROTC building at Kent burned down.
The vast majority of American college campuses were closed in the
aftermath, either by student strikes or official edicts.

Nixon was elected president in 1968 claiming to have a "secret plan" to
end the war in Southeast Asia. But the revelation that he was in fact
escalating it with the illegal bombing of what had been a peaceful
non-combatant nation was more than Americans could bear.

As the ferocity of the opposition spread deep into the grassroots, Nixon's
Vice President, Spiro Agnew, shot back in a series of speeches. He
referred to student demonstrators as Nazi "brownshirts" and suggested that
college administrators and law enforcement should "act accordingly."

On May 3, 1970 - the day before National Guardsmen under his purview
opened fire at Kent State - Rhodes echoed Agnew's remarks by referring to
student demonstrators as "the strongest, well-trained militant
revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America. They're worse than
the brownshirts and the Communist element and the night riders and the
vigilantes. They are the worst type of people that we harbor in America."

Rhodes told a reporter that the Ohio National Guard would remain at Kent
State "until we get rid of them" referring to a demographic group that was
overwhelmingly white, middle class and in college.

The next day, Rhodes, the administration and the FBI sent those students a
lethal message.

Rhodes was the perfect messenger. Bumbling and mediocre, with a long
history of underworld involvement, Rhodes was a devoted admirer of Nixon,
and of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Public records reveal that Rhodes was
a virtual stooge for the FBI because of the agency's files tying Rhodes
directly to organized crime.

When Kent's ROTC building was torched on May 2 under suspicious
circumstances (student protestors couldn't get it to light until a
mysterious "biker" showed up with a canister of gasoline) it provided the
perfect cover for Rhodes to dispatch the National Guard.

But contrary to law, they were supplied with live ammunition. On May 4, in
the presence of a peaceful, unthreatening rally, the Guard was strung
along a ridge 100 yards from the bulk of the protestors. Earlier, rocks
and insults had been hurled at the Guard. But not one of the numerous
investigations and court proceedings involving what happened next has ever
contended any of the students were armed, or that the Guard was under
threat of physical harm at the time of the shooting.

For 37 years the official cover story has been that a mysterious shot rang
out and the young Guardsmen panicked, firing directly into the "mob" of
students.

This week, that cover story was definitively proven to be a lie.

Prior to the shooting, a student named Terry Strubbe put a microphone at
the window of his dorm, which overlooked the rally. According to the
Associated Press, the 20-second tape is filled with "screaming anti-war
protectors followed by the sound of gunfire."

But in an amplified version of the tape, a Guard officer is also heard
shouting "Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!"

The sound of gunshots follow the word "Point." Four students soon lay
dead. Two days later, two more would die at Jackson State University, as
police fired without provocation into a dorm.

Strubbe gave a copy of the Kent tape to the FBI soon after the shooting
(he has kept the original in a safe deposit box). Eight Guardsmen were
later tried for civil rights violations, and acquitted. Neither their
officers, nor Nixon, nor Agnew, nor Rhodes, nor the FBI, were ever brought
to trial. But massive volumes of research - including an epic study by
James A. Michener and William Gordon's Four Dead in Ohio - strongly imply
an explicit conspiracy to intimidate the national anti-war movement.

After 37 years, Strubbe's tape got its first widespread public perusal
last week. Six months ago, Alan Canfora, 58, one of the nine wounded Kent
students, learned it had been given to Yale University's archives. Last
week he played it to a group of students and reporters at a small
university theater.

The fact that the Guard got direct orders to set, aim and shoot flies
directly in the face of the official cover story that they were responding
in panic to a random shot fired at them, or that they were defending
themselves from some kind of student attack.

In fact, it seems highly likely no shot ever rang out prior to the order
to fire. Nor could the Guard, who killed a student as much as 900 feet
away from the rally, say they were under any serious attack from the
students.

The Kent State killings are now prominently featured in virtually every
history book of the United States used in American schools. The accounts
often include the famous photo of an anguished Mary Ann Vecchio crying for
help next to the dead body of student protestor Jeffrey Miller. (They were
265 feet away from where the shot that killed Miller was fired.) Rendered
into song by Neil Young's classic "Ohio," there are few more definitive
moments in the history of this nation.

But meaningful analysis of the implications of this tape has been
mysteriously missing from the American media. The Associated Press did
carry a widely-runstory about the surfacing of this evidence, as did
National Public Radio. But the Columbus Dispatch, in Ohio's capital,
buried the report on page A-5 under the innocuous headline "Victim shares
audio tape of Kent State shootings." Virtually absent from the major US
media has been a concerted examination of the fact that the keystone in
this monumental American saga has been re-set.

For we now know that a premeditated, unprovoked order was indeed given to
National Guardsmen to fire live ammunition at peaceful, unarmed American
students, killing four of them. The illegal order to arm the Guard with
live ammunition in the first place could only have come from the governor
of Ohio. The very loud, very public nod to shoot some "brown shirt"
students somewhere in order to chill the massive student uprising against
the Southeast Asian war was spewed all over the national media by the
second-highest official in US government.

Now the magnitude of Kent State's impact on American politics and culture,
already immense, has been significantly deepened.

Alan Canfora intends to use this tape to re-open investigations into what
happened at Kent State 37 years ago.

But the media's apparent unconcern about confirmation of the official
order to carry out these killings may bear a simple message: that we
should be prepared for them to happen again.

Bob Fitrakis's forthcoming book, THE FITRAKIS FILES: COPS, COVERUPS AND
CORRUPTION, containing further background information on James A. Rhodes,
is at www.freepress.org, where this article first appeared.

Harvey Wasserman, senior advisor to Greenpeace USA since 1990, is author
of "Solartopia: Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030,"


--------20 of 20--------

                          Dialing For Doldrums

The last several days my dial-up server at the UofM has been slower than
molasses in January at the North Pole.

As I sit at my computer waiting for a response I fall asleep and have the
following dream:

I call the U help-line. After a 10-minute wait a guy answers.

U-help line. What's your problem?

The system is ridiculously slow. It teaches me the meaning of eternity.

Well, do you know what day it is, sir?

Ah - Wednesday?

Right.

The system doesn't work on Wednesdays?

Well done sir. See you figured it out on your own.

But it didn't work any better yesterday.

Well?

It doesn't work on Tuesdays either?

Very good sir.

But it hasn't worked well for a week.

Sir, what week is it?

Um - the first week of the month?

Bingo, sir.

So does that mean it should work all the other weeks?

Now, sir, you know very well that that is a precipate conclusion, hardly
justified by the empirical facts.

Hmm. Well, OK, when DOES it work?

You know about blue moons?

Yes. Very infrequent. So does it work during a blue moon?

Every other one, sir.

So if it didn't work last blue moon, it should work this time?

Now, now, sir, by "every other time" we here at the University mean "every
other time on the average." That means 50%, over the long haul.

How long might that haul be?

Now, sir, you should know we here at the University don't know
_everything_.

Especially if it's something I might want to know?

Very good, sir.

What would it take to get good service all the time?

You could become a Big Donor.

How big is that?

The way to find out is to give more. If your service doesn't improve, it
clearly was not enough.

How much does the smallest Big Donor give?

That's classified, sir. Besides, the amount required for decent service is
variable, like those mortgages you've been hearing about. So it would be
misleading to give out any figure. At any time te University might desire
more money for something, and raise the bar.

Thanks. Do you have a name?

Jeffrey.

Thanks, Jeffrey.

Thank you, sir.

At that point I wake up. My response has still not appeared on the screen.
So I log off, and call the U.

After a 10-minute wait a guy answers.

U-help line. What's your problem?

Hey - is your name Jeffrey?

Uh, yes - how did you know?

Who knows? Anyway, I think I already have my answer.

Very good, sir.

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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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