Progressive Calendar 05.18.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 21:29:25 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    05.18.07

1. Art-A-Whirl       5.18-20

2. Iraq occupation   5.19 9:30am
3. Solar boat float  5.19 10am
4. SOA torture       5.19 10am
5. NWN4P Minnetonka  5.19 11am
6. Northtown vigil   5.19 2pm
7. GenStrike/peace   5.19 2pm
8. Seeger/Whirpool   5.19 2pm
9. Iraqi resists     5.19 3pm
10. Iraq war flyers  5.19 3pm
11. Lock arms/peace  5.19 6pm
12. Colombia/CTV     5.19 9pm

13. Bombies/film     5.20 1pm
14. Stillwater vigil 5.20 1pm
15. Anti-racism      5.20 2pm
16. Sust. organizing 5.20 3pm
17. Amnesty Intl     5.20 3pm
18. KFAI Indian      5.20 4pm
19. Gips/eat plants  5.20 5:30pm
20. TC media/KFAI    5.20 9pm
21. Lebanon bombs    5.20 10:30pm

22. David Swanson - Of snoops and dupes and crimes in common
23. Chris Carlson - Washington's new imperial strategy in Venezuela

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From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Art-A-Whirl 5.18-20

Art A Whirl 2007*
all over NE Mpls

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From: Florence Steichen <steichenfm [at]>
Subject: Iraq occupation 5.19 9:30am


Walid Muhammad Issa is a 19-year old Palestinian presently attending
Normandale Community College.  He will talk about living in Bethlehem
where he attended Dar al-Kalima Academy and Bethlehem University. Walid
participated in ARK, the Minneapolis-based peace organization which has
brought together young people from the US, Palestine and Guatemala.  He is
majoring in architecture and hopes to help rebuild Bethlehem. Come and
learn what the facts on the ground in Palestine really are from a young
man who has lived with them.

SATURDAY, May 19, 2007 9:30 a.m. Refreshments
10:00 a.m. Presentation and Discussion
7001 York Ave. S., Edina, MN 55435
For information call Florence Steichen, 651-696-1642

--------3 of x--------

From: "chinookenergy [at]" <chinookenergy [at]>
Subject: Solar boat float 5.19 10am

Kevin Brauer  chinookenergy [at]
15th Annual Solar Boat Regatta

Sat. May 19, 2007 10:a.m. - 4 p.m. Beach House Beach, Lake Phalen, St.Paul
MN. for map and Regatta rules

The Minnesota Renewable Energy Society and Great River Energy are pleased
to announce the 15Th Annual Solar Boat Regatta!  MR ES' Solar Boat Regatta
provides an opportunity for middle and high school students (as well as
individual boat builders) to build a boat that runs on solar power.  They
compete in a number of races, culminating with a one hour endurance race.
This event has given hundreds of junior and senior high students valuable
and unique experience with solar electricity, wiring, motors, fluid
dynamics, boat design, construction, and teamwork. By racing the solar
powered boat that they have put together, students experience the thrill
of competition and the pride of accomplishment that comes with creating
something useful and fun.

MR ES partners with teachers and teacher organizations to enhance the
competitive nature of the event, expanding the number of schools
participating, and extending solar education throughout the school year.

The big change for 2007 is that the race will take place at Lake Phalen in
St. Paul, MN. There is another event (Water Fest 2007) happening on the
same day on this lake and we hope to increase attendance and interest in
our event by sharing the lake.  Water Fest is happening down the
shoreline, so it will not affect the Regatta.

Family, friends, and the general public are welcome to attend the Solar
Boat Regatta to cheer on their favorite boat.

In 2007 there will be three classes:
Student Class: Grades 7-12
Adult Class: Individuals or groups not associated with a school
Experimental / Exhibition Class: Boats that exceed the criteria listed in
the rules.
Trophies will be awarded in the following categories:
Slalom, Speed, Endurance, and weather permitting, Solar Only Race

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From charleyunderwood [at] Thu May 17 22:09:57 2007
Subject: SOA torture 5.19 10am

Saturday, 5/19, 10 to 11:30 am, report on the School of the Americas, a
US-run institution teaching counter-insurgency that has been implicated in
torture and death squads, with Rosita Balch and other activists, Resource
Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave, Mpls.

--------5 of x--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: NWN4P Minnetonka  5.19 11am

NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7
and 101.  Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the fountain. We
will walk along the public sidewalk. Bring your own signs.

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From: Lennie <major18 [at]>
Subject: Northtown vigil 5.19 2pm

Mounds View peace vigil EVERY SATURDAY from 2-3pm at the at the southeast
corner of the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE in Blaine,
which is the northwest most corner of the Northtown Mall area. This is a
MUCH better location.

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

For further information, email major18 [at] or call Lennie at

--------7 of x--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: GenStrike/peace 5.19 2pm

"General Strike for Peace:" House Party

Saturday, May 19, 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. 90 Windy Hill Road, Sunfish Lake. Join
the General Strike committee for music, food and an end to war.
Presentation on the General Strike by Marv Davidov, co-founder of the Rita
Steinhagen Chapter of the War Resistors League. Music byTuesdays Robot,
ShugE, Alex the Kid, and others. FFI: Marv Davidov, 612-874-7715

--------8 of x--------

From: M McGinn <maureen [at]>
Subject: Seeger/Whirpool 5.19 2pm

You and your friends are invited to a Book Publication Event
Seeger Refrigerator Company History
Saturday May 19, 2007, 2:00-4:00 pm
Landmark Center, 75 West 5th Street, Room 317

From Arcade Street to Main Street, a History of the Seeger Refrigerator
Company, by James B. Bell

Panel discussion moderated by George Latimer, former Mayor of St. Paul and
currently professor of Urban Studies, Macalester College; James B. Bell ,
author; John M. Lindley, editor Book sales and signing by the author,
James Bell Complimentary refreshments

Few in St. Paul remember that the East Side of our city was the center of
a cultural revolution concerning America's eating habits.  Seeger
Refrigerator Company (later Whirlpool) was on the cutting edge of the
revolution that moved individual households from wooden iceboxes to
electric refrigerators and freezers.

The company was a major economic and cultural force in the city.  In 1941,
Seeger Refrigerator Company employed more than 2,500 people and
manufactured more than 300,000 household cabinets. Seeger family members
were leaders in founding or supporting some of the major institutions of
the city - United Improvement Council to revitalize downtown, St. Paul
Public Library, the St. Paul Baseball Club and the Civic Auditorium, to
mention a few.  In 1942, the company dedicated its facilities completely
to the production of military products for World War II.

This is an important part of the heritage of St. Paul that has defined us
culturally, and put St. Paul on the map.  Come hear more about it.

If you can't make the publication event, the book, published by the Ramsey
County Historical Society, is available for sale call 651-222-0701 or
visit The books price is $29.95.

M McGinn Merriam Park, St Paul More info: Info about M McGinn:

--------9 of x---------

From: awcmere <meredith [at]>
Subject: Iraqi resists 5.19 3pm

Saturday 5/19 @ 3pm @ May Day Books, 301 Cedar Ave, Mpls.

Kosta Harlan, an anti-war activist from North Carolina, recently traveled
to Italy to attend the international conference, "With the Resistance, for
a Just Peace in the Middle East" (  The conference
marks the first time that leaders of the Iraqi national resistance have
been able to speak in the West. Kosta will report back on who the
resistance is and why they fight; the current conditions of the U.S.
occupation of Iraq; the birth and development of the Iraqi resistance; and
the tasks of the U.S. antiwar movement. Q&A to follow.  Sponsored by the
Anti-War Committee, May Day Books, & Freedom Road Socialist Organization.
Endorsed by IPAC (the Iraq Peace Action Coalition).

Note: The endorsers & sponsors do not necessarily endorse all the
views of the presenter.

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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Iraq war flyers 5.19 3pm

Saturday, 5/19, 3 pm, flyer handouts against the war in Iraq in Norm
Coleman's neighborhood, 1055 Grand Ave, St Paul.  Sign up at

--------11 of x--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Lock arms/peace 5.19 6pm

Saturday, 5/19, 6 to 8 pm, kick-off for summer of PEACE in North Mpls, where
over 1000 lock arms along Penn Ave from W Broadway to Lowry Ave.
citypeace [at]

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From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Colombia/CTV 5.19 9pm

Dear Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts weekly on MTN Channel 17.  Households with
basic cable can watch.  "Our World In Depth" is on Saturday at 9 pm and
the following Tuesday at 8 am (as well as other random times).

Sat, 5/19, 9 pm "Plan Colombia: A War on the People" Interviews with
Anti-War Committee and Colombia Action Network members Katrina Plotz and
Erika Zurawski. Hosted by Eric Angell.

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From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: Bombies/film 5.20 1pm

The aftermath of the carpet bombing of Laos with made-in-Minnesota weapons
is portrayed in the award winning film, "Bombies", which will be shown at
Ridgedale Library, Minnetonka, on Sunday May 20, 1 pm.

This free film includes local footage of demonstrations at Honeywell and
Alliant Techsystems (ATK), where many of these weapons were manufactured.
An update by members of AlliantACTION, who have weekly vigils at ATK, and
comments by Tip Sivilay, Laotian member of NWN4P, will follow the film.
Sponsored by NW Neighbors for Peace; all are welcome to attend this free
program.  For information - Gary, 612-298-0468 or

--------14 of x--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 5.20 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

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560

--------15 of x--------

From: Eric Gilbertson <aleric [at]>
Subject: Anti-racism  5.20 2pm

The Fifth Congressional District Green Party invites you to attend.

May 20, 2007, 2-6 pm, with break and discussion to follow Christensen
Center (Augsburg College), 720 22nd Ave S, Minneapolis Second Floor,
Minneapolis Room

LRT and bus lines 2 and 7 run nearby. Street and lot parking are free.

This workshop is based on affirming the humanity of all participants; it
is not shame or blame-based. In it, we will find out why it is in white
people's enlightened self-interest to fight racism. In just four hours,
total transformation is not expected-and metamorphosis is not required-but
we will learn about frameworks and tools that can help dismantle racism.

Members of the Green Party of Minnesota are welcome to attend, free of
charge. We recognize that it's unlikely that most residents of Greater
Minnesota will be able to travel for a half-day session, but we look
forward to expanding the discussion in the future as we tackle issues of
race and culture in the metro area.

There are many avenues to address racism. This workshop will focus on the
frameworks, skills, and tools that white people can use to be more
effective in cross-racial coalitions.

Trainer Erika Thorne has been a progressive activist, writer, facilitator,
and cultural worker since 1974. She does anti-racism work with other
whites in order to take responsibility for white racism; and
co-facilitates coalition building and diversity work. She's been at this
for 20 years. She brings joyful physicality and a finely-tuned popular
education approach to her workshops. Erika has worked with housing
projects, fair trade businesses, cooperatives, media and environmental
justice groups, undocumented immigrants, Hmong organizations, domestic
violence activists, and a full range of non-profits.

 >From Erika: "I am glad for the 5th District Greens' interest in fighting
racism...and I believe that successfully fighting racism is a crucial step
to fulfilling your mission. I welcome this opportunity to contribute to
that ongoing process."

If you are considering attending, but have questions about the content of
the workshop, please e-mail Erika at erikat [at]

If you have general questions about the event, contact
tomcleland [at] or 612-239-5130.

--------16 of x--------

From: eric-angell [at]
Subject: Sustainable organizing 5.20 3pm

A community discussion hosted by IMPACT:
"Building Sustainable Alternatives: Sustainable Organizing"
Sunday, May 20th, 3pm
Mayday Bookstore (Below Midwest Mountaineering)
On Cedar Ave, a block north of Riverside Ave
301 Cedar Ave, Mpls

The first of a series: Building Sustainable Alternatives. We will focus on
how to organize for the long-haul and avoid burnout. Laila Davis, a recent
graduate of the Humphrey Institute and community organizer, will lead
discussion along with Karen Redleaf, also a local activist and organizer.

The Building Sustainable Alternatives series marks a new approach to
IMPACT forums. We hope to act more sustainably while empowering the IMPACT
community. Each meeting will have facilitators who have researched the
topic in advance of a given meeting and will be prepared with ideas to
share. Facilitators are connected with the IMPACT community and have a
strong interest in the topic presented. Facilitators are not necessarily
experts in the field.

We believe in participatory education. We recognize that everyone has
valuable experiences and knowledge to contribute. Come and learn with us!

IMPACT (Ideas to Mobilize People Against Corporate Tyranny) is a
grassroots group of concerned citizens whose purpose is to raise awareness
about the impact of corporations on our society, promote sustainable
lifestyles, and mobilize ourselves and our communities to take cooperative
action. We believe another world is possible: a world where people and the
earth are more valued than profits!

--------17 of x--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 5.20 3pm

Join Group 37 for our regular meeting on Sunday, May 20th, from 3:00 to
5:00 p.m.

Our presenter this month will be Brian Payne. Brian is the co-founder of
the Student/Farmworker Alliance, a national network of students and youth
who organize in solidarity with farmworkers to end sweatshops and slavery
in the fields. Brian lived and worked for four years in Immokalee,
Florida, organizing student and youth support for the Coalition of
Immokalee Workers through the Taco Bell Boycott. Currently Brian is on the
Steering Committee of the Student/Farmworker Alliance and the Board of
Directors of Witness for Peace Upper Midwest. His presentation will start
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:

--------18 of x--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at]>
Subject: KFAI Indian 5.20 4pm

KFAI's Indian Uprising for May 20, 2007  #214

American and Alaska Native women in the United States suffer
disproportionately high levels of rape and sexual violence, yet the
federal government has created substantial barriers to accessing justice,
Amnesty International (AI) asserted in a 113-page report, Maze of
Injustice: The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in
the USA. Justice Department figures indicate that American Indian and
Alaska Native women are 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually
assaulted than women in the United States in general; more than one in
three Native women will be raped in their lifetimes.² ­ AI USA Press
Release, Apr. 24, 2007. > Our Issues > Womenıs Human

Guest: Sarah Deer, J.D. (Muscogee Creek) is the Victim Advocacy Legal
Specialist for the Tribal Law & Policy Institute in Saint Paul, Minnesota,
and is an online Instructor of Tribal Legal Studies at UCLA Extension and
former Lecturer in Law at UCLA Law School. Sarah is a co-author of two
textbooks published by Alta Mira Press:  Introduction to Tribal Legal
Studies and Tribal Criminal Law and Procedure and co-editor of the
forthcoming book, Sharing our Stories of Survival: Native Women Surviving

Guest: Lonna Stevens (Tlingit/Dakota) is Director of the Sheila Wellstone
Institute & Senior Trainer. Lonna directs Wellstone Action Fundıs Sheila
Wellstone Institute, which continues Sheila Wellstoneıs commitment to
building power and visibility for the domestic violence movement. She has
been a strong advocate for criminal and civil policies that create greater
safety for Native women and immigrant and refugee populations, and in 2005
developed and helped to pass legislation making domestic assault
strangulation a felony in Minnesota. ~ ~ ~ ~ ³The war
against Indians began shortly after the Puritans invaded our country.
Outright murder of Indian people was commonplace and sanctified by the
Catholic church via its specious papal-sanctioned "Right of Discovery" and
"Manifest Destiny" doctrines, all of which are categorized in what we now
know as "The Great White Lie." Our warriors were murdered with impunity,
our women violently raped and tortured, our children kidnapped and
molested sexually, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.² ­
Amerikkaıs Ongoing War Against Indians by Dusty Gray (Ojibwe), Portland
Independent Media Center, Sept. 2006,

³For centuries, the rape of women has been used as a tactic of war to
advance one groupıs political, economic, social, or religious position
over another.  Systematic mass rape devastates individual women ad
destroys the fabric of families and communities' ­ Rape as a Tactic of
War: Social and Psychological Perspectives by Diana Milillo, University of
Connecticut, Sage Publications, Summer 2006.

* * * *
Indian Uprising a one-half hour Public & Cultural Affairs program is for and
by Indigenous People broadcast each Sunday at 4:00 p.m. over KFAI 90.3 FM
Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul.  Producer and host is volunteer Chris
Spotted Eagle.  KFAI Fresh Air Radio is located at 1808 Riverside Avenue,
Minneapolis MN 55454, 612-341-3144.

KFAI's website's "Program Archives² of current programs are available for
two weeks. Programs can also be heard via KFAI's "live streaming" using
RealAudio or MP3.  Go to and click "KFAI Live Streams."

--------19 of x--------

From: David Strand <mncivil [at]>
Subject: Gips/eat plants 5.20 5:30pm

Join EarthSave Twin Cities and Alliance for Sustainability for our next
program (Feel free to bring others with you.) Sunday, May 20, 2007

5:30: Welcome
6:00: Plant-based dinner
6:45: Program

St. John's Lutheran Church 4842 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis (EarthSave
is not affiliated with the church)

In addition to sharing delicious food and enjoying great company, Terry
Gips, long-time EarthSave member, President of Sustainability Associates and President of Alliance for
Sustainability will speak: "Tastes Great! Feels Great! How a
Plant-Based Diet Can Bring About Sustainability".


Please bring a plant-based food, dish or dessert to share with others (no
meat, eggs, dairy, honey or refined sugar), enough to serve 4 to 6 people
(GREAT RECIPES AT:, along with a serving
utensil, a copy of your recipe/ingredients to set by your dish, your
place-setting and your SMILE!

For more EarthSave info,,
twincities [at] and/or EarthSave's 24-hour info-line:
952-930-1205 (leave a message, and we'll call you back).

Join EarthSave Twin Cities as we "dine-out" at a

vegan/vegetarian restaurant:
Saturday, May 26, 2007, 6:00 P.M.

"Mysore Cafe" (Indian, vegan, vegetarian), 2819 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.
Please try to RSVP to the EarthSave info line by 2:00 PM on Saturday (May
26th): 952-930-1205.  For directions, please call the restaurant: 612

Please see attachments re. Natural Step Framework Seminars: May 24, 2007,
and May 29 & 31, 2007.

'EarthSave promotes a plant-based diet for personal & planetary health,
and out of respect for, and compassion towards, ALL beings with whom we
share the earth.

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From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at]>
Subject: TC media/KFAI 5.20 9pm

Friends/Colleagues/Readers/Listeners/Citizens ­

TUNE IN THIS COMING SUNDAY, MAY 20, at 9:00 PM on KFAI (FM 90.3-Mpls/106.7
St. Paul and streaming at 2-HOUR DISCUSSION OF THE STATE OF TWIN

Our guests for this critical Truth to Tell discussion of the state of Twin
Cities and Minnesota media will be:

Part I ­ The Status of Daily Newspapering in the Cities
1. Kathleen Hansen, Professor, UofM School of Journalism, and Director, MN
Journalism Center
2. Aron Kahn ­ Retired Pioneer press Reporter/Columnist on the  Politics and
Business of Sports (Stadiums)
3. David Brauer ­ Free-lance Writer/Editor/Commentator, Twin Cities Media
4. Doug Rzeszutek ­ Veteran Star Tribune Press Operator

Part II ­ The Future and Alternatives
1. Mike Mischke, Executive Editor/Publisher, Highland
Villager/Avenues/Villager Communications
2. Alberto Monserrate, Owner/Publisher, Latino Communications Group (Gente
de Minnesota/LaPrensa)
3. Ed Felien, Editor/Publisher, PULSE of the Twin Cities and Southside Pride
Neighborhood News
4. Mary Turck, Managing Editor/Writer, Twin Cities Daily Planet

In the first segment we examine just whatıs been going on in local media
in recent years/months, especially the upheaval in daily and weekly
newspapering ­ from the boardroom and classroom to the newsrooms and the

Fortunately, we will be the first to ask questions of some whose opinions
are rarely, if ever, sought on such changes ­ including those of a
long-time union pressman for the Star Tribune. Weıll discuss the rapid
turnover in ownership of the Pioneer Press, and The Strib (by private
equity corporation, Avista), the PiPress lawsuit against former publisher
Par Ridder and Avista (among others), the reasons and ethics behind all
these shake-outs and the impact theyıre like to have on employees in all
departments, on readers, advertisers and the culture of news gathering in

In Segment 2, weıll talk with key Twin Cities media entrepreneurs outside
the daily/weekly arenas about how these changes affect them, how they
donıt and whether or not regional and targeted enterprises might possibly
suffer from them, and/or supplant them for specific neighborhoods and

A commentary will close the program.

Keep an eye out for a future program on the role local broadcast/telecast
news has played in shaping our culture through fear and distraction and the
occasional outright lie. Stay tuned.

Andy Driscoll, Producer/Host Truth to Tell ­ co-host: Craig Cox KFAI
Radio, Minneapolis/St. Paul 651-293-9039 / Fax: (same, call ahead) / Cell:
651-492-2221 email: andy [at]

--------21 of x--------

From: Ahmed Tharwat <tharwat77 [at]>
Subject: Lebanon bombs 5.20 10:30pm

Arab American TV show Airs on MN Public TV Ch17
Sundays at 10:30pm

Director of Clinical Education
Associate Professor of Law/ UST
Co-Director - Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services. He
headed a mission to clearing up the cluster bombs mess in Lebanon. Israeli
drooped more than 2 millions of them in the last 72 hours of the war!
web/Site%20Home.html>  More

Ahmed Tharwat/Host
BelAhdan with Ahmed
Arab American TV show Airs on MN Public TV Ch17
Sundays at 10:30pm <>
ahmedtharwat [at]

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Of Snoops and Dupes
What Do These Crimes Have in Common?
May 18, 2007

Another day, another impeachable offense.

If this one were on a television show we'd all flip it off in disgust as
too unlikely. The President phones up a hospital to demand that the ailing
Attorney General (who has turned over his duties and is disoriented) admit
the President's legal counsel and chief of staff so that they can ask him
to sign off on an illegal spying program. The AG refuses to sign off. The
acting AG, who is fully conscious but considers the program illegal, also
refuses to sign off. The White House goes ahead and launches the program
anyway, a program that involves the FBI, a program so dramatically illegal
or offensive that the serial criminals running the Justice Department
refuse to go along with it.

There is a theme that may unite this particular crime with a significant
subset of the crimes of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. The
entire voter fraud fraud [sic] is part of an effort to harass, block,
discourage, and disenfranchise Democratic voters. The U.S. attorney
firings and hirings, and the demands made of them, have been aimed at
hurting Democratic electoral candidates and protecting Republicans. The
mathematically impossible results produced by paperless election machines
have hurt Democrats and benefited Republicans. It is quite likely that the
illegal spying programs authorized by Bush have been used to spy on
political opponents.

Now, an illegal spying program (or two, or three) is illegal whether or
not it is used to spy on political opponents. A war of aggression is a
crime whether or not the nation you attack possesses weapons. Misleading
and defrauding Congress is a crime whether or not you have a high IQ.
Torture is illegal regardless of what any "signing statement" says. It's
important not to lose the forest for the trees in all of these things,
because the debate is so frequently diverted from the central question. I
don't want to distract from the need for immediate accountability for
known crimes by focusing on the mystery of who exactly has been spied on.

But there appears to be a pattern in several Bush-Cheney crimes of aiming
to cheat at elections. This is what Watergate was about. This is what Karl
Rove's career has been about. This is what has made every national
election since 2000 so different from those before. We ought to expect
this by looking at history, by looking at discrepancies between exit polls
and official results, and by comparing the policy positions of the
Republican Party to those of the American public. Elections that cannot be
won must be stolen. And yet, we generally avoid the topic.

If we did talk more about certain Bush-Cheney crimes as constituting
electoral politics by other means, we would come around sooner or later to
the question of which of these crimes have succeeded. Just as Bush and
Cheney's wars have dramatically enriched oil corporations and other war
profiteers, many of their other crimes have succeeded on their own terms.
Their voter harassment efforts have prevented votes from being cast. Their
hirings and firings at the Department of Justice have impacted elections
to their benefit. Their vote counting alone has stolen a presidential
election and numerous Congressional races.

But what about the spying? Have they obtained information they are holding
over the heads of political opponents? Would that explain any of the
Democrats' incredible timidity? Or have they obtained information on
opponents' plans that has allowed them to react preemptively? It would be
worth looking for instances where that appears to be the case. A leap
would be required to assume that the illegal spying programs have been the
one area in which Bush and Cheney have not met with any success.

But even if the spying is aimed at political opponents, and even if it has
been successful, the White House cannot possibly have dirt on every
Democrat in Congress. If Bush had that kind of information, would he allow
so many scandals and indictments of Republicans in Congress to go
unmatched by Democratic downfalls? I think we can be confident of these
three things:

* Bush and Cheney do not have any secret pull on most Democrats in

* Most Democrats in Congress know that Bush and Cheney are using a wide
array of illegal methods to cheat and steal elections, with a great degree
of success, without which the Democratic win in 2006 would have been
significantly larger than it was.

* Most Democrats in Congress are acquiescing in attacks on their power and
hoping that future elections (or at least their own individual election)
can be won by a wide enough margin to defeat any chicanery.

The main reason we need impeachment is, of course, to restore limits to
the offices of the presidency and vice presidency for the future. But
Democrats who put electoral concerns ahead of such long-term and selfless
thinking may well be mistaken on their own terms if they fail to press for
impeachment. If we do not impeach, remove from office, and try these
criminals in court, we will have to abandon the idea of free and fair
elections from here on out. And we know where this road leads.

David Swanson can be reached at: david [at]

--------23 of x--------

Setting the Stage for Turmoil in Caracas
Washington's New Imperial Strategy In Venezuela
by Chris Carlson
May 15, 2007

First used in Serbia in 2000, Washington has now perfected a new imperial
strategy to maintain their supremacy around the globe. Whereas military
invasions and installing dictatorships have traditionally been the way to
control foreign populations and keep them out of the way of business, the
U.S. government has now developed a new strategy that is not so messy or
brutal, and much more sleek; so sleek, in fact, that it's almost

It was so invisible in Serbia that no one seemed to notice in 2000 when a
regime was toppled, the country was opened to massive privatization, and
huge public-sector industries, businesses, and natural resources fell into
the hands of U.S. and multinational corporations. Likewise, few have
noticed as countries in the former Soviet-bloc have recently been victims
of the same strategy, with the exact same results.

Nations that do not give in to the demands of the empire and the expansion
of global capitalism are targeted by an undercover, well-designed plan to
change the political situation in the country, and open it up to corporate
investors. U.S.-supported groups inside the country overthrow the
president, making it seem like there is no outside intervention. And now,
Washington has turned toward its new biggest threat: Latin America, and
more specifically, Venezuela.

                    The Rise of the New World Order

During the second half of the twentieth century, capitalists in the first
world began to saturate domestic opportunities for investment and growth.
Big business reached a point where possibilities for expansion within
national borders were mostly exhausted, and the only option for growth was
to look for new opportunities abroad. Growing corporate conglomerates
looked to expand their operations throughout the world, investing,
privatizing, and buying up everything they could get their hands on.
National capital was looking to go international, and by the end of the
century, capitalism had become truly global.

"Get big, or get eaten," was their new philosophy, and they decided to get
big by eating whole nations. With the help of the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund, economies everywhere were opened up to
privatization. The phone systems, electrical grids, water systems, and
natural resources were bought up by wealthy capitalists in countries
around the world. Free-market capitalism now ruled the day; a paradise for
international capital as the world's wealth became more and more
concentrated in their hands. [1]

Some nations, however, were determined to not be eaten. Privatization was
an unpopular idea among populations who had developed the crazy idea that
their natural resources belonged to them, and not foreign corporations.
Resistance developed in several areas of the world, and some nations would
not consent to the logic of global capitalism. Washington, however, was
determined to open the world up to corporate expansion. They would oblige
those countries that didn't comply, either by force or by cunning.

         The Case of Yugoslavia: A Model for Regime Change

It was in Yugoslavia, and more specifically, in Serbia, where Washington's
new strategy would really take shape for the first time. From here they
would carry it on to other countries in an attempt to repeat the
tremendous success of the Serbian experience. And it's not hard to see
why. After the toppling of the Milosevic regime allowed for mass
privatization, all that remained of the formerly socialist country,
including some of Europe's largest reserves of natural resources, soon
fell into the hands of U.S. and international investors.

The strategy is a sophisticated one. With the intention of ousting an
undesirable regime, the U.S. government dedicates itself to strengthening
and uniting opposition to the government. This includes funding opposition
political parties, and creating non-governmental organizations dedicated
to toppling the regime in power. On top of this, the U.S. might contract
political consultants and polling agencies to help their favored candidate
win at the ballot box. But in the event they cannot win the election, fake
polls cast doubt on the official electoral results, and the opposition
claims fraud. Massive protests and media attention put pressure on the
regime to step down, or to give in to opposition demands. [2]

As implausible as it might sound, it was exactly this strategy that
toppled Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia in 2000. After the war in Kosovo and
NATO bombing had failed to produce regime change, the United States worked
to strengthen Milosevic's internal opponents by uniting them behind one
candidate, Vojislav Kostunica, and pumping about $40 million into his
election campaign. [3] U.S.-funded NGO's and electoral consultants helped
create a propaganda campaign surrounding the elections, and worked behind
the scenes to help organize mass resistance to the Milosevic regime. [4]
U.S.-trained "election helpers" were deployed around the country on
election day to monitor results. The U.S. even provided young activists
with thousands of cans of spray paint and campaign stickers to cover the
country with anti-Milosevic slogans. [5]

According to official results of the first round elections neither
candidate had won a majority of the vote, and so it would require a second
round run-off.  But U.S. consultants published their own "exit polls"
giving Kostunica a huge victory and Milosevic refused to recognize them.
[6] The opposition claimed fraud and U.S.-backed groups staged acts of
non-violent resistance to put pressure on the government. Armed groups
stormed the Federal Assembly and the state television headquarters. [7]
Massive protests and rebellion forced Milosevic to step down. There would
be no second round election, and Washington's candidate Vojislav Kostunica
took power. The strategy had worked.

But why had the U.S. targeted Serbia, and, even more specifically, the
small province of Kosovo? The answer goes back to the Reagan
administration and a 1984 secret document on "US Policy towards
Yugoslavia". A censored version was revealed in 1990 advocating "expanded
efforts to promote a 'quiet revolution' to overthrow Communist government
and parties." [8]

The US government had worked on dismantling and dividing the socialist
Yugoslavia for years, supporting any and all independence movements within
the individual provinces, including the 1999 military intervention to help
the province of Kosovo break away. What was once a relative economic
success under the famous Josip Tito, the socialist economy, based on
socially-owned, worker-controlled companies, did not allow for foreign
investment or US capital. This was a mortal sin in modern global
capitalism. As Michael Parenti put it:

"Yugoslavia was the only country in Eastern Europe that would not
dismantle its welfare state and public sector economy.  It was the only
one that did not beg for entry into NATO.  It was - and what's left of it,
still is - charting an independent course not in keeping with the New
World Order." [9]

Breaking up the country into smaller, dependent states and destroying
their public-sector economy was the ultimate goal, and Milosevic, an
admirer of socialist Tito, was the only thing standing in their way.

The rewards for their work were substantial. Once Milosevic was gone, one
of the first actions taken by the new government was the to repeal the
1997 privatization law and allow 70% of a company to be sold to foreign
investors. [10] In 2004 the UN Mission in Kosovo announced the
privatization of 500 enterprises, and U.S. corporations came out the big
winners. Phillip Morris bought up a $580 million tobacco factory, U.S.
Steel got a $250 million deal on a steel producer, Coca-Cola grabbed a
bottled water producer for $21 million, and the list goes on. [11]

In addition, western investors now had access to what the New York Times
called the "war's glittering prize," the second largest coal reserves in
Europe and large reserves of lead, zinc, gold, silver, and, even
petroleum. [12] And the real gem was located in the province of Kosovo;
the huge Trepca mine complex, valued at over $5 billion, now open to the
highest bidder. [13]

The success of the strategy in Serbia was an important lesson for the
Washington policy makers. They would repeat it several more times
throughout Eastern Europe in places like Georgia (2003), the Ukraine
(2004) Kyrgyzstan (2005), and Belarus (unsuccessfully in 2001). In what
became known as the "Color Revolutions," each U.S.-aided movement would
remove a regime in exchange for one more favorable to the "free-market"
policies promoted by Washington. [14] The preferred strategy for regime
change became this new sort of non-violent resistance, and now the empire
turned its gaze on South America, where a new threat to global capitalism
had suddenly emerged.

                       The Problem of Venezuela

If the Trepca mine in Kosovo was the jackpot of the Serbian intervention,
in Venezuela it is the state-owned oil company, PDVSA. Venezuela has some
of the largest oil reserves in the world, possibly passing Saudi Arabia in
total reserves if all heavy crude deposits are included. And it is PDVSA
that dominates in Venezuela with a total monopoly over the nation's oil
resources. With a production capacity of 4 billion barrels per day, and a
$65 billion yearly revenue, the company also possesses a network of more
than 15 thousand gas stations in the United States including several
refineries in both the U.S. and Europe making it the second largest
company in all of Latin America. [15]

You can be sure that corporate investors would love to get their hands on
the PDVSA company, along with other public sector companies in Venezuela.
In fact, they were doing just that throughout the 1990's.  By 1998,
multinational corporations had already bought up the national phone
company, the largest electricity company, and PDVSA was going through what
they called an "opening" to international capital; a prettier way of
saying privatization. [16]

But that same year, Hugo Chavez was elected president on an
anti-imperialist platform, and the auctioning-off of Venezuela came to an
abrupt halt. In fact, Hugo Chavez has become a real problem for the
corporate imperialists and their servants in Washington. Not only has he
stopped privatization, but he is reversing it by re-nationalizing all that
was once privatized. The privatization of the state oil company is now
prohibited by law, and his government has taken complete control of it,
using it to finance the country's development.

But what is even more worrying for Washington and their corporate sponsors
is how this trend is spreading through Latin America. The Chavez
government has built close ties to many of his neighbors, and many are
following in his footsteps. Countries like Bolivia and Ecuador are taking
greater control of their huge gas and oil reserves, leaving less room for
the huge corporations that hoped to one day own them.

And so, just as they did in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and others,
Washington has deployed its forces in Venezuela with the intention of
getting rid of the Chavez menace. After trying many things over the years
including a short-lived coup, electoral manipulation, and mass protests,
Washington has not been able to topple the popular leader. But they
haven't given up.  To the contrary, they've actually just continued to
increase their level of involvement.

           Repeating the East European experience in Venezuela

The new imperial strategy includes something called "American Corners."
These "corners" are small offices set up by Washington throughout the
target country that basically serve as mini-embassies. It is not
completely clear what exactly these "corners" do, but inside you will find
an array of information about the United States, including study abroad
opportunities, English classes, and pro-U.S. propaganda. On top of this,
the mini-embassies also organize events, trainings, and lectures for young

Interestingly, they seem to be very abundant in countries that Washington
seeks to destabilize. The former Yugoslavian countries have a total of 22
American Corners, including 7 in Serbia. The Ukraine has 24, Belarus 11,
Russia 30, even Iraq, with 11. By far the highest concentration of the
"corners" is in Eastern Europe, where Washington has focused its
destabilization efforts in recent years. [17]

There are at least 4 "American Corners" in Venezuela, the most for any
Latin American country, and the U.S. also finances literally hundreds of
organizations throughout the country to the tune of more than $5 million a
year. [18] Together, these U.S.-funded organizations are working to
implant the Eastern European experience in Venezuela. As reported by
Reuters, the Venezuelan opposition is already learning the Serbian tactics
to overthrow a regime from a retired U.S. army colonel named Robert

"Helvey, who has taught young activists in Myanmar and Serbian students
who helped topple the former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic in 2000,
is giving courses on non-violent opposition tactics this week at an east
Caracas university," said the article. "Neither Helvey nor the organizers
of the Caracas seminar would give details of exactly what opposition
tactics were being taught. But in his work in Serbia before Milosevic's
fall, Helvey briefed students on ways to organize a strike and on how to
undermine the authority of a dictatorial regime," reported Reuters. [19]

And more recently, in the university city of Mrida, history professor from
Texas, Neil Foley, hosted an event sponsored by the U.S. embassy and the
Venezuelan-American Center (Cevam), not an official "American Corner" but
serving the same purpose. Foley, who has also spoken in various "American
Corners" in Serbia, gave speeches in both Bolivia and Venezuela on
"American values". [20]

I attended one of Foley's speeches and, as expected, it was a complete
pro-U.S. propaganda campaign imposed upon the university students. The
professor gave exactly the message that the U.S. Embassy had paid him to
give, speaking wonders about American society and "American democracy".
According to Foley, the United States solves all of its problems by
tolerance for others and an all-inclusive "dialogue," between opposing
parties. And sending a clear hint to the Venezuelan students, Foley
implied that any government that does not live up to these standards "must
be overthrown". [21]

All of these efforts come together into a nationwide campaign to unite,
strengthen, and mobilize opposition to the democratically elected Chavez
government. The ultimate goal, of course, is to destabilize the government
by organizing and directing opposition groups to commit acts of peaceful
resistance and mass protests. Just like they did in 2002, when the
Venezuelan opposition groups staged massive protests that turned violent,
and eventually led to the temporary overthrow of the Chavez government,
the U.S.-financed campaign seeks to destabilize the government in any way
they can, perhaps provoking violence for which they will later blame the
government. [22]

Now nearly every element of the strategy used in Serbia and other Eastern
European countries has been implemented in Venezuela as Washington directs
and controls the campaign of the Venezuelan opposition. The same
"electoral consultants" that were used in Serbia, the Washington-based
Penn, Schoen and Berland, have also been used in Venezuela to publish fake
exit polls in an effort to cast doubt on Venezuelan elections. This
strategy of electoral manipulation was used during the 2004 recall
referendum when the U.S.-funded NGO Sumate and the Penn, Schoen and
Berland firm released false exit polls claiming that Chavez had lost the
referendum. They did the same thing before the 2006 elections, claiming
that Chavez' opponent "clearly has the momentum". [23] Both in 2004 and
2006 the fake polls would give credence to the opposition's claims of
fraud with the hope of producing massive protests against the government.
The strategy mostly failed, but it did cast doubt on the legitimacy of the
Chavez government and weakened its image internationally.

The destabilization attempts are taking form in a concrete way in the
coming weeks in the form of huge anti-government protests in Caracas to
reject the government's actions against the private TV channel RCTV.
Opposition groups have organized around the government decision, claiming
that it steps on their "freedom of expression," and have organized a
series of large protests in the capital leading up to a massive march on
May 27th, the day RCTV's broadcast license expires.

All the private media have played a role in advertising and calling on
viewers to attend the march to protest against the government.  All
expectations are that there will be a huge turnout by both pro-government
and anti-government groups, and the government has already warned of the
possibility that violence could be used during the march in an attempt to
blame the government and destabilize the regime. In the last few days,
government intelligence found 5 sniper rifles in the hands of opposition
groups as well as 144 Molotov cocktails in what appears to be evidence
that there are plans for some sort of violence. [24] [25]

It was exactly this kind of protest in 2002 that led to dozens of deaths,
hundreds wounded, and the temporary overthrow of the Chavez government.
Private media channels like RCTV manipulated video footage to blame deaths
on Chavez supporters, and condemned the government for human rights
abuses. So this time government officials have called on pro-government
activists to monitor the opposition protests with photos and video on May
27th and May 28th in order to avoid a situation similar to the 2002 coup.

If it had not been for huge pro-government protests after Chavez had been
overthrown in 2002, Washington's strategy might have already gotten rid of
the popular president. But the strategy failed, and so the empire keeps
trying. Just as they did in the Ukraine, Serbia, Georgia and others, the
strategy requires getting a large number of people into the streets to
protest against the government. Regardless of whether the government is
popularly-supported or not, or democratically-elected or not, the
opposition groups attempt to impose their will on the government by
putting on the pressure.

What most protesters probably do not know is that they are simply pawns in
a larger strategy to open up the world to "free-market" global capitalism
and corporate-dominated privatizations.  While huge multinational
corporations carve up the world among themselves, small nations like
Serbia and Venezuela are simply unfortunate obstacles to their objectives.
In the worldwide scramble to see who will get bigger, and who will get
eaten, the fact that some countries would prefer not to be eaten simply
doesn't matter to the bureaucrats in Washington.

1.  To read more about how the World Bank and IMF force privatization on
poor countries, Third World Traveler has a large section devoted to the

2. Michael Barker has a 4 part series of articles on Znet that explain
this strategy in further detail.

3. Michael A. Cohen and Maria Figueroa Kp, Privatizing Foreign Policy,
World Policy Journal, Volume xXII, No 3, Fall 2005

4. Chulia, Sreeram. Democratisation, Colour Revolutions and the Role of
the NGO.s: Catalysts or Saboteurs?, Global Research, December 25, 2005,

5. Michael Dobbs, "US advice guided Milosevic opposition: political
consultants helped Yugoslav opposition topple authoritarian leader", The
Washington Post, 11 December 2000,

6. Ian Traynor explains how opposition 'exit polls' have been
strategically used to weaken or overthrow regimes in Eastern Europe in his
November 2004 article in The Guardian. "US campaign behind the turmoil in

7. Chris Marsden, "How the West organised Milosevic's downfall," World
Socialist Web Site, 13 October 2000,

8. Finley, Brooke.  "Remembering Yugoslavia: Managed News and Weapons of
Mass Destruction," from the book Censored 2005, Project Censored, Seven
Stories Press, 2004.

9. Michael Parenti, The Media and Their Atrocities, You Are Being Lied To,
pg. 53 , The Disinformation Company Ltd., 2001

10. Neil Clark, "The Spoils of Another War - NATO's Kosovo
Privatizations," Znet, September 21, 2004,

11. Elise Hugus, "Eight Years After NATO's 'Humanitarian War' - Serbia's
new 'third way'", Z Magazine, April 2007, Volume 20 Number 4,

12. Hedges, C., "Kosovo War's Glittering Prize Rests Underground," New
York Times, 08/08/98

13. Michel Chossudovsky, "Dismantling Former Yugoslavia, Recolonizing
Bosnia-Herzegovina," Global Research February 19, 2002, Covert Action
Quarterly, Spring 1996-06-18,

14. Jonathan Mowat, "Coup d'tat in Disguise: Washingtons's New World Order
'Democratization' Template," Global Research, February 9, 2005,


16. Steve Ellner, The Politics of Privatization, NACLA Report on the
Americas, 30 April 1998,


18. Jim McIlroy & Coral Wynter, "Eva Golinger: Washington's 'three fronts
of attack' on Venezuela," Green Left Weekly, 17 November 2006,

19. Pascal Fletcher, "US democracy expert teaches Venezuelan opposition,"
Reuters, April 30, 2003,

20. On the web page of the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia it shows that Neil
Foley gave a speech in La Paz, Bolivia for .U.S. Culture Week. the week
before he was in Venezuela.

21. From my personal notes of Mr. Foley's speech at the University of the
Andes in Merida, Venezuela on April 16, 2007

22. For the best, most detailed, account in English of the 2002 coup, read
Gregory Wilpert's recent article, "The 47-Hour Coup That Changed

23. See my previous article "Coup d'tat in Venezuela: Made in the U.S.A. -
The U.S.-designed Plan to Overthrow Hugo Chavez in the Days Following the
Election,", November 22, 2006

24. President Chavez announced that his intelligence had infiltrated
opposition groups and found a man belonging to an opposition group with 5
sniper rifles with silencers and scopes. "Chavez anuncia incautacin armas
vinculadas a complot en su contra,", May 6th, 2007,

25. Police in Los Teques, near Caracas, found 144 Molotov cocktails all
ready to be used to "take them out to the street next week with the
intention of disturbing the public order and for direct confrontation with
authorities," Prensa Latina, May 9, 2007,

Chris Carlson is a freelance journalist and activist living in Venezuela.
See his personal blog at:


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