Progressive Calendar 05.21.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 06:50:27 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    05.21.07

1. Outreach video      5.21 3pm
2. E-classroom         5.21 6:30pm
3. Palestine/film      5.21 6:30pm

4. Michael Albert/KFAI 5.22 11am
5. David Korten/CTV    5.22 5pm
6. Global health work  5.22 7pm

7. Joel Albers      - HMO protest; tell your health care horror story
8. Joan Malerich    - Comment on Albers
9. Robert Halfhill  - Impeachment fever spreads
10. Lydia Howell    - Elected Dems
11. Ralph Nader     - Timid Dems and the antiwar movement
12. Reza Fiyouzat   - Vietnam syndrome: dead or alive?
13. Danny Schechter - Manufacturing indifference
14. Ramsey Clark    - Articles of impeachment
15. ed              - Now is the time  (poem)

--------1 of 15--------

From: Gary Thompson <gkthomp [at]>
Subject: Outreach video 5.21 3pm

Monday May 21, 3-5PM - Issue: LIGHT RAIL on University Ave.  Your video to
YouTube? Another day for our Outreach Video Kiosk will be at the Rondo
Library Monday, May 21, 3:00-5:00 PM.

Light rail has been a very popular and spirited issue on the forum.  Now
is the time to put your mouth (and face) on this issue!  You can add your
views to the ones (see below) that are already on YouTube!

Contrary to popular opinion, after an informal library survey, Light Rail
was not as popular to Rondo Library visitors as the recent violent crimes
in St. Paul, especially the recent murder on the bus.  As part of our
continuing video experiment, we may also do videos on this topic on

If you are interested in either, please contact me, Gary Thompson,
(gkthomp [at], 651-695-0615), to schedule a short video session
during the above time period.  You can also stop by at your convenience
and walk-in to do a video.

See below the IRV videos that are now on YouTube!
Gary Thompson gkthomp [at] 651-695-0615

--------2 of 15--------

From: Tim Erickson <tim [at]>
Subject: E-classroom 5.21 6:30pm

Upcoming workshops in the Electronic Classroom at Rondo Community Outreach
Library (University and Dale):

MONDAYS IN MAY 6:30-8:30 pm -
   May 21  - Show and Tell:
             New Tools (Cool Tools) for Public Participation
               * The Daily Planet
               * Other ideas (contact Tim Erickson)

MONDAYS IN JUNE  6:30-8:30 pm
   June 4  - Podcasting
   June 11 - Blogs: How to set up and maintain your own blog
   June 18 - Wiki
   June 25 - Show and Tell:
             New Tools (Cool Tools) for Public Participation

--------3 of 15--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Palestine/film 5.21 6:30pm

Third Monday Movies: "The Color of Olives" and Discussion

Monday, May 21, 6:30 p.m. Parish Center, St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537
Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. A look at the private world of a
Palestinian family, hemmed in by a 30 foot wall, amid electrified fences,
locked doors and armed soldiers. 97 minutes . Presented by: WAMM Third
Monday Movies Committee.

--------4 of 15--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Michael Albert/KFAI 5.22 11am

Tue.may 22: Michael Albert KFAI/11am

Z magazine publisher/editor and founder of South End Press, Michael Albert
is coming to Minneapolis, touring with his new memoir, "Remembering
Tomorrow". Hear an interview with him;remembering 40 years of activbism,
asking questions about where progressive politics has been and where it's
gong. Tuesday, May 22, 11am on 'Catalyst:politics and culture" on KFAI
Radio, 90/1 fm Mpls 106.7 fm St.Paul. On-line at
Producer/host Lydia Howell

Michael ALbert soeaks Wed, May 23, 7pm, Davis Aud., Campus Center,
macalester College, Grand and Snelling, St. Paul. for more info call Women
Against Military Madness (612)827-5364

--------5 of 15--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: David Korten/CTV 5.22 5pm

St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts at 5 pm and midnight each Tuesday and 10
am each Wednesday in St. Paul.  All households with basic cable can watch.

5/22 and 5/23 "David Korten: The Great Turning from Empire to Earth
Community".  Presentation by author Korten recorded April '07 in Mpls.

--------6 of 15--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Global health work 5.22 7pm

Finding Work in Global Health
Tuesdays, May 22 & May 29, 7 p.m.
St. Anthony Park Branch Library, 2245 Como Ave., Saint Paul
These events are free and open to the public.
For more information, call 651-222-3242 or friends [at]

On Tuesday, May 22, learn about opportunities in international health,
and consider some reasons why you should (or shouldn't!) work overseas.
 The program features returned Peace Corps volunteer Elizabeth Songalia,
who found fulfilling work (and love) in the Philippines.

Discuss practical methods to prepare for work in global health and the
kinds of work available.  The Tuesday, May 29 program includes guest
speaker Rob Carlson, PA, who spent six challenging months in a refugee
camp in the Sudan.

The final program on Wednesday, June 6, explores ways to make the most
of your international experiences, and how to come back home without too
much re-entry shock.  The guests are Segundo and Joan Velasquez, who
created a health and development organization in Bolivia, at their St.
Paul kitchen table.

These programs are free and open to the public, and coordinated by
Patricia Ohmans, MPH, who is the director of Health Advocates and
co-author of /Finding Work in Global Health/.  For more information,
please call The Friends at 651/222-3242 or go online at

--------7 of 15--------

Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 23:20:12 -0500
From: joel michael albers <joel [at]>
Subject: HMO Protest; Tell Your Health Care Horror Story

Public demonstration at United Health Group HMO annual shareholders'

Tuesday, 29 May, 2007, 9am
outside the Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 Second Avenue South Mpls

UHG HMO is the largest HMO in the u.s., largest most profiteering corp.
in MN, highest paid CEOs in the history of MN.

Stand-up for an accountable, publicly-funded single-payer health care
system as a human right based on need, not corporate hmo/ceo profiteering
and greed !!

Please join in to speak out, sing, cheerlead, skits bring family, friends,

We're seeking speakers to share their personal health care horror stories,
esp denial of coverage or care from uhg or medica, or medicare part D.

We're also seeking endorsing organizations.

Sponsored by: Universal Health Care Action Network-Minnesota (uhcan-mn),
ffi call stefanie 612-822-2974 or joel 612-384-0973, joel [at]

[Has your health care been HMOgenized? Holding health hostage to profits
is final proof that capitalism sucks from head to toe. We need another
system, and we need it now. -ed]

--------8 of 15--------

Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 00:51:54 -0500
From: Joan Malerich <joanmdm [at]>
Subject: Comment on Albers

There is nothing new about the legislature doing absolutely nothing
significant to better health care.  They have followed the same pattern
for at least a decade.  They offer some reforms. This time around it was
the possibility of health care reform for young children.  They seldom
implement the reforms, let alone universal health care.  They might offer
some very small reform for elders, as the older generation is the one that
is most likely to vote - even if it is for evil, as in "lesser"  evil. The
horror stories have been told over and over and over.  They may even bring
a tear or two to a couple of the legislators.

But, the tears seem to disappear when the legislative candidates accept
money from the moneyed interests to run their campaigns so they can get
voted in to maintain their own status, their own state-paid health
insurance, their own pension and their own salary.  And, then what?
Well, then the cycle starts all over again.

The only way to stop this cycle is to boycott the vote until the money is
out. The Dems have absolutely no reason to work for universal health care
when they know all they have to do to get voted back in is to be the
lesser evil. Yes, of course, this means the Republicans will most likely
get voted in. So what?!  Take all of that time, money and energy that goes
into campaigning for this or that candidate and use it for real action.

There are so many things one can do to create real change that will lead
to creating a government of, by and for the people.  For example:
Building food reserves so those out of work can feed their children,
supporting worker takeover of work sites (study the Argentina and
Venezuelan worker take takeover of worksites), educate youth about the
truth and reality of US political terrorist intervention in foreign
countries and the US Constitution, start real guerrilla media (not the
soft "progressive" media).

Of course, we need some radical leaders who are intelligent, passionate,
inspiring, understand strategy and know how to use it to get this social
revolution in motion, to keep it in motion and to replace the current

First on the agenda is working for a Constitutional Assembly.  I am sure
all understand that universal single-payer health care, housing for all,
free education for all through college and food for all can be written
into a constitution.  The only way to make this happen is for the radical
leaders (as described) to start leading the people for a new government
(not an imperialist one) that will work for welfare of all - not just the
middle "class" but also for the poor.

Socialism or Nothing!

--------9 of 15--------

From: Robert Halfhill "rhalfhill [at]" <rhalfhill [at]>
Subject: Re: Impeachment Fever Spreads

I have sent the following email to the Progressive Democrats of America in
response to the email they sent out on impeachment.
  Robert Halfhill   rhalfhill [at]

Have you ever wondered why Nancy Pelosi said impeachment was "off the
table" as soon as the Democratic Party had a Congressional majority?  And
why John Conyers stopped pushing for an investigation of the stolen
election of 2004?  Why do the leaders of your party fail to come through
as soon as your selfless efforts win them the power to do something?

The reason is that the ruling rich of this country have quite cleverly
arranged for two major parties, one to pursue the objectives of the rich
openly and the other to divert people by making false promises of reform
whenever they get restive.

The Democratic Party is always slightly to the left of the Republican
Party in order to bait the trap in which every third party since 1867 has
been ensnared.  And both parties move steadily to the right when there are
no countervailing mass movements, the Democrats following the Republicans.

Thus the President who said that "a woman ought not to be denied access to
family planning because of her economic circumstance turns out to have

The Democrats had followed the Republicans so far to the right by 2004
that the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE compared Nixon and Kerry in an article
entitled "Nixon, you liberal, you."  Because most people just ASSUMED that
Kerry was against the Iraq war without listening to what he actually said,
assuming that as the Democratic candidate and therefore the "lesser evil"
he MUST be against the Iraq war.

Thus opponents of the war ended up in the ridiculous position of trying to
oppose the Iraq war by supporting a candidate who said he would have been
for invading Iraq even if he had known there were no weapons of mass
destruction there and that he would send more troops "if the generals
asked for them."  And most people in the antiwar movement, which have
previously mobilized fifteen million people in to the streets worldwide,
dropped what they were doing to campaign for Kerry.  The antiwar movement
is just now recovering its previous strength.

Incidentally, I am not just sitting on the sidelines carping at what you
are doing.  I am working for impeachment as a member of the Green Party
and by responding to the appeals of non party organizations.  I am working
for many of the same things you are trying to work for, but you'll never
get them through the Democratic Party.

--------10 of 15--------

Elected Dems
Lydia Howell

[Quote from a public meeting today (5.20) -ed]

"The expletive-deleted expletive-deleted expletive-deleted [elected]

[What I like about her using "expletive-deleted" is that it allows us to
quote her without compromising the Progressive Calendar's wholesome
Princess Kay of the Milky Way reputation. We suggest they be filled by
childhood words such as yucky, gross, and (my favorite) ishy poo poo.

--------11 of 15--------

Time to Buttonhole the Congress
Timid Democrats and the Antiwar Movement
May 19 / 20, 2007

The current issue of the UTNE Reader (May-June '07) carried a short but
sensibly provocative article protesting the stagnation and the cul-de-sac
nature of street protests that involve nonviolent civil disobedience.

Joseph Hart, the author, asks why the current antiwar movement is so
impotent, despite "a staggering 67 percent disapproval of President Bush's
handling of the war - a level that matches public sentiment at the tail
end of the Vietnam War, when street protests, rallies, and student strikes
were daily occurrences."

He believes it is because, quoting Jack DuVall, president of the
International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, that "a street demonstration
is only one form of protest and protest is only one tactic that can be
used in a campaign. If it's not a part of a dedicated strategy to change
policy, or to change power, protest is only a form of political

Both gentlemen are being incomplete. Even without a military draft in
place to arouse a larger public, the protestors against the Iraq war have
affected the 2006 elections, performed sit-ins in Congressional offices,
filed lawsuits against Bush's violations of people's civil liberties,
brought Iraqi spokespeople to meet with influential Americans, worked with
Iraq veterans against the war as well as with numerous former high ranking
military, diplomatic and intelligence officials now retired from service
in both Republican and Democratic Administrations who openly opposed the
invasion at the outset.

Clearly all this has not been enough to move the Democrats to decisive

The obstinate, messianic militarist in the White House remains unmoved.
With his ignorance of history itself becoming historic, this latter day
obsessively compulsed, King George thinks he's a 21st century Winston

Through the wide arc of his persistent lawlessness, Mr. Bush has done the
country much damage here and abroad. But he has also demonstrated how
variously the rule of law can be swept aside with impunity. He is both
outside and above the Constitution, federal statutes, international
treaties to which the U.S. is solemn signatory, and the restraints of the
Congress and the federal courts.

A major restructuring of our laws to embrace the outlaw Presidency under
Mr. Bush, or any like-minded successors, now has a solid empirical basis
from which to move forward. Presidential outlawry did not start with Mr.
Bush. It has been building up for a long time going from the episodic to
institutionalized forms.

For example, it is now routine for the courts to opt out of giving any
citizen, group or member of Congress legal standing on matters of foreign
and military policy even to plead their cases against the President. Here
the courtroom door is closed.

For Mr. Bush, what would be repeated criminal negligence by anyone else,
there has been immunity from lawsuits by families of soldiers - and there
were hundreds of them - who died because they were not provided with body
and Humvee armor over three years of more in Iraq. Immunity even from
equitable lawsuits seeking a mandamus for obligated action ignored by the

The Bush officials had the funds with which to procure these shields but
somehow the Halliburtons got more of their urgent attention.

Clearly, the diverse opposition to Bush's war needs to move to higher
levels. More meticulous lobbying in Congressional Districts, more pressure
to initiate impeachment hearings, more exposure to what the Iraqi people,
suffering so terribly, want, much more organized focus by the retired,
established military and civilian officials whose previous courage and
experience give them great credibility today.

The number of active duty soldiers petitioning their member of Congress to
end the war now exceeds twelve hundred. Since 72% of the soldiers in Iraq
wanted the U.S. out within six to twelve months in a Zogby poll released
very early in 2006, there is more potential from this source of actual
military theatre experience.

The timid, anti-war members of Congress require more than all this
opposition. Apparently they are looking for intensity, for more people
having the war on their minds, demanding that the huge monies for this
overseas destruction be turned into providing necessities for their

These lawmakers seem to need to be buttonholed whenever they return to
their Districts. In Washington, they keep saying things like, "Yeah, I
know the polls but Americans are more interested in American Idol and
their iPods."

So, Americans, start the buttonhole movement - at their Congress members'
town meetings, at the clambakes they attend this summer, at the local
parades where they strut, over at their local office (see the yellow pages
listing under U.S. Government for the addresses and phone numbers) and
through letters and telephone calls. You count when you make them count

Log onto to keep current with what's going on
during this most unpopular war in U.S. history madly driven by arguably
the most unpopular President in the last century. Democracy Rising
director Kevin Zeese has many opportunities for you to get involved back

Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions

--------12 of 15--------

Dead or Alive?
Vietnam Syndrome
May 19 / 20, 2007

Ho Chi Minh City.

While traveling around Vietnam, you come across different kinds of western
tourists. One staple of such a species is the American ex-military person.
They usually display a proprietary disposition toward Vietnam which is
inexplicable and shows itself in what they say and how they say it. In
cultural studies, one would probably say the attitude is indicative of a
not-so-subtle Orientalism mixed with a disturbing cocktail of ignorance -
innocence plus a patronizing tone painfully visible to a lesser person,
such as myself, from the Third World.

One such ex-military person was encountered in a cafe in Sapa, a northern
Vietnamese small town, with beautiful mountainous surroundings and lots of
great trekking opportunities, going through spectacular scenes of terrace
farming of rice and other farmed goods.

The gentleman did look the military type, and engaged us in small talk. He
mentioned that he planned to go to Dien Bien Phu by motorbike. I
interjected, "That's where the French got their ass-whooping!" He didn't
bat an eye, explaining the topography of the place and going on to say
that at the time of the French military campaigns in 1953-1954, the
military personnel on the ground had repeatedly told their military
leaders that their positions there were untenable, yet the political
leaders back home had insisted on holding their positions at Dien Bien

He went on to conclude: "That's a great example of what micromanaging a
war gets you!" He gave a knowing smile and a nod, and sipped on his

Yes, some military types, especially those up above, believe that
'micromanaging' wars is not good business. The word, as I understand its
usage, has specific connotations, usually implying that whatever the
political goals of the military mission, and no matter in what unrealistic
fashion those goals were conjured up, the military mission should be
provided for; no questions asked. Once military invasions get going,
'meddlesome politicians' - but more to the point, and by extension, the
people whose taxes pay for those invasions - should just shut up and stay
out of the war business.

The word 'micromanaging' usually comes within a package with a larger
framework, which is: indefinitely-running military campaigns eventually
and at some point, as inevitably as sunrise, will succeed in achieving the
political objectives sought.

The mentality behind such phrases as 'micromanaging the war', 'tying
military's hand', and assorted other terms of delusional inclination, must
by duty ignore one crucial factor: the human spirit and its yearning for
freedom, and the fact that invaded peoples are humans.

But, what did all the bombings (more than six million tons of bombs), all
the atrocities (more than three million Vietnamese deaths; millions of
acres of farmlands razed, bulldozed and salted; millions of tons of agent
orange sprayed); in short, what did all the rape and all the destruction
of the Vietnamese society get the Americans?

Vietnam may be considered 'poor' in the eyes of fanatics who deal only in
World Bank or Asian Development Bank type of statistics. But, no matter
how many millions of sorties worth of misery and hate were visited upon
this lush, beautiful and fertile land by successive administrations in the
US - with the Democrats and Republicans competing for first prize in
extreme sadism - people here have come out the winner, have stayed proud,
upstanding, with their dignity intact and, most important of all, help
each other willingly and they easily smile. In other words, their
spiritual well being is healthy indeed, thank you very much!

The Vietnamese thoroughly defeated first the French colonial and then the
American neo-colonial killing machines. And now they are where they
intended to be before all that barbarity was unleashed upon them. They are
being one nation among others with their sovereignty recognized and
respected, and left in peace to pursue a somewhat happy life as best and
as competently as they can.

Of course, in so far as incompetence and lack of imagination in
administering societal affairs is a species-wide problem of an endemic
nature, the Vietnamese too have their share of it. But no more and no
less, and their share is not even a hundredth as bad as the Americans'.

The spirit exhibited while getting on with one's daily life can tell a
great deal about a society. In the way the people act towards each other
on the streets, in the markets, at places of business and as they carry
out their daily routines, the Vietnamese are one of the most cooperative
people I have ever met. Despite the poor infrastructure, people's
cooperation with each other makes for a life that is far more hassle-free
and relaxed than a lot of societies I have seen.

Here is one simple example I experienced as a traveler. On a tour taking
us through two days of visiting different aspects of life on the Mekong
Delta, we had to be transferred from one very primitive small boat to
another at different points in the journey. At one point, on our way to a
coconut candy 'factory' (a small thatch-shaded work area on the banks of
the Mekong, with maybe twenty workers), the motorboat broke down right in
the middle of the waterway. In less than ten minutes, another boat from a
competing company, doing the same route, was there to help out, taking us
all onboard and delivering us to our intended destination.

Had this breakdown occurred in the U.S., most likely we would have been
stranded for at least a few hours while another boat (or a tugboat) was
dispatched to help us; definitely, no competing company would pick us up.
In China, we would have probably had to wait while the captain himself
fixed the boat, which could have taken well, a very long time.

Though it has changed a lot and has gone some way down the road of
capitalist restoration (currently a member of the World Trade
Organization), Vietnam seems to have healed its wounds mostly and is
modestly and warmly proud of being a friendly country to the people who
come to visit it, including former colonialists and invaders; maybe
especially friendly to them. This, in stark contrast to the eye-scans and
finger-printing and an array of technologies of paranoia greeting foreign
visitors to the U.S., as if they were entering a gigantic prison colony.

So, Vietnam is pretty much back on track, being a peace-loving nation
doing its best to live a dignified life with the modest resources that it

In the US, meanwhile, life has changed mostly for the worse. There used to
be a time when imperialism could at least bring a few goodies back home
for some of 'its own' proles. However, thirty-some years after the defeat
of the American forces in Vietnam, more than 45 million U.S. citizens have
no access to healthcare; more than 12 million families go hungry; and
almost 18 percent of children under 18 live in poverty. Adjusted against
the real buying power of the dollar in 2006, the minimum wages for workers
back in 1968 were $9.27 an hour, the highest level of minimum wage ever
since. The minimum wages stand at $5.85 an hour now, and, by legislative
action taken in January of 2007, will be 'raised' to $7.25 by 2009. So,
the real wages in the U.S. have been dropping since 1968. With the
transfer of an increasing amount of the U.S. manufacturing base to
production sites in countries with far lower wage standards, the latest
economic 'recoveries' are merely recoveries for the profit margins of the
most powerful corporations, with no employment gains for the workers
during such 'recovery' phases.

Some sixty percent of the U.S. corporations that use up most of the
infrastructure to make their profits pay no taxes as often as they can,
which means that most of the infrastructure is in dire need of rebuilding.
And to keep the class divide as a permanent (and increasingly larger)
fixture of the American way of life, the public education in the U.S. is
in such a situation of inequality that Jonathan Kozol describes it as an
apartheid educational system.

Further, the civil rights of the U.S. citizens is no longer a guarantee;
in fact, they are guaranteed not to exist, since such was codified into
law with the Military Commissions Act of 2006, signed by President George
W. Bush back in October 2006. Under the new legal structures, citizens may
be (and are) held in captivity with no recourse to legal means to dispute
their captivity. US and other citizens may also legally be tortured by the
agents of the US government. And the U.S. imperialist wars of
aggression-by-choice continue unabated.

So, in terms of real-life conditions, the American people have gained
nothing and have actually lost a lot of material ground. In terms of their
relationship with the rest of the humanity, the American leaders are far
from getting over the mentality that led them to invade Vietnam, and
subsequently to the dreaded 'Vietnam Syndrome'.

Quite the contrary, the upper echelons of the imperialist planners still
believe and act as if God gave them a special license to invade any
country and subject millions upon millions of people to extreme
're-education' campaigns backed by 1000-pound bunker busters; they still
talk of shoving democracy down people's throats 'for their own good';
still talk of, and act on, destroying entire villages, towns and nations
'to save them'; still talk of the harm of 'micromanaging' a war, and are
still stuck in the delusion that military might will bring all and sundry
under their total and unconditional control.

The only things that the rulers in the U.S. have learned deal with:
military tactics, weapons systems, increasingly sadistic degrees of
punishment to be brought upon any who refuse to surrender. As well they
have learned about more nuances of political manipulations for the sake of
the 'domestic considerations' and 'world opinion'; i.e., the media
management of their rape-and-pillage campaigns.

They have not, however, learned the most crucial, humanizing and humbling
truths about invading other people's societies to loot their goods. [In
the case of Vietnam, of course, there were no physical or natural goods to
loot, but there was that far more important spirit of the resistance that
had to be broken; which was not.]

Imperialism is manifestly and thoroughly a sick creature. Much like a mad
murderer who cannot help craving the mental exhilaration of the first
kill, the U.S. imperialist planners cannot help repeating their attacks on
other nations under the pretence of protecting the 'American way of life'.

Vietnamese society has many challenges and many problems partly as a
result of the history of French colonialism and the fight against it, as
well as the resistance to the invasion of the U.S. armed forces. Which
means that a lot of the economic problems facing Vietnam arise from
imposed poverty-by-bombing. Yet, the Vietnamese society goes about its
daily business peacefully, and one frequently sees joyous life in the

The American ruling class, however, is perpetually stuck in a murderous
gear. A crucial question therefore faces the American people: What will it
take for the U.S. public to bring their leaders under some real and
institutionalized form of control? A people's spiritual well being does
not automatically survive intact. Especially not while people's
representatives ceaselessly kill others by the millions and plunder others
nations routinely just so that more gluttony can spread among an
increasingly miniscule and incestuous ruling class in the belly of the

Reza Fiyouzat can be contacted at: rfiyouzat [at]

--------13 of 15--------

Manufacturing Indifference: Searching for a New "Propaganda Model"
by Danny Schechter
Published on Saturday, May 19, 2007 by

Twenty years ago, a professor of finance at the Wharton School in
Philadelphia and a far better known professor of linguistics at MIT set
out to come with a way to explain how our media really works. Rather than
offer a case study of coverage of one issue, or an analysis of this or
that flaw or media "mistake," they set out to try to make sense of the way
the media functions as a "system", what rules govern the behavior of media
institutions in reporting on crisis abroad. They didn't call it a theory
because they believed they were not being speculative but factual.

They came up with what they called a "model," not of journalism, but of

The ambitious book, since revised, explained their "Propaganda Model".
It's called, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass
Media. It became a best seller among a public angry with the news we are
getting and popular with media students worldwide who saw that there was
now a systematic way to analyze media performance in a structural way.
It's still in print and still provoking controversy.

The author's names are Edward Herman, and Noam Chomsky, both considered
intellectual heroes and heavyweights among generations of rebels and
critics worldwide.

At the same time, despite the many scholars who have validated it, even
with some nit picks, their "model" is ignored in most journalism schools
and newsrooms because its real focus is on the powers behind the media and
how they shape it to serve their own interest.

Many of the mainstream journalists who even know about it dismiss it as a
"conspiracy theory," even though Chomsky is a well-known critic of
conspiracy theorizing. (This is like that old joke in which someone says
they are an "anti-communist" only to be told, "I don't care what kind of
communist you are".)

This past week, I spoke at a conference in Canada, not the US of course,
where its impact is widely appreciated, still debated and updated. Still,
there was only one mainstream corporate journalist there, Antonia
Zerbisias, the always insightful media columnist of the Toronto Star who
explained the model's focus on the "filters" that much news has to pass

"Stripped down for purposes of, as Chomsky would say, typical media
"concision," they are: ownership interests, advertiser concerns, the
nature of journalists' sources, flak (or negative feedback) and ideology".

In a talk to a conference plenary, Zerbisias smiled before pronouncing
that the model is "true". There it is- a media veteran said it!

True - but not necessarily up to date in this new ever changing media era
of diverse technologies, major outlets losing audience and credibility,
increasing top-down control by conglomerized monopolies, vast information
available on the internet, increasing media production by citizens and
media makers, and growing disenchantment with a media that does more
selling than telling.

Of course, media outlets have an ideological orientation that usually
conforms with the interests of their governments. Journalists who
challenge it are often marginalized, ignored or fired. I have documented
that in my books and film WMD about the deplorable media coverage of the
Iraq war. I am not the only one to argue that there was complicity and
collaboration between a servile press corps and the Bush Administration
that we both cheerleading for war.

There are two other aspects to this that needs to be examined including
top-down coercion as when politically motivated moguls like Rupert Murdoch
or Silvio Berlusconi or Conrad Black buy a media outlet and discharge
journalists with whom they disagree.

There has just been a worrisome recent development at the one media outlet
in the world known for its independence, AlJazeera where a new board has
been named with a gutsy independent journalist replaced as managing
director by a former Ambassador to Washington. You just know what that
will result in-Foxeera, was the formulation coined by one reader.

In some countries, media dissenters are jailed or even killed. That's why
it was suggested at the conference that the title Manufacturing Consent
today should be modified for "Manufacturing Compliance". Increasingly
governments don't care what people think at all - or if they consent -
just that they go along with the program by hook, crook or club. Most
prefer that we don't vote at all. That's why elections are treated as
sports events. The non-voters increasingly outnumber whose who cast

Even more distressing is the tend towards the depoliticalization of
politics through the merger of showbiz and newsbiz to assure that much of
the media agenda is noisy and negative, stripped of all meaning:
superficial, often celebrity-dominated with little in-depth explanatory or
investigative journalism. They would rather market American Idol as the
American Ideology. To them, the only "hegemony" in Canada is its beer and

The people who run our media are, after all, in the end, promoting a
culture of consumption, not of engaged citizenship. They want eyeballs for
advertisers, not activists to promote change. The sound-bytes presented as
substance are there for entertainment, not illumination. It's heat, not
light, all the way.

So truth be told, the real propaganda in an era where with more pundits
than journalists, is less real coverage. It is pervasive and invisible at
the same time - omission more than commission. They want to dumb us down,
not smarten us up. They foster passivity, skepticism and resignation.
Forget beliefs of any kind - just buy, buy, buy. Why even use deception
when distraction works just as well?

Yes, the lack of coverage of East Timor that Noam Chomsky railed against
was atrocious, as is today's war coverage. but so is the absence of
reporting on the devolution of democracy and much of the suffering in our
own country.

Perhaps the more appropriate title in what Detroit calls a "new model
year," is "Manufacturing Indifference".

News Dissector Danny Schechter is "blogger-in-chief" His
new film is IN DEBT WE TRUST ( Comments to
Dissector [at]

[And enormously succesful it is, in producing history's most wimpy
populace, willing to put up with almost anything. It's not human nature -
it's a state brought about by billions of propaganda dollars, decades of
intense mind-meddling, and criminally compliant corporate parties/media.
We are what we eat. -ed]

--------14 of 15--------

Articles of Impeachment
Prepared by Ramsey Clark, Former Attorney General of the Untied States

Articles of  Impeachment
President George W.  Bush
Vice President Richard B.  Cheney,
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and
Attorney  General Alberto Gonzalez

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United  States,
shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction  of, Treason,
Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. - -  ARTICLE II, SECTION 4 OF

President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of
Defense Donald H.Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez have
committed violations and subversions of the Constitution of the United
States of America in an attempt to carry out with impunity crimes against
peace and humanity and war crimes and deprivations of the civil rights of
the people of the United States and other nations, by assuming powers of
an imperial executive unaccountable to law and usurping powers of the
Congress, the Judiciary and those reserved to the people of the United
States, by the following acts:

1) Seizing power to wage wars of aggression in defiance of the U.S.
Constitution, the U.N. Charter and the rule of law; carrying out a massive
assault on and occupation of Iraq, a country that was not threatening the
United States, resulting in the death and maiming of tens of thousands of
Iraqis, and hundreds of U.S. G.I.s.

2) Lying to the people of the U.S., to Congress, and to the U.N.,
providing false and deceptive rationales for war.

3) Authorizing, ordering and condoning direct attacks on civilians,
civilian facilities and locations where civilian casualties were

4) Threatening the independence and sovereignty of Iraq by belligerently
changing its government by force and assaulting Iraq in a war of

5) Authorizing, ordering and condoning assassinations, summary executions,
kidnappings, secret and other illegal detentions of individuals, torture
and physical and psychological coercion of prisoners to obtain false
statements concerning acts and intentions of governments and individuals
and violating within the United States, and by authorizing U.S. forces and
agents elsewhere, to violate the rights of individuals under the First,
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution of the
United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

6) Making, ordering and condoning false statements and propaganda about
the conduct of foreign governments and individuals and acts by U.S.
government personnel; manipulating the media and foreign governments with
false information; concealing information vital to public discussion and
informed judgment concerning acts, intentions and possession, or efforts
to obtain weapons of mass destruction in order to falsely create a climate
of fear and destroy opposition to U.S. wars of aggression and first strike

7)  Violations and subversions of the Charter of the United Nations and
international law, both a part of the "Supreme Law of the land" under
Article VI, paragraph 2, of the Constitution, in an attempt to commit with
impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes in wars and
threats of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and others and usurping
powers of the United Nations and the peoples of its nations by bribery,
coercion and other corrupt acts and by rejecting treaties, committing
treaty violations, and frustrating compliance with treaties in order to
destroy any means by which international law and institutions can prevent,
affect, or adjudicate the exercise of U.S.  military and economic power
against the international community.

8) Acting to strip United States citizens of their constitutional and
human rights, ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to
counsel, without charge, and without opportunity to appear before a civil
judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the
discretionary designation by the Executive of a citizen as an "enemy

9) Ordering indefinite detention of non-citizens in the United States and
elsewhere, and without charge, at the discretionary designation of the
Attorney General or the Secretary of Defense.

10) Ordering and authorizing the Attorney General to override judicial
orders of release of detainees under INS jurisdiction, even where the
judicial officer after full hearing determines a detainee is wrongfully
held by the government.

11)  Authorizing secret military tribunals and summary execution of
persons who are not citizens who are designated solely at the discretion
of the Executive who acts as indicting official, prosecutor and as the
only avenue of appellate relief.

12) Refusing to provide public disclosure of the identities and locations
of persons who have been arrested, detained and imprisoned by the U.S.
government in the United States, including in response to Congressional

13) Use of secret arrests of persons within the United States and
elsewhere and denial of the right to public trials.

14) Authorizing the monitoring of confidential attorney-client privileged
communications by the government, even in the absence of a court order and
even where an incarcerated person has not been charged with a crime.

15) Ordering and authorizing the seizure of assets of persons in the
United States, prior to hearing or trial, for lawful or innocent
association with any entity that at the discretionary designation of the
Executive has been deemed "terrorist."

16) Institutionalization of racial and religious profiling and
authorization of domestic spying by federal law enforcement on persons
based on their engagement in noncriminal religious and political activity.

17) Refusal to provide information and records necessary and appropriate
for the constitutional right of legislative oversight of executive

18) Rejecting treaties protective of peace and human rights and abrogation
of the obligations of the United States under, and withdrawal from,
international treaties and obligations without consent of the legislative
branch, and including termination of the ABM treaty between the United
States and Russia, and rescission of the authorizing signature from the
Treaty of Rome which served as the basis for the International Criminal

--------15 of 15--------

 Now is the time to
 experience premature

 [typical reader reaction:
 oh oh OH GOD YES YESSS!!]


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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