Progressive Calendar 05.31.07
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 20:50:28 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    05.31.07

1. NWN4P New Hope    5.31 4:30pm
2. Eagan peace vigil 5.31 4:30pm
3. Northtown vigil   5.31 5pm
4. Radical babysit   5.31 7pm
5. Israeli apartheid 5.31 8pm
6. LWV               5.31

7. Env justice conf  6.01 8:30am
8. Ffunch            6.01 11:30am
9. Climate action    6.01 7pm
10. Algeria/play     6.01 8pm
11. Vietnam/film     6.01-07

12. Myles Hoenig   - Time to leave the Democratic Party
13. Jean Daniels   - Folding to Mr 28 percent: dealing Democrats
14. Dave Lindorff  - Democrats decide not to confront the decider
15. James Ridgeway - The long con on synthetic fuels
16. Ralph Nader    - Taming the giant corporation
17. Terrence Paupp - From the Carter Doctrine to the Bush Doctrine
18. Mark Drolette  - Who are these people and where did they come from?

--------1 of 18--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: NWN4P New Hope 5.31 4:30pm

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


--------2 of 18--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 5.31 4:30pm

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


--------3 of 18--------

From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 5.31 5pm

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

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

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


--------4 of 18--------

From: Erik W Davis <erik.w.davis [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Radical babysitting 5.31 7pm

On the last Thursday of Every month, the Twin Cities Branch of the
Industrial Workers of the World (also known as "The Wobblies") organize
children's events and hold babysitting, from 7 PM until 10 PM.. We call
these events "Parents' Nights Out," since the goal is to help
hard-working parents and caregivers take some time for themselves: to
regroup, make love, and build community.

For the Twin Cities Branch, assisting in the project of building stronger
families and saner communities where we all share in the important
projects of raising the next generation go hand in hand with the work of
ending the domination of our lives and our world by capitalism and its
cohort of cultural diseases.

The next Parents' Night Out event will be held on Thursday, May 31st, at
the Jack Pine Community Center: 2815 E. Lake Street, in Minneapolis.

Please call the IWW with questions at (612) 339-1266, or email us at
twincities [at] iww.org Thanks for your time and assistance, and do feel free
to contact us with any questions.

Solidarity, The Twin Cities General Membership Branch of the IWW


--------5 of 18--------

From: Leslie Reindl <alteravista [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Israeli apartheid 5.31 8pm

Thursday, May 31 (and June 7), 8 pm, SPNN cable channel 15:  Altera
Vista presents "Apartheid South Africa and Israel Today: The
Parallels."  Speaker Farid Esack, South African Muslim theologian,
speaking at conference "Divestment from Apartheid Israel: An
Organizing Conference."  Taped April 28, 2007.


--------6 of 18--------

From: erin [at] mnwomen.org
Subject: LWV 5.31

May 31: League of Women Voters of Minneapolis. City Convention.
612/333-6319. www.lwvmpls.org.

[Perhaps they can be asked why they let the Dems bully them into excluding
Greens from candidate forums. We know the Dems will do it if they can get
away with it; but the LWV should stand for fairness and equal access.
Without that, it is just another arm of corporate hegemony. - ed]


--------7 of 18i--------

From: Annie Young <anniey [at] visi.com>
Subject: Env justice conf 6.01 8:30am

Chalchiutlicue Environmental Justice Conference
Friday June 1, 2007
Minneapolis American Indian Center

This conference is focused on creating a space for communities of color
and supporters to teach each other about our grassroots work on
environmental justice issues, develop networks with other grassroots
groups, identify our common interests, develop shared strategies, and to
increase participation in environmental justice activities particularly
for communities of color and youth of color.

http://www.chalchiutlicue.org/index.html

Chalchiutlicue Environmental Justice Conference
Friday June 1, 2007
Agenda

 8:30 Registration
 9:00 Opening ceremony & Intro to Chalchiutlicue
 9:35 Intro to Environmental Justice (EJ), Dr. Cecilia Martinez,
Women's Environmental Institute & University of Delaware
 9:55 History of the EJ Movement in Minnesota, Annie Young, Harrison
Neighborhood Association, Commissioner at Large, Minneapolis Park &
Recreation Board
 10:15 Environmental Impacts on Health for People of Color, Mitchell
Davis, Office of Multicultural & Minority Health, MN Department of Health
 10:45 Finding safe food in the city, Angela Dawson, Northside Food
Project
 11:05 Global Warming Youth Perspective, Urban Stewards Students, El
Colegio High School
 11:25 Adult Focus Workshop Identifying Minnesota EJ Issues & the Role of
the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Yolanda Letnes, MPCA

Youth Focus Workshop Political messaging through public art, Sandy Spieler
& Masanari Kawahara, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre

 12:05 Lunch by El Nuevo Rodeo Chips, Salsa, Chicken enchiladas, Black
Beans, Tamarind juice
 12:45 Non-toxic cleaning alternative demonstration, Kathleen Schuler,
Institute for Trade & Agriculture Policy (IATP) & Healthy Legacy
 1:00 Engaging Community: Making EJ Policy & Systems Change Happen
Featuring Minnesota legislators, facilitated by Jerry Lopez
 1:30 Environmental Education Speed Sessions
 1:30 Safe Cosmetics, Julia Earl, Preventing Harm MN
 1:50 Home Pesticides, Julia Bodadilla, MN Dept of Agriculture
 2:10 Dangers and Benefits of Eating Fish, Lea Foushee, North American
Water Office & Indigenous Women¬Ęs Mercury Investigation
 2:30 Tips for a Healthy Home, Kathleen Schuler, IATP & Healthy Legacy
 2:50 Impacts of Global Warming on People of Color, Sarah Springer,
University of Minnesota
 3:10 Strategies & next steps
 3:30 Conference Evaluation & Feedback (please do this!)
 3:45 Closing ceremony


--------8 of 18--------

From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Ffunch 6.01 11:30am

Meet the FFUNCH BUNCH!
11:30am-1pm
First Friday Lunch (FFUNCH) for Greens/progressives.
Informal political talk and hanging out.
Day By Day Cafe 477 W 7th Av St Paul.
Meet in the private room (holds 12+).

Day By Day has soups, salads, sandwiches, and dangerous apple pie; is
close to downtown St Paul & on major bus lines


--------9 of 18-------

From: ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net
Subject: Climate action 6.01 7pm

Summary: The National Rising Tide Climate Action Tour is coming to
Minneapolis June 1-2, at the Jack Pine Community Center 2815 East Lake St.
Organizers with Rising Tide North America are traveling throughout the
nation in a vegetable oil powered bus to talk with communities about the
impacts of climate change and what can be done to fight it.

Using music, theatre, and multimedia presentations, the Climate Action
Tour will cover a wide range of topics including: an overview of how
climate change is impacting the human and natural world, the new coal
rush, debunking false solutions to climate change, international
opposition to the fossil fuel industry, environmental justice, and the
array of creative actions communities can take.

Rising Tide North America is part of an international network dedicated to
fighting the root causes of climate change. In the past year Rising Tide
North America has organized civil disobedience against a coal power plant,
a nationwide bike ride on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and a
grassroots counter-summit to the G8 climate talks in Mexico City. See
HYPERLINK &quot;http://risingtidenorthamerica.org&quot;
risingtidenorthamerica.org for more.

The Climate Action Tour is being organized in response to a lack of action
in the US on the issues of fossil fuel consumption and climate change.
"We felt a need to do something to get the word out about climate
change, and empower communities to take action against this enormous
threat we face; because the government certainly isn't." said Abigail
Singer, with Rising Tide North America.

The educational tour will have a major focus on exposing false solutions
to climate change such as nuclear power and carbon offset schemes. "So
many of the so called solutions to climate change being put forward by
corporations are complete scams. We cannot solve the climate crisis with
new polluting industries, or by imposing genetically modified tree
plantations on poor countries to offset our gluttonous lifestyles. We need
to make drastic changes in the way we as a society live," said Julian
Drix.

The Rising Tide Climate Action Tour will be performing at Friday June 1 at
Jack Pine Community Center 2815 East lake at 7pm with a day of workshops
on June 2, starting at Noon. The presentation is open to people of all
ages, and families are welcome.

ffi email risingtidemn at riseup.net


--------10 of 18--------

From: Mizna  <mizna-announce [at] mizna.org>
Subject: Algeria/play 6.01 8pm

Tizi Ouzou
Written and performed by Taous Khazem
Directed by Zaraawar Mistry
Created in Collaboration with Mizna and Dreamland Arts

Set to the dynamic pulse of Berber and Algerian music, Tizi Ouzou is a
story of love, struggle and awakening in the small city of Tizi Ouzou, the
historically strife torn capital of the Berber Kabylia region of Algeria.
Taous Khazem portrays a multitude of colorful and compelling characters -
in search of their history, their country and themselves. (Tickets: $10)

June 1 & 2 at 8:00 p.m.
At Dreamland Arts
677 Hamline Ave N.,
St. Paul, MN 55104
Tel: 651-645-5506
www.dreamlandarts.com
The house only seats 45 so reserve NOW, online or by telephone.
Visit our website at http://www.mizna.org


--------11 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Vietnam/film 6.01-07

6/1 to 6/7, film "Journey from the Fall" about Vietnam post-war re-education
camps and hardships, Lagoon Cinema, 1312 Lagoon Ave, Mpls.
www.landmarktheatertheaters.com


--------12 of 18-------

Time to Leave the Democratic Party
by Myles Hoenig
+comments
May 29th, 2007

Cindy Sheehan leaving the Democratic Party should not come as a surprise.
It is believed that she intended to run against Diane Feinstein in the
California Democratic Primary but the "progressive" thugs of the party,
namely Boxer, Pelosi, and others, convinced her otherwise. They put Party
loyalty and Feinstein's husband's financial interests (armaments) over
principles. Sheehan's weakness was emblematic of the Party she had hoped
would come to the rescue and end this war.

For many wavering Party loyalists, the recent Congressional capitulation
to the President's war plans is the final straw. As David Vest said
regarding the evil in choosing one party over the other, it is like being
"asked to choose between the village idiot and someone who's consistently
outsmarted by him".

What choices do Democrats have now? Those who put Party loyalty over
principle will clearly stay with their party hoping against hope that the
Democrats will redeem themselves. But like waiting for the mythical
messiah, or Godot, that will never happen. The alternative choices are
simple. Register Green Party, Socialist, Independent, or tear up one's
voter registration card. Forming another party is way too burdensome and
expensive, although strong arguments can be made that this country is ripe
for such a move.

Missing from the calculus would be that leaving the Democratic Party would
give us a right wing in control of all. That's already here, thanks in
large part to the Democrats. Remember when the strongest (but still wrong)
argument for not voting for Ralph Nader in 2000 was that a Republican win
would give us a right wing Supreme Court? Nader was probably finishing off
his "The Seventeen Traditions" when the Democrats gave us Alito and
Roberts without a filibuster. We can thank the Democrats for elevating
Condi Rice to Secretary of State, rather than turning her over to The
Hague for War Crimes. And to most establishment Democrats, Colin Powell
still stirs admiration in their hearts and they wish he were one of them.
He is. He just has an "R" next to his name.

On issues as labor (secretive free trade agreements lauded by the Chamber
of Commerce), immigration, and refusing to support real universal health
care with a Single Payer system, the Democrats have no argument left for
why progressives should be in their corner. There is no corner in a circle
and the Democrats have gone full circle to embrace the tenets of
Republicanism.

How ironic that some think the savior of the Democratic Party is someone
like Al Gore. Many people foolishly are wishing for him to enter the race.
Michael Moore is one of them, as he implied it on Real Time with Bill
Maher. The one person least deserving of the presidency is Gore. Not only
did he not fight for the theft of his election in 2000, but he never
lifted a finger to fight the disenfranchisement of thousands of black
Floridians. He wrote an excellent environmental book before becoming VP,
(Earth in the Balance), and produced an Academy Award movie on the
environment (An Inconvenient Truth) after he left office. Too bad when he
had real power as Vice President he was an environmental bastard. As one
who has been part of the problem for decades, it is galling that he
questions what is wrong with our politics today.

Cindy Sheehan has been known as the Peace Mom. She helped to establish an
atmosphere where attacking the war, from its conception to its operations,
is only an act of treason to the Fox network and their toadies, like Rudy
Guliani. Perhaps she can be a trend setter in the political arena. Leaving
the Democratic Party certainly is hard for many, but how can one look at
oneself in the mirror if they don't?

Myles Hoenig is the campaign manager for Ed Boyd, Green Party candidate
for Governor of Maryland, 2006. He can be reached at
myles [at] charmcitygreens.org. Read other articles by Myles.

This article was posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2007 at 4:58 am and is filed
under Democrats. Send to a friend.

8 comments on this article so far ...
Comments RSS feed

--
Jose M. Tirado said on May 29th, 2007 at 5:39 am #

And what should she do next? Join the Green Party? Do you think that will
make any difference? This poor woman has been berated at every turn and
reviled despite receiving an homage of huge proportions here in Europe for
her courage. She needs the rest. Lets thank her and get on with the
greater struggle.

The Greens do not need celebrities to save them. They need to vote for
Green Party candidates all the time, every election, causing Democrats to
lose regularly and to stop trying to be the so-called "progressive wing"
of the Dems. Then Greens need to be vociferous about their having been
right all along. And above all to stick together. This idea of "dissident"
Greens and "electoral" Greens, of two de facto Green Parties and this
pigheaded principle of staying local rather than building a truly national
party which can articulate the best of progressive principles, is
scandalous. Wake up folks! Face it - Americans wont vote "socialist" or
"communist" but they are yearning for another way. While I think the Labor
Party could actually be the biggest "umbrella" under which American
progressives could stand under, its way too small. The Greens have the
best chance. We can attract a wider swath of voters than any other
progressive configuration (see my "Goldwater Greens" elsewhere on this
site) and with a goal of winning a few Congressional seat we can make a
difference. Five seats for example to start with. Then continue.

Ms. Sheehan was a wonderful catalyzer. Now its time we continued the
struggle.

--
Brandy said on May 29th, 2007 at 9:38 am #

Myles wrote this piece before Cindy announced her departure from the
anti-war movement.

--
Deadbeat said on May 29th, 2007 at 11:30 am #

You are right about Gore. But you don't have to look at his record as
Veep. You can also look back at this senate record. He like many southern
Democrats voted for all kinds of expensive missile systems. How much
"Earth in the Balance" are those weapons? Quite expensive and distractive.

Gore also stroked the flames of racism by introducing "Willie Horton" into
the 1988 presidential primaries. This "blewback" into the face of the
Democrats when the Republicans used that ugly symbol against Dukaksis.

Gore was also a leading proponent of "Balancing the Budget" on the backs
of social programs. Was a major proponent of NAFTA and the repeal of
welfare programs.

The fact that liberals like Moore and others are willing to abandon
principles for Al Gore says more about them than it does Gore himself.

--
Deadbeat said on May 29th, 2007 at 11:37 am #

The problem with the Green Party is that they have a process that allowed
Demo-Greens such as Medea Benjamin and Ted Glick to hijack the party.
These are status-quo proponents disguise as "progressives". Their job is
to misdirect principled activists such as Ms. Sheehan by drawing then into
the "process". In addition you have many "progressives" whose job it is to
make certain issues like the state of Israel and Zionism are not put on
the table as topic of analysis and discussion and thus to prevent middle
and upper class whites from forming alliances with people of color and the
poor.

This is why, IMO, Ms. Sheehan is dropping out and is frustrated. She is
politically naive and needs to do more in her journey to understand how
politics really work and do have a much broader awareness of the issues
surrounding race, gender, and CLASS .

--
Gary Sugar said on May 29th, 2007 at 12:16 pm #

No, in the American system, third parties only help the other side, as
Perot helped Clinton and Nader helped Bush. The answer is to vote against
disappointing incumbents in the Democratic primaries.

--
martov said on May 29th, 2007 at 12:47 pm #

I no longer believe there's any chance of this fake "war-on-terror" being
stopped. The anti-war people are too weak, & the two major parties have no
intention of stopping it, regardless of what they say to the media. &,
further, the majority of the people in the U.S. are simply ill-informed
(not that our rulers want us to be informed) & cruel (given what I
generally see when I glance @ back-n-forth comments on some "hot button"
issue). China & Russia are concerned w/ their own issues, so there's
little hope they will challenge the U.S. military juggernaut.

--
Matthew said on May 29th, 2007 at 12:51 pm #

cindy sheehan was neither inspirational nor empathetic. she waited until
her son got killed on a senseless mission in a foreign country before
giving voice to simplistic lefty sentiments that most college students
consider and cycle through by the end of their junior year. where was her
political awareness when her son was out participating in illegal wars and
taking part in the murder of iraqi civilians? if her son hadn't died, she
would still be sitting on her sofa set in her cushy suburban house
bragging to her bored friends about her son's heroic service. welcome to
reality, ms. sheehan. too bad your jamba juice corporate sponsorship
couldn't help to ease the pain of losing a child to nothingness.

the democrat party - yes, even lefties like me have begun calling them by
their pejorative name - has been a complete waste of political space for
well over twenty years now. the party is bankrupt of ideas, has no
political strategy to speak of and lives in a constant state of fear of
being outmanuevered by the republican noise machine. the democrats don't
deserve progressives' votes. find another outlet.

--
Bonethug Iranian said on May 29th, 2007 at 2:40 pm #

Greens, Libertarians, Communists, Socialists, Recidivists, and what the
hell difference could it possibly make? The people are sold out and
screwed into economic ethnic cleansing hell. How much more provocation is
required? How much more hypocritical nonsense ? Democracy is dead and an
autocratic domination is at hand. The elites will tighten their grip on
government and it won't be much longer until the wholesale detention of
resistance is under way. The Democrats merely took off the mask they've
been wearing.


--------13 of 18--------

Folding to Mr. 28 Percent
Dealing Democrats
By JEAN DANIELS
CounterPunch
May 30, 2007

President Bush can meet with family friend, Prince Bandar while Vice
President Cheney meets with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, but neither
leader are able to meet with Cindy Sheehan and the mothers who ask to know
why their children have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress, the
Democrats in particular dealt Cindy and the families of these soldiers
another blow. Instead of voting-all the democrats voting against this 120
billion dollar spending bill lacking any deadline for troop withdrawal,
the Democrats, as Cindy writes in her open letter to the Congress and the
American public, May 28, 2007, handed the Bush administration more money
for political expediency. "It is a moral abomination and every second the
occupation of Iraq endures, you all have more blood on your hands."

The country was lied to by this administration.

The country has witnessed the unraveling of the Halliburton and Blackwater
scheme for war profits.

We have had Katrina and a despicable response from the administration
before and after the hurricane.

Eight million dollars sent to Iraq, handed over to the Iraqi "government"
under Paul Brenner's control, is missing. It is a good possibility that
this money was distributed as treats to hands held out, including the
hands of El-Qaeda and other insurgent groups who, in turn, are maiming and
killing U.S. soldiers.

What deal have the Democrats made with the Bush administration?

Over 3000 soldiers have died without the media in this country covering
their return home. The President has not attended one funeral. Over 50,
000 wounded soldiers are returning to no homes and are ending up on the
streets. Many are coming back to wives who are stressed out from trying to
care for children while they face the possibility of foreclosures on their
homes and or farms. More soldiers are suffering from devastating injuries,
particularly brain trauma, requiring life-long care. Others are suffering
from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Did I mention the criminal conditions suffered by returning Vets at Walter
reed Hospital right there in Washington D.C.?

Teaching people to kill - to shape an "enemy" in their minds rather than
incubate or foster ideas for living with others has resulted in soldiers
returning home and seeing wives and other family members as the enemy.
When those responsible for leading this country, betrays its military for
oil profits for the few and an idea of world control for
mega-corporations, should the American public speak up in outrage?
Shouldn't all of America have joined Cindy in demanding accountability to
the countless deaths of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi citizens alike? Shouldn't
the Democrats have done more than capitulate to Bush's spending of
billions for war?

Families have lost mothers and children have lost parents. These young
soldiers serve as fodder for the war machine, and like the victims of
Katrina, know something suffering governmental indifference.

Even if a soldier does not lose his or her life, they lose in the long run
while Bush, Cheney, Rice, Halliburton, Blackwater trip over the money bags
on the way to Swiss banks. They and their friends are the ones who are
thought of when contracts worth billions pass from one hand to the other,
when control of the "globalization" of the world is the only idea worth
considering.

The atmosphere in this country for the right to dissent is as cruel and as
brutal as the activities at detention campus operated by the U.S. in its
"war on terror."

This "war on terror" has successfully produced terror! Read and try to
feel the terror as Cindy writes of the "thousands of broken hearts." "How
do you put behind you the screaming mothers on both sides of the conflict?
How does the agony you have created escape you? It will never escape me I
can't run far enough to get away from it."

The Democrats did not do it! They did not listen to Cindy or those mothers
or the American people who gave them their vote last November. They did
not do it!

Cindy wrote that the Camp Casey Peace Institution will meet in
Philadelphia on July 4th "to try and figure out this 'two' party system
that is brought and paid for by the war machine which has a stranglehold
on every aspect of our lives." Cindy is leaving the Democratic Party
because to stay with the Democrats is to "stay the course" of disaster
lead by the Republican administration.

She is leaving the Democratic Party, for they "have failed" those who put
them in power "to change the direction our country is heading."

"We did not elect you to help sink our ship of state but to guide it to
safe harborWe gave you a chance, you betrayed us."

Dr. Jean Daniels lives in Madison, Wisconson and writes a column for the
City Capital Hues and the Black Commentator. Email: Darlkofi2002 [at] yahoo.com


--------14 of 18--------

Democrats Decide Not to Confront the Decider
Whatever Happened to Signing Statements?
By DAVE LINDORFF
CounterPunch
May 29, 2007

Perhaps the best indication of the toothlessness and complicity of the new
Democratic Congress is that President Bush, who between September 2001 and
December 2006 used so-called "signing statements" and a bogus claim of
extra-constitutional executive authority as commander in chief in time of
war to invalidate 1200 laws or parts of laws passed by Congress, hasn't
issued a single one since January.

As for vetoes, there was just one, for the first Iraq War supplemental
funding bill - the one that actually contained a deadline of sorts for
ending the conflict.

The truth is, this Congress, elected by a public that made it clear it was
sick and tired of the Iraq War, has really done little or nothing to
challenge the president - not on global warming, not on the Iraq War, and
not on his unilateral gutting of traditional and Constitutionally
protected civil liberties.

The truth is, there has been little for this president to object to coming
out of this supposedly oppositional Congress.

On Memorial Day, as close to 150,000 US troops risk death and create
mayhem in Iraq, as 3500 soldiers' graves at home get fresh flowers, as
26,000 gravely injured Iraq War veterans nurse their wounds with little
help from an over-stretched and underfunded Veterans Administration
medical system, we Americans have to face the fact that we have lost
control of our government to a trillion-dollar war machine that moves of
its own accord.

A criminal president and vice president have succeeded in tricking us into
a war that had no justification, and that can have no good end. And what
once was an opposition party has succumbed, though a combination of greed
and cowardice, to become an accomplice in crime.

The president, now surely among the least popular leaders in the nation's
long history, has no need of signing statements any longer because he
faces no organized opposition in Washington.

The amazing thing is that most Americans seem to understand what has
happened. A few years ago, it took a certain amount of fortitude to wear a
peace button, or to put an anti-war bumper sticker on one's car. It took a
certain amount of courage to hold a sign calling for the president's
impeachment. Today, do any of those things, and you're far more likely to
get a thumbs up sign, or a wry smile of agreement anywhere you go in the
country.

Americans everywhere know we've been lied to, misled and sold a bill of
goods with Iraq and the so-called War on Terror. But we also are coming to
understand that there is little we can do about it with the Congress we've
got.

We elected people who vowed to stand up and put a stop to the crimes, and
after we voted them into office, they have failed us.

We've all learned this without the help of the mainstream media, which
goes on about its devious business of pretending that everything is as it
was, with two combative and ideologically opposed parties.

The public knows better.

Maybe now we can really start to tackle the problem.

Some progressive Democrats like Progressive Democrats of America and
Democrats.com are calling for candidates to mount primary challenges
against the sell-out Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid who are
making president Bush's job so easy.

That's great. With luck, the voters will realize this is their chance to
revivify the rotting corpse that is the Democratic Party, and maybe some
of those leaders will be dumped.

The next step will be what we, the voters, do in the next general
election. Will we revert to form and vote yet again for what used to be
called the "lesser evil," but which is now revealed as just another face
of the same evil? Or will we abandon the frauds and withhold our vote from
those who promise much and then betray us?

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the
Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns
titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press.
Lindorff's newest book is "The Case for Impeachment",
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff [at] yahoo.com


--------15 of 18--------

From I.G. Farben to Barack Obama
The Long Con on Synthetic Fuels
By JAMES RIDGEWAY
CounterPunch
May 30, 2007

Global warming is well on its way to being a godsend for the coal
industry. Lobbyists are busily trying to turn dirty coal into a pleasing
green alternative promoted by such Democratic luminaries as Presidential
hopeful Barack Obama and former House Speaker turned lobbyist Dick
Gephardt. In the background, always ready to help, is veteran infighter
former Senate Majority leader West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd.

Members of Congress are falling all over themselves writing legislation
that would pump millions of taxpayer dollars into schemes that promise to
turn coal into synthetic gas, develop oil shale, and the most popular at
the moment, plans to transform coal into a liquid oil.

If any of this were to happen, huge hunks of the fragile western plains
would be transformed into modern mining camps, wrecking fragile
ecosystems, exhausting and polluting water supplies. Manufacture of
synthetic fuels would subject workers, and the general nearby populations
to cancer causing chemicals.

There's nothing new about synthetic fuels made from coal. In the 19th
century street lamps in cities were lit with gas made from coal. In 1909,
a key date in the development of this business, Friedrich Bergius, a
German scientist, invented a way to produce synthetic gasoline from coal
and hydrogen under high pressure by means of a process called
hydrogenation. During World War I, Bergius tried without success to adapt
his process to large scale production. Carl Bosch, the chairman of the
I.G. Farben chemical combine, then in its infancy, thought the Bergius
process held great possibilities for the Germany - a country with little
or no oil of its own.

Short on fuel, Germany had been strangled during World War I by the
British fleet. By 1924 Germany was secretely rearming in violation of the
Versailles treaty, and the new mechanized army needed a sure source of
gasoline.

But turning coal into gasoline would be expensive and Bosch sought to
involve Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon's predecessor). He thought
Standard would help foot the bill. Standard's top officers were invited to
Germany to see for themselves what Boschs's men were doing. They were duly
alarmed and came home worried Bosch's synthetic fuel might overwhelm
Standard's oil wells and cripple the most powerful oil company in the
world with.

Bosch, of course, was delighted at the Americans's fright. Throwing
caution to the winds, he plunged ahead, pumping million of dollars into
mass production, sure the Americans would have no choice but to join him.
His goal was 100,000 tons of coal gasoline a year.

Soon, Standard and IG Farben came to terms. The two companies cut a deal,
setting up a cartel through which IG Farben agreed to stay out of the oil
business and Standard agreed to keep clear of the chemical business.

Standard, however, soon lost interest - in part because of the depression,
and in part because of big new finds in Texas that promised a flood of
oil.

Nothing much happened until World War II when Hitler, another keen
proponent of liquid coal, got behind synthetic fuel and by 1943 synthetics
accounted for half of all German fuel, with the air force being one of the
biggest users. The Luftwaffe controlled the skies over Europe during the
early stages of the war. One of the liquefaction plants was located in
Silesia where there were ample supplies of coal, water and slave labor. It
was called I.G. Auschwitz. Finally the US Air Force destroyed the IG
synthetic plants. At Nuremburg the IG Farben executives either got off or
received light sentences.

Following the energy crisis of the 1970s, American oil companies renewed
their interests in coal, buying up existing coal companies and getting
control of reserves. Their emphasis was more on gasification than
liquefaction since the supposed need at the time was to find a substitute
for dwindling supplies of natural gas. In fact there was plenty of natural
gas, and after first Carter, then Reagan, deregulated prices, the oil
companies could make enough profit from selling real gas and didn't need
the synthetics. Once again synthetics slipped into the background. Oil
companies cut back or ditched their coal holdings.

Now the cycle begins all over again. The energy industry sees sufficiently
high prices to once again develop synthetics. But, as always, this will
only happen if the politicians and taxpayers are dumb enough to pay for
it.

James Ridgeway is the author of 5 Unanswered Questions About 9/11, It's
All For Sale: The Control of Global Resources and A Guide to Environmental
Bad Guys, co-written with Jeffrey St. Clair. Ridgeway can be reached
through his website.


--------16 of 18--------

Big Government and the Empire of Big Business
Taming the Giant Corporation
By RALPH NADER
CounterPunch
May 30, 2007

Back in the nineteen thirties, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt went on
the national radio and declared what the basic necessities were for the
American people - a wage that can support a family, decent housing, the
right to health care, a good education and future economic security.

Sound familiar today? It certainly would sound familiar to a majority of
the American people. The struggle for livelihood, the struggles to escape
poverty, calamitous health care bills, mounting debt, gouging rents and
failing, crumbling schools continues year after year.

What's that French saying - "the more things change, they remain the
same."

Things have changed for the rich and corporate, though. The rich have
gotten richer. The talk now is about the super-rich and the hyper-rich.
The richest 1 percent of people in this country has financial wealth equal
to the combined financial wealth of the bottom 95 percent.

The big corporations are more avaricious than ever. The past decade's
corporate crime wave, dutifully reported in the major business media -
newspapers and magazines - demonstrates how trillions of dollars were
looted, or drained away, from tens of millions of small investors,
pensioners and workers.

In FDR's time, the CEOs of the top 300 corporations paid themselves about
12 times the average wage in their company. Now the "top greed" registers
400 to 500 times what the average workers eke out in a full year. WalMart
is an example of that sheer self-serving power at the top.

All this is occurring while the big companies deliver comparatively far
less to the economic well-being of the American worker. The CEOs are
otherwise preoccupied with figuring out how they can outsource more
American jobs to China and India, how they can hollow out more communities
and ship whole industries to those and other countries, many under
authoritarian rule, that promise to keep the CEOs' operations at costs
close to serfdom.

Interesting, isn't it, that the CEOs say it is necessary to flee our
country - where they were nurtured to their size and profits - in order to
keep up with global competition. But they never urge outsourcing their own
CEO jobs to hardworking, bilingual executives in the Third World willing
to work for less than one-tenth of the U.S. CEOs' pay package.

Besides, who wrote the rules (NAFTA, WTO) that define the global
competition? Big Business and its lawyer-lobbyists.

Uncle Sam has bent over to give Big Business what it has demanded in the
past 25 years. Huge tax reductions, compared to the prosperous nineteen
sixties. Massive deregulation, or the abandonment of law and order against
criminal, negligent or defrauding corporations. Your tax dollars were
transferred in the form of subsidies, handouts, giveaways and bailouts to
demanding, mismanaged or corrupt large businesses.

Still, it was not enough coddling to keep these giant companies from
casting aside what allegiance they had to our country, its communities and
people. The companies' standard is to control them or quit them as these
CEOs see fit.

When BusinessWeek Magazine answered a resounding YES to its cover story in
2000 "Too Much Corporate Power?" the editors were not kidding. They even
wrote an editorial saying that "corporations should get out of politics."
I guess they meant that since corporations do not vote, and are not human
beings, that they should not be honing in on what should be the exclusive
domain of real people.

More and more conservatives believe that Big Business (Wall Street vs.
Main Street) is out of control and stomping on conservative values. They
don't like corporate welfare, corporate eminent domain against the little
guys, commercial invasion of privacies, WTO and NAFTA shredding our
sovereignty, corporate crimes (Enron, Worldcom, etc.) or Big Government on
behalf of Big Business Empires around the world.

They are appalled by corporations directly selling bad things and violent
programming to their children, whom these companies teach to nag parents.

It is time for the American people to get off the defense and take the
offense against corporate power, the way it was done in the consumer,
environmental and worker areas from 1965 to 1975 and beyond to new
frontiers of subordinating the big corporations to the rights and
necessities of real people.

Toward those objectives, hundreds of leading advocates, scholars and
activists will convene on June 8-10 in Washington, D.C. to address how to
subordinate raw corporate power to the will of the people.

The title of the conference tells its content: "Taming the Giant
Corporation: A National Conference on Corporate Accountability."

Conference speakers include: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Democracy
Now's Amy Goodman; Robert Monks, veteran leader for corporate governance;
Mark Green, president, Air America Radio; Robert Greenstein, Director of
the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Ron Daniels, President of
Institute of the Black World in the 21st Century; Dr. Sidney Wolfe and
Lori Wallach of Public Citizen and many more distinguished persons.

If you wish to attend the entire conference, including the Saturday
evening dinner, go to www.tamethecorporation.org for details or call
202-387-8030. Hurry up. Space is available but seating is limited.

Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions


--------17 of 18--------

From the Carter Doctrine to the Bush Doctrine
Withdrawal Symptoms
By TERRENCE E. PAUPP
CounterPunch
May 30, 2007

By May 23, 2007 it became clear that the Democrats were little better than
the Republicans when given the task of ending the Iraq War. Like their
Republican counterparts, the Democrats took on the mantle of Bush-enablers
by granting him another $95 billion dollars supplemental authorization to
keep the war going. Not until September 2007 would the matter of funding
the Iraq War come home to roost in the Congress.

Why did this happen? The dirty truth is that both political parties are
hooked on an addiction to Iraqi oil. So, both parties are now filled with
imperialists. That is right - oil-addicted imperialists. The great
majority in Congress have signed on to the Bush administration's agenda of
stealing Iraq's oil resources and placing permanent US military bases in
that country to guarantee uninterrupted access regardless of the cost in
blood or treasure. It all started in 2003 when Bush assigned Paul Bremer
to be the head of the Coalitional Provisional Authority (CPA).

In violation of international law, Bremer started issuing orders on how
the Iraqi economy would be run and who would get what. Bremer began to
organize what the Bush administration wanted for the whole region -
privatization. Never mind the fact that Bremer's illegal orders also
created the basis for the current civil war in Iraq. Insofar as different
ethnic groups would stand to benefit more than others from the new
arrangements it was clear that some groups would be cut out all together.
Hence, the Bush supported Maleki government is a propped up hoax that is
unrepresentative of the interests of millions of Iraqi citizens who have
been disenfranchised within their new "democratic" state.

Foreign owned business and enterprise would be empowered to ignore the
limitations imposed by a now defunct Iraqi Constitution that prohibited
the sale of the nation's resources to foreigners. In short, profits were
to be had as the Bush administration pushed for a Free Trade Area (FTA)
that would extend throughout the Middle East. It was not really designed
to bring democracy, in the sense of a political opening for the
unrepresented and excluded of the region. Rather, it was a democratization
of Iraq's oil resources so that privatized firms, such as Dick Cheney's
Halliburton could capitalize on new economic arrangements that leave the
Iraqi people with growing unemployment and deprive them of the oil
revenues of their own nation. Iraq may have as much as 300 billion barrels
of oil untapped. With oil headed toward $70 dollars a barrel, the oil
wealth of Iraq could be worth as much as $21 trillion. Hence, here we have
the real rationale of an endless occupation.

Never mind the fact that over 60 percent of the American public wants the
war to end now. That is what the November 2006 elections were supposed to
be about. Those elections gave the Democrats a mandate to develop a spine
and stand up to the Liar-in-Chief about the Iraq War. What happened? They
started to play politics with the Republican rope-a-dope strategy of
"support our troops." Never mind the fact that real support for the troops
would be to bring them home after 4 tours of duty and keep them alive from
the bullets and RPG launchers that have come to symbolize the nature of
the civil war. Never mind the fact that over 500-million Iraqi citizens
have been killed since the war began. In fact, when one examines the death
toll of civilian dead you come to realize that some citizens were needless
by our own troops in the village of Hidatha and in the prison at Abu
Ghraib.

So, what was the plan to begin with? Was it to remove WMDs? Was it to
spread democracy in the Middle East? Or was it really another chance for
the West to play the "Great Game" - try to control Eurasia and all of the
oil down to the Persian Gulf. Some historians and commentators track the
strategy back to the late 1970s when President Jimmy Carter announced the
Carter-Doctrine in a State of the Union Message. It was a declaration in
the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine. If any nation or power should seek to
cut off American access to the oil supplies of the Middle East, military
action would be taken in order to forestall or eliminate such a threat.
Bush has merely fulfilled what the Carter Doctrine promised.

Yet, the Bush strategy really has not succeeded because the course it took
in Iraq amounts to what the policy wonks call a "failed strategy." Well,
that analysis merely gets us to military strategy and tactics. It simply
critiques the failure of an imperial policy. It conveniently ignores the
dirty truth that the grand strategy of the Great Game is one of
imperialism and establishing American hegemony over both the Middle East
and from there the rest of the globe. For if the US can deny the Russians
and Chinese access to new energy sources, then the US can put a stop to
the threat of two potential rivals or Hegemons that might be capable of
moving in on America's control of both the Middle East and the world.

The political elites of the US political and financial establishment want
control of Iraq, the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, and the rest of
Eurasia. These US elites will do anything to block off Russian and Chinese
efforts to profit from the energy reserves of the Middle East. In
geopolitical terms the American strategy is one of seeking to maintain
hegemony - unchallenged control over the region and the international
economy. In that sense, both parties have suffered withdrawal symptoms
when it comes to leaving Iraq. Both parties are too addicted to oil and to
a strategy of imperialism that sustains the addiction. In the meantime,
democratic representation in the United States and in Iraq is virtually
dead.

Terrence Paupp is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs
and author of the recent book, Exodus From Empire: The Fall of America's
Empire and the Rise of the Global Community (Pluto Press, 2007).


--------18 of 18--------

Who Are These People and Where Did They Come From? Developing Minds Want
to Know
by Mark Drolette / May 30th, 2007

Those of us who actually possess developed brains and thus can't sleep at
night contemplating the death-dealing horror this country has become have
long been infuriated not only by the naked neocon emperors and their oily
collaborators, the Vichy Democrats, but also by the millions of our fellow
citizens who think everything's just ducky with our New American Century
of torture, mass murder and looting and thus collectively just sit there,
motionless, like a giant rotting carcass unapologetically blocking our
path while we desperately clamor to halt the whole hateful hell before
it's too late.

(Whoops: too late.)

Consider: In the latest Gallup poll, thirty-three percent of Americans
approve of the job George Bush is doing - whatever the hell it is he's
doing, that is (besides fucking up the country).

Thirty-three percent!

Think about this for a second: One third of the so-called adult population
in America still thinks actions taken by Dubya, the wretched creature
whose administration has exponentially broadened the parameters for the
term "Orwellian," are A-OK.

One shudders to think what unspeakable atrocity Bushco would have to
perpetrate to finally get these Neanderthals' disapproval. So we don't
waste unnecessary time pondering, here's the answer: there is none. If the
wiping out by Bush, Cheney and the rest of their despicable ilk of
655,000+ human beings (in addition to three thousand Americans x two)
solely to pursue more power and wealth won't convince them, then nothing
will.

Yes, I know: the most consolidated, tightly-controlled media in U.S.
history are a Goebbels wet dream and have done a bang-up job of dishing
disinformation for many years now, thereby brainwashing tens of millions
of Americans into endorsing the next purely-for-profit war with constant
barrages of patriotic pablum, dulling their already dull minds to the
effects of real violence by constant desensitization, assigning the
ever-needed enemy brown faces and a false and threatening religion while
the entire time conditioning their stunted psyches from day one to pursue
the holy grail continuously held high by their fascistic masters: the
attainment of self-worth through mindless consumerism.

Even so, ask yourself: Don't you have an inner alarm, a gut feeling, a
sudden jet of hot gas shooting painfully up your esophagus (though that
could be the pepperoni pizza you ill-advisedly just had) - an innate
something, for crying out loud - that alerts you when there's trouble
afoot?

Well, of course you do, because, being the intelligent, aware and
clear-thinking individual you are - one who has extremely good taste in
columnists, too, I might add (yes, I am shameless) - you instinctively
know when someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

You also have known from the beginning that Bush and crew are so obvious
they don't even bother with the shearing first and just toss the whole
damn sheep at you (insert own GOP/ovine joke here).

For that staunch thirty-three percent of Bush lovers, however, it never
flockin' registers. They don't see it, they don't hear it, they don't get
it and they never will. The disconnect is breathtaking.

They have drunk the Kool-Aid and vehemently defend the chief executive
ogres, as amply demonstrated here in Sacramento recently when about thirty
of us protested against the war for an hour in front of the city zoo.
(Appropriately symbolic, I thought.) Afterwards, we marched several blocks
to Congresswoman Doris Matsui's house in front of which we stood and sang
peace songs, engaged in non-profane chants and displayed signs and banners
urging her to vote no against further funding the slaughter.

Not too long into our mini-demo, a truck came down the quiet residential
street and stopped briefly, at which point the driver shouted fiercely:
"Get out of my neighborhood!" Moments later, eggs came flying from behind
the fence of a nearby house, knocking a little girl's toy from her hand.

Because the truck took off quickly and no one at the egg-throwing house
answered the doorbell rung by one very irate mother, I couldn't ask
directly to be sure, but I'll go out on a limb here and assume that if
either (ir)responsible party were asked if he or she is patriotic, the
answer would be a resounding: "Of course!"

Yet, numbskulls like these unfailingly demonstrate a profound ignorance
of, and deep hostility toward, perhaps the most fundamental right we
Americans (arguably) possessed before the Constitution was gleefully torn
into tiny little pieces: free speech. Judging by our detractors - (and
attacker's) irritation at our presence, it's safe to assume they support
the war, apparently caring not a whit that the unmitigated catastrophe has
been based on lie after lie. They seem to prefer the stinking status quo
just fine and view us, the ones who have been right about all of it - all
of it - since its sickening beginning, as troublemakers, while giving the
true criminals a free pass to continue their lethal thieving and pursue,
unchecked, a long-standing, plainly stated agenda of global corporate
domination.

Thus our little gang of protestors, conspicuous by our calls for something
so vile as peace and long sneeringly painted by the right as out-of-touch
navel-gazers for seeking to take the mega-bazillions stuffed into the
military industrialists' bottomless pockets and use them instead for
frivolities like education, universal health care and a clean environment,
had encountered two oh-so predictable members of that rock-solid,
rock-headed thirty-three percent who, if our crazy notions are to ever
outlive this nation's Age of Endarkenment and ultimately manifest, must be
worked around (or plowed through) considering the intractability of their
troglodytic logic.

But that's OK, because now with the fearless leadership of the majority
Democrats, it's only a matter of time before the plug is pulled on the
funding of the war(s) and...

Uh, never mind.

I think I feel more sleepless nights coming on.

Mark Drolette is a writer who lives in Sacramento, California, and whose
next book, Why Costa Rica? Why the hell not?, will also be his first. It
will be available once it's finished, published and then made available.
Mark can be reached at mdrolette [at] comcast.net .


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