|Progressive Calendar 05.31.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|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¢s 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 "http://risingtidenorthamerica.org" 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 . ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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