Progressive Calendar 06.13.07
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 01:03:21 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    06.13.07

  impeach bush & cheney . impeach bush & cheney . impeach bush & cheney .

1. Farmworker        6.13 12noon
2. V torture vigil   6.13 5pm
3. Impeach meet      6.13 7pm
4. Amnesty Intl StP  6.13 7:30pm
5. Radical Jesus     6.13

6. Juneteenth        6.14 10am
7. Human rights      6.14 12noon
8. Eagan peace vigil 6.14 4:30pm
9. Northtown vigil   6.14 5pm
10. Cuba/Che today   6.14 6pm
11. Gitmo challenge  6.14 6:30pm
12. Food forum/luck  6.14 6:30pm
13. Miles on torture 6.14 7pm
14. Poets fer pece   6.14 7pm
15. M Albert/CTV     6.14 8pm
16. Class/USA/world  6.14 1pm
17. Working class    6.14-17

18. Jeffrey StClair - How to sell a war
19. Dave Lindorff   - Blackout: majority favors impeachment

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From: erike [at] planet-save.com
Subject: Farmworker 6.13 12noon

FARMWORKER CONFERENCE FOR FAIR TRADE REPORT-BACK

On April 28-30, 2007 in Owatonna, MN a historic event took place.  For the
first time, farmworker groups from around the U.S. met to consider their
place in the growing Domestic Fair Trade movement.  They came out of their
meeting with a commitment to use Domestic Fair Trade as a key tool for
achieving justice for farmworkers, and a demand that any group marketing
U.S.-grown Fair Trade food involve farmworkers as equal partners in the
definition of what is fair.

You are invited to learn more about this exciting development at the
Farmworker Conference for Fair Trade Report-Back.  Conference participants
Ernesto Bustos of Centro Campesino, Erik Esse of the Local Fair Trade
Network and Lisa Sass Zaragoza of the University of Minnesota Department
of Chicano studies will talk about farmworker organizing, the history of
the Domestic Fair Trade movement and how these efforts are coming
together.  Participants will also share ideas on how food co-ops, unions,
farmers, faith groups and others can support the creation of a just food
system in our region.

Wednesday, June 13, Noon-1:00 Romero Room, Resource Center of the Americas
3019 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis Lunch provided by La Loma Restaurant,
$5-10 suggested donation

Sponsored by the Local Fair Trade Network, Centro Campesino and the
University of Minnesota Department of Chicano Studies


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From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: V torture vigil 6.13 5pm

PEACE VIGIL: Say no to torture

Wednesday 6/13 5 pm, Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Peace Bridge.
Join with others in their orange jumpsuits and black hoods to make the
connection between the war on Iraq, the war on terror, and the justification
of torture by the Bush Administration. Join with others to say "No to war
and occupation!" The war and military occupation of Iraq have resulted in
the deaths of more than 3,425 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of
Iraqis. Continuing the occupation can only lead to more bloodshed, increased
insecurity, and little hope for Iraqis to be able to reassert control over
their lives and their government. This weekly vigil, and other vigils in the
Twin Cities, provide the opportunity for the people in the community to
participate in an important ongoing act of public resistance to war,
occupation, and empire. FFI: Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq at
612-522-1861 or WAMM at 612-522-1861


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impeach bush & cheney . impeach bush & cheney . impeach bush & cheney .

From: PRO826 [at] aol.com
Subject: Impeach meet 6.13 7pm

Impeachment Meeting In Minneapolis
by Impeach For Peace

impeach bush & cheney . impeach bush & cheney . impeach bush & cheney .

Summary: There shall be a formal meeting with Cam Gordon, Minneapolis City
Ward Two Councilman on introducing a Resolution, calling on the Minnesota
House and Senate to call a special session to pass the Impeachment
Resolution of Dick Cheney and George Bush.

These resolutions are already in the House and Senate of Minnesota. There
are two things that need to be understood about this Motion for
Impeachment.

First, while it is true that Governor Pawlenty has vetoed virtually
everything in this session, he is unable to veto this Resolution. The
reason is that Impeachment is aimed at the Executive Branch The
governorship is an extension of the Executive Branch, he is not allowed to
veto it.

Second, as we understand it, if just one State House and Senate both pass
the Resolution of Impeachment, that according to the Jefferson Manuel on
Impeachment, it is immediately passed on to the Congress, which is forced
to deal with it.

Cam Gordon is worried that he may be left "hanging out to dry" and made to
look like "the kooky fringe" if he is the only City Councilperson to
introduce it and support it. He needs our support, to show that there is
public support for Impeachment.

So far, Cam Gordon has been the only Councilperson to agree to meet with
us to discuss this issue. As of yet, most politicians and media have
refused to publically support this action

So come meet us on
Wednesday June 13th
7-9  pm
Wolves Den Coffee Shop
Franklin Ave (near  Bloomington)
Minneapolis

We are very clear on this. Any politician who does not actively support
this motion and push for it will not just be quilty of cowardice and
complicity.  They shall be deemed guilty of actually PROTECTING the Bush
Administration and unwilling to protect the Constitution.

Pack the room and ensure that Cam can go forward with our support and
protect us all. We hope that those City Councilpersons who have been
invited but have not yet confirmed that they will be there, shall indeed
attend this event.

Stop Funding
Start Impeaching

It is actually possible in Minnesota.
but not without all of our help.

Already happening in 75 cities/town/counties, 23 statewide and national
political committees, being considered in 17 state legislatures,
introduced in 9 state legislatures, and passed in the state of Vermont.

Show up, bring a friend and help create our own history.

--
From: Danene Provencher PRO826 [at] aol.com

Support for impeachment growing...in new places

"The people have spoken, but Congress has failed to answer. When push came
to shove, the Democratic party establishment decided to fund the war
effort without condition. Their decision is in direct contradiction with
the majority of the country, which is against the war and the Bush
administration by a large and ever-growing margin. But rather than be
turned away, that majority has decidedly stepped up to the plate. Just
over the last month, the impeachment movement and antiwar movement have
expanded their organizing efforts and increased their visibility."
_ImpeachBush / VoteToImpeach:_
(http://www.impeachbush.org/site/PageServer)

Greens, progressives, antiwar activists and all who are interested are
invited to a gathering at the Wolves Den, 1201 Franklin Av on June 13th at
7pm to learn of the process for drafting an impeachment resolution with
the Minneapolis City Council.  Cam Gordon has offered to listen to his
constituents about this issue which is growing support nation wide.

The city of Detroit passed an impeachment resolution unanimously:  "The
Detroit City Council, led by Monica Conyers, wife of Rep. John Conyers
(D-MI), unanimously passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of
President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney by the US House of
Representatives." _The Raw Story | Detroit City Council votes to impeach
Bush and Cheney_
(http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Detroit_City_Council_votes_to_impeach_0516.html)

..."The winds of impeachment are sweeping the country" and there is a
momentum growing to address the impeachment issue locally. _ImpeachBush /
VoteToImpeach: "The winds of impeachment are sweeping the country."_

(http://www.impeachbush.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5187&security=1&news_iv_ctrl=1041)

Please share with interested activists,
Danene Provencher Green Party of MN Co-Politics Chair


--------4 of 19--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net>
Subject: Amnesty Intl StP 6.13 7:30pm

There are several local Amnesty International groups in the Twin Cities
area. All of them are welcoming and would love to see interested people
get involved

AIUSA Group 640 (Saint Paul) meets Wednesday, June 13th, at 7:30 p.m. Mad
Hatter Teahouse, 943 West 7th Street, Saint Paul.


--------5 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Radical Jesus 6.13

Radical Reconsideration

Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church, 1620 E 46th St., Mpls, is the location
for an exciting discussion of radical thought surrounding the historical
and Biblical notions of Jesus.

The series Saving Jesus is a revolutionary DVD-based small group
exploration of Jesus Christ for the third millennium. Featuring leading
religious voices of our day. format for the stand alone sessions includes
conversation around a 20-minute video segment.  The video segments feature
top scholars Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, Matthew Fox, Amy-Jill
Levine, James Forbes and a host of others for to stimulate conversations
about identity and relevance of Jesus called the Christ in today¬^“s
thought and world. For more information on this series visit
http://www.livingthequestions.com/ or www.lakenokomispc.org/.

The Lake Nokomis Church community on 46th is a progressive voice in south
Minneapolis. During the last presidential election season, they were the
location for one of the many national book studies using Jim Wallis'
political/religious bestseller, God's Politics. http://www.sojo.net/

For many years they were also part of the support system for the
burgeoning Shower of Stoles Project (www.showerofstoles.org/) in support
of gay and lesbian clergy and their friends.

Join friends and neighbors, for stimulating summer Wednesday evenings,
June 13,20,27, and July 11, 18, 25.  You can come for one or all sessions.
Light refreshments will be served and we will share a truly radical
reconsideration of what you thought you learned in Sunday school.  For
further information, call 612-7214463.


--------6 of 19--------

From: Impeach for Peace <lists [at] impeachforpeace.org>
Subject: Juneteenth 6.14 10am

Juneteenth in Minnesota
Thursday, June 14, 2007 [at] 10:00am.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery.
Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by
Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that
the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.

Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln's
Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863.
Since that time Juneteenth has been celebrated as a means to remind and
inspire people to utilize their artistic, social, political, spiritual,
economic, educational. Annually more than 60,000 people participate in the
Twin Cities Celebration.

More info:
http://www.juneteenthminnesota.org/


--------7 of 19--------

From: Human Rights Events Update <humanrts [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Human rights 6.14 12noon

Please join Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. and Minnesota Advocates
for Human Rights for a special brown bag CLE:

Defending Human Rights: Using the African Commission on Human and Peoples'
Rights to Protect Fundamental Rights and Freedoms

presented by
Arnold Tsunga
cid:image001.gif [at] 01C7A1EA.9902DF70
Thursday, June 14, 2007
12:00-1:00 P.M.
at
Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.
Conference Center, 28th Floor
800 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Mr. Tsunga will discuss the role and mandate of the African Commission in
protecting human rights on the African continent as well as strategic ways
to utilize Commission mechanisms to push for changes under repressive
regimes, in particular, in Zimbabwe.

Speaker biography

Arnold Tsunga is an internationally prominent Zimbabwean lawyer and human
rights defender.  He worked as a private practice lawyer in Zimbabwe for
fourteen years before becoming a leader of the Law Society of Zimbabwe and
Executive Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.  Tsunga was
recently reelected chairperson of the Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe, a
group of 350 civil society organizations in Zimbabwe, and in April was
newly elected to the post of Vice President of FIDH, a global network of
human rights defenders.  Not only has Tsunga received international
recognition for his role in promoting and protecting human rights, but he
has also received numerous prestigious awards, including the 2006 Martin
Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, the 2006 Human Rights Defender
Award from Human Rights Watch, the 2006 Certificate of Special
Congressional Recognition from the United States Congress, and the 2004
Certificate of Courage in Civil Liberties from the Parkinson's Fund.

Please R.S.V.P. to Laura Young at Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights by
Wednesday, June 13, 2007.
Phone: (612) 341-3302 ext. 128 . Email: lyoung [at] mnadvocates.org

Beverages will be provided.  One CLE credit to be applied for.


--------8 of 19--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 6.14 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.


--------9 of 19x-------

From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 6.14 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.


--------10 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Cuba/Che today 6.14 6pm

THUR6/14; Cuban Rev Today,
Importance of Che's Ideas for Latin American and the World Today

6:00, PM, Thursday, June 14, 2007
Holy Trinity Church
Community Room

2730 E 31st St., Minneapolis
"Che Lives"
The Cuban Revolution Today
And the Importance of Che's Ideas
for Latin America and the World Today

Ernesto "Che" Guevara was an outstanding leader of the Cuban revolution.
After playing a decisive role in the revolutionary war, he took on major
government responsibilities including president of the National Bank and
minister of industry. After nine years of service, Che resigned from his
posts to continue to fight imperialism in the Africa and Latin America.
Wounded and captured in Bolivia, he was murdered October 9, 1967. Join us
(on his birthday) as we discuss who Che was, what he fought for, and why
his ideas are as important today as ever!

Panelists will include:
Raudemar Hernandez, Cuban-American educator
Chucho Garcia, Founder, Afro-Venezuelan network
Yasmin Tovar, MN Venezuela Committee, Political Activist
Tom Baumann, Young Socialists

Program will include:
Video Clips
Dramatic Readings of Che's Speeches and Diaries
Panel Discussion of Cuban Revolution and the Importance of Che's Ideas
Today

SPONSORED BY THE MINNESOTA CUBA COMMITTEE
More information: 651 587-5150


--------11 of 19--------

From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Gitmo challenge 6.14 6:30pm

James Dorsey and Nicole Moen: "The Guantanamo Bay Challenge: Finding the
Balance between Our Nation's Security and Our Nation's Ideals"

Thursday, June 14, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Minneapolis Central Library,Pohlad
Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. Learn the truths about Guantanamo
Bay from two attorneys on the front lines of this human rights issue.
Along with other colleagues, attorneys Dorsey and Moen, currently
represent an Algerian detainee held in Guantanamo Bay in Zemiri vs. Bush.
They have visited their client in Guantanamo Bay four times, most recently
in March 2007. Hear about who the detainees are (how many detainees are
being held, where they are from, where they were picked up); how they are
being treated (the nature of the prison facilities, the interrogation
techniques used, and the effectiveness of and rationale for those
techniques); and what legal recourse is available. The presentation will
include photos of the prison and sketches of the interrogation procedures.
Free and open to the public. FFI and to register: Visit
<www.friendsofmpl.org/events_home.html#peoples>.


--------12 of 19--------

From: tom [at] organicconsumers.org
Subject: Food forum/pot luck 6.14 6:30pm

Thursday - June 14th
Eastside Food Co-op's Food Forum/Potluck
Mary Bess Michaletz from Classic Provisions and Jean Andreasen with
Pastureland Cooperative
California Building Gallery 2205 NE California Street in lovely lower NE
MPLS (located 2 blocks distance west of the # 11 bus line on 22nd AVE NE)
Thursday, June 14th from 6:30 to 8:00 PM

We all eat, no?  And, after all, June IS National Dairy Month.

With June being National Dairy Month the Eastside Food Co-op will be
bringing together friends that will discuss with us the jubilations and
tribulations of and enlighten us to the supreme nature of family dairy
farming and local artisan cheeses.
Mary Bess Michaletz from Classic Provisions will be on hand to guide us
through the aspects and qualities of some local artisan cheeses and Jean
Andreasen, GM of Pastureland Cooperative (can you say the best dang butter
in the whole wide world!), will let us know about this local family farm
dairy cooperative, their commitment to grass fed dairy production and why.

Come ask questions, there are NO stupid ones! [Prove him wrong...]

Nothing builds community like breaking bread together so some people think
of these evenings as potluck affairs and YOU CAN TOO! Just bring something
you would like to share, any needed serving and eating utensils and a
plate.

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

Questions? Call the East Side Food Co-op - 612-788-0950.
http://www.eastsidefood.coop/

We hope you can make it and remember . . . Just because it's educational
doesn't mean it can't be fun! [However, the odds are against it -ed]

Tom Taylor tom [at] organicconsumers.org


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From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Miles on torture 6.14 7pm

NW Neighbors for Peace appreciates your assistance in sharing this
information with others. Please use the version which best meets your
requirements or combine as you wish.

Human rights groups have found the U.S.government to be engaged in the
illegal practice of extraordinary rendition, secret detention, and
torture. On Thursday June 14, 7 PM, Dr. Steve Miles, Professor of Medicine
and Bioethics at the U of MN, will speak about his 25 years of experience
in assisting victims of war and torture.

His book, "Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity, and the War on
Terror" stems from his attempts to learn why medical staff in Iraq,
Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay did not report nor intervene to stop the
abuse of prisoners. Not only were doctors, nurses, and medics silent while
prisoners were abused, but physicians and psychologists provided
information that helped determine how much and what kind of mistreatment
could be delivered to detainees during interrogation. Additionally, these
harsh examinations were monitored by health professionals operating under
the purview of the U.S. military.

Miles has based this book on meticulous research and a wealth of
resources, including unprecedented eyewitness accounts from actual victims
of prison abuse, and more than thirty-five thousand pages of documentation
acquired through provisions of the Freedom of Information Act: army
criminal investigations, FBI notes on debriefings of prisoners, autopsy
reports, and prisoners' medical records. These documents tell a story
markedly different from the official version of the truth, revealing
involvement at every level of government, from Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld to the Pentagon's senior health officials to prison health-care
personnel.

Dr. Miles' presentation will be preceded by the brief film, "Outlawed:
Extraordinary Rendition, Torture and Disappearances in the 'War on
Terror'" and comments by Dick Bopp, Coordinator of Amnesty International
Group 315. This public forum will take place at the Parish Community of
St. Joseph, 8701-36th Avenue N., New Hope, corner of Boone and 36th.
Free; all welcome. Hosted by the NW Neighbors for Peace; for more
information please contact Eileen Moran, 763-545-2296 or email to
nwn4p [at] yahoo.com

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Carole Rydberg,
3225 Wellington Lane N., Plymouth, 763-546-5368 or nwn4p [at] yahoo.com.


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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Poets fer pece 6.14 7pm

Thursday, 6/14, 7 to 10 pm, Poets for Peace presents pieces from Louis
Alemayehu, Truth Maze and Spoken Word University.  Chante Wolf (of Vets for
Peace) and Jessie Siers (of Military Families Speak Out) speak, Walker
Church, 3104 - 16th Ave S, Mpls.


--------15 of 19--------

From: Leslie Reindl <alteravista [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: M Albert/CTV 6.14 8pm

Thursday, June 14, 8 pm on St. Paul (SPNN) cable channel 15, Altera Vista
presents author and social activist Michael Albert, on book tour with
"Remembering Tomorrow: From SDS to Life After Capitalism,"  speaking at
Macalester College May 23, 2007.  Albert talks about the failures of the
progressive movement, and how it can be more effective.  A witty and
thought-provoking speech.


--------16 of 19--------

From: Barb Jensen <bjensen [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Class/USA/world 6.14 1pm

This Thursday starts the Working Class Studies Association's bi-annual
conference.  Co-chaired by Macalaster's Peter Rachleff and myself. It
begins at 1:00 pm with a panel and plenary hosted by yours truly called:
"Class, Culture and Counter-Culture" (but not as in hippies). Thursday
through Sunday until about one thirty.  come for all or part.

It is about class in america (and the planet) and it is more important
than ever before in our most of ours' lifetime.  Donation of any amount
accepted, attend for any amount of time. We want local people! It's a very
accessible conference for one consisting largely (but not only!) of
college teachers and graduate students (who care deeply about social
justice from a variety of perspectives and disciplines).

Check it out at: http://www.macalester.edu/history/workingclass/index.html

Lots of cool, non-academic stuff all through the schedule, including films
and a film festival, live music, exquisite readings of really good poetry
and prose, speakers from all over the nation and (some of the) world,
schmoozing with people who love ideas, care about change, and like to talk
about how and when and where positive social change can be accomplished.

Also, for the academically inclined, a wide and deep variety of
presentations in some way related to class (from children's books to
criminal justice; NorthWest Airlines to Iraq.

side effects warning:  academic culture's speech style can be very
abstract and cerebral.  occasionally mind-numbing.


--------17 of 19--------

From Peter Rachleff <rachleff [at] macalester.edu> at Macalester:
Subject: Working class studies 6.14-17

Macalester College will host the twelfth national conference of the
Working Class Studies Association on June 14-17.  Working Class Studies
sees itself as an emerging field, following in the footprints of African
American Studies, Women's Studies, Ethnic Studies, and other fields which
emerged in the 1970s and 1980s.  The WCS Association seeks to be a big
umbrella, including: scholars of working class history, sociology,
literature, and the like; faculty and students, both undergraduate and
graduate, from working class backgrounds; faculty who teach at working
class-oriented institutions; and artists, poets, and musicians who seek to
create within a working class aesthetic.  While its previous conferences
were held at Youngstown State University and the State University of New
York at Stony Brook, the election of Peter Rachleff, Professor of History
at Macalester, as President of the Association has led to Macalester's
hosting of this year's conference.

More than one hundred and fifty scholars, students, labor activists,
poets, teachers, and artists from across the United States, as well as
Great Britain, Nigeria, South Africa, and Brazil will come together to
explore the conference's central theme, "Working Class Culture and
Counter-Culture." The idea will be to document, celebrate, and critique
the creation, representations, and experiences of working class culture.
Sessions have been organized on labor history, pedagogy, working class
literature, labor activism, music and art, and the position of working
class students and faculty in higher education.  There will also be two
nights of poetry and music, a visual art show, and a film festival which
will include not only new documentaries produced in the U.S., Great
Britain, and Israel, but also films in progress introduced and discussed
by their directors.

Some of the featured plenaries are bound to draw big audiences: a
celebration of the life and work of writer Tillie Olsen, who passed away
in her early 90s this year, which will include her daughter, Julie Olsen
Edwards; the unveiling of the newly written BIG RED SONG BOOK, a
contextualization and appreciation of the role of music in the history of
the Industrial Workers of the World, featuring two of its editors, Sal
Salerno and David Roediger; a discussion -- if not debate -- about the
conference's central theme; and an "activist roundtable." which will
include the leading Black trade unionist from Great Britain, local
immigrant labor organizers, and practitioners of critical, class-oriented
pedagogies.

The conference program and registration information can be found at
http://www.macalester.edu/history/workingclass/index.html.  Single events
may be attended without pre-registration, although donations are
appreciated.  Additional questions can be directed to Peter Rachleff at
651-696-6371 and rachleff [at] macalester.edu.

--
From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: SINGING WORKING CLASS RESISTANCE

Singing Songs of Working Class Resistance by LYDIA HOWELL

MOVING MOUNTAINS column updated Mon. thru Fri. at PULSE ONLINE
http://pulsetc.com/article.php?sid=3291

Is being a NASCAR fan or listening to country and western warmonger Toby
Keith the only markers of "working class culture" in America? Uhhhhh - no.
>From June 14 through 17, Macalester College hosts the Working Class
Culture and Counter-Culture Conference, where local, national and
international activists, artists and academics will gather to re-discover
and revive the vibrant arts and organize a 21st century labor movement
drawing on a diverse hidden history and culture.

One musical genre I grew up on is folk music, a form that, like the blues
Black people invented, has always been "home-made." Written and sung by
people who often had no formal education and instead learned from their
musical elders (blues and folk artists sang songs passed down from
generation to generation). The lyrics sometimes changed, while keeping
intact the unbroken threads of melody, adding and subtracting and carrying
it on. Whenever you see the songwriting credit "Anonymous" or
"Traditional" in whatever musical form, that's an unmistakable sign of
"working class culture."

A song like "John Brown," the African-American railroad worker, with his
mighty hammer triumphant over machinery, has survived from the 19th
century until today, sung and recorded by thousands of artists, because it
tells a story people need to remember. "John Brown" respects physical
labor, celebrates bravery and honors one of our heroes in a country whose
schools and cultural elites have only recognized the wealthy businessmen
with the politicians and generals who serve them.

Bessie Smith singing "Backwater Blues," and Mattie Delaney singing
"Talahachie River Blues" in the 1930s about devastating floods, ring just
as true for the experience of Hurricane Katrina survivors today. Blues
artists, who only recorded a handful of what were called "race records" in
the 1920s and '30s, expressed the desperation of unemployment that any
laid-off worker could relate to now. Blind Boy Fuller sings, "I'm about to
lose my home. I done already lost my car/ I'm about to lose my home, I
done already lost my car/ I went down to the pawnshop to see if I can pawn
my guitar" And I know there's plenty of people in the same fix right now,
right here. My fellow Texan (and one of Janis Joplin's biggest
inspirations), Big Mama Thorton sang "Hard Times" in 1956: "Hard times in
the city/ I can't even pay my rent/ Hard times in the city/ They layin'
off so many people/ I know I will be next." She might as well be talking
about corporate globalization.

There's resistance in folk, blues and country music, too. One of my
favorites is the story of the song "Which Side Are You On?" It's most
known today as a "freedom song" from the African-American civil rights
movement of the 1950s and '60s. But it was originally written during
fierce labor struggles by white miners in the 1920s. The first version
tells of poor folks being divided by those striking for a union and those
who were willing to be "scabs" - crossing picket lines for strikers' jobs.
Thirty years later, the song drew the line between those fighting to end
the South's racial segregation and those who support silently. The refrain
"Which side are you on?" resonates with every struggle for justice.

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) - known affectionately as the
Wobblies - understood as the civil rights movement did, that people need
"fighting songs" to take on powerful systems. The IWW's "Little Red
Songbook" was in many a striking worker's back pocket.

People know about 1960s antiwar rock songs, but how about Johnny Cash's
progressive sentiments, expressed in songs like "The Man in Black" or the
little known antiwar "What is Truth?" Both were 1960s progressive anthems
by a great country music star.

Instead, everybody knows "Okie from Muskogee," that sang about beating up
"hippies" - an early warning shot from the "red state" reactionary view
that working class people are all right-wing conservatives. The
coordinated attack on the Dixie Chicks is the just a recent example of
this cultural censorship.

These stories and songs have been suppressed. For 25 years, Republicans
have waged not only an economic and political war against working people,
but a culture war, too. They claim (often successfully) that liberals and
progressives create elitist culture that excludes "everyday working
people." At the same time, there's been a cultural erasure of working
class art, culture and history that embodied progressive consciousness and
resistance for over a century.

Ronald Reagan tried to co-opt perhaps the most successful working class
song ever - he tried to use Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" as his
campaign theme song. Springsteen objected and even recorded an acoustic
version that few heard. The song wasn't jingoistic bravado about America
being No. 1 and "kicking ass." Listen to the lyrics. They tell the story
of a working class young man, with few prospects, who joins the Army. Sent
to Vietnam, he eventually comes home, and it's not the antiwar protesters
who betray and abandon him. It's the VA and unemployment. Springsteen has
always documented the corporate-sponsored government destruction of the
manufacturing base of good working class jobs. There's plenty of young
people joining the military today and returning from Iraq and Afghanistan
to the same fate as did Springsteen's characters.

June 14-17: Working Class Culture and Counter-Culture: Discussions,
panels, performances of music, poetry, theater, films and more. The
conference takes place at various locations at Macalester College, St.
Paul. Cost is $50, but no local people will be turned away. For more
information, contact Macalester History Professor Peter Rachleff at
651-696-6371 or go to the website: www.macalester.edu.


--------18 of 19--------

Marketing an Invasion
How to Sell a War
By JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
CounterPunch
June 12, 2007

This essay is excerpted from Cockburn and St. Clair's new book on the
death of the mainstream media: End Times.

The war on Iraq won't be remembered for how it was waged so much as for
how it was sold. It was a propaganda war, a war of perception management,
where loaded phrases, such as "weapons of mass destruction" and "rogue
state" were hurled like precision weapons at the target audience: us.

To understand the Iraq war you don't need to consult generals, but the
spin doctors and PR flacks who stage-managed the countdown to war from the
murky corridors of Washington where politics, corporate spin and psy-ops
spooks cohabit.

Consider the picaresque journey of Tony Blair's plagiarized dossier on
Iraq, from a grad student's website to a cut-and-paste job in the prime
minister's bombastic speech to the House of Commons. Blair, stubborn and
verbose, paid a price for his grandiose puffery. Bush, who looted whole
passages from Blair's speech for his own clumsy presentations, has skated
freely through the tempest. Why?

Unlike Blair, the Bush team never wanted to present a legal case for war.
They had no interest in making any of their allegations about Iraq hold up
to a standard of proof. The real effort was aimed at amping up the mood
for war by using the psychology of fear.

Facts were never important to the Bush team. They were disposable nuggets
that could be discarded at will and replaced by whatever new rationale
that played favorably with their polls and focus groups. The war was about
weapons of mass destruction one week, al-Qaeda the next. When neither
allegation could be substantiated on the ground, the fall back position
became the mass graves (many from the Iran/Iraq war where the U.S.A.
backed Iraq) proving that Saddam was an evil thug who deserved to be
toppled. The motto of the Bush PR machine was: Move on. Don't explain. Say
anything to conceal the perfidy behind the real motives for war. Never
look back. Accuse the questioners of harboring unpatriotic sensibilities.
Eventually, even the cagey Wolfowitz admitted that the official case for
war was made mainly to make the invasion palatable, not to justify it.

The Bush claque of neocon hawks viewed the Iraq war as a product and, just
like a new pair of Nikes, it required a roll-out campaign to soften up the
consumers. The same techniques (and often the same PR gurus) that have
been used to hawk cigarettes, SUVs and nuclear waste dumps were deployed
to retail the Iraq war. To peddle the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin
Powell and company recruited public relations gurus into top-level jobs at
the Pentagon and the State Department. These spinmeisters soon had more
say over how the rationale for war on Iraq should be presented than
intelligence agencies and career diplomats. If the intelligence didn't fit
the script, it was shaded, retooled or junked.

Take Charlotte Beers whom Powell picked as undersecretary of state in the
post-9/11 world. Beers wasn't a diplomat. She wasn't even a politician.
She was a grand diva of spin, known on the business and gossip pages as
"the queen of Madison Avenue." On the strength of two advertising
campaigns, one for Uncle Ben's Rice and another for Head and Shoulder's
dandruff shampoo, Beers rocketed to the top of the heap in the PR world,
heading two giant PR houses: Ogilvy and Mathers as well as J. Walter
Thompson.

At the state department Beers, who had met Powell in 1995 when they both
served on the board of Gulf Airstream, worked at, in Powell's words, "the
branding of U.S. foreign policy." She extracted more than $500 million
from Congress for her Brand America campaign, which largely focused on
beaming U.S. propaganda into the Muslim world, much of it directed at
teens.

"Public diplomacy is a vital new arm in what will combat terrorism over
time," said Beers. "All of a sudden we are in this position of redefining
who America is, not only for ourselves, but for the outside world." Note
the rapt attention Beers pays to the manipulation of perception, as
opposed, say, to alterations of U.S. policy.

Old-fashioned diplomacy involves direct communication between
representatives of nations, a conversational give and take, often fraught
with deception (see April Glaspie), but an exchange nonetheless. Public
diplomacy, as defined by Beers, is something else entirely. It's a one-way
street, a unilateral broadcast of American propaganda directly to the
public, domestic and international, a kind of informational
carpet-bombing.

The themes of her campaigns were as simplistic and flimsy as a Bush press
conference. The American incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq were all
about bringing the balm of "freedom" to oppressed peoples. Hence, the
title of the U.S. war: Operation Iraqi Freedom, where cruise missiles were
depicted as instruments of liberation. Bush himself distilled the Beers
equation to its bizarre essence: "This war is about peace."

Beers quietly resigned her post a few weeks before the first volley of
tomahawk missiles battered Baghdad. From her point of view, the war itself
was already won, the fireworks of shock and awe were all after play.

Over at the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld drafted Victoria "Torie" Clarke as
his director of public affairs. Clarke knew the ropes inside the Beltway.
Before becoming Rumsfeld's mouthpiece, she had commanded one of the
world's great parlors for powerbrokers: Hill and Knowlton's D.C. office.

Almost immediately upon taking up her new gig, Clarke convened regular
meetings with a select group of Washington's top private PR specialists
and lobbyists to develop a marketing plan for the Pentagon's forthcoming
terror wars. The group was filled with heavy-hitters and was strikingly
bipartisan in composition. She called it the Rumsfeld Group and it
included PR executive Sheila Tate, columnist Rich Lowry, and Republican
political consultant Rich Galen.

The brain trust also boasted top Democratic fixer Tommy Boggs, brother of
NPR's Cokie Roberts and son of the late Congressman Hale Boggs of
Louisiana. At the very time Boggs was conferring with top Pentagon brass
on how to frame the war on terror, he was also working feverishly for the
royal family of Saudi Arabia. In 2002 alone, the Saudis paid his Qorvis PR
firm $20.2 million to protect its interests in Washington. In the wake of
hostile press coverage following the exposure of Saudi links to the 9/11
hijackers, the royal family needed all the well-placed help it could buy.
They seem to have gotten their money's worth. Boggs' felicitous
influence-peddling may help to explain why the references to Saudi funding
of al-Qaeda were dropped from the recent congressional report on the
investigation into intelligence failures and 9/11.

According to the trade publication PR Week, the Rumsfeld Group sent
"messaging advice" to the Pentagon. The group told Clarke and Rumsfeld
that in order to get the American public to buy into the war on terrorism,
they needed to suggest a link to nation states, not just nebulous groups
such as al-Qaeda. In other words, there needed to be a fixed target for
the military campaigns, some distant place to drop cruise missiles and
cluster bombs. They suggested the notion (already embedded in Rumsfeld's
mind) of playing up the notion of so-called rogue states as the real
masters of terrorism. Thus was born the Axis of Evil, which, of course,
wasn't an "axis" at all, since two of the states, Iran and Iraq, hated
each other, and neither had anything at all to do with the third, North
Korea.

Tens of millions in federal money were poured into private public
relations and media firms working to craft and broadcast the Bush dictat
that Saddam had to be taken out before the Iraqi dictator blew up the
world by dropping chemical and nuclear bombs from long-range drones. Many
of these PR executives and image consultants were old friends of the high
priests in the Bush inner sanctum. Indeed, they were veterans, like Cheney
and Powell, of the previous war against Iraq, another engagement that was
more spin than combat .

At the top of the list was John Rendon, head of the D.C. firm, the Rendon
Group. Rendon is one of Washington's heaviest hitters, a Beltway fixer who
never let political affiliation stand in the way of an assignment. Rendon
served as a media consultant for Michael Dukakis and Jimmy Carter, as well
as Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Whenever the Pentagon wanted to go to war,
he offered his services at a price. During Desert Storm, Rendon pulled in
$100,000 a month from the Kuwaiti royal family. He followed this up with a
$23 million contract from the CIA to produce anti-Saddam propaganda in the
region.

As part of this CIA project, Rendon created and named the Iraqi National
Congress and tapped his friend Ahmed Chalabi, the shady financier, to head
the organization.

Shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon handed the Rendon Group another big
assignment: public relations for the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. Rendon
was also deeply involved in the planning and public relations for the
pre-emptive war on Iraq, though both Rendon and the Pentagon refuse to
disclose the details of the group's work there.

But it's not hard to detect the manipulative hand of Rendon behind many of
the Iraq war's signature events, including the toppling of the Saddam
statue (by U.S. troops and Chalabi associates) and videotape of jubilant
Iraqis waving American flags as the Third Infantry rolled by them. Rendon
had pulled off the same stunt in the first Gulf War, handing out American
flags to Kuwaitis and herding the media to the orchestrated demonstration.
"Where do you think they got those American flags?" clucked Rendon in
1991. "That was my assignment."

The Rendon Group may also have had played a role in pushing the phony
intelligence that has now come back to haunt the Bush administration. In
December of 2002, Robert Dreyfuss reported that the inner circle of the
Bush White House preferred the intelligence coming from Chalabi and his
associates to that being proffered by analysts at the CIA.

So Rendon and his circle represented a new kind of off-the-shelf PSYOPs ,
the privatization of official propaganda. "I am not a national security
strategist or a military tactician," said Rendon. "I am a politician, and
a person who uses communication to meet public policy or corporate policy
objectives. In fact, I am an information warrior and a perception
manager."

What exactly, is perception management? The Pentagon defines it this way:
"actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to
foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives and objective
reasoning." In other words, lying about the intentions of the U.S.
government. In a rare display of public frankness, the Pentagon actually
let slip its plan (developed by Rendon) to establish a high-level den
inside the Department Defense for perception management. They called it
the Office of Strategic Influence and among its many missions was to plant
false stories in the press.

Nothing stirs the corporate media into outbursts of pious outrage like an
official government memo bragging about how the media are manipulated for
political objectives. So the New York Times and Washington Post threw
indignant fits about the Office of Strategic Influence; the Pentagon shut
down the operation, and the press gloated with satisfaction on its
victory. Yet, Rumsfeld told the Pentagon press corps that while he was
killing the office, the same devious work would continue. "You can have
the corpse," said Rumsfeld. "You can have the name. But I'm going to keep
doing every single thing that needs to be done. And I have."

At a diplomatic level, despite the hired guns and the planted stories,
this image war was lost. It failed to convince even America's most fervent
allies and dependent client states that Iraq posed much of a threat. It
failed to win the blessing of the U.N. and even NATO, a wholly owned
subsidiary of Washington. At the end of the day, the vaunted coalition of
the willing consisted of Britain, Spain, Italy, Australia, and a cohort of
former Soviet bloc nations. Even so, the citizens of the nations that cast
their lot with the U.S.A. overwhelmingly opposed the war.

Domestically, it was a different story. A population traumatized by terror
threats and shattered economy became easy prey for the saturation bombing
of the Bush message that Iraq was a terrorist state linked to al-Qaeda
that was only minutes away from launching attacks on America with weapons
of mass destruction.

Americans were the victims of an elaborate con job, pelted with a daily
barrage of threat inflation, distortions, deceptions and lies, not about
tactics or strategy or war plans, but about justifications for war. The
lies were aimed not at confusing Saddam's regime, but the American people.
By the start of the war, 66 per cent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein
was behind 9/11 and 79 per cent thought he was close to having a nuclear
weapon.

Of course, the closest Saddam came to possessing a nuke was a rusting gas
centrifuge buried for 13 years in the garden of Mahdi Obeidi, a retired
Iraqi scientist. Iraq didn't have any functional chemical or biological
weapons. In fact, it didn't even possess any SCUD missiles, despite
erroneous reports fed by Pentagon PR flacks alleging that it had fired
SCUDs into Kuwait.

This charade wouldn't have worked without a gullible or a complicit press
corps. Victoria Clarke, who developed the Pentagon plan for embedded
reports, put it succinctly a few weeks before the war began: "Media
coverage of any future operation will to a large extent shape public
perception."

During the Vietnam War, TV images of maimed GIs and napalmed villages
suburbanized opposition to the war and helped hasten the U.S. withdrawal.
The Bush gang meant to turn the Vietnam phenomenon on its head by using TV
as a force to propel the U.S.A. into a war that no one really wanted.

What the Pentagon sought was a new kind of living room war, where instead
of photos of mangled soldiers and dead Iraqi kids, they could control the
images Americans viewed and to a large extent the content of the stories.
By embedding reporters inside selected divisions, Clarke believed the
Pentagon could count on the reporters to build relationships with the
troops and to feel dependent on them for their own safety. It worked,
naturally. One reporter for a national network trembled on camera that the
U.S. Army functioned as "our protectors." The late David Bloom of NBC
confessed on the air that he was willing to do "anything and everything
they can ask of us."

When the Pentagon needed a heroic story, the press obliged. Jessica Lynch
became the war's first instant celebrity. Here was a neo-gothic tale of a
steely young woman wounded in a fierce battle, captured and tortured by
ruthless enemies, and dramatically saved from certain death by a team of
selfless rescuers, knights in camo and night-vision goggles. Of course,
nearly every detail of her heroic adventure proved to be as fictive and
maudlin as any made-for-TV-movie. But the ordeal of Private Lynch, which
dominated the news for more than a week, served its purpose: to distract
attention from a stalled campaign that was beginning to look at lot
riskier than the American public had been hoodwinked into believing.

The Lynch story was fed to the eager press by a Pentagon operation called
Combat Camera, the Army network of photographers, videographers and
editors that sends 800 photos and 25 video clips a day to the media. The
editors at Combat Camera carefully culled the footage to present the
Pentagon's montage of the war, eliding such unsettling images as
collateral damage, cluster bombs, dead children and U.S. soldiers, napalm
strikes and disgruntled troops.

"A lot of our imagery will have a big impact on world opinion," predicted
Lt. Jane Larogue, director of Combat Camera in Iraq. She was right. But as
the hot war turned into an even hotter occupation, the Pentagon, despite
airy rhetoric from occupation supremo Paul Bremer about installing
democratic institutions such as a free press, moved to tighten its
monopoly on the flow images out of Iraq. First, it tried to shut down Al
Jazeera, the Arab news channel. Then the Pentagon intimated that it would
like to see all foreign TV news crews banished from Baghdad.

Few newspapers fanned the hysteria about the threat posed by Saddam's
weapons of mass destruction as sedulously as did the Washington Post. In
the months leading up to the war, the Post's pro-war op-eds outnumbered
the anti-war columns by a 3-to-1 margin.

Back in 1988, the Post felt much differently about Saddam and his weapons
of mass destruction. When reports trickled out about the gassing of
Iranian troops, the Washington Post's editorial page shrugged off the
massacres, calling the mass poisonings "a quirk of war."

The Bush team displayed a similar amnesia. When Iraq used chemical weapons
in grisly attacks on Iran, the U.S. government not only didn't object, it
encouraged Saddam. Anything to punish Iran was the message coming from the
White House. Donald Rumsfeld himself was sent as President Ronald Reagan's
personal envoy to Baghdad. Rumsfeld conveyed the bold message than an Iraq
defeat would be viewed as a "strategic setback for the United States."
This sleazy alliance was sealed with a handshake caught on videotape. When
CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre replayed the footage for Rumsfeld in the
spring of 2003, the secretary of defense snapped, "Where'd you get that?
Iraqi television?"

The current crop of Iraq hawks also saw Saddam much differently then. Take
the writer Laura Mylroie, sometime colleague of the New York Times' Judy
Miller, who persists in peddling the ludicrous conspiracy that Iraq was
behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

How times have changed! In 1987, Mylroie felt downright cuddly toward
Saddam. She wrote an article for the New Republic titled "Back Iraq: Time
for a U.S. Tilt in the Mideast," arguing that the U.S. should publicly
embrace Saddam's secular regime as a bulwark against the Islamic
fundamentalists in Iran. The co-author of this mesmerizing weave of
wonkery was none other than Daniel Pipes, perhaps the nation's most
bellicose Islamophobe. "The American weapons that Iraq could make good use
of include remotely scatterable and anti-personnel mines and
counterartillery radar," wrote Mylroie and Pipes. "The United States might
also consider upgrading intelligence it is supplying Baghdad."

In the rollout for the war, Mylroie seemed to be everywhere hawking the
invasion of Iraq. She would often appear on two or three different
networks in the same day. How did the reporter manage this feat? She had
help in the form of Eleana Benador, the media placement guru who runs
Benador Associates. Born in Peru, Benador parlayed her skills as a
linguist into a lucrative career as media relations whiz for the
Washington foreign policy elite. She also oversees the Middle East Forum,
a fanatically pro-Zionist white paper mill. Her clients include some of
the nation's most fervid hawks, including Michael Ledeen, Charles
Krauthammer, Al Haig, Max Boot, Daniel Pipes, Richard Perle, and Judy
Miller. During the Iraq war, Benador's assignment was to embed this
squadron of pro-war zealots into the national media, on talk shows, and
op-ed pages.

Benador not only got them the gigs, she also crafted the theme and made
sure they all stayed on message. "There are some things, you just have to
state them in a different way, in a slightly different way," said Benador.
"If not, people get scared." Scared of intentions of their own government.

It could have been different. All of the holes in the Bush
administration's gossamer case for war were right there for the mainstream
press to expose. Instead, the U.S. press, just like the oil companies,
sought to commercialize the Iraq war and profit from the invasions. They
didn't want to deal with uncomfortable facts or present voices of dissent.

Nothing sums up this unctuous approach more brazenly than MSNBC's firing
of liberal talk show host Phil Donahue on the eve of the war. The network
replaced the Donahue Show with a running segment called Countdown: Iraq,
featuring the usual nightly coterie of retired generals, security flacks,
and other cheerleaders for invasion. The network's executives blamed the
cancellation on sagging ratings. In fact, during its run Donahue's show
attracted more viewers than any other program on the network. The real
reason for the pre-emptive strike on Donahue was spelled out in an
internal memo from anxious executives at NBC. Donahue, the memo said,
offered "a difficult face for NBC in a time of war. He seems to delight in
presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the
administration's motives."

The memo warned that Donahue's show risked tarring MSNBC as an unpatriotic
network, "a home for liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our
competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity." So, with scarcely a
second thought, the honchos at MSNBC gave Donahue the boot and hoisted the
battle flag.

It's war that sells.

There's a helluva caveat, of course. Once you buy it, the merchants of war
accept no returns.

Jeffrey St. Clair is the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green
to Me: the Politics of Nature and Grand Theft Pentagon. His newest book is
End Times: the Death of the Fourth Estate, co-written with Alexander
Cockburn.

He can be reached at: sitka [at] comcast.net


--------19 of 19--------

Blackout
Things Your Media Momma Didn't Tell You
By DAVE LINDORFF
CounterPunch
June 12, 2007

The fact that most Americans oppose the war in Iraq, and want the
president impeached, is testimony to the native intelligence and common
sense of the citizens of this nation.

It sure isn't thanks to the quality of the news we're getting here in
America.!

Here are some of the things you don't know if you just depend on the
corporate media for your information:

1. Most Americans would like to see this president and vice president
impeached and removed from office. Newsweek magazine published a
scientific poll last October showing that 51 percent of us favor
impeachment (including 29 percent of Republicans!), but the corporate
media, which normally hasn't met a poll it won't publish, didn't publicize
this one. And now, when the numbers supporting impeachment are surely even
higher, you can't even pay a polling outfit to ask the question. No wonder
most people who favor impeachment still think they're odd ducks.

2. There is a bill, filed in the House of Representatives on April 24 by
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), calling for the impeachment of Vice President
Cheney. Since it was filed, it has gained six co-sponsors, including a
member of the House Democratic leadership, Rep. Janice Shakowsky (D-IL).
Most major media have ignored this important story completely. Most
Americans also don't know that the Vermont State Senate voted
overwhelmingly this spring to call on Congress to impeach the president.

3. The president has been declared a felon in federal court. Yet even
after Federal District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled last August that
President Bush and the National Security Agency were committing serial
Class A felonies and were violating both the First and Fourth Amendments
by spying on Americans' communications without first obtaining warrants,
Bush continued ordering the NSA to continue the patently illegal program
for at least half a year. In reports on the spying program, the corporate
media never mention that it has been declared a felonious activity by the
federal court.

4. Fifteen Democratic Party state organizations have passed impeachment
resolutions calling on Democrats in Congress to initiate impeachment
proceedings against the president and vice president. The most recent of
these, the Democratic Party of Oklahoma, passed its resolution at the
party's annual convention on May 19. Other Democratic Party conventions,
in states from Nevada and California to Massachusetts and North Carolina,
have passed similar resolutions. Most have been ignored by the corporate
media even in their own states.

5. Bush's so-called "coalition of the willing" is not so willing and is
not really much of a coalition either. When's the last time you've heard
how many countries are on board with the US in the war and occupation of
Iraq? The reality? Britain, the only significant contributor of combat
troops besides the U.S., is pulling out, as did Italy and Spain, and many
other countries, like Denmark, Lithuania and others, plan to be out of
Iraq by August or at the latest December. One indication of the
seriousness of situation: The Pentagon no longer lists the countries that
are members of the "coalition." The only mainstream report I've seen
laying this out this collapse in international support for Bush's war was
in USA Today last February.

6. The Homeland Security Department last year awarded Halliburton $385
million in a no-bid contract to construct prison camps designed to hold
tens of thousands of unspecified prisoners in the event of domestic
unrest. Meanwhile, President Bush has signed a bill altering the
insurrection act so that he can declare martial rule and order active duty
troops to take charge anywhere in the domestic US in the event of "public
disorder." No one in the corporate media has reported on these
developments or asked the White House to explain what it's all about.

7. There is evidence that Cheney, as CEO of Halliburton, was a patron of
the Washington Madam whose client book of high-class call-girls is causing
many in Washington political circles-mostly Republicans it appears, who
apparently need to pay for their sex-to sweat. So far no mention of the
Cheney angle in the corporate media, though they've been having fun with
the broader story of a political sex scandal. No mention either of how a
brave West Point cadet refused to shake Cheney's hand on stage when the
vice president was handing out this year's diplomas at the Army's premiere
academy.

8. Among the "worst of the worst" of the "evildoers" captured and held as
"enemy combatants" at Guantanamo were children, some of them preteens and
kids who were under 15 when captured and brought to Cuba-so many in fact
that the military had to set up a special facility, called Camp Iguana,
just for adolescent and pre-pubescent "fighters." The corporate media have
barely reported on this atrocity (the New York Times ran only one article
mentioning child captives, in June 2005). The only wider coverage of this
outrage came recently when the government tried to prosecute one such
alleged child "terrorist"-Omar Khadr-only to have the military judge in
charge toss his case out because the government had misclassified him.
Khadr, we learned, was captured in 2001 in Afghanistan at the ripe age of
15, making him one of the older child captives brought to and interrogated
at Guantanamo. Under international law, the U.S. was supposed to treat
this and other child soldiers as victims, not as war criminals. Khadr, a
Canadian by birth, instead has spent five years doing hard time in US
captivity.

9. Well-researched reports on the rampant theft of both the 2000 and 2004
elections, and on Republican plans for theft of the 2008 election, such as
Mark Crispin Miller's Fooled Again, have gone unmentioned in the corporate
media. Books on the subject, like Miller's and like Greg Palast's best
selling Armed Madhouse, have never been reviewed.

10. And of course, there's my own book. The Case for Impeachment, despite
its having sold over 20,000 copies in hardcover, and despite its having
now come out in a mass-market paperback edition, in both cases printed by
a mainstream publisher, St. Martin's Press, has not received a single
review in the corporate media. In this, my co-author Barbara Olshansky and
I are not alone. None of the books on the impeachable crimes of this
administration, including one by Nixon-era impeachment panelist and former
congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, and one by Judiciary Chair Rep. John
Conyers, has been reviewed by a mainstream media outlet.

What we're talking about here is a media blackout of important stories and
news.

Thanks to the internet and to the grapevine, and thanks to their basic
native intelligence, most Americans seem to understand that we're being
lied to and cheated. What the media blackout of important news does manage
to do, however, is keep us all thinking that we are in a minority in
opposing things like illegal wars, a trampled Constitution, and stolen
elections.

In fact, however, we're actually the majority.

Once we realize this, maybe we will have a movement, instead of a just
nation of isolated cynics and complainers.

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


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                            impeach bush & cheney
                            impeach bush & cheney
                            impeach bush & cheney







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