Progressive Calendar 06.20.07
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 00:34:09 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     06.20.07

1. Solstice peace    6.21 10am
2. Eagan peace vigil 6.21 4:30pm
3. Northtown vigil   6.21 5pm
4. Free to breathe   6.21 5:30pm
5. Kip/health/950AM  6.21 6pm
6. Mike Jones        6.21 7:30pm

7. Lesbian erotica   6.22 7pm
8. Irish Ceili       6.22 7pm
9. Shoe bomber/film  6.22-28

10. Junk4Justice     6.23 10am
11. 9/11 Press4Truth 6.23 10:30am
12. Gay Pride        6.23 11am
13. NWN4P Minnetonka 6.23 11am
14. Labor celebrates 6.23 1pm
15. Northtown vigil  6.23 2pm
16. Dyke march       6.23 9pm
17. Vs Israel?/CTV   6.23 9pm

18. Ralph Nader     - The NAFTA two-step: Hillary's stock and trade
19. Eve Liddell     - The Dem stratagems in 2000 & 2004: planning to lose
20. Joel Hirschhorn - US unready to revolt, despite revolting conditions
21. James Brooks    - Nation of mutes / America's guilty silence
22. Jeff Lays       - Swarm Congress; build resistance to Iraq war funding

--------1 of 22--------

From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Solstice peace 6.21 10am

World Peace and Prayer Day Ceremony on Summer Solstice

Thursday, June 21, 10:00 a.m. (Gather); 11:00 a.m. (Ceremony) Coldwater
Spring (located between Minnehaha Park and the Highway 55/62 interchange;
from Highway 55, turn east at 54th Street, take an immediate right onto
the frontage road and follow it half a mile past the parking meters,
through the cul de sac, through the gates, past the building, follow the
curvy road), Minneapolis.

Coldwater is a 10,000-year-old spring that flowed at a pre-construction
rate of 100,000-144,000 gallons a day. In addition to being a living
geological museum, Coldwater was a traditional gathering place for Native
American tribes of the upper Mississippi that used spring water for
specific ceremonies requiring sacred water in a sacred landscape. The
powerful Dakota god of waters and the underworld is said to dwell at
Coldwater Spring. Coldwater is also the birthplace of the creation of the
state of Minnesota and site of the pioneer settlement whose citizens
founded St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Picnic potluck following the ceremony, please bring a dish to share and a
chair to sit on. FFI: Visit <www.friendsofcoldwater.org>.


--------2 of 22--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 6.21 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 22--------

From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 6.21 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 22--------

From: Betsy Brock <bb [at] ansrmn.org>
Subject: Free to breathe 6.21 5:30pm

It's Time to Celebrate the Freedom to Breathe!
Ice Cream Social

Come celebrate the passage of the Freedom to Breathe Act with the
Association for Nonsmokers-MN and Smoke-Free Ramsey.  The ice cream is on
us!  Bring a picnic and enjoy the park!

Snail Lake Park Pavilion,
4200 Snail Lake Boulevard, Shoreview 55126
June 21, 5:30-7:30
Short remarks at 6:30

Contact: Betsy Brock at 651-646-3005 or bb [at] ansrmn.org.
RSVP or just come!


--------5 of 22--------

From: ed
Subject: Kip/health/950AM 6.21 6pm

Kip Sullivan will be on Air America 950 AM Thurs 6.21 at 6 pm to discuss
where the presidential candidates are on health policy.


--------6 of 22--------

From: david enyeart <david.enyeart [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Mike Jones 6.21 7:30pm

MAGERS AND QUINN PRESS RELEASE : For Immediate Distribution :Mike Jones
(author of I Had to Say Something : The Art of Ted Haggard's Fall) will
read at Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Thursday, June 21, at 7:30pm

Magers & Quinn is pleased to announce a reading by Mike Jones, Thursday,
June 21, at 7:30pm at our store (3038 Hennepin Ave S,Minneapolis).

Mike Jones is the Denver masseur who realized that his longtime client was
none other than Ted Haggard, then-president of the National Association of
Evangelicals, which represents more than 45,000 churches with 30 million
members. When Jones told his story last November, Haggard resigned as
pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Mike has
written his memoir about the whole affair, I Had to Say Something, coming
out June first.

Pastor Ted has been to counseling and is now "completely heterosexual"
(Denver Post, 02/06/07), but we promise that Mike is not going to be that
boring. He'll dish the dirt and Minnesotans of every stripe can be there
to hear it. This will certainly be an informative and entertaining
evening.

Mike Jones, 49, is a Colorado native who has excelled at body building
throughout his adult life, winning many awards for his strong, sculpted
physique. From 1980 until November 2006, he worked as an escort and a
massage therapist. His recent media appearances include The Today Show,
Good Morning America, MSNBC, CNN, Court TV, Dr. Keith Albow, AP Television
Washington, People Magazine, Newsweek, Time, The Advocate. He is single
and lives in Denver, Colorado.

This is a ticketed event. Tickets are $3.00 each and are available at our
store.

David E
Magers & Quinn Booksellers
3038 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis MN 55408
612/822-4611


--------7 of 22--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Lesbian erotica 6.22 7pm

Mary Disney for
Amazon Bookstore Cooperative
4755 Chicago Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
612-821-9630

http://www.amazonbookstorecoop.com
contact:  Barb Wieser at 612-821-9630

Friday June 22, 7:00 p.m.
Catherine Lundoff
Crave: Lesbian Erotica

Rebels and werewolves, spaceship captains and voyeurs. Lesbian erotica
with a twist. Crave is a new collection of lesbian erotica by Catherine
Lundoff, author of Night_s Kiss (Torquere Press). Her short fiction has
appeared in such anthologies as The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 6,
Best Lesbian Erotica 2006, Ultimate Lesbian Erotica 2006, Best Lesbian
Bondage Erotica,Caught Looking: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and
Exhibitionists, Periphery: Erotic Lesbian Futures, Lust for Life, Garden
of the Perverse, Amazons and Stirring Up a Storm.


--------8 of 22--------

From: Mike Whelan <mpw4883 [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Irish Ceili 6.22 7pm

Ceili with the Doon Ceili Band on Friday night, June 22
at 7pm at the Paul & Sheila Wellstone Center run by Neighborhood House at
179 E. Robie Street St. Paul 55107.  This is going to be a lot of fun and
is a great family-friendly event.  No dance experience necessary!
Tickets are $10 per person or $35 per family.

Part of the Young Musicians Weekend, as described here:
http://www.centerforirishmusic.org


--------9 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Shoe bomber/film 6.22-28

6/22-6/28, film "A Mighty Heart" about Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel
Pearl's reporting and death while researching a story on the "shoe bomber,"
Lagoon Cinema, 1320 Lagoon Ave, Mpls.  www.landmarktheaters.com


--------10 of 22--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] minn.net>
Subject: Junk4Justice 6.23 10am

JUNK FOR JUSTICE
CUAPB ANNUAL RUMMAGE SALE
Saturday, June 23rd
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (bag sale starting a 4:00 p.m.)
Walker Church
3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
get rid of things you no longer need
pick up wild bargains

TURN YOUR JUNK INTO JUSTICE!  Just about everyone has stuff in their house
that they no longer need but that others would value.  Bring your garage
sale items to CUAPB for our annual rummage sale.  Believe it or not, this
is one of our biggest fund raisers for the year.  The funds we earn help
to keep the hotline going and fund work like our lawsuits for
accountability and justice.

You can bring your garage sale items to the Walker Church on Saturday,
June 9th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., bring them on the day of the garage sale
(starting 9:00 a.m.) or call us at 612-874-7867 to make other
arrangements, including pick up of larger items.


--------11 of 22--------

From: Catherine Statz <statz001 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: 9/11 Press4Truth 6.23 10:30am

RE: "9/11: PRESS FOR TRUTH" SCREENING AT THE RIVERVIEW THEATER - June 23,
2007

On Saturday, June 23, 2007, the MN 9/11 group will sponsor a screening of
"9/11: Press for Truth" www.911pressfortruth.org
<http://www.911pressfortruth.org/> . Six family members of 9/11 victims tell
their stories for the first time on film, providing a powerful argument for
why 9/11 still needs investigation.

In addition, a Minnesota resident who lost a family member on September
11th will be at the screening to briefly introduce the film.

The 84-minute film will start at 10:30 AM at the Riverview Theater, 3800
42nd Ave S (E 38th St & 42nd Ave S), Minneapolis, MN 55406 (612-729-7369).

Admission is free. Popcorn, pop, and other snacks will be available for
purchase.

Drawing from Paul Thompson's exhaustive research, "9/11: Press for Truth"
documents how family members of 9/11 victims compelled the highest powers
in Washington to conduct an investigation, only to watch the 9/11
Commission fail to answer most of their questions. Featuring overlooked
news clips, buried stories, and government press conferences, the
documentary reveals a pattern of official lies, deception, and spin that
raises disturbing and important questions.

For more information, please contact a MN 9/11 group member (612-384-8742,
minnesota_911 [at] yahoo.com or 612-558-5959, arturo [at] bitstream.net).


--------12 of 22--------

From: Impeach <lists [at] impeachforpeace.org>
Subject: Gay Pride 6.23 11am

Gay Pride!! - March with us
Saturday, June 23, 2007 [at] 11:00am
We'll be marching in Guantanamo suits.

Please contact us and let us know if you'd like to march. The more the
merrier: http://impeachforpeace.org/comments.htm

We'll also be having folks sign "Do-It-Yourself Impeachments" at our
booth: http://impeachforpeace.org/ImpeachNow.html

As well as selling T-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons and postcards.
http://www.cafepress.com/impeachforpeace

The Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade will be held on Saturday, June 23,
beginning at 11am along Hennepin Avenue in Downtown Minneapolis. According
to public estimates, the Parade drew an estimated 110,000 spectators in
2006, making it one of the largest parades in the Upper Midwest, and the
largest in all of Minneapolis according to Mayor R.T. Rybak. Because of
this popularity, it was recommended that you arrive early to find your
Parade viewing spot.

The Parade route was be unchanged from 2006.  It will begin at 3rd Street
& Hennepin Avenue and followed Hennepin Avenue to Loring Park.

For more information go to http://www.tcpride.org/


--------13 of 22--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: NWN4P Minnetonka 6.23 11am

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


--------14 of 22--------

From: "jhesla [at] juno.com" <jhesla [at] juno.com>
Subject: Labor celebrates 6.23 1pm

Saturday, June 23rd
Lyndale Farmstead Park, 1-4pm.
39th and Bryant,  Minneapolis

It has finally happened!!  Management at the Walker Health Care Center has
agreed to enter into negotiations with the workers for a contract!  This
ends a four year struggle for recognition of their union.

Come and join the workers and community members to enjoy music, food, and
speakers to recognize this great victory for Labor!  Please stop by. FFI:
call Jeff Fowler, 651-357-8542, Joe Hesla, 612-722-6473


--------15 of 22--------

From: Lennie <major18 [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Northtown vigil 6.23 2pm

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

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

For further information, email major18 [at] comcast.net or call Lennie at
763-717-9168


--------16 of 22--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Dyke march 6.23 9pm

SATURDAY  JUNE 23, 9pm
TWIN CITIES ANNUAL DYKE MARCH

starts from WALKER ART CENTER,
1750 HEENEPIN AVE. and goes to downtoen MINNEAPOLIS

AFTER-party at the new women's bar PI
24th ST @ 25th place, around the corner from the Eagles club in south
Minneapolis
(25th place is a 1 block street0
for  info; www.myspace.com/tcavngers
or EMAIL; tcavengers [at] yahoo.com


--------17 of 22--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Vs Israel?/CTV 6.23 9pm

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

6/23 and 6/26 "Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitic: An Evening with Norman
Finkelstein".  Part 1 of Nov. talk given in Mpls.


--------18 of 22--------

The NAFTA Two-Step
Hillary's Stock and Trade
By RALPH NADER
CounterPunch
June 19, 2007

Is Hillary Clinton a political weather vane or a political compass?

Consider her latest detour from the NAFTA and WTO policies of her husband.
Last week she announced her opposition to the proposed trade agreement
between the U.S. and South Korea. The place for her remarks was a town
hall meeting in Michigan organized by the AFL-CIO.

She described the agreement between Bush and the South Koreans, requiring
Congressional approval, as "inherently unfair." "It will hurt the U.S.
auto industry, increase our trade deficit, cost us good middle-class jobs
and make America less competitive."

No kidding! Where has she been for the past fifteen years? For those words
could have described the consequences of both NAFTA and the WTO. The U.S.
auto industry has been emigrating to Mexico and China. The trade deficit
has gone off the charts, nearing nine hundred billion dollars in 2007 and
is four times greater than what it was ten years ago. Industrial job loss
is being joined by the outsourcing of white collar jobs in even larger
numbers.

About 90 percent of the products sold in the L.L. Bean catalogue are
imports or produced by foreign manufacturers.

Corporate managed trade-mis-named free trade-is draining our country's
competitiveness, as U.S. corporations take their factories and jobs abroad
to authoritarian or dictatorial nations, especially China. Imagine modern
capital equipment, and 50 an hour for workers who are making things for
the U.S. market, without fair labor standards, pollution controls and
other standards companies here have to comply with.

Senator Clinton felt reassured with her opposition. Ford Motor Company and
the Chrysler group of DaimlerChrysler came out against the Korea deal
before Hillary did.

A politician like Hillary Clinton has her finger to the wind. The workers
and domestic companies are providing her with the wind. Still, she has not
supported the renegotiation of NAFTA and WTO which the U.S. can force by
utilizing the Treaties' 6 month notice of withdrawal from each of these
autocratic systems of transnational governance and secret courts known as
NAFTA and WTO. Not enough organized citizen wind power compared to the
corporate power behind those trade pacts.

If Senator John F. Kennedy's best-selling book Profiles in Courage was
updated, nothing Hillary Clinton has done in the Congress would come close
to being a footnote.

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, she has not challenged
the many GAO documented boondoggle military contracts. One gigantic weapon
system - the F-22 aircraft - has been privately denounced by people in the
Office of the Secretary of Defense who believe this aircraft is clearly
unnecessary and saturated with cost over-runs.

Whether the causes are wasteful, corrupt military contracts or generally
the corporate crime wave from Enron to Wall Street, Senator Clinton has
not been there in the Congress to advance comprehensive corporate crime
legislation and larger enforcement resources.

Nor has she taken on the hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate
welfare-subsidies, giveaways, handouts and bailouts for big business-that
consume the contributions of millions of small taxpayers.

Even in New York City, have you heard Senator Clinton object to
taxpayer-funded corporate sports stadiums, while health clinics, schools,
libraries and public works decay for lack of public investment? Tax
dollars for entertainment are ok by her.

Some of her paucity of candor is not going unnoticed, however. In
explaining why she voted for George Bush's Iraq War resolution in 2002,
she said she believed that it called for an attempted diplomatic solution.
There were no words in that resolution to support that belief. She is a
lawyer. She also knows that an amendment by Senator Carl Levin, a fellow
Democrat, demanded just such a prior diplomatic effort. She voted against
the Levin proposal.

Still, Hillary, with Bill right there, is the frontrunner for the
Democratic Party's nomination. The money from commercial interests, which
the Clintons have favored and coddled for years, is pouring into her
campaign coffers.

So she travels around the country with her twofer strategy - pandering to
powerful audiences and flattering gatherings of Democratic voters. She has
watched Bill's lack of political fortitude win elections in this
two-party, elected dictatorship against the hapless Republicans. Why
should she be any different?

If she wins the primary and the November elections the country will get
another kind of twofer in the White House. Here they'll go again.

Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions


--------19 of 22--------

The Democratic Stratagems in 2000 and 2004
Planning to Lose
By EVA LIDDELL
CounterPunch
June 18, 2007

I watched John Kerry on television in '04 when he fell over himself as he
galloped to the microphone to announce the Democratic Party's real choice
for president, George Bush. And the loyal Party hack that he is, I knew
he'd return to the Senate after he had accomplished what the Party put him
up to do, lose. Then he'd vote on every bill favorable to our ruling
classes who our "elected" representatives so dutifully serve and whose
bribes they greedily solicit. This gets me to dwelling about the other
election, the one in 2000. Why am I thinking that was a Democratic dump
too?

What is generally accepted as true, that "there really is no difference
between the two parties so what does it matter who's president" is
something I don't agree with entirely. The difference is in the
constituencies that either party controls. With the shift alignment in the
parties that arose after Lyndon Johnson had no choice but to ram through
the bill on civil rights, the Southern Bourbons switched parties. So did
their constituents. The South went Republican and with it the Democrats'
ability to wage a real war with a Democratic president.

Our professional fighting men and women are concentrated in Republican
bastions, keeping them tight-knit incestuous units. This way they stay
loyal to the mission. Less diverse thought. Johnson, the Democrat, blew it
on that one. He took conscripts from every part of the country.

The Democratic party may be dumb but it isn't stupid. It knows that
Republican moms and dads don't want their boys and girls getting killed
and maimed for a Democratic president. Can we imagine Al Gore, a couple of
years after 9/11 saying, "Let's send our boys and girls to war in Iraq?"
Couldn't have happened. He didn't have the base.

There have been some good articles explaining the hard propaganda
euphemistically called spin that the State put out before the Iraq war to
get people to bite. It's the soft propaganda about Saddam throughout the
90's that intrigued me. If one watched Frontline, to name only one
example, it was Saddam all the time. The programs were run and repeated
with various repetitions of the same theme. The image of him shooting his
Kalashnikov up in the air on his balcony, gassing the Kurds and his
ominous Fedayeen marching with checkered bandanas across their faces up to
no good. With Frontline's trademark melodramatic music and the somber tone
of the narrator presenting Saddam as pure evil, sumpthin' was up.

The propagandists know the American psyche. We are morally repelled by
evil. We morally want to correct it. The hard propaganda is easy enough to
pick apart. The soft propaganda is where they set us up when we aren't at
heightened attention. As the Brits knew before the First World War and
then honed to a fine touch before the second, Americans are suckers for
morality. We love to conquer evil.

When Bush gave us the spin on Iraq, the mushroom clouds, the weapons of
mass destruction, nobody disagreed Saddam was evil. Certainly not the
Democratic Party. And the Democratic elites wanted war as much as the
Republicans. If it took dumping their own guy in 2000 to do it, so be it.
Who designed the butterfly ballot? A Democrat. Whose polls are the hardest
to get to? The disenfranchised black constituents of the Democratic Party.
Making Gore conduct his campaign by the eight time loser Bob Shrum the guy
the Party selects to lose elections was another tip-off. Why would the
Democratic elites want their guy Gore when they were smelling war? Gore I
am sure wanted to win but that doesn't mean his own Party wouldn't dump
him.

The Democratic Party can do without a president if what the elites of that
party really want is war. They still retain their power in the Party which
is really their only concern, the perpetuation of the party organization
itself. The Democratic Party is the best friend the Republicans ever had.
And the Republican Party needs the Democratic Party as much as the
Democrats need the Republicans. The only way you can be a winner is if
there is a loser. In the two-party system both parties need each other for
either party to exist at all. And who needs a president of your own party
when the two-party system gets to have its war?

Eva Liddell lives in the Pacific Northwest.

[Planning to lose. Throwing the fight/game. When the "people's party" does
that, it's even worse than the RP, because it leaves us no way out; it
guarantees that we - and any third world country in their way - will be
royally screwed. Thanks, Dem hacks, and thanks, Americans, who encourage
them by voting for them, no matter how morally corrupt. -ed]


--------20 of 22--------

Americans Unready to Revolt, Despite Revolting Conditions
by Joel S. Hirschhorn

[Alas - the ruling class has us gauged and will take and take wherever
we're willing to give and give. No profiles in courage in today's toady
America. By being such wimps we're on our knees begging: Screw us!  Screw
us! We're so nice we cooperate in our own destruction.  -ed]

The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll results vividly show a
population incredibly dissatisfied with their nation's political system.
In other countries in other times such a depressing level of confidence in
government would send a signal to those running the government that a
major upheaval is imminent. But not here in the USA. Why?

First, here are the highlights of the poll that surveyed 1,008 adults from
June 8-11, with a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

A whopping 68 percent think the country is on the wrong track. Just 19
percent believe the country is headed in the right direction - the lowest
number on that question in nearly 15 years. And most of those with the
positive view are probably in the Upper Class.

Bush's approval rating is at just 29 percent, his lowest mark ever in the
survey. Only 62 percent of Republicans approve, versus 32 percent who
disapprove. Take Republicans out of the picture and a fifth or less of
Americans have a positive view of Bush.

Even worse, only 23 percent approve of the job that Congress is doing. So
much for that wonderful new Democratic control of Congress. Bipartisan
incompetence is alive and well.

On the economic front, nearly twice as many people think the U.S. is more
hurt than helped by the global economy (48 to 25 percent). Globalization
does not spread wealth; it channels it to the wealthy, making billionaires
out of millionaires.

I have long asserted that Americans live in a delusional democracy with
delusional prosperity and these and loads of other data support this view.
There is a super wealthy and politically powerful Upper Class that is
literally raping the nation. Meanwhile, the huge Lower Class continues to
lose economic ground while their elected representatives sell them out to
benefit the Upper Class. Yet no rational person thinks that a large
fraction of the population is ready to rise up in revolt against the evil
status quo political-economic system that so clearly is not serving the
interests of the overwhelming majority of Americans. Why not?

For a nation that was built on a revolt against oppressive governance by
the British, something has been lost from our political DNA. We apparently
no longer have the gene for political rebellion. It has been bred out of
most of us. And those of us that urge a Second American Revolution are
seen as fringe, nutty subversives.

Part of the genius of our contemporary ruling class elites is that they
have engineered a state of political and economic oppression that
paradoxically is still embraced by the Lower Class. The rational way to
understand this is that ordinary, oppressed Americans are in a deep
psychological state of self-delusion. Despite all the empirical, objective
evidence of a failed government, they fail to see rebellion opportunities.
Many still believe they live in the world's best democracy. But across all
elections considerably less than half the citizens even bother to vote
anymore. Yet, as the new NBC/Journal poll results show, people are
cognitively aware of just how awful the political-economic system is. Yet
they are not feeling enough pain to seriously consider rebellion. And it
is visceral pain that must drive people to the daring act of rebellion.

Why is there insufficient pain for revolution? This is a deadly serious
issue. What is historically unique about America is that even the most
oppressed and unfairly treated people are distracted by affordable
materialism, entertainment, sports, gambling, and myriad other aspects of
our frivolous, self-absorbed culture. Even failed school and health care
systems do not drive people, paying enormous sums to fill up their SUVs,
to rebellion. So, Americans are aware of their oppression, but the power
elites have successfully drugged them with a plethora of
pleasure-producing distractions sufficient to keep them under control.
We are free to bitch, but too weak to revolt. The Internet has provided a
release valve for some pent up anger and frustration. But it too has
mostly become another source of distraction, rather than an effective tool
for rebellion.

Though these new poll statistics make news, those in control of the
political-economic system are not afraid that the population is on the
verge of retaking their constitutionally guaranteed sovereign power and
take back their nation. Thousands of people like me keep writing books and
articles and creating protest groups and events. Those in power just find
new, ingenious ways to keep the population distracted - if not through
pleasure, then certainly through fear of terrorism. Growing economic
insecurity also contributes to self-paralysis, as do never-ending
political lies.

What a system.

Even as the population has growing awareness of the dire condition of
their nation, the move by the politically powerful on the right and left
continues to seek a new immigration law that will solidify the selling out
of America. Business interests want more of those fleeing Mexico and other
nations to keep wages low. Instead of Mexicans rising up in rebellion
against their oppressive government and economic system they escape to the
USA. But Americans have no such viable escape solution.  Though global
warming will certainly make Canada increasingly attractive.

So what do Americans have - other than a terribly bleak future? Where is
hope in our dismal world?

In a bizarre twist of history that further illustrates just how impotent
Americans have become, virtually all citizens are either unaware of or
unreceptive to the ultimate escape route that the Framers of our
Constitution gave us. They anticipated that Americans could become quite
dissatisfied with the federal government. They feared that the political
system could become incredibly corrupted by moneyed interests. They were
right.

So here we sit over 200 years after our nation was created unwilling to
use what is explicitly given to us in Article V of the Constitution - the
option to have a convention outside the control of Congress, the President
and the Supreme Court to make proposals for constitutional amendments. Do
we really believe in the rule of law? If so, then we should understand
that the supreme law of the land - what is in our Constitution - is the
ultimate way to obtain the deep political and government reforms to
restore true democracy and economic fairness to our society.

Make no mistake: an Article V convention has been stubbornly opposed by
virtually all groups with political and economic power. This is most
evidenced by the blatant refusal of Congress to obey the Constitution and
give us an Article V convention, even though the single explicit
requirement for a convention has been met. This fact alone should tell
rational people that they are being screwed and oppressed. The rule of law
is trumped by the rule of delusion. Our lawmakers are lawbreakers.

Come learn more about the effort to get an Article V convention at
www.foavc.org <http://www.foavc.org/> and become a member. Do not keep
witnessing the unraveling of American society, voting for lesser evil
candidates, and believing the propaganda that putting different Democrats
or Republicans in office will actually improve things for most of us.
Choose peaceful rebellion by using what our Constitution gives us. Fight
self-delusion.

http://www.atlanticfreepress.com/content/view/1798/81/


--------21 of 22--------

Nation of Mutes
America's Guilty Silence
By JAMES BROOKS
CounterPunch
June 18, 2007

Crimes against humanity don't happen unless it is possible to commit them
with impunity. Government corruption and gross imbalances of power will
bring them closer to the edge of possibility. But the anticipation of
impunity must be personal and social as well as legal and political. The
perpetrators need to make sense of their crimes within a positive sense of
themselves.

A shared sense of impunity that can pay for mass murder and torture
chambers without self-reproach requires denial, distortion, and ignorance
of swaths of reality. In totalitarian societies, the state handles these
chores to try to keep the people unaware of its most criminal activities.

But in societies that enjoy relative freedom of the press, citizens
encounter many unsavory facts that are impossible to deny directly. When
"democracies" engage in war crimes, this knowledge pressures citizens to
internalize a collective sense of impunity, which must be robust enough to
neutralize incriminating truth as it appears.

Most informed US citizens are aware that their government runs a global
network of secret detention centers where torture is routinely employed.
They also know what this activity looks like, having seen photos of their
troops' bestial behavior at Abu Ghraib. If they followed the story, they
know that this behavior was also reported at several other prisons and
detention centers in Iraq, under policy directives from the very top of
the Pentagon.

They know about the human rights horrors of Guantanamo and Bagram Air
Force base, that the CIA runs a global ring dedicated to kidnappings,
"extraordinary rendition", and torture, that hundreds of our detainees
have disappeared, and so on.

It is possible to know these things by reading big city newspapers. An
objective observer could glean the general shape of these facts from
network television news. The American public has been told. And the public
has turned the page.

It's also a matter of record that our government has orchestrated an
international economic blockade against the occupied Palestinian
Authority, while Israel withholds the PA's tax revenues. After 15 months
of this policy, an economy that aid experts had previously compared to
sub-Saharan Africa has imploded. Social and civic services have ground to
a virtual halt. (1) Diligent readers know that the Palestinians' already
high rates of malnutrition and food insecurity are now at alarming levels.
Doctors warn that skyrocketing numbers of Palestinian children are being
crippled for life by chronic malnutrition. (2)

The predictable (and predicted) result of economic siege against an
occupied people has been burgeoning chaos and civil strife, eroding what
is left of the rule of law in the occupied territories. The informed
American knows that this is happening because, in the fairest elections
yet seen in the Middle East, the Palestinian people voted for the wrong
party.

Yet even the best-informed Americans will be hard put to think of a
similar instance in history. When have great powers conspired to destroy
the government and economy of a destitute people already crumbling under
another power's long colonial war?

To know about our government's global gulag and remain silent requires a
reckoning with snatching people and repeatedly subjecting them to depraved
acts of torture, knowing that those who do not die will suffer lifelong
physical and psychological torment.

This reckoning appears to turn on variants of a calculation; that our
collective security is worth more than the cost to a few tens of thousands
of foreigners of questionable race and religion. This quantifies and
prioritizes an otherwise difficult problem, allowing us to minimize the
crimes by rounding our sums.

We don't notice that this pragmatic solution also fingers the people
responsible for this inhumanity: us, the 'collective' whose security is so
valuable that it's worth committing torture every day of the week to
protect it.

To know about the economic siege against the occupied Palestinian
territories and say nothing is to acquiesce in crippling collective
punishment of millions of poor people, for the crime of holding a
democratic election.

Unlike our straightforward torture-for-security deal in the global reign
of terror against terror, our justifications for the Palestinian siege are
bureaucratic and symbolic.

Hamas is on our "terror list" and therefore beyond the pale of humanity.
Before we will end the blockade, Hamas must kiss the three poisoned rings
of obeisance: recognize Israel's unique "right to exist" (as a "Jewish
state" that refuses to recognize the rights of its current and former Arab
residents), "renounce violence" (unlike Fatah, Israel, the US, etc.), and
"accept past agreements" (the long sorry record of unreciprocated PLO
concessions to Israel).

The public seems to accept this flimsy hypocrisy as reason enough to force
Palestinian doctors to beg for syringes and bandages. (3) It goes down as
easily as we close the cell door against the screams, to ease our pathetic
fear of "terror".

Objectively, the American public is much more responsible for the crimes
committed in its name than were the people of Germany for the horrors of
the Third Reich. We have far more knowledge, and far greater freedom and
opportunity to stop our government's criminal behavior.

But who is even asking the presidential candidates for their positions on
torture and starving the Palestinians, or what they think of the respected
study that found our war had killed as many as 665,000 Iraqis, as of
almost two years ago?

Do we have any excuse for our abject failure to hold our leaders and
ourselves responsible for our nation's most heinous crimes?

If we cannot bring ourselves to say, "guilty", then "innocent by reason of
insanity" appears to be our only plausible defense before a future court
of the world.

We will have to claim that our minds were not our own. The corporate
media-government propaganda network had grown so ubiquitous that the
people were essentially subjects in a mass brainwashing experiment.
Unfortunately, the experiment was a success, so increasingly absurd
versions of re-manufactured reality were implanted in the public mind.

At the time, some of us complained about cover-ups, lies, all the things
we weren't being told by the media. But the public already knew too much,
so our values had already been subverted to accommodate us to our national
life of crime. In the reality we were fed, deceit could be virtuous,
"terrorists" could destroy us, only leaders could understand the world,
and in "extreme" cases the normal questions of morality did not apply.
This is why we were silent while "our" government committed these terrible
deeds.

The argument has some merit. The elites of this country invented modern
propaganda almost a century ago. Today the immense power of
corporate-political "opinion formation" in certain reaches the public mind
is undeniable. We need to understand how much this system has undermined
the public will and dehumanized our lives.

However, to the extent that we as individuals still possess free will and
are responsible for our own values, we have no excuse for our mute
acceptance of these and other national crimes against humanity. Don't we
pay for them with our taxes, continue them with our votes, and support
them with our silence?

James Brooks serves as webmaster for Vermonters for a Just Peace in
Palestine/Israel. He can be contacted at jamiedb [at] wildblue.net.

NOTES.

1. Occupied Palestinian Territory, Malnutrition in Gaza "as bad as
Zimbabwe" says Clare Short
Relief Web/Christian Aid, 1/30/2003

2. Poll: 10% of Palestinian children have lasting malnutrition effects
Ha'aretz/Associated Press 4/11/2007

3. OPT: Humanitarian work resumes in Gaza as factional fighting ends
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 5/23/2007


--------22 of 22--------

Swarming Congress
Building a Resistance to the 2008 Iraq War Supplemental Funding Bill
By JEFF LAYS
CounterPunch
June 19, 2007

On August 6, Congress begins its month long recess. August 6 also marks
the start of Year 62 After Hiroshima - the one and only time that nuclear
weapons were used. And it marks Year 17 After Iraq Sanctions, when the
brutal economic sanctions regime against Iraq was first imposed by the
international community.

On August 6, the Occupation Project will launch a reinvigorated campaign
of sustained nonviolent civil disobedience / civil resistance to end Iraq
war funding. Office occupations - both legal and extralegal - will
commence at the offices of Representatives and Senators who refuse to
publicly pledge to vote against any additional funding of the Iraq war.
Occupations will continue at least through the end of September. The
Occupation Project will work in conjunction with campaigns organized by
Declaration of Peace, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance,
CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, Grassroots America for Us and others.

The hottest weather of the year occurs in August. Let us commit to
creating the hottest political weather: focused upon Congress to force an
end to the Iraq war. Let us commit to forcing Congress to vote down the
$145 billion being sought in supplemental spending to wage the Iraq -
Afghanistan war through September of 2008. Let us commit to forcing
Congress to force the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end
of this year.

Let us commit to using every nonviolent means at our disposal to defeat
the Iraq war supplemental spending bill for 2008 and to bring every U.S.
soldier home from Iraq by the end of this year.

Last fall, in Panora, Iowa social justice advocates discussed ways to
bring the occupation of Iraq home to the offices of Representatives and
Senators. The Occupation Project grew from these discussions. From
February 5 through Tax Day, over 320 arrests occurred at the offices of 39
Representatives and Senators across the country. 15 of the 39 voted
against the final Iraq war supplemental spending bill that Congress passed
in May. 14 of the 15 who voted against the final bill had voted in favor
of the Iraq war spending bill last year. Actions occurred at the offices
of both Republicans and Democrats - challenging the reality that both
parties are responsible for the ongoing war.

Meanwhile, sustained campaigns of office occupations that did not result
in arrests took place in such diverse locations as Nashville, Tennessee
(the birthplace of the Occupation Project); Huntsville, Alabama; Seattle,
Washington; San Francisco, California; and across the state of Minnesota.
Social justice advocates entered the offices on a weekly basis (and, in
the case of Sacramento, CA, on a daily basis) and occupied the offices,
pressing the demand that the Representative or Senator commit to voting
against any additional funding for the war.

These next three months are critical to ending the war in and occupation
of Iraq. Through the end of July, Grassroots America for Us is organizing
the Swarm on Congress, intensive and extensive lobbying on Capitol Hill.
In August, we must turn up the heat on Representatives and Senators while
they are in their home districts and states for the month long recess.

In early September, General Petraeus will report to Congress on the
progress - or lack thereof - that is being made in Iraq. Shortly after,
the House will vote on HR 2451 as an amendment to the Iraq - Afghanistan
war supplemental spending bill. Next the House will vote on the final
version of the $145 billion war supplemental for FY 2008, and send it to
the Senate for consideration. It will be a one-two punch vote. It is
entirely probable that the final version of the supplemental spending bill
will not be publicly available until less than 24 hours prior to the vote
(the final version of the supplemental passed in May was not publicly
available until the morning of the vote).

H.R. 2451 (sponsored by David Obey and Jim McGovern) requires that the
redeployment of U.S. forces out of Iraq begin within 90 days of enactment.
The partial redeployment is to be completed by June 30, 2008.

HR 2451 will keep U.S. troops in Iraq to: protect the U.S. embassy and
diplomatic personnel; protect U.S. forces remaining in Iraq; engage in
"target special actions limited in duration and scope to killing or
capturing members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations with
global reach"; and to train and equip the Iraqi Security Forces. Erik
Leaver of the Institute for Policy Studies examined nearly identical
language in March 2007 and concluded that it would allow for upwards of
40,000 to 60,000 U.S. troops to remain in Iraq.

Our demand must remain clear: end all funding for the Iraq war and
withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of this year. The language
of HR 2451 is not sufficient.

And what of the argument that a vote against the $145 billion supplemental
spending for 2008 will further endanger the well-being of U.S. troops
currently deployed in Iraq? U.S. troops will not be in danger when the
U.S. withdraws the troops from Iraq. $36 billion of this $145 billion will
be for the procurement of ammunition, weapons systems and combat vehicles
that will not be delivered to the military until 1 to 3 years has passed.
The Army seeks $46 billion for "operations and maintenance" to fund its
actions at current levels through September 30, 2008 - a sure way to place
U.S. soldiers and Iraqi citizens in further danger. (see "Iraq and
Afghanistan Supplemental Spending 2008" at for an in-depth analysis of the
2008 war funding request).

Recall that the President is seeking $482 billion for the baseline
military budget for 2008. That's an 11 percent increase over the current
year's budget-and nearly 62% more than was spent on the military in 2001.
The money is clearly available to safely and quickly withdraw all U.S.
troops from Iraq by the end of this year.

It is easy to be discouraged and lose heart after Congress passed the Iraq
war bill in May. It is easy to be tempted to give up completely on the
legislative process.

But giving up on the legislative process is, indeed, the easy route to
take. It is the route that ensures that the Iraq war will continue as a
war without end.

Instead, we should intensify our legal and extralegal lobbying efforts. We
should recognize that nearly twice as many Representatives voted against
the supplemental this year than last year and that, for the first time,
Senators voted against an Iraq war supplemental spending bill because of
their opposition to the war's continuation (Arlen Specter voted against
the supplemental in 2006 was because he did not believe it provided
sufficient funds for a medical program). We should maintain pressure upon
those Representatives and Senators who voted against the final war
supplemental spending bill-working to ensure that they again vote against
war funding this fall.

We should also recognize that the only way that this war will be ended is
if we organize to exert sufficient pressure on Republicans and Democrats
to force an end to war funding. With this in mind, we should recognize the
tricks of the parliamentary trade and demand that David Obey and Nancy
Pelosi do more to end the war. But we should also recognize that had Obey
bottled up the war supplemental in committee or Pelosi refused to allow a
floor vote, Jerry Lewis (as ranking Republican on the Appropriations
Committee) would have submitted his own version of a war supplemental and
obtained 218 signatures on a discharge petition to force his version to be
voted upon in the House.

Ending the war requires pressure on both Democrats and Republicans - both
via legal lobbying and nonviolent civil disobedience / resistance.

Multiple efforts and allied campaigns are underway to force an end to the
war in and occupation of Iraq. Become engaged with these efforts and
organize locally.

 Join the efforts of the Swarm on Congress, an intensive and extensive
lobbying effort in Washington, D.C. through the end of July initiated by
Grassroots America for Us

 Organize local actions with the Occupation Project campaign of nonviolent
civil disobedience / civil resistance / office occupations to demand that
Representatives and Senators vote to end to all funding for the Iraq war.
A reinvigorated campaign will be launched on August 6 to continue through
the vote on war funding in September. Get involved at
http://vcnv.org/project/the-occupation-project. You can contact the
Occupation Project via email at occupationproject [at] vcnv.org for suggestions
and advice on how to organize a local Occupation Project campaign.
Resources including voting records, legal information, etc. are available
on this website.

 CODEPINK's work includes the Occupation Project and the Don't Buy Bush's
War campaigns (among other critical work to end the war).

 Join the Declaration of Peace campaign efforts. DoP will be lobbying
Representatives and Senators through the summer, culminating with a week
of actions nationally during the critical week of September 14 to 21.
Visit www.declarationofpeace.org

 Participate in the efforts of the National Campaign of Nonviolent
Resistance (NCNR) as it challenges the war in Iraq through nonviolent
direct action. NCNR has organized actions at military recruiting centers,
Congressional offices, the Pentagon and weapons manufacturers. Visit
www.iraqpledge.org.

 Participate in the legislative network of United for Peace and Justice as
well as its nonviolent direct action working group to force an end to the
war. Visit www.unitedforpeace.org

Time is short to end funding for the Iraq war. And the costs are
immeasurably high each day that the war continues. Much organizing work
remains to be done.

Break time is over.

Jeff Leys is Co-Coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and a
national organizer with the Occupation Project campaign. He can be reached
via email, jeffleys [at] vcnv.org.


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