Progressive Calendar 08.09.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 18:30:49 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    08.09.07

1. Palestine vigil 8.10 4:30pm

2. Lake Superior   8.11 8:30am  Split Rock
3. Palestine       8.11 9:30am
4. El Salvador     8.11 11:30am
5. Protest RNC     8.11 4pm
6. Fringe show     8.11 5:30pm
7. Pray for peace  8.11 6:30pm

8. Left booksale   8.12 1pm
9. StillwaterVigil 8.12 1pm
10. MN4P picnic    8.12 4pm

11. Doug Giebel   - What the Bushvolk have done to America
12. Scott Jaschik - The University in Chains/Interview w Henry A Giroux
13. ACLU          - Congress failed freedom
14. ed            - Libertarian Stoplight Control

--------1 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Palestine vigil 8.10 4:30pm

Friday, 8/10, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end the occupation of Palestine,
Snelling & Summit Aves, St Paul.  Karen, 651-283-3495.

--------2 of 14--------

From: Debbie <ddo [at]>
Subject: Lake Superior 8.11 8:30am  Split Rock

Save Lake Superior Association Annual Meeting - Speakers

Saturday, August 11th
Split Rock State Park
Trail Center Building

8:30 Registration
9:00 Speakers with Meeting afterwards
12:00 Potluck Lunch - barbecue, please bring something to share

Registration begins at 8:30 A.M. (Along with coffee and conversation) An
old fashioned pot luck picnic follows at noon with burgers, brats, potato
salad, etc.  Free and open to members and interested individuals but
please bring something for the potluck!

Speakers:  Walter Sve, Commercial Fisherman and Bob Krumenaker, Apostle
Island Superintendent

Speaker: Apostle Island Nat'l Lakeshore Superintendent Bob Krumenaker.
Impact of the extremely low Lake Superior water levels on the Apostle
Island National Park.

Speaker: Walter Sve, Veteran Commercial Fisherman
Walter Sve's, Norwegian heritage will be obvious when he delivers his
"plain talk" to the audience at 9:00 A.M. He and his father were among
those incorporating the Save Lake Superior Association more than three
decades ago and is now a lifetime member. Sve lives within a few miles of
Split Rock and, perhaps more so than any other SLSA member, is intimately
familiar with the Lake­weathering many a storm in his fishing vessel, the
ups and downs offish populations, and the frustration of fighting Reserve
Mining until the case was won.

Rock Lighthouse State Park, 3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd. Two Harbors, MN
55616 Minn. Hwy. 61, 20 miles northeast of Two Harbors.

Membership - only $5.00 a year!!!!

If you can't join us at the annual meeting but want to join SLSA, please
send $5.00 to SLSA, PO Box 101, Two Harbors, MN 55616
For more information contact LeRoger Lind, President llind [at]

--------3 of 14--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Palestine 8.11 9:30am

"Palestinian/Israeli Peace: Is There Any Hope?" Dr. Mitri Raheb
Saturday, August 11, 9:30 a.m. to Noon Hennepin County Southdale Library,
7001 York Avenue South, Edina.

Reverend Dr. Mitri Raheb, pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in
Bethlehem, Palestine, will speak on "Palestinian/Israeli Peace: Is There
Any Hope?" Dr. Raheb is director of the International Center of Bethlehem.
He believes that the calling to his congregation, in a time of pervasive
despair among Palestinians, provide signs of hope. The International
Center of Bethlehem seeks to give hope to both Muslims and Christians in
the Bethlehem area through a variety of community-serving programs. Dr.
Raheb is the author of "I Am a Palestinian Christian" (1995) and
"Bethlehem Besieged: Stories of Hope in Times of Trouble" (2004).
Sponsored by: Middle East Peace Now (MEPN). FFI: Call Florence Steichen,

--------4 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: El Salvador 8.11 11:30am

Saturday, 8/11, 11:30 am to 1 pm, documentary film "Difficult Dreams: Coming
of Age in El Salvador" and talk with director Jim Winship, Waite House
Neighborhood Center, 2529 - 13th Ave S, Mpls.

--------5 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Protest RNC 8.11 4pm

Saturday, 8/11, 4 pm, meeting of allies coordinating committee to protest
the Republican National Convention in 2008, Walker Church, 3104 - 16th Ave
S, Mpls.

--------6 of 14--------

From: Chante Wolf Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 <vfpchapter27 [at]>
Subject: Fringe show 8.11 5:30pm

Dear friends,
I hope you can come to see our MN FRINGE show LIVING THE QUESTIONS.  Our
first two performances were very well received, including a faborable
notice in the Strib!  I think it has turned out to be a funny, touching,
beautiful show. Find show times and a show description below.

Sincerely, Rachel Nelson

LIVING THE QUESTIONS - a MN Fringe Festival show
Red Eye Theater
15 14th St. West
Minneapolis, MN   55403

SATURDAY, AUG. 11  5:30 pm
SUNDAY, AUG. 12      1:00 pm
A BardLive Production
co-sponsored by Veterans for Peace
Tickets:  Uptown Tix 651-209-6799

Performance artist Rachel Nelson, photographer/activist Chante Wolf, and
videographer/director Kym Longhi collaborate in a cabaret evening
exploring the Big Questions.  No answers, mind you?just posing the
questions, and inviting you to do the same.

In this ?response? collaboration of theater and photography/videography,
Nelson?s ?BardLive? cabaret of songs, stories, and poems is answered by
Wolf?s photos, choreographed into exquisite entr?acte video sequences by
Kym Longhi. A drumscape created by Sally Blumenfeld and Linda Melcher
carries the heartbeat.

Come.  Live the questions with us for an evening.  Atmosphere by
activist/photographer Chante Wolf, drumscape by Blumenfeld and Melcher,
final questions by you.

Rachel Nelson is a fiscal Year 2007 recipient of a career Development
grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council ( which
is made possible through an appropriation from The McKnight Foundation.

--------7 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
        Subject: Pray for peace 8.11 6:30pm

Saturday, 8/11, 6:30 to 7:15 pm, Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet present
11th day prayer for peace, Presentation Chapel, 1880 Randolph Ave, St Paul. or 651-690-7079.

--------8 of 14--------

From: Michael Wood <mwood42092 [at]>
Subject: Left booksale 8.12 1pm

PROGRESSIVE BOOKSALE. With special guest Teresa Albano, the editor of PWW.
Sunday, August 12, 1:00-3:00 p.m., Indian Mounds Park in St. Paul (on the
corner of Earl and Mounds Boulevard). Sponsored by the Communist Party of
Minnesota. FFI: 651-776-2027

Please come join your fellow activists (both Communists and
non-Communists) at a great picnic with both burgers and vegetarian eats.
Buy that perfect out-of-print anti-war or Lenin book that you've been
looking for (or something modern). Feel free to donate to the great
newspaper that you may have been given at an anti-war protest or a union
rally--the 'People's Weekly World.' All are welcome and none are turned
Note: Bus #70 goes to Earl.

--------9 of 14--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 8.12 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560

--------10 of 14--------

From: "Krista Menzel (Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace)" <web [at]>
Subject: MN4P potluck picnic 8.12 4pm

Minnesota Neighbors for Peace Metro-Wide Potluck Picnic
Sunday, August 12, 2007
4:00­8:00 p.m.

Newell Park, 900 North Fairview Avenue (corner of Fairview and Pierce
Butler Route), St. Paul

All friends and neighbors interested in supporting efforts for peace are
welcome! Please join us for a casual picnic, a time to feast and socialize
with friends old and new while enjoying a beautiful summer evening. Bring
the kids!

Please bring a dish to share as well as your own beverage, and blanket or
lawn chair. We will provide plates and utensils. A grill will be
available, so bring charcoal if you would like to barbecue. No alcohol is
allowed in the park and dogs must be on a leash at all times.

Note: If you are campaigning for a political office or publicizing your
organization, you are welcome to attend, bring literature, and talk to
individuals, but we ask that you don't disrupt the social tone of this
event by "stumping" or making announcements.

Sponsored by: Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace, Crocus Hill/West 7th
Neighbors for Peace, and Northwest Neighbors for Peace
More Info:, info [at], (651) 641-7592


[Here's a note from an anonymous Green who is familiar with MN4P people
voting for Dems who then vote for war:

I would like to have Greens attend with the purpose of speaking to these
peace makers .... explain to them that they are supporting the war regime
.. etc and that the peace movement needs its own party.]

--------11 of 14--------

Letter from Montana
What the Bushvolk Have Done to America
August 9, 2007

Having spun out many words over the disaster in Iraq, about President Bush
and the disaster wrought by Bushvolk in Washington, D.C., I now conclude
that there is little more to be said regarding either disaster that hasn't
already been said. Even diehard John Burns, top New York Times man in
Baghdad and on Charlie Rose, is moving out, reluctantly admitting that the
disaster in Iraq has been a lost cause from the beginning. Maybe he should
have said "before the beginning." Wonder what else is new at the Times.

In their soundbites and stump mouthsfull, the shout and spend candidates
hoping to star as next President of these United States have mostly
nothing new to say either, whether or not somebody's foot is in the mouth
of the campaigners. Their trail mix of rhetoric sounds about as appetizing
at it always does. Message: It's o.k. You go on dying, redeploying,
starving, going deeper into debt, living in decaying and dangerous
"infrastructures." It's no big deal. Just wait until "I" get in the
what-me-worry White House and everything's gonna be coming up daffodils.

As for that confusing occupation of Iraq, the people of these United
States seem pretty united and want to end the blood-and-guts bath soon as
possible. Only politicians and our war-hungry milidustrial complex seem
hellbent on baiting Armegeddon for the most craven of reasons.

Hot afternoons out here, Montana is burning, the rains aren't coming, the
National Guard is occupied elsewhere, people coughing from the
smoke-filled air can't afford health insurance for their own personal
infrastructures, and it's harder than ever to make and hold onto a buck or
two. Same as a lot of other places in America and in Iraq. The deep-pocket
tenderfeet and their bought-and-paid-for politicians control the deck and
deal from the bottom as usual.

No rube in Montana should have the right to tell you that the Bushvolk
came into office to bankrupt the country so as to get rid of
bleeding-ulcer programs they despise - but that's what I wrote to you
several years ago. And sure enough, that's what the Bushvolk and a
rear-kissing Congress did and continue to do by dragging out the madhouse
occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Over here, though, everything's
hunky-dory because instead of asking us to park our shootin' irons at the
saloon front counter they make us take off our boots in the airport. To
the chagrin of those terrorists, they've made American socks and feet a
whole lot more pleasant.

No rube in Montana should have the right to tell you that the Bushvolk and
their many manly minions were planning to inhabit and occupy Iraq for ages
to come, but that's what I wrote several years ago, and wouldn't you just
know, they're still planning to make Iraq the 51st state. Where else would
the world's most brilliant leaders build the world's largest embassy but
in the middle of Baghdad? Instead of Gene Autry, suddenly from behind a
big rock, Ozymandias rides out of the sand to whoop it up and rule again.

Used to be said you could tell a sidewinder when he was lying because his
mouth was open. Now it makes no difference whether or not a politico's
mouth is open or shut. Look at Alberto Gonzalez, the right hand
rights-slinger and Texas death penalty decider for Bush the Compassionate.

Oh, well. Still, maybe there is one more thing to be written about Iraq.
The Fear Lovers keep promoting hysteria with, "We have to fight 'em over
there so we don't have to fight 'em over here." The folks who buy this
lingo are the ones who still believe no bridge over Minnesota's troubled
water could fall down and cause a stampede of talk about the need to fix
that ubiquitous "infrastructure." Fearful citizens are mobbed into
agreement because they've been led to think of those dark-skinned savages
in the Middle East as a bunch of ignorant, backward religious fanatics
bent on "destroying America as we know it."

Why, sooner than you could say, Hi-Yo, Silver!" the Terrorist Air Force
and the Taliban Navy will have us surrounded and on its knees trying to
speak Arabic or some such unAmerican immigrant language and closing down
the Wal-Mart parking lots for good.

While some of "America as we know it" could use a good disinfection dip,
we may not have had another attack on the "homeland" since 9/11 because
nobody has tried to make an attack. But the real reason we're safe is
because the terrorists are smart enough to know that as long as
over-stressed and over-deployed Americans are conveniently in their
neighborhoods, the terrorists don't need to attack our homes on the range
over here.

If it's kosher for a white man to say it, my Native American brothers and
sisters have a bitter know-how for what an "occupation" means. Things keep
going as they are and this enlightened government will bear any burden,
pay any price to appropriate Iraq, confine its savage citizens on
reservations (Joe Biden has the plan), and secure Fort Green Zone while
bugles strike up the colors and black oil flows as water from heaven.

Or so, my friend, it seems from Montana.

Doug Giebel welcomes comment at dougcatz [at]

--------12 of 14--------

The University in Chains
Interview with Henry A. Giroux
by Scott Jaschik / August 9th, 2007

Who controls higher education? Henry A. Giroux argues in his new book that
academe has ceded too much power to the worlds of business and the
military. In The University in Chains: Confronting the
Military-Industrial-Academic Complex (Paradigm), he outlines the problems
he sees and calls on professors to take back direction of their campuses.
Giroux is the Global Television Network Professor of English and cultural
studies at McMaster University, in Canada. Previously, he taught at
Boston, Miami and Penn State Universities. Giroux responded recently to
questions about the themes of his new book.

Scott Jaschik: You start your book with President Eisenhower's warning
about the military-industrial complex. Why was academe left out and how
does the warning apply to higher education?

Henry A. Giroux: Why the academy was left out of Eisenhower's original
speech is a matter of open speculation, but it has been argued that some
of Eisenhower's advisors felt that including the term in the original
formulation would have unduly besmirched the sanctity of higher education.
And more importantly, it would have targeted and discredited higher
education at the Ivy League schools, which played a major role in
educating the rich and powerful classes with the knowledge, values, and
skills necessary to assume leadership in business and government. At the
same time, Eisenhower clearly recognized that the arms industry, the
defense establishment, and their Congressional supporters represented a
combination of unwarranted power and influence whose existence presented a
danger to the university in its capacity as "a fountainhead of free ideas
and scientific discovery".

He was particularly concerned about the influence the
military-industrial-academic complex would have on the autonomy of
research, teaching, and a culture of learning conducive to educating an
informed and critical citizenry. In light of the growing militarization
and corporatization of American society, the transition in the last 30
years of the United States from a liberal-welfare state to a warfare
state, it is clear that the semi-autonomous nature of higher education has
been more profoundly compromised, especially with the increasing
withdrawal of state and federal funding for higher education.

I began with Eisenhower's speech in the book in order to underscore that
at least historically there was a deep concern about the autonomy of the
university and the necessity for it to have some remove from the influence
of military and corporate power. Eisenhower's warning about the
military-industrial-academic complex strikes me as more worrisome today
than when it was delivered in 1961. While some critics might believe that
higher education is a hotbed of left-wing radicalism and that college
campuses are "intellectually akin to North Korea," as the notable
syndicated columnist George Will once quipped, the fact is that the
greatest threat faced by higher education is its annexation by the
military-industrial complex and its attack by a well funded group of right
wing ideologues and foundations, the result being a fundamental change in
the university's relationship with the larger society that necessarily
signals a crisis in democracy and the critical educational foundation upon
which it rests.

SJ: What most concerns you about military ties to higher education?

HA: One of my most serious concerns is the transformation of higher
education into a "militarized knowledge factory," made obvious by the
presence of over 150 military-educational institutions in the United
States designed to train tomorrow's officers in the strategies, values,
skills, and knowledge of the warfare state but also, as the American
Association of Universities points out, by the existence of hundreds of
colleges and universities that conduct Pentagon-funded research, provide
classes to military personnel, appropriate theory and knowledge for
military purposes, and design programs specifically for future employment
with various departments and agencies associated with the warfare state.
After decades of underfunding, especially within the humanities, faculty
are lured to the Department of Defense, the Pentagon, and various
intelligence agencies either to procure government jobs or to apply for
grants to support individual research in the service of the national
security state and the U.S. government's commitment to global military

Military-oriented research programs and knowledge are now being funded to
produce new and innovative ways to fight wars, develop sophisticated
surveillance technologies, and produce new military weapons. Based on the
assumption that weapons of destruction, surveillance, and death insure
freedom and security, such research not only displaces compelling
environmental, health, and life-sustaining challenges in the interests of
military priorities but is also antithetical to fostering a culture of
public disclosure, transparency, questioning, dialogue, and exchange, all
of which are central to the university as a democratic public sphere.
Similarly, the 16 intelligence agencies are using higher education to
train potential spies or other national security operatives, often under
the cloak of secrecy. In such cases, the fundamental principles of public
accountability, academic freedom, and open debate are either compromised
or severely endangered.

Moreover, an increasing number of colleges and universities are trying to
attract Pentagon money by jumping into the market for online and
off-campus programs, often altering their curricula and delivery services
to attract part of the lucrative education market for military personnel.
The rush to cash in on such changes has been dramatic, particularly for
online, for-profit educational institutions. What I think is problematic
is both the nature of these programs and the wider culture of
privatization and militarization legitimated by them. With respect to the
former, the incursion of the military presence in higher education
furthers and deepens the ongoing privatization of education and knowledge
itself. Most of the players in this market are for-profit institutions
that are problematic not only for the quality of education they offer but
also for their aggressive support of education less as a public good than
as a private initiative and saleable commodity, defined in this case
through providing a service to the military in return for a considerable
profit. And as this sector of higher education grows, it will not only
become more privatized but also more instrumentalized, largely defined as
a credentializing factory designed to serve the needs of the military,
thus falling into the trap of confusing training with a broad-based
education. Catering to the educational needs of the military makes it all
the more difficult to offer educational programs that would challenge
militarized notions of identity, knowledge, values, ideas, social
relations, and visions.

At a time when civil liberties are under attack, intelligence agencies are
illegally engaged in data mining, the separation of powers is increasingly
undermined by an imperial presidency, and the CIA abducts people who then
"disappear" into the torture chambers of authoritarian regimes, it is all
the more imperative that higher education educate students to consider the
consequences of the creeping militarization of American society. In
addition, military institutions radiate power in their communities and
often resemble updated versions of the old company towns of
nineteenth-century America - inhospitable to dissent, cultural
differences, people who take risks, and any discourse that might question
authority. What all of this suggests is that the sheer power of the
military apparatus, further augmented by its corporate and political
alliances and fueled by an enormous budget, provide the military-oriented
institutions with a powerful arm-twisting ability capable of shaping
research agendas, imposing military values, normalizing militarized
knowledge as a fact of daily life, supporting military solutions to a
range of diverse problems, and bending higher education to its will, an
ominous and largely ignored disaster that is in the making in the United

SJ: You write critically about the corporate influence over academe. Do
you believe there is a legitimate role for business to play in higher
education? What would such a role look like?

HA: As someone who has an endowed chair sponsored by a corporate funder, I
think it is clear that I believe that business has a constructive role to
play in education. Indeed, the two have had a relationship historically.
But at the same time, I think it is important to recognize that one
indication of how the mentality of the market influences higher education
can be seen in the currently fashionable idea of the university as a
"franchise," largely indifferent to deepening and expanding the
possibilities of democratic public life and increasingly apathetic to the
important role the academy can play in addressing matters of public
welfare and public service. As universities adopt the ideology of the
corporation and become subordinated to the needs of capital they are less
concerned about how they might educate students in the ideology and
practice of governance, the political importance of democratic values, and
the necessity of using knowledge to address the challenges of public life,
focusing instead on increasing profits and market values, identities, and
social relations.

I believe that education should neither be modeled after the business
world nor allow its power and influence to undermine the semi-autonomy of
the higher education by inordinately reigning control and power over its
faculty, curricula, and students. More important, the question is what
form is the relationship between corporation and higher education going to
take in the 21st century? In the best of all worlds, corporations would
view higher education as much more than merely a training center for
future business employees, a franchise for generating profits, or a space
in which corporate culture and education merge in order to produce
literate consumers. On the contrary, corporations have a far more
important and socially responsible role to assume as corporate citizens in
supporting higher education. That is, how might corporations use their
wealth, power, and influence to expand the crucial role that universities
play in promoting the public good, nurturing students to be critically
engaged citizens, expanding research opportunities that address important
social issues, and offering their services in connecting higher education
to the new technologies.

Given the vast underfunding of the liberal arts, corporations could
perform an incredible important public service by investing in the
humanities with the funds, infrastructure, and technologies they need to
provide a critical education to all students, while working to shift
corporate priorities away from financial investments that merely educate
students as consumers, workers, and soldiers. Higher education has a
deeper responsibility not only to search for the truth regardless of where
it may lead but also to educate students to make authority politically and
morally accountable and to expand both academic freedom and the
possibility and promise of the university as a bastion of democratic
inquiry, values, and politics. I am not cynical enough to believe that the
corporate sector doesn't place some value on the capacities of its
employees to think, creatively, and responsibly.

SJ: How do you think the state of academic freedom has changed since 9/11?

HA: Criticisms of the university as a stronghold of dissent have a long
and inglorious history in the United States, extending from attacks in the
19th century by religious fundamentalists to anti-communist witch-hunts
conducted in the 1920s, 1930s, and again in the 1950s, during the infamous
era of McCarthyism. Harkening back to the infamous McCarthy era, a newly
reinvigorated war is currently being waged by Christian nationalists,
reactionary neoconservatives, and corporate fundamentalists against the
autonomy and integrity of all those independent institutions that foster
social responsibility, critical thought, and critical citizenship.

While the attack is being waged on numerous fronts, the universities are
where the major skirmishes are taking place. What is unique about this
attack on academic freedom are the range and scope of the forces waging an
assault on higher education. It is much worse today, because corporations,
the national security state, the Pentagon, powerful Christian evangelical
groups, non-government agencies, and enormously wealthy right-wing
individuals and institutions have created powerful alliances - the perfect
storm so to speak - that are truly threatening the freedoms and
semi-autonomy of American universities. Higher education in the United
States is currently being targeted by a diverse number of right-wing
forces that have assumed political power and are waging an aggressive and
focused campaign against the principles of academic freedom, sacrificing
critical pedagogical practice in the name of patriotic correctness and
dismantling the ideal of the university as a bastion of independent
thought, and uncorrupted inquiry. Ironically, it is through the vocabulary
of individual rights, academic freedom, balance, and tolerance that these
forces are attempting to slander, even vilify, an allegedly liberal and
left-oriented professoriate, to cut already meager federal funding for
higher education, to eliminate tenure, and to place control of what is
taught and said in classrooms under legislative oversight.

There is more at work in the current attack than the rampant
anti-intellectualism and paranoid style of American politics outlined in
Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, written over
40 years ago. There is also the collective power of radical right-wing
organizations, which in their powerful influence on all levels of
government in spite of a democratically controlled Congress and most
liberal social institutions feel compelled to dismantle the open,
questioning cultures of the academy. Underlying recent attacks on the
university is an attempt not merely to counter dissent but to destroy it
and in doing so to eliminate all of those remaining public spaces,
spheres, and institutions that nourish and sustain a culture of
questioning so vital to a democratic civil society. Dissent is often
equated with treason; the university is portrayed as the weak link in the
war on terror by powerful educational agencies; professors who advocate a
culture of questioning and critical engagement run the risk of having
their names posted on Internet web sites while being labeled as
un-American; and various right-wing individuals and politicians
increasingly attempt to pass legislation that renders critical analysis a
liability and reinforces, with no irony intended, a rabid
anti-intellectualism under the call for balance and intellectual
diversity. Genuine politics begins to disappear as people methodically
lose those freedoms and rights that enable them to speak, act, dissent,
and exercise both their individual right to resistance and a shared sense
of collective responsibility.

While higher education is only one site, it is one of the most crucial
institutional and political spaces where democratic subjects can be
shaped, democratic relations can be experienced, and anti-democratic forms
of power can be identified and critically engaged. It is also one of the
few spaces left where young people can think critically about the
knowledge they gain, learn values that refuse to reduce the obligations of
citizenship to either consumerism or the dictates of the national security
state, and develop the language and skills necessary to defend those
institutions and social relations that are vital to a substantive
democracy. As the philosopher Hannah Arendt insisted, a meaningful
conception of politics appears only when concrete spaces exist for people
to come together to talk, think critically, and act on their capacities
for empathy, judgment, and social responsibility. What the current attack
on higher education threatens is a notion of the academy that is faithful
to its role as a crucial democratic public sphere, one that offers a space
both to resist the "dark times" in which we now live and to embrace the
possibility of a future forged in the civic struggles requisite for a
viable democracy.

SJ: In your conclusion, you talk about strategies to "retake the
university". Can you describe them?

HA: It is worth noting that my reference to "retaking the university"
should not be confused with the idea of taking over the university, a more
militaristic and overly determined political concept that I want to avoid
altogether. "Retaking the university" is not a call for any one ideology
on the political spectrum to "take over" the university. But at the same
time, it does suggest the need for educators and others to take a stand
about the purpose and meaning of higher education and the latter's crucial
role in educating students to participate in an inclusive democracy.
"Retaking the university" is an ethical referent and a call to action for
educators, parents, students, and others to reclaim higher education as a
democratic public sphere, a place where teaching is not confused with
either training, militarism, or propaganda, a safe space where reason,
understanding, dialogue, and critical engagement are available to all
faculty and students.

Higher education, in this reading, becomes a site of ongoing struggle to
preserve and extend the conditions in which autonomy of judgment and
freedom of action are informed by the democratic imperatives of equality,
liberty, and justice. Higher education has always, though in damaged
forms, served as a symbolic and concrete reminder that the struggle for
democracy is, in part, an attempt to liberate humanity from the blind
obedience to authority and that individual and social agency gain meaning
primarily through the freedoms guaranteed by the public sphere, freedoms
in which the autonomy of individuals only becomes meaningful under those
conditions that likewise insure the workings of an autonomous society. The
call to "retake the university," then, is a reminder that the educational
conditions that make democratic identities, values, and politics possible
and effective have to be fought for more urgently at a time when
democratic public spheres, public goods, and public spaces are under
attack by a number of fundamentalisms that share the common dominator of
disabling a substantive notion of democratic ethics and politics.

More specifically, I am calling for strategies to reclaim those modes of
governance, teaching, scholarship, and service that both recognize the
promise of the university as a bastion of democracy and are critical of
the anti-democratic forces now working to instrumentalize, commodify, and
militarize it. We are witnessing a dangerous confluence of higher
education, the military, and corporate power. The ongoing
vocationalization of higher education, the commodification of the
curriculum, the increasing connection between the military and
universities through joint research projects and Pentagon scholarships,
and the transformation of students into consumers have undermined colleges
and universities in their efforts to offer students the knowledge and
skills they need for learning how to govern as well as develop the
capacities necessary for deliberation, reasoned arguments, and the
obligations of civic responsibility. For these forces to be challenged by
existing and future generations, higher education should provide the modes
of critical education and pedagogy that expose students to a genuine
intellectual culture, one that is equally pleasurable, stimulating, and

At the very least, such higher education should not only provide students
with a broad general education but also equip them with the habits of
critical thought and a passion for social responsibility that enables them
to take seriously their participation in public life. What has become
clear is that the deeply rooted incursion of corporate values, right-wing
ideological politics, and military culture into university life undermines
the university's obligation to provide students with an education that
allows them to take seriously John Dewey's insistence that ".democracy
needs to be reborn in each generation, and education is its midwife". The
call for strategies to retake higher education also argues for making
higher education available to all people, regardless of wealth and
privilege. Higher education has to be democratized and cannot be
tuition-driven, which reinforces differential opportunities for students
based on their ability to pay.

I also argue that within the universities and colleges today, power is
top-heavy, largely controlled by trustees and administrators and removed
from those who actually do the work of the university - namely, the
faculty, staff, and students. Much needed reforms include protecting the
jobs of full-time faculty, turning adjunct jobs into full-time positions,
expanding benefits to part-time workers, and putting power into the hands
of faculty and students. Protecting the jobs of full-time faculty means
ensuring that this right to academic freedom, are paid a decent wage, and
have a significant role in governing the university. A weak faculty
translates into a faculty without rights or power, one that is governed by
fear rather than by shared responsibilities and is susceptible to
labor-bashing tactics such as increased workloads, contract labor, and the
suppression of dissent. Adjunct or part-time educators must be given the
opportunity to break the cycle of exploitative labor and, within a short
period of time, be considered for full-time positions with full benefits
and the power to influence governance policies. If the university is to
emphasize a discourse of enlightenment, ethics, vision, and democratic
politics over the language of militarization, political orthodoxy, and
market fundamentalism, it is crucial that higher education honor its
students by not only providing them with crucial skills and knowledge but
also giving them the opportunity to appropriate and exercise a language of
critique and possibility as part of a broader effort to connect what they
learn in the classroom to the larger world and the promise of an inclusive
and substantive democracy. Higher education should be a place where
imagining the unimaginable matters as part of an effort not only to get
students to think otherwise but also to act otherwise in the service of
taking the promise of democracy seriously. This is why taking back the
university is so crucial.

SJ: Your arguments are likely to resonate with readers on the left. What
would be your approach to getting someone who doesn't share your politics
on why he or she should take the ideas in your book seriously?

HA: I think there are a few issues that might characterize such an
approach. First, it is crucial to be as persuasive as possible in getting
others to recognize that education is crucial to the renewal and extension
of democratic life - but also the sustainability of the planet.
Corporatism and militarism don't just infringe on the pursuit of higher
learning, they have also produced irreparable damage to the environment as
well as considerable risk to health, global peace, notions of democratic
transparency, accountability, equality and the public good. We need
critical debate, dialogue, and exchange about these issues, and,
hopefully, The University in Chains will promote such an engagement among
a wide variety of groups. At the same time, such exchanges are being
jeopardized by the current widespread politics of certainty,
fundamentalism, patriotic correctness, national chauvinism, fear, and

Second, I would hope that the book, given its concern with the
relationship between democracy and education, serves as an invitation to
engage in self-reflection and dialogue rather than to close down such
vital democratic practices. Third, one has to have some faith in the power
of reason, argument, and evidence as well as in the importance of critical
engagement and persuasion to believe that people will approach the book
not as an act of bad faith but as a sincere attempt to engage others who
have quite different ideological and political views. Far from being a
manifesto, I am hoping this book serves as both a warning and an
invitation to think more deeply about not only the crisis of higher
education but also the crisis of democracy itself, including, most
importantly, what it might mean to transform such a crisis into renewed
hope and action for a more democratic future.

Scott Jaschik writes for Inside Higher Education where this article first
appeared. Read other articles by Scott.

This article was posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2007 at 6:05 am and is
filed under Education and Academic Freedom.

--------13 of 14--------

Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 13:49:28 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Anthony D. Romero, ACLU" <Executive_Director [at]>
Subject: Congress Failed Freedom

Congress Failed Freedom
From the desk of Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director, ACLU

Democratic "leaders" have crossed the line and betrayed the will of the
majority who put them in power in 2006. This week, a timid Congress caved
in to President Bush and his demand for more out-of-control authority to
spy on Americans.

The FISA gutting legislation voted on last weekend allows for massive,
untargeted collection of Americans' international communications without
court order. The law allows for no meaningful oversight by either Congress
or the courts and leaves decisions about the collection, mining and use of
American information up to the Bush Administration's Attorney General,
Alberto Gonzales. Tell Congress you believe in the Constitution and demand
that it fix this legislation:

In short, instead of putting the brakes on the Bush Administration's
continued and reckless abuse of power, Congress handed them more power to
invade our privacy and ignore our Constitutional rights.

And it never had to happen if leaders in the House and Senate had had the
courage to take a stand and say "no more" to the Bush administration.

We need you to stand with us and tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that we're sick and tired of Congress
failing to defend freedom.

The ACLU is launching a major new campaign to hold Congress accountable.
But we can't do it without you. Stand with us today as we send Senator
Reid and Speaker Pelosi a wake up call. Tell Reid and Pelosi: "We Won't
Let Congress Fail Freedom" by signing the petition:

Congress can only redeem itself by taking immediate action on four key

* End unchecked surveillance and warrantless spying on Americans.
* Restore habeas corpus and due process.
* Shut down Guantánamo Bay and give those held there access to justice.
* Stop torture and secret "renditions" to countries that torture.

Democrats were elected to stop a President that is out of control - not
grease the wheels for further abuse. In the weeks ahead, the ACLU will
mobilize activists across the country, run newspaper ads in the districts
of members who sold out the Constitution, and bury Capitol Hill in a sea
of petitions protesting Congress' utter failure to stand up for the rule
of law. If Members of Congress only respond to political pressure, then
that's what we'll give them. Are you with us? Sign the petition:

This Congress has proven to be as spineless in standing up to the Bush
Administration as the one that enacted the Patriot Act and the Military
Commissions Act. That's why it is so important that you immediately sign
our "Don't Let Congress Fail Freedom" petition right now:

Only a huge public outcry can convince a Congress that is afraid of its
own shadow to stand up to the President on our four pressing demands.
Please act right now.

In defense of freedom,
Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director


Today, the ACLU is filing an unprecedented demand with the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court. We're seeking the disclosure of court
records cited by supporters of the president's horrendous FISA overhaul.

These secret documents have played a pivotal role in the undoing of legal
safeguards that have stood for three decades. But no debate can occur in a
vacuum. As Congress and the people struggle for a resolution to this
assault on our privacy, an open review of these judicial orders is
required to ensure that the democratic process endures.

* Learn more about the ACLU's efforts to unseal FISA court documents:

--------14 of 14--------

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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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