Progressive Calendar 08.17.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 02:53:13 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    08.17.07

1. Art/support CIW     8.17 8pm

2. UofM AFSCME/strike  8.18 10am
3. Venezuela/coop      8.18 10am
4. NWN4P-Minnetonka    8.18 11am

5. Cuba/US             8.19 12:30pm
6. Stillwater vigil    8.19 1pm
7. Korten/GreatTurning 8.19 3pm
8. Amnesty Intl        8.19 3pm
9. KFAI/Indian         8.19 7pm

10. War made easy/film 8.20 6:30pm
11. BushIsBad/musical  8.20 8pm

12. PC Roberts      - "No American president can stand up to Israel"
13. Felice Pace     - NPR pro-Israel bias
14. George Bisharat - Boycott movement targets Israel
15. Dave Lindorff   - Terrorist nation? Takes one to know one
16. Mark Drolette   - With the Dems, everything's just Vichy keen
17. Manuel GarciaJr - President Cindy!
18. Edna StV Millay - An ancient gesture  (poem)

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

From: Brian Payne <brianpayneyvp [at]>
Subject: Art/support CIW 8.17 8pm

Solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is picking up
around the country with more and more protests at Burger King (  It's time for the Twin Cities to represent!
Tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 17 at 8pm we'll be having an art-making party at
the Greenhouse to make art for a Burger King Protest on Monday, Aug. 20 at
5pm (location TBA).  BYOB...

Art-Making Party to support the CIW
Friday, August 17, 8pm - ???
The Greenhouse
2915 James Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN

Fair food that respects human rights, not fast food that exploits human

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

From: Jess Sundin <jess.sundin [at]>
Subject: UofM AFSCME/strike 8.18 10am

Sisters and Brothers,

We in AFSCME 3260, 3800, 3801 and 3937 need your support and solidarity.
On Friday night August 10th, the University brought a "settlement offer"
to the AFSCME joint negotiations committee. Our committee has sent this on
to our members, recommending that we vote to "reject and strike." A strike
vote for all four locals is set for next Thursday, August 23. We need you
to stand behind us.

This University's wage offer does not come close to meeting our economic
needs, and does nothing to make up the pay cuts that our members have
faced over the last several contracts. We've faced wage freezes, lost out
on annual step increases, and confronted a huge rise in health care
premiums. All of this, while rising inflation has taken 4 to 5% out of our
pay checks every year. The University Administration has justified these
attacks, by calling on its lowest paid employees to "share the pain."

This year, University AFSCME stands united, saying enough is enough. This
is the year, and this is the contract, when the University needs to start
paying back years of our lost wages. We expect that our members will
support the negotiating committee by authorizing a strike. We need your
solidarity as we move ahead.

Community support was crucial to the success of the strike by AFSCME 3800
in 2003. This year, all the University AFSCME locals need your support
again. We are asking our supporters on campus, in the community, and in
the labor movement to help us win a contract that our members, and our
members' families, can live with. We are calling for the first Labor and
Community Strike Support Committee meeting, this Saturday, August 18th at
10am at the UTEC building in Dinkytown, 1313 5th Street SE, Room 102A,

Please join us for this meeting, to find out how you can support our
struggle for justice for University workers. If you have questions, feel
free to contact the Strike Support Committee at (612)234-8774 or *
support [at]*. You are also welcome to contact me directly at
612.272.2209 (cell). Please forward this request to others who may be
interested in joining us. Information for supporters will be posted soon
at **.

In solidarity,
Jess Sundin U of M AFSCME

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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Venezuela/coop 8.18 10am

Saturday, 8/18, 10 to 11;30 am, Kellie Germond presents a new documentary
on a Venezuelan co-op, Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha
Ave, Mpls.

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

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: NWN4P-Minnetonka 8.18 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. Signs available.

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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Cuba/US 8.19 12:30pm

Sunday, 8/19, 12:30 to 2 pm, Peace with Justice Forum presents speaker
Mavis Anderson speaking on "Cuba and the United States: Strands of a
Failed Policy," Central Lutheran Church, 3rd Ave and 12th St, Mpls.  $7
lunch available; validated parking available in the Central parking ramp
beside church.  dhilden [at] or 612-825-1581.

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

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 8.19 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

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

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Korten/Great Turning 8.19 3pm

Ideas to Mobilize People Against Corporate Tyranny (IMPACT) facilitates a
discussion of:
"Dr. David Korten: The Great Turning from Empire to Earth Community"

Sunday, August 19th, 3 - 5 pm
Acadia Café
Franklin and Nicollet Aves, Mpls

As part of our sustainability series, IMPACT will play a 50 minute video
presentation featuring author David Korten (recorded in April).  Korten
oulines the coming of radically changing times; impending peak oil along
with climate and economic crises will deeply affect our culture.  Korten
asks: will we shift our society away from a continuing quest for empire
and towards a sustainable earth-based community?

Following the video, IMPACT will host a discussion including roles that we
can play in moving towards sustainability.

** the event is FREE, please consider patronizing our host: Acadia Cafe **

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

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 8.19 3pm

Join us for our regular meeting on Sunday, August 19th, from 3:00 to 5:00

This month's meeting will be our annual pot luck and planning meeting. We
will discuss ideas for group activity and organization with an eye toward
the future in a casual, picnic setting.

Everyone is welcome -- Please bring a dish or beverages to share.

Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis
(corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot
behind the center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn).

A map and directions are available on-line:

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

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at]>
Subject: KFAI/Indian 8.19 7pm

KFAI¹s Indian uprising for Aug. 19th, 2007 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT =

YOU'RE NOT INDIAN, YOU'RE MEXICAN by Vivian Delgado, Ph.D., Turtle Island
Press, paperback, 214 pp. ³American
Indian history to the east followed a pattern of genocide and removal
westward.  However, upon the arrival of Indigenous people from the east to
the western states, genocide continued; but an arid landscape coupled with
violently hostile Native Americans who had been sharpening a
specialization in violence upon Spainish, French, and even other Native
American forces for centuries, gave rise to the mythical and legendary
wars of the west. An important aspect of this was the rise of the mestizo
nation, members of which have been commonly identified as Mexicanos.
Mexicanos formed a ubiquitous and integral part of any frontier
settlement - nearly all of these Mexican people were ultimately of Native
American ancestry and formed a substratum at all levels of society²

³This study is intended to showcase the lack of information or
misinformation that some Native Americans and Indigenous Mexicans have
long held about each other. It is not an attempt to downplay any
interaction that has already taken place on a political, social,
emotional, or spiritual level both good and bad. The intent is to
highlight the contributions and similarities and differences that binds
them together, perhaps consciously and unconsciously in a way that brings
them together and keeps them apart.²

Guest:Vivian Delgado (Yaqui/Puebloean) has written a significant amount of
literature that has appeared as articles, essays, research and chapters,
including curriculum; many of them about Native America and its occupants.
As a professional educator, she has served on and currently sits on
numerous educational committees and boards, all of which deal with equity
and people of color. Her doctoral work was in Education, with two
American Philosophy/Multicultural Education and Higher Education.

One of her significant accomplishments is ³Free the Spirit Day,² which
took place on September 22, 2006. From this day forward, September 22 has
been designated for the purpose of returning incorrect vital records
information to the Health and Environment Office. Although the directive
was for Colorado, it certainly could be applied in any state where
indigenous people have been subjected to deliberate and systematic
destruction of race, culture and politics.

* * * *
Indian Uprising a one-hour Public & Cultural Affairs program is for and by
Native Indigenous People broadcast each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CDT on KFAI
90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul.  Producer and host is volunteer
Chris Spotted Eagle. KFAI Fresh Air Radio is located at 1808 Riverside
Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454, 612-341-3144.

For internet listening, go to <> and for
live listening, click Play under ON AIR NOW or for later listening via the
archives, click PROGRAMS & SCHEDULE > Indian Uprising > STREAM.  Programs
are archived for two weeks.

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

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: War made easy/f 8.20 6:30pm

FREE Third Monday Movie and Discussion: "War Made Easy"

Monday, August 20, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Hospitality Hall,
4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis.

"War Made Easy," narrated by Sean Penn, brings to the screen Norman
Solomon's insightful analysis of the strategies used by administrations,
both Democratic and Republican, to promote their agendas for war from
Vietnam to Iraq. By familiarizing viewers with the techniques of war
propaganda, "War Made Easy" encourages us to think critically about the
messages put out by today's spin doctors - messages which are designed to
promote and prolong a policy of militarism under the guise of the "War on
Terror." Based on the book by the same title. Sponsored by: WAMM Third
Monday Movies. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364.

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

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: BushBad/musical 8.20 8pm


Due to popular demand, Bush is Bad has been extended by two weeks, and
will play through August 26. City Pages calls the production "an
impressive range of musical modes and comedic styles, sliding past in a
brisk 90 minutes and almost making its case that the last six years have
been one big laugh riot."

Bush is Bad
Concept, Music and Lyrics by Joshua Rosenblum
Musical Direction by Michael Erickson

@ Old Arizona Theater
2821 Nicollet Avenue (right down Eat Street)
Minneapolis, MN 55404

July 20 - August 26
Thursday, Friday, Saturday @ 8 p.m.
Sunday @ 2 p.m.

Tickets: $25 ($20 seniors, students, and fringe button holders)
Groups Welcome! Call about special discounts and events.
Reservations: (612) 871-0050

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

The Peculiar Relationship
"No American President Can Stand Up to Israel"
August 15, 2007

"No American President can stand up to Israel."

These words came from feisty Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval
Operations (1967-1970) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
(1970-1974). Moorer was, perhaps, the last independent-minded American
military leader.

Admiral Moorer knew what he was talking about. On June 8, 1967, Israel
attacked the American intelligence ship, USS Liberty, killing 34 American
sailors and wounding 173. The Israelis even strafed the life rafts,
machine-gunning the American sailors leaving the stricken ship.

Apparently, the USS Liberty had picked up Israeli communications that
revealed Israel's responsibility for the Six Day War. Even today, history
books and the majority of Americans blame the conflict on the Arabs.

The United States Navy knew the truth, but the President of the United
States took Israel's side against the American military and ordered the
United States Navy to shut its mouth. President Lyndon Johnson said it was
all just a mistake. Later in life, Admiral Moorer formed a commission and
presented the unvarnished truth to Americans.

The power of the Israel Lobby over American foreign policy is
considerable. In March 2006, two distinguished American scholars, John
Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, expressed concern in the London Review of
Books that the power of the Israel Lobby was bending US foreign policy in
directions that serve neither US nor Israeli interests. The two experts
were hoping to start a debate that might rescue the US and Israel from
unsuccessful policies of coercion that are intensifying Muslim hatred of
Israel and America. The Israel lobby was opposed to any such reassessment,
and attempted to close it off with epithets: "Jew-baiter," "anti-semitic,"
and even "anti-American." Today Israeli citizens who oppose Zionist plans
for greater Israel are denounced as "anti-Semites."

Many Americans are unaware of the influence of the Israel lobby. Instead
they think of the US as "the world's sole superpower," a macho new Roman
Empire whose orders are obeyed without question or the insolent nonentity
is "bombed back to the stone age." Many Americans are convinced that
military coercion serves our interest. They cite Libya, Serbia,
Afghanistan, Iraq, and now they are ready to bring Iran and Pakistan to
heel with bombs.

This arrogance results in the murder of tens of thousands, perhaps
hundreds of thousands, of men, women and children, a fate that many
Americans seem to believe is appropriate for countries that do not accept
US hegemony.

Coercion is what American foreign policy has become. Macho superpatriots
love it. Many of these superpatriots derive vicarious pleasure from their
delusions that America is "kicking those sand niggers' asses."

This is the America of the Bush Regime. If some of these superpatriots had
their way every "unpatriotic, terrorist supporter" who dares to criticize
the war against "the Islamofacists" would be sent to Gitmo, if not shot on
the spot.

These Bush supporters have morphed the Republican Party into the
Brownshirt Party. They cannot wait to attack Iran, preferably with nuclear
weapons. Impatient for Armageddon, some are so full of hubris and
self-righteousness that they actually believe that their support for evil
means they will be "wafted up to heaven."

It has come as a crippling blow to Democrats that "their" political party
is comfortable with Bush's America, and will do nothing to stop the Bush
regime's aggression against the Iraqi people or to prevent the Bush
regime's attack on Iran.

The Democrats could easily impeach both Bush and Cheney in the House, as
impeachment only requires a majority vote. They could not convict in the
Senate without Republican support, as conviction requires ratification by
two-thirds of Senators present. Nevertheless, a House vote for impeachment
would take the wind out of the sails of war, save countless lives and
perhaps even save humanity from nuclear holocaust.

Various rationales or excuses have been constructed for the Democrats'
complicity in aggression that does not serve America. Perhaps the most
popular rationale is that the Democrats are letting the Republicans have
all the rope they want with which to produce such a high disapproval
rating that the Democrats will sweep the 2008 election.

It is doubtful that the Democrats would assume that men as cunning as Karl
Rove and Dick Cheney do not understand the electoral consequences of a low
public approval rating and are walking blindly into an electoral wipeout.
Rove's departure does not mean that no strategy is in place.

So what does explain the complicity of the Democratic Party in a policy
that the American public, and especially Democratic constituencies,
reject? Perhaps a clue is offered from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star
Tribune news report (August 1, 2007) that Democratic Congressman Keith
Ellison will spend a week in Israel on "a privately funded trip sponsored
by the American Israel Education Federation. The AIEF - the charitable arm
of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) - is sending 19
members of Congress to meet with Israeli leaders. The group, made up
mostly of freshman Democrats, has plans to meet with Isreali Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert and [puppet] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The
senior Democratic member on the trip is House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer,
who has gone three times. . . . The trip to Israel is Ellison's second as
a congressman."

According to the Star-Tribune, a Republican group, which includes Rep.
Michele Bachmann (R, Minn), led by Rep. Eric Cantor (R, Va) is already in
Israel. According to news reports, another 40 are following these two
groups during the August recess, and "by the time the year is out every
single member of Congress will have made their rounds in Israel." This
claim is probably overstated, but it does show careful Israeli management
of US policy in the Middle East.

Elsewhere on earth and especially among Muslims, the suspicion is rife
that the reason the war against Iraq cannot end, and the reason Iran and
Syria must be attacked, is that the US must destroy all Muslim opposition
to Israel's theft of Palestine, turning an entire people into refugees
driven from their homes and from the lands on which they have lived for
many centuries. Americans might think that they are merely grabbing
control over oil, keeping it out of the hands of terrorists, but that is
not the way the rest of the world views the conflict.

Jimmy Carter was the last American president who stood up to Israel and
demanded that US diplomacy be, at least officially if not in practice,
even-handed in its approach to Israel and Palestine. Since Carter's
presidency, even-handedness has slowly drained from US policy in the
Middle East. The neoconservative Bush/Cheney regime has abandoned even the
pretense of even-handedness.

This is unfortunate, because military coercion has proven to be
unsuccessful. Exhausted from the conflict, the US military, according to
former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, Colin Powell, is "nearly broken." Demoralized elite West Point
graduates are leaving the army at the fastest clip in 30 years. Desertions
are rapidly rising. A friend, a US Marine officer who served in combat in
Vietnam, recently wrote to me that his son's Marine unit, currently
training for its third deployment to Iraq in September, is short 12-16 men
in every platoon and expects to be hit with more AWOLs prior to

Instead of re-evaluating a failed policy, Bush's "war tsar," General
Douglas Lute, has called for the reinstitution of the draft. Gen. Lute
doesn't see why Americans should not be returned to military servitude in
order to save the Bush administration the embarrassment of having to
correct a mistaken Middle East policy that commits the US to more
aggression and to debilitating long-term military conflict in the Middle

It is difficult to see how this policy serves any interest other than the
very narrow one of the armaments industry. Apparently, nothing can be done
to change this disastrous policy until the Israel Lobby comes to the
realization that Israel's interest is not being served by the current
policy of military coercion.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan
administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal
editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor
of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at:
PaulCraigRoberts [at]

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

NPR Watch
When Will Linda Gradstein Go to Gaza?
August 15, 2007

This morning (August 14th) we once again had to listen to a report about
an Israeli raid into Gaza reported by Linda Gradstein from Jerusalem. Why
is it that NPR regularly reports about events in Gaza from Jerusalem; and
why is it that Ms.Gradstein, who has reported for NPR on Middle East
issues for several years now, rarely if ever has set foot in Gaza?

As usual, Ms. Gradstein's report was carefully crafted to satisfy the
Israeli government's desire that its illegal occupation of the West Bank,
collective punishment of the Palestinian People and military raids into
Gaza be reported in terms that present it in the best possible light. They
must positively love Ms. Gradstein who apparently has never seen an
Israeli Press Release that she did not endorse and mimic.

This morning Gradstein described the illegal military raid as an
"incursion". MS Word lists the following synonyms for incursion: raid,
night raid, attack, sortie, invasion, storming. Has Ms. Gradstein ever
used any of these words to describe an Israeli attack into Gaza? When
reporting these "incursions" has she ever pointed out that they are a
violation of international law? Has Gradstein ever taken the time to
interview any of the thousands of innocent victims that these illegal
raids have killed and maimed?

I challenge NPR to take Ms. Gradstein's reports over the course of years
and do an analysis of terms used. I did a search on the name "Gradstein"
at NPR's web site and found over 1700 entries; most are reports by Linda
Gradstein originating from Israel or interviews with her about
Israel-Palestine issues. How often has an illegal raid been described as
an "incursion" and how many times have the synonyms been used? How often
are favorable terms associated with Israeli actions and unfavorable terms
with Palestinian actions? Then, when you have done this analysis, publish
the results.

This is the sort of investigation in the interest of journalistic
integrity that an independent NPR listener Ombudsman would do. But NPR
apparently does not want that sort of scrutiny since it has failed for
many months now to fill the position of Ombudsman.

Why can't NPR muster the courage to report honestly about Israel-Palestine
and how do those NPR reporters and editors who do want to practice their
craft with journalistic integrity live with the contradiction of NPR's
overwhelmingly biased reporting on all things Israeli and Palestinian?

Felice Pace lives in Klamath, California. He can be reached at
unofelice [at]

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

Boycott Movement Targets Israel
by George Bisharat / August 16th, 2007

When does a citizen-led boycott of a state become morally justified?

That question is raised by an expanding academic, cultural and economic
boycott of Israel. The movement joins churches, unions, professional
societies and other groups based in the United States, Canada, Europe and
South Africa. It has elicited dramatic reactions from Israel's supporters.
U.S. labor leaders have condemned British unions, representing millions of
workers, for supporting the Israel boycott. American academics have been
frantically gathering signatures against the boycott, and have mounted a
prominent advertising campaign in American newspapers - unwittingly
elevating the controversy further in the public eye.

Israel's defenders have protested that Israel is not the worst
human-rights offender in the world, and singling it out is hypocrisy, or
even anti-Semitism. Rhetorically, this shifts focus from Israel's human
rights record to the imagined motives of its critics.

But "the worst first" has never been the rule for whom to boycott. Had it
been, the Pol Pot regime, not apartheid South Africa, would have been
targeted in the past. It was not - Cambodia's ties to the West were
insufficient to make any embargo effective. Boycotting North Korea today
would be similarly futile. Should every other quest for justice be put on
hold as a result?

In contrast, the boycott of South Africa had grip. The opprobrium suffered
by white South Africans unquestionably helped persuade them to yield to
the just demands of the black majority. Israel, too, assiduously guards
its public image. A dense web of economic and cultural relations also ties
it to the West. That - and its irrefutably documented human-rights
violations - render it ripe for boycott.

What state actions should trigger a boycott? Expelling or intimidating
into flight a country's majority population, then denying them
internationally recognized rights to return to their homes? Israel has
done that.

Seizing, without compensation, the properties of hundreds of thousands of
refugees? Israel has done that.

Systematically torturing detainees, many held without trial? Israel has
done that.

Assassinating its opponents, including those living in territories it
occupies? Israel has done that.

Demolishing thousands of homes belonging to one national group, and
settling its own people in another nation's land? Israel has done that. No
country with such a record, whether first or 50th worst in the world, can
credibly protest a boycott.

Apartheid South Africa provides another useful standard. How does Israel's
behavior toward Palestinians compare to former South Africa's treatment of
blacks? It is similar or worse, say a number of South Africans, including
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, U.N. special rapporteur in the occupied
territories John Dugard, and African National Congress member and
government minister Ronnie Kasrils. The latter observed recently that
apartheid South Africa never used fighter jets to attack ANC activists,
and judged Israel's violent control of Palestinians as "10 times worse".
Dual laws for Jewish settlers and Palestinians, segregated roads and
housing, and restrictions on Palestinians. freedom of movement strongly
recall apartheid South Africa. If boycotting apartheid South Africa was
appropriate, it is equally fair to boycott Israel on a similar record.

Israel has been singled out, but not as its defenders complain. Instead,
Israel has been enveloped in a cocoon of impunity. Our government has
vetoed 41 U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning Israeli actions -
half of the total U.S. vetoes since the birth of the United Nations - thus
enabling Israel's continuing abuses. The Bush administration has announced
an increase in military aid to Israel to $30 billion for the coming

Other military occupations and human-rights abusers have faced
considerably rougher treatment. Just recall Iraq's 1990 takeover of
Kuwait. Perhaps the United Nations should have long ago issued Israel the
ultimatum it gave Iraq - and enforced it. Israel's occupation of Arab
lands has now exceeded 40 years.

Iran, Sudan and Syria have all been targeted for federal and state-level
sanctions. Even the City of Beverly Hills is contemplating Iran divestment
actions, following the lead of Los Angeles, which approved Iran divestment
legislation in June. Yet the Islamic Republic of Iran has never attacked
its neighbors nor occupied their territories. It is merely suspected of
aspiring to the same nuclear weapons Israel already possesses.

Politicians worldwide, and American ones especially, have failed us. Our
leaders, from the executive branch to Congress, have dithered, or cheered
Israel on, as it devoured the land base for a Palestinian state. Their
collective irresponsibility dooms both Palestinians and Israelis to a
future of strife and insecurity, and undermines our global stature. If
politicians cannot lead the way, then citizens must. That is why
boycotting Israel has become both necessary and justified.

This article appeared on page B9 of the San Francisco Chronicle.

George Bisharat is a professor of law at Hastings College of the Law in
San Francisco, and writes frequently on law and politics in the Middle
East. Read other articles by George.

This article was posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2007 at 5:01 am and is
filed under Israel/Palestine and Boycotts. Send

[ed supports the immediate and total boycott of Israel and its outrageous
Zionist policies.]

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

Takes One to Know One
Terrorist Nation?
August 15, 2007

The idea that the US could be considering classifying the Iranian
Revolutionary Guard as a "terrorist" organization, based upon some dubious
evidence that the organization is supplying some weapons - in particular
those shaped charges that have been so effective in roadside bombs against
US military vehicles - is pretty preposterous when you consider the

Whatever the truth about the activities of the Iranians, certainly when it
comes to terror, the US is unrivalled in the world today.

By the latest estimate, over one million people have died in Iraq because
of the American invasion of that country, and despite a virtual media
blackout over that entire country, and the self-censorship practiced by
the US media regarding Iraq, more and more evidence keeps trickling out
that the vast majority of those deaths have been caused, directly or
indirectly, by the American forces. While we read in lurid detail about
every bomb blast detonated by Shia and Sunni fighters that hit Iraqis or
that kill or wound Americans, we hear barely a word about the killing of
Iraqi civilians by US forces, and it's clear that adding up all of those
publicized Iraqi-on-Iraqi attacks you don't come close to a million dead.
Guess who's killing the rest?

Nor are we getting any figures on the numbers of dead innocents in
Afghanistan, where the blackout on reporting is even more effective than
in Iraq.

What is clear is that American tactics are causing an unending slaughter
in both places - a slaughter that is clearly not just part of but central
to the policy, and that is so serious that it has led to protests from
Britain and other NATO countries that have soldiers in Afghanistan.

And let's be honest: this is no matter of "collateral damage." It is a
deliberate policy of terror. As I've written before, when your army is
killing vastly more civilians than enemy fighters, the deaths of innocents
cannot be termed "collateral damage." It's the deaths of enemy fighters
which are the "collateral damage." The innocents are the targets.

Just consider one of the weapons being used by American forces, the
so-called GBU-31. Marc Herold, a professor at the University of New
Hampshire, who has been documenting the violence in Afghanistan, has
investigated the use of this weapon and offers this description of how it

"Dropped from a plane and hurtling toward its target at 300 mph, the
14-foot steel bomb uses small gears in its fins to pinpoint its path based
on satellite data received by a small antenna and fed into a computer.
Just before impact, a fusing device triggers a chemical reaction causing
the 14-inch-wide weapon to swell to twice its size. The steel casing
shatters, shooting forth 1,000 pounds of white-hot fragments traveling at
speeds of 6,000 feet per second. The explosion creates a shock wave
exerting thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch (psi). By
comparison, a shock wave of 12 psi will knock a person down; and the
injury threshold is 15 pounds psi. The pressure from the explosion of a
device such as the Mark-84 JDAM can rupture lungs, burst sinus cavities
and tear off limbs hundreds of feet from the blast site, according to
trauma physicians. When it hits, the JDAM generates an 8,500-degree
fireball, gouges a 20-foot crater as it displaces 10,000 pounds of dirt
and rock and generates enough wind to knock down walls blocks away and
hurl metal fragments a mile or more. "

Herold notes that several of these terror weapons were dropped by a B-1B
bomber earlier this month on a group of Afghans during an open air market
outside the town of Baghran, killing an untold number of civilians,
including children. The US military described this bombing as a
"successful" raid on a gathering of Taliban leaders, and claimed no
civilians were present, but the severely injured men, women and children
delivered to various hospitals following the attack gave the lie to this
cover-up. Furthermore, given the extensive 2600-foot radius of this
weapon's kill-range, it clearly is no "precision" weapon for targeting
fighters, if any were even present.

Nor is this weapon the only example of American terror. Far from it.

Stan Goff, in his excellent report on the killing of Cpl. Pat Tillman in
Counterpunch magazine, notes that one reason Tillman was killed by his own
unit is that the members of his own separated team that fired on him had
launched their attack upon a village despite the fact that not a shot had
been fired from that village - a clear violation of the Geneva Accords,
but an instructive example of how US forces are actually operating in the
field. (Tillman himself was also shot while standing up with his arms
raised in a sign of surrender - another violation of international law.)

Reports are mounting that make it clear that the US is using a deliberate
strategy of terror in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The documented (and
illegal) use of white phosphorus bombs, which spray wide areas with a
substance that burns through flesh down to the bone, first disclosed in
the devastating assault and leveling of the city of Fallujah in 2004, the
widespread use of helicopter and fixed-wing "gunships" that inundate
football-field-sized areas with bullets and fragmentation weapons, the use
of delayed action cluster bombs and shells, the use of concussion weapons
and napalm, all speak to a policy of indiscriminate killing.

Americans need to wake up to what the rest of the world already knows: The
United States is indisputably the number one terrorist nation in the world

Indeed, the very administration that is talking about calling Iranian
Republican Guard troops "terrorists" is at this moment developing plans
for an unprovoked aerial assault on Iran that would feature the dropping
of 30,000-lb bombs, all manner of anti-personnel weapons, and possibly
even tactical nuclear weapons, on Iranian targets, many of them in
populated areas.

There is a word for this kind of behavior: terrorism.

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

He can be reached at: dlindorff [at]

[Behind and directly responsible for US terrorism are the rich, their
corporations, and the greatest anti-life force ever invented, capitalism.
The ruling class in every country for 5000 years have been unmitigated
bastards, but the US ruling class is outdoing them all in sheer volume of
evil, pain, suffering, degradation, greed, nastiness, inhumanity, and
wild ghoulishness. When the Dem party supports this, it is not a lesser
evil, it is the heart of evil. Voting for its candidates means buying into
that heart of evil. Lesser-evilism is destroying our moral sense and our
humanity. -ed]

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

With the Democrats, Everything's Just Vichy Keen
by Mark Drolette / August 16th, 2007

I wrote this about the Democrats in an April 2006 column:

"..just what in the slimy, spineless, mush-mouthed, pants-wetting,
knee-knocking, finger-in-the-air, thumb-in-your-eye, two-faced, CYA-ing
recent past of the Democratic Party leads you to believe that in any way,
shape or form these bipedal jellyfish can lead us to the Promised Land, or
even the Suggested Parking Lot, even if by the most miraculous of miracles
the GOP somehow forgets to throw the vote-conversion switch in the next
selection and the Dems manage to regain a majority somewhere?"

However, given their actions since November, I owe an apology:

I regret the soft-pedaling.

In the same piece, I penned:

"In fairness, there are a handful of Dems who do have real guts, folks
like John Conyers, Jr., Dennis Kucinich, Cynthia McKinney and Barbara Lee.
But they've all been marginalized to one extent or another by their whore,
er, more "practical" political sisters and brothers..

So much for Conyers, who shot from the short to the shit list with the
unceremonious July 23 arrest at his office of nearly fifty pro-impeachment
folks foolish enough to believe him when he'd publicly bellowed about
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney days earlier: "Let's take them out!"

Speaking of Democratic doublespeak, how about that July 11 97-0 Senate
vote on the belligerent Lieberman Amendment - yes, that belligerent
Lieberman - essentially accusing Iran of murdering American military
forces and of "contributing to the destabilization of Iraq"? (Change the
responsible party in the amendment to the "Bush administration" and now
you're Tonkin.)

I'm no mathematician but I'd assume the clutch of forty-nine Democrats who
endorsed this taunting double-dog-dare-ya might include some of the same
solons who've done fractured forked-tongue contortions trying to explain
away their previous support for the Iraq fiasco.

It's something, isn't it? Millions of us plied the streets before the Iraq
invasion screaming to the high heavens the whole thing was bogus yet were
sneeringly dismissed by the chimp-in-charge as a "focus group". Now that
it's become obvious to all but the rock-solid, rock-headed "twenty-nine
percenters" (i.e. those Americans who'd support Bush regardless if he were
videotaped spraying a group of Grandmothers for Peace with an AK-47) that
everything we predicted would happen has happened, former cheerleading
politicians and whoreporate media types have frantically issued non-stop
mea culpas about their culpability like they bought 'em at a friendly fire
sale at War-Mart. Yet here we are in the run-up to a nuclear attack on
Iran and the (ir)responsible parties are doing the same damn thing.

And who's co-signing the pending deja vu debacle all over again? That's
right: the Democrats.

Slithering from one jaw-dropper to the next, their most recent outrage was
the wiretap bill they tremulously sent to Bush that authorizes his toady
nematode of an attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, and sundry fellow
henchworms to monitor, sans warrant, all communications that you - yes,
you, you terrorist sympathizer, you - conduct with anyone overseas.

For any reason.

Too bad, too, 'cause I always kinda liked the Fourth Amendment.

Yet in light of all this and so much more, otherwise well-meaning and
intelligent people massage the fantastical belief that hope for America's
salvation still lies with the Democrats.
They focus, Pavlonian-like, on
November 2008 when Americans next engage in that strange neo-tradition of
pushing electronic buttons on screens connected to, well, nothing.

[The Dems are as irremediably and criminally evil and as the RPs. Neither
party deserves our support. -ed]

I'm curious: Who out there believes the 2000 election was not square?
2004's? Wow, that's a lot of hands. Then what on earth makes you think the
2006 vote was on the up-and-up? Because the Dems "won"?

Hmm. Might it be possible another explanation exists, that the announced
balloting results were instead tied to an "arrangement" between America's
two controlling political parties, parties now virtually alike? (After
feeding at the same military-industrial complex-filled trough long enough,
one war pig resembles another.)

At the risk of appearing like I've cheesily fattened a column by quoting
myself (even if it's true), I also wrote this in April '06:

"We are entirely on our own, folks, and have been for a long time. If we
are to ever survive the pure hell in which America is squarely mired, it
is up to us - and only us - to pull her out".

So, given the Dems' pathetic complicity in America's ruination, what to
do? Well, here's something guaranteed to get the ruling corporatemeisters.
attention since it would affect the only thing they truly care about
(their wallets): a general strike.

It's worked before. Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States
records that in Seattle in 1919, "a walkout of 100,000 working people
brought the city to a halt". The five-day strike ended after "[t]he mayor
swore in 2,400 special deputies" and "[a]lmost a thousand sailors and
marines were brought into the city by the U.S. government."

Granted, a successful nationwide general strike has about as much chance
of materializing as does a decision made by a Clinton not based on self.
I've an idea, though: Maybe we could lure our notoriously apathetic fellow
citizens into the event by naming it American Idle and awarding a
lifetime's supply of Big Macs to those who successfully cast votes for the
most-bludgeoned participant.

If the tabulation is done by Diebold, though, forget it.

It was bad enough when Democrats weren't doing what they should've been
doing. It's far worse now they're doing what they have no business doing.

The whole thing's revolting. Say, that gives me another idea.

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

This article was posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2007 at 5:01 am and is
filed under Elections, Democrats and Humor.

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

President Cindy!
by Manuel Garcia Jr. / August 16th, 2007

The race to become ruler of the world on January 20, 2009 is now upon us,
and as ever the problem facing the would-be Pharaohs is the anachronistic
impediment of the U.S. Constitution requiring the appearance of a
plebiscite approving the selection of Number One. The obstreperous voting
masses, oblivious to anything beyond their immediate needs and wants:
survival, the safety of their children, watching the game on TV, a good
price on whatever, "time for myself", and a good supply of booze (or
substitute enjoyable neurosis), are as ever obdurate to the careerist
ambitions of the pharaonic contenders. Such is the agony of mid-August
campaigning for the presidency of the United States of America, fifteen
months before the election.

It is commonly known that the next USAmerican Pharaoh will be selected by
a committee of representatives of the property interests of the nation,
and the candidates chosen for the road shows of the primaries and
electoral events of 2008 will be a batch of individuals who are deemed
most likely to carry the crowds along the channels laid out by the Big
Money. It might be the Shrike "against" the Dour Doughface in the finals,
or it might be some other pair pleasing to the owning elite.

The eighty to ninety percent of eligible voters (a decreasing proportion
of the USAmerican population under the Rovian Regression of democracy),
outside the management, will exhibit a variety of delinquent and
passive-aggressive behaviors: failing to become enthused about the
mandated choices, manning public protests, becoming active in third party
politics and even abandoning voting altogether. Many clueless of "effete
intellectual snob" (thanks, Spiro) persuasion will agonize about "how to
register" and "who to vote for" in order to maximize the effectiveness of
their single vote.

Since most USAmericans are now marginalized by the political system, they
tend to share the same type of fantasies. They wish they could somehow
vote for a real change - whether that change is for a new Christian
Kingdom or a Socialist Revolution - and they wish they could somehow vote
to throw out all the careerist bums who confidently punch their tickets in
the government gravy train from its Washington D.C. locomotive down
through its fifty state luxury sleepers, the county administration box
cars and down to its city council cabooses. But, voters can't get what
they really want if they vote obediently.

However, voters do have one option that is primarily symbolic and
generally ineffective, unless they happen to share a very wide agreement:
they can write in a candidate. So, friends, here is my suggestion. Instead
of swallowing hard to accept another "morning after" Democrat, or hoping
Ralph Nader can somehow miraculously combat the accumulated malevolence of
a rigged electoral system fully under the control of the pharaonic
parasites, act like a rebellious jury that ignores all instruction from
the judge and just decides what it damn well thinks is just. Act out the
equivalent of a "jury nullification" as "voter nullification", and write
in Cindy Sheehan as president.

"But, I'll be throwing my vote away!" you may cry. If you want an
immediate end to the Iraq War, taxation of corporations and a equitable
use of national resources for the benefit of the national population, your
vote doesn't count anyway. If you live in the wrong neighborhood or have
too rich a complexion, your right to vote will be questioned more
strenuously - even rejected - under the new Rovian eligibility criteria.
If you vote for the pretty face that looks like yours from among the
approved contenders, you will get a black, or female (or whatever) mask
over the the same kind of guardian (and errand boy/girl) of white power
capitalism we always get, whether with a horizontal Texas drawl or a
vertical Massachusetts nasal pinch. Obedience is not in your interest.

"But Cindy Sheehan has no experience running a government!" you might
fret. Honestly, are you happy with the results garnered by our "government
experienced" would-be Pharaohs? Is there anybody who believes that Cindy
Sheehan is less trustworthy, less honest, less truthful and less concerned
about the USAmerican people than anyone in the dugout of Big Money
approved presidential pitchmen? Number One barks out the orders and hires
and fires as needed to get them done. Do you really believe Cindy Sheehan
is less capable of doing this than the careerist androids of the Big Money
Brat Pack. [Insert John Belushi saying "Please"].

The flaw in this suggestion is the same flaw as in John Lennon's song
"Imagine". Yes, it is true that if most people had the same vision they
could overcome war, hunger, nationalism, religion, and all the scourges of
humankind. But, humanity has proved unable to share such a compassionate
vision, even though humans everywhere say they want "peace" and justice.
and other forms of universal good. Note, however, that the flaw is based
on probability, not possibility. It is not probable that most people would
share a common humanistic vision, but there is no logical impediment to
such an outcome, and in fact if most people did choose to share such a
vision - through their actions - then the desired humanistic compassionate
state (and world) would necessarily have to emerge. It is the same with
the elections in the U.S.A., if enough people choose to vote for a given
candidate, in this case by write-in balloting, then regardless of the
shenanigans by partisan election officials, and the hacking of electronic
voting machines, the "will of the people" will become clearly evident. The
success of any such act of mass disobedience would be the beginning of the
end of the current syndicates running USAmerican politics as a continuing
criminal enterprise for the enrichment of corporate sponsors.

For such an act of national liberation by mass disobedience to ever occur,
it would be necessary for many voters to see beyond their assumed
self-interests as co-conspirators with the political machines they pledge
allegiance to. They have to see "their" interests and the nation's
interest as being above and different from "the party's" interest. In the
18th century, this was called patriotism. Being patriotic might cost you
money, it might contradict your prejudices, and it might challenge your
patience. But it will bring you into a closer brotherhood and sisterhood
with a great number of other people who also think of themselves as
"Americans". When you vote for Cindy Sheehan as president, you are
declaring "I do not wish to make war on other Americans by seeing them as
a threatening 'other' race, religion, class or type; I do not wish to
enslave, depreciate and discard my fellow countrymen and countrywomen
because it is advantageous to my pocket to do so; I do not wish to invest
my county's blood and treasure in piratical ventures around the world,
whether alone or in league with foreign bandits whose thievery and
bloodletting are enabled by our resources".

So - imagine - we all go to the polls in 2008, ask for paper ballots and
write in "Cindy Sheehan" for president. Imagine, the vote is overwhelming.
Imagine the panic of the pharaonic class. Imagine all the court decisions
trying to stem the tide, all the resistance to democracy, even perhaps the
calling out of the National Guard (and imagine what side they would
prefer). Go ahead, imagine another country, possible if we have the
courage to hold a common vision. Why Cindy Sheehan? Her patriotism is
compassionate, based on the power of motherhood and the eternity of grief
for a lost child. Who doesn't prefer this over cynical self-aggrandizement
leaving a failed adventurist war hung around a gutted nation's neck like
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's albatross, by a gang of con-men marketing facile
prejudices to an inattentive public - "the sting".

What does Cindy Sheehan think of this nomination? I have no idea; I didn't
ask her, I have never met her nor communicated with her in any way. I have
read about her, and more importantly I have read her essays, speeches and
interviews. In the past I have voted for more than one mass-murdering
Pharaoh on the basis of much less information, so what more do I need to
know about Cindy? "What if she refuses the mandate?" you may wonder,
fearful of being caught in a rebellion gone awry. Do not worry, if we can
muster the mandate, then Cindy or an equally worthy citizen of our
choosing [sic] can be positioned to implement the authentic will of the
people. "When in the course of human events".

Manuel Garcia, Jr. is a recently retired physicist (DOE/LLNL) moving into
other activities; contact = mango [at] He wants you to read "Climate
and Carbon, Consensus and Contention." His e-mail address is
mango [at] Read other articles by Manuel, or visit Manuel's website.

This article was posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2007 at 5:01 am and is
filed under Elections, Democracy and Solidarity. Send to a friend.

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

 Edna St Vincent Millay

 An Ancient Gesture

 I thought, as I wiped my eyes on the corner of my apron:
 Penelope did this too.
 And more than once: you can't keep weaving all day
 And undoing it all through the night;
 Your arms get tired, and the back of your neck gets tight;
 And along towards morning, when you think it will never be light,
 And your husband has been gone, and you don't know where, for years.
 Suddenly you burst into tears;
 There is simply nothing else to do.

 And I thought, as I wiped my eyes on the corner of my apron:
 This is an ancient gesture, authentic, antique,
 In the very best tradition, classic, Greek;
 Ulysses did this too.
 But only as a gesture, - a gesture which implied
 To the assembled throng that he was much too moved to speak.
 He learned it from Penelope...
 Penelope, who really cried.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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