Progressive Calendar 09.20.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2007 01:00:34 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    09.20.07

1. General strike     9.21
2. Circus amendment   9.21 9:30am
3. Vs military/KFAI   9.21 11am
4. China/organs       9.21 12noon
5. Human rights panel 9.21 1pm    LOCATION CHANGE
6. Palestine          9.21 4:30pm
7. IraqWar moratorium 9.21 4:30pm
8. GlobalWarming/fish 9.21 6:30pm
9. Impeach            9.21 7pm
10. GMfood/FBI/film   9.21

11. Womens Hall Honor 9.22 8am
12. WelfRight yd sale 9.22 8:30am
13. UofM strike       9.22 10am
14. NWN4P Minnetonka  9.22 11am
15. Mizna party       9.22 7pm
16. Global inequality 9.22 9pm

17. Naomi Wolf       - A shocking moment for society
18. Cynthia McKinney - Police tasering & Kerry
19. Brendan Cooney   - Body-snatched nation / lessons of the taser
20. Lydia Howell     - I've seen American torture
21. Eva Liddell      - In 1969 we already knew what 2007 would look like
22. John Nichols     - Hillary's Rx for another health care reform failure

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

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: General strike 9.21


If Congress cannot or will not stop the war, the people must. Strike for
peace on 21 September 2007. On 21 September 2007 we will not work and we
will not spend. We will demonstrate against war. Join us. Show your
support for peace. Don't work. Don't spend.

The general strike is the most powerful action we can take to show our
opposition to the actions of those in charge of the war machine. Much, if
not all, of their power derives from the economic engine we fuel with our
labor and with our consumption. Every bit of labor we withhold and every
reduction in our consumption is power we retain from them. That is why
George Bush's advice to us in response to the 911 tragedy was to go out
and spend.

He and the rest of the masters of war know that a portion of every dollar
you spend and every dollar you earn is siphoned out of the economy to
finance war and to provide profits to the merchants of death. You have the
power to keep this money from the masters of war. While it is obvious that
you must work and you must spend in order to survive, you can for a day or
part of a day withhold your labor and refuse to spend any or some of the
money you have earned.

The war machine can operate in the face of a certain amount of dissent.
Its power to do so is, however, limited. There is a point at which
sufficient solidarity between the people can cause the war machine to
grind to a halt. Our goal is to get sufficient participation in the 21
September 2007 general strike to raise the level of dissent beyond that at
which the war machine can continue to operate. We will then strike again
on 19 October 2007 and again on 16 November 2007. In December we will
strike for two days on the 21st and the 22nd. Imagine 22 December 2007 as
an utter holiday gift buying failure for the corporations. We can make it

We can stop war. To do so, however, requires your participation. If you
are ready to commit to striking, tell us. If you are willing to help us
organize or have suggestions as to how people can participate, contact us.
If you are willing to help support the effort financially, donate. If you
want to become a listed supporter, let us know. If you have questions,

denotes national organizing committee member

Noam Chomsky, MIT Cambridge MA
Howard Zinn, Historian, MA
Roz Zinn, Artist, MA
Margaret Randall, Writer.  Albuquerque, NM
Dr. Neal Blumenfeld, Psychiatrist.  Berkeley, CA
Utah Phillips, Folksinger, CA
Father Dan Berrigan, Writer.  NY
Liz McAllister, Jonah House.  Baltimore, MD
Jerry Berrigan, Catholic Worker.  Kalamazoo, MI
Brad Lyttle, Chicago Peace Activist
Dave Rovics, Folksinger
Ken Tilsen, Attorney, Hudson, WI
Staughton Lynd, Historian, Lawyer.  Niles, Ohio see his paper on general
strikes lynd.pdf
Marv Davidov, Founder - Honeywell Project; 1961 Freedom Rider,
Minneapolis, MN
Vernon Bellecourt, American Indian Movement.
Minneapolis, MN
Mel Duncan, Human Rights Activist.  St. Paul, MN
Polly Mann, Co-founder, WAMM, Mpls., MN
Barbara Mishler, Co-founder, Minneapolis War Resisters League. Mpls., MN
Wanda Brown, Business Woman.  Wisconsin Peace Activist
Phyllis Goldin, Psychiatrist.  Wisconsin Peace Activist
Robert Bly, Minnesota Poet
Mahmoud El Kati, Historian, Teacher.  St. Paul, MN
Phil Berrigan, called for general strike before he died; see his article
Sr. Megan Rice, Nevada Desert Experience
Sister Rita Steinhagen Chapter of War Resisters League
National Lawyers Guild - Minnesota Chapter
Larry Long, Troubadour, Educator, Minnesota
Medea Benjamin, Co-founder Code Pink and Global Exchange, San Francisco, CA
Jeritt Lovell, Professor of Criminal Justice - Cal State Fullerton;
Peace and Justice Activist,  CA
Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers, Berkeley, CA
Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Non-violence, Chicago, IL
Jeff Leys, Voices for Creative Non-violence, Chicago, IL
Harvey Wasserman, Historian - Environmentalist, Columbus, OH
Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
John LaForge, Nukewatch, Luck. WI
Michele Naar-Obed, Plowshare activist and Catholic Worker, Duluth, MN
Loaves and Fishes Catholic Worker Community, Duluth , MN
Dr. Michael Uhl, Veterans for Peace, Toledo, OH
Becky Lourey, Former Minnesota State Representative, Senator and
candidate for governor, Kerrick, MN
Winona LaDuke, Founder, White Earth Land Recovery Project, White Earth, MN
Peter Rachleff, Professor of Labor History, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
Matilda Paxton, Author of How To Peace, Communications Co-chair, SEMN
Alliance of Peacemakers, Pine Island, MN
People for Peace and Goodwill, Northfield, MN
Annie Young, Community Activist and Elected Officeholder, Mpls., MN
Dean Zimmerman, Peace Activist, Freedom Summer/Civil Rights Activist,
Environmental Activist, FCI Englewood, Littlton, CO
Jenny Heiser, Lifelong Activist for social, human, and economic justice,
Mpls., MN
Tonya Sneed, First Grade Teacher and Peace Activist, Peoria, IL
Anathoth Community, Luck, WI
October Fifteenth Anarchist Collective, Toledo, OH
Holly Brewer and M@, Activists and Co-creators of HUMANWINE, Boston, MA
Freda Berrigan, Weapons Analyst, New York City, NY
Martin Goff, Union Organizer, Mpls., MN
Prince Myshkins, Singers, Actors, Madison, WI
Nukewatch, Luck, WI
Colleen Ryan, Peace Activist, Austin, TX

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

From: christine [at]
Subject: Circus amendment 9.21 9:30am

Be There- Final Vote on Circus Amendment this Friday, Sept. 21st, 9:30am!!!
We can't stress enough how important your presence is, even if you can
only stay a short while.

On Friday, Sept 21, 9:30am, the entire City Council will be present to
vote on the Animal Protection Amendment. Only 7 Council Members saw our
numbers at the public hearing. We need to show the other Council Members
just how many of us there are who want to see this historic amendment

As of Tuesday evening, we don't have nearly enough people signed up to be
there. We need to overwhelm them with our numbers at the beginning of the
meeting. RSVP TODAY.

This is our ONE SHOT- please be there to help make it happen!
Where: City Hall, 3rd Floor, Downtown Minneapolis
Please RSVP TO CHRISTINE   christine [at]
What: FINAL VOTE on Animal Protection Amendment, which will prohibit wild
animal circuses in Minneapolis
For more information: Please see Circus Reform Yes website:

--------3 of 22--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Vs military/KFAI 9.21 11am

ALLISON, co-author of ARMY OF NONE (WRITTEN WITH Daviud Solnit) - an
inspiring and practical handbook for the growing counter-military
recruitment movement emerging on high school campuses across the country.
Hosted by Lydia Howell.

KFAI broadcasts in the Twin Cities 90.3fm Mpls 106.7fm St Paul
LIVE STREANING and archived for 2 weeks after broadcast online:

--------4 of 22--------

From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at]>
Subject: China/organs 9.21 12noon

Human Rights Center & Program in Human Rights and Medicine Lecture
Friday, September 21, 12pm, Mondale Hall (Law School), Room 65
David Matas, Esq., Winnipeg, Canada

"Organ Harvesting in China, Human Rights, and Issues of Extraterritorial

(Co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota Amnesty International Law
Students Group)
/Report at /

Evidence exists of involuntary organ harvesting in China and organ trading
in other countries, driven partly by the demand for organs from transplant
tourism. To stem human rights abuses extraterritorial legislation has been
applied in other contexts, making involvement abroad in a prohibited
practice answerable upon return. Should this be asserted for organ
trafficking and transplant tourism?

Mr. Matas was Law Clerk to the Chief Justice Supreme Court of Canada in
1968-69 and has served as Canadian delegate to the Conference on the
International Criminal Court in 1998, Delegation to the Stockholm
International Forum on the Holocaust, and as the Director of the
International Centre for Human Rights & Democratic Development.  Mr. Matas
has also taught constitutional law at McGill University and
 International Law, Civil Liberties, and Immigration & Refugee Law, at
the University of Manitoba.  He is recipient of the 2007 Tarnopolsky
Human Rights Award of the Canadian Bar Association for contributions to
domestic and international human rights.

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

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: Human rights panel 9.21 1pm

Using UN Treaties for Justice in the Community

CUAPB TO SPEAK ON HUMAN RIGHTS PANEL Human Rights and Racial Justice:
Tools for Equality
Friday, September 21 1-5pm

University of MN Law School, Mondale Hall, Room 25 229 19th Avenue,
LOCATION CHANGE - NOT at the U; see below for new location

 1) Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights: Overview of the UN Commission on
the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and how to use this as a
tool for our local struggles
 2) CUAPB: How to gather data on the effects of discrimination and how to
use it to support our work (our data will be included in a shadow report
to the CERD)
 3) Maria Inamagua Campaign for Justice: A case study on using the human
rights framework in the fight for social justice.

As a member organization of the US Human Rights network, CUAPB is
cosponsoring an event to educate the community about our work with the UN
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).  The United
States government has turned in a report to CERD claiming that racism is
no longer a big issue in the US.  The report even cited the movie Crash as
an example of this claim!  To counter this ridiculous report, we're part
of a national effort by grassroots groups to use statistics and other
information in our own report to CERD.  We have a unique contribution to
make since we're one of the only grassroots groups in the country to
maintain a database on police complaints.  We'll be discussing the
innovate use of our database in human rights work. Come learn about how
international treaties and tools can be used for our work right here in
the community.

Subject: SEPT.21;LOCATION CHANGE  Human Rights Training -
Relocating in solidarity with striking workers. . .

Human Rights and Racial Justice: Tools for Democracy
Friday, September 21, 2007 /  1PM - 5PM

Training & CLE

Relocated Three Blocks ! (honoring the AFSCME workers? strike & picket
line) We have relocated from the U of M Law School to The Cedar-Riverside
Peoples Center Corner of Riverside & 20th Avenue Fourth Floor ? Room 408
Elevator available.

We appreciate your solidarity on this move!

Directions:  from the U of M Law School, go two blocks south to Riverside
Avenue; turn left (east) for one block.  The Peoples Center is on your
left at 20th Avenue & Riverside.  We will be on the 4th Floor --- Room

Any questions? Call Tovah at 612-432-5531 or _TovahF [at] gmail.com_

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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Palestine 9.21 4:30pm

Friday, 9/21, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end the occupation of Palestine,
Snelling & Summit Aves, St Paul.  Karen, 651-283-3495.

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

From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at]>
Subject: Iraq war moratorium 9.21 4:30pm

Iraq War Moratorium Protest & Bannering
FRI, 9/21 @ 4:30 pm @ Mayday Plaza, 3rd Street and Cedar Ave, West Bank in

The Iraq Moratorium Committee and the General Strike for Peace have called
for making the 3rd Friday of every month a national day of activity against
the war, beginning in September 2007. Organized by the Iraq Peace Action
Coalition & Students for a Democratic Society @ the U of M.

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

From: darrellgerber [at]
Subject: Global warming/fish 9.21 6:30pm

"The science of climate change and the potential effects of global
warming on fish habitat"
A presentation by Omid Mohseni

The presentation will be on the controversies over global warming, the
science behind the projected climate change, and the potential effects of
a changing climate on fish habitat in lakes and streams.

Omid Mohseni received his BS in Civil Engineering from University of
Science and Technology of Iran in 1986. He worked as a civil engineer in
Iran for 7 years and then joined the graduate program of University of
Minnesota where he received his MS in 1995 and PhD in 1999.  He is
currently a member of the graduate faculty of University of Minnesota and
the Associate Director of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, a
multi-disciplinary engineering, environmental, biological and geological
fluid mechanics research unit of University of Minnesota.  Part of Omid
Mohseni's research has been on lake and river hydrodynamics with emphasis
on land use and climate change impacts on fish habitat.  He has published
three articles on climate change studies in peer-reviewed journals.

Friday, September 21, 2007
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Minneapolis Urban League
2100 Plymouth Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN
For more information please call Karen Monahan 612-436-5402
This is a free event and food will be provided.

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

From: Impeach for Peace
Subject: Impeach 9.21 9.21 7pm

Demand Rep. McCollum Support Impeachment!

Last month, Impeach for Peace succeeded at Rep. Betty McCollum's
Congressional District's Executive Committee Meeting. They agreed to
have the Central Committee Hearing for the District vote on whether
to call on Rep. McCollum to sign the impeachment resolution currently
in Congress. Please join us at the meeting to encourage its members to
vote for accountability.

Rice Street Library (1011 Rice Street St. Paul, Mn 55117) at 7pm. We
are on the schedule to introduce a resolution calling on the U.S.
House to pass an impeachment resolution and to call on Betty McCollum
to sign on to impeachment resolution H.Res 333.

Show up with signs/T-shirts which are pro-impeachment!

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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: GMfood/FBI/film 9.21

9/21 to 9/23, documentary "Strange Culture" about a college professor/artist
opening a show about genetically modified food whose wife dies suddenly and
he is plunged into a situation involving dozens of FBI agents, haz-mat suits
and still-lingering suspicion and post-911 paranoia, Bell Auditorium 10
Church St SE, Mpls.

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

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: WomensHallHonor 9.22 8am

September 22: Honoring Women Worldwide. Creating a Women's Worldwide Hall
of Honor. Panelists including Kathy Tunheim, President & CEO, Tunheim and
Partners; Senator Patricia Torres Rey, District 62; Anita Barnett,
National president of N.P.I.D. and V.P. of Gensler Design; Julie Snow,
FAIA, Julie Snow Architects Inc and Nancy Stephan, Founder and ED of
Honoring Women Worldwide. 8 AM- Noon. College of St. Catherine, Coeur de
Catherine Ballroom, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul. $49-$65. More info and
details 651/330-2746.

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

From: Welfare Rights Committee - Alt Email <welfarerights [at]>
Subject: WelfRight sale 9.22 8:30am

COME AND SHOP at the Welfare Rights Committee's Yard Sale. Date: 09/22/2007
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 pm (rain or shine) (if rain-inside church)

Welfare Rights located in Walker Church
3104 16th Ave South, Mpls

The Welfare Rights Committee is having their first ever-annual Yard Sale
fundraiser. All precedes go to benefit the existence of the Welfare Rights
Committee. We just moved into the neighbor. We will have information about
US and our current campaign against Workfare/Slave Labor.

Items in the sale
. Plus size women clothes and accessories.
. Infant and toddler clothing
. Linens and towels
. Games and toys for kids
. Small house hold appliances, Furniture
. Books, video tapes, cd's
. Some electronics
. Glasses, dishes, Christmas items
. Nic Nacs and this and that!
. Defective husbands

AFTER SHOPPING, meet the members of the WRC and involved. Hear about our
upcoming issues that the committee is working on.  Hear about Workfare/slave
labor and the Legislative Session.

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

From: Dave Bicking <dave [at]>
Subject: UofM strike 9.22 10am

Every Saturday, 10am - 12pm Community / Labor Strike Support Committee
meets every Saturday at Strike Headquarters - University Baptist Church,
1219 University Ave SE, Minneapolis.  All supporters welcome.

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

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: NWN4P Minnetonka 9.22 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.

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

From: Mizna  <mizna-announce [at]>
Subject: Mizna party  9.22 7pm

Journal Release Party
Saturday, September 22

Loft Literary Center. Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South,
Minneapolis, 7-10pm. $5 suggested donation.

Join Mizna in celebrating the publication of the 20th issue of its
literary journal. This event will feature writers from the journal reading
from their work. Co-presented with the Loft Literary Center and Dunn Bros.

Visit our website at

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

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Global inequality 9.22 9pm

Revered Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and
Tuesdays at 8am.  Households with basic cable can watch!

9/22 9pm and 9/25 8am  "Globalization and the Age of Inequality".
Interview of the widely-read, Indian, muckraking  journalist P. Sainath.
(this show contains economics!).  Hosted by Karen Redleaf.

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

A SHOCKING MOMENT FOR SOCIETY;Student Tasered by Cops At Florida
Huffington Post Sept.18, 2007

Today's news shows a recognizable shock moment in the annals of a closing
society. A very ordinary-looking American student - Andrew Meyer, 21, at
the University of Florida - was tasered by police when he asked a question
of Senator John Kerry about the impeachment of President George Bush. His
arms were pinned and as he tried to keep speaking he was shocked - in
spite of begging not to be hurt. A stunning piece of footage but
unfortunately, historically, a very familiar and even tactical moment.

It is an iconic turning point and it will be remembered as the moment at
which America either fought back or yielded. This violence against a
student is different from violence against protesters in the anti-war
movement of 30 years ago because of the power the president has now to
imprison innocent U.S. citizens for months in isolation. And because, as I
have explained elsewhere, we are not now in a situation in which 'the
pendulum' can easily swing back. That taser was directed at the body of a
young man, but it is we ourselves, and our Constitution, who received the
full force of the shock.

There is a chapter in my new book, The End of America, entitled "Recast
Criticism as 'Espionage' and Dissent as 'Treason,'" that conveys why this
moment is the horrific harbinger it is. I argue that strategists using
historical models to close down an open society start by using force on
'undesirables,' 'aliens,' 'enemies of the state,' and those considered by
mainstream civil society to be untouchable; in other times they were, of
course, Jews, Gypsies, Communists, homosexuals. Then, once society has
been acculturated to that use of force, the 'blurring of the line' begins
and the parameters of criminalized speech are extended - the definition of
'terrorist' expanded - and the use of force begins to be deployed in
others see and identify with as ordinary citizens. The first 'torture
cellars' used by the SA, in Germany between 1931 and 1933 - even before
the National Socialists gained control of the state, during the years when
Germany was still a parliamentary democracy - were informal and widely
publicized in the mainstream media. Few German citizens objected because
those abused there were seen as 'other' - even though the abuse was
technically illegal. But then, after this escalation of the use of force
was accepted by the population, students, journalists, opposition leaders,
and clergy were similarly abused during their own arrests. Within six
months dissent was stilled in Germany.

What is the lesson for us from this and from other closing societies, some
of them democracies? You can have a working Congress or Parliament;
newspapers; human rights groups; even elections; but when ordinary people
start to be hurt by the state for speaking out, dissent closes quickly and
the shock chills opposition very, very fast. Once that happens, democracy
has been so weakened that major tactical and strategic incursions -
greater violations of democratic process - are far more likely. If there
is dissent about the vote in Florida in this next presidential election -
and the police are tasering voters' rights groups - we will still have an

What we will not have is liberty.

We have to understand what time it is. When the state starts to hurt
people for asking questions, we can no longer operate on the leisurely
time of a strong democracy - the 'Oh gosh how awful!' kind of time. It is
time to take to the streets. It is time to confront those committing
crimes against the Constitution. The window has now dropped several
precipitous inches and once it is closed there is no opening it without
great and sorrowful upheaval.

We also need to understand from history that the temptation at a moment
like this to grow more quiet - to stay out of the line of fire - is the
wrong choice by far. History shows categorically that if citizens do not
stand up now to confront and imprison the abusers, things do not get safer
- they get much more dangerous for ordinary people, activist or not.

I was scared when I wrote The End of America - personally scared because
the blueprint I was tracing in the summer of 2006 showed clearly that
protesters and critics would start to be hurt within the year. When I told
a dear friend that I was scared, he gently reminded me of the history I
was reading. He asked, will things be scarier for you and the ones you
love if you speak up now - or if you are silent?

We don't just need to speak up now. We need to act. It is time to rebel in
the name of the flag and the founders.

This post first appeared on PowellsBooks.Blog.

Naomi Wolf is the author of The End of America: A Letter of Warning to
a Young Patriot, Chelsea Green Publishing, Sept 2007. She is also a
co-founder of the American Freedom Campaign, a grassroots and grasstops
democracy movement.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 11:53:01 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
Subject: Cynthia McKinney: John Kerry, Impeachment, Election Fraud, Police

Not only residents of the United States are being subjected to
illegitimate authority due to two stolen elections in 2000 and again in
2004.  The entire global community is suffering because of it.  When John
Kerry, 2004 Democratic Nominee for President had the opportunity to tell
us and the world why he didn't fight for his own victory that the voters
of this country gave him, John Kerry proceeded to talk while the student
who asked the question was violently tasered by the police.

That University of Florida student asked one of the central questions that
the American people deserve to have answered.

Kerry didn't even fight for the victory that the U.S. voters had given
him.  He remained mute as the Libertarian and Green Parties demanded to
know what happened in Ohio.  And took their meager resources to
investigate election theft by Republicans in Ohio.  And all of the
revelations that have come out since then can be placed at the feet of
these two Parties, and not the Democratic Party that would have benefited.
It was the Libertarian and Green Parties, not the Democrats, that demanded
that the will of the voters be respected.

A student gets the taser for asking a simple question.

But what's more frightening is the reaction of those in the audience who
sat through the screams of the student being tasered, listening to Kerry
who obviously became a man bereft of his senses.

The student was harassed even as he attempted to ask his question,
referencing Greg Palast's work, "Armed Madhouse."  Pointing out the huge
disfranchisement of black voters that marked both of Bush's "wins," he
asked Kerry, "How could you concede the election on the day?"

He asks why Kerry is not in favor of impeachment, then the students
applaud when the police attack him at the microphone.  From the video, it
appears that he is literally picked up by the police and carried to the
back of the room where he is put on the floor, handcuffed, tasered,
carried out, and in the background one can hear Kerry talking--not trying
to get the police officers to stop attacking the student--but blathering
on, reminiscent of George Bush when the towers were hit.

No police officer should be in the business of denying Constitutional
rights to anyone; I am particularly chagrined when it appears that a black
police officer participated in this attack on an innocent student.

What is happening to us????  How much more will the people accept??  I was
outraged as early as 2000 when Florida was stolen and the Democrats said
nothing!!!!  Now, innocent students get tasered just for asking questions.

What kind of US Senator do we have who can't or won't answer a question
about his own election that affects all of us???

We must channel our efforts into the kind of movement that has been
successful in the past in our country.  A movement that unites us all,
regardless of the labels usually used to divide us.  We the people must
run for office and vote the current, non-representative crew out of
office.  We must become the government that is supposed to represent us.
It is time for all of us to become involved now.  There is room for
everyone in this movement.  I shudder to think what our country will
become if we fail to act.

If you haven't seen it yet, here's the link:

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

Lessons of the Taser
Body-Snatched Nation
September 20, 2007

As scary as it is to watch someone electrocuted for speaking his mind, the
most horrifying parts of the Andrew Meyer incident at the University of
Florida are the things happening on the periphery. (The video can be seen

There is the face of the woman on the right of the aisle, staring
obediently ahead to Sen. John Kerry as Meyer is pinned to the ground just
behind her. Or the man on the left smiling as the action comes right past
him like actors tearing down the fourth wall.

The only person with the power to stop the assault was the man with the
microphone, and his affect never rose above flat. Shortly before the cops
pressed the volts into Meyer's chest, Kerry can be heard droning, "Folks,
I think if we all just calm down." The folks he is addressing, of course,
are not the police but the few audience members who have risen from their

It's as if one is watching the end of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers,"
with Meyer coming out as the last human who has not been struck by the
pods that replace people with emotionless doubles.

Perhaps half the comments of Youtube viewers support the Tasing as an apt
treatment for someone so disruptive. Meyer may have been loud,
attention-hungry and an awkward presence in the room, but the awkwardness
is nothing compared with that of people trying to work out the concept of
free speech in their online comments.

"The First Amendment does not guarantee anyone the right to make a public
ass of oneself at the expense of others..." writes Russ Thayer. Joseph
(comment 87 on the New York Times site) agrees: "I hate to tell you, but
the meaning of Freedom of Speech doesn't mean you can scream and shout at
people. To exercise your right to Freedom of Speech you need to remain
calm." Says Dusty Bottoms, also on the Times site: "Freaking idiot
deserved it.... [H]ow many times does one have to be warned? I'm all for
free speech, but do it in an intelligent way."

The proportion of voices sympathetic to Meyer was altogether different
among readers of the Times of London. Thirty-three thought the Tasing was
wrong, and only three supported it. Should it be any surprise that readers
of the foreign press are less authoritarian than readers of our mainstream

Duncan Roy, a United Kingdom resident, posts this comment on the New York
Times site: "If shouting and agitation were the criteria for tasing then
our entire british parliament would be tazed! What is it with you
Americans that you have become so frightened of free and passionate

Police tasing students and others without cause is nothing new. A video of
an even scarier incident at UCLA last fall can be watched on youtube at:

Police Tased this student because he didn't have his student ID in the
library. The cell-phone video shows an eerily passive group of zombies,
inching slowly forward as the victim cries for help. Only after the
student is hauled out of the library, still being tased, do a couple
students start asking for badge numbers, to which the reply is: "Back up
or you'll get Tased too."

The alien pods haven't gotten us all, however. Based on the volume of
comments people posted on the Meyer incident, watching the video clearly
hit many Americans a lot harder than it did mainstream journalists.

Mike Bellman of Columbia, Missouri, wrote, "I am ten times ashamed for the
spectators who watched this debacle slack-jawed and motionless like they
were watching the you-tube video online. Shame on citizens who idly watch
this kind of abuse and not recognize it. Shame on all of them including
John Kerry who didn't relieve the police of their duties. And finally
shame on anyone who doesn't have the courage to question authority or
believe that another American has the right to speak freely in an open
forum. I am ashamed to live in this America and I weep for the US

And an "ECartman" wrote that a "lot worse happened in Berkeley in late
60's and early 70's.... Wish these students could get more incensed with
what we are doing in Iraq everyday.... Don't expect this to happen though
as these kids really got no soul."

There's a whole racially charged aspect to the question of police
authority that I can't begin to unpack here, but "Jargon" says on the
Times site: "I am so sick of this blind, unquestionable trust that whites
hold for police."

On the spectrum of eeriness, watching Jimmy Kimmel laugh about the
incident on late-night TV was strange, but not as bad as reading
dismissive accounts of it in the mainstream press.

Shameful ad hominem reporting appeared in The New York Times, Washington
Post, and It's as if these reporters can't keep these two
concepts separate: "he was annoying" and "he deserved to be arrested and
assaulted." This confusion reminds me of people I sometimes meet overseas
who can't treat me as an individual because I come from the loathsome
United States. The fact that Meyer's website features pranks and skits,
notably that he carried a "Harry Dies" sign after the release of the last
Harry Potter book, seems to have persuaded many people that he deserved
what he got.

Someone who exudes such a reclining air that he will probably never be on
the receiving end of a Taser is The Washington Post's Emil Steiner, who
writes, "Kerry's voice, however, was no match for Meyer's, who despite not
having a mic continued to hog the audience's attention with such glib
catch phrases as: Help me! Help!'..."

This smug tone is jolted awake by the first comment below the piece, by a
"Mark" from Rhode Island: "One word: FASCISM! Be afraid to ask vital
questions in our free republic."

Steiner refers to the "mysterious" yellow book Meyer recommended for
Kerry. The book was Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast. Meyer identified the
author as a top investigative journalist; the senator said he'd already
read it. What's the mystery, aside from the stunning disconnect between
body-snatched reporters and the citizenry they putatively inform?

In observing the cultural milieu in which this incident took place, from
the blank reaction of students and Kerry to online comments to press
reports, there was an atavistic smack of the taste of what it was to be
living in the United States in 2002 and 2003. It was the most haunting
time I have known, when story after story in the mainstream press sold the
war, and when friends of mine with college and law and medical and
doctoral degrees jumped on the bandwagon, and I looked all around me and
saw only pods.

The question is when does it happen; when do the pods take over our souls
in this land? Is it in adolescence, when we have individuality pounded out
of us by the mob so eager to squelch any deviant thought or behavior? Is
it in classrooms or in front of televisions? What is the pod?

Surely Kerry was alive in Vietnam, when he saved his fellow soldiers, and
when he came home to protest the war; but somewhere in 37 years of public
life he got the lobotomy needed to win elections here. (Politicians with a
pulse, such as Ralph Nader and Jessie Jackson, don't stand a chance.) Even
after he had time to reflect, Kerry offered the Associated Press this safe
pablum: "Whatever happened, the police had a reason, had made their
decision that there was something they needed to do. Then it's a law
enforcement issue, not mine."

Lost in the melee was one of Meyer's questions: "Why not impeach Bush
before he has a chance to invade Iran?" It's a question that, if seriously
considered, would Tase the brains of zombies everywhere.

Brendan Cooney is an anthropologist living in New York City. He can be
reached at: itmighthavehappened [at]

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

Just so white progressives will remeber that it si an everyday event that
people of color and the poor - especially homeless people - are Tasered as
the Florida student was. I witnessed this event in Minneapolis in May.
Lydia Howell

I've Seen American Torture
by Lydia Howell
Tue. May 22, 2007

I witnessed torture last week.

Thursday, May 17th, was a beautiful Minnesota spring afternoon and I was
mentally planning out the next phase of planting in my new spot in a
community garden, while out running errands. I came out to the bus stop in
the Rainbow Foods parking lot on 27th Avenue off East Lake Street - a few
blocks from where the raids on immigrants took place two days later.
Immediately, my guard went up, as a police car pulled up.

Their focus was obvious: an African-American woman. Perhaps in her early
30s, she was even more vulnerable to law enforcement by two aspects of her
situation that became apparent.

Her white jogging pants and t-shirt were dirty. She gripped a luggage
cart, with a battered overnight suitcase strapped on the bottom and
various plastic bags tied all over it. I'd bet this week's pay she was
homeless. In our age of relentless gentrification and contempt of the
poor, being homeless is treated as a crime, where one is not only
subjected to harassment and arrest, but, to beatings and theft of all
one's belongings by police.

It was also quickly clear that she was mentally ill.

In a sing-song voice she repeated the same sentence endlessly. Yet, as the
1960s radical psychologist R.D. Laing observed in the 1960s: if one
attempts to read the "metaphors of insanity", they are often very
revealing. In fact, they often say a great deal about the insane, everyday
cruelty of our culture that drives people mad.

The woman was saying, over and over, "I'm not white and I'm not a star."

One police officer was speaking too quietly to hear, but, at one point she
said, "Talk to the store manager."  Then, a Hennepin County Medical Center
ambulance drove up. The police knew they were dealing with a mentally ill
person and Mayor R.T. Rybak has made a number of reassuring speeches about
MPD's Crisis Intervention Teams' officers trained to deal differently with
mentally ill people after several mentally ill people were gunned down by

There were about six of us at the bus stop, just five feet away. I
remembering thinking that surely so many witnesses present would protect
the woman from harm. The two EMT guys came forward and the second police
officer was behind the woman.

The woman made no threatening moves toward anyone, but, proclaimed with a
bit more intensity, "I'm NOT white and I'm NOT a star." She was now
surrounded by four big white men in uniforms. One cop behind her.

The officer who'd been talking to the woman put one hand on her shoulder.
Taking one step back, she jerked away and shouted,"Get your hands OFF ME!"

Then, I heard the harsh buzz as the other police officer used a stun gun,
Taser, on the woman.

One. Two. Three. Maybe even a fourth time.

Like the woman's reaction at the first officer's touch, I just reacted.
Bursting into sobs and yelling, "STOP iT! You're FOUR BIG MEN! You DON'T
have to Taser her! STOP IT!"

The woman crumpled to the ground. I guess the EMT guys stepped in, but, I
wasn't looking since the Taser cop now turned towards me.

"She's OFF her meds! Did you want her to attack YOU?"

Actually, it was the police that had scared me from the start. But, my
body was now numb and I was in "de-escalate the cops" mode. That means; be
still, maintain eye contact, keep one's voice low and use the word "sir"
frequently. He threatened to arrest me for "interfering with a police
officer', demanding I leave.

Walking quickly across the Rainbow parking lot, I desperately hoped for
another bus.  Any minute the squad car might come and then, what? Luckily,
the #7 pulled up and I jumped on.

The Taser is touted as a "non-lethal" alternative to deal with aggressive
suspects, without shooting them.  No research has been done as to its
longterm health effects. As many as 200 people have been killed by Tasers.
Police departments are supposed to train officers on when they're allowed
to use this device which administers a shock of 50,000 volts. Here's what
Amnesty International says:

"Many U.S. police agencies now ROUTINELY use Tasers to subdue UNARMED,
non-compliant individuals who DO NOT POSE A SERIOUS DANGER to themselves
or others...police have used Tasers against unruly school children,
mentally disabled and elderly people and people who simply argue with
(Emphasis added)

The City of Minneapolis spent $160,000 on Tasers last year and plans on
spending $861,000 this year on more Tasers.  The Arizona-based company
supplies thousands of U.S. police departments, and, also sells them to
human rights abusing governments world-wide.

AI also notes that these weapons are "portable...easy to sue..inflict
severe pain at the push of a button and leave no marks."

That sounds like the perfect torture device for abusing one's authority
over others while evading all accountability.

American torture didn't start in Abu-Graibe. That video of Los Angeles
cops beating Rodney King - almost 60 blows with batons - exposed this
reality more than 15 years ago. See Amnesty International at

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

In 1969 We Already Knew What 2007 Would Look Like
September 17, 2007

By 1969 in the Haight in San Francisco when people referred to themselves
as freaks rather than hippies a rumor started that the government was
building concentration camps in the south of Texas and Arizona to throw us
freaks into. The idea seemed credible - the police had started to come
down pretty hard on a lot of us particularly the Panthers over in Oakland.
People said things like, "this place is going to blow," or "the shit is
comin' down man."  The Haight was getting violent - already a lot of
former "peace" people had guns. My husband and I found a mean
semi-automatic in an old piano. A nasty gun that when fired had a kickback
like it would jump right out of your hands.

Altamont had been a dreary bust. Sitting near the front row in the thick
of the mayhem hadn't been a wise decision. Getting out of there before the
thing erupted into total chaos was the challenge. There was a nice couple
sitting next to us. I think they were semi-hippies or something. They were
scared and wanted out of there. We wanted out of there too. They told us
they had a car parked nearby but didn't know how to get through the people
who were getting more out of control by the second. It surprised us, their
parking so close to the concert. We had walked miles to get there having
being left off by a bus - one of hundreds that had taken people to about
five miles within the farm.

There was only one way to through all those people. I had been watching
how the Hells' Angels maneuvered their way through the crowd - had even
been one of their victims. They would stomp on top of people with all
their might and kept on stomping on them 'til they got to where they
wanted to go.

That was the way the four of us got out. I started out first and stomped
on people. I could hear their sounds of dismay and hurt but I kept on
moving. I pulled the girl behind me grasping her hand real tight. Her
husband was behind her holding her other hand and my husband had the rear
as he pushed the girl's husband forward. I remember the girl was saying
things like, "excuse me," to people as we walked on top of their heads.
They had a nice car - once we got to it. We kept thanking them for saving
us we rode back to the city. They kept thanking us for saving them.

In the 60's and early 70's there was no computers and rarely a telephone.
Nobody had a television. Once we got out of the city we lived for years in
the woods. No plumbing, electricity or running water. Meager amounts of
dough. We had a reel-to-reel tape player hooked up to a car battery. The
thing ran forever.  We never listened to the radio for any "news". We knew
what it would say anyway. We stuck to our tapes of old blues musicians or
be-bop. Vets out of 'Nam came around. We'd stay awake until the sun came
up listening to their stories. Once those boys started talking about that
war they couldn't seem to stop.

The big revolution which we assumed would result in many of us being
carted off to camps did not materialize. Still, there was a prescience to
the idea itself. Sooner or later the government did build them. Only
they're for Middle-Eastern people, Hispanics, African-Americans.

You can't live off the grid forever no matter how determined you were to
"get out of the system." Living without any dough was making people bitter
and hard. People came "back in." Started watching the "news" again. The
repetitious sequels of the demise of the great old republic which we knew
was dead in '69.

Nothing is really inevitable until it happens. Yet looking back at those
years it feels inevitable - that we would be rightwhere we are now. That
our grand old republic has finally reached what is its real, true level.
It feels inevitable too that soon it won't even need to pretend that it
was once something else.

Eva Liddell lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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

Clinton's Prescription for Another Heath Care Reform Failure
by John Nichols
Published on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 by The Nation

Would someone please ask Hillary Clinton to stop coming up with health
care "reform" plans that are less attractive than the dysfunctional system
she proposes to replace?

The former first lady, who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the
1990s by responding to the demand for a sane and humane system to deliver
affordable medical care to all Americans with a plan to drown the ailing
in a bureaucracy designed to augment the profits of the nation's largest
insurance companies, is back with an equally heavy-handed and unappealing
"reform" proposal.

The senator from New York who has emerged as the frontrunner for the
Democratic presidential nomination - based, in no small part, on romantic
misrecollections of her last foray into the nation's seemingly-endless
health-care debate - wants to solve the crisis of the uninsured and the
under-insured by requiring every American to obtain coverage.

Of course, the ridiculous Mitt Romney decries the Clinton campaign
proposal as "European-style socialized medicine".

But Romney knows so little about health care that he cannot even pick a
smart site for a press conference on the issue - he derided the Clinton
plan in front of St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan, home of the Rudolph
W. Giuliani Trauma Center - that is named for his chief rival in the
Republican nomination race.

The reality is that the Clinton plan is about as socialistic as a Ronald
Reagan corporate tax cut.

The Clinton plan maintains the current system of for-profit,
insurance-industry defined health care delivery. The only real change is
that, in return for minimal requirements regarding coverage of those with
preexisting conditions, the government would pump hundreds of billions in
federal dollars into the accounts of some of the country's wealthiest
corporations. The plan's tax credit scheme would buy some more coverage
for low-income families, which is good, but it would do so at a cost so
immense that, ultimately, Clinton's plan will be as tough a sell as the
failed 1993 "Hillarycare" proposal.

America is ready for health care reform.

But it is not ready for more bureaucracy, more expense and more revenue
for insurance companies.

Despite what Mitt Romney says, Clinton and the Democrats would have a far
easier time selling "European-style socialized medicine" that what the
senator from New York is peddling. And that does not even take into
account the potential appeal of a uniquely American single-payer system
that might intelligently combine the necessary efficiency of a
publicly-funded and defined payment program for covering costs with the
appealing prospect of allowing Americans to choose their own basic plans
and doctors.

Clinton could have proposed such a system. Indeed, she could have modeled
it on the plan she and other members of Congress now enjoy.

Instead, she chose to propose a scheme defined not by the needs or desires
of the American people but by the demands of existing insurance firms and
a dysfunctional for-profit health care industry.

If the senator is nominated and elected, and if she advances the
initiative she unveiled Monday, there will be no health-care reform. And
America's uninsured and under-insured millions will be doomed to suffer
for another decade or so because Hillary Clinton was incapable of
extracting herself from the grip of the corporations that have made it so
hard for the Americans to get the care they need.

John Nichols' new book is The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure
for Royalism. Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson hails it as a "nervy, acerbic,
passionately argued history-cum-polemic [that] combines a rich examination
of the parliamentary roots and past use of the 'heroic medicine' that is
impeachment with a call for Democratic leaders to 'reclaim and reuse the
most vital tool handed to us by the founders for the defense of our most
basic liberties'"...

Copyright  2007 The Nation

[Hillary's plan to force all of us to fork over several thousand dollars
yearly to a gang of worthless bluebloods is not a lesser evil. It is evil
plain and simple; so is its proposer; and so is a vote for her in 2008.


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