Progressive Calendar 09.26.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 02:53:12 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    09.26.07

1. Citizen web tools  9.27 8am
2. Refugee camp       9.27-30 9am
3. Human rights/UN    9.27 10am Onamia MN
4. Eagan peace vigil  9.27 4:30pm
5. Northtown vigil    9.27 5pm
6. Osama/man/myth     9.27 4:30pm
7. Ford hydro/hist    9.27 6pm
8. Green $            9.27 6pm
9. Early StP rights   9.27 6:15pm
10. Counter-recruit   9.27 6:30pm
11. Anarchism         9.27 7pm
12. Black stories     9.27-29 7pm?
13. Court personnel   9.27
14. Sexual assault    9.27-28

15. Antiwar DC bus    9.28 am
16. Globe/war         9.28 11:30am
17. Copwatch/CritMass 9.28 4:15pm
18. Palestine         9.28 4:30pm
19. YouthFarm harvest 9.28 5:30pm
20. Army of none      9.28 7:30pm
21. Pete Seeger/film  9.28+
22. ArmyOfNone/HS     9.28

23. Stacy Mitchell - 'Big-box Swindle' now in paperback
24. Ralph Nader    - Hypocrisy and inverted priorities in Congress
25. Cindy Sheehan  - Petty and cruel dictator Bush
26. David Swanson  - We have nothing but fear itself

--------1 of 26--------

From: Steven Clift <clift [at]>
Subject: Citizen web tools 9.27 8am

September 27, 2007
Citizen-Centered Goverment Web Sites: The User Experience, E-Democracy
and Web 2.0

>From 8:00 to 5:30 the Center is co-hosting with the Minnesota Office of
Enterprise Technology, the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, and
the Digital Technology Center, and Office of Information Technology at the
University of Minnesota.

This event will focus on enhancing the role of citizens in a digital
world.  There will be a discussion on how web tools can further engage
citizens in problem solving, while providing more positive user
experiences on government websites.

SLC: This event is being organized by Former State Senator Steve Kelley:
I'll be on one of the panels.

--------2 of 26--------

From: Lisa Edstrom <lisaedstrom [at]>
Subject: Refugee camp 9.27-30 9am

Imagine you have just minutes to flee your home. What few items can you
carry? How will you find food, shelter, and water?

These are just a few of the many thoughts that race through the minds of
an estimated 33 million people around the world who have been forced to
flee their homes and seek refuge because of war and conflict.

Doctors Without Borders/Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF) hopes to bring an
understanding of the refugee experience to the people of Minneapolis. "A
Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City," a free exhibit open to the general
public, will take place at Loring Park Thursday, September 27 through
Sunday, September 30 from 9am - 5:30pm daily.

Doctors Without Borders aid workers guide visitors through the camp
exhibit, explaining the challenges of building shelter, finding food and
clean water, and handling waste disposal-all basic elements of survival
for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).  The exhibit will
highlight the plight of the millions of people currently displaced by
conflict in places like Sudan, Colombia, and the Democratic Republic ofthe
Congo, as well as Thailand (the Hmong refugees) and Somalia-where the
majority of Minnesota's refugees originate.

In the nutrition tent, visitors learn about the special therapeutic foods
used to combat malnutrition.  Tours of the health clinic, vaccination
tent, and cholera treatment center demonstrate how the organization
provides basic health care and controls epidemics in refugee settings.The
exhibit is made up of actual materials used by Doctors Without Borders in
its medical humanitarian work around the world.

If you'd like to download images from last year's exhibits you can click
on the following link:  The link also
includes a document that lists suggested captions and mandatory photo

You can also visit for more
information on our 2007 tour to Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, Houston,
and Dallas.

Emily Linendoll Press Officer Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans
Frontieres (MSF) 212-763-5764 emily.linendoll [at]

Doctors Without Borders/Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF) is an international
independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid
to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made
disasters, and exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries.

--------3 of 26--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Human rights/UN 9.27 10am Onamia MN

SEPT.27 Event: Human Rights Training: Using the UN to hold the U.S.
accountable for Racism towards Indigenous Peoples workshop (free), MN
Historical Society's, Mille Lacs Indian Museum & Trading Post, 43411
Oodena Drive, Onamia, MN, Sept. 27th from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

--------4 of 26--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 9.27 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.

--------5 of 26--------
From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 9.27 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

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

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

--------6 of 26--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Osama/man/myth 9.27 4:30pm

Thursday, 9/27, 4:30, Duke University Islamic Studies prof Bruce Lawrence
speaks on "Osama Bin Laden, The Man and the Myth," Hill Ballroom, Kagin
Commons, Macalester College, Grand just west of Snelling, St Paul.  (No
tickets required.)

--------7 of 26--------

From: M McGinn <maureen [at]>
Subject: Ford hydro/history 9.27 6pm

Ramsey County Historical Society presents
"Henry Ford Wins the Power Struggle for the High Dam"
An illustrated lecture by Brian McMahon
Thursday, September 27, 2007, 6 p.m.
Landmark Center's Weyerhaeuser Auditorium
75 W 5th Street, St Paul

September 7, 2007--, The Ramsey County Historical Society will be
presenting an illustrated lecture titled "Henry Ford Wins the Power
Struggle for the High Dam", on Thursday, September 27 at 6p.m. in the
Weyerhaeuser Auditorium in Landmark Center. The lecture is based on an
article that was featured in the summer issue of Ramsey County History.

Ford Motor Company recently announced the closing of an automobile
assembly plant in St. Paul that it has operated for the past 83 years.
Among the assets being sold is the license to operate a hydroelectric
plant on the Mississippi River for a reported sum of $50 million to
Brookfield Energy. In 1923, Minneapolis Mayor Leach, as a condition for
withdrawing his city's application for the license, "demanded, among
other things, that the municipalities be given prior option to buy the
Ford plant at cost if for any reasons its use were discontinued."

Was the rejection of this demand a $50 million mistake for the Twin

The Brian McMahon will discuss:

How Henry Ford managed to secure the original license over the strenuous
objections of Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota

How Ford signed a lease with the Federal Power Commission calling for
payments of $95,440 per year with the amount to be renegotiated every 10
years. Inexplicably, the payments were never increased over the various
lease renewals.  The inflation adjusted present value of the original
annual lease payment of $95,000 would today be $1.1 million. As a result,
Ford saved tens of millions in lease payments to the federal government.

Ford originally claimed it would use most of the power generated, but in
fact sold off most of the electricity to a private utility company. When
added up, it appears that Ford operated its plant without having to pay
any costs for electricity, and because of the forbearance of the lease
payments, actually netted millions of dollars off the operation of the
hydroplant, which was substantially funded by taxpayers.

Was Henry Ford an industrial benefactor, or a shrewd capitalist who took
advantage of the disarray caused by the bitter rivalry between the two
cities? Or both?

Brian McMahon wrote an article on this subject in the Summer issue of
Ramsey County History and is completing a book on the history of Ford in
Minnesota for the University of Minnesota Press.

Free and open to the public.  For more information call 651-222-0701 or

--------8 of 26--------

From: AmiVoeltz DoItGreen <mngreenguide [at]>
Subject: Green $ 9.27 6pm

FREE Do It Green! Workshop Series
Visit or call 612-345-7973 for workshop updates and to RSVP.

SEPT./OCT. Green Spending & Investing

Expand your local spending power, support community banks and learn about
green investing from a panel of financial advisors. Create either a basic
financial cash flow or a green investment portfolio.

Thurs, Sept 27th  6-8pm
West 7th Community Center 265 Oneida St, St Paul

Sat, Sept 29th 12-2pm
Washburn Public Library 5244 Lyndale Ave S, Mpls

--------9 of 26--------

From: Anne R. Carroll <carrfran [at]>
Subject: Early StP rights 9.27 6:15pm

Reading . Signing . Conversation

William D. Green  (yes, the current Mpls schools superintendent)
A Peculiar Imbalance
The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Early Minnesota
Published by the Minnesota Historical Society, 2006

6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007
250 Wulling Hall, University of Minnesota

Minneapolis Public Schools Supt. Bill Green studied how to operate an
all-black school economically. First, you pay the teacher $35 a month.
For white students, he studied how to build an 18-room schoolhouse serving
2,111 (class size 117) for $16,969.65.
At least that's what happened in St. Paul in the mid-1860s.

Dr. Green's stories of race in early Minnesota resonate in the 21st century:
. Racism
. Discrimination Against Blacks, Indians and Non-English Speakers
. Class Conflict And Fear of Immigrant Labor
. Fear of Religious Differences (Catholic v. Protestant)
. Crime
. Segregated Schools
. Ill-Mannered Students
. Craven Politicians
. One Party's Seeming Lock on Minority Voters
. Acts of Decency and Heroism

Public is invited.
Sponsored by
University of Minnesota/College of Education & Human Development/Dept. of
Educational Policy & Administration
Jola Publications

--------10 of 26--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Counter-recruit 9.27 6:30pm

"Army of None" Counter-Recruitment 101 Workshop

Thursday, September 27, 6:30 p.m. Mayday Books, 301 Cedar Avenue South
(West Bank, below The Hub), Minneapolis. Book tour of author/activists
Aimee Allison and David Solnit. After serving four years as a combat medic
in the Army Reserves, Aimee Allison earned an honorable discharge as a
conscientious objector during the Persian Gulf War. She now serves on the
steering committee of San Francisco's College Not Combat Initiative. Free
and open to the public. Donations accepted. Sponsored by Youth Against War
and Racism (YAWR).

--------11 of 26--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Anarchism 9.27 7pm

Thursday, 9/27, 7 to 9:30 pm, first of four sessions in Macalester EXCO
(experimental college) class on "Nonviolence and Anarchism: An
Intergenerational Dialog," focusing on the uptoming protests of the
Republican National Convention and taught by Betsy Raasch-Gillman and Rob
Czernik.  Classes alternate between Jack Pine Center in Mpls and Friends for
a Nonviolent World in St Paul.  (space

--------12 of 26--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Black storytelling 9.27-29 7pm?

"Reaching Back to Move Forward" -Sankofa.  This is the theme for the
sixteenth Annual "Signifyin' & Testifyin' - Black Storytelling Festival in

Black Storytellers Alliance celebrates the 16th Annual Black Storytelling
Festival, "Signifyin' & Testifyin' - with a line-up of world renown Master
storytellers, September 27 - 29, 2007.

The line-up of storytellers include: Mitch "Gran' Daddy JuneBug Capel,
Donna "Mama Koku" Buie, Temujin Ekunfeo, Janice "the Griot" Greene, Baba
Jamal Koram, Tejumola Ologboni, Toni Simmons, Valerie Tutson and Danny
"Slapjazz" Barber.  This will be the first time exposure to the Twin
Cities for Danny "SlapJazz" Barber.  "SlapJazz"  is a body
Percussionist/Jawzzharp player with the body of the mythical John Henry.

The festival is an exposition of the power of the oral tradition as
practiced by African people in the Diaspora.  The mission of Black
Storytellers Alliance is to maintain the art of storytelling as a primary
source for positive instruction and reinforcement of the rich beauty
embodied in the telling of "the story".  To this end, the 2nd day of the
festival is dedicated to the students and their teachers in the metro
area.  The storytellers are showcased in several venues in Minneapolis and
St. Paul.  Teachers sign-up their students for a specific time and venue,
bring their students and enjoy - free of charge.

The three-day festival begins on Thursday evening, September 27, 2007
hosted and co-sponsored by Afro Centric Academy the Opening Ceremonies,
concert of tellers and the reception that follows.  All day Friday,
September 29 from 9AM to 3 PM features several storytelling concerts for
students and their teachers.  These concerts are hosted and co-sponsored
by Macalester College - Kagin Hall in St. Paul, St. Thomas University in
Minneapolis at Thornton Hall and Friday afternoon at the Children's
Theatre.  That Friday evening, Ames Elks Lodge will co-host and sponsor
the infamous "Liar's Tall Tales Contest".  Saturday, September 29, 2007 is
the evening Grand Finale.  All events are free of charge and open to the
public to carry out the mission of Black Storytellers Alliance.

Black Storytellers Alliance has been able to produce this festival through
great collaborations and co-sponsorships; individual and corporate
donations; and a core of the greatest volunteers in the world including
the Board of Directors for Black Storytellers Alliance. "Reaching back to
move forward" - Sankofa, is the "Signifyin' & Testifyin'" 3-day
storytelling festival.

Contact: Nothando Zulu, Director Black Storytellers Alliance 1112 Newton
Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411 (612) 529-5864 (voice) (612) 529-5951 (fax)
nzulu [at]

--------13 of 26--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Court personnel 9.27

September 27: WATCH Quarterly webinar training Communicating with Court
Personnel: Strategies for Creating Change. This workshop will look at
providing direct feedback, information and suggestions to criminal justice
system staff. Should your call or write a judge? How do you tactfully tell
a prosecutor when you think they've screwed up? What do you do when a
clerk has been rude to a victim? $35 for National Association of Court
Monitoring Program members and $50 for non-members. To register visit Questions? ddougherty [at]

--------14 of 26--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Sexual assault 9.27-28

September 27 - 28: MN Coalition Against Sexual Assault Annual Meeting in
Bloomington. Keynote speakers are Claudia Bayliff, former advocate and
current head of the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
Program, and Cordelia Anderson, speaking on the Normalization of Sexual
Harm. Breakouts will be on prevention, youth involvement, immigration,
collaboration, and the political side of advocacy. Contact Megan at
MNCASA for more info.

--------15 of 26--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Antiwar DC bus 9.28 am

We want to particularly draw your attention to the fact that the AWC is
organizing a bus trip to Washington DC this fall.  We feel that this fall
is a crucial time to take our voices to Washington.  We hope you'll
consider coming or donating to help someone else come.

Bus Trip:  Want to take your voice to DC?  Come with us & march from the
Capitol to the White House to say Troops Out Now!

Current war funding ends 10/1, so this will be an important time to be in
DC!  We'll leave Friday, 9/28 in the morning so we can get to DC for the
Troops Out Now Coalition demonstration on 9/29 (
<>).  We'll be back in the afternoon/evening on
Sunday, 9/30.  Seats cost $175 per person.  Partial scholarships are
available.  To reserve your spot or to ask questions, call 612.379.3899 or
email bus [at] <mailto:bus [at]>.  To
donate to help fund someone else's participation, you can donate online at <> or you can send a check
to our office at 1313 5th St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414.

--------16 of 26--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Globe/war 9.28 11:30am

Friday, 9/28, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, poli sci prof Andrew Latham speaks on
"Globalization and War: Toward a Polemology' of World Order
Transformation," Gliddens Learning Center, room 1S, Hamline University,
1536 Hewitt Ave, St Paul.

--------17 of 26--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: Copwatch/CritMass 9.28 4:15pm

Friday, September 28
4:15 p.m.
Loring Park (by the fountain)
1382 Willow Street, Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Critical Mass bike ride has happened the last Friday of
every month for the past nine years, mostly uneventfully.  However, last
month's ride turned into a brutality fest when MPD cops rioted, arresting
19 and abusing many more.  Of the 19 arrested, only two have been formally
charged and their charges were later dropped.  The others are still
awaiting word on charges and are trying to get their cameras, backpacks,
bikes and other property back.

While we think the cops may be on their best behavior now that
embarrassing video has emerged showing their awful conduct last month, we
still think it's wise to take out some insurance by having copwatch
present and out in force.  We are especially interested in folks who have
both bikes and cameras, though we will also have additional folks in cars
and on foot.

We will meet at the fountain in Loring Park at 4:15 p.m. to talk to
people about their rights and to let them know we will be there for
them.  We also want to make one last pitch for witnesses to last month's
outrageous cop conduct.  Please join us to ensure that the Critical Mass
ride is safe.  Please bring a video or still camera and a cell phone, if
you have them.

[The cops harrassed Critical Mass regularly some years ago. Bikes are an
affront to the car-gas-oil-highway-bigbox ruling-class; the first duty of
the cops is to help the rich get richer.
 Dean Zimmermann campaigned among other things on stopping cop harrassment
of Critical Mass. After he was elected, he rode his bike very publicly
with Critical Mass. The harassments stopped for the four years of Dean's
city council term.
 Now Dean is gone, we have a new police chief, and the harassments are
back. The rich never give up. -ed]

--------18 of 26--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Palestine 9.28 4:30pm

Friday, 9/28, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end the occupation of Palestine,
Snelling & Summit Aves, St Paul.  Karen, 651-283-3495.

--------19 of 26--------

From: Gunnar Liden <gunnarliden [at]>
Subject: Youth farm harvest 9.28 5:30pm

Celebrate Youth Farm's Thirteenth Harvest!
Please join Chef Lucia Watson and the young people and staff members of
the Youth Farm and Market Project for a Harvest Celebration
Friday, September 28, 2007

Wine and hors devours will be served, along with samples of YFMP produce!
Anytime between 5:30-8pm

At the beautiful Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center, St. Paul
179 E. Robie Street, St. Paul, 55107

Your $25 contribution (suggested, all are welcome) at the door will help
support this innovative program. This past summer, more than 300 young
people grew, cooked and distributed more than 4,000 pounds of fresh local

Information: or call 612.872.4226

--------20 of 26--------

From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at]>
Subject: Army of none 9.28 7:30pm

MAGERS AND QUINN PRESS RELEASE : For Immediate Distribution : Peace
activists David Solnit and Aimee Allison discuss their book Army of None,
7:30 pm, Friday September 28 at Lyndale United Church of Christ, 31st
Street and Aldrich Avenue South in Minneapolis. Advance tickets for $5 on
sale at Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

Every day in the United States, military recruiters enter the halls of
high schools equipped with a goodie bag of promises and free copies of the
US Army's official new video game, America's Army. Assurances of
non-combat positions and college money made largely to teens of color and
low-income communities rarely materialize upon real-life service.

An Army of None (Seven Stories Press) is a comprehensive guide to
counter-recruitment campaigns - from personal counseling to legislative
change to direct action. More hands-on and sustainable than other antiwar
activities, the counter-recruitment movement offers a provocative vision
for the future and has the potential to create deep positive social change
and de-militarize our schools, country, and the world at large.

An Army of None is an unprecedented and practical resource for activists,
containing compelling photos and artwork, spoken word, sample fact sheets,
how-to guides, lobbying directions, resource lists, and ideas for direct
action. It provides a frightening look into the world of military
recruitment that everyone in the United States should know about, and the
hopeful stories, inspiration, and tools necessary to do something about

Anti-war, global justice and arts organizer David Solnit was a main
organizer in the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999 and in San Francisco the
day after Iraq was invaded in 2003.He is the editor of Globalize
Liberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World.

After serving four years as a combat medic in the Army Reserves, Aimee
Allison earned an honorable discharge as a conscientious objector during
the Persian Gulf War. She now serves on the steering committee of San
Francisco's College Not Combat Initiative.

--------21 of 26--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Pete Seeger/film 9.28+

Starts Friday, September 28 at the Edina Cinema

Pete Seeger, one of the greatest American singer/songwriters of the last
century, was the architect of the folk revival, writing some of its best
known songs, including "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "Turn, Turn,
Turn" and "If I Had a Hammer." Largely misunderstood by his critics,
including the U.S. government, for his views on peace, unionism, civil
rights and ecology, Seeger was targeted by the communist witch hunt of the
1950s and, in spite of his enormous popularity, banned from American
television for more than 17 years. With a combination of never-before-seen
archival footage and personal films made by Seeger and his wife, this
authorized biography chronicles the life of the legendary artist and
political activist. Includes appearances by Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce
Springsteen, Natalie Maines, Tom Paxton and Peter, Paul and Mary. Directed
by Jim Brown (The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time). Official Web Site

--------22 of 26--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: ArmyOfNone/HS 9.28

Friday, 9/28, morning or afternoon, schools interested in bringing "Army
of None" (on counter-recruitment) authors to their schools should contact
Ty as soon as possible at 612-760-1980.

From: PRO826 [at]

Wonderful opportunity for students and teachers!
ARMY of NONE Project
Bring them into your school next Friday, Sept. 28th
"To Counter Military Recruitment, End War, and Build a Better World"

Invite Army of None authors to speak, teach and perform about the military
industrial complex - and local solutions that are making a huge difference
in the lives of youth and the future of our nation.

Project Coordinators and authors Aimee Allison and David Solnit have over
30 years of experience working with diverse groups of individuals to
create positive change in our communities.  During 2007, Aimee and David
will travel across the United States to share their knowledge and
experience through presentations that can be tailored to each community's

Already at South High in Minneapolis we have an event scheduled from Noon
to 1pm, where a number of teachers are bringing their classes together to
see the Army of None presentation. Act now to bring this inspiring tour to
your school in morning or afternoon of Friday, September 28th.

STUDENTS: You'll need to act now to make this happen. Forward this email
to supportive, antiwar teachers tonight (you can find their emails on your
school district website).  Then call them or visit them tomorrow and see
if they would be willing to help you put an event together. If you can get
a supportive teacher or two who agrees to bring their classes to the
event, then the only thing left is to secure a space, which I'm sure your
teachers can help you with.

If you are interested in making this happen, please Ty at 612-760-1980 as
soon as possible to coordinate.

I recently read the Army of None book, which is excellent! Definitely the
best literature to come out so far on the issue of military recruitment.
More than that, the book is really a model of how to bring out information
in a way that inspires/empowers youth into action. From powerful personal
stories retelling the experiences of a diverse cross-section of working
class youth and veterans, the authors move easily to big picture analysis
of the war and its deeper causes, the class and race dynamics of the
military and recruitment - and crucially, strategies for young people to
be effective organizers to end the war and create for a better future. -

--------23 of 26--------

From: Stacy Mitchell <smitchell [at]>
Subject: Big-Box Swindle Now in Paperback

Dear friends and colleagues,

My book, Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight
for America's Independent Businesses, has just been released in paperback
(Beacon Press, $15).

If you haven't read Big-Box Swindle, Bill McKibben described it as "the
ultimate account of the single most important economic trend in our
country."  John Marshall of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer named it one of
the top ten books of 2006 and wrote that it "illuminates a stunning
collection of business outrages, government favoritism, environmental
damages, hidden economic and societal costs, and debunked myths" and, more
importantly, "provides inspiring lessons from places that are turning the

Among those inspiring lessons are stories of farmers and small
manufacturers that have found a way thrive by shunning the big boxes in
favor of independent retailers, citizens groups that have succeeded in
transforming their city's land use and economic policies, and communities
that have found ways to nurture a host of new local businesses. To learn
more about the book and see other reviews, visit

If you have colleagues or belong to an organization that would find this
book of interest, or if you publish a newsletter or blog, I'd be grateful
if you could pass along information about Big-Box Swindle.  It's available
at your local independent bookstore and also through ILSR's online store

Many community groups have found Big-Box Swindle to be a persuasive
educational tool for their elected officials and some have used it as a
fundraiser or membership benefit.  Please talk with your local bookseller
or contact me to find out about discounts for multiple copies and other
special arrangements.

Stacy Mitchell New Rules Project Institute for Local Self-Reliance Tel:
(207) 774-6792
Big-Box Swindle
Big Box Tool Kit
Hometown Advantage Bulletin

--------24 of 26--------

Hypocrisy and Inverted Priorities in Congress
The Power of Public Sentiments
September 25, 2007

A society reveals its values, priorities and distribution of power in the
way its rulers punish deviant behavior. Here are some examples for you to

Members of Congress were in an uproar recently over a MoveOn.Org political
advertisement in the New York Times titled "General Petraeus or General
Betray Us?" The following copy alerted readers to their belief that he may
likely testify before Congress as a political General reflecting the rosy
views on the Iraq war-quagmire by his commander-in-chief, George W. Bush.

How dare MoveOn.Org criticize a General in the midst of Bush's war of
choice, growled Republicans and some Democrats as the Senators rushed to
overwhelmingly vote for a resolution condemning the ad?

How dare those many Americans who criticized Civil War Generals, World War
Two Generals, Korean War Generals (remember General Douglas MacArthur) and
Vietnam War Generals (remember General William Westmoreland)?

This kind of criticism inside Army, inside the Congress and among the
citizenry has been as American as apple pie.

How come a similar uproar has not come forth about the many female U.S.
soldiers in Iraq raped or sexually harassed by male soldiers who are often
their superiors? Where are the generals to crack down on these outrages?
This story was documented in a long cover story in the New York Times
Magazine some months ago, citing numerous sources, including the Pentagon.

Senators demanded the resignation of Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) caught in
a toilet sting operation at Minneapolis airport. Senator Craig - he now
says foolishly so - pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct. For
doing what? As Frank Rich described the situation in the New York Times:
"He didn't have sex in a public place. He didn't expose himself. His toe
tapping, hand signals and 'wide stance' were at most a form of

Conservative columnist, George Will expressed similar views.

The penalty for Senator Craig is likely termination of his Senate career
but not one required by law. Just by pressure from his "pure" Senate

Now contrast what should be required of George W. Bush by our
Constitution, laws and international treaties to which the U.S. is a
signatory nation.

Plunging our nation into an unconstitutional war of massive carnage and
cost, and committing numerous, repeated crimes along the way, from
widespread torture in violation of U.S. law and the Geneva conventions to
spying on Americans without court approval (a felony), does not agitate
the Senators as did the airport toilet tapping.

Added to the Bush presidency's serial and continuing crimes are his
bungling and incompetence. He has enriched crooked corporations, burned
tens of billions of taxpayer dollars and most seriously, deprived soldiers
of sufficient body and humvee armor year after year, which has cost the
lives and limbs of thousands of American GIs.

In a US court of law, such behavior would be judged criminal negligence.

Yet, there has been no demand from Congress for his impeachment, or his
resignation, or even any support for Senator Russ Feingold's modest
resolution of censure (S.Res. 302 and 303).

Bush's Justice Department has thrown the book at several plaintiff lawyers
for paying people to be lead plaintiffs in securities fraud cases while
not pursuing well over 90% of the corporate crooks who actually stole big
money from investors and shareholders while paying themselves compensation
beyond their dreams of avarice.

If the Department needed a bigger budget to go after this corporate crime
wave, they should have requested it from Congress. The resulting fines and
restitutions alone would have paid for such an enlarged law and order

I am sure you can cite many examples of public hypocrisy, double standards
and inverted priorities from your knowledge and experience. There are many
explanations about why and how these powerbrokers and powerholders get
away with such behavior.

But let us remember Abraham Lincoln's observation about the power of
"public sentiments." We need to inform, focus and deliver a different
quality and quantity of "public sentiments" directly to our allegedly
public servants.

So that they start to sweat the big stuff.

Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions

--------25 of 26--------

Petty and Cruel Dictator
by Cindy Sheehan
Published on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 by

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the president of Iran spoke at Columbia University
today. I heard that he was invited there because the President of Columbia
wanted to foster a "free exchange of ideas". Even though I am not an
Ahmadinejad supporter, I know he was elected in Iran in a knee-jerk and
understandable response to the USA's bloodily unnecessary invasion of
Iraq, as many reactionery governments have been elected in that region and
all over the world in response to the spreading US corporate and military

Citing such human rights' violations in the form of imprisonment and
executions, the President of Columbia University, very boorishly said that
Ahmadinejad appeared to be a "petty and cruel dictator". First of all, how
does one invite someone to your place for a "free exchange of ideas," and
be such a rude American? Did he only invite Ahmadinejad so he could
publicly scold him or to become the darling of Fox News?

Secondly, what about our President who appears to be a "petty and cruel
dictator?" George Bush presided over a stunning amount of executions when
he was Governor of Texas and the US is operating torture prison camps,
openly and secretly, all over the world. BushCo has fought the Supreme
Court and Congress for the right to hold thousands of humans without their
human rights of due process and they have also been strenuously committed
to the strategy of torture - or "enhanced interrogation methods" as the
Ministry of Truth likes to call it. A Reverend gets beaten down in the
halls of Congress; nooses are being hung in the south; students are being
tased on campuses and Congress is censuring Freedom of Speech - how much
evidence do we need before we decide that something is profoundly wrong in
present-day America?

In 2006, China, the leading practitioner of state sanctioned murder in the
form of execution, killed 8000 people in this manner. However, the Premier
of China is welcomed to the US by George Bush who is probably envious of
President Hu Jintao's record. We borrow vast sums from China to wage our
wars and China is our major trading partner. Wal-Mart's cheap and
dangerous crap is manufactured by near slaves there, but somehow that is
okay? Somehow it is okay to welcome Communist China with open arms, but
demonize and disparage a Socialist like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela? America
has a very lucrative prison business and is the only country in the
Americas that practices execution. A barbarian is a barbarian no matter
what color, religion or nationality they are.

George Bush has added signing statements to almost 1000 bills that he has
signed into law saying that he doesn't have to obey those very same laws.
We have the Nazi-ist sounding Department of Homeland Security which seems
to be obsessed with keeping my un-zip-locked baggied lip-gloss off of
flights. The un-Patriot Act and breaking of FISA laws and our 4 th
Amendment right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure have
turned the "Land of the Free" into the "Home of the Slaves".

To put the cherry on the sundae of the crimes that BushCo have committed,
they have sent hundreds of thousands of our own sons and daughters to
occupy a country that was no threat to America or its neighbors. Thousands
of Americans are dead, wounded or mentally screwed up and millions of
Iraqis are dead, wounded, mentally screwed up or displaced from their

Another boorish American, Scott Pelley (of 60 Minutes) hammered
Ahmadinejad about sending weapons into Iraq without even once
acknowledging the immoral tons of weapons that we rained on the citizens
of Iraq during "shocking and awful;" the cluster bombs that look like toys
that litter the killing fields of that country and have killed and maimed
so many children; the mercenary killers that outnumber our troops and use
the people of Iraq for target practice; the thousands of tons of weapons
that the US let out of such weapons dumps as al-Qaqaa that were left
unguarded while the oil ministry was heavily fortified. Not to mention
that America supported Iraq in its eight year long war with Iran that
killed an unbelievable amount of people on both sides of the border. The
hypocrisy of our system is spectacular and deadly in both ignorance and

We here in America are living in a fascist state that regularly puts
corporate profits and an insatiable and evil thirst for power above people
and their needs. Our supercilious leaders and media are so busy calling
the kettle black, they don't notice or care how dark our pot is. We are
supporting Israel in their human rights violations against Palestine,
illegally occupying two countries on our own and we have the nerve to
claim any kind of moral superiority over anybody?

The fascist, near dictatorship of the Bush regime (a la Nazi Germany) has
even intimidated universities to align with their hypocritical murderous
rhetoric. Universities should feel free to invite anyone to speak to open
much needed dialogue in our country and in the world. And if a person is
invited, they should be treated by the person who invited them with a
slight modicum of courtesy and then let the rocking and rolling begin with
the "Q & A" - which would truly be a free exchange of ideas. I am
surprised President Bollinger didn't have President Ahmadinejad tased.

Peace is going to take all the nations working in cooperation to limit
naked aggression and human rights' violations, not just the ones which the
US declare as evil. How many nukes do we have? How many does Pakistan
have? How many does India, Israel, North Korea, and the former Soviet
Union have? Should the rhetoric be about destroying all weapons of mass
destruction and not just prohibiting Iran from obtaining one?

Many countries are committing human rights' violations and sending arms
and troops into many parts of the world. America's biggest export is
violence and we would do well to call for an end to all occupations and
violence by beginning to end our own.

Let's clean our own filthy house before we criticize someone else for

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan who was KIA in
Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families
for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother's Child and
Dear President Bush.

--------26 of 26--------

We Have Nothing But Fear Itself
by David Swanson
September 25, 2007

A Roseland, Indiana, city council member orders police to remove a fellow
city council member.  The police escort him out, shove him down on his
face and pound his head. Onlookers either cheer, do nothing, joke, behave
as if all were normal, or yell at others to let the police do their jobs.
Not a single person protests.  Only the one victim is hauled off in the
police car.  No one jumps in and shouts "Before this becomes Nazi Germany,
arrest me too!"

A University of Florida student asks inconvenient questions of a U.S.
senator.  Police tackle him and shoot him with a taser.  Onlookers,
including the senator, either cheer, do nothing, joke, behave as if all
were normal, or yell at others to let the police do their jobs.  Not a
single person seriously protests.  Only the one victim is hauled off to
jail.  Fascist-friendly media outlets love the story because the senator
is a Democrat, but they don't tell the story right.  Progressive media
outlets don't tell the story, even though they would tell it right,
because the senator is a Democrat.

A television newscaster announces that planes were delayed in Boston's
airport and tells us the name of a college student, shows us her picture,
and tells us that we should blame her.  He tells us to give the airport
security guards credit for doing their jobs.  They mistook her school
project for a bomb.  Again, we must let the "authorities" handle things.

We must pretend toothpaste and deodorant are weapons.  We must pass
through metal detectors.  We must shout through bullet proof glass.  We
must refrain from hysterically laughing at police officers who solemnly
believe every backpack or stroller is a threat to national security.  We
must speak freely in "free speech zones," except when we speak the wrong
things freely and go to jail for it.  We must be treated as criminals any
time we attempt to get near members of our government.

We must accept genocide to support "our troops" doing their job.  With
very few exceptions, when those troops witness torture, rape, and murder,
they either cheer, do nothing, joke, behave as if all were normal, or yell
at others to let the mercenaries and the troops do their jobs.  They're
brave enough to fight and kill, but just as scared to challenge abuses of
power as everyone back home.

Back home in the land of the free, the wrong sign or t-shirt can now land
you in jail.  The wrong bumper sticker at a peace rally can get you a
ticket.  The wrong words out of your mouth can now constitute any number
of serious crimes.  Police brutality is now considered part of keeping us
safe.  And everyone is too scared to notice that anything is changing.
Those who notice, obviously believe nothing can be done or believe someone
else will do it.  If those abroad who resent the United States really did
so for our freedoms, we'd be pretty safe now.

"If You See Something, Say Something."

Everyone needs to quit all the idiotic spying on neighbors and snooping
around their bags to check for bombs.  When you see someone assaulted by
police, SAY SOMETHING.  Do not let that moment pass.

One young woman approached the University of Florida police and screamed
"Why are you doing that?"  That's a start.

Sam Provance exposed some of the torture at Abu Ghraib.  That's a start.

But most Americans appear paralyzed by fear.  And that includes many
Americans with the power to put a halt to our slide into martial law.  We
have an opposition political party afraid to oppose anything.  We have
grassroots groups that swear obedience to the opposition party, even as
the useless unopposing party condemns the activists.  Those with the power
to end national crimes are afraid to do so.  They fund the occupation of
Iraq and promise never to impeach anyone, all as part of letting the
"authorities" handle things.  And citizens play along, pretending the
Democrats have no power and, in addition, shouldn't use it.  They base
this on the theory that by not using any power you are most likely to
acquire more power.  This is thinking driven by fear.  We have almost
nothing but fear now driving our national decisions, and it is beginning
to scare me.

But there are signs of courage.  There is a growing and successful
counter-recruitment movement.  Expensive corporate movies are beginning to
challenge the occupation of Iraq.  And peace and impeachment activists are
engaging in more and more civil disobedience.  People are speaking and
protesting and sitting-in in the face of nascent fascism.  Even sometimes
those in power are speaking truth to those with more power.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich alone in Congress is repeatedly articulating
the indisputable but taboo fact that the Democratic leadership in Congress
can end the occupation by announcing that it will not fund it anymore.
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey has suggested that pseudo peace activists
targeting Republicans may not be enough, that it might be a good idea to
challenge pro-war Democrats as well.  The Congressional Black Caucus
Monitor is holding "Lawn Jockey Awards" for the "four worst black members
of Congress."  And many progressives around the country are energetically
opposing the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton.  There are signs
of life still in our body politic, but they are struggling against an
incoming tide of fear and self-inflicted terrorism.


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