|Progressive Calendar 09.30.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 04:12:27 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 09.30.07 1. Women's bike ride 9.30 10:30am 2. Stillwater vigil 9.30 1pm 3. Art/culture/change 9.30 3pm 4. Marx in Soho/play 9.30 3pm 5. WAMM auction 9.30 5pm 6. N4Peace concert 9.30 7pm 7. Jeremy Scahill/ch2 9.30 10:30pm 8. Blog workshop 10.01 7pm 9. Truth to power 10.01 7:30pm 10. AlliantAction 10.02 7am 11. Civil liverty/war 10.02 11:30am 12. Rachel Corrie/CTV 10.02 5pm 13. Returning vets 10.02 5:30pm 14. Policy advocacy 10.02 6:30pm 15. Salon/farm bill 10.02 6:30pm 16. Farms/animals 10.02 7pm 17. Impeach for peace 10.02 7pm 18. Poems from Gitmo 10.02 7:30pm 19. Public relations 10.02 20. Denise C Breton - Books on restorative justice 21. Alexander Cockburn - Clinton time: clocks forward or back? 22. Ralph Nader - Free lunches, for corporations! 23. Seth Sandronsky - Since 1980 a steady decline for most workers 24. Harold Meyerson - The rise of the have-nots --------1 of 24-------- From: Nicole Waxmonsky-Tu <Nickel542 [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Women's bike ride 9.30 10:30am Attention women cyclists -- If you have been looking for a group to ride with, this is the ride to check out! Sunday, September 30th, meet other women cyclists in the Roseville area as we make our way out to Stillwater on the Gateway Trail. The trip is about ~30miles round trip and will include a stop in Stillwater for lunch. The plan is to meet up at 10:30am at McCarron Lake and head onto the Gateway trail from there. Gateway Trail: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/gateway/index.html Thanks and hope to see you there! Contact us if you have any questions! Nicole (651-five8seven-3eight3eight) Lisa Edstrom (651-six4seven-1three0seven) --------2 of 24-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 9.30 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------3 of 24-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Art/culture/change 9.30 3pm ART, CULTURE AND THEATER FOR A CHANGE! How can we use art, culture, and theater to help us organize, mobilize, educate and win? How can we understand and counter the stories of our oppressors? Come to a workshop at the Jack Pine Community Center (2815 East Lake Street) on Sunday September 30th from 3 to 5 p.m. and share your ideas! See pictures of how art, theater and spectacle has been used in large-scale mobilizations. Hear stories of how art can be used in organizing for social change. Participate in some theater-making exercises to stretch your legs and your imagination! Art, culture and theater are essential to tell our stories, win public support, keep us hopeful, have fun, and communicate powerfully from our hearts. David Solnit, who will facilitate, is an arts organizer and puppeteer who uses culture, art, giant puppets, direct action and theater in mass mobilizations, and as an organizing tool. He has worked with farmworker, unions, environmental justice, immigrant rights, anarchist, anti-war, and human rights groups. He is the editor of Globalize Liberation and co-author of Army of None. --------4 of 24-------- From: Peter Rachleff <rachleff [at] macalester.edu> Subject: Marx in Soho/play 9.30 3pm On Sunday, September 30, at 3PM, Macalester College will host the Twin Cities only performance of Howard Zinn's play, "Marx in Soho." Bob Wieck has been touring the country with this play for the past two years. The performance will be in the Weyerhaueser Chapel and it will be free and open to the public. The play runs 75 minutes, and it will be followed by a post-show panel discussion. --------5 of 24-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: WAMM auction 9.30 5pm WAMM's 23rd Annual Silent Auction Sunday, September 30, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. The WAMM Silent Auction features over 200 items such as gift certificates, vacation getaways, restaurants, health and wellness services, theater tickets, artwork, gourmet dinners and much more. Be sure to stop by the Hot Buys tables where you will find small items to go. Enjoy a substantial complimentary buffet. Supervised children's activities available. The WAMM Silent Auction is the perfect way to celebrate peace. Admission: $5.00 to $25.00 (no one turned away). FFI: Call WAMM 612-827-5364. One week on Cape Cod Second week of June, 2008. Four bedroom, four bathroom home in Wellfleet on the Bay with three side porches and a roof top porch. The house is equipped with bikes; bike paths that go up and down the Cape are closeby. Great place for a family reunion; across the main highway from the National Seashore. Value: $2000. Minimum Bid: $1,000. ....etc others... and One night in Fridey. Will seems like much longer. Minimum bid: whatever. --------6 of 24-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: N4Peace concert 9.30 7pm Sunday, 9/30, 7 pm, fundraiser for St Anthony Park Neighbors for Peace, featuring The Mamas in concert, St Anthony Park Lutheran Church, 2323 Como Ave. St Paul. www.parkpeace.org --------7 of 24--------- From: Ahmed <ata200221 [at] msn.com> Subject: Jeremy Scahill/ch2 9.30 10:30pm .. is BelAhdan this Sunday Guest of this week Belahdan interviewed Jeremy Scahill, regular contributor to the Nation and Democracy Now and author of "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," Please watch his interview on Sunday , public TV www.belahdan.com <http://www.belahdan.com/> Ahmed Tharwat/ Host <http://www.belahdan.com/> BelAhdan TV show airs on Public TV Sundays at 10:30pm <http://www.belahdan.com/> www.belahdan.com --------8 of 24-------- From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at] e-democracy.org> Subject: Blog workshop 10.01 7pm Blogs: Sharing Your Story Rondo Library (University and Dale) Monday, October 1 7:00 - 8:30 pm FREE As part of our ongoing E-Tools For All series at the Rondo Library, theSPED-Outreach committee will be offering a workshop on blogging this Monday, October 1, 7:00 - 8:30 pm. In this workshop, SPED volunteers will help you set up your own blog (if you don't already have one), and will teach you how to use it to publish your thoughts and ideas online. We are happy to accommodate both advanced and novice bloggers, as well as those unsure what a blog is and why they might want one. Come to our workshop, leave with a free blog! As always, the workshop is free, all are welcome to attend, and no registration is required. Please go to http://pages.e-democracy.org/SPED_Rondo_Outreach_Program for a complete schedule. --------9 of 24-------- From: Human Rights Events Update <humanrts [at] umn.edu> Subject: Truth to power 10.01 7:30pm October 1, 2007 - Speak Truth To Power: Voices >From Beyond The Dark. Time: 7:30pm Performance of Speak Truth To Power: Voices From Beyond The Dark Monday, October 1st 7:30 PM The Children s Theatre Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ariel Dorfman was inspired to write a theatrical presentation based on interviews with over fifty human rights activists from around the world. The resulting play, Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark, was presented at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. in September 2000, and broadcast as part of PBS's The Kennedy Center Presents. In the essay found here, the playwright describes how these long suppressed voices have come to be heard. The play has been performed at theaters across America and around the world, including Geneva, London, Helsinki, Athens, Madrid, Rome, and Sydney. Upcoming performances are being planned in New York and in Argentina. Tickets are available through The Children s Theatre Ticket Office tickets [at] childrenstheatre.org Phone: 612.874.0400 FAX: 612.872.5170 Location: The Children's Theatre, 2400 Third Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55404-3597 --------10 of 24-------- From: AlliantACTION <AlliantACTION [at] circlevision.org> Subject: AlliantAction 10.02 7am Second Annual Nonviolent Action on the Birth of Mahatma Gandhi "The force generated by nonviolence is infinitely greater than the force of all the arms invented by man's ingenuity." Gandhi Please join us as we honor Gandhi on his Birthday outside Alliant Techsystems, Minnesota's largest based military contractor producer of dU munitions, landmines, cluster bombs, trident II and minuteman. We call for Peace Conversion with No Loss of Jobs. All will have an opportunity to present their idea to ATK for Peace Conversion. Requested but not required: Bring a child's toy or doll or game or book or instruments or _______ to be donated to a local family shelter. Press conference TBA at site of recipient. Tuesday, October 2 7 am Alliant Techsystems 5050 Lincoln Drive, Edina. Gather in park across and up the street. Info and map online: www.alliantaction.org --------11 of 24-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Civil liverty/war 10.02 11:30am Tuesday, 10/2, 11:30 to 1 pm, lecture "America's Civil Liberties: The First Casualty of a Nation at War," Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, 2800 LaSalle Plaza, 800 LaSalle Ave, Mpls. http://www.mnadvocates.org --------12 of 24-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Rachel Corrie/CTV 10.02 5pm Revered St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts in St. Paul on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings. All households with basic cable can watch! ** 10/2 5pm and midnight and 10/3 10am ** "Rachel Corrie: A Life for Others". On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, an American activist with the International Solidarity Movement, was killed while attempting to prevent the destruction of the home of a Palestinian family. This show is a recording of a local theatrical performance telling the true story of Rachel Corrie. --------13 of 24-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Returning vets 10.02 5:30pm Tuesday, 10/2, 5:30 pm, the Citizens League sponsors program "Civic Minds: New Thinking on Civic Life" concentrating on the Warrior to Citizen campaign, which attempts to integrate returning vets into civic leadership, Humphrey Center atrium, 301 - 19th Ave S, Mpls. www.hhh.umn.edu --------14 of 24-------- From: Rick Mons <Rick [at] RickMons.com> Subject: Policy advocacy 10.02 6:30pm Speak up for Special Education Practical Tips to Influence Public Policy Tuesday 10/2/2007 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Roseville City Hall (County C and Lexington Avenue) This privately funded workshop is for parents who want to learn how to become public policy advocates. Participants will have an opportunity to meet with elected officials and learn: Skills and techniques to communicate with elected officials; What happened in the '07 legislative session; and, Potential issues facing Minnesota's special education system in 2008 No cost. Register by contacting PACER Center at 952-838-9000 Other workshop offerings? See www.PACER.org/workshops --------15 of 24-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Salon/farm bill 10.02 6:30pm Tuesday our guest will be Llewellyn Hille, Minnesota organizer for Oxfam, America. He will be speaking about "Why the Farm Bill is so Important at Home and Abroad." I hope you can come as this is a very important bill in Congress and there still is time for input. Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. --------16 of 24-------- From: Gilbert Schwartz <gil [at] exploreveg.org> Subject: Farms/animals 10.02 7pm "Farm Sanctuary: Changing Our Hearts and Minds About Animals" with Gene Baur Propelled by eloquent testimony, Gene Baur (formerly Bauston) will use firsthand accounts to illustrate how human and animal lives are caught in today's out-of-control factory farms. Just as cruelty to animals can lead to a broader callousness and disregard for life, empathy and compassion can awaken understanding, create hope, and give rise to greater awareness of the decisions that affect our world. This is a free event sponsored by Compassionate Action for Animals, and is open to the public. It will be followed by a free, catered reception and a chance to interact one-on-one with Baur. Academics, animal lovers, and anyone looking for a relaxing, fun-filled evening is invited to the event. Tuesday October 2, 2007 7:00- 9:00pm Coffman Theater, on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota, 300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis Info: Details, directions, and promo poster can be found here, http://www.exploreveg.org/events/gene-baur-presentation/ Baur is the co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary <http://farmsanctuary.org/>, America's leading farm animal protection organization. He holds a masters degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University and has conducted hundreds of visits to farms, stockyards, and slaughterhouses to document conditions. Baur played an important role in passing the first U.S. laws to prohibit cruel farming methods -- including bans on pig gestation crates, veal crates, and foie gras. His efforts have been covered by leading news organizations, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and CNN. For more information, please email us at info [at] ExploreVeg.org or visit www.ExploreVeg.org --------17 of 24-------- From: Impeach <lists [at] impeachforpeace.org> Subject: Impeach for peace 10.02 7pm Impeach for Peace We meet Tuesdays at 7pm at Joe's Garage (Restaurant along Loring Park) 1610 Harmon Pl Minneapolis, MN 55403 (612) 904-1163 --------18 of 24-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Poems from Gitmo 10.02 7:30pm Tuesday, 10/2, 7:30 pm, readings from book "Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak," Magers and Quinn Books, 3038 Hennepin, Mpls. www.magersandquinn.com --------19 of 24-------- From: Tim Erickson <tim [at] e-democracy.org> Subject: Public relations 10.02 A series of free workshops in nonprofit leadership offered by Hamline University and the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches. Registration is required but there's no fee. Word following the first on Tuesday is that it was excellent. More info: http://gmcc.org/Compassionworkshops.htm Here are some of the sessions coming up: Oct 2 - Public relations planning Oct 9 - Finance - what the law requires Oct 16 - Nonprofit ethics Oct 23 - Human resources performance appraisals Oct 30 - Marketing & communications Nov 6 - Nonprofit accountability & transparency Nov 13 - Strategic planning for board & management Nov 20 - Conflict resolution Nov 27 - Nonprofit fundraising: research methods Dec 4 - Grant writing --------20 of 24-------- From: DeniseCBreton [at] aol.com Subject: Books on restorative justice Living Justice Press, a nonprofit publisher in restorative justice, is happy to announce the release of our fourth book, "Building A Home for the Heart: Using Metaphors in Value-Centered Circles," by Pat Thalhuber, B.V.M., and Susan Thompson. Since discussing values is so central to the restorative justice process, this book serves to facilitate this aspect of the work. Living Justice Press is also announcing the third printing of our first book, "Peacemaking Circles: From Crime to Community" by Kay Pranis, Barry Stuart, and Mark Wedge - a reprint spurred by an order of 200 copies from the Supreme Court of a Native Nation for their Peacemaking Court. Information about these and other LJP books is available on our Web site: www.livingjusticepress.org. --------21 of 24-------- Clinton Time: Do We Set Our Clocks Forward or Back? By ALEXANDER COCKBURN CounterPunch September 29 / 30, 2007 Just like the architect of the Tower of Babel bustling out of his studio with a fresh set of drawings, Hillary Clinton has produced a new health plan. Politicians don't care to admit they messed up, and Mrs Clinton is no exception to this rule. In fact she is entirely incapable of conceding error. The most she would concede during the rollout ceremonies earlier this month is that the last time she took on the health industry, she was too ambitious. This is a most forgiving posture towards one of the great political disasters of the 1990s. In the dawn of the Clinton era, many Americans believed the new president might actually do something to fix the mess optimistically described as the health care system. Bill Clinton's pledge to do so was a prime reason why he got elected. In the first hours of his presidency, he announced he was handing the big assignment to his wife. The political conditions were favorable. In early 1993, nearly 70 per cent of all Americans wanted a system of national healthcare, a sound base on which to build a national coalition powerful enough to cow the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies - two of the most powerful forces on the American political scene. Hilary Clinton is not a populist by temperament. She had been a powerful corporate lawyer in Little Rock, accustomed to covert deals behind closed doors. When health care reformers, Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein urged Mrs Clinton in early 1993 to use that small window of opportunity to take on the insurance industry and bring in a Canadian-style system and that the majority of all Americans would support her, she answered contemptuously to Himmelstein, "tell me something interesting". As she embarked on her mission, all the early headlines concerned her obsession with secrecy. By the time Mrs Clinton's 1342-page Bill landed in Congress later in 1993, she had managed to offend the very Democratic leadership essential to making health reform a reality. The proposal itself, under the mystic mantra 'Managed Competition', embodied all the distinctive tropes of neo-liberalism: a naive complicity with the darker corporate forces, accompanied by an adamant refusal to even consider building the popular political coalition that alone could have faced and routed the opposition. Fourteen years after that debacle, health care in America has got steadily worse. Critics trumpet endlessly the bleak statistic that nearly 50 million people are without any form of health insurance at all, though it is not clear whether this is quite the disaster it is cracked up to be, given the lethal nature of huge portions of the "health" system. Go to a doctor flourishing your Blue Cross card and three months later the insurance company notifies you that deductibles and other conditions laid out on the policy in 2-point type mean that the company is ponying up only 5 per cent of the bill. Get in a car crash - a prime reason to have health insurance - and the surgeon debating whether to sew you together again checks on the amount of coverage on your policy and if it's below $2 million may let you die in the waiting room. It nearly happened to a friend of my neighbor, Joe Paff, though in that instance the hospital found Joe's pal was covered up to $3 million and so the operation went forward. Costs are now so high that the middle class is being priced out of the game. It's cheaper to head for Panama or Costa Rica or even India and pay cash on the barrel. Many Russians now naturalized as Americans simply head back to the former Soviet Union for any serious surgical or dental procedure. Even taking a $2,000 Aeroflot ticket into account, it works out far cheaper. Those with no sanctuary in another country head for Chinese herbalists, dose themselves with homeopathic nostrums or smoke marijuana to keep the pain at bay. Reformers flourish the Canadian system as the model; Michael Moore's recent film Sicko dwelled on its allurements. But Canada has a social democratic tradition. America has none. The sole surviving relic of the New Deal era is Social Security, and that is under constant assault. So 'health reform' in the present age means, at best, a slight cosmetic adjustment, and so it is with Mrs Clinton's new plan, modelled on a scheme adopted in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, whereby everybody is legally compelled to have some type of health insurance. As Drs Woolhandler and Himmelstein recently described it on this site the Massachusetts plan spells out as compulsory ruin. A couple in their fifties face a minimum annual premium of $8,638. Their policy has no coverage for prescription medicines, and there's a $2,000 deductible per person before the insurance even kicks in. In other words, they're destroyed by the insurance costs, before they are plunged into bankruptcy with the arrival of any serious illness. So, for all these reasons, no one - probably not even its author - takes Mrs Clinton's plan very seriously. They all know that in this decade, far more than in the early 1990s, the darker forces are firmly in control. In the health area, as Rick Hertzberg points out in an interesting piece in the current Yorker, every Democratic presidential candidate since Truman has pledged to reform the heath system, and every Democratic president has swiftly collapsed in the face of the lobbies opposing reform. Whoever is president in 2009, there's not a chance in a million that there will be any substantive rearrangement of the furniture. [[So why vote for the Dems? -ed]] The Clintons have always excited passions disproportionate to their very modest talents as creative politicians. Looking back across the Nineties at the frenzied Republican onslaughts on the couple, one can only wag one's head in bemusement at the Right's hysteria. Why did they consume so much energy in savaging a pair who had learned conclusively from their earlier upsets in Arkansas that you don't get ahead by offending the powerful, starting with the timber and chicken barons who controlled that backward and impoverished state? To be fair on Bill and Hillary, beyond some ritual freshets of campaign rhetoric in primary season they have never advertised themselves as anything other than reliable guardians of the basic Business Round Table agenda that defines the programmatic vision of 99.9 per cent of all American politicians. The function of the Democratic Party is to sell stuff to the populace the Republicans can't get away with on their own, like throwing single mothers and children off the welfare rolls or exporting America's blue collar jobs to Mexico and China. [[So why vote for the Dems?]] Briskly enough, Bill Clinton handed economic policy over to the Wall Street traders, led by his Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. The Clinton years saw a bubble boom, pushed along by consumer-spending by the rich. The ratio of wages for the average worker to the pay of the average CEO went from 113 to 1 in l991, just before Clinton stepped into the White House, to 449 to 1 when he quit. The overall bargaining position of labor got worse, as did the situation of the very poor. Two thirds of Clinton's famed fiscal turnaround stemmed from cuts in government spending relative to GDP (54 per cent), something well beyond Republican competence. [[So why vote for the Dems?]] But since right-wing talk radio and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal depend on the daily evocation and execration of demons, the Clintons were never given a pat on the back for their seven years of Republican governance, following the opening year of chastisement and collapsed expectations. Instead they were methodically haunted with charges wild enough to make a Borgia blink, enhanced with intricate flow charts of the serial assassination of their enemies. .... --------22 of 24-------- NAM's Tax Plan for America Free Lunches, for Corporations! By RALPH NADER CounterPunch September 29 / 30, 2007 On September 26, 2007, the powerful National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) bought two pages in the Wall Street Journal to tout a prosperous, expanding group of member-companies producing products. It occurred to me as I began the copy, that the NAM rarely bought expensive space like this in the Journal. Then after going through NAM's introductory message, I realized why they purchased the ad. Month after month in hundreds of loyal editorials, the Journal's editorial writers already have been conveying the cravings and demands of this trade association. The parallels between this revenue-producing two page spread and the Journal's opinion scribes, in contrast to its often sterling news pages, are the stuff of the corporate state. The editorials argue for more "clean" coal and nuclear power and emphasize expanding production of U.S. oil and natural gas with a token tip to renewables (with plenty of taxpayer subsidies). So does the NAM. NAM wants more so-called "free trade" agreements without recognizing, at the very least, that there can be no "free trade" with dictatorships like China. Dictatorial, oligarchic regimes determine wages, prevent free trade unions, and otherwise through grease and no-rule-of-law or access to justice, obstruct market-based costs and pricing. So do the Journal's editorial writers. In scores of frenzied editorials, the Journal assails tort law, tort attorneys and "unreasonable awards." Having read just about all these advertiser-friendly diatribes, I have yet to discern any data to back up their flood of declamations about "frivolous" litigation and "wild" awards. Neither did the NAM produce any evidence about "lawsuit abuse" because the evidence points to declining product defect and malpractice suits, notwithstanding that 90% of these injured people suffer without any legal claims filed on their behalf. (See: http://www.centerjd.org/ and http://www.citizen.org/) The Journal's rigid ideologues demand less regulation (read less law and order for corporations) and the weakening of the Sarbanes-Oxley law enacted to modestly deal with part of the corporate crime wave of the past decade. So does the NAM. The NAM wants further reduction of the already reduced corporate tax rate and more taxpayer pay-out to corporations, including super-profitable ones like Intel, GE, Cisco and Pfizer. These latter windfalls are called research and development tax credits. How many Americans know that they are paying these and other super-profitable companies more money to make still more profits? Cisco does not even pay dividends. So also demands the big business echo chamber on the Journal's editorial pages. The Journal has been campaigning for years to end the estate tax which is so diluted that less than 2 percent of all estates have to pay anything to Uncle Sam. Conservative Republican wordsmith, Frank Luntz, in a moment of abandon, called lobbying an effort to end "the billionaires tax." The NAM wants an end to the estate tax, even though none of its corporate-members ever has to pay an estate tax. For good measure, NAM wants to keep the maximum tax rates on investment income and capital gains at a level half of a worker's maximum tax rate. Far lower taxes on capital than on labor suits the NAM three-piece-suits just fine. The Journal is for brain-draining the Third World. Drain those critical doctors, nurses, scientists, engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs from Asia, Africa and South America. Give them permanent visas and then wonder why those countries are having trouble fielding the skilled leaders needed to develop their own economies. It is easier than training talented minority youths in our country. The NAM ad calls for "reform of the visa system to attract and retain global talent." And so it goes. Such a symbiotic relationship! Big business members of NAM pour millions of dollars in ads daily into the Wall Street Journal. In return, the dutiful and gleeful editorial writers deliver the screeds that caress the brows and deepen the pockets of the CEOs. There is another recurrent message in the insistent materials of NAM and its comrade-in-greed, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Enough is never enough. For over a quarter century, there has been more and more de-regulation (electricity, motor vehicles, coal, drugs, nuclear, occupational safety, pollution, aviation, rail, truck antitrust and more) with detriment to the health, safety and economic well-being of the American people. Still not enough, they say! In the same period, you the taxpayer have been forced to have your tax dollars pour out of Washington and into the coffers of Big Business in a myriad of ways. Hundreds of billions of your dollars. Not enough, they say! They roar for more coddling. You want chapter and verse, evidence and data? Get ready to read Free Lunch, a riveting new book by the Pulitzer-prize winning tax reporter for The New York Times, David Cay Johnston. It will be out in about two months. Just in time for your gift-giving season. Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions [[And in the same period mentioned above, the Dem party stopped working for the people - they have nothing to show us but regression, eg NAFTA. All the Dem pro-citizen acts (eg voting rights) are pre-1981; after, bad things, or promised goods never delivered and never fought for. We want single payer, an end to the war, sustainable energy, etc - we will get none of them. The age of citizens getting things from the major parties has passed. It made sense before 1980 to prod/beg the Dems for things; 27 years of experience has shown us that it no longer does. Voting Dem is no longer a "practical" vote. It is now basically a "feel good" vote - it makes one feel good to think it will bring back the good old pre-1980 days, and it works only if there's lots more feeling than thinking.]] --------23 of 24-------- A Steady Decline in Security for Most Workers The US Economy Since 1980 By SETH SANDRONSKY CounterPunch September 29 / 30, 2007 What makes the U.S. so unlike other rich nations? There is no single answer. At the top of a list is the power of the business class to shape policy-making and the lives of the nation's populace. In The United States Since 1980, economist Dean Baker focuses on the policies that have set the country on a business-friendly path. There have been far-reaching effects. "For most of the population of the United States, the quarter century from 1980 to 2005 was an era in which they became far less secure economically, and the decrease in security affected their lives and political attitudes," he writes. "It is important to note that this decrease was the result of conscious policy, not the accidental workings of the market." Baker steers clear of ambiguous terms. This is a great help to the layperson searching for clear-headed policy analysis of this critical 25-year period. Ruling interests' efforts to roll back the popular gains of the vast mass of workers has marked this time. "The change in the ground rules affecting the market distribution of income has had a much greater impact on the country than the change in tax and transfer policy," Baker writes. Accordingly, a changed rule of critical impact driving the wage gap between Americans on the bottom and in the middle and those at the top has been in employee-employer relations. What does (not) happen at the point of production, the workplace, matters. Take U.S. trade policy, an area of expertise for the author. He explains, clearly, how this policy has put the country's factory workers into job competition with workers in developing nations paid as low as one-tenth the wage rate in the stateside manufacturing sector. The same trade policy leaves intact licensing and professional barriers for U.S. doctors. This shields them from global job competition. Thus the pay structure of American physicians is such that they earn twice and more than their counterparts in other industrialized countries. Baker offers policy alternatives, not just doom and gloom. For instance, he suggests standardizing rigid licensing and professional requirements for physicians. Of course the American Medical Association opposes that. Meanwhile, some 800,000 U.S. doctors earn double and more versus their European counterparts. If the licensing and professional barriers to foreign doctors practicing stateside ended, U.S. health care would become more affordable for those with low and middle incomes, Baker argues. As he makes clear, high-wage earners such as doctors get government protection. The vast bulk of the U.S. labor force is on its own. As secure union jobs faded, several negative outcomes have become part of the national landscape. One place to look is at the lives and jobs of workers most likely to be union members, African Americans. An eighth of the total populace, blacks make up half of the nation's prison population. Baker, asserts, based on international data, the U.S. is totally off the charts from other rich countries in this policy of racial imprisonment. Such policy follows structural unemployment. Baker's book has seven chapters and an epilogue. In chapter two, he sets the stage, domestic and foreign, as Jimmy Carter ends his one-term presidency. Ronald Reagan's victory in the 1980 presidential election speeded up a national policy shift favoring uppe-income Americans at the expense of those in the middle and on the bottom. While Reagan's fiscal policy benefited the well-heeled, his labor-management policies were noteworthy. For instance, he fired striking federal air traffic controllers. The relative silence of action from the U.S. labor union bureaucracy on this change in public policy was deafening. Later, private-sector employers aped Reagan's anti-labor union policy, terminating striking employees and hiring replacement workers during contract negotiations. "Most Europeans would still consider it outrageous that a worker would lose her job because she went on strike, as did most people in the United States before the PATCO strike," Baker writes. He compares and contrasts the policies of the U.S. and other developed societies throughout the book. His use of figures and tables to illustrate the policy impacts of such changes on most working Americans is helpful. As the Reagan White House waged war by proxy against Nicaragua, administration and CIA officials broke a law that barred funding of such mercenary forces, called the Contras. Despite the efforts of a special prosecutor who investigated this secret and illegal financing scheme, none of the government officials were held accountable. In Baker's view, this law-breaking helped to institutionalize a trend of unilateral deception in the executive branch of the U.S. government. The parallels to the domestic and foreign policy machinations of the George W. Bush White House since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks are as plain as day. In the 1988 presidential campaign, GOP candidate George H.W. Bush, racially appealed to some white voters. He linked the case of Willie Horton, an African American convict who committed violent felonies against a white couple during a prison furlough in Massachusetts under Governor Michael Dukakis, also the Democratic presidential candidate. The political use of an individual's skin color to taint an entire race harkens back to the Reconstruction era. White racial supremacy is a feature of U.S. society that shapes public policy. A foreign policy outcome of the Soviet Union's decline as a superpower was the rise of U.S. power on the U.N. Security Council, according to Baker. The first President Bush, who inherited rising federal budget deficits from Reagan's increased military spending against the so-called Soviet threat, used the council to impose economic sanctions on the Iraq populace after its leader and former U.S. ally Saddam Hussein invaded neighboring Kuwait. The sanctions lasted 14 years and strengthened his rule until the March 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation. For Iraqis, "many had to go without basic necessities and medical care," Baker writes of U.S. policy that punished civilians by design. The policy was a war crime. It should be so named. President Bill Clinton won the White House from George H.W. Bush in the 1992 election. Though the latter's popularity ratings rose sharply after the U.S. defeat of Iraq, Baker notes economic pressures reversing that jingoistic spurt. To wit, a national recession from summer 1990 to spring 1992 slowed job growth and real wage increases. A business-friendly Democrat, Clinton's response to the American people's concern about work and pay was to continue President Bush's drive for the North American Free Trade Agreement. Baker analyzes how and why Clinton's support for NAFTA was not about freeing trade but advancing a global model of the marketplace for the benefit of powerful domestic interests. One is the U.S. pharmaceutical sector. It relies upon governmentgranted patent monopoles that hike the shelf prices of prescription drugs by triple digits over their production costs, Baker explains. This policy illustrates government protectionism for corporate America to the harm of hourly wage earners and pensioners generally. Baker places NAFTA in a global context, which U.S. economic reporting rarely does. He compares NAFTA with the European Union's "social charter." White House policymakers crafted NAFTA in part to flood Mexico with corporate American agriculture, which bankrupted scores of Mexican peasants, forcing them to become laborers who earn wages a fraction of their U.S. counterparts. By contrast, the EU provided a funding mechanism to bring the poorer regions of Europe up to those of the richer regions. The climb of living standards in Ireland is a success case in point, according to Baker. NAFTA was not set up to bring Mexican's living standards up to Americans'. Monetary policy was a key stimulus to the economic expansion under Clinton. Baker details how Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan ignored the conventional wisdom of the economics profession that cutting interest rates and allowing the unemployment rate to fall below six percent would cause inflation. Greenspan oversaw multiple interest-rate cuts during Clinton's second term. And the national jobless rate dropped from just under six percent in the beginning of 1996 to four percent at the end of 2000. There was no simultaneous climb in the inflation rate as job creation increased. Greenspan's cheapening of credit, however, stimulated a stock market boom which busted in 2000. Later from its ashes emerged a housing boom. Baker carefully details the reasons and results of both speculative bubbles. His crisp writing style is instructive in moving below the surface structure of the economics profession and economic reporting to flesh out the class interests of policies behind the rise and demise of the stock and housing markets. Baker demonstrates his assertions with data that the general reader can comprehend. The Clinton administration sold a U.S. aerial attack on the Yugoslav republic of Serbia as a humanitarian intervention to rescue Albanians in Kosovo during spring of 1999. According to Baker, "the civilian population of Serbia incurred a substantial portion of the casualties from the U.S. bombing." This military action under a Democratic president, like the 1991 Iraq war on the watch of a Republican president, injured and killed scores of non-military combatants. These war policies are crimes of war, or the legal term lacks meaning. [[Two terms of a Dem president, and nothing positive to show for it. Why do we imagine another Dem will give us any more? Dem congresspeople this year wouldn't even keep their recent campaign promises to defund the war.]] The crimes of September 11, 2001, when hijackers crashed four airlines into East Coast targets helped the George W. Bush White House to make sweeping changes in federal law enforcement policy. Congress, for example, approved the Bush-backed PATRIOT Act, Baker writes. Most members failed to read the bill's provisions. As he recounts, the White House's case to invade Iraq"from its links to the attacks of September 11 and weapons of mass destruction"had more holes than Swiss cheese, with fateful consequences for both nations. One of those has been the administration's use of the National Guard from the Gulf Coast states for duty in Iraq, which weakened the response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster in summer 2005. Baker and his colleagues at Washington's Center for Economic and Policy Research have been working against the political campaign to privatize the U.S. Social Security system. The 2000 bust of the stock market harmed workers' retirements invested in the stock market. This outcome soured President Bush's attempt to win political support to divert Social Security payroll taxes into the stock market. Baker's book contains a nice summary of the case for (Wall St.) and against (Main St.) privatization of the popular system. While U.S. superiority in weapons systems is nearly useless against the anti-occupation forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, the sun is also setting on the nation's day as the world's biggest economy. China and India, the two nations with bigger populations than the U.S., are gaining ground fast, economically and politically, Baker observes. "Yet, foreign policy planners largely assume that the United States will be the preeminent world power for the indefinite future." His book on the changed structure of the U.S. polity and economy between 1980 and 2005 is a must-read to better know this quarter century and grasp the many policy challenges ahead. The debate to change the nation's system of health care is one example. Baker's analysis of that is a good place to grasp what is at stake for the status quo and the working many. Seth Sandronsky is a member of Sacramento Area Peace Action and a co-editor of Because People Matter, Sacramento's progressive paper www.bpmnews.org/. He can be reached at: bpmnews [at] nicetechnology.com --------24 of 24-------- The Rise of the Have-Nots by Harold Meyerson Published on Saturday, September 29, 2007 by The American Prospect The American middle class has toppled into a world of temporary employment, jobs without benefits, and retirement without security. Last week over lunch, a friend in his 30s prodded me to explain how my generation, the boomers, had botched so many things. While not exactly conceding that we had, I said that the one thing none of us had anticipated was that America would cease to be a land of broadly shared prosperity. To be born, as I was, in mid-century was to have come of age in a nation in which the level of prosperity continued to rise and the circle of prosperity continued to widen. This was the great given of our youth. If the boomers embraced such causes as civil and social rights and environmentalism, it was partly because the existence and distribution of prosperity seemed to be settled questions. Nor were we alone in making this mistake. Our parents may have gone through the Depression and could never fully believe, as boomers did, that the good times were here to stay. They remembered busts as well as booms. But the idea that the economy could revert to its pre-New Deal configuration (in which the rich claimed all the wealth the nation created while everyone else just got by), the notion that the middle class might shrink even as the economy grew: Who, among all our generations and political persuasions, expected that? Yet that's precisely what happened. Median family income over the past quarter-century has stagnated. The economic rewards from increased productivity, which went to working-class as well as wealthy Americans from the 1940s to the '70s, now go exclusively to the rich. The manufacturing jobs that anchored our prosperity were offshored, automated or deunionized; lower-paying service-sector jobs took their place. It's no great achievement for a people to recognize that their nation's economy has tanked, but recognizing that their nation's class structure has slowly but fundamentally altered is a more challenging task. It's harder still for a people who are conditioned, as Americans are, not to see their nation in terms of class. Which is why a poll released this month by the Pew Research Center reveals a transformation of Americans. sense of their country and themselves that is startling. Pew asked Americans if their country was divided between haves and have-nots. In 1988, when Gallup asked that question, 26 percent of respondents said yes, while 71 percent said no. In 2001, when Pew asked it, 44 percent said yes and 53 percent said no. But when Pew asked it again this summer, the number of Americans who agreed that we live in a nation divided into haves and have-nots had risen to 48 percent - exactly the same as the number of Americans who disagreed. Americans' assessment of their own place in the economy has altered, too. In 1988, fully 59 percent identified themselves as haves and just 17 percent as have-nots. By 2001, the haves had dwindled to 52 percent and the have-nots had risen to 32 percent. This summer, just 45 percent of Americans called themselves haves, while 34 percent called themselves have-nots. These are epochal shifts, of epochal significance. The American middle class has toppled into a world of temporary employment, jobs without benefits, retirement without security. Harder times have come to left and right alike: The percentage of Republicans who call themselves haves has declined by 13 points since 1988; the percentage of Democratic haves has declined by 12 points. This equality of declining opportunity, however, isn't matched by an equality of perception. The percentage of Democrats who say America is divided between haves and have-nots has risen by 31 points since 1988; the percentage of Republicans, by just 14 points. Indeed, though that 13-point decline in Republicans who call themselves haves has occurred entirely since they were asked that question in 2001, the percentage of Republicans who say we live in a have/have-not nation has actually shrunk by one point since 2001. (It had increased 15 points from 1988 to 2001.) Apparently, so great is Republicans' loyalty to the Bush presidency that they're willing to overlook their own experience. And, in many cases, to attribute the nation's transformation solely to immigration, rather than to the rise of a stateless laissez-faire capitalism over which the American people wield less and less power. Which helps explain why Republican presidential candidates bluster about a fence on the border and have nothing to say about providing health coverage or restoring some power to American workers. But the big story here isn't Republican denial. It's the shattering of Americans' sense of a common identity in a time when the economy no longer promotes the general welfare. The world the New Deal built has been destroyed, and we are, as we were before the New Deal, two nations. [[...with two parties on the side of one nation, and no parties on the side of the other. If neither party will respond to us, why do we vote for them?]] Harold Meyerson is executive editor of The American Prospect and a columnist for the Washington Post. 2007 The American Prospect ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney
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