|Progressive Calendar 10.06.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2007 03:55:14 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 10.06.07 1. Leave the king 10.06 10am 2. Vets/peace 10.06 10am 3. Thoreau 10.06 10:15am 4. Green $ 10.06 12noon 5. GreenParty StP 10.06 12noon 6. Resist the RNC 10.06 2pm 7. Guatemala vote 10.06 3pm 8. Pesticide action 10.06 3:30pm 9. Art/healing/mind 10.06 6:30pm 10. War made easy/f 10.06 7pm 11. Freedom/play 10.06 7:30pm 12. Free speech 10.06 8pm 13. Iran/US/CTV 10.06 9pm 14. Solar tour 10.06 whatever 15. Lee Sustar - The Democrats and Iran: can they sink any lower? 16. Helen Thomas - The Democrats who enable Bush 17. Sharon Smith - The Kucinich Question: which side are you on? 18. David Macaray - De-skilling America's labor force --------1 of 18-------- From: Leslie Reindl <alteravista [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Leave the king 10.06 10am An invitation to a "Walking Away from the King" meeting: Saturday, October 6, 10 am to noon, Merriam Park Library (room in lower level), Corner Fairview and Marshall Aves., St. Paul This meeting is to call together people who want to consider ways that we can begin to "walk away from the king," (David Korten's phrase), the "king" being the current endless-growth, neoliberal economic/cultural paradigm that is destroying the environment, communities, and human aspirations globally. The confluence of peak oil, climate change, and economic turmoil has led to people all over the world working on creating new, localized communities able to adapt to future conditions. This meeting is for those who wish to pursue such a community here. Because all of us are dependent on the current economic cultural environment, it is difficult to see how we can move away from it in ways that truly might adapt to the future. The economic/business component of such a community will be very important. The Mondragon* Cooperative movement that started in the Basque region of Spain in the 1940s-1950s, based on cooperation, social justice, the primacy of labor, education of the whole person, among others, might serve as a beginning model for our time. This meeting is called for those who agree with the following premises, and are ready to act: 1. The entire world is facing an uncertain and drastically changed future with the confluence of climate change, an economic system built on once abundant and now increasingly scarce resources, and growing instability in financial markets. 2. Globalization has spread the ills of the neoliberal economic system around the world; local economies have almost disappeared. 3. This situation cannot be fixed by tweaking its cause: the economic growth/ consumption system. 4. People cannot respond meaningfully to drastic change without preparation. 5. People also cannot respond meaningfully if their sense of security depends on the current economic system; change must offer a means to achieve security outside this system. 6. Preparation for drastic change requires deep commitment and follow-through, and cannot be achieved by individuals acting alone. This will be a faciliated 2-hour meeting. We hope it will be the beginning of what becomes an "intentional Twin Cities community." Betty Dyson, Linda Littrell, Wilhelm and Leslie Reindl Wilderness Connections group (651-633-4410 or 651-645-2718) (Wilderness Connections is a 501(c)3 organization formed in the late 1990s with the mission of helping people regain their connection to nature so as to gain perspective on life, on environmental issues, and on spirituality. The base for activity was at that time a dairy farm-turned wildlife sanctuary in Wisconsin. That land is available for future needs.) * Websites to investigate Mondragon further are www.justpreace.org/ mondragon, www.solhaam.org/articles/mondra.html, and many others. --------2 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Vets/peace 10.06 10am Saturday, 10/6, 10 to 11:30 am, meeting of Homeless Veterans for Peace, Peacehouse, 510 E Franklin, Mpls. Bob 612-789-9020. --------3 of 18-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Thoreau 10.06 10:15am Henry David Thoreau: His Journey to the Twenty-First Century Presented by The Thoreau Society and The Minneapolis Athenaeum FREE and Open to the Public MINNEAPOLIS CENTRAL LIBRARY 300 Nicollet Mall, (Baseball Bilker Hall---Mary & David Doty Rm.) Saturday, October 6 - Mary and David Doty Board Room 10:15-11:15 A.M. Thoreau's 1861 Journey to Minnesota: Dale Schwie, writer/photographer and independent researcher, Minneapolis, MN; Corinne H. Smith, writer and librarian at Anna Maria College, at Paxton, MA. Both Dale and Corinne serve on the Board of the Thoreau Society. 11:30-12:30 A Constant New Creation: Thoreau Greets Darwin: Laura Dassow Walls, Bennett Chair of Southern Letters, Department of English, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. She is the author of several books about Thoreau, Emerson and their Science. 12:30 - 2:00 Lunch on your own 2:00 - 3:00 Thoreau's Country: Photographer Herbert W. Gleason's early 1900's Illustrated LectureLeslie Perrin Wilson, Curator, Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library, Concord, MA 3:15 - 4:30 Current & Future Thoreau Studies: Panel: Richard H. Dillman, Professor of English at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota; Richard J. Schneider, Professor of English and Modern Languages at Wartburg College, Iowa; Laura Dassow Walls, University of South Carolina; Moderator: Tom Potter, President of the Thoreau Society Items from the Minneapolis Athenaeum and the Minneapolis Public Library Special Collection, 19th Century American Studies Collection will be exhibited. Attend all or any part of this event. No reservations are necessary. For more information: (612) 866-2644 or email: schwi014 [at] umn.edu --------4 of 18-------- From: AmiVoeltz DoItGreen <mngreenguide [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Green $ 10.06 12noon FREE Do It Green! Workshop Series Visit doitgreen.org 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. --------5 of 18-------- From: Andrew Abruzzese <spreadleft [at] hotmail.com> Subject: GreenParty StP 10.06 12noon Our Monthly Membership Meeting for October 2007 is this coming Saturday. 10/06/07 12:00-2:00 Mississippi Market (Selby/Dale) Andrew Abruzzese co-chair, Green Party of Saint Paul 651-917-2846 --------6 of 18-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Resist the RNC 10.06 2pm Resisting the RNC: MN Town Hall Organizing Meeting Saturday, Oct. 6, 2-5 pm Weyerhauser Chapel, Macalester College 1600 Grand Ave, St. Paul This event will feature a presentation by the National Lawyers Guild on protest rights in the Twin Cities. There will be a discussion of efforts by city officials in Minneapolis and St. Paul to clamp down on free speech and what the community can do. Groups currently working on protest plans for the RNC will give presentations on how you can get involved. Cosponsored by Protest RNC 2008 (www.protestrnc2008.org) and the RNC Welcoming Committee (www.nornc.org). --------7 of 18-------- From: Corey Mattson <coreymattson [at] maydaybookstore.org> Subject: Guatemala vote 10.06 3pm Latin America Series: Elections in Guatemala Guatemalan scholar Walter Davila will discuss the recent elections in Guatemala analyzing their significance in the historical and political context of Guatemala and Latin America. Presentation in Spanish with English translation. Discussion to follow. Part of a four-part series on the left in Latin America. Saturday, October 6th 3:00pm Mayday Bookstore 301 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls, MN 55454 (612) 333-4719 Free and open to the public! Sponsored by Socialist Action --------8 of 18-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Pesticide action 10.06 3:30pm Saturday, October 6 Omega Co-op House & Garden 2412 First Avenue South, Minneapolis 3:30 Garden Reception with light refreshments 4:00 Presentation by Dr. Hayes 5:00 Q & A and discussion Pesticide Action Network North America and White Earth Pesticide Action Network invite you to Gather in the Garden to meet Dr. Tyrone B. Hayes and hear him speak on From Silent Spring/ to Silent Night: When Will We Learn? Your reservation helps us better plan for everyone's comfort. RSVP at garden [at] panna.org or (415) 981-1771. This is a fundraising event. We will ask for your support of the host nonprofits following the presentation. Dr. Tyrone B. Hayes, Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, is known for his research on the weed killer atrazine, the most common chemical contaminant of ground and surface water in the U.S. This potent endocrine disruptor chemically castrates and feminizes wildlife and reduces immune function in both wildlife and laboratory rodents. White Earth Pesticide Action Network is a collaborative project of Indigenous Environmental Network, White Earth Land Recovery Project and the Environmental Association of Great Lakes Education. The collaborative is using PAN?s Pesticide Drift Catcher to monitor the air around Pine Point School for airborne pesticides and to protect White Earth children from pesticide exposure. Pesticide Action Network North America combines science with network?based campaigns to force global phaseouts of highly hazardous pesticides and the adoption of sustainable alternatives. PAN North America is one of five independent centers of PAN International, a global network of more than 600 organizations in 90 countries. PAN North America scientists developed the Pesticide Drift Catcher, a scientific monitor that local groups are using to document the presence of airborne pesticides. --------9 of 18-------- From: marketing [at] intermediaarts.org <marketing [at] intermediaarts.org> Subject: Art/healing/mind 10.06 6:30pm Intermedia Arts presents Art & Healing: Mind Fields Visual Art Exhibit with Creative Writing, Digital Storytelling and Community Conversations September 27, 2007-January 5, 2008 (Main Gallery) Opening Reception: Saturday, October 6, 2007; 6:30-9:30 PM WHAT: Explore the many dimensions of the invisible and make psychological realities tangible. Art & Healing: Mind Fields is a unique opportunity to see the mind from the inside out. This groundbreaking new exhibit from Intermedia Arts takes a frank and creative look at neurological and mental health - inviting local artists and health care practitioners to address the ways in which artistic expression can be used as a tool for healing. Using oils, photographs, Sumi ink, audio recordings and more, Mind Fields creates an integrative landscape in which artists raise compelling questions about the life of the mind. Profile the history behind art in mental health institutions; hear for yourself the voices, sounds and stories of men and women struggling to overcome the stigma associated with their illness, and discover the ways in which the health of humans is inextricably linked to the energies of the earth. From artists and survivors living with mental health conditions to those whose lives have been touched by the challenges of care giving, Mind Fields takes you on a whimsical and fantastic voyage to a place where Art means Life. --------10 of 18--------- From: David Zupan <zupandavid [at] gmail.com> Subject: War made easy/f 10.06 7pm WAR MADE EASY: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death See it! Tell your friends to see it! Let's get it shown throughout the U.S. Dear Minneapolis Activist: You can help turn an antiwar movie into a nationwide success. I'm writing about the new documentary, "War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death." It's based on my book, is narrated by Sean Penn, and is earning rave reviews: "Superb" (Howard Zinn); "Chilling and persuasive" (The Nation); "Damning" (Variety); "A tour de force" (editor of "An Inconvenient Truth "). Beginning a run on October 5th, 6, and 7, "War Made Easy" will show nightly @ 7 p.m. & 8:45 p.m. with a Sat. & Sun. matinee @ 5:30 p.m. at the Oak Wood Theatre at 309 Oak Street S.E. Minneapolis, MN 55414 (near the intersection of Oak Street and Washington Avenue SE in the Stadium Village area of the East Bank). If the movie succeeds there and at other key venues, it will help our efforts to bring it to theaters across the country. So please come see "War Made Easy," spread the word and send this email to your Minneapolis Area friends. The movie uses stunning archival video to expose a 50-year pattern of White House deception and media propaganda that has dragged our country into one military intervention after another from Vietnam to Iraq. But it's not just about villains - rare footage spotlights heroes who have resisted the war barrage: people like Sen. Wayne Morse, Rep. Barbara Lee and Phil Donahue. The www.warmadeeasythemovie.org site now has on its home page the links to other screenings around the country. There you will find info on "War Made Easy" and how to purchase it in DVD. View the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5CF5pfVzLI --------11 of 18-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Freedom/play 10.06 7:30pm Multi-media performance a Disease called FREEDOM. A ten member ensemble of jazz musicians, spoken word performance & visual artists explore ideas and concepts of freedom using river as a metaphor. Thursday - Sunday, October 4 - 7 7:30 pm AVALON Theatre (Home of In the Heart of the Beast Theatre) 1500 East Lake Street, Minneapolis 55407 Tickets: $12 Students and Senoirs $10 Groups of ten or more $10 Call the box office at (612) 203-1088 or visit www.pangeaworldtheater.org <http:www.pangeaworldtheater.org> --------12 of 18-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Free speech 10.06 8pm MAGERS AND QUINN PRESS RELEASE : Banned Books Week finishes with Chris Finan discussing his book From the Palmer Raids to the PATRIOT Act, 8:00pm Saturday, October 6, at Magers and Quinn Booksellers. "American history is marred by recurrent episodes of hate - Red scares, super-patriotism, fear of sexual expression. Christopher Finan brilliantly paints that record, and shows how courageous Americans have fought for freedom." - Anthony Lewis, author of Gideon's Trumpet and Make No Law Writing for the majority in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, which ruled against the Bush administration in declaring that a citizen who is held as an enemy combatant must have the opportunity to refute the claims of the government in court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor cautioned that "It is during our most challenging and uncertain moments that our Nation's commitment to due process is most severely tested; and it is in those times that we must preserve our commitment at home to the principles for which we fight abroad." Now, in From the Palmer Raids to the PATRIOT Act: A History of the Fight for Free Speech in America, Chris Finan, the president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and the chair of the National Coalition Against Censorship, dissects this struggle over civil liberties, as well as the many others that have unfolded during the twentieth century, offering a first-ever synthesis of the free speech battles that have helped secure, in Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes's words, "a free trade in ideas." It was censorship during World War I and the excesses of the post-war Red Scare, notes Finan, that first galvanized civil libertarians and led to the establishment of free speech organizations, including the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920. Finan traces the ACLU and other civil libertarians' part in dramatic First Amendment battles, from their early defense of Socialists, union organizers and groups like the Klu Klux Klan and Jehovah's Witnesses to their role during the second Red Scare, the civil rights and antiwar movements, Watergate, the release of the Pentagon Papers, the Reagan era anti-pornography crusades, and the enforcement of the Patriot Act. Detailing the legislative initiatives and defining Supreme Court decisions that have variously threatened and strengthened First Amendment rights, Finan reveals how swiftly free speech has been endangered, especially during times of war when civil liberties have often been sacrificed in the name of national security. Readers learn how ordinary citizens, including miners and railroad workers, union representatives and political activists, and booksellers and librarians, have taken tremendous risks in fighting for free expression. Finan also illuminates the contributions of prominent figures, including Roger Baldwin, the passionate first leader of the ACLU; Margaret Sanger, who triumphed over the obscenity laws in her fight to legalize birth control; Edward Murrow, who famously challenged Joseph McCarthy; and Representative Bernie Saunders, who helped librarians and booksellers fight a provision of the Patriot Act that threatened reader privacy. >From the Scopes trial, which tested Tennessee's law against teaching evolution in schools, to the censoring of movies and magazines, and the banning of books, Finan reveals how censors, often driven by Christian notions of morality and the political, social and sexual status quo, have wielded surprising power in limiting intellectual and artistic freedom. In telling the story of early censorship campaigns, a time when censors in Los Angeles screened thousands of miles of film every year and New York nearly passed a "clean books" bill, Finan focuses on the anti-obscenity movement in Boston, where by 1929 the Watch and Ward Society had banned so many books - including works by Bertrand Russell, H.G. Wells, Sherwood Anderson, William Faulkner, and John Dos Passos - that "Banned in Boston" had become a national catchphrase, symbolizing narrowness and intolerance. Despite suffering setbacks in the thirties, by mid-century, writes Finan, government and private censorship groups were again rigorously fighting obscenity, from targeting comic books, believing they contributed to the delinquency of juveniles, and magazines such as Esquire, whose editor traveled to Washington once a month to have the contents of the forthcoming issue cleared, to paperbacks such as Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, which had been banned in the U.S. for twenty-seven years. Underscoring how librarians and booksellers became champions of free expression during this period, Finan goes on to trace how the fight over sexually explicit material would gain new momentum during the Reagan years, when feminist Catharine MacKinnon joined forces with conservative clerics, and later the Meese Commission, to prosecute distributors of pornography. In reviewing the history of the struggle for free speech, during conservative times, often shaped by paranoia and fear, and during times of social upheaval and change, Finan reaffirms First Amendment rights as one of the most enduring and vital cornerstones of American democracy. "In the end," he reflects, "free speech depends on the courage of the individuals who fight for their rights. We are fortunate to live in a country that includes many brave souls. They have made freedom of speech one of the glories of American civilization." Christopher M. Finan is the author of Alfred E. Smith: The Happy Warrior. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. MAGERS AND QUINN BOOKSELLERS 3038 HENNEPIN AVENUE SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS MN 55408 612-822-4611 www.magersandquinn.com --------13 of 18-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Iran/US/CTV 10.06 9pm Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am. Households with basic cable can watch! 10/6 9pm and 10/9 8am "Iran and the US: Myths and Reality" Interview of Nasrin Jewell, Iranian born professor at the College of St. Catherine. Co-hosted by Karen Redleaf and Eric Angell. --------14 of 18-------- From: "Krista Menzel (Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace)" <web [at] mppeace.org> Subject: Solar tour 10.06 [[do re mi fa solar tour do]] 2007 Minnesota Solar Tour Saturday, October 6, 2007 www.SolarTour.net Sponsored by the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES), a non-profit and all-volunteer organization, the self-guided, public Minnesota Solar Tour features 50 exemplary homes, businesses, and institutions that have incorporated renewable energy into the design and operation of their buildings. From geothermal heat pumps using the earth as a huge thermal buffer to wind turbines elegantly spinning in the breeze and the many incarnations of solar energy between earth and sky, this event offers local residents an opportunity to find out how their neighbors are trimming their energy bills, increasing their energy independence, and taking steps to address global warming. This is an excellent opportunity for those interested in solar and other renewable energies to view installations and talk with building owners, builders, architects, and planners about their experiences. We invite you to join us on the next Minnesota Solar Tour! See renewable energy technology in action, and meet people who have learned from experience. --------15 of 18-------- Can They Sink Any Lower? The Democrats and Iran By LEE SUSTAR CounterPunch October 5, 2007 Voting to declare one of Iran's security forces a "terrorist organization." Authorizing yet more funding for Bush's war on Iraq. Declaring that U.S. troops might occupy Iraq until at least January 2013. Sounds like the posturing of one of the whatshisnames running for the Republican presidential nomination. But these are the policies and political positions of the Democratic Congress and its leading presidential contenders. At a debate on September 25, the top three Democratic presidential candidates - Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards - all refused to declare that they'd have pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of their first term, if elected. "I think it would be irresponsible" to promise a pullout by January 2013, Obama said. "I cannot make that commitment," said Edwards. For her part, Clinton, typically, dodged a direct answer: "It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting." Earlier that day, a majority of Senate Democrats supported a measure sponsored by Sens. John Kyl and Joe Lieberman declaring Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization - and calling on the U.S. government to "combat, contain and roll back the violent activities" of Iran. Thanks to the Democrats, the referendum - which at least some observers likened to an authorization for war - won by an overwhelming 76-22 margin. Clinton voted yes; Obama, in what is becoming a habit, skipped the roll call. To top it off, tacked onto the measure at the last minute was a resolution expressing support for the partition of U.S.-occupied Iraq into ethnic and sectarian cantons - a ratification of the process of ethnic cleansing that has driven millions of Iraqis from their homes and claimed the lives of untold numbers. Not quite one year after they took control of Congress, thanks to a huge antiwar vote in the 2006 congressional elections, the Democrats have not only failed utterly to stop the war on Iraq - they've caved in one confrontation after another with the White House. Party leaders who once claimed they would force the Bush White House to "change course" have come to resemble their loser of a presidential candidate in 2004, John Kerry. When criticized by opponents of the war, the Democrats respond in almost a single voice that they don't have the votes to override a Bush veto - or even win a procedural voice to end debate in the Senate and come to an up-and-down vote on controversial legislation. That's blatantly dishonest - as insider journalists Jim VandeHei and John Harris pointed out in the online Beltway gossip publication The Politico. "There is a lot more Democrats could do to change, or at least challenge, the politics of the war in Washington, even if they do not have the numbers to impose new policies on President Bush," VandeHei and Harris wrote. "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) could force a vote a day over Iraq. She could keep the House in session all night, over weekends and through planned vacations. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could let filibusters run from now till Christmas rather than yield to pro-war Republicans...[A]ntiwar lawmakers can hardly say they have done everything possible to challenge the war and bring attention to their cause." The Democratic contenders to replace Bush in 2009 aren't doing anything more. With the exception of Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson, the candidates all propose not to end the occupation of Iraq, but to downsize and repackage it to make it more militarily and politically sustainable for the long term. As Financial Times commentator Gideon Rachman - in an article titled "Many contenders but just one voice" - wrote: "On a whole range of issues that remain very controversial even among close American allies in Europe and Asia, there is a broad American consensus [spanning] Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards on the Democratic side to Rudolph Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Fred Thompson among the Republicans. "All of the main candidates want to build up the American military rather than shrink it (Senator Clinton wants to add 80,000 troops to the Army). They all agree that the U.S. has the right to take pre-emptive military action in the 'war on terror.'...They are all strong supporters of Israel. And they are all talking tough on Iran. "Even on Iraq - despite the bitter rhetoric - the mainstream Democratic and Republican positions are closer than either side would care to acknowledge. President George W. Bush announced last week that troops will start withdrawing later this year. The 'surge' is over. But none of the main Democratic candidates endorses the antiwar left's call for an immediate and complete pullout. So the debate comes down to an argument about the scale and pace of troop withdrawals." The leaders of the Democrats are more and more openly converging with an imperialist consensus for U.S. policy in Iraq and beyond that the bipartisan Washington establishment can live with. The Democrats' base, on the other hand, is as bitterly opposed to the war as ever. The frustration and disillusion with the party that claimed to be against the war has been expressed in small protests by figures like Cindy Sheehan, who have called the Democrats out. But the more general response has been demoralization. THAT KIND of attitude among the party's most dedicated supporters could even put the party's 2008 prospects at risk - an election that has looked like a slam dunk for the Democrats, no matter who is nominated for president. "So nothing can go wrong for the Democrats?" wrote New York Times columnist Frank Rich. "Of course it can." Rich points out that the Washington insiders who have already anointed Hillary Clinton as the next president "are the same political pros who predicted that scandal would force an early end to the Clinton presidency and that 'Mission Accomplished' augured victory in Iraq and long-lasting Republican rule." In both 2000 and 2004, the Democrats had every opportunity to give voters a reason to be for their presidential candidate - and they failed miserably. The electoral strategy of positioning its candidates just barely to the left of the Republicans convinced at least some voters of what didn't seem possible - that George Bush was not only worth having a beer with, but he was more honest than John Kerry. Now, after a brief period earlier this year in which the Democrats appeared willing to challenge the Bush White House, the old strategies of retreat, concession and surrender have returned. This isn't merely because the Democrats are following a bad electoral strategy. The Democratic Party is the second party of American capitalism and is fundamentally committed to the interests and priorities of the U.S. ruling establishment. When it comes to foreign policy, while there may be disagreements about tactics, the Republicans and Democrats agree on the aim of protecting U.S. power around the globe - as is increasingly clear from the debate in Washington these days. But the anger among ordinary people that made itself felt in the 2006 elections - over the war specifically, and falling standards of livings for worker more generally - hasn't gone away. Pressure from its base - as well as another disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan - may yet prod the Democrats back to the left. In any case, the hatred of Bush and the Republicans runs so deep that even the Democrats' prowar policies may not overly harm their election chances, even if the voters are well to the left of the candidates on Iraq and other issues. What's certain right now, however, is that opponents of the war can't wait on a Democratic president taking office in 2009 to try to revive antiwar organizing. Those opposed to the war will have to rely on their own activism to force a change in U.S. policy - and the time to begin is now. Lee Sustar writes for the Socialist Worker. He can be reached at: lsustar [at] ameritech.net ed comment [[Indeed, the DP is as bad as described. So we should not vote for it. Progressives should withdraw and find some other home. Bury the DP, have a brief grave-side service, and move on. You used to be able to get some things from the DP if you tried hard enough. But each election the "business" DP moved right; each election you had to try harder and you got less; now you bust your butt and get nothing. Ruling class 1, people 0. But the rulers have been too clever, because now we the people have NO reason to vote for either of their tinsel parties, and every reason to challenge everything they stand for. What does a pragmatist get from being "pragmatic" (non-principled) with the DP? Nothing. Then it ain't pragmatic; it's just stupid and clueless. The DP is no longer a lesser evil we can get something from if we sell it our soul. It is now just a massive evil from which we get nothing but more evil and despair.]] --------16 of 18-------- The Democrats Who Enable Bush by Helen Thomas Published on Friday, October 5, 2007 by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer President Bush has no better friends than the spineless Democratic congressional leadership and the party's leading presidential candidates when it comes to his failing Iraq policy. Those Democrats seem to have forgotten that the American people want U.S. troops out of Iraq, especially since Bush still cannot give a credible reason for attacking Iraq after nearly five years of war. Last week at a debate in Hanover, N.H., the leading Democratic presidential candidates sang from the same songbook: Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York, and Barack Obama of Illinois and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards refused to promise to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by 2013, at the end of the first term of their hypothetical presidencies. Can you believe it? When the question was put to Clinton, she reverted to her usual cautious equivocation, saying: "It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting". Obama dodged, too: "I think it would be irresponsible" to say what he would do as president. Edwards, on whom hopes were riding to show some independence, replied to the question: "I cannot make that commitment". They have left the voters little choice with those answers. Some supporters were outraged at the obfuscation by the Democratic front-runners. On the other hand, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., are more definitive in their calls for quick troop withdrawals. But Biden wants to break up Iraq into three provinces along religious and ethnic lines. In other words, Balkanize Iraq. To have major Democratic backing to stay the course in Iraq added up to good news for Bush. Now comes a surprising Clinton fan. President Bush told Bill Sammon - Washington Examiner correspondent and author of a new book titled "The Evangelical President" - that Clinton will beat Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination because she is a "formidable candidate" and better known. Sammon says Bush revealed that he has been sending messages to Clinton to urge her to "maintain some political wiggle room in your campaign rhetoric about Iraq". The author said Bush contends that whoever inherits the White House will be faced with a potential vacuum in Iraq and "will begin to understand the need to continue to support the young democracy". Bush ought to know about campaign rhetoric. Remember how he ridiculed "nation building" in the 2000 presidential campaign? Now he claims he is trying to spread democracy throughout the Middle East. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is another Democratic leader who has empowered Bush's war. Pelosi removed a provision from the most recent war-funding bill that would have required Bush to seek the permission of Congress before launching any attack on Iran. Her spokesman gave the lame excuse that she didn't like the wording of the provision. More likely, she bowed to political pressure. Is it any wonder the Democrats are faring lower than the president in a Washington Post ABC approval poll? Bush came in at 33 percent and Congress at 29 percent. Members of Congress seem to have forgotten their constitutional prerogative to declare war; World War II was the last time Congress formally declared war. Presidents have found other ways to make end runs around the law, mainly by obtaining congressional authorization "to do whatever is necessary" in a crisis involving use of the military. That's the way we got into the Vietnam and Iraq wars. So what are the leading Democratic White House hopefuls offering? It seems nothing but more war. So where do the voters go who are sick of the Iraqi debacle? Helen Thomas is a columnist for Hearst Newspapers. E-mail: helent [at] hearstdc.com. Copyright 2007 Hearst Newspapers --------17 of 18-------- The Kucinich Question Which side are you on? by Sharon Smith / October 4th, 2007 It was July 12 in Detroit, and all eight Democratic Party presidential candidates had just finished sparring at a forum sponsored by the NAACP when John Edwards and Hillary Clinton were caught hatching a plot to rid future debates of all but front-runners. The two were apparently unaware that Fox News. microphones were still turned on to overhear their mutual exasperation at sharing the stage with those on the losing end of opinion polls. According to the Associated Press, Edwards whispered, "We should try to have a more serious and a smaller group". Clinton agreed that the broad format had "trivialized" the debates, adding, "We've got to cut the number. They're not serious". Dennis Kucinich, who would certainly be excluded if Edwards and Clinton succeed at this scheme, rapidly issued a press release stating his outrage: "Candidates, no matter how important or influential they perceive themselves to be, do not have and should not have the power to determine who is allowed to speak to the American public and who is not. Imperial candidates are as repugnant to the American people and to our Democracy as an imperial president". Indeed, Kucinich stands alone among the current crop of candidates in his consistently principled stand on issues ranging from opposition to the war in Iraq to support for single-payer health care, immigrant rights and the legalization of gay marriage. During a nationally televised MSNBC debate on September 26, none of the three front-runners - who all claim to be "antiwar" - pledged to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of their first term in office in 2013. Clinton argued, "It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting". Barack Obama stated, "I think it would be irresponsible". Edwards admitted, "I cannot make that commitment". Kucinich answered with a refreshingly concrete antiwar resolve: "We can get out of there three months after I take office". He added, "To me, it is fairly astonishing to have Democrats who took back the power of the House and Senate in 2006 to stand on this stage and tell the American people that the war will continue till 2013 and perhaps past that". And while current Democratic Party talking points blame Iraqis for the chaos enveloping Iraq, Kucinich supports reparations for the Iraqi people from the governments who have caused their suffering, arguing, "The U.S. and Great Britain have a high moral obligation to enable a peace process by beginning a program of significant reparations to the people of Iraq for the loss of lives, physical and emotional injuries, and damage to property". While Clinton has lurched rightward on support for abortion rights in recent years (stating in 2005 that abortion is "a sad, even tragic choice"), Kucinich is the only candidate who has shifted leftward on the issue of choice. He actively opposed abortion for many years but reversed his stand in 2003, stating, "[I]t finally came to the point where I understood that women will not be truly free unless they have the right to choose". Kucinich also stands firmly on the side of immigrants rights, however much his own party has compromised, arguing, "No fines should be paid [by immigrants], no one should be made to go back, and we should stop scapegoating immigrants". He seeks to abolish NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) because it drives down Mexican wages and opposed the Security Fence Act to further enhance border control. But Kucinich has no hope of winning the Democratic Party nomination, for his unwillingness to compromise on sound humanitarian principles dooms that outcome. This fact, combined with his steadfast refusal to accept corporate donations, relegates his candidacy in 2008, as it did in 2004, to the margins of the electoral arena, a project willingly enabled by a compliant mainstream media. The Kucinich campaign complained, for example, that ABC News "deliberately cropped [Kucinich] out of a "Politics Page" photo of the candidates after their August 19 debate" and removed an online "Who won the debate" survey after Kucinich came out the winner. Nevertheless, like a scorned relative who always shows up to family functions, Kucinich refuses to disengage from the Democratic Party establishment that, as Clinton and Edwards attest, tolerates his presence only with gritted teeth. But Kucinich's loyalty to the party that holds him in such contempt will perform a useful service in delivering left-wing support for the party's chosen, corporate-backed nominee in 2008. This is a service that Kucinich will undoubtedly perform. Look back no further than 2004 for a preview of what lies ahead. After a principled antiwar campaign, Kucinich promised his supporters he would fight for a plank opposing the Iraq war at the Democratic Party Convention in July 2004. But no antiwar debate materialized, and Kucinich's stunned supporters were left with no other choice than backing pro-war John Kerry as the anointed candidate. Kucinich must therefore be faulted for compromising his principles in one crucial respect. He remains beholden to the Democrats'a ruling-class, imperialist party that coexists in a power-sharing arrangement with the Republicans - offering voters no genuine alternative to the status quo. If Kucinich truly believed his own rhetoric, he would leave, creating the possibility for building a viable third party that could express popular opposition to corporate rule. Sharon Smith is a columnist for Socialist Worker and author of Women.s Liberation and Socialism (Haymarket Books). This article first appeared on the SW website. Read other articles by Sharon. This article was posted on Thursday, October 4th, 2007 at 5:06 am and is filed under Elections and Democrats. Send to a friend. [[Kucinich performs the function of a Judas Goat. A Judas Goat leads other goats into the slaughter house, and is owned by the Big Butchers. The goat may not understand its dire function, but Kucinich does. -ed]] --------18 of 18-------- Automation's Evil Twin De-Skilling America's Labor Force By DAVID MACARAY CounterPunch October 5, 2007 If there were any lingering doubts about Corporate America's contempt for working men and women, the on-going attempt to replace people with robots should put those doubts to rest. Clearly, a company that prefers a "mechanical man" to a functioning human being is trying to tell us something. A recent announcement by Big Three automakers that they plan to invest a billion dollars over the next decade in the development of robotics reminded me of a remark made by an HR representative of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, some years ago. Off-handedly, he suggested that we might be surprised at what kind of workforce would, hypothetically, "scare" a management team. For example, it wouldn't be a lazy, belligerent or even militantly pro-union workforce. Those types, he assured us, could be "fixed" (his term). No, the scariest workforce would be a conspicuously talented one. Why? Because talent is expensive. Talent is leverage. And while there is obviously a profound upside to having valuable workers, there is, paradoxically, a built-in downside: Management is now dependent upon a variable it can't control. Typically, people with "careers" are interested in advancement, recognition, self-realization, etc. Ambition is recognized as a virtue and is encouraged. Conversely, people with "jobs" tend to focus on wages and benefits. But because wages and benefits constitute overhead, ambition among the "gravy-and-french fry crowd" (witty management-speak) is not only discouraged, it often needs to be "fixed." Accordingly, management has embraced a strategy called "de-skilling," the systematic dumbing-down of jobs into easily mastered tasks. De-skilling is to virtuosity what Agent Orange is to foliage. While its primary goal is to improve efficiency through standardization, it's also a means of "neutralizing" a workforce. We see a glimpse of it in the fast-food industry. Employees now press buttons with pictures of menu items. No arithmetic to mess with, no management worries about having enough cross-trained employees to go around. The job becomes, literally, as easy as A-B-C. Warehousing is a better example. Before computerization, shipping checkers (the forklift drivers who load trucks) needed to know how to "cube out" a load. It was an art. They had to visualize the "cube," calculate its volume, number of cases, and number of stacks-to fill an 18-wheeler. It isn't rocket science, but it requires logic and finesse. Today, the size and shape of every container in the warehouse-along with the interior dimensions of every trailer and boxcar in the yard-are logged into a computer. Everything is bar-coded. Monitors mounted on forklifts tell checkers where to go, what to scan, how much to grab, where to take it, and how to stack it. While accuracy has improved significantly, productivity has not. Forcing checkers to paint by-the-numbers not only prevents any creative time-saving, it's a morale buster, an insult, like hitching a thoroughbred race horse to a plow. Also, with everything tied to one computer, a minor glitch now shuts down the entire warehouse. But management got what they wanted. Checker-training used to require two months; now it's two weeks. Because experienced checkers were a relatively valuable commodity, they could earn $60,000 annually. Today, they compete with drivers making $11 an hour. Companies tell unions not to worry. They remind them that automation itself was once demonized, and that until workers saw the phenomenon in action and came to appreciate the advantages of mechanization, they feared it. But automation arrived long before America's manufacturing sector had been hollowed-out and picked-over; it arrived when good jobs were still plentiful, and workers had time to adjust to new technology. De-skilling is different. It has the potential to erode what's left of blue-collar dignity and leave in its wake a sub-class of drones. By stripping workers of their craft-effectively washing out their value on the open market-de-skilling has revealed itself as automation's evil twin brother. And there's no easy "fix" in sight. David Macaray, a Los Angeles playwright and writer, was president and chief contract negotiator of the Assn. of Western Pulp and Paper Workers, Local 672, from 1989 to 2000. He can be reached at: dmacaray [at] earthlink.net [Capitalism sucks money out of our bodies. It also sucks spirit from our souls. In the end everything is destroyed. A few sociopaths sit smug on hills of gold, fiddling while humanity burns. -ed] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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