Progressive Calendar 10.07.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2007 03:28:40 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R      10.07.07

1. Stillwater vigil  10.07 1pm
2. 9/11 speaker      10.07 3/7pm
3. TN toxic terror   10.07 3pm
4. Peace/justice     10.07 4pm
5. Counter-recruit   10.07 4pm
6. KFAI/Indian       10.07 7pm
7. Political Islam   10.07 10:30pm

8. Violence/religion 10.08 6:30pm
9. Spirit progs      10.08 6:30pm
10. World minus us   10.08 7pm
11. MN labor vs war  10.08 7pm
12. Ali Abunimah     10.08 7pm

13. JewishVoicePeace  - Let Desmond Tutu speak at a Minnesota university
14. Michael Cavlan    - Stand with Tutu
15. Guy Western       - St Thomas wrong to exclude Tutu
16. Andy Driscoll     - St Thomas taking giant steps backward
17. Charley Underwood - Who would Jesus torture?

18. Ralph Nader       - US lawyers must confront the rogue Bush regime
19. Charles Sullivan  - Of hampster wheels and mwen

--------1 of 19--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 10.07 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560

--------2 of 19--------

From: 'Catherine Statz' <statz001 [at]>
Subject: 9/11 speaker 10.07 3/7pm

Nine-Eleven Hero Rodriguez to Speak in the Twin Cities

William Rodriguez, a true hero of 9-11 whose experiences on that fateful
day punch holes in the official government story, will speak October 7 in
both Minneapolis and St. Paul. He will give two presentations. The first
one, in the Spanish language, will be held at the Paul & Sheila Wellstone
Auditorium in Neighborhood House at 179 E. Robie, on the West side of
Saint Paul, beginning at 3:00 PM.  Then at 7:00 PM, he will give a
presentation in English at the First Unitarian Church Sanctuary, 3400
Dupont Ave. S. in Minneapolis.  Donations of a minimum of $5.00 will be
asked of attendees. However no one will be turned away for financial
reasons. Both appearances are sponsored by Minnesota 911 Truth*.

Rodriguez was working as a maintenance worker in the World Trade Center on
September 11, 2001, as he had for the past 19 years. He singlehandedly
rescued 15 people from the North Tower of the WTC and aided in the
evacuation of hundreds of others just before the building collapsed and is
believed to be the last person to exit the tower alive, surviving the
collapse after diving under a fire truck. After receiving medical
treatment for his injuries, Rodriguez spent the rest of the day aiding as
a volunteer in the rescue efforts and at dawn the following morning was
back at Ground Zero continuing his heroic efforts. He was subsequently
honored by President George W. Bush for his heroism.

Rodriguez claims that he heard and felt explosions in the base of the
World Trade Center before and after the planes hit the building that he
believes could not have been caused by the collision, causing him to
question the government's official story of how the structures came down.
He testified before the 9/11 Commission, however, his testimony was taken
behind closed doors and none of his testimony was mentioned in the final
Commission Report.  That is one of the reasons MN 9/11 Truth is demanding
a new investigation.  He has been touring the country telling that story
and how it has impacted his life. He has also been working to help others
affected by 9/11 to put their lives back together.

Minnesota 911 Truth is a grass roots organization dedicated to having a
totally new, objective investigation of 9/11 by an independent committee
not appointed by the current administration.

--------3 of 19--------

From: David Strand <mncivil [at]>
Subject: TN toxic terror 10.07 3pm

Toxic Terror In A Tennessee Town
Please join Sheila Holt-Orsted and U. S. Congressman Keith Ellison.

Sheila Holt-Orsted is an environmental justice advocate.  Mrs. Holt-Orsted
has been on a crusade for justice.  Since she uncovered one of Tennessee's
dirty little secrets, her family has been living a toxic nightmare.  The
family well water was contaminated with Trichloroethylene (TCE), the 15th
most toxic chemical known to man and is a cancer causing solvent.
Federal, State, and local Authorities lied to the family about the safety
of their water.  The Holt's were the wrong completion for protection.
Their white neighbors were told not to drink the water and provided with
safe drinking water.  The Holt family has been riddled with cancer.  In
2003 Sheila was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer.  Her father died
January 9, 2007 of prostate and bone cancer.

Today, the family is fighting back.  They are choosing to be victors and
not victims.  They are fighting for justice.  They are the nations poster
family for environmental racism.  The Holts represent families across the
United States that say NO, not in my backyard.  Come hear her personal
testimony of Environmental Racism, it's a story you'll never forget!

U.S Congressman Keith Ellison, founder of the Environmental Justice
Advocates of Minnesota (EJAM), will join Ms. Holt-Orsted to discuss
pending legislation on environmental justice and other related policy

When: Sunday, October 7, 3:00- 5:30 p.m.
Where: Kwanzaa Church , 2100 Emerson Avenue North , Minneapolis , MN
For more information please call: 612-436-5402 or e-mail karenejam [at] yahoo. 
This is a free event!

--------4 of 19--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Peace/justice 10.07 4pm

Vincent L. Hawkinson 2007 Peace and Justice Awards: Lowell and Carol
Erdahl of the Twin Cities

Sunday, October 7, 4:00 p.m. University Lutheran Church of Hope, 601 13th
Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis. Lowell Erdahl, bishop emeritus of the Saint
Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and
his wife, bookstore owner Carol Erdahl are being recognized for their
lifelong involvement in peace and social justice causes. Lowell and Carol
are long-time WAMM members. Selected annually by the Foundation, the
honorary awards and Hawkinson scholarships are aimed at furthering the
commitment to peace and justice of the late Reverend Vincent L. Hawkinson,
who served as pastor of Grace University Lutheran Church in Minneapolis
for 30 years. The presentation is open to the public. A reception follows.

--------5 of 19--------

From: YAWR <against.war [at]>
Subject: Counter-recruit 10.07 4pm

SUN.Oct.7: Community Mtg to Counter Military Recruitment
Help Counter Military Recruitment in High Schools!
Sunday, October 7th
Mayday Books
301 Cedar Ave.
*** also... attend upcoming school board meetings! details below.

BACKGROUND: For several years, Youth Against War & Racism and other local
groups have urged and end to military recruitment in schools, and
campaigned for restrictions within the law as a first step. This fall YAWR
and others are trying to organize a more sustained pressure campaign on
area school boards to restrict the frequency of military visits and to
restrict them to school career centers.

Linked with YAWR's planned mobilizations, pressure from community
organizations and parents will be critical. A meeting of local antiwar
leaders from Women Against Military Madness, Veterans for Peace, Merriam
Park Neighbors for Peace, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and others
gathered on Sept. 15 to discuss plans. We agreed to draft a letter for
community groups to sign onto (see below), to mobilize for October and
November school board meetings in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and to call a
community meeting on October 7. Please join us and spread the

--------6 of 19--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at]>
Subject: KFAI/Indian 10.07 7pm

KFAI¹s Indian Uprising for Oct. 7th, 2007 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT #234

William Moses Kunstler (1919-1995) was an American jurist, self-described
"radical lawyer" and civil rights activist. He represented Russell Means
in the Wounded Knee AIM Leadership Trial , and also Dennis Banks and
Leonard Peltier. When he died in 1995, The New York Times called him "the
most hated and most loved lawyer in America."

He was a director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 1964
to 1972, when he became a member of the ACLU National Council. In 1969 he
co-founded the Center for Constitutional Rights. Kunstler also worked with
the National Lawyers Guild. To many, Kunstler's image was that of a
flamboyant radical. He defended many controversial clients, including
Salvador Agron, Lenny Bruce, H. Rap Brown, Jack Ruby, Abbie Hoffman,
Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, Jerry Rubin, Martin Luther King, Lemuel
Smith, Siddig Ibrahim Siddig Ali, Ibrahim A. Elgabrowny, Gregory Johnson,
Wayne Williams, Larry Davis and Gary McGivern.

He gained national renown for defending the "Chicago Seven" (originally
"Chicago Eight") against charges of conspiring to incite riots in Chicago
during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. During the trial, he and
the other defense attorney, Leonard Weinglass, were cited for contemp (the
convictions were later overturned).

A new documentary feature, a work-in-progress, Disturbing the Universe,
about William Kunstler, is being co-produced by his daughters Emily and
Sarah who explore their father¹s life, from middle-class family man, to
movement lawyer, to ³the most hated lawyer in America.² For more
information visit the film's website

EMILY KUNSTLER, a filmmaker, and SARAH KUNSTLER have a production company,
Off Center Media.  It produces documentaries exposing injustices in the
criminal justice system. Emily graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the
Arts with a BFA in Film and Video. She worked as a video producer for
Democracy Now!  Sarah graduated from Yale University with a BA in
photography and from Columbia Law School with a JD. She is currently a
criminal defense attorney. Their mother, Margaret Ratner, is the president
of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice

"Our father believed that every generation has its time to struggle, and
that every person has a moment in life when they are challenged to act and
must choose whether to stand up and disturb the universe, or to quietly
blend into the crowd and lead an unexceptional life. Why did he choose the
life he did? Was he a hero? Was he a menace? And where do we, his
daughters, fit into that choice? This is our first look beyond the legend,
at the life he led before we were born, as well a chance to take another
look at the man we knew."

WILLIAM 'BILL' MEANS (Oglala Lakota) a Vietnam combat and Wounded Knee
(1973) veteran, is the Executive Director of the Opportunities
Industrialization Center State Council of Minnesota. Bill is a founder of
the International Indian Treaty Council and currently President of the
Board. During his 9 years as Executive Director, he was responsible for
the establishment of a system for documenting human rights violations
against Indians. He is Co-founder of the U.N. Working Group on Indigenous
Populations and an expert on U.S. & Indian Treaty relations.  Russell
Means is his brother.  ~ ~ ~ ~ Note: KFAI's Fall Pledge Drive runs through
October 12th. Doners of $50 or more receive a copy of The Emerging Police
State, a book of speeches by William Kunstler on the erosion of our civil
rights. Read more. Other premiums to be announced. To donate visit * * * * Indian Uprising a one-hour Public &
Cultural Affairs program is for and by Native Indigenous People broadcast
each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CDT on KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St.
Paul.  Producer and host is volunteer Chris Spotted Eagle. KFAI Fresh Air
Radio is located at 1808 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454,

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

--------7 of 19--------

From: Ahmed Tharwat <tharwat77 [at]>
Subject: Political Islam 10.07 10:30pm

Guest of this week
Fouzi Slisli is assistant professor in the department of human relations and
multicultural education at St Cloud State University, Minnesota. He can be
contacted at fslisli [at]  The political Islam, who, and what.
<> Previous Guests

Ahmed Tharwat/ Host
<> BelAhdan
TV show  airs on Public TV
Sundays at 10:30pm

--------8 of 19--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Violence/religion 10.08 6:30pm

Monday, 10/8, 6:30 to 9 pm, free program introducing the interfaith
dialogue series "Peace and Violence in Our Religious Traditions" with
Rabbi Amy Ellberg and Iftar (breaking the fast of Ramadan dinner) as part
of A Sacred Season of Peace-Making, Masjid (mosque) An-Nur, 1729 Lyndale
Ave N, Mpls. or 651-789-3840.  The entire series

10/8 - Ifter and intro to the series at a mosque

--------9 of 19--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Spirit progs 10.08 6:30pm

Monday, 10/8, 6:30 pm snacks and conversation,, 7 pm chapter meeting,
monthly meeting for MN Network for Spiritual Progressives (MN Sen John
Marty speaks), Plymouth Church, 1900 Nicollett Ave, Mpls.
brucelissem [at]

--------10 of 19--------

From: Kari Erpenbach <kari [at] UMN.EDU>
Subject: World minus us 10.08 7pm

Alan Weisman, award-winning journalist and best-selling author, will
discuss his new book The World Without Us at the University of Minnesota
Bookstore 300 Washington Ave. S.E. Mpls on October 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Award-winning journalist and best- selling author Alan Weisman will
discuss his new book The World Without Us on Monday, October 8 at 7:00
p.m. at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union,
300 Washington Ave. S.E. Minneapolis.

Weisman offers a unique look at environmental destruction and global
warming in his new book The World Without Us as he examines how nature
would respond without the pressures of humans. As an award- winning
journalist, Weisman draws on the expertise of paleontologists, structural
engineers, biologists, art conservators, diamond and coal miners, oil
drillers, marine biologists, astrophysicists, and religious leaders to
examine the impact on the earth without man.

Without human intervention, Weisman reveals our planet's tremendous
capacity for self-healing as our cities, roads and bridges are
reclaimed by nature. [Is Fridley reclaimable?]

The World Without Us looks at the impact of man's sizeable footprint on
the earth and calculates the thousands of years it will take to rid our
soil of lead, what will happen to our chemical storage caverns, our buried
nuclear waste, and the enormous plastic waste deposits that are now the
most common surface feature of the world's oceans.

Weisman will sign copies of his book following the discussion. This event
is free and open to the public.  For more information, or to order a
signed copy visit

--------11 of 19--------

From: Teddy <tyimenu2005 [at]>
Subject: MN labor vs war 10.08 7pm

MN Labor Against War Meetings
2nd Monday of Each Month 7pm
Merriam Park Library in St.Paul - Basement
At the Corner of Marshall and Fairview

Teddy Shibabaw 612-807-3196 - tyimenu2005 [at]
Corey Mattson - 612-298-0920 - correymattson [at]

--------12 of 19--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Ali Abunimah 10.08 7pm

"Where Next for Palestine/Israel: Peace, Apartheid or Democratic Inclusion?"
Ali Abunimah
7 PM
Monday, October 8, 2007
Anderson Hall 210 / West Bank
University of Minnesota

Map of Anderson Hall:
Nearest parking ramps:
 21st Ave Ramp
 19th Ave Ramp <>
 Lot 86

Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian-American, is the cofounder and editor of the
Electronic Intifada website since 2001 and, more recently, of Electronic
Iraq and Electronic Lebanon. A graduate of Princeton University and the
University of Chicago, he has written for the Chicago Tribune and the Los
Angeles Times. He is author of ONE COUNTRY: A Bold Proposal to End the
Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (Metropolitan Books; November 2006)

--------13 of 19--------

Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 13:51:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jewish Voice for Peace <mitchell [at]>
Subject: Let Desmond Tutu Speak at A Minnesota University

A peace and justice group at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota
has been forced by the university president to cancel an appearance by
Archbishop Desmond Tutu - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The cancellation was accompanied by the removal of the chair of the
Justice and Peace Studies program, Prof. Cris Toffolo from her position as
chair. She has tenure, but no longer heads the department.

The university president, Father Dennis Dease, decided against Tutu's
appearance after consulting one representative from the local Jewish
Community Relations Council and several rabbis affiliated with the
university. This, apparently, amounted to a Jewish "consensus" in Father
Dease's mind.

Go to to read our Muzzlewatch report on
this incident.

Go to
to write to Father Dease and urge that he reverse this tragic course. Tell
him you want to see Prof. Toffolo reinstated as chair of the Justice and
Peace Studies program and that the words and views of Bishop Tutu are
important ones for the students at St. Thomas University to hear.

Cecilie Surasky and Mitchell Plitnick
Jewish Voice for Peace

--------14 of 19--------

Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2007 23:56:33 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: Michael Cavlan greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at]>
Subject: Stand with Tutu

Press Release
For Immediate Release

The Michael Cavlan campaign for US Senate in Minnesota unreservedly
condemns St Thomas Catholic University for it's exclusion of Nobel Peace
Prize Laureate, Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Although it is understood that private schools may choose to exclude
certain people from discussing some matters in their school, the practice
of such is antithetical to the freedoms enjoyed by Americans.  This
exclusion is thought control and it displays a disdain for the principle
the free flow of thoughts and information, which is supposed to be the
goal of Universities. Not to mention of the Constitution and the Bill of
Rights of the United States and the intentions of this country's founders
as well as the expectations of its citizens.

There are usually several sides to a subject and quite possibly the
aspects brought to us by Rev. Tutu's presentation could lead to finding a
solution to some of the injustices suffered by many in the world. Cavlan
himself finds this exclusion especially egregious, given his history of
facing bigotry in northern Ireland for being Catholic. The northern
Ireland Peace Process depended heavily on the experience and support of
the South African government of Nelson Mandela to push for peace and
justice in that beleaguered part of the world. It is in that context that
Cavlan, a Catholic who lived in northern Ireland during his formative
years states that "St Thomas should be ashamed of themselves." Candidate
Cavlan stands with Bishop Desmond Tutu and condemns the brutality and
racism of the Israeli government.

It is important for everyone to be able to choose for themselves among the
many aspects of those injustices and their causes and The University of
St. Thomas is to be censured for their decision to cancel the appearance
of Rev. Desmond Tutu, who is a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, who correctly
pointed out the immoral policies of the Israeli government. Desmond Tutu
has faced bigotry and knows it when he sees it.

The Cavlan campaign calls on all the US Senate candidates, including Al
Franken and Norm Coleman to likewise condemn the University of St Thomas.

Contact Dori Ullman (612)414-9528

--------15 of 19--------

Date: Sun,  7 Oct 2007 04:54:03 +1300 (NZDT)
From: Guy Western <wtscs [at]>
Subject: Wrong to exclude Tutu

President Rev. Dennis Dease is defending his decision to disinvite
Archbishop Desmond Tutu who was supposed to be a guest of a spring, youth
peace conference at U of St. Thomas.  IMHO a decision to exclude a winner
of the Nobel Peace Prize and campaigner against apartheid is not
defensible.  Think of the unsavory types who HAVE been allowed to address
U.S. college campuses in the name of free speech and exploration of
differing viewpoints that makes our college campuses tolerant of otherwise
distasteful viewpoints.

Archbishop Tutu's fatal offense, according to Pres. Dease, was his
criticism of Israel's treatment of its Palestinian citizens.  I'm a little
alarmed at the knee-jerk reaction to brand anyone who criticizes the
policies of Israel as "anti-semitic".  I'm very disappointed that St. Paul
would fall victim to this kind of politically correct censorship to the
point that one of our campuses would prevent a figure of the stature and
integrity of a highly respected world figure like Archbishop Tutu from
honoring our town with his presence.

This is just wrong!

Guy Western
West Side, St. Paul
Info about Guy Western:

--------16 of 19--------

Date: Sat, 06 Oct 2007 14:45:26 -0500
From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at]>
Subject: St Thomas taking giant steps backward

This would be the same Dennis Dease that cracked down on an unmarried couple
of professors living together from sleeping in the same room on a field trip
with some students.

I agree, however, that this is not St. Paul talking, but St. Thomas - a
private scholastic habitué of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
where academic freedom has been taking giant steps backward for several
years. Hell, even the tight-ended Terrence Murphy was less restrictive on
his profs even when he disagreed passionately with their views.

The archdiocese as a whole has regressed in its tolerance for dissent within
the church as well as within the political arena.

Guy's disgust over the dangerous road many are taking as more critics emerge
in light of the state of Israel's repressive behavior is well-placed. Thank
heaven (so to speak) Metropolitan State University has taken up the gauntlet
and helped Tutu change venues.

We will discuss this and the larger issue in a coming program on Truth to
Tell. As the Star Tribune said this morning - the answer to odious speech is
more speech - and odious to whom needs identifying.

Andy Driscoll
Crocus Hill

--------17 of 19--------

Date: Sun,  7 Oct 2007 20:09:01 +1300 (NZDT)
From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Who would Jesus torture?

Barring Nobel Peace Prize winner Tutu certainly does make a shambles of
any claims of academic freedom and intellectual diversity, particularly
when contrasted with such previous speakers as Ann Coulter.

For me, the more painful contrast is with St Thomas Law prof Robert
Delahunty.  Working with John Yoo in the Office of Legal Counsel,
Delahunty was author of the infamous "torture memo" of February 2002.
That memo was the one that did legal gymnastics to withhold Geneva
protections from prisoners in places like Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, the
Bagram base in Afghanistan and an unknown number of secret U.S. prisons
around the world.  It also nearly defined torture out of existence,
claiming that the pain would have to be equivalent to major organ failure
that would result in death or it would not qualify as torture.

So here is an institution of higher learning where an internationally
respected man of peace may not question the conditions of occupation in
Palestine.  So here is an institution claiming to be based on the
teachings of Jesus, yet they find any criticism of Israeli apartheid more
"hurtful" than the torture condoned by their own law professor.

President Dease, who would Jesus torture?  President Dease, what are you
so afraid that this old archbishop from South Africa would say?

Charley Underwood
Longfellow (SD 62 A), Minneapolis

-- [[If you don't like what St Thomas is doing, vote with your feet -
don't attend it, and don't give it or will it money. There have to be many
many much much more worthy recipients. -ed]]

--------18 of 19--------

Who Will Confront the Unprecedented and Unconstitutional Concentration of
Executive Power?
Where are the Lawyers of America?
October 6 / 7, 2007

The rogue regime of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney - so widely condemned
for its unconstitutional, criminal Iraq war, its spying on Americans
illegally, its repeated illegal torture practices, its arrests and
imprisonment of thousands in this country without charges and its
pathological secrecy and corporate corruption - still has not felt the
heat of the 800,000 practicing lawyers and their many bar organizations.

Lawyer jokes aside, the first defense outside of government against the
rejection of due process, probable cause and habeas corpus should come
from the officers of the courts - the attorneys of America. With few
exceptions, they have flunked, asleep at the switch or loaded with

The exceptions are a number of law professors such as David Cole
(Georgetown University) and Jonathan Turley (George Washington University)
and the magnificent one-year presidency of Michael Greco at the
conservative American Bar Association.

Mr. Greco, appalled at the outlaw nature of the Bush White House, now
wallowing in the pits of the public opinion polls, organized former
counsel to the CIA, the National Security Agency and the FBI, among
others, to produce detailed reports and resolutions assailing the Bush
government for repeatedly violating the constitution in numerous ways.

Reports were sent to Mr. Bush personally. He did not even bother to
acknowledge receipt. The ABA has over 400,000 members and is the largest
bar association in the world. Not even a courtesy reply from George Bush,
the American Caesar.

Unfortunately, the courage of Greco and his colleagues has not been
contagious with hundreds of thousands of lawyers throughout America or the
50 state bar associations who might have taken some action or position to
stand after the ABA stood tall in 2005-2006.

Mind you, the climate for lawyers defending the rule of law is quite
enabling. Seventy percent of the American people want out of Iraq and
nearly as many would like to see this Presidency end. A poll of soldiers
in Iraq back in January 2006 registered 72% of them wanting the U.S. out
of Iraq within six to twelve months.

In addition, scores of former Generals and high military officers, retired
intelligence officials and diplomats have openly criticized the
intransigence, incompetence and harm to the U.S. national security. These
leaders include the national security advisers to Bush's father, Brent
Snowcroft, the anti-terrorism advisor to George W. Bush, Richard Clark,
and many others who served in high government office.

With all this in mind, I have been asking lawyers why they do not become
directly active in challenging what they themselves believe is a reckless
above-the-law Presidency and its enormous concentration of unlawful power.
Here are some examples of their replies.

--a real estate attorney with a sterling civil liberties background says
"I am just too busy."

--numerous retired lawyers of considerable accomplishment simply say they
are retired.

--mid-career business attorneys say they have too many clients who might
object (too much wheeling and dealing to uphold the rule of law in
Washington, D.C.).

--public interest lawyers say it is not within their declared mission-eg.
environmental, consumer, poverty or law reform work.

--"Too controversial," and "I'm not up to it," announced a prominent trial

--"I wouldn't know where to start and I just need my leisure time,"
replied a highly specialized estate and trusts attorney.

And so it goes. Too preoccupied, too many deals in the works, too
controversial, too retired

The Democratic leadership in the Congress has given Bush/Cheney a giant
nod by taking a pass on holding them accountable through impeachment,
through conditions in budget bills, through making them answer subpoenas
by playing hardball on Bush's nominees, such as his new choice for
Attorney General.

It is up to the lawyers to rally for the Republic. This is deep
patriotism, for without upholding our constitution, and the laws of the
land, what will become of our country?

What will our children and their grandchildren inherit - a bankrupt
government that contracts out more and more of its core functions to
staggeringly expensive giant corporations seeking limitless profits, while
they finance and corrupt politicians to turn their back on the peoples'

Lawyers are supposed to know how to apply law to raw power. They know how
to use the courts, lobby (there are hundreds or thousands of attorneys in
each of most Congressional Districts). They can cut through the arcane
camouflage of legalese. They know when the laws are being violated and
what the remedies are for the violators. They know how to draft
legislation. They have contacts and money and are not supposed to be
frightened of conflict. The super-lawyers invariably get their calls

Where are the lawyers of America?

Two major terrorist strikes, with a messianic, compulsively-obsessed
President, can do to America what 9 months of nightly bombing by the Nazis
could not do to England - move us much closer to a police state.

Where are the stand-up lawyers of America?

Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions

--------19 of 19------

Of Hampster Wheels and Men
by Charles Sullivan / October 5th, 2007

It is evident that the US or Israel is going to launch an unprovoked
attack on Iran in the near future, just as it did against Iraq and
countless other defenseless nations within recent memory. As a result,
untold numbers of innocent people will die and huge sums of money will
change hands. Both the U.S. and Israel will consolidate their power in the
Middle East and injustice and death will follow in their wake.

Bush's co-conspirators in Congress are standing down, leaving little doubt
as to whom they serve. As always, the mainstream media is preparing the
way by serving as an organ of the Military-industrial complex by beating
the drums of war and perpetuating lies.

Outside of a small number of citizens, few people seem capable of plumbing
the depths of our conundrum. Under the umbrella of capitalism, business is
the business of America, and death, inequity, and misery are its chief
byproducts. Thus the rich are getting richer and the wealth generated by
the producers is being concentrated into fewer hands than ever before.

War and class warfare are among the offshoots of capitalism. They are
opposite sides of the same coin, like Democrat and Republican. Significant
change will not occur until the people rise up in revolt and take matters
into their own hands - a state of affairs that is virtually unimaginable.
Nothing less than a fundamental paradigm shift from capitalism to a just
an equitable socio-economic system is required.

It is not difficult to know what kind of response the present threat
demands of us - yet only a handful of thoughtful and courageous people
will act appropriately against them.

I am quite certain that indifference, apathy, belligerent nationalism, and
dumb-foundedness are not appropriate responses to the cancer that is
festering in the Pentagon, the halls of Congress, and America's corporate
board rooms and political think tanks.

I am willing to bet that the average American never contemplates the
inequities that capitalism foists upon the world, or the unwarranted faith
we have in the concept of private ownership, unregulated markets, and
trickle down economics. This is a system that was created to serve the
wealthy and to oppress the majority, and it is fundamentally predatory in

Championed by the likes of Milton Friedman, capitalism and private
ownership is the holy grail of the American economic system, and they are
considered beyond reproach even by those who barely survive under their
ponderous weight. The nemesis of capital and privilege is an organized and
mobilized citizenry. Throughout America's short history, alternative
political and economic systems such as communism and socialism, long
associated with organized labor and radical unionism, have occasionally
gained a foothold in the barren political landscape and, predictably, were
thoroughly demonized by the mainstream media and its corporate funders.

Alternatives to capitalism have been tried but they have always been
undermined by the US, which allows their critics to assert that these
social experiments have been tried and failed. But left alone to evolve
without outside interference, other socio-economic systems that serve
people and the public interest might well flourish over for profit systems
that promote private enterprise, which explains why so much energy and
treasure is spent to undermine them.

Does anyone really believe that capitalism would be so prevalent today if
it had been so systematically undermined by other governments as its
counterparts? The playing field has never been level. Yet, despite such
intense oppression, alternatives continue to spring up like undesirable
weeds in capitalism's well groomed garden. Left untended, the garden
quickly reverts to its natural state, which, clearly, is not capitalism or
public funded privatized wealth accumulation.

Early on, working class Americans have been programmed to rail against any
system that poses a threat to capitalism and its attendant Plutocratic
rule. There was the era of McCarthyism in the 1950's, and long before that
the constant specter of the red menace that has always been associated
with organized labor and other social justice movements.

Any ideology that is opposed to capitalism has always been presented to
the people as a threat to democracy itself, which is an absurd notion.
Through propaganda and other distortions of truth, the interests of the
ruling clique are widely perceived to also be the people's interest.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Democracy is the greatest threat
to capitalism and Plutocracy; and, as history attests, it is vigorously
repressed by those in power, often by acts of state sponsored terrorism
and militarism.

Unregulated corporate power and the unbridled exploitation of land and
people are as far from true free markets and democracy as anything can be.

Through the judicious use of lies and propaganda the corporate media,
aided by the educational system, has successfully steered the collective
American psyche away from the very ideologies that might potentially be
our greatest benefactors. The underlying causes of societal injustice,
including the inequitable distribution of wealth and power, are thus kept
safely out of the public conscience, beyond the pale of moral and
intellectual discourse. Unregulated corporate power and free markets are
hailed in the mainstream media as humankind's greatest achievements. They
are marketed to the very people it exploits as liberating, democratic

The founding fathers recognized that an aroused and organized citizenry
was the primary threat to the ruling elite. Organized labor, in
particular, has always been perceived as a threat to the established
orthodoxy. A democratic workplace would inevitably lead to a democratic
society, and thus deny the strength of the ruling Plutocracy.

It is remarkable that for more than 230 years the Plutocracy has not only
successfully kept the majority of the people supporting economic and
social policy that is detrimental to the people, they have also kept them
from thinking about alternatives that could provide relief from the social
and economic injustice wrought by capitalism.among them, universal health
care and socialized higher education. The government is always waging a
cold war against the working class people, whatever their country of

As a result, we have evolved into a nation of imperialists addicted to war
and other forms of violence, which accrues tremendous wealth and power to
the rich, while simultaneously undermining the people's collective
welfare, and the wellbeing of the planet.

Attached to their ipods, cell phones, their computers, television sets,
and right wing media, the American people are detached from reality. So
long as they are free to consume and waste, and sufficient entertainment
is provided, the people will not rise up in revolt.

Because of this separation from reality, Americans do not empathize with
people outside of their own immediate families, beyond a small sphere of
friends and acquaintances. We have no sense of community, and little
visceral connection to the wild earth that sustains all life. We are
reductionists who do not appreciate the organic whole. Thus we cannot
connect the dots and think in rational terms of cause and effect. We have
commodified the earth and her people in order to exploit them for profit.

Too many Americans exist with a false sense of entitlement and privilege
that is not nearly as prevalent in other parts of the world, where the
effects of capitalism are better understood. Confident in our right to
consume, while ignoring the misery our consumption and waste is causing
others, we do not perceive the connection between capitalism, war,
socio-economic class, cheap labor, and planetary destruction.

Dr. Martin Luther King said: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
everywhere". The Wobblies understood: "An injury to one is an injury to
all". But we do not easily think beyond the self and rarely see ourselves
as a part of a vibrant global community - a part of nature. We even erect
psychological barriers that prevent us from questioning the established
orthodoxy, as we witnessed in the aftermath of 9-11. We do as we are told,
rather than doing what is right and just. Americans fear the government
and tremble before authority.

It is this spiritual isolation and emptiness that allows us to comprise so
little of the earth's population, and to consume so much of her precious
biological and ecological wealth - the planetary life support systems that
sustain all life.

The American worker, despite all evidence to the contrary, and
notwithstanding the lessons of history, continues to subscribe to the
ideology of the capitalist model and its empty promises dressed in the
seductive garments of the "American Dream". That dream is now, more than
ever, as millions of Americans are coming to realize, more myth than

Capitalism has forced a nation-sized plantation upon the working class
people of this country, and a world-sized gulag upon people everywhere.
Workers keep only a tiny percent of the wealth they create for their
employers, just enough to keep them playing the game - a game only a
select few will ever win. Someone else always reaps the benefits of our

American workers are like hamsters imprisoned in a cage, spinning our
hamster wheels with furious speed, working harder, producing more, more,
more - ever more; until our hearts explode or our bodies wear out under
mountains of debt.

Hardly a handful of people realize what an elaborate hoax has been erected
around us, what a sham this moribund system of waste and exploitation
really is.

So we go from one plantation to another, drifting like tumbleweeds from
one job to another but always imprisoned by the same exploitive,
dehumanizing capitalist system.

At some level, I believe that the majority of the people intuit that
something is terribly wrong. Thus they subscribe to the idea of reform and
resort to electoral politics - a system that is wholly owned and operated
by special interest money and corporate lobbyists. Their faith in the vote
is misplaced and their energy is misdirected, which thus helps to maintain
the established order, and prevents us from doing anything meaningful and
direct. It assures consistency through the centuries: Imperial wars and
occupations, a widening gap between the rich and poor; falling wages,
union busting, and unfathomable environmental destruction on a global
scale. [Vote Dem again and see life get worse again. -ed]

There are no political solutions available to us. There are no knights in
shining armor coming to the rescue. In a system awash in money the vote
has no meaning. It is a mistake to think that the tools provided by
capitalism can do anything other than perpetuate the system that is
already in place, as history clearly demonstrates. Whether George Bush,
Ron Paul, or Hillary Clinton occupies the White House, the result will be
the same. Politicians are the property of special interest money. Few of
them serve the people.

We must stop believing that reform of this corrupt system is even
possible. Misplaced faith in corrupt politicians keeps us from fomenting
the seeds of revolution, which are our only salvation and our destiny if
we are to survive as a people. If only we could conjure up the fighting
spirit that these times require.

People can only affect change by accepting personal responsibility and
through direct action. We, ourselves, must become the agents for radical,
revolutionary transformation. Rather than putting our trust in George Bush
and Hillary Clinton or the sycophants in Congress, we must believe in
ourselves and directly assert the power we have. We the people, when
organized and mobilized, are the most powerful revolutionary force on
earth. All we need is solidarity, but solidarity can be as elusive as a
wisp of smoke, especially when so much capital is expended to keep us
isolated and disorganized, and propagandized.

Both voting and sporadic protests, while they may temporarily make us feel
useful, do not have much long term effect. Let us not simply say no to war
with our vote, but with our bodies and our treasure. If we wish to see
social justice enacted, we must not merely vote for it, we must,
ourselves, become the agents of justice. We must oppose injustice not only
on philosophical and ethical grounds, but in the theater of action, with
our bodies.

Democracy and justice are too important to entrust to politicians who
serve money, rather than people and the public welfare. We must do more
than give lip service to the mere symbols of justice while doing nothing
to actually obtain justice, or even worse - undermining it by voting more
Plutocrats into office. Each of us must act to bring justice to bear. It
is wrong to quietly tolerate what is being done to our country.

Our collective tolerance for injustice and mediocrity makes us complicit
in them. We do not hold the criminals and the real terrorists accountable
and we continue to support the system that ushered them into power by
participating in it and pretending that it is legitimate.

Action applied directly at the point of injustice is the only force that
can bring about permanent and just change. But action, unlike rhetoric,
requires courage and conviction. It means putting the fear of god into the
hearts of the government, as ordinary people do in Europe and Latin
America, putting our bodies on the line for what we believe in. When the
state is an enemy of the people, all just men and women must become
enemies of the state.

Change begins and ends with the individual. What we think and what we do
matters only if we act on our beliefs and are even willing to die for
them, if necessary. Peace can only follow justice; it never precedes it.

By putting faith in those who serve the almighty dollar, rather than
directly upholding the principles of democracy ourselves, we diminish our
own power - we cede it to the corrupt and diabolical whose primary purpose
is to rape and exploit us. Let us leave the safe haven of our hamster
wheels and occupy the streets until justice reigns for everyone. There is
no other way.

Charles Sullivan is a nature photographer, free-lance writer, and activist
residing in the Ridge and Valley Providence of geopolitical West Virginia.

This article was posted on Friday, October 5th, 2007 at 4:59 am and is
filed under Israel/Palestine and Capitalism. Send to a friend.


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