|Progressive Calendar 10.19.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 08:04:54 -0700 (PDT)|
w P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 10.19.07 1. Adoption 10.19 12noon 2. Palestine 10.19 4:30pm 3. Iraq moratorium 10.19 5pm 4. Bi-relig/Israel 10.19 7pm 5. MarcelKhalife/Oud 10.19 8pm 6. Moyers/Blackwater 10.19 9pm 7. New eco-shop 10.20 11am 8. NWN4P Minnetonka 10.20 11am 9. Women/war/lit 10.20 1pm 10. Juvenile justice 10.20 3pm 11. Kathy Kelly/CTV 10.20 9pm 12. Colombia 10.21 12:30pm 13. Stillwater vigil 10.21 1pm 14. Garden party 10.21 2pm 15. Amnesty Intl 10.21 3pm 16. WAMM founder/f 10.21 3pm 17. Art of begging 10.21 10:30pm 18. Saree Mardisi - Academic freedom is at risk in America 19. Garret Keizer - Specific suggestion: general strike 20. Tom Maertens - A party Of eunuchs 21. ed - Consigned to the dustbin of history --------1 of x-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Adoption 10.19 12noon University of St. Thomas, Feminist Friday presents two speakers on 'The Feminist Politics of Adoption Today' Sun Yung Shin, co-editor /of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption/ (South End Press, 2006) and Jae Ran Kim, M.S.W., a contributor to the book, will speak at the next Feminist Friday program next week. Shin and Kim will discuss the domestic and international politics of adoption. They also will explore how reproductive politics in America have defined the discussion. The program will be held from noon-1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, 2007 in the Luann Dummer Center for Women at the University of St. Thomas in St.Paul, 103 O'Shaughnessy Educational Center. Bring a lunch. Snacks and drinks provided. This event is free and open to the public. --------2 of x-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM> Subject: Palestine 10.19 4:30pm Friday, 10/19, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end the occupation of Palestine, Snelling & Summit Aves, St Paul. Karen, 651-283-3495. --------3 of x-------- From: braun044 <braun044 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: Iraq moratorium 10.19 5pm FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19. The Iraq Moratorium Committee and the General Strike for Peace have called for making the 3rd Friday of every month a national day of activity against the war. The idea is simple: On every third Friday, in communities across the country, people will break from their daily routine to take concrete steps to participate in activities where they live, work, and study to call for an end to the war in Iraq. Both the Moratorium and General Strike campaigns urge people to take action on those days, including vigils, protests, forums, wearing black armbands, calling representatives and/or the media, and more. We encourage you to be creative in your personal actions and to also join a rally in Minneapolis: Friday, October 19, 5:00 pm Rally at Peavey Plaza 11th and Nicollet Speakers: Veterans speaking out against the war FFI: generalstrikeforpeace.com and iraqmoratorium.org --------4 of x-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM> Subject: Bi-relig/Israel 10.19 7pm Friday, 10/19, 7 to 9 pm, Friends for a Nonviolent World hosts former mayor Ahmad Hijazi of the bi-religious community in Israel called Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, Hennepin Ave United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Ave, Mpls. matt [at] fnvw.org or 651-917-0383. Donations accepted. --------5 of x-------- From: Mizna <mizna-announce [at] mizna.org> Subject: Marcel Khalife/Oud 10.19 8pm Mizna and the Cedar Cultural Center present: Marcel Khalifé October 19 - 8:00 pm Cedar Cultural Center 416 Cedar Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55454 (612) 338-2674 Lebanon's composer/musician Marcel Khalifé is a master and innovator of the oud (fretless lute) and a pioneer of contemporary Arab song. Renowned throughout the Middle East for over three decades, he has sustained a following akin to pop artists. In 2005, he was named UNESCO Artist for Peace. Performing on oud and vocals, he will be accompanied by the Al Mayadine Ensemble in a program featuring works from his new recording Taqasim, as well as selections from his older repertoire. In his association with great contemporary Arab poets, particularly Palestinian poet par excellence, Mahmoud Darwish, he seeks to renew the character of the Arabic song, to break its stereotypes, and to advance the culture of the society that surrounds it. On his journey, Marcel Khalifé invents and creates original music, a novel world of sounds, freed of all established rules. This language elevates him to the level of an ambassador of his own culture and to the vanguard of Near Eastern music innovators. Tickets ON SALE noon Fri Aug 17 from Cedar ticketline 612-338-2674 ext 2 or Ticketweb $50 reserved premium seating $30 general admission Details on our website coming soon! www.mizna.org --------6 of x-------- From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at] truthout.org> Subject: Moyers/Blackwater 10.19 9pm Bill Moyers Journal | Examining Blackwater http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/101807U.shtml Blackwater's top gun Erik Prince has been spinning the security firm's story this week in a PR offensive. Bill Moyers asks why the press is buying it and interviews journalist and author Jeremy Scahill, who helps separate the spin from the reality. --------7 of x-------- From: Jim Taylor <jim [at] jimtaylor.tv> Subject: New eco-shop 10.20 11am Sunny Day Earth Solutions - Minnesota's First "One-Stop Eco-Shop" Celebrates Grand Opening - Saturday October 20 Minneapolis, MN. Sunny Day Earth Solutions, the Twin Cities first and only full-service green store, celebrates its grand opening on Saturday, October 20th, 2007. Sunny Day offers a full range of environmentally friendly consumer products and renewable energy construction services to support comprehensive green living. Opening day festivities, running from noon to 6 pm, include renewable energy and alternative home workshops by regional experts, featuring three by legendary green construction guru, Mark E. Morgan. Morgan will actually construct a 3' by 10' straw-bale wall during the course of one workshop. The event also features a costume competition, with prizes for Most Eco Friendly Costume, and a kids' birdhouse building workshop. Sunny Day offers a unique and diverse range of consumer goods, from a line of cleaning supplies created by actor Ed Begley, Jr. to eco-friendly handbags created from recycled billboards. Sunny Day also offers expertise in the planning and installation of a range of renewable energy upgrades for the home or business. Whether you're looking for everyday products or lighting solutions; or you want to convert your car to run on used vegetable oil or install solar water heaters on your roof, the Cities will finally have a place to get the inside dirt on greening up your life. Sunny Day Earth Solutions is founded by Ramy Selim, a Minnesota-based construction contractor and certified solar site assessor with extensive experience in the renewable energy field. Combining cutting edge technology with old-fashioned elbow grease, Ramy Selim is at the forefront of a growing "Do It Yourself" movement towards more sustainable living. A green streak seems to run in the Selim family. Ramy's brother, Ali Selim, directed the critically acclaimed Minnesota produced film Sweet Land. Ali, an investor in Sunny Day, produced Sweet Land as a carbon neutral project. As an environmentally friendly product, DVD's of Sweet Land will be available for sale at Sunny Day. Sunny Day Earth Solutions is located at 1000 26th Ave. SE -- at the corner of Como and 26th in Minneapolis. It is on the #3 bus line, for those wishing to take public transit to the store. Store hours are Tuesday - Friday 10 - 6:30; Saturday 11 - 6; Sunday noon - 4. Sunny Day Earth Solutions -- 1000 26th Ave. SE Minneapolis, MN 55414 612-455-1355 -- info [at] sunnydayearthsolutions.com www.sunnydayearthsolutions.com <http://sunnydayearthsolutions.com> <http://sunnydayearthsolutions.com> Sunny Day Earth Solutions Contact: Jim Taylor Cell: 651.334.0738 Email: jim [at] jimtaylor.tv --------8 of x-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Minnetonka 10.20 11am NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7 and 101. Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the fountain. We will walk along the public sidewalk. Signs available. --------9 of x-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM> Subject: Women/war/lit 10.20 1pm Saturdays, 10/20 to 12/1, 1 to 2:30 pm, women's discussion group on literature on war written by women "Women and War, Women in War," Hennepin Ave United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Ave, Mpls. Books can be purchased at Amazon Books. $90 to $110 (sliding scale), with $35 deposit to Toni McNaron, 3512 Holmes Ave, Mpls or questions at 612-824-8481. --------10 of x-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: Juvenile "justice" 10.20 3pm Teach In on the Juvenile "Justice" System SAT, 10/20 from 3-5 pm @ Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis Did you know that parents are prohibited from assisting their children when they go to court? Did you know that children get "indeterminate" sentences and can be locked up for years on simple offenses? Did you know that kids have far fewer rights in the court system than adults? Come to this teach in and learn how the juvenile "justice" system really operates and what you can do about it. Organized by Communities United Against Police Brutality. --------11 of x-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Kathy Kelly/CTV 10.20 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! 10/20 9pm and 10/23 8am "Kathy Kelly" Talk given at St. Joan of Arc Church on Sept. 11, 2007. --------12 of x-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM> Subject: Colombia 10.21 12:30pm Sunday, 10/21, 12:30 to 2 pm, the Peace with Justice Committee of the ELCA Mpls and St Paul Area Synods host Colombia Lutheran World Relief worker Mary Duvall talking about "Colombia - Sal y Luz Peace Churches Project," Central Lutheran Church, 3rd Ave & 12th St, next to the Convention Center, Mpls. $7 lunch available; validated parking available. dhilden [at] comcast.net or 612-825-1581. --------13 of x-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 10.21 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 --------14 of x-------- From: "Susan Hensel Design,LLC" <Susan_Hensel_Design_LLC [at] mail.vresp.com> Subject: Garden party 10.21 2pm IT'S A GARDEN PARTY rain or shine Sunday, October 21, 2-5pm See the transformation the Dead Zone yard to an oasis of Peace. Even Baby, the kindest of dog's, did not want to stay in the "Dead Zone." I believe in allowing artists to do what they do best with minimal interference. Meet the artist and host Russ Henry, the brains and the muscle behind this transformation. The yard you did not know I had was a "Dead Zone" until Russ was allowed to work his art unimpeded and transform it into a place of peace, a small sanctuary. Find out more about Russ at Giving Tree Gardens [http://cts.vresp.com/c/?SusanHenselDesignLLC/bfb941bf6e/36cd7da22b/b3141e2eb3] Susan Hensel Gallery Susan Hensel Design,LLC 3441 Cedar Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55407 612 722-2324 --------15 of x-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 10.21 3pm GROUP 37 OCTOBER MEETING REMINDER: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21 - 3 TO 5 P.M. Join us for our regular meeting on Sunday, October 21st, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Our presenter this month will be Jay Shahidi. Along with being a long-time Group 37 member, Jay is very well informed about what is going on in Iran, his native land, and about the threatened war by US and Israel. He will also focus on the recent speech of Iranian President Ahmadinejad at the United Nations and about previous peace feelers sent out by Iranian government to the Bush administration. Jay's presentation will begin at 3:00 p.m. In our second hour, we will share actions on human rights cases around the world and get updates on the work of our sub-groups. All are welcome at the meeting, and refreshments will be provided. Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis (corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot behind the center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn). A map and directions are available on-line: http://www.twincitiesamnesty.org/meetings.html ---------16 of x-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM> Subject: WAMM founder/film 10.21 3pm Sunday, 10/21, 3 pm, documentary film premiere about one of WAMM's founders "Marianne Hamilton: A Voice for Peace," MN Historical Society, 3M Screening Room, 345 Kellogg Blvd W, St Paul. $8 for series from noon to 5 (film is 10 min). Also at 3 pm will be the documentary "Their Own Drummer" about local stalwarts Elmer Zoff and Phyllis Cohen in the Deluxe Theater. http://www.mnhs.org/people/mngg/film/Welcome2007 --------17 of x-------- From: Ahmed Tharwat <tharwat77 [at] msn.com> Subject: Art of begging/tv 10.21 10:30pm Guest of this week Joe Selvaggio, the Modern Robin Hood The Art of begging Ahmed Tharwat/ Host <http://www.belahdan.com/> BelAhdan TV show airs on Public TV Sundays at 10:30pm --------18 of x-------- Campuses Have Become Poisoned by an Atmosphere of Surveillance and Harassment Academic Freedom is at Risk in America By SAREE MAKDISI CounterPunch October 18, 2007 "Academic colleagues, get used to it," warned the pro-Israel activist Martin Kramer in March 2004. "Yes, you are being watched. Those obscure articles in campus newspapers are now available on the Internet, and they will be harvested. Your syllabi, which you've also posted, will be scrutinized. Your Web sites will be visited late at night." Kramer's warning inaugurated an attack on intellectual freedom in the U.S. that has grown more aggressive in recent months. This attack, intended to shield Israel from criticism, not only threatens academic privileges on college campuses, it jeopardizes our capacity to evaluate our foreign policy. With a potentially catastrophic clash with Iran on the horizon and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict spiraling out of control, Americans urgently need to be able to think clearly about our commitments and intentions in the Middle East. And yet we are being prevented from doing so by a longstanding campaign of intimidation that has terminated careers, stymied debate and shut down dialogue. Over the past few years, Israel's U.S. defenders have stepped up their campaign by establishing a network of institutions (such as Campus Watch, Stand With Us, the David Project, the Israel on Campus Coalition, and the disingenuously named Scholars for Peace in the Middle East) dedicated to the task of monitoring our campuses and bringing pressure to bear on those critical of Israeli policies. By orchestrating letter-writing and petitioning campaigns, falsely raising fears of anti-Semitism, mobilizing often grossly distorted media coverage and recruiting local and national politicians to their cause, they have severely disrupted academic processes, the free function of which once made American universities the envy of the world. Outside interference by Israel's supporters has plunged one U.S. campus after another into crisis. They have introduced crudely political - rather than strictly academic or scholarly - criteria into hiring, promotion and other decisions at a number of universities, including Columbia, Yale, Wayne State, Barnard and DePaul, which recently denied tenure to the Jewish American scholar Norman Finkelstein following an especially ugly campaign spearheaded by Alan Dershowitz, one of Israel's most ardent American defenders. Our campuses are being poisoned by an atmosphere of surveillance and harassment. However, the disruption of academic freedom has grave implications beyond campus walls. When professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer drafted an essay critical of the effect of Israel's lobbying organizations on U.S. foreign policy, they had to publish it in the London Review of Books because their original American publisher declined to take it on. With the original article expanded into a book that has now been released, their invitation to speak at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs was retracted because of outside pressure. "This one is so hot," they were told. So although Michael Oren, an officer in the Israeli army, was recently allowed to lecture the council about U.S. policy in the Middle East, two distinguished American academics were denied the same privilege. When President Carter published "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid" last year, he was attacked for having dared to use the word "apartheid" to describe Israel's manifestly discriminatory policies in the West Bank. As that case made especially clear, the point of most of these attacks is to personally discredit anyone who would criticize Israel - and to taint them with the smear of "controversy" - rather than to engage them in a genuine debate. None of Carter's critics provided a convincing refutation of his main argument based on facts and evidence. Presumably that's because, for all the venom directed against the former president, he was right. For example, Israel maintains two different road networks, and even two entirely different legal systems, in the West Bank, one for Jewish settlers and the other for indigenous Palestinians. Those basic facts were studiously ignored by those who denounced Carter and angrily accused him of a "blood libel" against the Jewish people. That Israel's American supporters so often resort to angry outbursts rather than principled arguments - and seem to find emotional blackmail more effective than genuine debate - is ultimately a sign of their weakness rather than their strength. For all the damage it can do in the short term, in the long run such a position is untenable, too dependent on emotion and clich rather than hard facts. The phenomenal success of Carter's book suggests that more and more Americans are learning to ignore the scare tactics that are the only tools available to Israel's supporters. But we need to be able to have an open debate about our Middle East policy now - before we needlessly shed more blood and further erode our reputation among people who used to regard us as the champions of freedom, and now worry that we have come to stand for its very opposite. Saree Makdisi is a professor of English and Comparative Literature at UCLA and a frequent commentator on the Middle East. Saree Makdisi, a professor of English at UCLA, is the author of Romantic Imperialism: Universal Empire and the Culture of Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 1998) and William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s (University of Chicago Press, 2003). His new book, "Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation," is forthcoming from Norton. Makdisi can be reached at: makdisi [at] humnet.ucla.edu --------19 of x-------- Specific suggestion: General strike Garret Keizer October 2007 HARPER'S MAGAZINE http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/10/0081720 Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust. -Isaiah 26:19 1. Of all the various depredations of the Bush regime, none has been so thorough as its plundering of hope. Iraq will recover sooner. What was supposed to have been the crux of our foreign policy - a shock-and-awe tutorial on the utter futility of any opposition to the whims of American power - has achieved its greatest and perhaps its only lasting success in the American soul. You will want to cite the exceptions, the lunch-hour protests against the war, the dinner-party ejaculations of dissent, though you might also want to ask what substantive difference they bear to grousing about the weather or even to raging against the dying of the light - that is, to any ritualized complaint against forces universally acknowledged as unalterable. Bush is no longer the name of a president so much as the abbreviation of a proverb, something between Murphy's Law and tomorrow's fatal inducement to drink and be merry today. If someone were to suggest, for example, that we begin a general strike on Election Day, November 6, 2007, for the sole purpose of removing this regime from power, how readily and with what well-practiced assurance would you find yourself producing the words "It won't do any good"? Plausible and even courageous in the mouth of a patient who knows he's going to die, the sentiment fits equally well in the heart of a citizen-ry that believes it is already dead. 2. Any strike, whether it happens in a factory, a nation, or a marriage, amounts to a reaffirmation of consent. The strikers remind their overlords - and, equally important, themselves - that the seemingly perpetual machinery of daily life has an off switch as well as an on. Camus said that the one serious question of philosophy is whether or not to commit suicide; the one serious question of political philosophy is whether or not to get out of bed. Silly as it may have seemed at the time, John and Yoko's famous stunt was based on a profound observation. Instant karma is not so instant - we ratify it day by day. The stream of commuters heading into the city, the caravan of tractor-trailers pulling out of the rest stop into the dawn's early light, speak a deep-throated Yes to the sum total of what's going on in our collective life. The poet Richard Wilbur writes of the "ripped mouse' that "cries Concordance" in the talons of the owl; we too cry our daily assent in the grip of the prevailing order" except in those notable instances when, like a donkey or a Buddha, we refuse to budge. The question we need to ask ourselves at this moment is what further provocations we require to justify digging in our heels. To put the question more pointedly: Are we willing to wait until the next presidential election, or for some interim congressional conversion experience, knowing that if we do wait, hundreds of our sons and daughters will be needlessly destroyed? Another poet, César Vallejo, framed the question like this: A man shivers with cold, coughs, spits up blood. Will it ever be fitting to allude to my inner soul? . . . A cripple sleeps with one foot on his shoulder. Shall I later on talk about Picasso, of all people? A young man goes to Walter Reed without a face. Shall I make an appointment with my barber? A female prisoner is sodomized at Abu Ghraib. Shall I send a check to the Clinton campaign? 3. You will recall that a major theme of the Bush Administration's response to September 11 was that life should go on as usual. We should keep saying that broad consensual Yes as loudly as we dared. We could best express our patriotism by hitting the malls, by booking a flight to Disney World. At the time, the advice seemed prudent enough: avoid hysteria; defy the intimidations of murderers and fanatics. In hindsight it's hard not to see the roots of our predicament in the readiness with which we took that advice to heart. We did exactly as we were told, with a net result that is less an implicit defiance of terrorism than a tacit amen to the "war on terror," including the war in Iraq. Granted, many of us have come to find both those wars unacceptable. But do we find them intolerable? Can you sleep? Yes, doctor, I can sleep. Can you work? Yes, doctor, I can work. Do you get out to the movies, enjoy a good restaurant? Actually, I have a reservation for tonight. Then I'd say you were doing okay, wouldn't you? I'd say you were tolerating the treatment fairly well. It is one thing to endure abuses and to carry on in spite of them. It is quite another thing to carry on to the point of abetting the abuse. We need to move the discussion of our nation's health to the emergency room. We need to tell the doctors of the body politic that the treatment isn't working - and that until it changes radically for the better, neither are we. 4. No one person, least of all a freelance writer, has the prerogative to call or set the date for a general strike. What do you guys do for a strike, sit on your overdue library books? Still, what day more fitting for a strike than the first Tuesday of November, the Feast of the Hanging Chads? What other day on the national calendar cries so loudly for rededication? The only date that comes close is September 11. You have to do a bit of soul-searching to see it, but one result of the Bush presidency has been a loss of connection to those who perished that day. Unless they were members of our families, unless we were involved in their rescue, do we think of them? It's too easy to say that time eases the grief - there's more to it than that, more even than the natural tendency to shy away from brooding on disasters that might happen again. We avoid thinking of the September 11 victims because to think of them we have to think also of what we have allowed to happen in their names. Or, if we object openly to what has happened, we have to parry the insinuation that we're unmoved by their loss. It is time for us to make a public profession of faith that the people who went to work that morning, who caught the cabs and rode the elevators and later jumped to their deaths, were not on the whole people who would sanction extraordinary rendition, preemptive war, and the suspension of habeas corpus; that in their heels and suits they were at least as decent as any sneaker-shod person standing vigil outside a post office with a stop the war sign. That the government workers who died in the Pentagon were not by some strange congenital fluke more obtuse than the high-ranking officers who thought the invasion of Iraq was a bad idea from the get-go. That the passengers who rushed the hijackers on Flight 93 were not repeating the mantra "It won't do any good" while scratching their heads and their asses in a happy-hour funk. An Election Day general strike would set our remembrance of those people free from the sarcophagi of rhetoric and rationalization. It would be the political equivalent of raising them from the dead. It would be a clear if sadly delayed message of solidarity to those voters in Ohio and Florida who were pretty much told they could drop dead. 5. But how would it work? A curious question to ask given that not working is most of what it would entail. Not working until the president and the shadow president resigned or were impeached. Never mind what happens next. Rather, let our mandarins ask how this came to happen in the first place. Let them ask in shock and awe. People who could not, for whatever reason, cease work could at least curtail consumption. In fact, that might prove the more effective action of the two. They could vacate the shopping malls. They could cancel their flights. With the aid of their Higher Power, they could turn off their cell phones. They could unplug their TVs. The most successful general strike imaginable would require extraordinary measures simply to announce its success. It would require sound trucks going up and down the streets, Rupert Murdoch reduced to croaking through a bullhorn. Bonfires blazing on the hills. Bells tolling till they cracked. (Don't we have one of those on display somewhere?) Ironically, the segment of the population most unable to participate would be the troops stationed in the Middle East. Striking in their circumstances would amount to suicide. That distinction alone ought to suffice as a reason to strike, as a reminder of the unconscionable underside of our "normal" existence. We get on with our lives, they get on with their deaths. As for how the strike would be publicized and organized, these would depend on the willingness to strike itself. The greater the willingness, the fewer the logistical requirements. How many Americans does it take to change a lightbulb? How many Web postings, how many emblazoned bedsheets hung from the upper-story windows? Think of it this way: How many hours does it take to learn the results of last night's American Idol, even when you don't want to know? In 1943 the Danes managed to save 7,200 of their 7,800 Jewish neighbors from the Gestapo. They had no blogs, no television, no text messaging - and very little time to prepare. They passed their apartment keys to the hunted on the streets. They formed convoys to the coast. An ambulance driver set out with a phone book, stopping at any address with a Jewish-sounding name. No GPS for directions. No excuse not to try. But what if it failed? What if the general strike proved to be anything but general? I thought Bush was supposed to be the one afraid of science. Hypothesis, experiment, analysis, conclusion - are they his hobgoblins or ours? What do we have to fear, except additional evidence that George W. Bush is exactly what he appears to be: the president few of us like and most of us deserve. But science dares to test the obvious. So let us dare. 6. We could hardly be accused of innovation. General strikes have a long and venerable history. They're as retro as the Bill of Rights. There was one in Great Britain in 1926, in France in 1968, in Ukraine in 2004, in Guinea just this year. Finns do it, Nepalis do it, even people without email do it . . . But we don't have to do it, you will say, because "we have a process." Have or had, the verb remains tentative. In regard to verbs, Dick Cheney showed his superlative talent for le mot juste when in the halls of the U.S. Congress he told Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy to go fuck himself. He has since told congressional investigators to do the same thing. There's your process. Dick Cheney could lie every day of his life for all the years of Methuselah, and for the sake of that one remark history would still need to remember him as an honest man. In the next world, Diogenes will kneel down before him. In this world, though, and in spite of the invitation tendered to me through my senator, I choose to remain on my feet. "United we stand," isn't that how it goes? But we are not united, not by a long shot. At this juncture we may be able to unite only in what we will not stand for. The justification of torture, the violation of our privacy, the betrayal of our intelligence operatives, the bankrupting of our commonwealth, the besmirching of our country's name, the feckless response to natural disaster, the dictatorial inflation of executive power, the senseless butchery of our youth - if these do not constitute a common ground for intolerance, what does? People were indignant at the findings of the 9/11 Commission - it seems there were compelling reasons to believe an attack was imminent! - yet for the attack on our Constitution we have evidence even more compelling. How can we criticize an administration for failing to act in the face of a probable threat given our own refusal to act in the face of a threat already fulfilled? As long as we're willing to go on with our business, Bush and Cheney will feel free to go on with their coup. As long as we're willing to continue fucking ourselves, why should they have any scruples about telling us to smile during the act? 7. Between undertaking the strike and achieving its objective, the latter requires the greater courage. It requires courage simply to admit that this is so. For too many of us, Bush has become a secret craving, an addiction. We loathe Bush the way that Peter Pan loathed Captain Hook; he's a villain, to be sure, but he's half the fun of living in Never-Never Land. He has provided us with an inexhaustible supply of editorial copy, partisan rectitude, and every sort of lame excuse for not engaging the system he represents. In that sense, asking "What if the strike were to fail?" is not even honest. On some level we would want it to fail. Certainly this would be true of those who've declared themselves as presidential candidates and for whom the Bush legacy represents an unprecedented windfall of political capital. One need only speak a coherent sentence - one need only breathe from a differently shaped smirk - to seem like a savior. Ding-dong, the Witch is dead. Already I can see the winged monkeys who signed off on the Patriot Act and the Iraq invasion jumping up and down for joy. Already I can hear the nauseating gush: "Such a welcome relief after Bush!" Relief, yes. But relief is not hope. How much better if we could say to our next administration: Don't talk about Bush. We dealt with Bush. We dealt with Bush and in so doing we demonstrated our ability to deal with you. You have a mandate more rigorous than looking good beside Bush. You need a program more ambitious than "uniting the country." We are united - at least we were, if only for a while, if only in our disgust. If only I believed all this would happen. I wrote this appeal during the days leading up to the Fourth of July. I wrote it because for the past six and a half years I have heard the people I love best - family members, friends, former students and parishioners - saying, "I'm sick over what's happening to our country, but I just don't know what to do." Might I be pardoned if, fearing civil disorder less than I fear civil despair, I said, "Well, we could do this." It has been done before and we could do this. And I do believe we could. If anyone has a better idea, I'm keen to hear it. Only don't tell me what some presidential hopeful ought to do someday. Tell me what the people who have nearly lost their hope can do right now. --------20 of x--------- [The one good thing about eunuchs is they can't propagate themselves -ed] A Party Of Eunuchs by Tom Maertens (veteran US diplomat--complete bio after his essay) It's ten months since the Democrats took over Congress, and our worst fears have been confirmed: the Democratic Party is a paper tiger. Case in point: It's only October and already the Democrats are preparing for the big cave on FISA - despite Nancy Pelosi's commitment, supported by others in the party, to revamp FISA as soon as Congress reconvened. This is just one more failure to halt the Bush administration's assault on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Look at the situation. As a result of one terrorist event, on 9/11, the Bush administration has - Denied an individual's rights to habeas corpus, trial by impartial jury, legal counsel, knowledge of evidence - Supported use of coerced and hearsay testimony - Employed enforced disappearance and secret detention - Approved use of torture and other mistreatment - Claimed the right to ignore laws in signing statements - Conducted warrantless searches and wiretaps - Issued a gag order on the 45,000 National Security Letters per year the FBI has issued recently - a ploy to protect an anti-Constitutional process that by-passes search warrants - Instituted the secret Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), including no-fly lists assembled in secret - Approved involvement by CIA's National Clandestine Service and DOD's Counterintelligence Field Activity in domestic spying. Predictably, they immediately set about spying on domestic anti-war groups, such as Greenpeace, the Quakers, Catholic Workers, and 150 more groups in their TALON database Is there any chance that the Democrats will actually protect our civil liberties? Why aren't the Dems doing anything to restore Habeas Corpus? The first article of the Military Commissions Act clearly puts every American at risk of being incarcerated as Jose Padilla was, three and a half years in solitary confinement with no legal rights. Why haven't the Democrats stopped the use of torture? The Office of Legal Counsel has defined torture out of existence so that George Bush can stand in front of the cameras and intone the big lie. Sophistries don't change reality. What happened to the Democrats' determination to reverse direction in Iraq? Now they are claiming they don't have the votes, adding deception to cowardice. Everyone knows that all money bills originate in the House. Pusillanimous is not the same as powerless, although it leads to the same result. Why did Nancy Pelosi yank the rug out from under the Murtha (et al) plan to make Bush pay for his war? Do the Dems think they will be better off in the future if they are faced with raising taxes with a Dem in the White House (as in '93). Is nobody smart enough to hang the albatross around Bush's neck for his "borrow-and-spend" policies? Public opinion is so negative on Bush's war, that only the faintest of hearts could be intimidated by Republican demagoguery. Bush and the Grover Norquists of the world are trying to destroy the federal government so it can be flushed down the drain, in Norquist's memorable phrase. The mechanism they seized upon is to bankrupt the Treasury thru tax-cuts and spending increases. The result is $3 trillion in additional debt so far, all of which will have to be paid back by future generations. Instead of opposing this raid on the public finances, the Democrats seen to have settled on a policy of playing fiscal chicken with the Republicans. Do the Dems believe that the American people can't figure this out it they explain it? Who is likely to be left holding the bag on this? The Neocons are whipping up another war, and the Bush administration is preparing for another pre-emptive attack, this time against Iran. What are the Democrats doing to stop it? They signed up to the Kyl-Lieberman resolution which juxtaposes the words Iran and military means in the same memo. When Bush latches on to this resolution to attack Iran, the capitulationists will all whine that they were misled; that's not what we meant. Pelosi even removed a provision from a recent war-funding bill that would have required Bush to get permission from Congress before launching any attack on Iran. Their leading presidential candidates have all joined the amen chorus. This is clearly about defending Israel, and all of them seem fully prepared to compromise U.S. interests in order to placate the American wing of Likud and the dangerously nutty Christian Zionists with their delusions of being wafted out of their pajamas. Steven Bradbury of the Justice Dept told Congress that President has the authority to order domestic assassinations of terrorist suspects. Do the Dems agree the there are no restrictions on the President's Commander-in-Chief powers? Do the Democrats object to government death squads run by Bush and Cheney? Can they think of other governments that have engaged in assassinating "suspects" where the results have been let's say problematic? For six years, the Republican Congress was a wholly owned subsidiary of the White House, manned by the most corrupt, fawning toadies the GOP has ever placed in positions of authority. If we get attacked again by terrorists, Bush and the Republicans, aided by militarists like Rudy Giuliani, will begin agitating loudly to suspend the Constitution and declare martial law. Will the Democrats go along with the Republican puppets in Congress in copying the Reichstag capitulation of 1933, and vote themselves out of power? I saw a sign recently that said "Spinelessness is better than evil." No one doubts that the Republicans would sell the country out in a heartbeat for campaign contributions, public office, or any other self-interested reason. Does that mean we should support the shameful, pusillanimous Democrats? Is there any principle that they support? Is there anything that they are willing to fight for? What process is it that turns Democratic legislators into sniveling, whimpering cowards? Their strategy, to the extent they have one, could be labeled "toothless posturing," a series of hollow threats. This is supposed to reassure their base that they are doing something on behalf of the voters, and simultaneously strike fear into the hearts of Republicans. Except that Reid and Pelosi immediately collapse into a quivering heap as soon as some Republican accuses them of being soft on terrorism. Affiliated with this strategy is the corollary principal of pre-emptive capitulation which they argue is being pragmatic in order not to jeopardize their chances in '08. Jeopardize what? The Democrats have 70% of the population behind them on Iraq, and more than 90% of Democrats. How many votes do they need to take action? If they had 55 votes in the Senate, would they grow spines? Or would it take 65 votes? Is there in fact any such point? The sad reality is that this is a party of craven eunuchs. They are afraid to take on the most unpopular president in U.S. history over a disastrous war, over his assault on the Constitution, and his raid on the Treasury. No wonder opinion polls show respect for Congress in the teens. With few exceptions (Russ Feingold, Henry Waxman, John Conyers, Murtha, a handful of others) the Democrats are like whipped puppies, cringing and cowering with their tails between legs. Please, please, don't hurt me anymore. They apparently think that if they assume an abjectly submissive posture, the Republicans won't hit them again. That's how they get manipulated into condemning a MoveOn.org ad, which (while not the cleverest copy ever written) is certainly right in pointing out that Petraeus is a political general lending his credibility to an administration that has none left on Iraq. But then, this is a Democratic party that won't hesitate to eat its young if that will help avoid the impression it has any principles. Tom Maertens Biography: I spent most of the last 35 years traveling the globe as a U.S. diplomat, a Peace Corps volunteer, and as a naval officer. My final government position was as a senior official in the office of counter terrorism in the U.S. State Department during and after the attack of September 11, 2001. In that position, I helped organize the U.S. response to that attack, which came to be known as the War on Terrorism. In addition, I served as NSC Director for Nonproliferation under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, dealing with weapons of mass destruction. With this experience as background, I have written a number of articles on terrorism and on the war in Iraq, which are collected here. Included on this web site are other articles that I consider interesting or valuable along with some book recommendations. You may contact me with any comments you have by using the link at the top of the page. * Born in Minnesota and raised in Mankato, Minnesota * Naval Officer aboard a guided missile cruiser from 1966 to 1969 * Peace Corps volunteer to Ethiopia where he taught English as a second language and worked with the World Health Organization to eliminate smallpox from 1971 to 1972 * Foreign Service assignment in Ethiopia as a political reporting officer during the revolution * Subsequently served in Bogota, Columbia, reporting on internal politics, the insurgent groups and the drug connection * Worked on Soviet affairs dealing with arms control negotiations, economics, science and intelligence on different occasions * Served as Deputy Principal Officer in Leningrad, USSR, from 1987 to 1989 where he reported on the independence movements in the Baltics and the impending breakup of the Soviet Union * Staff member of Senate Foreign Relations committee and staff member and legislation author for Senator Bill Cohen * Senior Political Advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Panama from 1990 to 1991; provided advice during December 1990 coup attempt to the Panamanian president; Recommended that Washington bring in US troops, which led to the collapse of the coup * Senior Political-Military Advisor, US Arms Control Delegation, Vienna, from 1991 to 1995 where he directed staff in conducting arms control negotiations with Russia and other countries * Deputy Director, Arms Transfer and Export Control Policy from 1995-1998 during which he developed and led international nonproliferation seminars to 12 countries in Asia and Europe, also coordinated transfers of high-technology goods (satellites, computers) * Directed the Environment, Science and Technology section, Moscow from 1998 to 2000 where he organized and coordinated embassy preparations for Y2K. Had oversight responsibility for a $350 million nuclear security program; was responsible for biological and chemical weapons issues and visited several Russian bio facilities * Director for Nonproliferation on the U.S. National Security Council from 2000 to 2001 where he chaired White House review of U.S./Russian Nonproliferation Programs, resulting in $2 billion reduction in costs, coordinated U.S. efforts to safeguard nuclear weapons and materials, and participated in policy formulation on biological weapons * U.S. Department of State Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism from 2001-2002 where he helped develop policy response to attacks of September 11, including planning the War on Terrorism --------21 of x-------- Consigned to the dustbin of history I have always been turned on by the phrase "consigned to the dustbin of history". When I first heard it I started a search for useless or fusty or just plain stupid objects and concepts etc that I could consign there. Barbie dolls? Idiot mittens? Acid rock records? A life-size cardboard cut-out of Ronald Reagan? Once I had them, I realized I didn't know where the distbin of history was. Oh sure you can say, Any old anything will do, because it's just figurative. But the saying doesn't say "figurative" dustbin; it assumes the real thing, and if it's real, then it's got to be somewhere. And where was that where? So I went on a quest for the Holy Dustbin of History. I looked in all the places you might suspect - Rome, Paris, London, Omaha, Fridley, Vilas South Dakota - and it wasn't till the last - Vilas SD - that I hit paydust. It's actually pretty big. The edges flow down like grain or sand down a tube, and if you get too close, you're history. I drove my consignables to Vilas. In goes a Barbie Doll. Foop! Idiot mittens. Foop!Foop! Acid rock records. Foop!Foop!Foop!Foop!Foop!Foop! Life-size cut-out of Ronald Reagan. Ffffffffooooooooooppppppppp! It sort of didn't want the Reagan cutout, it having some standards you know, but I pushed it in with long pole. I next tried to consign the dustbin of history to itself. Maybe like turning a sock inside out an infinite number of times, so it could never get back. But to do so I would have had to start on the other side of infinity, and since the cutbacks there aren't any trains that go there. So I had to go back to things like pronto pups, junk mail, and the "and by" sponsor eternity on public television. Alas, even though I consigned them there, it was just individual eg pronto pups that got consigned, and not the type or Platonic Form Pronto Pup, so all the other individual pronto pups still exist, eminently consignable but not as yet consigned. Over the years, tossing stuff in and watching it go foop! has been amusing. But what of social usefulness? How could I benefit all of society? Future generations? The true the good and the beautiful? I have invited the whole Democratic Congressional delegation to Thanksgiving Dinner. In Vilas South Dakota. It is a far far better thing than I have ever done before. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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