Progressive Calendar 10.22.07
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 06:12:26 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    10.22.07

1. NAFTA/fair trade  10.22 8am
2. Court watch       10.22 8:30am
3. Salud/health/Cuba 10.22 2:30pm
4. Police brutality  10.22 5pm
5. Vs R-T burner     10.22 7pm
6. Cool e-tools      10.22 7pm
7. Rabbis/peace      10.22 7pm

8. Kathy Kelly/CTV   10.23 5pm
9. Limit recruiters  10.23 5:45pm
10. B.Clinton/MN/yuk 10.23 6pm
11. Salon loose talk 10.23 6:30pm
12. RNC/CD/policing  10.23 7pm
13. Vs police state  10.23 7pm
14. Nonprofit class  10.23

15. POFP meditation  10.24 8am
16. Tutu/Israel/KFAI 10.24 11am
17. Health/healing   10.24 12noon
18. Citizens League  10.24 5pm
19. Stadium scam     10.24 7pm
20. Artists unite    10.24 7pm

21. NYT editorial   - With Democrats like these ...
22. Naomi Klein     - Outsourcing government
23. Stephen Lendman - Nobel hypocrisy
24. ed              - Life choices situation #237

--------1 of 24--------

From: Americas Policy Program <communications [at] irc-online.org>
Subject: NAFTA/fair trade 10.22 8am

"A New World of Citizen Action, Analysis, and Policy Options" 8am
http://www.americaspolicy.org/

Laura Carlsen Presents on NAFTA Panels
Introducing the latest events from the Americas Policy Program
Lessons from NAFTA: Building a New Fair Trade Agenda

The US-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) is
organizing a major "Lessons from NAFTA: Building a New Fair Trade Agenda"
conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota this coming October 22-23. The
Americas Policy Program is a co-sponsor of this conference and Program
Director Laura Carlsen will be speaking at it on October 23 at 2:00 pm on
the subject, "NAFTA Expanded: What is the Security & Prosperity
Partnership?" The same day she will also appear on the NAFTA and
immigration panel with Amy Shannon and Oscar Chacˇn, of our partner
organization Enlaces America, and others who work in immigration issues in
the U.S. To register or find out about the conference, please go to IATP.

Laura Carlsen (lcarlsen(a)ciponline.org) is the director of the Americas
Program at www.americaspolicy.org in Mexico City, where she has been a
writer and political analyst for more than two decades.

Recent articles by Laura Carlsen:
"Deep Integration" - the Anti-Democratic Expansion of NAFTA
Via Campesina Sets an International Agenda
Plan Mexico and the Billion-Dollar Drug Deal
For media inquiries     Katie Kohlstedt, americas [at] ciponline.org,
202-536-2649


--------2 of 24--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] minn.net>
Subject: Court watch 10.22 8:30am
UPCOMING COURT WATCH CASE
Demetrius Cooper
October 22, 8:30 a.m.
Hennepin County Government Center
Courtroom C-1955
300 S Sixth Street, Minneapolis

Demetrius was driving on the interstate when Minneapolis cops were
following someone else during a high speed chase.  Apparently, the MPD
lost the person they were following because when Demetrius took an exit,
the cops followed him.  They pulled him out of his car and beat him
mercilessly then placed false charges to cover up their deeds.  He was
found innocent of those charges and is now suing the MPD for his injuries.
This is the start of his civil trial.  Not only are civil trials
fascinating (much more comes out than in a criminal trial), but we want to
be there to show our support for justice for Demetrius.


--------3 of 24--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Salud/health/Cuba 10.22 2:30pm

MON.OCT.22;FILM :Salud!HEALTHCARE in Cuba

!Salud! is an excellent and inspiring documentary.  I added some
information about the film after the general announcement. Socialism or
Nothing!---Joan Malerich

A Special Preview  of !Salud!
The powerful film about the Cuban healthcare system

Monday, October 22, 2007
2:30-4:30 pm
Mayo Auditorium
University of Minnesota
425 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis

Sponsored by School of Public Health, AHC Multicultural society, CHIP
Student International Health Committee
FREE and open to the public
More information: doanx034 [at] umn.edu

FIND OUT WHAT PUTS CUBA ON THE MAP IN THE QUEST FOR GLOBAL HEALTH
For more information, trailer and reviews go to
http://www.saludthefilm.net/ns/synopsis.html

A Timely examination of human values and the health issues that affect us
all. Some 28,000 Cuban health professionals are serving in 68 countries.
íSalud! Explores the hearts and minds of international medical students in
Cuba. íSalud! spans three continents to look at the philosophy and the
health professionals placing Cuba on the map in the worldwide movement to
make health care a global birthright.

A FILM ABOUT THE PRESSING HEALTH ISSUES THE WORLD FACES TODAY

Film opens in South Africa and travels to Venezuela, to Honduras to
Gambia.  The Gambia's Minister of Health stated: "Our infant mortality
is down, life expectancy up.  We wouldn't be able to narrate this success
without the help of the Cubans."

TRAINING HEALERS TO PROMOTE HEALTH, NOT SIMPLY TREAT DISEASE

THE FILM VISITS Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine (LASM AND/OR
ELAM) now the largest medical school in the world and includes 12,000
low-income students from 27 countries - nearly 100 from US.  The Deal:
Receive a free medical education in exchange for pledging to return to
poor communities in their own country when they graduate.

"íSalud! is just the kind of film we want to showcase in our festival."
Ayuko Babu, Executive Director Pan African Film Festival (PAFF), Los
Angeles) on presenting íSalud! to the Audience Choice Award.

"íSalud! is compelling, upbeat and moving, a great tool for learning the
much there is to learn from Cuba." Paul Farmer, MD, Partners in Health and
Harvard Medical School.

For more information, trailer and reviews go to
http://www.saludthefilm.net/ns/synopsis.htm


--------4 of 24--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] minn.net>
Subject: Police brutality 10.22 5pm

Monday, October 22
5:00 p.m.
Rally and March Against Police Brutality and Injustice Juvenile Justice
Center, 626 S 6th Street, Minneapolis Rally and march for justice for all
people who have experienced police brutality, especially our youth.


--------5 of 24--------

From: Christine Frank <christinefrank [at] visi.com>
Subject: Vs R-T burner 10.22 7pm

Neighbors Against the Burner (NAB) will be speaking about their opposition
to the Rock-Tenn Garbage Incinerator that is being proposed for the I-94 &
Cretin area in St. Paul.  NAB activists will explain the serious health
impacts of burning Refused-Derived Fuel and propose alternatives to
burning waste to create energy while still maintaining eco-friendly jobs.

The forum will be held Monday, October 22nd at 7:00 PM, at Mayday Books,
301 Cedar Avenue South, West Bank, Minneapolis.  The event is free and
open to the public and is sponsored by the Climate Crisis Coalition of the
Twin Cities (3CTC).  3CTC will hold its regular monthly business meeting
at 6:00 PM. All are welcome.  SAVE EARTH! For more information call
612-879-8937.


--------6 of 24--------

From: Tim Erickson <tim [at] e-democracy.org>
Subject: Cool e-tools 10.22 7pm

Hey check out out the latest FREE workshop at Rondo!!
New (Cool) Tools for Public Participation
Rondo Library (University and Dale)
Monday, October 22
7:00 - 8:30 pm
(On the University bus line * Free underground parking)
FREE

This workshop will feature demonstrations of powerful internet tools for
organizations and individuals wishing to be more active in their
communities. Bring your ideas and questions! We're planning demonstrations
on:
   * Google Docs - How to use this FREE tool from Google
          to share your work with others
          (word processing and spreadsheets)
   * A tool to sync your bookmarks between Home and Work
   * Social Networking Tools
   * Other .......??
Please, bring along your own "cool tool" ideas to share with others!

This workshop is part of our ongoing "E-Tools For All" series at the Rondo
Library, Mondays from 7:00 - 8:30 pm. Please go to http://
pages.e-democracy.org/Rondo_Workshop_Schedule for our complete schedule.


--------7 of 24--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Rabbis/peace 10.22 7pm

Monday 10/22, 7 to 9 pm, two Jewish perspectives on Peace and Violence in
Our Religious Traditions with Rabbi Morris Allen and Rabbi Adam Stock
Spilker, Hamline United Methodist Church, 1514 Englewood Ave, St Paul.
www.interfaithings.org or 651-789-3840.


--------8 of 24--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Kathy Kelly/CTV 10.23 5pm

St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts in St. Paul on Tuesday evenings and
Wednesday mornings.  All households with basic cable can watch!

10/23 5pm and midnight and 10/24 10am "Kathy Kelly"  Talk given at St.
Joan of Arc Church on Sept. 11, 2007.


--------9 of 24--------

From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Limit recruiters 10.23 5:45pm

St. Paul School Board Meeting: Support Students Wanting to Restrict
Military Recruiters

Tuesday, October 23, 5:45 p.m. (Meeting); 6:30 p.m. (Public Commentary
Call to sign up at 651-767-8149.) St. Paul School Administration Building,
360 Colborne, St. Paul.

Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR), the Twin Cities metro area student
group, asks for your support in urging the St. Paul and Minneapolis School
Boards to restrict military recruiters' access to high schools. Under the
No Child Left Behind Act, schools allow recruiters access to schools, but
YAWR asks that recruiters be restricted to Career Centers where school
counselors can supervise the recruiters' contact with students. They do
not want recruiters in school cafeterias, at sporting and other
extra-curricular events or elsewhere around schools and students. The
military has had large presences at School Board meetings in the Public
Commentary times, and has been allowed to freely advocate for their
position with school boards.

Please come support the students who actually attend the schools and live
in the community, in advocating for their position. Also: Please phone or
e-mail the School Board in your district with your concerns.


--------10 of 24--------

From: Leslie Reindl <alteravista [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: B.Clinton/MN/yuk 10.23 6pm

Hello People - Anyone able to flyer and poster outside the State Theater
next Tuesday, Oct. 23?  A small group is already planning to be
there - join them!
--
You are cordially invited to an evening
With President William Jefferson [NAFTA-doer] Clinton
Tuesday, October 23
6:00pm
State Theater 805 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN


--------11 of 24-------

From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Salon loose talk 10.23 6:30pm

This week, Oct. 23, we will have an open discussion.  Also, we will see
the video of the discussion between Yoko Ono and Amy Goodman on Democracy
Now last week.  The discussion shows clips of the film, The US vs. John
Lennon which the salon saw recently.

Also, this same evening, the St Paul School Board will be meeting at the
Administration Office on Colburn St. and Youth Against War and Racism will
be present to ask the school board about military recruitment in our
public schools.  If anyone can go to that, please do, as YAWR needs much
support.

Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.


--------12 of 24--------

From: "Andregg, Michael M." <mmandregg [at] stthomas.edu>
Subject: RNC/CD/policing 10.23 7pm

The Justice and Peace Studies Program at the University of St. Thomas
invites you to a Community Discussion of:

The Republican National Convention (RNC):
Civil Disobedience, Community Policing and Moral Courage
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 from 7 to 9 pm, in the main

Auditorium of the O'Shaughnessy Education Center (at the University of St.
Thomas, on Cleveland Ave. near Summit Ave. in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA)

On September 1-4 of 2008, the Republican Party will hold its National
Convention in St. Paul, with other venues scattered through the Twin
Cities. Highly polarized national politics means that thousands of
protestors and lobbyists of all stripes will also come to express their
political views, concerns or interests on dozens of issues. Some will be
extremely outraged by national policies that are unlikely to change
between now and then. It happens that the St. Paul Police Department
(SPPD) is about 2 generations ahead of many others in operationalizing and
using a philosophy called "Community Policing." That aims to create more
trust than sometimes exists between police and the communities they work
in, to better protect EVERYONE's personal freedoms, safety and property.
The visit by the RNC will provide a unique arena for guarding the free
speech rights of both protestors and conventioneers, and protecting all
citizens' persons and property from harm when many thousands of outsid ers
visit our fair city.

Panelists:

Dick Bernard, President, Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers, a consortium
of 68 peace groups in Minnesota.  Responsible citizen of a democracy,
human being. [ <http://www.mapm.org/>www.mapm.org ]

Gerald Schlabach, Director, UST's Justice and Peace Studies program and a
Catholic / Mennonite, pacifist, peace worker. Responsible citizen of a
democracy, human being.

Matt Bostrom, Assistant Chief of Homeland Security and Support Services
for SPPD in charge of all RNC affairs for the St. Paul Police. Responsible
citizen, human being.

Tom Smith, Assistant Chief, St. Paul Police Department, head of Operations
Division for all St. Paul jurisdictions. Responsible citizen of a
democracy, human being.

This event is free and open to the public.


--------13 of 24--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Vs police state 10.23 7pm

Tuesday, 10/23, 7 pm, documentary "A Force More Powerful" about nonviolent
campaigns against police state dominance, Wm Mitchell College of Law,
Auditorium, 875 Summit Ave, St Paul.  ccfilmseries [at] gmail.com or
http://www.creativeconversations.info/


--------14 of 24--------

From: Tim Erickson <tim [at] e-democracy.org>
Subject: Nonprofit classes 10.23

I just heard about a series of free workshops in nonprofit
leadership offered by Hamline University and the Greater Minneapolis
Council of Churches. Registration is required but there's no fee. Word
following the first on Tuesday is that it was excellent.

More info:  http://gmcc.org/Compassionworkshops.htm
Here are some of the sessions coming up:
   Oct 23 - Human resources performance appraisals
   Oct 30 - Marketing & communications
   Nov 6  - Nonprofit accountability & transparency
   Nov 13 - Strategic planning for board & management
   Nov 20 - Conflict resolution
   Nov 27 - Nonprofit fundraising: research methods
   Dec 4  - Grant writing


--------15 of 24--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: POFP meditation 10.24 8am

Wednesday, 10/24, 8 am, People of Faith Peacemakers host longtime social
justice activists Ruth and Loren Halvorson talking about "Journey Inward
and Journey Outward: Sustaining Social Transformation Through Prayer and
Meditation,"  St Martin's Table, 2001 Riverside, Mpls.  www.justview.org


--------16 of 24--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: Tutu/Israel/KFAI 10.24 11am

LISTEN OCTOBER 24 @ 11AM on KFAI  90.3/106.7:  ARCHBISHOP TUTU AND
ISRAELI/PALESTINIAN DIALOGUE IN AMERICA

St. Thomas Dennis Deases uninviting, then re-inviting, of Nobel Peace
laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has opened yet another conversation of how
the seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict is discussed here  and
everywhere. (Tutu will now appear on behalf of PeaceJam at Metropolitan State
University in the Spring.) Questions linger over how and if people concerned
about the Mideast crisis can criticize the Israeli government and its policies
and actions without being labeled anti-Semitic.

Are critics of Israel anti-Semitic? Do critics of some pro-Israel lobbying
organizations deserve the label?
Where does dialogue about the Middle East cross over into ethnic slur?
What voice does the Palestinian point of view have in this issue?

GUESTS:
 * REP. FRANK HORNSTEIN, Minneapolis
 * POLITICAL SCIENCE PROF. TOM OCONNELL, Metropolitan State University
 * KAREN REDLEAF, Advocate for Palestinian human rights

with ANDY DRISCOLL, Host and Producer and LYNNELL MICKELSEN, Co-host
Minneapolis 90.3/106.7 Saint Paul CALL IN: 612-341-0980 ONLINE @ KFAI.ORG:
<http://www.kfai.org/node/682> A Production of CIVIC/MEDIA/MINNESOTA


--------17 of 24--------

From: marketing [at] intermediaarts.org <marketing [at] intermediaarts.org>
Subject: Health/healing 10.24 12noon

Beyond the Gallery: "Art Treats" Brown Bag Dialogues
Grab a sandwich and join us at Intermedia Arts for this exciting new
series of intimate lunch-hour conversations with local artists and
activists.

Navvigating Medical Waters: Cultural Aspects of Health and Healing with
Marlina Gonzalez
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
12:00-1:00 PM at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN
Free and open to the public


--------18 of 24---------

From: Tim Erickson <tim [at] e-democracy.org>
Subject: Citizens League 10.24 5pm

Policy Happens Here! The 2007 Citizens League Annual Meeting
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Doors open at 5:00 p.m., program begins at 6:30 p.m.. dessert reception at
7:30 p.m.
The Milwaukee Depot, 225 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis

Admission is free; cash bar; complimentary hors d'oeuvres and dessert
buffet

It's time to join friends and neighbors, active citizens, elected
officials, and policy wonks to talk about the state of public affairs and
the work of the Citizens League at the state's best civic event.  It's
free and open to all - please come and bring a friend!


--------19 of 24--------

Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 22:25:10 -0500
Subject: Stadium scam 10.24 7pm

It Is October and that means two things, Halloween and the Viking Stadium
Proposal are both coming back from the dead!

Next Meeting:
Wednesday October 24 at 7pm
The following months we will meet the Second Tuesday of every month starting
Tuesday Nov. 13.

Centennial High School
Red Building - Room 104
4704 North Road
Circle Pines, MN

The red building is on the east end of the high school complex, and is set
back furthest from North Road.  Enter on the East side of the building.
The largest parking lots are near this building.

The only question left is: when will our representatives stop entertaining
these giveaway welfare schemes to the richest men at the expense of our
future.

Please join us for another in the series "WHO WILL PAY FOR ZYGI'S
STADIUM?"  This could just as well mean a metro wide sales tax, including
the 30 year mortgage for 2 billion dollars.  Can someone calculate how
many new bridges that could buy?

WE WILL HAVE LAWN SIGNS AVAILABLE AT THE MEETING.
AGENDA ITEMS INCLUDE:
Website
Lawn Signs for sale!
What is happening in the 2008 Legislative Session?
How do we join our friends to the south metro to stop this, the newest
welfare scheme?

Also coming to a location not so near you!
The Stadium Commission has decided to hold meetings to engage some of the
public.
I say some because conspicuous because of its absence are any meetings
anywhere in Anoka County.
Here are the stadium commission's new Vikings stadium LISTENING TOUR dates.

Duluth                  10/23
Virginia                 10/24
Moorhead          10/30
St. Cloud              11/1
Marshall               11/7
Mankato              11/8
Rochester           11/13
Woodbury          11/14 (luncheon)
Minneapolis       11/14 (evening)
Eden Prairie        11/15

Who wants to go and ask why Anoka County is once again left out of public
input to the process.

Now would be a good time to think about what you will write to your
representatives to tell them we do not need to waste more money on stadium
giveaways to Billionaires.  Please continue to tell them we want a vote as
required by state law for any tax increase to pay for a stadium.  Write
please do it again.

Any Questions, comments contact me at: Ron Holch rrholch [at] attg.net

[And we think we live in a democracy! We and the world are owned lock
stock and barrel by a few worthless billionaires. Until we have the
courage to change it. Kick these scum off their mountain tops! -ed]


--------20 of 24--------

From: "Susan Hensel Design,LLC" <Susan_Hensel_Design_LLC [at] mail.vresp.com>
Subject: Artists unite 10.24 7pm

Wednesday,  October 24
Artists Unite, a  Minneapolis artists salon, will meet from  7-9.  All
artists welcome to talk art, shows, gossip, & support one another.

Susan Hensel Gallery
3441 Cedar Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55407 612 722-2324


---------21 of 24---------

With Democrats Like These ...
The New York Times | Editorial
Saturday 20 October 2007

Every now and then, we are tempted to double-check that the Democrats
actually won control of Congress last year. It was particularly hard to
tell this week. Democratic leaders were cowed, once again, by propaganda
from the White House and failed, once again, to modernize the law on
electronic spying in a way that permits robust intelligence gathering on
terrorists without undermining the Constitution.

The task before Congress was to review and improve an update to the 1978
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA, that was pushed
through the Capitol just before the summer break. That bill endorsed
warrantless wiretapping and gutted other aspects of the 1978 law.

House Democrats drafted a measure that, while imperfect, was an
improvement to the one passed this summer. But before the House could
vote, Republicans tied up the measure in bureaucratic knots and Democratic
leaders pulled it. Senate Democrats did even worse, accepting a Potemkin
compromise that endorsed far too much of the bad summer law.

We were left wondering who is really in charge, when in a bipartisan press
release announcing the agreement, the ranking Republican on the Senate
Intelligence Committee, Kit Bond, described the bill as "a delicate
arrangement of compromises" that could not be changed in any way. The
committee's chairman, Jay Rockefeller, didn't object.

As the debate proceeds, Americans will be told that the delicate
compromises were about how the government may spy on phone calls and
electronic messages in the age of instant communications. Republicans have
already started blowing hot air about any naysayers trying to stop spies
from tracking terrorists.

No one is doing that. The question really is whether Congress should toss
out chunks of the Constitution because Mr. Bush finds them inconvenient
and some Democrats are afraid to look soft on terrorism.

FISA requires a warrant to spy on communications within the United States
or between people in this country and people abroad. After 9/11, Mr. Bush
ordered the National Security Agency to spy, without a warrant, on
communications between the United States and other countries. The N.S.A.
obtained data from American telecommunications companies by telling them
it was legal.

After The Times disclosed the program in late 2005, Mr. Bush looked for a
way to legalize it retroactively. He found it this summer. FISA also
requires a warrant to intercept strictly foreign communications that
happen to move through data networks in the United States.

That Internet age flaw has a relatively simple fix. But the White House
seized the opportunity to ram through the far broader bill, which could
authorize warrantless surveillance of Americans' homes, offices and phone
records; permit surveillance of Americans abroad without probable cause;
and sharply limit the power of the court that controls electronic spying.

Democrats justified their votes for this bad bill by noting that the law
expires in February and by promising to fix it this fall. The House bill
did, in fact, restore most judicial safeguards. But the deal cooked up by
Mr. Rockefeller and the White House doesn't. It would not expire for six
years, which is too long. And it would dismiss pending lawsuits against
companies that turned data over to the government without a warrant.

This provision is not primarily about protecting patriotic businessmen, as
Mr. Bush claims. It's about ensuring that Mr. Bush and his aides never
have to go to court to explain how many laws they've broken. It is a
collusion between lawmakers and the White House that means that no one is
ever held accountable. Democratic lawmakers said they reviewed the
telecommunications companies' cooperation (by reading documents selected
by the White House) and concluded that lawsuits were unwarranted. Unlike
them, we still have faith in the judicial system, which is where that sort
of conclusion is supposed to be reached, not in a Senate back room
polluted by the politics of fear.

There were bright spots in the week. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon managed
to attach an amendment requiring a warrant to eavesdrop on American
citizens abroad. That merely requires the government to show why it
believes the American is in league with terrorists, but Mr. Bush
threatened to veto the bill over that issue.

Senator Christopher Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat, said he would put a
personal hold on the compromise cooked up by Senator Rockefeller and the
White House.

Otherwise, it was a very frustrating week in Washington. It was bad enough
having a one-party government when Republicans controlled the White House
and both houses of Congress. But the Democrats took over, and still the
one-party system continues.


---------22 of 24---------

Outsourcing Government
by Naomi Klein
Published on Saturday, October 20, 2007 by the Los Angeles Times

"We didn't want to get stuck with a lemon". That's what Homeland Security
Secretary Michael Chertoff said to a House committee last month. He was
referring to the "virtual fence" planned for the U.S. borders with Mexico
and Canada. If the entire project goes as badly as the 28-mile prototype,
it could turn out to be one of the most expensive lemons in history,
projected to cost $8 billion by 2011.

Boeing, the company that landed the contract - the largest ever awarded by
the Department of Homeland Security - announced this week that it will
finally test the fence after months of delay due to computer problems.
Heavy rains have confused its remote-controlled cameras and radar, and the
sensors can't tell the difference between moving people, grazing cows or
rustling bushes.

But this debacle points to more than faulty technology. It exposes the
faulty logic of the Bush administration's vision of a hollowed-out
government run everywhere possible by private contractors.

According to this radical vision, contractors treat the state as an ATM,
withdrawing massive contracts to perform core functions like securing
borders and interrogating prisoners, and making deposits in the form of
campaign contributions. As President Bush's former budget director, Mitch
Daniels, put it: "The general idea - that the business of government is
not to provide services but to make sure that they are provided - seems
self-evident to me".

The flip side of the Daniels directive is that the public sector is
rapidly losing the ability to fulfill its most basic responsibilities -
and nowhere more so than in the Department of Homeland Security, which, as
a Bush creation, has followed the ATM model since its inception.

For instance, when the controversial border project was launched, the
department admitted that it had no idea how to secure the borders and,
furthermore, didn't think it was its job to figure it out. Homeland
Security's deputy secretary told a group of contractors that "this is an
unusual invitation" - We're asking you to come back and tell us how to do
our business".

Private companies would not only perform the work, they would identify
what work needed to be done, write their own work orders, implement them
and oversee them. All the department had to do was sign the checks.

And as one former top Homeland Security official put it: "If it doesn't
come from industry, we are not going to be able to get it".

Put simply, if any given job can't be outsourced, it can"t be done.

This philosophy, so central to the Bush years, explains statistics like
this one: In 2003, the U.S. government handed out 3,512 contracts to
companies to perform domestic security functions, from bomb detection to
data mining. In the 22-month period ending in August 2006, the Homeland
Security Department had issued more than 115,000 security-related
contracts.

If government is now an ATM, perhaps the war on terror is best understood
not as a war but as a sprawling new economy, one based on continued
disaster and instability. In this economy, the Bush team doesn't run the
venture exactly; rather, it plays the role of deep-pocketed venture
capitalist, always on the lookout for new security start-ups
(overwhelmingly headed by former employees of the Pentagon and Homeland
Security). Roger Novak, whose firm invests in homeland security companies,
explains it like this: "Every fund is seeing how big the [government]
trough is and asking, how do I get a piece of that action?"

The Boeing border contract is just one piece of that action. Another, of
course, is the security contractor boom in Iraq, currently starring
Blackwater USA.

Last month, when the Iraqi government accused Blackwater guards of
massacring civilians in Baghdad, it became clear that the U.S. Embassy had
no intention of severing ties with Blackwater because it could not
function without it.

Perhaps that's why that same bureau rushed to respond to the Iraqi
government's allegations in the September shooting with a "spot report" of
its own: that Blackwater guards had come under attack and had responded
accordingly. Days later, it emerged that an embassy contractor wrote the
report - a contractor who worked for Blackwater. The administration then
sent in the FBI to investigate the shootings. Yet it quickly emerged that
the FBI investigators could well be guarded by Blackwater. The FBI
announced that other arrangements would be made - but this was an
exception.

And remember Hurricane Katrina, when contractors -p including Blackwater .
descended on New Orleans? FEMA was already so hollowed-out by then that it
had to hire a contractor to help manage all the contractors. And with all
the controversies, the Army recently decided it needed to update its
manual for dealing with contractors - giving the job of drafting the new
policy to one of its major contractors.

It still looks like a government - with impressive buildings, presidential
news briefings, policy battles. But pull back the curtain and there is
nobody home.

The Blackwater scandal could have provided an opportunity to question the
wisdom of turning state security into a for-profit activity - but not in
today's Washington. Instead, rather than replacing its cowboy contractors
with troops, the State Department says it will put video cameras on the
vehicles they guard.

Video surveillance is one of the most lucrative sectors of the
war-on-terror economy. This could even turn out to be great news for the
top executives at Blackwater, who have launched a new private intelligence
company billed as a "one-stop service able to meet all the intelligence,
operational and security needs". If the past is any indication, there is
no reason why the men from Blackwater cannot be contracted to spy on
Blackwater. Indeed, it would be the perfect expression of the hollow state
that Bush built.

Naomi Klein is the author of many books, including her most recent, The
Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, which will be published
in September. Visit Naomi's website at nologo.org.

 2007 The Los Angeles Times


--------23 of 24--------

Nobel Hypocrisy
by Stephen Lendman
October 19, 2007

Alfred Nobel was a wealthy nineteenth century Swedish-born chemist,
engineer, inventor of dynamite, armaments manufacturer and war profiteer
who remade his image late in life by establishing the awarding of prizes
in his name that includes the one for peace. This most noted award was
inspired by his one-time secretary and peace activist, Bertha von Suttner,
who was nominated four times and became the first of only 12 women to be
honored.

Since it was established in 1901, the Peace Prize was awarded to 95
individuals and 20 organizations. Some recipients were worthy like Martin
Luther King, Jane Addams and Albert Schweitzer but too many were not
including this year's honoree. Al Gore joins a long list of past "ignoble"
recipients like warrior presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson
and supporter of rogue regimes Jimmy Carter. He's also among the likes of
genocidists Henry Kissinger and three former Israeli prime ministers -
Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin - along with former UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan who never met a US-led war he didn't love and
support. So much for promoting peace and what this award is supposed to
signify. More on this below.

Almost anyone can be nominated for the prize and look who were but didn't
get it - Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin and more recently
George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Rush Limbaugh laughably. In contrast, one
of the most notable symbols of non-violence in the 20th century, Mahatma
Gandhi, was nominated four times but never won. More recently, anti-war
activist Kathy Kelly, co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness, now known as
Voices for Creative Nonviolence, got three nominations but was passed over
each time for less deserving candidates. Her "reward" instead was to be
sentenced in 2004 to three months in federal prison for crossing the line
into Fort Benning, Georgia in protest against the School of the Americas,
now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation
that's commonly called "the school of assassins."

Peace Prize Awards to War Criminals

Henry Kissinger was likely the most noted war criminal ever to win the
Nobel Prize (in 1973 with Vietnam's Le Duc Tho who declined his award
saying there was no peace in his country). The sheer scope of his crimes
is breathtaking:

-- three to four million Southeast Asian deaths in the Vietnam war,

-- the bloody overthrow of a democratic government in Chile and support
for Latin American dictators,

-- backed Surharto's takeover of West Papua and his invasion of East Timor
killing hundreds of thousands,

-- supported the Khmer Rouge early on and its reign of terror rise to
power,

-- backed Pakistan's "delicacy and tact" in overthrowing Bangladesh's
democratically elected government causing a half million deaths, and much
more around the world as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State
for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the world body he represented
won their award in 2001 "for their work for a better organized and more
peaceful world." It wasn't for what Annan did in his various UN roles.
Early on, he had a position in the Secretariat's services department in
New York. He then got subordinate responsibility for the Middle East and
Africa in the "special political affairs" department. There his support
for Washington's call for troops to be sent to Somalia in the early 1990s
helped put him in charge of all peacekeeping operations in February, 1993.
In that role, he prevented measures from being taken to stop the impending
Rwanda slaughter he was warned about in advance that caused around 800,000
deaths on his watch. He also kept the Security Council uninformed of what
was coming.

At the behest of then UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright and without
consulting Secretary-General Boutras-Boutras-Ghali, Annan sided with the
Clinton administration's authorization of NATO to illegally bomb Serb
positions in Bosnia in 1995. It got him the Secretary-General's job in
January, 1997 in which one observer noted he "courted the wrath of the
developing world by rejecting anticolonialism in favor of moral principles
cherished in the West."

Kofi Annan's Nobel award is a testimony to hypocrisy for a man whose ten
years as Secretary-General failed to fulfill the mandate he was sworn to
uphold: "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war; to
reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights; to establish conditions
(promoting) justice....equal rights of men and women (in all nations and
respect for) international law (and) social progress....to ensure....armed
force shall not be used."

During his ten year tenure in the top UN job, Annan:

-- supported Iraqi economic sanctions that caused around 1.5 million
deaths including over one million children under age five;

-- backed the Bush administration's illegal 2003 Iraq invasion and
occupation that's now taken an additional 1.2 million or more lives;

-- supported the illegal Afghanistan war and occupation;

-- remained mute on the possibility of a wider war with Iran even if it
includes first strike nuclear weapons;

-- made no efforts to work for peace in the Middle East including in
Occupied Palestine nor did he denounce Israel's 2006 war of aggression
against Lebanon;

-- remained loyal to the West and ignored the plight of his own people
throughout the African continent including the immiseration of South
African blacks post-apartheid;

-- allowed thuggish paramilitary Blue Helmets to occupy Haiti, Bosnia,
Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Liberia,
Ivory Coast and Sudan. More on UN peacekeeping below.

Kofi Annan's sole achievement was his uncompromising complicity with the
Clinton and Bush administrations' worst crimes of war and against
humanity. His loyalty earned him the Nobel award that signified nothing to
do with peace he disdained.

UN Peacekeeping Forces got the Nobel award in 1988 for missions the UN
defines as "a way to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for
sustainable peace." Blue Helmets supposedly are sent to conflict and
post-conflict areas to perform multiple services that include as top
priority restoring order, maintaining peace and security and providing for
the needs of people during transitional periods until local governments
can take over on their own.

Most often, Blue Helmets end up creating more conflict than resolution and
function mainly as unwanted paramilitary enforcers or occupiers. At other
times, they become counterproductive or ineffective and end up doing more
harm than good. Since 1948, over five dozen peacekeeping operations have
been undertaken. Most were dismal failures including the first ever UNTSO
mission during Israel's so-called "War of Independence." The operation is
still ongoing after nearly 50 years, peace was never achieved, Blue
Helmets are there but play no active role, and the world community is
silent in the face of Israeli crimes of war and against humanity.

The same condition is true in Haiti where for the first time in UN history
MINUSTAH peacekeepers were deployed to enforce a coup d'etat against a
democratically-elected president. They disdain peace and stability and
function instead as paramilitary occupiers indiscriminately terrorizing
and killing unarmed civilians in service to Western capital.

Three former Israeli prime ministers also got Nobel Peace Prizes -
Menachem Begin in 1978 and Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres in 1994.  All
three men committed crimes of war and against humanity as did all other
Israeli prime ministers since David Ben-Gurion took office May 14, 1948
after the new State of Israel declared it independence as an exclusive
Jewish state. Nonetheless, the Nobel Committee awarded them its highest
honor for furthering the cause of peace they disdained by using their
position to inflict on the Palestinian people what Edward Said once said
was Israel's "refined viciousness." Menachem Begin was a particularly
virulent racist and Arab hater calling Palestinians "two-legged beasts"
and saying Jews were the "Master Race" and "divine gods on this planet."

Then there's the current Nobel Peace Prize honoree, Al Gore.
CounterPunchers Alex Cockburn and Jeff St. Clair wrote the book on him in
2000 titled "Al Gore: A User's Manual." It's a critical account of a "man
whom his parents raised from birth to be president of the United States"
and who always put politics over principle. He built his credentials for
the high office around pro-business, pro-war, anti-union and phony
environmental advocacy as no friend of the earth then so who can believe
he's one now.

His 1992 book "Earth in the Balance" was more theater than advocacy. In
it, he assessed the forces of planetary destruction that included air and
water pollution, soil erosion, deforestation, overpopulation, ozone
depletion and global warming. He highlighted the impact of auto emissions
and need to phase out the internal combustion engine but made no effort in
office to do it.

Then as vice-president he used his "green credentials" to sell the
pro-business, anti-worker, anti-environmental NAFTA to the environmental
movement. He also supported clear-cutting logging practices including in
old-growth areas. He ignored an assessment that this practice risked the
extinction of hundreds of species. He backed a 1995 spending bill "salvage
logging rider" that opened millions of National Forest lands to logging
and exempted sales of the harvest from environmental laws and judicial
review for two years. He and Clinton further allowed South Florida's sugar
barons to devastate thousands of Everglades acres and gave away consumer
Delaney Clause protection that kept carcinogens out of our food supply.

Throughout his political life, Gore supported Big Oil and was tied to
Occidental Petroleum Company and its "ruthless tycoon" chief, Armand
Hammer. In return for supporting company interests, he got political
favors and patronage from Hammer and his successor, Ray Irani who was a
major DNC contributor and got to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom as a bonus
reward. He's also been a shill for the nuclear industry that won't solve
or even alleviate global warming and the threat it poses according to
nuclear expert Helen Caldicott. Commercial reactors discharge huge amounts
of greenhouse gases along with hundreds of thousands of curies of deadly
radioactive gases and other radioactive elements besides being sitting
ducks for retaliatory terror attacks experts believe will eventually
happen.

Earlier in the House (1977 - 1985) and Senate (1985 - 1993) and as
vice-president Gore also shilled for the Pentagon and defense contractors.
He "played midwife to the MX missile," opposed efforts to cut defense
spending, and backed the Reagan administration's Grenada invasion and
Central American wars. He partnered with Clinton's Balkan wars in the
1990s that destroyed Yugoslavia so NATO could expand into Central and
Eastern Europe for its markets, resources and cheap, exploitable labor. In
Kosovo, he collaborated with Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) paramilitary
thugs against Serbia and ignored their connection to organized crime. He
earlier traded his vote for the Gulf war for prime time coverage of his
speech.

He then backed ousting Saddam by coup or any other means and supported the
most comprehensive genocidal sanctions ever imposed on a country that
killed a likely 1.5 million or more Iraqis including over one million
children under age five.

Cockburn and St. Clair fill in more blanks about a political opportunist
who supported Big Tobacco, "exploited his sister's death and son's
(near-fatal) accident for....political advantage; became a soul brother of
Newt Gingrich; race-baited Jesse Jackson; pushed Clinton into destroying
the New Deal; plotted to stop Democrats from recapturing Congress in 1996"
so "his rival Dick Gephard" wouldn't become Speaker; "leached campaign
cash from nearly every corporate lobbyist" in town, and, as already
covered, lied about being a friend of the earth by disdaining
environmentalism through his actions.

Does this man deserve a Nobel Peace Prize (let alone to be president)
along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "for their
efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made
climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are
needed to counteract such change." The Nobel Committee ignored Gore's
environmental record and went on to say "for a long time (he's) been one
of the world's leading environmental politicians (through) his strong
commitment, reflected in political activity, (that) strengthened the
struggle against climate change." Contrary to his easily accessed public
record, not his posturing, The Nobel Committee blindly added "He is
probably the single individual who has done most to create greater
worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."

In point of fact, throughout his political life, Gore's actions betrayed
the public's trust and still do. He and his wife live in two large
energy-consuming homes: a 10,000 square foot, eight bedroom one in
Nashville and a 4000 square foot one in Arlington, VA. The Gores also own
a third home in Carthage, TN. In both Washington and Nashville, utility
companies offer a wind energy green alternative to customers for a small
per kilowatt hour premium. Gore can easily afford it, but public records
show no evidence he's does it in either residence. Alex Cockburn gets the
last word on a man who shills for privilege, has plenty for himself, and
like George Bush disdains the public interest: "Al Gore distills in his
single person the disrepair of liberalism in America today, and almost
every unalluring feature of the Democratic Party" that's mostly
windistinguishable from the other side of the aisle in a city where the
criminal class is bipartisan.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Steve
Lendman News and Information Hour on TheMicroEffect.com Mondays at noon US
central time.


--------24 of 24---------

                   Life choices situation #237

You and your sailor buddies have been out to sea for 18 months.
Finally you dock for one night at a small "service" island. The INS has
just deported all the women. The local house of ill repute has only:

 a) 20 rotting sheep carcasses, two weeks dead of the plague, or
 b) 30 blood-stained rabbits retching with advanced AIDS.

Your choice:
 x) neither; do without
 y) the lesser of two evils


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